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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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.

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 Who Knows What Day I’m On!

Oy!  I’ve been a very bad blogger the last few (actually more like seven) days—not writing, indulging way to much, and working out way too little.  The good news is that it’s Monday, and everyone always has a chance to redeem themselves on a Monday—start the week off on the right foot and get that momentum back!

I’m not sure how I let myself get off track on the 28-day Challenge.  One bad eating day turned into two, and two turned into four, and well you know how it goes.  But, we’re not going to dwell on that.  The fact is I don’t want to give up.  I don’t look at it as starting over, I just look at it as continuing the process.  I’m always going to have some good days and bad days, but we get over it and we move on!

I have three days left in the challenge and I’ll try to end things on a high note:

  • Food prep for the week complete – check
  • Workouts scheduled for the week – check
  • “Me time” scheduled – check.

The next four weeks are going to be very hectic for me.  I’m covering for a co-worker who is on vacation for the next month plus I have school.  I think it’s important that I schedule my life for the four weeks so I can stay on top of everything, including my eating and my workouts.  You’ll see I scheduled some “me time” in there as well so I don’t go crazy and burn myself out, which I sometimes have a tendency to so.  I know what I’m like when I’m super busy so I’m taking steps ahead of time to mitigate any stressful disasters.

The one exciting thing I did this past week was invest in a Fitbit.  A Fitbit is a wireless health tracker.  I bought the Fitbit Flex, which you wear around your wrist and looks like this:

Fitbit Flex

The Fitbit Flex tracks how many steps I take, calories I burn, and distance I go.  If I wear it to bed it will even monitor my sleep and wake me in the morning with a light vibration on my wrist.  You can set goals and it will tell you how close you are to reaching your goal for the day keeping you motivated to keep going.  It syncs up with an app on my iPad and my laptop (wirelessly!) so I can check on my progress anytime.  I’m really excited to get started with my Fitbit and I have it all charged up for Monday.  A full charge lasts for five days so I can wear it day or night without worry that it’s going to run out of power.  I’ll use it for a little while and then post a full review on the blog in a few weeks.

So there is my long overdue update!  I didn’t lose any weight last week (in fact I gained a pound 😦 ) but hey, I’ll just have to work harder this week.  I’m still further ahead then I was when I started!

Take Care and Be Well

Hello friends!  How have you been?  A number of people have reminded me in the last few days that I haven’t posted recently, so I thought I best get myself to the computer and get some writing done!

There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and that has certainly been the case for me this month.  I’ve had some stressful work deadlines, sickness, and definitely some general malaise from this crap-tastic weather we have been having here in Southern Ontario.  So while I typically enjoy March (it’s my birthday month!) I can honestly say I’m not sorry to see this one come to and end.

[Note: today is the first day that the temperature is actually above +5°C and the sun is shining, so perhaps Mother Nature’s attitude is starting to improve]

It’s just like life to throw a bunch of things at you all at once, as if to say, “Hehehe, let’s see how she handles this!”  What I thought would be a relatively easy month at work, turned into a crazy stressful few weeks with multiple deadlines and lots of overtime. Of course as soon as my deadlines were complete I got sick.  I shouldn’t be surprised though.  Throughout all of the stress and craziness at work, I spent more time worrying about deadlines and not enough time taking care of myself.

Although we should obviously take care of ourselves all the time, it’s in those busy, stressful, and maddening moments that we need to take care of ourselves the most. 

I know that sounds crazy, right?  You’re thinking, “I’m super busy and stressed out, I just want to get though it and be done with it.”  That was exactly my mindset too; I’ll just power though and do what I need to do and take care of myself later.  Well guess what kids? Later came and I ended up having to take extra time to get myself healthy (and I’m still battling this cold).

I put together a list of things you can do to help keep yourself going during those moments of craziness—all the things that I SHOULD have done, but will definitely remember to do the next time life becomes too erratic.

1.  Try and keep some routines

When you’re busy you may not be able to keep all your daily routines, but you should definitely try not to break too many.  Eat your breakfast, take your vitamins, go for a walk, don’t break that scheduled date night with your partner—those little things can go along way in making those stressful days feel a little calmer.

2.  Give yourself room to breathe

I used to give presentations for an organization I volunteered with and when I first started giving the presentations I would stand up at the front and speak sentence after sentence after sentence, just trying to get out everything I wanted to say.  During one presentation, a mentor of mine was standing at the back of the room when she held up a sign that said “BREATHE”.  I would forget to breathe.  How does someone forget to breathe?  You’re busy, the adrenaline is pumping, you want to get things finished and it’s just go time.  Suddenly you look up and hours have flow by, and you can’t remember where the time went or when the last time was that you looked up from your task.  Stop, take a 30 seconds and just breathe.

3.  Just say no

I have a hard time saying no.  I’m very conscious of not wanting to disappoint people.  Sometimes though, you just have to say no to some things.  You know on flights when they tell you in case of an emergency to secure you’re own oxygen mask first before helping someone else?  If you can’t help yourself first, you’re not going to be good to anyone else.  Sometimes that means saying no.

4.  Be realistic

You aren’t perfect.  None of us are.  You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got.  You’re got 24 hours in a day and only two hands.  Remember to do what you can and do your best – that’s all anyone can really ask of you.

5.  Make a plan

When things start to get crazy and chaotic the more I need to sit down and formulate a plan.  I know the feeling and what starts to happen – my desk gets messy, I try to complete multiple tasks at once (none of them very well I might add), and I start to become forgetful.  It’s right at that moment that I know I need to stop, clean up my desk, make a list of the things I need to get done and formulate a plan to get there.  It takes 15 minutes, but it sets the tone for better productivity and fewer mistakes.

6.  Sleep

If there is one thing that I need to get more of it is sleep.  When I’m busy, this is usually the first thing that I sacrifice when in reality it should be the very LAST thing I sacrifice (if at all).  Not getting enough sleep makes me tired, irritable, sluggish, etc., etc…  It’s only in the last few years that I have some to understand exactly how important sleep is, so I cannot express this one enough.  SLEEP!

7.  Eat well

It is so easy to slip into a pattern of eating poorly when you’re busy, or getting into the mentality that you deserve “treats” for all your hard work.  Trust me, I know.  Eating is my go to stress relief and the last few weeks were no exception.  I started skipping breakfast and got too busy to make my lunch for work, opting instead to grab something at the food court (always a disaster).  If you know you have a particularly busy time coming up, why not pre-make some food?  Grill some chicken and make a big salad, that way you always have good, healthy food on hand.

 

As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”  Now you and I both know better.  Let’s do better.  🙂

Onwards and upwards to April I say!  I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, getting in some walks and breathing in some fresh springtime air.

The Week in Review: Cupcake Consequences

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hello my beautiful friends!  I thought I’d do a little week in review for you, since this is officially my first full week as a blogger!  So, how did things go?  Let’s start with the not-so-good…

  • Last week was incredibly stressful for me.  Work was INSANE, and I spent more time at work than doing anything else last week.  When I’m busy and working hard, I’m all in, so I tend to let the other stuff slide (you know like working out, eating well, and generally anything that has to do with making me happy).  I can be an all-or-nothing type personality, and I really need to work on better balance.
  • The cupcake incident…chalk that one up to a weak moment.  But Bad ass Victoria had better get herself in check, because this can’t be happening all the time.  Next week I’m going to a workshop on Mindfulness practice—using mindfulness to combat emotional eating—so watch for a blog about that soon.
  • So the consequence of not taking better care of myself, and eating cupcakes and other not so great things for me…I gained 0.6 of a pound.  Yes I gained, but not a complete disaster.  Enough of a gain thought to  make me realize I better step it up and get myself back on track.

And the good…

  • I’m feeling a little more like myself again after this horrid work week.  I met a friend for coffee on Saturday and I had breakfast with my parents and my brother today.  I feel calmer and more relaxed heading into the new week.
  • This blog!  I’ve received so many positive notes and words of encouragement, I can’t thank everyone enough.  I’m really enjoying blogging so far and I’m hoping I can bring you some interesting thoughts in the days, weeks, months, and years to come (ok I may have just locked myself into a lengthy time committment there).

I hope everyone has an amazing week!