Monday, April 21, 2014

Should I scream or just throw my hands up and enjoy this thrill ride that is my life?

Yet another Monday where I am attempting to CTRL+ALT+DELETE and reset.  No, I didn't indulge in any Easter Chocolate, the Easter Bunny totally skipped our house this year.  Perhaps he was a little pissed off that we...well...we may have eaten him on Good Friday at Zambri's.  Woops.  Sorry about that.
 
I weighed-in at 140.7 pounds on April 16th, my last recorded Weigh-in Wednesday.  And, when I last blogged a Weigh-in Wednesday on January 15th (my 52nd weigh-in), I was at 146.8 pounds...ladies and gentlemen, I may have hit my first plateau right about then.  Let's face it, I have been struggling to get down to the 137 pound goal I set for myself ever since.  Don't let anyone tell you the last 10ish pounds are easy.  They may be the hardest, in my opinion.
 
Over the last 3 months, I have had incredible support from my ninjas-in-training, Troy T-BONE Wilson - the Crystal Pool's latest contestant in the TC Health Challenge- and mother extraordinaire and tattooed wonder, Jacqueline David.  It helps that Troy's going through the same process that I did in 2013, and believe you me, we connected in conversation with almost daily treadmill talks.  Jacqueline and I have been joined at the hip for the last 5 months, since I first commented on her ink and she discovered I was a transformed woman.
 
As ninja master, Jonathan Carpenter, pointed out a few weeks ago, sometimes I think too much about what's going on with my personal journey...all those ups and downs.  Sometimes, I spend too much of my time screaming, when I just need to throw my hands up in the air and enjoy the ride.  Working circuits with Troy and Jacqueline in January and February allowed me to do just that.  Sweating it out with the other ninjas-in-training added another element of excitement to my workouts...apparently, it's not all about me all of the time.  And that's a very good thing.  We all have a plethora of circuit routines scribbled on papers, in Ninjaese, stashed in our backpacks that push our cardio and strength training to the limit - our thrill ride.  Alone, I would go through my exercises systematically...I was in competition with myself...but together we were a team.  #TEAMNINJA.  As the most tenured ninja-in-training of our group, I shared my experience with the others and told them, "it doesn't get easier, you just get better."  And, they did, which in turn inspired me to keep going...keep getting better.
 
Looking back at the last 3 months, I'm proud that I kept on chugging, because I haven't always been on track...reviewing my weigh-ins, and food journals, I see that now.
 
Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs
 
Fast forward one year...
 
53rd weigh-in - January 22th, 2014 - 151.8lbs
54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs
56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs
57th weigh-in - February 19th, 2014 - 143.7lbs
58th weigh-in - February 26th, 2014 - 145.7lbs
59th weigh-in - March 5th, 2014 - 141.4lbs
60th weigh-in - March 12th, 2014 - 145.1lbs
61st weigh-in - March19th, 2014 - 149.4lbs
62nd weigh-in - March  26th, 2014 - 143.3lbs
63rd weigh-in - April 2nd, 2014 - 147.1lbs
64th weigh-in - April 9th, 2014 - 147.4lbs
65th weigh-in - April 16th, 2014 - 140.7lbs
 
It's nice to have people along for the ride...having said that, I wasn't expecting this seemingly never-ending roller coaster.  Up, down, up, down, down, up, down, up, up, down, up, up, down...all the while, I've been strapped into the exercise car, but perhaps I've been eating a bit too much while visiting the midway.  I'm not making excuses, in fact, looking at all those numbers makes me realise that each time I gained, there was a reason.  Yes, I built muscle during the 6 weeks that I did intense circuits with Troy and Jacqueline, but my food choices were less consistent than they had been in the past.  I even revisited binge behaviour.  
 
Who am I?
 
I'll tell you who I am...I'm a human.  A tragically flawed human.  A human who sets her standards really high and strives for perfection...but, you know what?  Nobody's perfect...especially not me...and I hate to admit that.  But, it's true. 
 
I had a perfect record...no binge-triggering-foods until that fateful Superbowl Sunday.  Then I lost control.  If I have 1 chip, I have the bag.  And there were a few bags in the house that day...and I ate until EVERYTHING was gone....so that's what happened there...and a few other times.  But, it's not just that...I got lazy (no, I still train 6 days a week and double up on at least 3 of those days).  I stopped religiously measuring my food from time to time, I ate intuitively here and there, I indulged a bit too much when people would say, "But you've worked so hard, surely you can have a treat."  And, now I know that I can, but there will be repercussions.  I can't do that just yet.  I'm not ready.  I still have to stick to my portioning of food and the journalling of everything that passes these lips.  In order to elude my food hamartia, I need quite a bit of structure and accountability still.  I know this now, more than ever.  Luckily, going forward, I am under the tutelage of a ninja master and have ninjas-in-training by my side.  To say nothing of my husband, family, friends, gym pals, comrades and counsellors at the Eating Disorders Clinic, blog-readers, MAC mavens, TC peeps, social media mentors and followers, and everyone who's ever been there with an encouraging word, pat on the back, or a reality check...thanks for sticking by me.  Safety in numbers, right?

Awww, the numbers.  Haven't seen the latest ones all written down in succession like that...and now that I have, I know what to do.  Rather than buckle-up for a bumpy ride going forward, I have to buckle down and take inspiration from my fellow ninjas-in-training by eating clean and training dirty.  I have got to get off this roller coaster before I spend a little too much time on it and eventually throw up.  Just thankful that I am not the only one on Space Mountain, riding around alone in the dark...now THAT would be scary.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just another manic Monday...or is it?

Good Monday morning!  

It's a beautiful start to the day here in our fair city of Victoria, British Columbia.  I woke up a little late, but I am excited for the start of this new week...Why you ask?  Well, it's manic Monday - rewritten.

So why are Mondays good?  Let's see...it's the start of a new week...and this week is particularly important because it's the week after the end of TC Health Challenge 2014.  So rather than throw in the towel a mere 3 months after-Christmas and after celebrating Troy T-Bone Wilson's 70lbs lost during the challenge...I, like many other readers I'm sure, will be starting the week out right just as we've been doing for the last 12 weeks.  I declare my outright commitment to this healthy lifestyle.  Generally I do this on Weigh-in Wednesdays, but Monday is better than Wednesday, because it's sooner...and it's now...and there's no time like the present. 

It's good to reboot from time to time, set the bod and brain back to factory settings.  

My  hard-wire for diet is caveman-inspired, with a bit of agricultural revolution thrown in.  What's that they say?!  The archaeologist is always right?  Haha...whatever...I try not to eat processed food, I love lean animal-proteins (former vegetarian turned omnivore...woopsy), I munch on nuts and seeds for their good fats, I enjoy unlimited amounts of fruits and veg (I like eating A LOT...so these add bulk to my meals), I have portioned whole grains - it's pretty much that simple.  I shop for groceries every few days, and always have fresh produce in the house for spur-of-the-moment stir-fries and gorgeous gargantuan salads.  I do my best to eat cleanly, and mechanically.  I pretty much have set "feeding times" so that I am never too ravenous...that lessens the chance that I will over-eat.  I still have a tendency to do that, even after 15 months on programme, but I am learning.  For this reason, I still journal EVERYTHING...even when I indulge in a treat or two.  I also try to be prepared, carrying food in my bag at all times and taking a few minutes on Sundays to plan my dinners for the week.  That keeps me in check.

My fitness regimen does not include running away from sabre-toothed tigers and/or mammoths...though that is great exercise...it remains almost exactly the same as when I started with the TC Health Challenge.  I do slow-burn cardio in the mornings 6 days a week - Monday through Friday I also walk to and from the Crystal Pool, or at least I try to do so, I sometimes ride my bike.  My double-up days are Monday (MIJO Sport Taekwondo), Tuesday (evening cardio followed by Taryn Strong's Anahata Moon Yoga for Recovery at MokSana), Wednesdays (MIJO Sport Taekwondo) and sometimes Thursdays (Taryn Strong's Anahata Moon Yoga - Hatha class at Hemma) and Saturdays off...two of my morning workouts are ninja training sessions i.e. personal training sessions with Jonathan Carpenter of MIJO Sport.  I love my gym time.  It is a time when I disconnect with my kinetic monkey-mind and just sweat everything out.  When I'm done, even after all that hard work, I feel recharged, refocused, refreshed.        

After a fabulous weekend where I may have imbibed some BEvERages and eaten some bacon on Friday evening, quite possibly had a Dynamite Roll lunch with T-Bone Troy and Korean BBQ for dinner with a bunch of ninjas on Saturday, and had a Sunday Funday supper of rustic French food, including 3 gorgeous slices of whole wheat crusty baguette and drunken beef stew (yes, I ate bread and there may have been a smidgeon of butter on each piece)...after all that, I, SUZIE SPITFYRE, commit to clean.  Eating that is, I still believe in training dirty...and it's probably the only reason that I am not beating myself up mentally for the treats I had this weekend - I hit the gym every day this past week. 

Monday, oh Monday...you and I used to have such a sordid relationship.  I would have wild weekends and then I would promise to never stray again.  Then I would break my word and cheat on you...numerous times.  And then I would swear up and down that the next time you came round I would stick with it, but it never happened.  Until January of 2013 when I embarked on a brand new love affair with health and fitness, what a threesome we make!  We've only been together for 15 months, but it's been really working out.  We spend almost all our time together and I have gotten a lot of really nice meals out of it.  So today, I'm going to make some similar statements, Monday...but, this time it's more of an affirmation that after a year and 3 months of eating a healthy diet and getting lots of exercise, I can do this...even after a bit of mild flirtation on the weekend.  I know, I know just as long as not every Thursday is thirsty, every Friday is fitness-free, every Saturday is saturated-fat-filled, and every Sunday is sugary.  Monday, I'm using you to reboot...you are now Moderation Monday instead of Manic Monday.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

"Burpees are killing me."

That's the first text I received this morning.

The second was, "I just accidentally msged ninja that, not you.  Ooops.  Haha."

Good morning, Suzie Spitfyre!  This is the kind of message I get first thing in the morning from my partner-in-crime and fellow ninja-in-training, Jacqueline.  Remember, when I said surround yourself with positive people?  Jacqueline is one of my positive people.  She has been training with the ninja for 4 months or so...and she gets it.  We gripe about which body part hurts and why, and we also celebrate our mastery of certain exercises...burpees aren't her favourite, obviously. 

This morning I woke up to an achey chest, wrists, arms, sides of legs, and a bunch of other stuff.  Damn those Bosu flyer tilt things.  It's been a while since I have felt the pain of working out...and not because I haven't been working hard, but because I have gotten into better shape.  Now I have to push even harder to get that good hurt.   

And for the record...I heart burpees, and those flyer tilt thingies too.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#WeWereWinter, now it's time for a #SpringFling

There's nothing like the Olympic Games to make me power up stairs harder, win sprint faster, lift longer, burpee better, spin stronger, etc. etc. etc.  I have always loved watching the Olympics, but I have a new found respect for the athletes this year.  I am not exactly training for the Olympics, but I have dedicated the last 14 months to becoming an athlete.  Back in high school I wanted to be on the first Canadian women's bobsleigh team...because that wasn't even a possibility...and now, well, don't think I didn't go crazy when Humphries and Moyse won gold at back to back Olympics!

So now what?  It's all over, and I (like the rest of the world) have 2 years to wait until our Summer Games athletes don the red and white and march proudly into Maracanã Stadium.  And, also my impending return to work is looming.  How do I deal with that?  

Time to make the most of the time I have left.  That sounds ominous, and it is.  I am looking forward to returning to the working world, but how do I deal with being at work for 9 hours a day 5 days a week without a set schedule?  Retail means working out with the ninja twice a week with set times will most likely be a thing of the past, and I don't think I'm ready to give that up.  But, I may have to in order to keep my job.  So what to do, what to do?

Well, I can tell you what I'm not going to do.  I'm not going to watch terribly scripted "reality" shows (as the Olympics...including the Paralympics are over) on telly, it's time to focus, act like a real athlete after the Olympics and set some goals for my real world life!  Perhaps you've heard of post Olympics depression (POD as one of my friend's husband calls it)?  Well, I feel like I'm going to go through post TC Health Challenge and subsequent unsustainable insane workout schedule depression...TCHC&SUIWSD for short.

Time to get over #WeAreWinter and think about having a #SpringFling.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

True friends run stairs, while you do weighted burpees...

"What keeps you motivated?"

And, my answer is a myriad of things...but most recently, it's been my gym peeps.  

I've been seeing the ninja twice a week for personal training for the last 13 months, and I believe I have only called off one session due to illness.  There was that accountability, i.e. someone waiting for me to show up, warm up, train, and then do some cardio after - but he also works at the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre most mornings, so if I were not to show up...he'd notice.  My own health and fitness is ultimately my responsibility, but it's nice to have someone else at the gym that knows what I want, and how I am going about getting what I want (because he's most likely told me what to do and when to do it and designed the circuit training, weigh routines, and cardio combinations that I am doing).  So, what has changed lately?  Well, I have continued with the personal training, and ninjas are extremely motivational as I wish to be one some day, but it's the other people that have become involved in my workout routine who are inspiring me to push harder.      
Enter, my friends in fitness.  Whether it's Skylar, Barb, Dawn, Dana or anyone else at the front desk of the Crystal Pool, or Michele (one L) on the treadmill around 9AM most days, or her mother Doris with a pool noodle, or Kombucha Geoff sweating up a storm on the spin bike and then a yoga mat, or kickboxing Nathan on the bag, roaming the halls, or giving pointers in the weight room, or anyone, for that matter, that has stopped to talk health 'n' fitness with me, run next to me on a treadmill while egging me on, or high-fived me after a session on the big ropes, these people are my new community...my extended support system...my fitness ninjas.  People who make time each day at the gym for themselves, for self care, and in turn give me strength to do the same.     

I will tout the praises of having a personal trainer (Jonathan Carpenter of MIJO Sport), a yoga teacher (Taryn Strong of Anahata Moon Yoga), spin instructors that make me push harder than I ever thought possible (Mary-Kay and Teresa of Quadra Sport & Fitness), and every other expert that I see on a regular basis to challenge me physically, but it's also the comradery that I feel with people in the same boat as I.  Yes, I'm talking about the workout buddies.  Namely, Jacqueline and Troy at the moment.

I have about 10 pounds to lose before I reach yet another goal I set...weighing 137 pounds (remember, I like odd numbers!)  Yes, folks, it's the last 10 pounds.  And it's always good to stack the odds in your favour, right?  So not only do I have a lot of sport professionals involved, but I have some die-hard workout neophytes in my corner as well.  We're all in the similar situations when you break it down.  We want to lose weight by eating clean and exercising.  Are these guys going to pry the Doritos out of my hot little hands after I lose my inhibitions after a girls' night?  No, that's all on me.  Are they going to notice if I'm not at the gym when I say I'm going to be?  Yes.  Am I going to make plans to meet them regularly so we can walk, run, bike, stair-climb, box, kick, elliptical, burpee, lift, circuit and cross-train together?  You betcha.  And, should you find a workout buddy or two to inspire you?  If you're in it for the long haul, then yes, yes you should!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Buddha said that.  And, I must remember to:

Be present.

Be mindful.

And..well...just be.

Find happiness and contentment in the moment.  संतोष Santosha for the yogini in me...finding satisfaction in everything.

What does this have to do with my quest to find health and fitness?  Well, time has past...and I don't want to dwell in it, because on my 53rd weigh-in...I went up 5 pounds.  And then one week later, I went down 7.5.  And then the week after that went up again...and then down...like this:

Starting weight:  292.1 - A very long time ago...January 16th, 2013
52nd weigh-in 146.8 - 1 year later!
53rd weight-in 151.8 - January 22nd, 2014 - 5lbs up?  Oh dear.
54th weigh-in 144.3 - January 29th, 2014 - And down 7.5...pheuff! 
55th weigh-in 149.2 - February 5th, 2014 - And up 4.9 again?  Fantastic.
56th weight-in 146.1 - February 12th, 2014 - And down...but only 3.1 so, still up 2...

But...

"Concentrate the mind on the present moment."  

So where am I now?

I am here.  I am hovering around the same weight, some weeks I go up, some I go down.  Does it bother me?  Not really.  Should it?  Not really.  Do I still have pounds to cut?  Yes.  That goal of 137 pounds is just so friggin' close.  Is it because I'm slacking off?  Hell no!  In fact, I am working even harder.  So when the scale doesn't go in the right direction, what do I do?  Well, I grumpily stomp around a bit and then I get over it and hit the gym even harder.  I bike to the Crystal Pool daily for my morning workout, get my arse on the some form of cardio equipment, or train circuits, or box, or spin, or aqua-fit...that's my mornings, and at night?  I go back to the gym with my lovely husband and do it again, and/or go to taekwondo even though I can't participate (because of my hanging by a thread ACL), or I take a lovely yoga class with Taryn.  I am a hard core ninja in training, and I can't let what the scale says dictate how I feel from moment to moment.  I'm chalking my gain up to muscle mass.  And besides, I took my measurements and even though I went up in weight, my measurements stayed the same...and my bust, waist, and hips shrunk 6cm.  

Om.

 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My complicated relationship with gravity.

Just when you think everything is easy peasy and you can't lose (or can...as the case may be)...you go up.  Gravity sucks.

Weigh-in Wednesday #53 was on January 22nd, 2014 and I went up - first weigh-in of year 2 on the programme too!

Went up 5 pounds.  Exactly.  Not good.  But, not the end of the world either.

It sucked.  And, I don't know why it happened.  But, I do know this:  I worked out hard, I ate properly, and I gained weight.  It happens.

So what next?  Well, business as usual of course...and by that I mean hitting the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre hard and eating healthily.  No emergency juice cleanse for me, I don't believe in that.  Only thing fancy cleanses do is clear out your wallet.  Perhaps I should amp up the cardio a bit...morning and night workouts, do something that I haven't been doing lately...enter indoor and outdoor cycling...and public speaking.  That'll make me sweat.

I was invited by a certain amazing friend to attend one of his Weight Watchers meetings last Saturday.  Hadn't been to a group session since I lived in Montreal.  I remember my first weigh-in in that creepy old building on Ste-Catherine's, I cleverly wore a thick leather studded belt with my jeans and checked in at 226 pounds.  The following week, I wore leggings...see what I did there?  Haha...9 pounds gone and all I had to do was change my clothes. 

Even though I was up 5 pounds as of last Wednesday, I didn't feel like a failure at the meeting.  I went in feeling confident in the knowledge that I had lost 142 pounds...and no one could take that success away from me.  Sure, I wasn't at 147 pounds lost like the previous week, no...but I was still a loser!  I will not let one single weigh-in define me.  And, I still had tonnes of insight and experience to share with people on a similar journey to my own.  That's one thing I love about Weight Watchers meetings...there is an almost overwhelming sense of community.  There we were all fighting the same fight, and ever story that was shared was relatable.  Very inspiring!

Okay, piping up at a WW meeting last Saturday isn't exactly public speaking...but I have been invited to talk about my health, fitness, and weight loss experience again today.  It seems that there are groups of people all over the place trying to shed a few pounds and adopt a healthy lifestyle...and one of those groups gets to hear my musings at 3PM today - I even got "Special Guest Speaker" status in the email that was sent out.  Now that just got my heart rate up...I didn't even have to step on a treadmill!

Wish me luck.