Game of Life…

0acb2bdd8b9687e21a0f4984aeefcc19Ok, I have been distracting myself from writing this post for some time now and it is time to step off the hamster wheel. Yes…. I have not written for a few days now, no I did not completely fall off the wagon of eating, despite brain’s attempt to make me believe I am a lost cause lol.

Life happened and I am using every tool I am learning to work my way through the emotions of this game. I took a short solo trip over to the Island to get a tattoo, I was out of routine, I didn’t plan accordingly or ahead, however you’d like to look at it. I found myself getting quite frustrated until I realized that this is what happens. I spend so much time trying to plan things out, account for ever detail that I miss the beauty that is around me. I ate when I was hungry, I looked around for healthier options and despite there being a 7-11 store outside my hotel and my deep love of those giant sour keys, I didn’t go through that door. I wandered around Victoria and enjoyed what a crazy beautiful city it is. Despite my best attempt, I didn’t manage to hit my goal of 15,000 steps on my Fitbit, but it is on my target list for this week! I also managed to sit through 3.5 hrs of pure pain while my spine was tattooed!

I find that I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t about doing it perfectly. Nothing I, or anyone, does in life is ever going to be perfect, despite what society tells me, or us, it should look like. Am I trying my best? At the end of the day can I put my hand over my heart and say, “I did everything I could and I am happy with that.” That is my goal. If I can’t then what can I do differently next time, what can I learn. It is so easy to get wrapped up in what society thinks I should be doing, or what my friends or family think I should be doing, that sometimes I lose what I want to do.

In my mind I had it that fighting for myself was just about fighting for my health, making that the priority, but I am discovering that it is so much more than that. I am fighting for my life and what I want from it. I have spent so much time just….existing. Sometimes it feels like I am waking up for the first time, speaking my voice and figuring out what I want in this life of mine. It is both a terrifying and exciting feeling.

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Fat 2.0…

PhotoWowie….wow….wow….

I have some sore legs this morning! I headed to the gym after getting my vote on yesterday and I amazed myself with my ability to do 1000m on the rowing machine. This was after 45 mins on the elliptical and a few other full body exercises. I loathe the rowing machine, that is why I am forcing myself to spend some time on it. A few months back I attempted 1000 meters on the rowing machine and gave up at the 10 min mark. Yesterday I finished 1000 meters in 8 mins and 37 seconds. Now, I am not heading to the Olympics or anything, but it was a great moment for me. Now the goal is to improve on that. I also cleared 14,000 steps on the ol’ Fitbit. My goal is to crack 15,000 before the weekend in over. I have not cracked 15,000 steps in over 8 months, so it is going to happen!

I am not weighing in at Weight Watchers this Saturday because I am heading out of town for the night. Want to know how the week normally goes when I know that I am not weighing in? It tends to go a bit sideways. I am not as strict with tracking what I am eating so points tend to go higher than normal. I don’t hold myself as accountable as I would if I was weighing in. Want to know how this week is currently going? The polar and complete opposite of that. That moment when you realize that the only one you are hurting is yourself. The lady who writes down the number in the little book, isn’t attached to whether it goes up or down. The fluctuation of that number is only a gage of the activities I have been participating in and I am the only one that is attached to what that number is. Being attached to the number is something I think I may always struggle with, to some degree. I have to keep reminding myself that even if I have a great week and the number goes up, there are so many reasons why and it isn’t a sign of failure. I just need to keep my focus on the habits, break the binge eating cycles, focus on exercise and don’t worry so much about what the number on the scale says because it will follow.

I also wanted to touch base on my use of the word “fat.” For a couple weeks now, I have been using that word more. We were adjusting our chairs, for ergonomics, in the office the other day and I said “These chairs are not fat girl friendly, booty be damned!” The look of horror on my co-worker’s face. I asked her what was wrong and I got the typical response. I smiled and shared with her that fat is just a word that I am trying to take away the stigma for myself. It is a descriptive word that carries a lot of weight and meaning for a lot of people, but for myself…. Yes, I have fat, but I also have hair, teeth and toes…doesn’t have any bearing on the kind of person I am or weather or not I think I am beautiful. I still struggle with it, when you are walking down the road and someone makes a comment or your dating pool becomes infinitely smaller because you live in a city where the focus is more on how your behind looks in a pair of Lululemon pants versus your personality and character. But…..I am getting better and better with the word and the definition of that word for me.

Mindfulness…

PhotoWell….today you get another 2 for deal!

The last two days has been an exhausting …literally. I do not know what is going on, but sleep is all I have wanted. I got 7 hours of sleep Sunday night and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open yesterday. Then I did something I swore I would NEVER DO…I fell asleep on public transit, I couldn’t help it. I sat down and then next thing I know I am opening my eyes and the bus is pulling into the Skytrain station. Then last night I was snuggled in my bed and asleep by 8:30PM. Even this morning I am still feeling a little sleepy. However, today I feel more alert that I did yesterday. I am not certain what is going on, but I am listening carefully.

I had one of those really great Sunday’s where you do just what you need to do, like laundry and a little cleaning. Then the rest of the day was spent doing things that I wanted to do. Had breakfast with one of the besties, went for a walk, took a nap, did a little writing, some reading, some meal prep for the week, painted my nails and dealt with an eyebrow situation. I was calling it Self-Care Sunday and it was delightful.

For about ten minutes Sunday evening I felt a little guilty about what I had eaten and that I wasn’t tracking. When I realized any thing I had eaten wasn’t done out of avoiding a feeling or trying to escape something. I ate it because it was freaking tasty and I enjoyed eating it. I didn’t binge eat or over eat and I realized that for the first time in a very long time, I had an entire day where I ate mindfully. It was a unique experience for me and it made me smile.

Yesterday was a typical Monday at work, always busy. I was on point with my eating, which included a sandwich from Subway and even a little bag of chips. That is one of the things I love about Weight Watchers. You can eat whatever you want, never leaving yourself feeling deprived or like there are foods that are “off limits.” It all boils down to choices, moderation and balance.

Today I am returning to the gym after I do one very important task…..VOTE!

Ugh…

9c1ba1181d4be272404ae56f16dfb53bOk, no one said that this journey was going to be all spring flowers and rainbows, but yesterday was one of “those days.” Life was definitely lifing. It was fire after fire, this person needed this, that person needed that and they needed it yesterday, because it happened the night before and they didn’t tell anyone till last minute….UGH! I start work at 6:45am and normally finish at 4:15pm and then tack on a 90 min commute each way….yes, you read that right, an HOUR AND A HALF and already I have some long days. Yesterday I didn’t leave till after 5, got home just after 7pm…you can do the math for how long I had till I had to go to bed, to get at least 7 hours before getting up and leaving for work again.

I was starving by the time I left work because I hadn’t planned food for staying that late. By the time I was on the Skytrain for the last stretch of my journey, I was cranky and all I wanted was food to stuff my face before climbing into bed. I was standing at the stop and there is an A&W right there, I could smell those french fries…..ugh “not going to make me feel better” was the thought that I had. So, I made my way home where I promptly had a salad with some chicken. As I sat on the couch all I was experiencing was frustration and disappointed that I didn’t get to do yoga. As I flipped through social media for a few minutes before bed, my disappointment turned to pride. I had controlled the things I could, the big one, being food. As someone that is and has been an emotional eater, I stuff emotions, I don’t experience them. I didn’t grab the fast food, or indigestion inducing protein bar, I went for the salad.

I keep having these old cliché sayings run through my head “Rome wasn’t built in a day” or “You got to learn to walk before you can run.” I have to keep reminding myself that I am not going to be perfect 100% of the time. This isn’t about perfection, this is about learning, growing, embracing and loving.

Let’s see what today brings….

It’s Not Easy…

2014_rosie_the_riveter_flexing_her_arm_muscles_we_can_do_itWOW! This is the only word that I can think of to describe this past week and a bit.

Last week I climbed into a taxi at 6:30am Sunday morning experiencing a level of pain I thought was going to kill me. I had gotten zero sleep the night before and no amount of Tylenol or Ibuprofen would touch the pain. The taxi driver was so sweet, he helped me walk into the ER at Royal Columbian Hospital where I spent the next 5 days high on a lot of pain medication and antibiotics, waiting for the surgery to have my gallbladder removed. To give you  a bit more perspective on the pain….I was in a room with 3 other people and talking with a lady who just had HER SPINE operated on and has given birth to 5 children said ” I would rather give birth, with no drugs, again or have this spine surgery a million more times than go through my gallbladder again.”

I was discharged late Thursday afternoon, with my irritated organ still intact. I was not allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING from the minute I walked through the ER doors till Thursday morning when the decision was made to release me and schedule the surgery for a later date. That’s what happens when you are placed on the emergency general surgery list. Nothing to eat or drink because you can go into surgery at any moment. I kept getting bumped. Wanna know what happens when you put a fat girl in the hospital, where a majority of humans are at their most vulnerable and take away food, her one comfort…. She discovers a new layer of strength she never knew she had.

There were days that I laid in that bed and just cried. The nurse would come in and ask me what was wrong and I would look at her and just say “I’m feeling overwhelmed, scared, frustrated, sad, etc” Whatever emotion was there I would say it. There was nothing they could do to help me, it was like an unintended session of extreme Exposure Therapy…..but I survived. I survived one of the most painful experiences of my life. I learnt that people that I previously would have bet money on coming to visit, didn’t and won’t. Also, people that you didn’t think would notice, call or text you everyday or they start calling every hospital till they find you once they find out you are in the hospital.

I learnt that I am one helluva strong woman that is loved, cared for and appreciated. Sitting on my bed just now reflecting on the past week and all of a sudden feeling that strength run through me, it made me smile.  It made me happy.

Down & Dirty 30 – Day 3

PhotoGrid_1425539799185_resized Oh boy my body is feeling it this morning! I slept through 2 alarms this morning after completing a 5.3K walk yesterday. My leg and hip muscles feel as if they have been put through the ringer and are stuck on spin cycle; and…..it is only day 3 with 27 days more to go! I also know that this is completely normal and it is my muscles adapting to the change, but holy! I want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and not move! Not going to happen because I have a torture session this evening with the ladies of Seva Fitness (aka personal training session). Epsom salt bubble baths will be my friend over the next few days as well as H2O hydration, which I am still struggling with!

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We are a family of FitBit’ers

Yesterday looking at my Fitbit I was so delighted to see ALL GREEN! I had my best day of the week, but surprise, surprise 41 active minutes, even though I walked just as much earlier in the week and only achieved 18 active minutes! I have gathering quite the community of friends on Fitbit and talk about motivation! My driving force right now is to get above my brother and I did that last night! Normally it doesn’t last long, but I am as of this morning so I am going to enjoy it! Sorry dear big brother! LOVE YOU! Sassy pants there is my Mom, so as you can tell we are a family of FitBit’ers.

Eating…..in all honesty I have been a bit hungry the last couple days and I think that is because of the increased exercise, so I am going to be making a more conscious effort to eat all of my Weight Watcher Points. If you’ve been following you will remember I was struggling to eat them all, left with 8-12 points at the end of the day. In a conversation with one of the WW reps on their 24/7 chat feature she said it really is a good idea to eat as many of the points as possible because your body needs a certain amount of fuel to function. Leaving a couple points at the end of the day is fine, but any more than 4 or 5 you really should be eating. She also noted that I am racking up the activity points so defiantly want to be eating your daily points allowance.

It is all new and I have realized that I am lucky to have the support structure around me that I do. I have co-workers that usher me away from the candy at work and only bring healthy snacks into my office. I have friends that will go for walks with me, or talk with me on the phone during an exceptionally long walk to distract me. My friends and family are always checking in and are right there if I am having a craving or a “ho hum” moment.

May be only day 3, feel like day 90, with 27 more days to go, but I am enjoying my first few days of success!

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Changes…

It has been awhile since I have posted something, I apologize, but there has been a lot going on.  Thank you for your patience and it is the sheer joy of writing that has brought me back to help me through this difficult time.

Hmmm, I find myself not really knowing where to start, so I will just dive right in. I am facing some health issues that have been weighing pretty heavily on my mind. To say I have been stressed and losing sleep would be an understatement. I am not quite yet prepared to talk about them, but give me time, I eventually will when I have all the answers I need and a course of action to begin correcting the issue. I have seen two different Dr’s and I have an appointment this week with another. Now before those reading this jump to the far worst possible thing, on a scale of 1-10 of seriousness, in my head it’s a 9, but in reality it’s about a 4-5.

My DadSecondly, my father passed away just under a month ago. His passing has not been easy to try and get a handle on, but I have discovered that all you can do is take it one day at a time. My father was ill. He was an alcoholic and he was suffering from liver failure, but he was not seeking help for either. The coroner and the police were involved in my father’s passing due to the nature of it. The coroner told us that he fell, hit his head, but his liver and heart gave out before he could bleed out.  His neighbours were accustomed to seeing him daily and hadn’t seen him for a few days so they called the police. They estimated that my father was dead from 2-3 days before his body was discovered. My brother, mother and I then had to go to his apartment and see what we could salvage. To see the amount of blood, the smell….it is something that I will never forget.  While processing my father’s passing, a very close family friend lost his battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with and past from cancer in a matter of 3.5 weeks.  Life is dealing me a heavy hand at the moment.

Figuring out how to live my life without my father and with these health concerns is different. I admit to becoming a wee bit of a hermit. I have my good days and my bad. One minute I am completely fine and the next I am having a mini meltdown, then I am fine again. I am easily frustrated, can cry at the drop of a hat and I am processing a level of anger that I have never experienced before.  What has me get out of bed is that every morning I wake up and I remember that I have friends and family that love me, a roof over my head, food in my fridge and there are people living in the world that are not so lucky and suffering from far worse situations than me.

My trainer Emilia could tell that my session was a difficult one for me this morning and I was not being the most chipper person, she asked me what made me happy and for the first time in my life I couldn’t think of one thing that made me happy, at the end of my session she said to do something fun today. Saw my family doctor this afternoon and he told me to be gentle with myself and to do something for me today. As I was heading home I realized that I love to write and I have missed it. For me this is an inexpensive form of therapy and in a small way makes me feel like I am not alone.

Changes have begun and I thank you for your patience and the messages that I have been missed; I am back and becoming a new version of me…