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.

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!

 

A Sweaty Mess

There are many types of women in the word—short, tall, fat, thin, rational, psychotic—each unique in their own way.  Some women are gentle and delicate.  They won’t walk, they float; they don’t sweat, they glisten.  They are graceful and beautifully feminine.

Then there is me.

Not so gentle, definitely not delicate; I stomp around like a bull in a china shop and I sweat…unfortunately.  Allow me to paint you a picture…

I had been in a hurry all day at work on Tuesday—edit this document, attend this meeting, update this schedule—it was a relentless day.  In addition to this work related craziness, I was writing my midterm exam that evening for the grammar and punctuation class I  am taking.  My brain was all over the place trying to concentrate on work and remember the verb tense for the subjunctive mood.  Yes, verbs have moods.  I can totally relate.

My plan was to leave work early so I could get to my exam a little early, relax and cram a bit before the test started.  Yeah, not so much.  “Victoria can you look at this?  Victoria can you send me document XYZ?”  Hey dudes, can you leave me alone for five minutes so I can try and remember what a pronoun-antecedent agreement is?  After work I ended up rushing to my class and was in quite the state (read: chaos personified) by the time I arrived.  Here’s a simple little equation:

Southern Ontario humidity + fat girl running to class = sweaty mess

So there I am—heavy breathing, furrowed brow, shirt clinging to me (and not in a hot, sexy way…no, no, no, no, no)—trying desperately to remember what an appositive noun is (please don’t ask because I still can’t remember) while I write my three-hour exam.

So now my exam is finished and because I’m possibly the slowest test taker in the world, it takes me all three hours plus about 10 extra minutes my teacher gave me (because she’s super cool).  Now I need to rush to catch my train home.  I run to the subway station and miss the subway that is just pulling in.  Why you ask?  Because I got my bag caught in the turnstile.  Yeah…that is so how I role.  I am truly a comedy of errors.

I catch the next subway and finally get to the train station and of course the train I happened to be catching is boarding on the furthest track from where the subway let me off.  A quick shout out to anyone who works or knows someone who works for GO Transit—and I say this with love—there are 15 different tracks available at Union Station, why in the name of all that is holy do you make me run to the other side of the station?  WHY??

So I run—heart racing, heavy breathing—to the other side of the station and up not one but TWO flights of stairs to catch my train.  Anyone want to take a stab at what I looked like at the end of this little marathon?  Anyone?  Bueller?    SWEATY MESS.  I also think I may have had a mild heart attack, but I’m nota doctor so I can’t verify that for sure.

I board the train and I take  my seat…wait, what is that I feel?  Could it be?  Sweet mother of…it’s air conditioning!  Sweaty mess, meet your salvation.  A cool silver lining in what was a crazy sweaty day.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be that graceful, delicate, non-sweaty girl—my instincts tell me no—but maybe that’s ok.  The world needs all kinds of different women, even ones who are a sweaty mess I suppose. 😉

 

 

 

 

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 🙂

Oh Yes I’m the Great Pretender

I’m going to come clean, folks.  I’ve been living a lie and I can’t take it anymore.  I need to get this deception off my chest, and even though people may judge me for it, I’m willing to deal with that.  OK, no more stalling…here it is:

I hate oatmeal.

I know, it’s not that striking a revelation but it’s the truth nonetheless.  I really do hate it.  I know I’m suppose to like it—it’s good for me, it’s full of fiber—but seriously I just don’t.  It’s mushy and gross and tastes like pre-chewed cardboard.  (I don’t know what pre-chewed cardboard tastes like, but if I had to imagine it, oatmeal is the closest thing I could think of).  Unless this oatmeal is coming to me in cookie form with chocolate chips, I’m not interested.

“But wait Victoria!” I hear you saying, and I know what you’re going to tell me.  Try preparing it a different way—add apples, or cinnamon, or almonds, or Fruit Loops!!  Trust me, I have tried preparing it 57 different ways (although probably not very healthy, the Fruit Loops option does sound intriguing) and I just can’t do it any more.  Nothing tastes good.  I have been choking it down in the morning for breakfast not because I want to, but because I feel like I have to and I say no more.  NO MORE I SAY!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we insist on eating things that we hate just because they are good for us?  It ends up not being healthy and in the long run certainly doesn’t aid in weight loss (if that’s what you’re aiming for).  I’m miserable when I have to eat things I don’t enjoy (ex. cooked carrots and cantaloupe to name a couple) and I grow resentful that I can’t have what I want.  All just for the sake of more nutrients and better health.  I think you definitely see this come into play on a lot of diets that restrict foods.  You’re not left with many alternatives and therefore forced to eat what is left on your food list, even if you don’t enjoy it.  How could anyone possibly enjoy that?

Today, I am officially putting an end to this madness.  Mark your calendars friends, from this day forward, June 2, 2014, I will no longer eat foods I don’t like just because they are good for me!  I will search for alternatives, research recipes, and try new foods all in the name of keeping my sanity.  Grocery shopping and preparing food will no longer be drudgery, it will be a joyous occasion when we sing and dance and…ok wait, sorry, I got a little carried away there.  The point it, it’s gonna be good 🙂

Are there foods you’re eating that you HATE but are consuming just because they are good for you or provide some sort of healthy benefit?  Are there alternatives you could seek out?  Share with me and leave a comment below!