Posts made in August, 2012

Goodbye, Dukan; Hello Weight Watchers!

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Dear Dukan Diet,

I feel like these last few months we’ve been slowly drifting apart. It’s not you, it’s me. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve done a lot for me. Thanks to you, I lost 40 pounds. I was able to get more than halfway to my final weight loss goal! I just feel like I need to branch out. I’m tired of not eating any fruit or even veggies every day. I need more in my life, like the occasional piece of bread or even chocolate cake. I really wish we could’ve been together until the end, but I’ve got to move on.

Love always,

Ashley

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Fear of Falling

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Blog, Roller Derby | 3 comments

I think tonight I really, fully realized that I’m kind of a scaredy cat. Well, actually, it’s something I’ve always known about myself. I’ve always been timid and shy. I grew up with two sisters and a billion girl cousins, and we never played rough or got in physical fights. I never wanted to climb high on the monkey bars or go down the crazy high water slide for fear of getting hurt. After tonight’s brutal practice I’m starting to wonder what made me choose to do roller derby, a contact sport where you’re bound to get hurt.

When I was first asked if I wanted to do roller derby, about a year ago, I said no way. I have never been a good skater and I have no desire to be in physical fights. So why did I change my mind? Looking back, I think I did it on a whim. I asked my coworker who does roller derby some more detailed questions. She told me that lots of girls start out really bad at skating, including herself. She suggested I reach out to the local league, which I did.

That first practice was really scary. I was really terrified of falling, even though I knew it was inevitable. Only after a few weeks of skating did I get over the constant (and I do mean constant) terror of falling at any moment. And I found that once I stopped worrying so much about it, the easier it got. If I started to lose balance a lot, I had to tell myself to calm down, and then I’d get back on track.

Tonight’s practice had me out of my comfort zone a lot. In roller derby, you’re going to fall down, so you learn how to fall safely. We were practicing our falls, and I was having a hard time with it. We were also practicing stops, which I have a really hard time with because I’m afraid of falling down. The roster skater who was showing us how to do the moves told me that she could tell I had a big fear of falling. She told me that until I got over that fear, then I wouldn’t be able to do the moves. Even though that was a little upsetting to hear, I know she’s right. Even thought it was difficult, I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and continuing to try.

The same roster skater made another important observation about my skating. She told me that I was not propelling myself when I pushed off with my skates. I guess I was trying to use my legs to propel me more than I was using my feet. She told me that each time I pick up my skate, I should go forward faster. Once I started doing that, I started skating A LOT faster, which is really awesome because I’m the slowest of the slow skaters.  She was pleasantly surprised at how much faster I was going. Again, fear had been holding me back. I knew that I was afraid of going fast because I was afraid of losing control and crashing.

I fell down a lot today. Sometimes on purpose, but many times not. I was very afraid to try the new moves and to skate faster, but I’m glad that I tried. Yes, it was scary. I’m still feeling a little apprehensive about moving forward even now, sitting at home. I just have to remember that the only way to overcome my fears is to face them, which is exactly what I plan to do.

 

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Fresh Meat

Posted by on Aug 9, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

So, it’s now been a little over 4 weeks since I went to my first roller derby practice, and I’m still loving it. I’ve (mostly) gotten over the constant fear of falling now, which is a big relief, and am able to work more on my skating technique. I haven’t had any more big falls since I whacked my head, though my butt has stayed almost constantly sore from the couple of times I’ve messed up and fallen on it. I’ve come to expect being sore the day after derby practice.

We had practice on Tuesday night, which is not required for fresh meat but is highly recommended. Usually the girls in the league scrimmage while we fresh meat watch and learn the rules. We also get to participate in the non-skating work out, which is pretty hardcore. I don’t know why all the girls on the team aren’t totally ripped if they do that on a regular basis! We do a lot of core and leg exercises, which makes sense because that’s what you use in roller derby. I can already feel the exercises getting easier for me and my muscles getting stronger.

On Tuesday I got my first experience learning how to hip check. We paired up without our skates on and practiced bumping each other with our hips. At this point I can’t imagine doing that while also skating. I’m constantly in awe of how well these girls can skate! If you want to see what I mean, click here to watch at WFTDA bout. It’s crazy sauce!

Luckily for me the Faulkner County Roller Girls have a big box of knee pads, wrist guards and elbow pads along with a few helmets for newbies like me. However, they smell really, really bad. It’s pretty gross. So naturally I’ve been daydreaming about getting my own equipment, and I put together a nice little wish list on Amazon. My plan is to buy one thing a week (if we can afford it) until I get all my stuff. Tomorrow I order my pads! I can’t WAIT to get my own pair of skates. Switching skates every practice doesn’t make learning any easier.

I also found a lot of cute roller derby things on Etsy. I pinned a bunch, and here are some of my favorites:

Source: etsy.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

I thought these booty shorts were hilarious. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to wear them in public, though.

 

Source: etsy.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

These look like they could get rid of that stinky pads problem that I’ve read so much about.

Source: etsy.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

I love me some Hello Kitty, and this roller derby version is just too cute.

 

Source: etsy.com via Ashley on Pinterest

 

Frilly rainbow panties! Again, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to wear these in public even though they’re super cute. To be honest, the prospect of getting to dress up all cute and badass at the same time is what I’m most excited about in roller derby.

If you want to support us Faulkner County Roller Girls, we’re selling things at the huge annual yard sale Bargains Gallore on 64 this weekend as a fundraiser. Lex and I will be there Saturday morning! Then, on September 8th we’re having our first real bout against River Valley here in Conway. I won’t be able to actually play but I’ll be there as a non-skating official. If you’re curious, you should come on out and see us play!

So…yeah. Roller derby. Still hard but I’m getting better all the time, and I’m still really enjoying it. :)

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Having It All

Posted by on Aug 2, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Looking back, I can see that it’s always been my goal to have it all– a fulfilling career, a beautiful house, a loving family and a healthy/fit body. When you think about it abstractly, it seems pretty easy to achieve. However, what I’ve come to realize (probably a bit later in life than I should have) is that achieving and maintaining those things all at the same time requires constant vigilance. They aren’t things that you get and then have forever. They are things that you have to work at everyday. You have to make a thousand little decisions each and every day to maintain those things.

Most days, I wake up feeling upbeat, motivated and ready for the day. But other days, I just don’t feel like making the effort. I don’t feel like avoiding all carbohydrates in order to be skinnier in the future. I don’t feel like taking the time to exercise instead of sitting around watching TV. I don’t feel like doing all those amazing DIY projects I see on Pinterest every day and wish I had the time or the money to do. I don’t feel like holding my tongue and not snapping at my family members when they make me mad. I don’t feel like spending an hour tidying the house and preparing for the next day. And when I take the easy road and give into those feelings, more often than not, I regret it later on. It feels good in the moment, but it only stockpiles my stress for another day– a day when I look at my life and wonder what in the world I’m doing.

Today is kind of a day like that. I think of the person I want to be– the ideal person in my head– and then look at the person I am and feel guilty for not measuring up. I know that no one’s perfect and that perfection is an unattainable goal, but I feel like I should be doing more. I read all these other blogs where women are doing these amazing things with simple materials, and they do it all the time. It’s like they never have a bad day. I wish I could be more like them. Then I feel like a victim of circumstance (many of those women are stay-at-home moms whereas I have to work full time) and have a little mental pity party. Then I don’t feel like doing anything at all. It’s a vicious cycle and one that’s easy to get caught up in.

Luckily for me, I can usually snap myself out of it. I have to step back and look at the situation from other angles and think logically about it all. That’ll get me out of the victim mentality and then I can usually get my motivation back. Writing this post has actually made me feel a lot better.

The point of this post isn’t to make you feel sorry for me or to make excuses for myself. I just want to put it out there that I struggle with the perfect wife/mother/career woman idea, and I bet many of you do, too. I wanted to let you know that sometimes I think it’s really, really hard to try to be everything for everyone and sometimes I just need a break. Thanks for listening.

To give you an idea of my up and down motivations lately, here are a couple of recent pictures. The first shows the dieting fail I’ve been going through lately and the second shows the fruits of my increase in exercise.

 

Last night, I gave in and made some glorious peanut butter, coconut and chocolate chip bars. And I’ve enjoyed every. single. bite

I’m starting to get some muscle tone in my arms!

 

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