Does My Two-Week Vacation Make My Butt Look Fat? Exercising Through a Slump.

I ran out of Thursday Throwdown videos to post, so Tuesday was the day I set aside to film. Typically, I can film between two and five throwdowns in a day. 

2013-10-22 11.08.26I got dressed, I cleaned up my space (want motivation to keep your house uber-tidy? Film videos in your living room – yikes!), I got out the lights, the cameras, the tripods, and the equipment, and I began filming.

I looked at the first piece of footage. “Ugh – my legs are already pasty winter white.” Delete.
I looked at the second piece of footage. “Ugh – I look bloated.” Delete.
I looked at the third piece of footage. “Ugh – those clothes are not flattering at ALL.”  Delete.

And so on.

Three days before, I had returned from a two-week cross-country road trip, and even though I managed to exercise (not as much as usual), walk a lot (walking isn’t enough to maintain muscle mass), and eat well (*fingers crossed behind my back*), I returned feeling tired, lethargic, weak and bloated.

Not my best look.

I almost gave up on filming. I was completely unhappy with how I looked and felt and was just about to put everything away and try again another day, when I thought, “No. No, Laura. NO.”

(Sometimes I talk to myself like I’m a dog. “Bad girl! Sit! Stay!”)

2013-10-11 17.48.38

While visiting Los Angeles, my friend Colleen’s dog Suki “helped” me do yoga. When I did my Quickie Workout cross jacks, she read it as, “Time to bite her bum!”

It wasn’t easy, and I had to give myself about 8,000 pep talks in the two hours it took me to film a measly three throwdowns, but I forged ahead. I filmed those damn things in spite of the mean voices in my head, and as I did, three main messages emerged. These are the three lessons I learned:


1. I’m Not the Center of the Universe

My friend used to say this to anyone who was being borderline narcissistic. The world won’t end if I show myself with pale winter-white skin or dark circles under my eyes.  I claim to accept all people where they are, so that means I have to accept myself where I am. My desire to keep it honest battles constantly with my fear that I’ll be called out by some finger-pointing fitness fanatics at some point. That I’ll wake up one day to find my YouTube channel riddled with jeering comments along the lines of, “YOU think YOU’RE good enough to post VIDEOS on YouTube?” *scoff*eye roll* “Puh-lease.”

Filming on a day when I’m feeling low and vulnerable is me standing my ground. Holding myself to the standard of behavior I promote. Acceptance. Self-love. Progress over perfection. Shame and Guilt Not Welcome Here.

2. Exercise Anyway

There will always be days we don’t feel like exercising. There will always be reasons we can’t fit it in. Exercise anyway. This time, I had to film a Thursday Throwdown stat, because I had no videos and it takes time to film, edit, export and upload. So this time I had a deadline to motivate me to push past my lack of desire. But there will always – always – be obstacles.

Exercise anyway.used

We’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true that it can be as simple as walking up and down a flight of stairs ten times, or doing 20 squats, 20 push-ups, and 20 sit-ups and calling it done. Or doing lunges while you’re on the phone with that woman who never shuts up and who cares about the neighbor’s brother’s step-son’s cat anyhow? At least you’ll turn her rambling into something beneficial. Lunging will save you from stabbing pencils in your ears to make her yammering stop.

As I struggled to get through the filming, every time a voice said I wasn’t good enough, I replied, “Exercise anyway.”

3. Be Accountable

The honest truth is I could’ve eaten better on vacation, but I didn’t. I could’ve exercised daily, but I didn’t. I could’ve eaten fewer sweets, stretched more, gotten to bed earlier, and consumed more water. But I didn’t. I didn’t. I made my choices; these are the consequences. It’s not the end of the world. I can recover. It was two weeks, not two months.

Pleasure, relaxation, and going off one’s routine has its merits and its disadvantages. I will remember this week when I am faced with the same choices again in the future, and I will choose again, and I will be accountable to the results. I may choose more wisely; I may not. But it won’t help me to make excuses, so I’m taking a hard look at what I did and what I might’ve done instead.

If I want to achieve certain goals, it’s not enough to want it – I have to do what’s necessary to get there.
mind over matter

Sometimes I like to post little reminders to myself where I’ll see them – the bathroom mirror, taped to the kitchen cabinet. Today, I moved my “wellness list” to the pantry door where I’ll see it every time I’m in the kitchen. It reminds me to drink water, take my vitamins, and drink green smoothies, among other things.

What would be on your list? Where can you hang it so you have a gentle daily reminder?

And remember, no matter how you feel about yourself today – disappointed, sluggish, energetic, unsure, proud – you’re welcome at This is Fit, where we’re being our own kind of fit.

Ask for support when needed, seek advice when you’re not sure what to do, and share your successes and your struggles because we’re all in the same boat and it helps to know we’re never alone.


Now, about that Thursday Throwdown….
I decided to give my lethargy the finger with this one. It’s a 1,000 rep challenge, broken into 200 rep rounds. So if 1,000 is too much, simply do as many rounds as possible! Do what works for you. Adapt it as necessary. Hate a certain move? Substitute something else that targets the same muscles. Or, skip that exercise altogether. It’s your call! Be your own kind of fit! 

And after a Throwdown like this? You’ll feel like you own the world. *fists in the air*
Let’s do this! Click Here!


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