Hi Nora! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hey! My name is Nora Morse. I was born and raised here in Anchorage, went to D.C. for college and then headed back! I lead a pretty boring life. I work for Mayor Berkowitz as a press assistant and special assistant focusing on public safety. 

I have worked on two campaigns and am pretty much obsessed with anything political. I am actually on the hunt for a hobby so am open for suggestions. I tried cross stich and failed miserably, so not that.

IMG_5430How long have you been working with FF, and what motivated you to start?

 I have been with FF for over three years now I think. When I moved back to Anchorage I got pretty into yoga and even did a 30-day challenge. I got Rachael to start coming to yoga, and around the same time she was starting to go to bootcamps. I knew I wanted a challenge so Rachael convinced me to check it out and I have been hooked ever since.

What are a few of your favorite things about Boot Camp? How about a few of your favorite exercises?

My favorite thing about bootcamp is the sense of community. I really enjoy knowing almost everyone at all the classes and have that feeling of belonging. I couldn’t do it without all you amazing people! I also love the great workouts and that the coaches are always encouraging us to challenge ourselves.  I have a lot of self-doubt, and knowing that Steph Lela and Charlene believe in me helps me step out of my comfort zone and do some amazing things!

Some of my favorite exercises are deadlifts, and almost anything with a med ball or TRX. And obviously Tabata workouts!

You’ve made a lot of progress with fat loss lately. What kind of changes have you made to your nutrition over the last 6 months, and how have those changes benefited you? 

Thanks! I think the difference this go around has been more of a mental and attitude change.  I have of course been following my macros, meal planning, and saying no a lot more, but I have done all of these things before and not had this much success. 

I think this time, I finally realized this was going to be a life style change. I couldn’t ‘cheat’ on the weekends or follow my macros for only 2 meals I had to commit.

On the flip side of that I have learned to be a little more lenient on myself and recognize that one slip up or ‘bad’ meal was not going to ruin my life or goals, I would just need to get back on track.

You’re currently participating in our Summer Transformation Challenge, and you’ve been killing it! What were your 3 goals at the start of the Challenge? 

My 3 goals:

1.    Run once a week

2.    Drop 3% body fat and

3.    Think more positively about myself

 With one week left of the Challenge, do you feel like you have been successful in achieving your 3 goals? 

This challenge has been really interesting for me. I have run once a week and recently decided that I am not a runner. I have tried multiple times to find joy in going on a run, but I never have. I used to think that people that are fit and healthy enjoy running. 

IMG_5502I finally realize that is not true, and I need to stop forcing myself to do something I really dislike, there are plenty of other ways I enjoy getting outside and on the trails! So besides the Gold Nugget, I think Lost Lake will be the end of my running career.

For my second goal of 3% fat loss I think I am doing great! I purposely didn’t want to set a weight loss goal because I can get caught up in numbers and the negative effects of scales, Last time I was measured I lost 2.9%, so I hope I am still on track when I finish!

Finally, thinking more positively has been the hardest goal to measure. I have been writing down a positive thought everyday and sending them to Steph. It has been a very eye opening experience. At first I was really self-conscious about it and felt a little crazy. I also found myself not thinking any positive thoughts about myself, which made me pretty sad. 

Now, toward the end of the challenge I seem to be making more of a point to think positively or at least acknowledge when I do and being proud of myself. Overcoming negative thoughts will be a lifelong practice for me, but I do feel like I have made strides! Way to go me!

What are some obstacles that you’ve faced while working toward your goals, and how have you overcome them?

I love food. I love shitty food. I had to overcome using food as a way to celebrate, or cheer myself up, or when I was in a bad mood, or really any excuse I could find.  Tracking my food and planning a day in advance was really helpful. I have had to find new ways to reward myself or cheer myself up etc, but I think its been working out.  

Also food and drinks is really social for me and it’s been pretty awkward attending events or happy hours and just getting water, but I know that it’s worth those couple minutes of awkward explanation. I won’t say it’s always been easy or fun, but I have found it getting easier and more realistic. I am having way less cravings!

You’ve been focusing a lot on positive self-talk lately. I know this is important to you, and it’s sometimes been difficult. What have you learned about yourself in the process? Do you feel like it’s getting easier?

I have kind of touched on this, but it really has been an interesting learning experience. Like I said it was sad at first to realize I had gone a whole day and not has a single positive thought about myself. When Steph would text me to ask what my thought for the day was I would have to rack my brain, I even asked if I could kind of make up the first couple ones.

As the challenge went on and I made a more conscious effort, I found myself looking for positive things, and to my surprise finding them. Now as this is coming to an end the positive thoughts are coming easier and easier. 

I have also found myself kind of congratulating myself everything I think something positive.  I am not going to say I am cured of negative self talk, but I have made way more progress than I thought I would. I honestly thought this process was going to be kind of dumb, but it’s been really useful for me.  I am learning there is a lot to love about me. J

You’ve been sharing your positive thoughts with me periodically throughout the last 5 weeks. Do you mind sharing a few now?

Ha! This is the real challenge. My thoughts have varied from things about work, like, “man I just kicked ass in that meeting,” to really basic things like, “I am having a killer hair day!”

My favorite thought thus far was last week. I hadn’t been to yoga in 6 months or more and I finally went back to a class. I used to be really negative in yoga. I caught glimpses of myself in the mirrors in strange positions and surrounded by very small people. I am especially critical of my arms, I know I’m not supposed to say it, but I hate them.  Anyway, in this most recent class I caught my reflection in the mirror and found myself thinking, “damn, you look good! Your arms look smaller.” I kind of shocked myself!

What new goals do you have planned for the future, and why are these so important to you?

During this challenge I have tried to go on as many FF hikes as I could and I have loved them! I want to keep getting out there, especially through the winter!

I also am going to keep tracking my food and shoot for some more fat loss. I made up an arbitrary goal weight and I am about 10 pounds away so I would love to see that number on the scale! I was just telling Steph that I was looking back at My Fitness Pal and in December of 2013 I was over 200 pounds. I honestly never thought I would be where I am now. I love feeling strong, fit, and most importantly healthy. I want to keep challenging myself and see where I can go!