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.

Transformative

Welcome friends!  Come on in!  As you can see, I’ve done a little redecorating here at Victoriously.  I thought it was time to pretty things up a bit.  Sometimes you just need a little makeover to get your blood pumping and a little bit of excitement into your life.

I’m all about transformation.  Hell, I’ve been trying to my entire life to transform.  Remember the little discussion I had a few days ago about confidence?  That demon has chased me for quite some time and at one time or another I’ve thought about changing so many things from my weight to my pitch of my voice.  At one point I even wanted to try and change how I laughed!  My brother was convinced it wasn’t possible, and he was correct (again).  Despite trying to lose my sometimes annoying Betty Rubble giggle, it has stuck with me.  I’m over that by the way, this is the laugh I’ve got and it’s the laugh you’re going to hear. 🙂

I think change can be healthy if you’re doing it for the right reasons.  Wanting to become healthier—good change; wanting to change how you laugh—maybe not so much.

I came across this quote yesterday that I wanted to share:

Shaka Senghor Quote

I heard this in a Ted talk given by Shaka Senghor who is an author and motivational speaker.  Now granted, Mr. Senghor was speaking about convicted felons and their ability to be rehabilitated, but this part of his talk really spoke to me.  You need to create space for transformation to happen.  You need to open yourself up to the possibilities that are out there and create room in your life for those possibilities to exist.  Being open means allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  That is something I’ve been unable and unwilling to do.

I think my confidence has eroded because I’ve not allowed myself to be vulnerable.  I play it safe rather than take the chance and live with the possibility I might be hurt.  You know something?  I hurt myself either way.  By cutting myself off I don’t allow myself to grow and blossom into a woman that has such amazing potential.  If I take a chance and it doesn’t work, yes I might get hurt, but I’ll learn and I’ll grow.

A couple of years ago I tattooed two small butterflies on the inside of my right wrist.  I put them there to remind me that transformation is a beautiful thing and that it was time for me to break free and fly.  I’ve had lots of ups and downs since then, but I think now it’s time for me to create the space for true transformation.

 

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!

 

What is My Excuse?

I haven’t blogged in awhile, I’ve been really busy, blah, blah, blah…you know the drill (we’ve been down this road so many times before).

Last night I got a chance to come up for a bit of air after a long and busy week, and I started thinking about all the things I’m not doing that I should be doing.

  • I’m not taking my workouts seriously (if working out at all).
  • I’m not thinking about what I’m eating before I eat it.
  • I’m not practicing good sleep hygiene (which is essential for me, because I’m a terrible sleeper).
  • I’m not treating myself with kindness.

Why do I always put myself last on the list?  Why do I always put other people’s needs ahead of my own?  Am I just to nice?  Am I a pushover? (I don’t think so).  Am I destined to look and feel this way for the rest of my life?

When it comes right down to it, I really have very little in the way of excuses to not be doing what I’m suppose to be doing—living a healthy life so I will have a healthy, fit body and an abundance of energy.  I don’t have a husband, I don’t have children—it’s just me, I am responsible only for me.  Not that either of those things should or would stop anyone from living a healthy life, what I’m saying is there are others who have WAY more on their plate than I do and still manage to live a healthy lifestyle.  Instead of feeling healthy and energetic, most days I feel like an old, deflated, worn out soccer ball.

The truth is, it’s difficult to live a healthy life because it’s so easy not to.  It’s easy to hit the snooze button, roll over and go back to sleep, but it’s difficult to dig deep, get up and workout.  It’s easy to eat three donuts (because they taste so damn good and they’re sitting right there, mocking you), but it’s difficult to make the decision to forgo the sweets and eat something healthy.

Temptation is everywhere and every time I give in I feel weak.

But I’m going to be strong because for me, giving up is not an option.  I just need to find my motivation!

My Motivation to Practice Healthy Living

  1. I want to have a healthy, fit body and mind.
  2. I want to have ENERGY!
  3. I want to feel good in my skin.
  4. I want to have a healthy, fit body and mind heading into my later years (which some days I feel are rapidly approaching, I assure you).

These are the reasons to get up in the morning and workout, these are the reasons to forgo the donut and eat the salad, these are the reasons to stop making excuses and start taking my health SERIOUSLY!  NO EXCUSES!!

There, end rant.  I feel better now.  I think I’ll go workout 🙂

28-day Challenge – Stick a Fork in Me I’m Done

Welcome to the end my friends. Yesterday marked the last day of the

Prevention 28-day Transformation Challenge, and although I don’t know that I would consider myself “transformed”, I definitely feel like I took some major steps in the right direction when it comes to my health.

I think the most interesting part of this challenge was that even though I wasn’t counting calories or fat grams or any other nutrient, I still managed to lose weight. Being conscious about what and how much I put in my body was enough to make me understand that eating 1500 calories a day is all well and good, but if it’s 1500 calories of Pepsi and Cheetos, it’s not going to make any difference in your health. Food is fuel. Grilled chicken and a salad will keep you going all day, Cheetos will probably only get you as far as the front door.

Although I had a hard time fitting in all my workouts during the challenge, I was working out more than I had before. I definitely need to make exercise a priority because I do feel great after I work out. I even tried yoga a couple of times while on the challenge and although I’m not great at it, I think I’m going to keep trying (as long as I don’t have to do it in public 😛 )

As I mentioned in previous blogs, although I started out strong, I kind of fizzled in the last two weeks of the challenge. I had a hard time balancing healthy living with being busy, and I think it’s something I’m always going to struggle with. I definitely think preparation is the key thing here and remembering that I need to put myself first, otherwise I’ll burn myself out. And no one wants that. 🙂

I had my last weigh in yesterday and in total I lost 7 lb over the 28 days. Not to shabby if I do say so myself. I had lost eight after Week 2, but then gained back pound in Week 3. For Week 4 I stayed exactly the same.

So now what do I do? Good question!! I carry on, try new foods, try new workouts, and hopefully continue to keep all of you entertained and with my blogs.  Blogging every day is HARD, which is why I think I wasn’t blogging so much towards the end.  I just ran out of things to say (hard to believe, but true).

One last thing I’d like to mention—yesterday the world lost an amazing person with Maya Angelou’s passing.  Her words have inspired so many people, but there is one particular quote of hers that always makes me want to go out there and take on the world:

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

Off I go to kick some ass…

28-day Challenge Day 1

Day 1 – stick a fork in it, it’s done!

Yesterday was actually an excellent day.  My eating was on track and I didn’t feel deprived at all.  I think I was too busy to be deprived come to think of it.  It was a busy work day and I had an appointment in the afternoon, so between work and running around I didn’t have time to think about noshing on something I shouldn’t be.  I ended up working through my lunch, but it was pretty yummy so I won’t complain at all.

Enjoying my turkey salad while I work!  Busy, busy!!

Enjoying my turkey taco salad while I work! Busy, busy!!

The only thing I really need to do is increase my water intake.  My water bottle is sitting on my desk still half full from yesterday afternoon.  Not good.  So I definitely need to be conscious of that.

In terms of exercise, I did do any full on routines yesterday.  I did, however, have to hoof it to the bus I was about to miss, so I’m counting that as at least a little cardio today. 😉   I’m going to do my first strength training workout tomorrow morning and I’ll follow that up with a walk in the evening.

All in all, Day 1 was a good one.  I did what I said I was going to do and I showed up.  I’m pretty proud of myself for that.  Now I just have to keep that momentum going.

Tell me friends, how was your day?  Leave a comment below and let me know how your first day of the challenge went.  If you haven’t signed up yet it’s not too late…head on over to Prevention.com and join the challenge!

On to Day 2!!

Feel Good Day

Today was a good day—dare I say a great day. On the days when I do everything I’m supposed to do, all is right with the world—I feel like a million bucks, full of happiness and confidhappy faceence. What did I do to make this a great day you may be asking yourself?   (If you’re not, too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway).

  • I ate a healthy breakfast
  • I drank plenty of water
  • I ate a healthy lunch
  • I resisted temptation when my office mate sat in front of me eating the pastries he got from the office kitchen
  • I didn’t lunge across the table at him as he ate (personal victory right there)
  • I ate healthy snacks
  • I walked to and from the train station to get to work
  • I ate a healthy dinner
  • I packed my lunch for the next day

Not bad if I do say so myself. I woke up this morning with a new attitude, determined to start making food and exercise work for me rather than work against me. What is with this change in attitude you may be asking yourself? (If you’re not, too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway).

I turned 39 last week.

That’s right friends, 39. Not young enough to get carded at the liquor store, not old enough to qualify for my old age pension. The only highlight about turning 39 is that it’s almost 40. That was the single most popular comment I received all week when anyone found out it was my 39th birthday. “Ohhh, one more year!!” people would cackle with delight, like I wasn’t already aware there was a neon sign hanging around my neck that said “ONE MORE YEAR UNTIL 40”.

In addition to turning 39, the month of March was also my one year blog-aversary. Yes friends, I’ve been blogging here at Victoriously for one whole year. Hard to believe isn’t it? Where does the time go?

In thinking about these two events I looked back over the blog and came to this conclusion:

I am no further ahead than I was one year ago, and I don’t want to be that far behind when I turn 40.

There is no question that I struggled this year. I tried, I failed, I tried again, I failed again, and again, and again. BUT I haven’t given up. So in actuality I tried, I stumbled, I tried again, I stumbled again, and again, and again. But I got back up and I’m going to keep going. No matter how many times I stumble.

I have a renewed dedication to losing weight and I have a renewed dedication to writing this blog. I want to move forward, learn more about what I need to do to live a healthy life, create that life, and inspire others to do the same.

So on this Monday I wish you all a Happy Feel Good Day (which I just invented) and I hope you all have many feel good days of your own.

The Hip List

On Saturday night I spent the evening at home by myself.  My brother had gone to a birthday party and wouldn’t be back until the next day, and the cold and dreary weather made it easy for me to decide that staying in for the evening was a good idea.  I love evenings like that.  I bask in the quiet of the apartment and let my thoughts wander freely.  I think, I brainstorm, I write…I get inspired.

One thing I was thinking about was the Unhipster List I wrote and posted a couple of weeks ago.  I received quite a few compliments on the list, many people commenting on its hilarity or how they could have written the list themselves because what I wrote seemed so familiar to them.  I love knowing that people get a kick out of my writing.  But after thinking about it for a while, I realized that I always jump at the chance to let my geek flag fly and write about it, which is exactly what the Unhipster List was all about.  But what if I wrote a hip list?  What if I wrote about the 25 reasons I’m a hip and cool chicky?  Would that be bragging? Conceited?  Maybe.  Or maybe it would be recognizing the very things that I love about myself that I don’t give myself enough credit for.  I wish I did that more.  I wish everyone did that more.  So often I’m so absorbed in what I’m doing wrong (or perceive I’m doing wrong) that I overlook all the great things I do and the great things that make me special.  So on that note, I give you The Hip List:

1.  I love with my whole heart-fiercely and passionately.

2.  I make fantastic homemade perogies…seriously, they are pretty awesome.

3.  I am funny, even when I’m not trying to be funny.  Just ask my brother, he laughs at me A LOT.

4.  I am very dedicated to my job, and I’m a hard worker.

5.  I am awesome with directions and navigation.  As mentioned in the Unhip List, I rely on public transportation to get around and this has made me somewhat of an expert in getting from A to B.

6.  While I can drive and do possess a driver’s licence, I don’t own a car.  It’s never been high on my priority list, and I don’t know if it ever will be, but I manage to get where I need to be just fine.

7.  I am a very quick learner – games, computer programs, languages, etc.

8.  I have an ability to make people comfortable and open up.  Honestly—friends, acquaintances, people I hardly know—for some reason people feel like they can open up to me.

9.  I’m a good listener (hence #8 above).

10.  I’m a pretty good writer.

11.  I know a lot of random things-crazy little factoids and trivia bits-and yet I have no idea HOW I know these things.  I hear things and they somehow embed themselves in my brain.

12.  I have cool hair, like super cool.  It’s an awesome colour, and it’s long, thick and wavy.  I can wear it curly, or I can wear it straight.  Love my hair.

13.  I have very neat handwriting and printing.  I get a lot of compliments on both.

14.  I mentioned in my Unhip List that I have horrible short-term memory; however I have amazing long-term memory (perhaps why I can recall so many little random facts).

15.  I’ve got two butterflies tattooed on the inside of my right wrist which I love.  They remind me that I shouldn’t stay closed off in a cocoon; I need to spread my wings and fly (but not fly like a bird, because birds are gross 😉 ).

16.  I wear mittens instead of gloves.  There’s just something about mittens I think are kind of cool.

17.  I read multiple books at a time, mostly because there are so many books that I want to read that I can’t wait to finish one before I start another.

18.  I love to travel and explore new places.

19.  I’ve got a weird thing for old sitcoms…Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Golden Girls, The Cosby Show, WKRP in Cincinnati…I could watch them over and over again.

20.  My brother is my best friend and I love the relationship that we have cultivated as adults.

21.  I have a pretty good ear for music.

22.  I love romantic comedies – my favourite is The Holiday.

23.  I have an obsession with watching make-up tutorials on YouTube.

24.  I like to knit and crochet.  I’m not great at it, but I find it soothing.

25.  I really great at creating lists.  🙂

What’s on your hip list?  What makes you special?  What makes you YOU!??

Motivation Station

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing.  Motivation determines what you do.  Attitude determines how well you do it.” ~Raymond Chandler

Trying to keep myself motivated is no easy task.  You would think that the promise of wearing non-plus size clothing and sexy lingerie, let alone a healthier body would make me want to run laps on an hourly basis and eat nothing but carrot sticks, but the truth is it’s hard to stay motivated when the end result is so distant.

Losing weight takes, much to my dismay, a LOOOOOONG time.  I’m sure you’ve heard people say “you didn’t put the weight on overnight and you won’t lose it overnight”.  However annoying this phrase is, it’s also completely true.  I, unfortunately, was not blessed in the patience department, so waiting to see changes in my body and how I feel is hard.  It’s one of the main reasons I give up so easily.  I go a few weeks and lose a few pounds, but I don’t feel any different or look any different so I get frustrated and just throw in the towel.

In getting ready to kick-start my weight loss again in January, I starting thinking about ways I could keep myself motivated.  I am a very visual and tactile person, so I tried to look for things that would stimulate that part of my brain.  I thought I’d share with you a few ways I’m trying to keep motivated.

Visual Interest

Every morning I wake up and am greeted by a blank wall.  The wall directly across from my bed is bare, and I’ve never taken the time to put up any art on this wall; that is until now.  When I wake up and sit up in bed, that wall is the first thing I see.  I have to walk past it to leave the room, I have to walk past it again when I enter the room.  It’s also right next to the closet when I’m getting dressed in the morning.  Why not use it for a little motivation?  I trotted off to my friendly neighbourhood Staples and picked up some markers and construction paper, then sat down with some magazines and scissors and my motivation wall was born.  It’s still in its infancy, but I will continually add to it.  It’s full of inspiring words I’ve cut out of magazines, a calendar, quotes I love, and notes that remind me to keep going.

 Motivation Wall 1

Motivation Wall 2

Motivation Wall 3

Back to School

For me, motivation includes educating myself.  I can’t make changes if I don’t know what I’m doing.  Today I wandered over to a local health food store here in Burlington called Goodness Me.  It’s like Whole Foods, but on a smaller scale.  Great store though, and they offer a host of different classes and seminars aimed at healthy living.  Today’s seminar was on clean eating.  While I’m familiar with clean eating, it was nice to have someone break it down and answer questions.  Here are a few of the ideas I took away from the seminar today.

  • Eating clean is about eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods.  If it was made by man, there is probably a better food choice to be made.
  • Everyone is different, there is no cookie cutter approach to healthy living, though there are guidelines that everyone can follow.
  • The best way to stay on track is to use the 80/20 rule.  Eat well 80% of the time and expect to indulge 20% of the time.  Expecting to eat clean 100% of the time will set you up for failure.
  • Healthy living is also 80/20 – 80% is nutrition ad 20% is exercise.  You can work out all you want, but if you’re going to eat crap all the time you’re not going to see much progress.

Treat Myself

For a really long time I had convinced myself that I could only reward myself with good things if I really earned it.  Does any of this sound familiar??

“If I eat really well all week, I’ll reward myself with a chocolate bar on Sunday.”

“When I lose 10 lb I’ll treat myself to some new workout clothes.”

Why do I do that?  I deserve to have good things regardless of how much weight I’ve lost or how many days I’ve managed to deprive myself of something I really want.  On Saturday, after getting all glammed up at the hair salon, I hit the mall for a little retail therapy.  I couldn’t have timed it better as one of my favourite stores had workout wear on sale buy one get one half price.  So treat myself I did!!  I picked up a new workout shirt, a new sports bra, and some new socks…all ready to hit the gym in style!

 Workout Clothes

Being good to yourself and getting yourself motivated shouldn’t be a game of deprivation.  Feeling good will continue to motivate you to want to feel good.  Arming myself with the tools I need to succeed helps push me to work harder and keep going to reach my goals.