A Life Update

No oneI haven’t really written a life update recently.  I notice my blogs seem to be almost more formal sometimes.  I think I need to get back to the blogs where I just ramble…they are much more fun to write (and I’m sure to read!)

There has been a lot going on the last couple of weeks.  The two most significant things revolve around my job and my confidence in myself.  So, let’s dive in, shall we?

Let’s start with the meaty stuff – my confidence!  Over the last few weeks I’ve really been thinking a lot about how I feel about myself—what I look like, my personality, what I believe, and how other people see me.  There were a couple of occasions over the last few weeks where I was put into the awkward position of having to face some not-so-nice comments hurled in my direction in regards to my weight.  I’m not going to go into specifics, other than to say that my feelings were hurt, as they easily are.  I’m a pretty sensitive person, but that doesn’t justify having to endure hurtful comments.

As I said, this happened a couple of times over the last few weeks.  The first time I was just hurt and sad.  It’s hard when the people you think are on your side show their true colours.  Remember when I wrote about the guy on the street who mooed at me?  That was nothing compared to this.  The second time hurt even more, but it led to me having an a-ha moment about myself. It’s a moment I wished I’d had so long ago, but one that I’m glad finally penetrated my thick skull.

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of me.  It only matters what I think of me.

The truth is I am a beautiful girl.  I’m smart, I’m caring, I’m funny, and I’m good friend.  I’m also overweight, but that isn’t a character flaw.  It’s just a fact.  And I’m tired of some people acting like if I’m not thin I couldn’t possibly amount to anything.  The unfortunate part is that for the longest time I bought into it.  That because I’m fat, I’m somehow less than everyone else.  I’m just sorry it took me most of my adult life for that to sink in – despite friends trying to convince me otherwise.  I guess sometimes you just have to come to these realizations on your own and in your own time.

The other significant, although less meaty item is that I am officially a telecommuter!  I am now working from home five days a week.  Same job, just no commute (unless you count the stumble from the bedroom to my desk each morning).  I have to say, I was somewhat apprehensive about working from home on a permanent, full-time basis, and I guess maybe I kind of still am.  I definitely need to get myself into some kind of routine.  When I first found out I was going to be working from home full-time, all I could think about were the negative aspects—by myself, all day, lonely, putting in longer hours because I wouldn’t have to commute—but upon further reflection I think I have a really amazing opportunity here.  This could be the opportunity to really get a leg up on taking care of me and putting myself first.  I can definitely make time for exercise everyday.  I can make myself healthy meals and not worry about eating out in food courts at lunch or having to drag a lunch with me to work. The possibilities are endless.  This is going to be a great!!

One last little update for you—my back and left leg are finally starting to feel better.  After a few weeks of physiotherapy and some very painful acupuncture treatments, things are finally starting to look up.  Walking long distances can still be difficult, and I do have to deal with daily leg pain from my sciatic nerve, but I’m optimistic that with further physiotherapy soon I’ll be as good as new!

Ciao for now friends!

 

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Jumping In and Landing Softly

Where does a girl start when she’s coming off of an injury (well, technically still injured), and wanting to get back to some healthy living?  Secret of Change QuoteShe starts at the beginning…by focusing on what she can do, and not what she can’t do.

It began with a trip to the grocery store.

I certainly haven’t been giving my health much thought over the last six weeks, at least that’s what the 10 lb I gained are telling me.  By filling myself with comfort food and laying around on the couch, I basically invited those 10 lb in and rented them a room in my apartment. But like any crazy, annoying roommate, I’m ready to kick them out.  Unfortunately, they won’t leave without a fight.

Over the weekend, still bogged down with pain in my leg from my sciatic nerve, I was thinking about how I could begin to get back into a healthy frame of mind.  I’m not able to do much in the exercise department right now, so my plan is to focus on food.  Without having to worry about fitting in workouts, or how many calories I’m burning, I can put all my attention on cleaning up my diet and learning to eat for energy and sustenance rather than pure pleasure.  Or because I’m sad.  Or lonely.  Or bored.  Or my shoe is untied.  Take your pick.

A couple of weeks ago I went out for coffee with my friend Christine, and we were discussing my blog.  She mentioned the 28-day Challenge I had completed back in May.  That was the Prevention Magazine Challenge in which I practiced clean eating clean and exercised for 28 days.  I mentioned to Christine that I lost 7 lb at the end of 28 days, and that it was the most weight I has lost since I started the blog.  Her response kind of stopped me in my tracks:

“If it was working so well, why did you stop?”

That’s a fantastic question!  Why did I stop?  I could have easily carried on with clean eating and kept the momentum going.  I keep thinking about going back to Weight Watchers, or joining Jenny Craig, or the doing the Southbeach Diet, or any one of a million different diets, hoping that one of them might work this time.  In the meantime I’ve been completely ignoring the one thing that DID work for me, which is eating clean.  The one thing that ISN’T as diet at all, but an overall way to eat for health and nutrition.

So, I went to the grocery store.  I stocked up on healthy foods I love and now I’m prepared to start moving towards learning more about eating clean.  I’ve got a couple of books to read, I’ve scoured the Internet for information, and I’m arming myself with all the information I need.  I’m making in my mission to educate myself about food and how it can help my body.

Injury Update and Back to Blogging

Hi friends!  Sorry I’ve been such an absentee blogger lately, but truthfully other than lying around and  bellyaching over my back injury, I haven’t been doing very much.  If you’re just joining our program, allow me to catch you up.

At the end of July, through complete fault of my own, I managed to pull the muscles in my lower back.  While I was doing laundry one Sunday afternoon I reached back to grab my laundry cart, twisted the wrong way, and proceeded to belt out a string on obscenities that would make Denis Leary blush.  After a lot of intense pain, doctors appointments, and an emergency room visit, I basically spent the better part of the last four weeks in a drug induced haze trying to numb the pain and heal.

While my lower back muscles have finally healed, I am still suffering from nerve pain in my left leg, which has been diagnosed as a bulging disk.  The disks in your spine act as cushions between your vertebrae.  A bulging disk means that the disk is extending outside of the space it normally would.  That “bulge” is pressing on my sciatic nerve, causing pain in my left leg from my hip to my ankle.

While I am still in pain, the pain is not nearly as bad as it was earlier on.  I’m off the hard drugs now, I’m walking (sometimes with the assistance of a cane—it depends on how far I have to go), and I’m back at work (part-time working from home, part-time working in the office).  I’ve just started physiotherapy, which I’ll blog about a little, and on Wednesday I’m going to try acupuncture for the first time, which I’ll blog about as well.  I’m equal parts nervous and excited about the acupuncture, and really just interested to see what kind of results I get.  Hey, at this point, I’ve got nothing to lose!

Needless to say, not much has been going on in the way of healthy living.  It’s hard to want to eat healthy when all you want is comfort and when you can barely walk, let alone exercise, it’s pretty frustrating.  Too much take out and comfort food has definitely been my downfall.  I was beating myself up about it for a while there, but in the end I found it wasn’t doing much good.  It only added to the stress of being injured and making me more angry at myself.  To say I’ve been harbouring a bit of anger is probably an understatement.  I thought coming back to blogging would help me work through some of that anger and help get me back up off the mat.  I may have been knocked down, but I’m not out.

Happy Labour Day everyone…here’s to the start of September, and a fabulous fall season (I love autumn, I’m so excited!!).

Anger, Thy Name Is Victoria

The last two weeks have been, what I can only describe as, a complete disaster.

I injured my back, and just when I was starting to feel better, I took a turn for the worse and injured it further.  I spent the better part of four hours in the hospital, in the middle of the night, hoping like hell a doctor could make the intense pain go away.  I was prescribed medication, which made my feet swell up, made me tired all the time, and included a host of other symptoms I’m not going to share (trust me, you don’t want to know).  I’ve been in pain basically 24/7, parked on the couch, or a chair, or whatever piece of furniture was comfortable at the time (it changed daily), all while switching between ice and heat on my back (because what felt good changed daily as well).  I have been miserable, and moody, and whiney, and frankly I’m surprised my brother hasn’t moved out and left me here on my own.

You know what the worst part of all of this crap is?  I have no one to blame but myself.

I’m so angry at myself.  I’ve spent the last two weeks feeling sorry for myself:

  • My back hurts so I’m going to rest and watch TV for hours.
  • My back hurts so I’m going eat whatever I want to comfort myself.
  • My back hurts so I’m going to continue to eat whatever I want…

I know I was injured, and I know I needed to rest (which I did), and I know I needed some TLC (which I got), but I missed a golden opportunity here friends.  My weight factors into what happened to my back, and instead of trying to do something about it, I ate. And ate, and ate.  I haven’t weighed myself, but I’m sure I’ve gained like 10 lb in the last two weeks.  As a matter of fact, wait right here and I’ll go weigh myself.

Yep, ten pounds, boy did I call that.  I am now officially at the highest weight I have ever been.  😦

The question that now remains is: what am I going to so about it?  I’m going to take that anger—the sadness, the desperateness I’m feeling—and channel it into my health.  It’s on now, no holds barred.  I said that I was going to start asking for help, and I absolutely will.  I have friends who know fitness, I have friends who know food, I have friends who live healthy lifestyles who can teach me and inspire me to become the best me I can be.  Right now I don’t feel like best version of me, and I want that to change.

So today, is the day.

Today is the day I put all my excuses behind me and I go for it.  I’ll have limitations at first—my back is still healing, I’m still dealing with medication side effects—but I will do what I can until I can do more.  Then I’ll do more after that until I get where I want to be.

There is no turning back, so watch out.  Things are about to change.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Yes friends, I hurt my back.  Again.

This time I was innocently doing laundry on Sunday.  I twisted the wrong way when I was moving my laundry basket and BAM…back spasm.  I’ve been down for the count ever since, only today finally starting to feel some relief.  Though I’m sure it will still be a few more days before I’m totally back to normal (actually scratch that, I’ll never be normal 😉 ).

I know why this keeps happening; why I am always at odds with my back.  It’s because of my weight.  I carry my excess weight in my stomach, and my back is constantly compensating for the extra weight.  I’ve always known this, but guess I’ve always kind of tried to ignore it.  That was until yesterday, when I just couldn’t ignore it any longer.

Yesterday I was in some pretty severe pain.  Nothing was making me feel better—not heat, or ice, or drugs—all I felt was pain.  It was one of those times when I’m so uncomfortable all I can do is cry.  But this crying wasn’t just because it hurt, I was crying because I was angry at myself for letting my weight get this out of control.  I’ve had opportunity after opportunity to do something about it, but I’ve just never tried hard enough.

I made a pretty bold statement to my brother today.  He picked me up after work and as we were driving I said to him:

“I’m ready to make a serious commitment to doing something about my weight.”

The weird part?  I actually meant it.

The best part?  I’ve started by asking for help.

I’ve never been good at asking for help.  I like to be the one who people come to for help, not the other way around.  But in this instance, I definitely need to call in reinforcements.  Over the last year lots of friends have offered their help to set me up on the track to success, but I always thought I just needed to do it on my own.  Lesson learned.

So over the next few weeks I’ll write more about how I’m asking for the help I need to get to the place I want to be: healthy.

“One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on “going it alone.” Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.” Brené Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are 

 

Back At It

Yesterday marked my first day back to the gym in…well, let’s just say it’s been a long time.

I wandered over to my local Goodlife gym on Monday to start getting my flab into tip-top shape. I actually like my gym because they have a women’s only workout area. It’s not that I dislike working out in front of men; I just find working out in the women’s area slightly less intimidating. I say slightly because there are some honest-to-God, fantastically fit women at my gym. I used to look at these women and think “I will never look like that.” However, yesterday all I could think was “I can’t wait to look like that!” That thought was immediately followed by “Crap, what do I need to do to look like that?”

Working out has always been difficult for me, basically because I’m impatient. I want to see results and I want to see them quickly, and when I don’t, I start to get discouraged. I have PROMISED myself that I’m not going to do that this time. Rather than be dependent on the results, I’m want to focus on the process. Exercise has SO MANY other benefits besides weight loss:

  • more energy
  • better mental clarity
  • increase in endorphins (yay happy feelings!)
  • boost self-confidence
  • better sleep
  • better sex life (um, yes please!)

Leagally Blonde

 

When I look at that list I think “Why wouldn’t I want to exercise?” I have three words for you peeps:

IT’S FREAKIN’ HARD!! (and “freakin’” was not my first word choice by the way 😉 )

Exercising as an overweight person sucks. It might even suck as a fit person, I don’t know, I’ve never really been fit, but I doubt it does. Having to lug weights around on top of the body weight I already carry is exhausting. But enough of my complaining! What are we going to do about it!??

SUCK IT UP!  Yes, it’s hard, and yes I was tired when it was over.  But you know what?  It was a good tired (as my brother says).  I had this fantastic sense of accomplishment when I was finished.  I cam home, showered, and headed to bed feeling quite proud of myself!

My brother and I have talked about how I feel when I overeat.  To remember that awful, hideous feeling the next time I feel like stuffing my face in the hopes that it will remind me that if I over indulge I am sure to feel like crap.  I’m going to do the same with the feeling I get after I go to the gym.  Remembering—on those days when I am feeling lazy and don’t want to go workout—how amazing and accomplished I’ll feel when I’ve gone out there and worked towards what I want.  Take that fat.

 

A Fresh Start

A fresh start.  I’ve uttered these words a million times…I’m hoping this time is the last time.Nick Horby Quote

(Notice I said hoping—I’m so commitment-phobic.)

In all honesty, I thought seriously about making Saturday’s post my last—shutting down the blog, shutting my mouth, and never talking about my weight again—but I received so many kind words from friends who care about me, letting me know how much I’m loved and how awesome they think I am.  I also heard from people who I reached out to tell me how much they enjoy reading the blog.   It made me stop and take some time on Sunday to think hard about what my next move should be.

In the last while, I have really lost sight of what it is that I want—why I’m trying to lose weight and what it is that I want to achieve.  I’m constantly shoving my priorities aside to make room for other things, namely work.  I don’t want to do that anymore.  I want my priorities to come first.  I came up with a few ideas to get me back on track and put what I want front and center.

What do I want to achieve?

  • I want to get my body to a healthy weight.  I want to have lots of energy, I want to sleep better, I want to enjoy the body I live in.

What are my priorities?

  • Fueling my body with healthy, good-for-me food
  • Exercising to gain and keep strength and endurance
  • Keeping my stress-level down and my energy up.

How will I do this?

  • Weekly grocery shopping and food prep—Sunday’s will be my day to shop and prep my food for the week.
  • Back to clean eating—limit processed food and junk food in my diet—I’m not going to say I’ll never indulge again, but
  • Bringing my lunch to work and limit the amount of meals I eat out.
  • Scheduling my workouts—treating these as appointments that are non-negotiable.  Unless we’re facing Armageddon I’m working out.
  • Getting back to my daily meditations—I really miss this.  I find that daily meditations, just 20 minutes a day, really keep me calm and centred.
  • Lastly—and most importantly—stop talking about and JUST DO IT ALREADY!

There, now I have a plan.  Actually, just getting that all down makes me feel so much better.  Ready to go forth and conquer!