Damn Feelings…

img_0223Hi there ladies and gents….remember me?!?! Grab a drink because this post is on the longer side!

You guessed it, I did another disappearing act for a period of time, and we know this is what I do. I am here to tell you about how imperfect my life has been, how hard it has been and how I am still on shaky and uneven ground. Sounds pretty depressing, I know, but….I am also going to share about how I am feeling mentally and physically tougher than I have ever been.

Have you ever been stuck spinning your wheels? The same thought patterns keep recycling themselves and you seem stuck on this rollercoaster of events and emotions that, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get off of? I need to be intentionally vague on the timeline, but I once again found myself in an environment where I was the target of some pretty horrible workplace bullying, at the time I didn’t know it, but when it all came to a head….I remember sitting on the living room floor asking myself, why does this keep happening to me? Why can nothing ever go my way? Then I heard a voice in my head “Remember when you point the finger, there are 3 pointing back at you.”  I never stand up for myself. I take what I am handed, let people manipulate and use me, because at the core of my being I don’t deserve any better, or nothing better will come along. Insert an icky icky feeling here.

I have amazing support from many of my friends and family, but over the next few weeks I realized that I needed a different kind of support, a more professional level of support. For the longest time I was convinced that if I just focused enough, or wrote more, or believed more that it would happen.  When you start to not see a difference and you feel like you are at your wits end and nothing is changing, talking to someone who has absolutely no attachment to you can be a good thing. I started to see a woman, a register clinical counsellor that specializes in disordered eating, among a few other areas. During a session I couldn’t acknowledge a feeling, I couldn’t find it. This was quite common for me. It had been years since I experienced, processed and expressed an emotion. I didn’t know what different emotions felt like or what the proper names were for what I was experiencing. This is where my earth started to break apart.

I had become the master as leading people to believe that I was “great.” I got really good a plastering this massive smile across my face, being really expressive, funny, engaging and outgoing but if you were really listening to what I was saying you would notice that I was sharing very little about myself. I stuffed it all with food. Every feeling, emotion or small flutter of anything, I stuffed with food. On the ride to this appointment I was reading Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes” and she calls this “athlete talk.”

“Good Athlete Talk is when the athlete goes before the press and keeps a smile on her face, voice bland and pleasant as she deftly shields one reporter’s question after another – never once saying anything of controversy or substance. My favorite Athlete Talker of all time is Michael Jordan. He’d stand there after scoring 5, 635 points in one game, sweat pouring down his head , towering over some tiny reporter: “I’m just happy to be playing the game of basketball,” he’d say smiling. But, Michael how do you feel about famine, politics, the WNBA , cartoons, HANES underwear, tacos, anything” “I’m thrilled to do what I can for the ball club . The Bulls are home to me”  ~ Shonda Rhimes~

I was really great at giving people surface level answers, but then glossing over them with an optimistic smile and a bright and shiny, happy answer that would be very believable. I would then go home and stuff everything down with a cocktail of food. I was sent home from that session with a three page list of feeling words. My goal was that when I wanted to eat I had to stop, grab the list and read through the words till I found something that resonated, stop, experience it and then process it.

Thus began some very uncomfortable and interesting weeks. I was cranky, irritable, short, angry and well…. Justbaby picture the face to the right on a daily basis. I would sit, try to figure out what was going on, get very frustrated, but there I would sit. Over time I noticed that I got very in touch with anger, anxiety, sadness, panic and worry. The physical sensations that would show up in my body became warning signs. Those five feelings were some of my closest BFF’s. I started to get very present to the impact living in this mental state was having on my health. Cue the tears.

I have been practicing this whole “feeling” thing for a few months now and my life doesn’t quite look the same. I speak up more, standing up for myself. I feel like I can see things clearer, people for who they really are, despite the words coming out of their mouth. Getting present to and taking responsibility for some choices and decisions in your life can be a difficult pill to swallow. When you start to share some honest feelings with people you thought were your friends and family, you realize that feelings don’t just make me uncomfortable, they make EVERYONE uncomfortable. There are very few people that like to face them. Some ignore them, lie to themselves about them, eat them, drink them, snort them or shop them away. I realize now that the only one responsible for my feelings is me. Your friends, co-workers and even family members will do and say things that will be hurtful. Finally being able to turn around and express whatever comes up for me in a healthy manner is a great gift I am developing for myself.

For a brief moment I thought that having this breakthrough I would magically drop 100lbs, weird how that didn’t happen….lol. But what has happened is food doesn’t have the same power that it did. The foods I used to crave don’t taste good, they taste quite….gross. A bag of chips that wouldn’t make it 2 hours once past my front door, now last almost two weeks. Ice cream or baked goods, which had a life span of minutes, now last days.  There have been a couple times where I have caught myself eating and when I stop and look it is purely out of habit, muscle memory.

No journey is perfectly laid out and what I previously thought was my destination is changing as I change. What I used to accept and be ok with no longer works.  Learning how to set boundaries and not be a push over or doormat.  Walking down the street looking up and smiling…what feels like…a genuine smile for the first time in a very long time.

I have started to get in touch with honesty and with honesty comes passion, freedom and even happiness and joy.

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Tacos & Blisters….

Monday...DONE!

Monday…DONE!

Tired….that is the only word that I can use to describe myself right now. I know it is going to take my body some getting used to with these 5AM wake up calls, but holy moly…I just wanna climb into bed and sleep. Then I remembered that I owe you peeps a post!

I have a small confession….Saturday and Sunday were not spent completely off the wagon, more of a holding onto the reins as the wagon spins mildly out of control. Ok, yes I realize that that analogy is somewhere between a wagon, horses and a car. Wagons don’t drive themselves…oh bugger, nevermind, if you can’t sort that one out on your own you need sleep like I do.

Saturday was met with some fries for lunch, because someone didn’t pack a snack for her short shift at work. Saturday evening was met with Tacos and a margarita with one of the girls from work. In our haste to leave work and eat Tacos I left my runners at work. Sunday then involved a pair of very old runners that caused a really bad blister on my left heal… oh, and it also involved eating pizza. Refusing to skip the gym I took those old runners and headed to the gym yesterday morning were I absolutely crushed a cardio/weight session! It was an amazing feeling to accomplish that so early in the morning. I was quite proud of myself. I have a lot of work to do on my push ups and I still hate burpees with a fiery red passion, but I did it!

Here is what I got from the weekend. Excess weight is typically driven by an avoidance of dealing with an emotional issue or feelings, when you begin to process and peel back the layers to those issues and feelings you are left with the genuine choice of ” Do I want to eat that?” “Do I enjoy eating that?” “Does it taste good?” Did I eat perfect, no. However, for the first time I made the conscious choice to eat those foods. I didn’t eat them to stuff an emotion or avoid a feeling, which is absolutely what previously drove my eating habits. As I work on my mental game and peel back the layers of why I eat it is giving me the strength and drive to make conscious informed choices when I am presented with those foods. For the record I no longer enjoy fries, they are really quite gross, but tacos and pizza….yup those are keepers for sure!

This week I am going to add another gym session, bringing it to 4 this week with a good mixture of cardio and weight training. I have prepped all my protein sources for the week and meals, up until Thursday. I am feeling strong and looking forward to what this week will bring, who knows maybe I will actually complete a box jump this week…maybe…

Never What You Think…

This is my "meh" face lol

This is my “meh” face, taken Friday after the gym

It is Saturday morning…pouring rain in Vancouver….and I decided to step on the scale. Not a number I was hoping to see, but if I am honest, it has been some time since I have stepped on a scale. It is higher than the last time and I am struggling to not pick up the proverbial mental bat. It very well could be smaller than last week, but I don’t know because I have been avoiding the scale…..hmmm need to sit with this one for a minute.

35minutes later….

Ok….so I haven’t been doing all this work on my mental game to let a number dictate how awesome I felt this week. It isn’t about watching the number go down on a scale this time. It is about making better choices and eating mindfully. It is about moving more and getting to the gym because it is something I really enjoy doing. It is about building a relationship with my mind, body and soul. The number on the scale is only one tool to gauge how well I am doing that, not the only tool. You can read a billion and one articles and I am simply going to summarize with this…..that number does not define me or who I am. It does not define what I accomplished this week. Here is what I did kick ass at this week…

  1. After not having been to the gym in a couple months, I went 3 times… IN THE MORNING. I left each time with a sense of accomplishment
  2. I hit 10K on the ol’ Fitbit EVERY day this week and I haven’t done that IN MONTHS!
  3. I ate mindfully everyday this week. I was 100% conscious to every piece of food that went into my mouth. I made smart decisions. I made 90% good choices with 10% fun choices. Over the last couple months it has been a lot more of the fun choices than the good choices…LOL!

I have said this before and I will say it again….I am also not the first once to rip off this phrase….this is a marathon, not a sprint. Habits, patterns, and goals take time to develop and achieve. I am investing a lot in the mental game this time around to have a number take me off track.

Time to crush the weekend!

Thursday's walk with the bestie...we killed the 10K step goal after a healthy yummy vegan dinner :)

Thursday’s walk with the bestie…we killed the 10K step goal after a healthy yummy vegan dinner 🙂

Stupid Muscles….

Shameless gym shower selfie after a hard cardio & core session yesterday

Shameless gym shower selfie after a hard cardio & core session yesterday

So….normally I type my posts the night before…however when I arrived home last night I was a new level of tired. I was in bed and asleep by 9:45. I woke up this morning and my body was all kinds of sore and the minute I attempted to role over in bed my abs were having no part of it! So I had a conversation with myself. Should I a.) push through the soreness and mild lower back pain, not write a post today and go to the gym for my planned workout or b.) listen to my body get up, write a post, do some really good stretching and convince the bff that is coming over for dinner tonight to go for a walk….I chose b….which you probably gathered as you are currently reading a post!

It was a tough decision because part of me doesn’t want to lose momentum and is really enjoying my morning workouts, but the other part of me has to remember that I haven’t moved my body like this in some time, so I need to listen to my bodies signals to avoid injury, which would take me out for a longer period of time. I have some pretty temperamental hip muscles which can send my lower back into spasm quite easily. As I try to strengthen those muscles to avoid this from happening I don’t want to cause them to spasm by not listening to my body. Oh, and the bff was texted (yes, she gets up early too…FYI it is 5:45am as I type this) and we are walking this evening pending a rain storm…..

What I lug from home, gym,work and home on gym days...call me bag lady ;)

What I lug from home, gym,work and home on gym days…call me bag lady 😉

The mental game of weight loss is a tough one because for 95% of people with weight issues it is a mental issue that has the weight present on the body. I have been doing work recently on the mental side of this game. This morning I had to utilize a couple “tools” to have the conversation with myself that didn’t involve beating myself up with a “mental bat” for not going to the gym and being a “big baby” with some muscle soreness and trusting my body’s signals to rest. We all have that voice in our head that chimes in with opinions and comments that is difficult to silence. There was a part of me last night that thought that this was going to happen this morning because the muscle soreness and lower back was already setting in, but I still packed for the gym and promised myself I would check in in the morning, so here we are!

I am off to do a bit more stretching and get ready for the day, but going to leave you with a pretty cute video to make you giggle…mildly

Conspiracy….

The universe was testing my will yesterday morning! I slept through one alarm, rushed out of the house and then, in an effort to save myself 10 mins, I hopped on the skytrain where I sat….between stations….for 30 mins. Feeling a bit defeated I was tempted to turn around and go home, but instead I decided to come up with a plan B. I had planned on doing 45 mins of cardio and then a killer core workout, but as my time on the skytrain ticked on, I had to remove something, so the core workout got the axe.

I am not gonna lie…working out in the morning gives me this sense of satisfaction. It is done, off my plate and I don’t have to think about my workout for the remainder of the day. I get to come after work and relax, prep for the next day, maybe watch a tv show, write a post….kinda love it!

I spend a majority of today trying to come up with a whitty name, set some goals for this challenge I laid down yesterday…. and the bottom lines is ….I just want to get out of bed every morning, crush my workouts, eat healthy and mindfully, accomplish some things I have never done before, go on some adventures, explore and create some memories. No pressure, no shame, no sabotage just doing what I said I would and repairing the relationship with my body.  The only promise I want to make is to myself that starting with these 30 days my relationship with my mind and my body is more important than anything else. Without this healthy relationship I am unable to support and give back to others when my tank is on empty.

With the recent passing of Muhammad Ali, he had this one line that I have been hearing over and over again in my head this week “I’m gonna show you how great I am.” Living for a great life, not just any life. So….I am going to write everyday for the next 30 days as a way to stay accountable, it will mostly be health and fitness related, but there will also be some other little yummy tidbits thrown in!

Life….

IMG_0352

Hiked Rattlesnake Point…kind of an epic view!

Well hello there party peeps….yes, it has been some time. Life has definitely been…”life”ing!

There has been a lot going on over the last few months and I needed to take a step away. I needed to take a few deep breathes, some personal time and sort things out for myself. It hasn’t been easy, there have been tears, moments of self discovery and tapping into a level of strength that I didn’t know I had. I feel as if my eyes are starting to open for the first time, the blinders are coming off and I am standing up for myself, what I believe in and what I want. Now, those that know me are probably thinking…”Hmmm the Nikki I know isn’t much of a wallflower or doormat.” Let me just say, what you see on the outside is very different from what is going on on the inside. I have debated if I was even going to continue this blog…my domain name came up for renewal last week and I had to sit down and give it some thought and when I dug deep, I miss the writing…it is therapeutic and it helps me so….for purely selfish reasons ya’ll are stuck with me, my bad grammar, crappy punctuation, and poor English skills!

With that said I am kicking off my return with another 30 day challenge. Don’t ask me the name, because I literally just decided that as I was sitting here typing this, so by tomorrow’s post I will have the name and the details! Here is what I know so far….

  1. I have started a new job that has very different hours from my old, so my workouts now have switched to mornings….let me tell you I am NOT a morning person, but I am going to make the necessary adjustments, because the whole not going to the gym is not an option
  2. It is summer time and I have made a list of summertime activities that I am going to explore – some of these activities are solo for a reason and some of them I am very welcoming of friends and family to join. I will provide the list in a post this week!

My goal for this 30 day challenge is health and fitness….getting back in the groove, feeding my soul and for one of the first times in my life, doing things for me because I want to!

Stay tuned for all the details….

 

Project 37 – Day 13

PhotoGrid_1455551258445_resizedGood Morning Peeps!

So in the interest of 100% honesty, I went a bit sideways this weekend, but learnt some really great lessons!

Saturday I was a bit of a lazy sloth and didn’t really get off the couch until 3pm when I headed up to the grocery store because I had done zero grocery shopping for the weekend. Mistake number one. Going grocery shopping when hungry. Here is where my “cheat meal” turned into a “cheat evening.” I had decided that my cheat meal was going to be one of those Delissio oven pizza’s. I don’t know what it is about them, but I love them! Shameful fact, I used to be able to eat a whole one by myself. I ate 3 slices on Saturday and I was so full. I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea, but about an hour later I added jelly beans and wine gums, then some chips. By about 10pm I had the most horrific stomach ache. I was trying to will my body to vomit, just to get the pain to stop. I climbed into bed with a bottle of tums and had the worst nights sleep with several visits to the bathroom.

Sunday morning I woke up at about 8am and I could still feel that my tummy was off. I had hot water with a slice of lemon. I was spending the afternoon with my cousin and I knew I wasn’t going to have anything at the theatre. Mistake number two. I ate 2 slices of left over pizza at noon and 15mins later my tummy was unhappy. The rest of the pizza then went into the compost. Lots of water, some serious laughing at the new Deadpool movie and my cousin and I were off to a new Mexican restaurant that opened in New West called El Santo. Mistake number three. I am new to the world of spicy foods. This food was so insanely delicious! I highly recommend this place if you are looking for really great Mexican food! A plate of green peppers arrived at our table and the waitress smiled and informed us that eating this is like playing Russian Roulette, there were a couple hot ones and some plain ones. I got two spicy ones and there was a lot of food consumed….again….I was once again willing the pain to stop because I was once again dealing with a very unhappy tummy. With no one to blame but myself, I ate nothing the rest of the night but Tums and warm water.

I am looking forward to returning to clean/healthy eating this week. Flushing my system of the toxins and crushing some workouts at the gym!

Lesson #12: My tummy can not handle food like it used to. This is a very good, very painful lesson to learn. The foods you once enjoyed no longer serve you purpose or enjoyment! Listen to your body!

Lesson #13: Listen to your body! I know I know, I promise I don’t mean this in the same way as lesson #12. We are all born with and develop a natural intuition. Over the years, some of us learn to ignore it, second guess it, or some develop it and use it as a very useful tool in their lives. Here is what I have schooled in about it recently. NEVER EVER ignore it. In the times I ignored it, I shouldn’t  have and in the times I listened, I was bang on. Trust yourself, trust your instincts and never be afraid to stand up for them.

Love: My family. I come from a ridiculously large family. Some members I am close with, some I only see at family functions. As nutty and silly as my family is at times I am very thankful that no matter what, no matter how long it has been, I have a team of people that always have my back!

This mornings 5 min dance party was brought to you by…