Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso (or Weigh-in Wednesday #3, Part 2 of the ongoing saga that is OMG...what if I don't have a pretty face?)

I woke up this morning just after 5.30AM without an alarm.  I lay in bed scrolling through various apps on my phone designed to help me.  For the last four years, these apps have indeed helped me...they have helped me feel bad about myself.  This morning, like last Wednesday and the Wednesday before that, I was too excited to fall back asleep.  Instead of rolling over and drifting off...I checked my exercise stats from the last week, I made sure I had inputted my latest meal in my food journal, and (even though I hadn't actually worked out yet) I put a very red, very large checkmark beside SUZIE CARDIO in my calendar.  The apps have finally started doing what they were intended to I had also finally started doing what I intended to do.

Starting weight - Jan. 17th, 2020 - 285.4 pounds (115 days until my 45th birthday)
1st weigh-in - Jan. 22nd, 2020 - 281.3 pounds (-4.1 lbs)
2nd weigh-in - Jan. 29th, 2020 - 277.0 pounds (-4.3 lbs)
3rd weigh-in - Feb. 5th, 2020 - 273.7 pounds (-3.3lbs)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
"Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven"

And gods know that I have had one hell of a lot of good intentions over the last four years.  I have set them, written about them, talked about them, and half-assedly gone through the motions.

In February of 2016, I wrote about how I had gained weight after knee surgery (2015) and then some more because of various dietary indiscretions/training delinquency.  That was three years into my weight loss journey, I was 187 pounds.  I was self-blaming for letting myself go while simultaneously trying to be all zen by letting go of blame and moving forward from a place of self-love.  Well, that was my intention anyway. 

Fast forward to January of 2017 or 2018, it doesn't really matter, it's a whole lot of the same thing.  Apparently, I was incredibly annoyed at being fat, and I wrote several repetitious blog posts about it.  I even mentioned my weight a couple times - in the upper 200s at that point.  That's a bit of progress - admitting that I had a problem, I mean.  It was a step...step one in some cases.  But, alas, instead of moving through the various other steps (of which there are generally twelve)...I just kept paving the road with idle hands.  Incidentally, paving a road is a seven-step process according to an asphalt pavement installation website I happened upon.  That's a difference of five whole steps - no wonder so many of us are choosing the easier route.  

Then something happened in 2019...well, late summer 2018 really.  I was tired of being ashamed, embarrassed, angry, and bitter, of avoiding things, of isolating myself, I was exhausted from all the procrastination, and the fear.  I was scared of who I'd become, and of what people thought of me.  I was afraid that I couldn't change my situation, and I was uncertain of my future while simultaneously dwelling in my past.  I was trapped in a hell of my own making, and I was doing absolutely nothing to rectify the situation...until I was.

In October 2018, I started walking.  I paid attention to my apps and my pedometer, and I got more active.  That month, I  ate healthy foods in appropriate portions, and I journaled it all.  Baby steps in the right direction.  308  pounds of baby at the beginning, mind you, but baby steps nonetheless.  It was the first time in a long time that I took a good hard look at all the roadwork I had done...and realised that the street I had been working on was two ways.  After pulling that U-ey, in February of 2019, I joined a gym, hired myself a personal trainer, and got ready to work my arse off.  I will call 2019 the year of "girding my loins," because it wasn't until January of 2020 that I was fully prepared to go into battle. 

C. S. Lewis once wrote, "you can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending."  I guess this is just the next chapter in my epic saga of going from biblical proportions to the Devil wearing Prada. 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Yay! Homework.

I am a nerd.  If you know me, then you know this to be true.  

I like school and learning, I like raising my hand and participating.  I will always aspire to be an A+ student, and I am not thrilled when I get anything less.  So when the #allgooddays ladies were given some homework, I was all about it.

We all have different reasons for signing up, we all have different backgrounds, situations, abilities, mentalities, and goals.  As I scroll through the introductions everyone has written, I am inspired, motivated, and come to the realisation that I am not alone.  I have spent the last 8 months trying to jump back on the wagon (oohhh...I hope it's the bandwagon!  SEE: another blog post about how fun that would be!), I have not been comfortable in my skin, my head, or the world really.  I've been closing myself off and losing myself in the process.  I should have listened to my mother, she told me to get out and surround myself with people.  Easier said than done.  Anyway, homework...and community, that is what I am supposed to be talking about.  Michele gave us an assignment as part of our commitment ceremony(?), and though I don't know any of these other women, they are my tribe.  United in our quest to live our best lives.  This community is all about action...we will quit, start, visit, accept, honour, make, see, learn, give, eat, have, be, act, grow, invent...and if I may add my own verb IMPROVE our lives in the process.

Day 2 of January badassery.  Day 2 of my commitment to the #allgooddays challenge, and day 11 (feels like one million) of this cold.  I have no energy, I am coughing up a storm, and I have about 11 million 30 day challenge exercises to complete because of my level of enthusiasm yesterday.  Honestly, I feel like a push-up may make my head explode.  Can I delay for one more day without it sounding like an excuse?  I WILL NOT QUIT.  But, I may actually need to rest a bit...and keep eating a clean diet with lots of fluids.

Now, does anyone know the calorie count for cough syrup?

No seriously...are we talking like 35 per tablespoon or what?

Monday, January 01, 2018

I'm feeling a little horse...

Chomping at the bit and ready to go!

In addition the #allgooddays challenge, I set a bunch of goals on my food journaling app, and decided to start a 30 cardio challenge, a 30 day abs challenge, a 30 day arm challenge, a 30 day butt challenge, a 30 day pushup challenge, and a 30 day squat challenge (all of which were miraculously already on my smart phone from resolutions ago).  Yes, that may have been overkill...but I am nothing if not enthusiastic.  Planning is the fun part...and lists are great too, along with these apps, and lest we forget count down clocks!  Ooohhhh...the excitement of it all!  I may have over done the screen time.  I seemed to be viewing the world through blue coloured glasses.

Time to disconnect from all devices.

First night, Full moon:  Unplugged, I did what any normal person would do on this night and began to shuffle a fairly large deck of cards.  Why?  Because I didn't have an extra daruma on hand to wish upon and colour in an eye.  And, because you have to forecast your spirit animal guides for each month of the new year, you know?  Haha...maybe you don't.  For me, it's a way to focus.  It gives me an idea of what to work on over the next year as I return to my healthy happy active place.  And also, PONIES! 

All oracle cards are from THE WILD UNKNOWN ANIMAL SPIRIT deck.

Horse was the overall theme of 2018 and what an inspiring card it was!  Horse represents momentum, freedom, expansive energy and force - I like the way this is going!  A horse to ride through the rest of the year towards my goal.  Also, I grew up riding hopefully, it's like muscle memory. 
"Building physical stamina (exercise) and mental focus (meditation) are the secret weapons behind the horse's legacy." - All quotations from Kim Krans' THE WILD UNKNOWN ANIMAL SPIRIT GUIDEBOOK
Oh, so everyone and their horse is telling me to get back to exercising.  I guess I had better pay attention.  But it's true, when's the last time that you saw a fat horse?  They are few and far between.  Before I even started this #ALLGOODDAYS challenge, I signed up for a SHE RECOVERS: Sacred Pause Saturday workshop facilitated by my yogini guru, Taryn Strong.  I used to go to Taryn's yoga for recovery every Tuesday night.  It was my hour to disconnect and just be in my body.  I remember loving it...and being surprised at what my body would do.  I also remember joining up about a month into a pretty insane training regimen and about 15 pounds lost.  So this time it's going to be different.  It may just be my reintroduction to moving my body, but more importantly I am ready for the spiritual side of yoga.  The side that has been sorely lacking in my life as of late.  Since stopping regular exercise, I feel like I have gotten waaay more bitter and judgemental, and I don't want to be that way.  I want to be more present and mindful...and you know...nice.  When I don't practice self-love and self-care, I seem to stop projecting love and care towards others.  Oh gods, all the clichés are true!  Whatever, this is me trotting towards  better place for my mind, body, and spirit.

As for January, I pulled the bear.  The beginning of the year, a perfect time for waking from spiritual hibernation, and for starting anew.
"At first the movement and effort is difficult, but the bear knows it's time to awaken and move toward the dawning light.  The bear card represents an individual on the cusp of new directions and personal transformation."   
I have already said that these cards are a way for me to focus, I see bear as a metaphor for my seeing the light.  My recovery from unhealthy habits, mindsets, and self sabotage.  Time to walk a different path, time to find my purpose again.  I am a we go again.

Namaste on track this time.

SIDE NOTE:  When I turned out all the lights and tucked myself into bed, there was this noticeable red glow around me.  Oh my gods, I was seeing my aura!  No, wait!  I opened my eyes, looked up, and I had forgotten to turn off one single red resin Buddha head.  Buddha the enlightened one was shining down upon me.  Coincidence?  I think not.


If I weren't dying of whatever plague this is going around Victoria (and more specifically in that little dark cloud over my head that has been following me around for the better part of 9 days), I would most likely have posted more today than in all of 2016...but that didn't happen because I was in bed or resting or coughing so hard I thought my head would explode.  So I'm behind, but I can catch up.

Also, I joined a #allgooddays challenge.  I was impulsive and thought I should throw 50 dollars at accountability, and my former employee's mother (I wonder if she remembers me), because, like the foundation of all great ideas, I saw something about it on Facebook. 

Those of you who don't know my history, here it is in a nutshell:

I have struggled with my weight for the better part of 20 years.  And have lost and gained what seems like a thousand pounds.  And most recently I was a superstar health challenge participant, and then I wasn't....and I lost my ninja...and now I am fat and am getting stuck in sports bras again.  This challenge is the reclamation of my badassery, if you will.

2013 - 294 pounds, blah blah blah health challenge, ninja-in-training, popped ACL
2014 - 139 pounds, blah blah blah health challenge mentor, n-in-t, reconstructed ACL 
2015 - 165 pounds, blah blah blah h.c. mentor part 2, ninja-in-training, with & without ninja
2016 - 200 pounds, blah blah blah ninja-on-and-off, belt test injury, no more ninja
2017 - 250 pounds, blah blah blah work, home, food, wine, repeat, sleep, sleep, sleep...
2018 - 286 pounds, blah blah blah I gotta do something about this.  Again.

And today, I updated all the apps, tweaked the fitbits, unboxed the runners, squeezed into the sausage casing I call pants, threw on a Star Wars T-shirt, and donned a hoodie, and did a grocery shop for all the foods that when put into my fridge will really just be ingredients.  Even if I lack energy because of the pox placed on my house...I can't wait to kick this challenge's ass...and my own in the process.

And go!

Blogaffair 2018

Ah!  Nice to see you, Bloggy Bloggertons.  We have to stop meeting like this...under that big magical moon.

The beginning is always so engaging and fulfilling.  I get butterflies around you, thinking of what is to come.  I promise to be true and you give me so much freedom...but sometimes I take liberties.  Forget to check in.  But when I wake up to you the next morning...with all those things swirling in my head that I want to say to you, well, you know me, I can't resist a little morning write.  If I don't get to it early, sometimes I don't get to it at all.  And I've been a bit fickle in the last couple of years...and I feel like I want to get to know you again. 

I'm sorry our rendez-vous have been few and far between as of late...but let's rekindle that old flame, shall we?

Mama Spitfyre needs a bit of mojo. 

Happy New Year

Friday, July 28, 2017

When I started writing this blog post, it was 9.05 in the morning and I had just gotten out of bed without making it, and put on our robot vacuum, Ashitaka.  But first I wasted a bunch of time snuggled under the covers checking my phone and playing with Toothless, the cat.  I have to decide what to do today.  It's Friday.  And, I haven't been out of the house in 5 days.

My first big decision today is what to do about what I am doing.  In 37 days it'll be Stéphane and my anniversary, in 57 days two of my good friends are getting married in Vancouver, in 95 days it's Halloween, in 134 days it's Stephane's office party, and in 150 days it'll be Christmas.  One small step in the right direction could make all the difference when it comes to tackling all those events.  Staying the same...won't lead anywhere.  That's what's been going on for the last 3 months.  Absolutely nothing.  (With the exception of a fabulous trip to I'm not really complaining, but I am a little...kinda.)

Will today be different?  That is the question.  I have decided to not waste the day plopped in front of a TV screen waiting for my partner in crime to come home from work.  Today I will do something that makes me happy.  I will do something that will contribute to my future happiness and well-being.

I guess before I do anything I should write some of my goals down.  Classic Suzie, plan everything.  To say that I want to lose weight is an understatement...I want to be where I was in 2013 right about now...2014 would be even better, and where I was in 2015 was in a significantly better place than where I was in 2016...but 2016 wasn't bad at WTF is up with 2017?  Well, I have fallen off the wagon.  There's only so much I can do to hide this weight gain before I just start hiding myself.  Oh wait.  I haven't been outside in days...guess I am in hiding.

So, Goal #1 - do something, anything, healthy.
And Goal #2 -  be grateful that you did that something/anything.  

Now the last thing I want to do at this moment is weigh myself, because that will cause me to break down knowing all the damage that I have done to this incredible body over the last few months/years.  But, the pain I suffered yesterday from simply walking around the house doing a few simple tasks was somewhat of a wake-up call.  If I don't do something about this weight fast, I'm going to live in chronic pain brought on by junk food and inactivity, and that sucks more than being a little bit hungry from time to time and getting sweaty every day at some point. 

I can do this...again.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Elephant relativism.

I have always had very good memory.  I remember random things that happened in high school a million years ago, and I'll also remember what everyone was wearing when it happened.  Stored in the deepest recesses of my mind are completely obscure facts about ancient mythology from my years of studying Classics at Concordia University, modern cooking techniques learned by watching far too much Food Network, horticulture for balconies and window boxes via my mother, and strangely almost all of the lyrics to arbitrary songs from the 1990s.  That's how my memory an elephant, I remember things.

So why, oh why, did I forget what it was like to be fat?

Since the crunchy, poppy kneeness of June 2016, I have been eating and drinking myself into my former state of being.  And I seem to have lost all recollection of how difficult it was to be overweight, and dare I admit this, obese.

The last time I was fairly regular with my workouts (other than going to taekwondo class) was in the autumn and winter of 2015.  While visiting family in Montréal, I made arrangements to work out with friends, find a gym, find a yoga studio, and try and counteract the damage I was doing by eating out and drinking daily - and may I add, that I cheated a few times when it came to food on my trip, but I was pretty good about choosing healthy options.  I was something like 170 pounds, and though I was annoyed that my weight had gone up...I remained confident and happy. 

When I got back from Montréal, I started working a lot more regularly, and so I made sure to hit the gym before my shifts.  At that point, I had joined the "5AM Club," and I managed to do at least an hour of cardio before getting gussied up to work the floor as a painter of faces.  After Christmas break, I was off to Hawaii - I had gained a further 10 pounds, but it wasn't the end of the world, and there would be walking, exploring, hiking, swimming etc.  Not to worry.  Still content with life, I was in Hawaii, and there were all kinds of bodies out and about.  Not at all concerned about my "beach body," I was just thrilled to hit the poke bars and body surf at Magic Sands daily.  Good times.

1 definition of relativism

  1. a theory that knowledge is relative to the limited nature of the mind and the conditions of knowing    
So what is elephant relativism?!  The further away I am from a state of being, the less I remember what it was like to live that way.  Which can be blissful or incredibly difficult.  The problem (and elephant part) is, recently my memory has been jogged...the first time I have jogged in 2017, in fact.
Things I forgot about being obese:
  • Always waking up in the wet spot (from night sweats, get your mind out of the gutter)
  • Shaving various parts of your body involves rigorous effort and training in contortion
  • Sometimes towels don't fit
  • Getting yourself into a bra is an intricate mix of origami and optimism (and you still get double boob, side boob, under boob)
  • Dress code is always back, with a generous helping of loose and leggings
  • Being overly effected by anxiety and depression  
  • Low self esteem and a lack of confidence
  • The cycle of binge eating
  • Hopelessness
Wow, that turned pretty serious pretty fast.  But, right now, it's how I feel.  I am a hopeless, binge eating 250 pound woman who is again suffering from anxiety and depression which is leading to a lack of confidence and self esteem.  I have 3 outfits, none of which I like.  I would like to take off an article of clothing without being marked by it, and I would also like to sweat at appropriate times.  Don't worry, I also remember other things... 

Things I remember about being fit:
  • Hitting the gym in the morning before I had a chance to think about it or change my mind, and then sometimes doubling up at night
  • Getting an endorphin rush part way into my workout and really enjoying the process 
  • Constantly being sweaty (whether at the gym or on the dance floor)
  • Drinking insane amounts of water and being satisfied by smaller portions or healthy foods
  • There will always be boob origami (when they are smaller they still need to be folded into shape), it's a process
  • Being able to express myself through my outfits
  • Endless energy to do things
  • Feeling that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome
  • Realisation of goals
  • Positivity
It's pretty obvious which state of being is my preferred truth.  Though not necessarily mutually exclusive whilst experiencing the in-between, the latter is a much better option for which to strive.  Going forward, I will mindfully go through the process of transforming myself so as not to lose track of where I came from and where I want to go.  Ideally, be more like an elephant in mind, to be less like one in body.