Thursday, September 18, 2014

Saddling up my unicorn.

The best thing about a new day is that you can choose how to face it.

Create your own destiny, follow the fourth agreement and do your best, live in the present, be mindful - every day is a gift, choose your attitude, and blah blah blah blah blah a bunch of other inspirational quotes with fancy backgrounds with stock photographs of beaches or forests or Buddha.  I say almost cliché...because I am notorious for posting such things on my Facebook and Twitter pages, and they seriously resonate with me, sometimes.  Whatever, it doesn't matter...what matters is that when faced with a new day, put your big girl panties on and kick its arse!  Give 'er!  Go for it! 

Yesterday I was riding a dark horse, so today I decided to saddle up that unicorn (with rainbow-coloured mane and tail and glittery gold hooves) and go on a joy ride.

You are always only one sleep away from a new day, don't let your yesterday take over your today!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

High Maintenance.

It's time to get off this dark horse and ride a unicorn or something.

At least that's what the ninja said to me a while back. And, in all seriousness, I have been in a bit of funk as of late.

Why in the funk, Suzie Spitfyre!?

I don't want to talk about it.  (Because when I do I get weirdly emotional and cry. WTF!? Ninjas shouldn't be all teary...and broken.)

As you know from previous posts, for the last little while I've been bouncing around at about 145 pounds...I've come as close to goal as 138 pounds and gone as far away as 163. It is very hard for me not to obsess about this. “Focus on how you feel, ninja,” if I feel fit and strong, I'm cool. If I feel wildly out of control, I'm not so cool. In fact, I panic, doubt myself, and fall a downward spiral of junk food and other bad choices. Then I get over it, buckle down and take care of business. I got this, I know how to do it...in fact, I'm pretty good at it...when I focus.
 
That's my resent history...no crazy drops in weight, but no huge gains either. This is the boring part. No celebrating 7 pound losses, no surprising victories over push-ups, no mayor wearing his chains of office to congratulate me for being the biggest loser...just maintenance. And maintenance sucks.

I know, I know, I really don't have problems if these are my problems right?! Nonetheless, this stuff weighs heavy (pun intended) on my psyche. For the last year and just over a half, I have built myself up by leaning myself down, so going in the opposite direction scares the sh!t out of me. And the reason the scale is going in said direction...well, it's because of me. But, just as I had decided to give up drinking wine on the balcony, Bum Biter BBQs, and sneaking in a bag of Doritos while watching True Blood on my Croatian Conscience's couch...

I left the Shimmy Shack and embarked on a run along the Westsong Walkway. The run I do is around 7K and includes the stairs of death (there are 100 of them, and I try and do them at least 5 times..and lately I've been doing them a few more times than that...um...10 times, I'm a keener). So out I go on my merry little way, feeling particularly strong and fit...running to the beat of all these songs on my play list that are all obviously written specifically for me...when SNAP! Limp, limp, limp. Oh crap.

My little injury (ruptured ACL) has reared its ugly head yet again. Apparently, at the time of the MRI there were possibly two little strands holding on for dear life, and what I just did took care of at least one of them. Normally I wouldn't be such a cry-baby, but I was out on a trail about 2 kilometres from home and I was sore. I walked back along the pathway to my house...dragging my leg, ruing the decision I made to leave my mobile phone at home.

Realising that walking home in such a gimpy way ate into my precious get-ready-for-work-time, when I finally got home, I showered very quickly...but how was I going to work a shift if I couldn't even walk properly!? And to top that off, thou shalt wear heels on counter is practically written in the MAC dress code. I called my manager. “I don't think I'll be able to come into work today, I just felt something in my knee pop and there's a lot of swelling. I should probably ice it and keep it elevated, at least for today.” Damn, someone beat me to the punch, so no sick day for me. Already one man down. In pain, I put on my knee high combat boots, a skirt, button down shirt 'n' tie, braided my hair into two tight French braids, and took the bus two stops to town. Suck it up, Princess.

On a side note: As I “toughed it out” on counter, one of the department’s staff told me I looked less Wednesday Addams bad-ass private school girl (the look I was obviously going for) and more, well, how do I put this!? Nazi. Oh good. I wonder if that's why my sales were so high...”Buy this make-up or I invade Poland!” I know, I know, not funny...sorry.

The point that I am trying to make is this...when I feel out of control or upset, an easy fix for me used to be to lose myself in food. And now, it is to find discipline and focus at the gym...even if it's after losing myself in food because I'm not going to lie and say that never happens.  It does. Still. So what happens if you take the gym away?! Well, nothing good.  I get a little down in the dumps.

The gym is my meditation station, my decompression session, my opportunity community.  I
feel safe, and loved. Before embarking on this journey, I regarded gyms as places where hyper fit and annoying people hung out and tried to out-do each other. These gym-types were judgmental and exclusive. And then I walked through the doors of the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre...and I realised, it was the opposite. I was the bitter, annoyed person...I was judgmental and exclusive.  I was not looking forward to entering the gym, I didn't know what to wear, how to do anything...and the people behind those doors, well, they became a huge
support system, my mentors, teachers, my friends...they welcomed me to the health & fitness community with open arms, smiles free of judgement with a pat on the back for all my efforts. I had never experienced such a sense of community. My knee, on occasion, takes all that away, and I am left to stew. I start shutting down.

As soon as I was well enough to start gymming again, the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre closed for maintenance.  I told you maintenance sucks.  But, at least I found my unicorn.

On balance, ballast, and bobbles.

I am seated in half-lotus position, precariously perched atop the exercise ball that serves as a chair in front of my laptop.  I suppose there's no need to tell you that my balance has significantly improved since that fatefull day in New Orleans in 2012 when I rolled my ankle  and my 294 pound self came crashing to the ground.

But has it?

Yes, I can twist my body into different asanas and hold them, I can jump from a plank to a squatting position on top of a Bosu ball, and I can even walk on top of logs at the beach without fearing for my life...but sometimes I can't find my balance.  Coordination at the gym, studio, or in the great outdoors, no problem...but, trying to find equilibrium in life, well, that's just waaaaaaaay harder. 

Ironic, non?

How am I supposed to get up, go to the gym, workout, get home from the gym, shower, get ready for work, walk to work, get home from work, get ready for taekwondo, get to taekwondo (or yoga, or whatever), do taekwondo, get home?  How am I supposed to eat 6 times a day, and find time to make those healthy mini meals?  How do I get 8 hours of sleep a night?  How do I find time to read, write, blog, paint, draw, create, play, perform, and participate in all the other activities that I love and that have been falling to the wayside?  How do I do all the things I want to do?!?

Just breathe.

I started this post with yoga, so I will continue it in that way...it all comes down to breathing.  Deep breath in, deep breath out...I am feeling overwhelmed by everything right now.  So I have to break things down and concentrate on the one thing I do without thinking.  Breathing.  

You know how they say you don't know what you've got until it's gone?  The same thing goes for balance.  Losing my balance only makes me want to find it again.

This Weigh-In Wednesday is brought to you by ballast. 

1bal·last
noun \ˈba-ləst\

: heavy material (such as rocks or water) that is put on a ship to make it steady or on a balloon to control its height in the air


When I stepped on the scale this morning, I was burdened by my heaviness.  But now I realise that the extra weight that I have put on over the summer is a reminder that I need to find more equilibrium in my life.  I choose to interpret today's weigh-in as a reminder that ballast can also restore stability of character and conduct.  I will resuscitate, I will breathe, and I will regain my balance.  This is just a bobble.

Namaste.        

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Good morning, Weed Wacker!

I'm up, I'm up!  

Well, it appears to be that day in summer where the city sends people in orange suits to my front yard (or the grassy knoll directly in front of my building) to cull the overgrown grass, blackberry bushes, and other extremely dry vegetation.  Great in the prevention of wildfires, also great in the waking of Spitfyres.  

I know, they're allowed to start city works at 7:30 AM...but c'mon...can't I have another 5 minutes of sleep?!  

Oh, wait...my lovely husband has just produced a skinny latte and placed it down on my bedside table.  I suppose I can face the morning.  I'm just happy I didn't get out of bed and walk around the place nekkid as a jaybird only to find weed wacking workers looking up through my living room window in disbelief. 

It's been quite some time since I have put fingers to keyboard and tapped out a blog post...why is this?  Am I lacking in inspiration?!  Quite the opposite, I have many an unfinished manuscript...or at least there are posts suspended in cyberspace describing situations here and there that have hindered, helped, hijacked, and heartened my journey towards health and fitness...so what gives?!  Truth be told, I don't know.  Perhaps I have just fallen out of the habit of writing.  I certainly haven't lost my sense of humour about what goes on in my life...and I am always up for a good laugh, even if it is at my own expense.  Ha!  So, I will attempt to pick up where I left off.  And...that was all the way back in May...wow.

May was my birthday month...and the one good thing about getting older, is that I seem to be getting wiser, or perhaps become more of a wise-ass - you decide. 

Birthdays used to always mean a bit of reckless abandon when it came to diet and exercise, but this year I was determined that May would be different.  In the beginning, I made a conscious effort to cut back on portion sizes and to stop capitulating when I got a hankering for something savoury after dinner.  Must remember to not eat all of those peanuts in the fridge that are reserved for fancy salads and/or the popcorn on the shelf that ended up there because I finished the last of the kernels and then my lovely husband replaced it with a whole new batch!  Seriously, I need a locked cupboard that only opens when a recipe requires it to, and not if I get peckish before or after dinner.  Also, must remember to eat enough throughout the day so that I don't mindlessly eat dry ingredients in the pantry out of sheer desperation...dry soy beans, I'm looking at you.  Seriously.

So how'd my May go?  Well, pretty much the same way the first 4 months of the year have gone...it's been a bit of a bumpy road, but I'm learning to ride out the rough spots.  And...most of the time?  I was comfortable in the saddle.

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs
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
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs

And the weigh-in after my birthday week?  

69th weigh-in - May 14th, 2014 - 140.5lbs

140.5 pounds!?  That's a bloody miracle because after weigh-in Wednesday #68, I headed to Vancouver for a couple days away with the folks.  How did I approach eating and exercising in a different city without my "normal" routine?!  Well, I tried to get in at least 3 square a day and walked all over town for cardio.  Despite eating at Vij's, downing a cocktail or two whilst on "vacation," and eating mini cupcakes for breakfast on my birthday, skipping lunch in order to clean the loft, and having wine for dinner that night, I survived.  And, lost 3.6 pounds...woot...back to 140 point something!

Happy Birthday to me.

But that was then...and this is now.  So how am I faring at this point in time?!  I don't want to talk about it.  But, I also don't want to make excuses and gripe about how I have gone back to work and it's harder to find time to exercise now that I'm back to being gainfully employed...because it's not been the exercise that's been the problem.  It's been the food.  In fact, making excuses as to why it is impossible to get off the couch and head to the gym, is just that...and excuse, and I haven't got time for those.  I haven't really slipped on the exercise thing, still working out with the ninja (Jonathan Carpenter of MIJO Sport) twice a week and still heading to the gym 5-6 days a week with other activities thrown in...one of my favourites being yoga with Taryn Strong.  Om.  

And, speaking of om...as in "om nom nom"... that's what I have been doing a lot of lately.  

It is said that to achieve a healthy weight it is 20% exercise and 80% diet...and I believe it.  It doesn't make a difference how much I exercise if my food choices thwart my weight loss efforts.  That is not to say that a distinction should be made between acceptable and unacceptable foods, but that I, Miss Spitfyre, need to rein it in a little  Oh summer, not only do you come with weed-wacking-workers, but you also bring with you backyard barbeques, burgers n' buns, and a whole lotta beer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Confessions of a foodaholic...

My name is Suzie Spitfyre and...after all this time (68 weigh-ins!)...I am still a food addict.

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs  
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
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs

After losing 5.2lbs this week...and the mandatory happy dance that comes with...I looked back over my food journals to see why I had such a gain the week before.  I knew I'd taken in a lot more refined carbs in the last few weeks than usual, but what else was going on?  I'll tell you.  Denial.  

And here I thought I was just indulging a little bit, turns out it was a bit more than a bit.  So I scrolled back through weeks of online food and exercise journals (my exercise has remained consistent BTW) only to see that, yes...I'd been overdoing it in the food department...and for the most part, getting away with it.  Month after month I was eating healthy nutritious food during the week and then indulging on weekends or special nights out.  Oftentimes, imbibing alcohol lead to a loss of resolve to eat healthily and liberties were taken in the form of potato chips, yaki soba, and ginger cookies.   

Interesting.

Check it out, my first real binge on junk food (since starting this whole thing on January 16th, 2013) was Superbowl Sunday, and February 5th to the 11th is the last week that I ate only nutritious food and stuck to my portion sizes without going over my quota calorie-wise.

54th weigh-in - January 29th, 2014 - 144.3lbs - The week before Super Bowl Sunday
55th weigh-in - February 5th, 2014 - 154.8lbs - Popped up 10.5 pounds 56th weigh-in - February 12th, 2014 - 146.1lbs - 1 week of controlled clean eating and exercise, and the result is a loss of  8.7 pounds.

And then here's this past week compared to the previous 2 weeks...


66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs - I went up a bit from the week before, but no big deal (less than a pound)
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs - See what happens when I over eat and over drink?
68th weigh-in - May 7th, 2014 - 144.1lbs - Re-visited portion sizes, didn't skip any meals, didn't over drink, and voilà...lost 5.2 of the 8.3 I gained the previous week.  I'm cool with that.

Let's talk denial now.  How is it possible that I haven't looked back and compared my last week to week before and to the week before that etc.?  Maybe I couldn't face what was written out there in cyberspace...or, I am a good Buddhist and I followed what I wrote about on Saturday, February 15th. 2014:


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

I would like to think it's the latter, rather than the former...but it may just be a bit of both.  And, here's the thing, it doesn't really matter.  The point is, I know what I've done, and I know where I'm going.  And right now, I'm just loving life...I just have to learn to not celebrate it with copious amounts of food and wine.  That way history will not repeat itself.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Congratulations, it's a food baby!

Sushi Spitfyre
My tummy.  My stomach has been relatively flat (considering all the excess skin) for the last few months...but lately, I have noticed something.  Something that happens after a big meal or after a weekend of indulging...the food baby.  I remember when girls at MAC would complain about their "food babies" and I would have no idea what they were talking about, except for now.  You see, at 294 pounds, if you eat a big meal, there's no way to notice any sort of difference in your physique...other than the mild discomfort that comes with overeating.  Now, I get it.  When I have larger portions, or if I have a weekend of indulgence, then I am inevitably blessed (for lack of a better word) with a "food baby."  This is not something that I can take a pill for, nor can I utilise any sort of contraception to negate any unwanted consequences...the only way to avoid this procreation is abstinence.

Is it time to revisit correct portion sizes?!  I think so.

In the last few weeks, I have been with child.  One that only becomes apparent after eating too many potatoes and sometimes, to my chagrin, after fabulous weekends of imbibing.  Mondays and Tuesdays are when I get some serious bloating and the telltale swollen abdomen that comes with progeny begat of wine and rich fare.  Am I preggers?  No.  Does my husband notice?  No, not if he knows what's good for him.  BUT, someone else does.  Someone I see regularly and who apparently looks me up and down a bit more than I thought he did.  Sneaky ninja.

I have been fighting the good fight for about a year and half now...and looking down at my cereal bowl the other day, I think perhaps my portions are creeping up on me.  Breakfast means 1/3 of a cup of high-fibre, sugar-free cereal, 100g of fat-free, sugar-free yogourt, 1/8 of a cup of nuts, and some sort of fruit.  So, how could I possibly let this get out of control?!  Well, I was free-pouring the cereal, I was scooping the yogourt with a giant spoon, cutting up however many nuts I wanted, and then adding A LOT of fruit...not just 1 green banana, more like 2 bananas and possibly a bunch of strawberries too.  Is this bad?  No, none of that black and white thinking for me...but perhaps I was being a bit too generous with the free-stylings of this dish.  And, I'm not going to lie, I have also been eyeballing a lot of other portions as well.  Is this okay?!  Yes, of course, intuitive eating is something I wish I could do.  Am I ready for it yet?!  Possibly not.  Not if I want to get to my goal of 137 pounds.

Yesterday was my weigh-in day, and I was up...up from last week...up to a February/March weight...up the most I think I've ever been up actually.  What am I having?  Twins!?

Starting weight - January 16th, 2013 - 294lbs

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
66th weigh-in - April 23rd, 2014 - 141lbs
67th weigh-in - April 30th, 2014 - 149.3lbs


Time to get down to my "pre-pregnancy" weight of 140.7...that's the lowest I've been so far.  I know I can get there, I've done it before, and this is how I'm going to do it:  

  1. Clean eating:  I will eat well balanced, appropriately portioned meals.  I will not eat processed foods (or as few as possible), only whole grains, lean proteins, and fruit and veg.  For extra accountability, I will also blog everything I eat...enter SEE FOOD!  A photographic journey of accountability.  
  2. Clean drinking:  No more alcohol!  At least not until my birthday, I may have a sip or two then, but for the next 10 days I will be drinking loads of water, and a whole bunch of tea.  All will be featured in SEE FOOD!
  3. Dirty Training (that sounds a whole lot better when I say #eatcleantraindirty) Haha...how about just "training:"  I will follow the ninja's instructions, I will double up when I need to, and not go into over-training mode because I feel guilty for something or another. 
I know you're not supposed to eat seafood when you're "with child" but I am going to SEE FOOD it up so that I am held accountable...nothing like laying it all out there.  If I eat it or drink it, you will see it...which is kinda the way I feel about this food baby that I have strapped to my front right now.  No more whining (or wining) about this, now is the time for action! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reality bites...

Considering my last blog post...I thought this was rather hilarious.  Why get all philosophical anyway, eh?

  
Life is short, make fun of it...haha.