Hi There!

370 Days since my last post. Are you ready?

I have wanted to sit down and write everyday for the last couple of months, but it was always a combination of concern, worry and anxiety that would have be not write a single word…. until today. I realized that I was always writing for someone else. I was always writing for you, the person reading this. I was always trying to make sure that what I was writing was motivating, moving, inspiring and it was hard to write on the days that I wasn’t feeling those things myself. I could never come online and share the bad days, the rough days as fully as they were happening, so I realized that a change was necessary. Change…. has a big place in my life at the moment. It is happening everywhere and for the first time in a very long time, I am embracing changes with open arms.

I love writing. I love sharing. I don’t care that my grammar is horrible, and I overuse punctuation and use it in the wrong places. I am not writing to be portray this perfect image anymore. I am writing to share my story. To share my journey. To share, the good, the bad, the ugly and to hopefully show just one person that they are not alone. That if I can fall down a thousand times and keep getting back up to try again, they can too.

Here is what I have learnt in the last year:

  • Change doesn’t have to be anxiety inducing or scary
  • Embracing your faults is a good thing
  • Going on adventures if mandatory
  • People you thought would be in your life forever, will no longer be there and that can be a good thing.
  • Motivation is fleeting
  • You can find inspiration in the oddest places
  • Humans are scary
  • Humans are a breath of fresh air
  • Loving yourself is the best gift of all
  • Finding your purpose in life isn’t this big A-HA moment like it is in the movies
  • Things don’t always go according to plan and sometimes that is the biggest gift of all

Change is hard work, it is a struggle in the face of no motivation and I have never wanted to do the work daily. I have never wanted to face the fact that all the insights into my personal and mental health mean squat if you are not willing to translate that into daily work.

In short, it is time to show the hard work it takes to change and go after what you want and pursue your passion and your purpose.

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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.

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!

Weekend Vibes…

Well I had the best of intention to write yesterday about Friday and today about yesterday and then the weekend happened so you are the lucky winners of a 2 for deal today!!!!

Friday was a good day, aside from the fact that my upper body was still being quite vocal about any sort of movement. The pain of lifting my coffee mug to sip every time, should show you all deep love and commitment to coffee. Then at around 3pm  I was informed that everything in my office needed to be up off the floor for the deep clean, floor scrub and wax that was happening over the weekend. I had a brief moment where I was going to shed a tear. I have a few heavy boxes, and some roller drawer units and then I remembered that I work in a warehouse with hundreds of employees including those in Shipping and Receiving, so you can guess what I did. YUP, I CHEATED! I asked a couple of the guys to give me a hand, know your limit is what I say! LOL. My body was that good sore on Friday.

I do my weigh in bright and early Saturday mornings at Weight Watchers and stay for the meeting if my schedule allows it. I should mention that due to the little voice inside my head, and some cheat days before I started this challenge I hadn’t been to a meeting in almost a month. I arrived and was greeted with a warm welcome back by the lovely lady that weighs you….shit she remembers me. I started with all my reasons and excuses about why I hadn’t been and then I realized, like my job, she has probably heard all the reasons and excuses for not showing up, so I looked at her and said “ Life happened, I cheated and I let the voice inside me head make a really big deal about it.” She smiled and said “Great, so let’s get our new starting point and move forward.” I remember stepping on the scale dreading the number. Thinking to myself that I am going to be starting all over again, back to square one, I am doomed to repeat the same patterns over and over again and then I heard a giggle. I was looking at my feet, so my head quickly turned to the scale….. .4 lbs up. I looked at her and she laughed and said “I have peed more than that, go to the bathroom and come right back to me.” I looked at her confused but followed her instructions and heard some laughter coming from a couple ladies behind me. I returned a few moments later and I am officially up .2lbs….point two pounds. In my head I had gained at least 10lbs….nope the voice inside my head LIED…AGAIN….Shocking!

I sat down in the meeting and I admit I didn’t listen much to what was being said. I started to realize that my connection to what the number on the scale and what the lady writing that number down might think. It isn’t about the number, it is about the community. Fighting for yourself involves changing habits and thought patterns that no longer serves the life you are trying to create for yourself. As I was deep in thought I felt a lady next to me nudge my arm and I focused back on the leader and she had asked me to share what had happened at the scale. The rest of the meeting was spent talking about the mental game that weight loss is. Looking around the room at the 50 odd people sitting in there and each and every one of them have a similar conversation going on in there head. Feeling like you are a part of something and feeling like you are not alone is a very powerful experience. I almost wanted to cry.

I was able to lounge in bed this morning, sleep in, drink some coffee and now I am going to go for my “cheat meal” with the bestie and it is gonna be so good!

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….

Fat Shaming…

A girl & her lucky hat

A girl & her lucky hat

For the first time in a long time I experienced a blatant display of fat shaming.

It inevitable this holiday season that, if you are travelling, you will be, at some point, squished into a plane, train, or automobile. There will be trip delays, cancellations, and you will probably end up sitting next to someone that smells bad, wants to talk your ear off, or, like me, a bigger plus size person who takes up a majority of my assigned space.

On Sunday, I flew from Vancouver to Kelowna to visit my mom for Christmas. Thanks to the amazing arctic front that has been cuddling with a majority of North America, Vancouver has had the pleasure of experiencing an intimate relationship with snow and freezing temperatures. On Sunday, we got another heaping of the white stuff and the airport had forced cancellations and delays. Thanks to my lucky hat, which I wore ALL DAY, my flight only experienced a 20 minute delay, but because of all the cancellations earlier in the day, I was now on a sold out flight.

I was assigned an emergency exit row window seat. SCORE 2 points for the lucky hat! I was on cloud nine….until a very tall older gentleman sat down in the seat next to me and then a man next to him. I gave my usual polite smile, which was ignored. I thought to myself, no worries, perhaps he has had a long day full of lineups and cancellations, etc. He sits down adjusting himself, that involved a lot of heavy long sighs. Then out came his phone. As the lovely flight attendant was going over the emergency exit demonstration I was distracted by the ferocious typing happening next to me. Now, normally I mind my own business, but it was clear that he has trouble seeing because even with his glasses the text on his screen was quite large. What did I see displayed on his screen….comments about my size, my fat ass, my probable inability to open the door, certainly couldn’t fit through the door and how ugly I was. Further remarks, about my eating habits, how lazy I must be, how clearly I am single because who would want to sleep with me…..I can feel the anger rising again just thinking about it. …you get the picture. Thanks to being on a new plane, equipped with internet this went on a majority of our 40min flight. It even involved a social media update. Yes, I was a nosy parker, it was like a bad train wreck, I couldn’t not look! He was constantly adjusting in his seat, heavy sighs and he would look over and roll his eyes.

At first I was super uncomfortable. Yea, I know I take up the whole seat and surrounding space. I found myself trying to hide, pulling my hat down further, wrapping my hoodie around me, trying to hide my face. Then I thought to myself ” Eff you my friend.” I pulled out my iPod and put on some super angry type music and turned up the volume. I thought to myself, I am going to make his flight even more uncomfortable with some horrible music, because I am certain people AS OLD AS HIM hate that kind of stuff. All it did was make me angrier. I was certain I was going to say something. I came up with some really great one liners, some of them that would surely sting him and others that showed my humor. Yup, as soon as we were getting off the plane I was gonna strike like a snake or a scorpion.

By the time we were told to buckle up, because we would be arriving in Kelowna, I was just sad. It has been a long time since I had experienced something like that, so direct and in my face. As soon as the wheels touched the runway, I knew that I wasn’t going to say anything because there would be no point.  Trying to hurt or reason with a person like that is like beating your head against a brick wall. I choose to take the higher ground and put my faith in good ol’ karma….but it still stings a little.

It is Christmas, my absolute favorite time of the year. I should just let this roll off my back, but I don’t understand the direction that humanity is headed in lately. So, I am going to steal Ellen’s tagline “Be kind to one another folks.” We all have destinations that we are trying to get to and missions to accomplish. We can do it with compassion, kindness and understanding. I promise you will have a happier holiday season because of it!

 

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.