Thursday, February 05, 2015

"Find your awesome."

I always wanted to be an actress growing, when Shaw TV storyteller Paul Beilstein got my name from Esquimalt Recreation Centre and was interested on taping a story on me, I was obviously very excited...and at the same time, absolutely terrified.  Hello, stage fright!  Also, I had to let him know that taping a segment would have to be ASAP as I was scheduled for surgery on my popped ACL in four days.  That was a little over 10 weeks ago.  And the segment just came out this week on Channel 4.

I called him up expecting him to pass on the opportunity, because who wants to do a story on the girl who lost a lot of weight and took her life back through healthy living, but was in traction because of a sports injury?  Okay, maybe not traction...but I didn't know that in November.  The Ninja, internet, and my surgeon had warned of a long recovery and weight gain, and I was understandably apprehensive.  But, I had a few things on my side.  1.  I was fit.  2.  I knew how to eat (even if I didn't follow my own rules ALL of the time).  3.  My doctor was rumoured to be one of the best in Victoria.  And, 4.  I was steadfast in the belief that I wouldn't have sustained the injury if the universe had ordained it to be something I couldn't get through and/or learn from.  Well, I learned this:  a sports injury is a setback, but not something you can't get through.  And for the record, do the exercises that are posted on the orthopaedic surgeon's website, they aren't there just for filler AND stay positive!

Well, he didn't look me over, he was surprisingly optimistic that we could tape something in the new year while I was in recovery from my surgery.  Not only did this motivate me, but gave me something to look forward to in my rehabilitation.  I had obviously been in the spotlight somewhat by being in the TC Health Challenge in 2013, and then featured again in the paper as the previous "biggest loser" and workout buddy to Troy Wilson, the Crystal Pool's 2014 challenger, but this definitely kept me motivated after surgery.  Propped up on the couch waiting for the pain to subside, is not exactly my idea of a good time.  I had pain killers, of course, but I didn't want to take them for too long.  I longed to get back into the gym before my muscle tone disappeared.  The impending TV appearance was helpful in keeping my eating in check, though I hadn't realised that inactivity would largely affect my appetite.  My body didn't crave what it craved before my forced rest period - well done body!  I ended up losing 9 pounds after surgery, and went from 156lbs to 147lbs in 2 weeks.

I wanted to get back down to my lowest weight of 138 before the taping of Paul's healthy living piece, but let's be realistic here, I wasn't half the athlete as I was before the surgery.  Heck, I didn't even have full extension in my leg...but eventually, I could walk, I could ride a stationary bike, and I could work my upper body.  So two weeks after surgery, I went to my first yoga class.  It was ridiculous, I couldn't do most of it...but I went, and it gave my mind some sort of peace just knowing I was doing some sort of exercise.  Shortly after that, I started going to the Crystal, and managed a bunch of workouts that took my disability into consideration.  I even worked out with the ninja once or twice before Christmas.  I gave it my all, and then accidentally gave in to cheddar, holiday baking, champagne, and lobster (because the Spitfyre's celebrate with crustateans not turkey).  I, like everyone else, indulged over I lost, but then gained.  Not the end of the world.  Maybe I'll just blame muscle gain?  Ha!

A couple weeks ago I taped the segment, at 156 pounds, and though I felt awesome...I was also worried that I would be giving people the wrong impression.  Eat clean and train dirty, that's what I always say...and here I was doing that but I was still 18 pounds up from my lowest weight.  What kind of an example is that?  Was I being too hard on myself?  Perhaps.  I biked to Esquimalt Rec Centre in the rain the day of filming, then promptly ran to the bathroom and attempted to fix my fringe.  Yes, I have curly hair that likes to misbehave in humidity...and I was going to be on TV!  When I met up with Paul, the ninja, and the camera guy, I was so nervous...even my hands were a bit shakey.  Of course they wanted to tape the workout segment before the boys not know what happens to girls when they sweat?!  Especially if they have curly hair?!  No, no they don't...but it didn't matter...I had much bigger things to deal with, like a lens in my face, mounted on a barbell, and following my every move.

Camera shy.  That's my, I guess.  Who would have thunk it!?  Perfect bangs and 138 pound frame gone...I resigned myself to do what I had originally set out to do 2 years ago when I started this journey and blog, motivate others to get healthy and get active.  If two years ago I had worried what I looked like and how much I weighed, I would never be where I am suck it up, what the Ninja tells you, answer Paul's questions honestly, have fun, and tell your story.  And that's exactly what I did.