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!

 

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.

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 

 

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 Day 13

I don’t know about anyone else, but it was been a busy week for me…and it’s only Wednesday!  Work got incredibly busy this week, school has heated up (I have my first quiz in two weeks and my first essay is due in six weeks!), which unfortunately has meant everything else has taken a back seat.  It’s really been a lack of planning on my part, but I’m not doing too badly.  The thing that is really suffering are my workouts.  I promised myself I would make them more of a priority and I just haven’t.  If anyone has any tips to help me get my ass in gear, I’m all ears.

Yesterday was a pretty cool day as I got a chance to see Harley Pasternak talk.  He was in Toronto promoting his new

book The Body Reset Diet Cookbook.  If you aren’t familiar with Harley Pasternak, he is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based personal trainer (you can check out his website here).  He whips bodies like Natalie Portman and Jennifer Hudson into shape.

I knew a little bit about Harley going into the talk, but I have never read any of his books.  I was interested in learning his philosophy on weight loss and healthy eating.  To say I was blown away is an understatement.  Harley is not your average weight loss guru just trying to hawk a book.  I found his view on weight loss to be very much in line with mine.  Bottom line—everything in moderation.  He doesn’t believe in cutting out certain food groups and thinks food can be healthy and be enjoyed.  Finally a man who’s speaking my language!!

He spoke about the recipes in his new book and showed the group a few prepared examples like the Carrot/Pineapple/Ginger Smoothie and the Asian Chicken Salad, both of which looked delicious.  He had samples on hand of the Fruit and Nut Popcorn Bars, which were AMAZING!  I actually turned my nose up at them at first thinking they were probably going to taste like crap, but after one bite I was hooked.  If a snack like this can be good for me and taste great then count me in.

I bought both The Body Reset Diet and The Body Reset Diet Cookbook.  I’ll read both and post reviews if each in the coming weeks.  I’m very excited about trying some of the recipes in the cookbook, a lot of them look right up my alley.

Ok friends, back to work *sigh*…my only solace is knowing that this weekend is a long weekend!  Woohoo!!  Enjoy everyone!

28-day Challenge Day 12

There are some days when everything just falls into place. You’ve got on the perfect shade of lipstick (Syrup by MAC), the perfect song plays on your way to work (Suit and Tie by Justin Timberlake), and on the train a cute guy gives you the look (you know which look I’m talking about). All of these perfect little things add up to a calmness and a confidence that just makes you feel good. I call these my FGLG days—Feelin’ Good and Lookin’ Good. It just so happens that Monday was one of those days.

I have to say, my attitude has changed dramatically in the last little while, especially when it comes to my weight loss. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did a little extra eatin’ on the weekend, none of which was very good for me. Today I set the wheels back in motion: I ate a healthy breakfast and scheduled a workout setting myself up for a successful day and week. A few months ago eating poorly would have sent me down a path of further unhealthy eating; now it’s just fuel for me to get right back on track.

What’s with the attitude change? I love my FGLG days, and I want more of them. They’re addictive. I never used to feel this way about myself, often times just too insecure about my weight and the way I looked. Here’s the thing though: my weight has only slightly changed in the last little while and I’m starting to have more FGLG days. I’m taking better care of myself on a consistent basis and THAT is making me feel good. I’m fueling my body with yummy, whole foods; I’m exercising my body with semi-regular workouts (I really need to step that up); and I’m doing little things that make me feel great like using a fantastic smelling body oil, or getting my nails done, or having coffee with a friend.

We all want to have FGLG days, and I want you to know that you don’t have to wait to lose the weight to have them. For a long time I thought that I did—I’ll never have confidence until I’m thinner, I’ll be happier when I’m 50 lb lighter, or 75 lb, or 100 lb—but it’s not true. Just knowing that I’m changing things is making me feel good and any weight loss is definitely going to be icing on the cake (mmm…cake 😉 ).

What sorts of things make you feel good? Have you had an FGLG day? Tell me about it in the comments below.

28-day Challenge Week One Recap

Well here we are at Day 7!!  I made it through Week One and it was a pretty good one if I do say so myself.

The Highs

I think one of the best things this week was that I managed to keep my eating mostly on track.  I had a couple of—we’ll call them indiscretions—but for the most part I stuck to eating whole foods and stayed away from the processed and packaged junk.

The other good thing this week was that I think I stuck to my intention of showing up, at least when it came to eating.  I planned, I cooked and it worked in my favour because I had yummy, healthy eats available.

The Lows

The low this week was my utter lack of exercise.  I only got in one strength training workout this week and only about an hour of cardio.  It was something, but I’m going to try harder this coming week to make exercise a priority.

The other low was the bagel and cream cheese I ate at the train station on Day 6.  That was me just eating because I could and not because I needed to.  I thought about why I ate the bagel and the only thing I could come up with was that I felt like I deserved a reward.  I had just come from my first class at Ryerson that went really well and I’d been having a really great eating week.  When I emotionally eat, my brain doesn’t seem to distinguish between happy and unhappy.  When I’m unhappy, I’m eating to soothe, when I’m happy I’m eating to reward.

Week One Weigh In

Drum roll please……………………….I lost 6 lb!!  I’m very excited and going to use this as momentum to push ahead into week two.

Week Two Intention

My intention for week two is to move my body more.  I did a piss poor job of exercising this past week so I’m going to focus on that this week.  I’m looking forward to week two—incorporating more exercise and refining my eating a little more.  It’s going to be a great week!

28-day Challenge Day 5

I’m starting to revel in the little victories.  I’ve had a lot of them lately and they are starting to add up.

Yesterday my lunch plans fell though and because I had no lunch packed with me I needed to go and wade through the sea of food court food stalls looking for something to eat.  I made myself a promise that I wasn’t going to go out until I had a plan.  The plan was a whole wheat grilled chicken pita wrap with lots of veggies.  I got in, got the pita, and got out.  I stuck to the plan and felt great about that.

After work I had to go over to the Ryerson University campus to pick up some text books.  I’ve gone back to school to get my certificate in Publishing and my first class starts Tuesday (very excited!!!).  I walked from the office over to campus, which is about a 20 minute walk.  I was going to walk from campus to the train station to go home, but it would have been about a 30 to 35 minute walk and I was already so tired, I just wanted to get home.  I had ended up at campus a little longer than I had anticipated so it was 6:15pm before I caught the train home.  I stood in the train station looking at all the food stalls—Cinnabon, McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Dairy Queen—and I was soooooo hungry!  But I thought really hard about all the progress I’ve made over the last five days and I just didn’t want to ruin it.  I grabbed a bottle of water and managed to hang on until I could get home and make myself something healthy to eat.

I think the lessons learned yesterday are about planning and being prepared.  Now I couldn’t foresee my lunch plans changing, but I did put a plan in place before I went to the food court.  I could easily have just said to hell with it and eaten whatever I wanted, but I didn’t.  I could have given in at the train station, but I didn’t (and frankly I even surprised myself with that one).  Going forward I’m going to start keeping some healthy snacks in my bag—an apple, some almonds and sunflower seeds, or even a protein bar.  Then I have some healthy options available all the time and I won’t be tempted to stuff my gob with double cheeseburgers.  Mmmmm… cheeseburgers………sorry…lost my train of thought there. 😉

I’m really looking forward to doing a weigh in on Thursday.  I’ve made some great progress this week and I’m excited to see if it will be reflected on the scale.  Even if it’s not, I still had some great victories. 🙂