Bad Ass Girl Power

In case you didn’t know, it’s that time of year again…Tour de France! Woo hoo! It’s like the Superbowl for cycling nerds (ahem, Michael). He got me interested in it a few years ago and while I scoffed at the idea of watching cycling on TV, I had to admit it was pretty compelling and sometimes frightening (remember last year’s horrific accident involving a car, a cyclist and barbed wire?).

Well this year there is a group of women riding the same route as Tour de France one day ahead of them–all 2,162 miles! There are two women on the team from Portland too! “I’d like to prove we can do it,” says Jennifer Cree, a dental hygienist from Portland. The women will ride the entire Tour de France—from the prologue in Liége to the famous finish on Paris’ Champs-Élysées!!

How amazing is that? I really want them to be successful. I think it’s incredibly empowering and inspiring. Unlike two years ago when I thought I was an Olympic athlete and was humbled beyond belief, I have no delusions that I could do something like the Tour de France. But it’s nice fantasize about it!

“The Rêve riders hope to inspire more women to ride and to raise money for the Bikes Belong Foundation. The goal is to bring in $60,000 for the Boulder, Colo.-based group that encourages people to ride bicycles, particularly women and children. Surveys show that women avoid bicycles because they don’t feel safe, so the Rêve money will help implement physically separated bike lanes in six cities — Portland, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Memphis and Austin, Texas.”

It’s for a good cause, too. Portland has a great infrastructure for cycling but there is still a lot to be desired. On my commute to and from work there are lots of areas on my route that are scary and unsafe–and do not have bike lanes.


I’ve been trying to research how long these women have been training and I’ve come up empty. Perhaps in future news articles they will say because I really want to know what kind of training they did.

“Every waking moment is about the ride, now. They’re doubling their workouts, wolfing down calories and battling doubts. “

Luckily they have sponsors and top-of-the line gear (check out that link for amazing photos). They will need it! Check out  Stage 16 (120 miles, 15,000 feet elevation gain, up and over the famed Tourmalet summit in the Pyrenees)!! I also loved seeing that Ninkasi beer is a sponsor. Too funny!

I love inspirational stories like this. I think it’s great that young girls can have athletes like this to look up to. How cool would it be if you and I could do something like that? Cycling doesn’t have to be the realm of men. In fact, I think woman have an advantage with having more lower body strength.

“It never gets easier, you just go faster.” ~ Greg LeMond.

Stuff like this inspires me. I think about it while I’m out there on the road riding my bike. It gives me focus for my own training and inspires me to keep going when it gets hard. I will be following their story and cheering them on. Will you?

QUESTION: Are you watching the Tour de France?

What IS Your Happy Weight?

Hello there, 110 Pounds readers! My name is Tina and I’m the gal typing up all sorts of randomness – from super personal topics (binge eating struggles) to silly stories (stuffing my bra) – over at the blog Faith Fitness Fun.

I find Lisa incredibly inspiring in her weight loss journey. I don’t have a success story of a 100+ pound weight loss, but I do feel proud to say I have arrived at my happy weight again. After the birth of my son earlier this year, I still had about thirty pounds to lose after coming home from the hospital. I had a goal in mind. My Body After Baby journey focused on getting back to my “happy weight”. Happy weight. It sure sounds nice, doesn’t it? But…what in the world did it even mean?!?!?

It took me years of my weight playing the yo-yo game before even remotely understanding where my body functions best. But, with time, I did eventually find my “happy weight”. I  discovered that place about 9 months after the birth of my daughter, Makenzie, and have found it again now.

But what does “happy weight” mean? How did I get there? How can I maintain it?

I’m not an expert by any means, but I know the answers to those questions for my body. Perhaps you can relate to them. So, here I am…in Lisa’s motivational space…sharing my brief insights and hoping you get something from them as well.

What IS Your Happy Weight?
In my opinion, three factors play into the definition of a person’s happy weight:

  • a weight your body naturally inclines to when living a balanced lifestyle
  • a weight that you can maintain relatively easily once reached
  • a weight where your body functions optimally and has energy

Four Ways to Achieve Your Happy Weight  

1. Overcome Eating Issues. I truly believe you cannot manage to reach a comfortable place for your body if you constantly battle food. I spent years in a vicious binge and restrict cycle. I could limit myself to 1200 calories a day for days on end without ever achieving a healthy, fit body. Yet, my emotional struggles with food kept me from ever truly achieving a healthy size for myself. I did not reach my happy weight until after my personal journey to overcome binge eating.

2. Learn through trial and error what foods fuel your body best. For years, I consumed myself with food rules and could rattle off what foods someone “should” or “shouldn’t” consume when trying to lose weight. I could tell you the number of grams of protein, carbs, or fat for an “optimal” meal. I could spew off data on a variety of eating plans. Yet somehow I still had no clue how my body worked best.

It turns out eating low-carb, which I believed to be the Holy Grail of dieting, actually caused my body to revolt and hold onto weight. Through trial and error – and relieving myself of all the “cans”, “cannots”, “should eats”, and “mustn’t eats” – I finally began honoring my body and it showed its appreciation by feeling better and better. And also losing stubborn weight without a sense of deprivation.

3. Discover workouts that keep you energized. Similar to finding a method of eating that suits you, we also must search out ways to stay active that fulfill us. Not every person will love running. Not every person wants to shake it in Zumba. Choose a way to move your body that you will enjoy so you can reap the health rewards of activity without wanting to shoot yourself in the foot. It will keep you motivated to continue and your level of fitness will naturally continue to improve.

4. Don’t kill yourself. Be able to experience life and the fun things that come with it.Healthy living does not have to be difficult. There really are no top-secret files on how to make it work. Simply consume quality foods, stay reasonably active, and enjoy life. When I found a balance of 80% wholesome, nutritious foods and 20% not-as-nutritionally-sound foods, I could easily keep up with healthy choices. I didn’t have to turn down things I enjoyed and could really live life. Taking the stress off myself improved my happiness and my desire to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I could remain consistent with my efforts and consistency proved to be the key to success.

The Number One Way to Stay There
Lose the number! Many of us have a weight in our mind we believe will make us happy. It may be a weight we compare to others or one of our previous sizes. This is not a true happy weight. You can fight your body to reach the number on the scale you think you should be and I can guarantee you that you won’t really be happier. Don’t view your happy weight as a particular number. View it as a feeling. A really, really good feeling.

Look to feel healthy, strong, fit, energetic, vibrant, and full of life. You will know it in your gut because it will feel so right.

Thanks for letting me share my story and thoughts with you. I would love to have you visit my neck of the woods. I’m always looking to connect with fellow fitness fanatics! 🙂