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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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….

Freedom!…

PhotsAnyone curious what my body is saying to me today?

Yesterday was a day of surprises. It is amazing the things your body will tell you when you take a minute, stop and listen. I noticed that I got used to operating with a certain level of discomfort, a muscle twitch or even indigestion. When you pay attention and inquire as to what may be causing the issue, you realize how much better moving through the day is when those things no longer exist. Yesterday, I went the whole day without indigestion, it was fantastic! I forgot what it was like to go an entire day without that sensation in my chest. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a severe case of indigestion, but merely my body’s way of telling me that something I am still eating, post gallbladder removal, now belongs on the no-fly list.  Sadly, I believe it is my favourite protein bars. Not eating one of those is one of the only things I can think of that I changed yesterday, so I am testing it again today and I gotta be honest, not terribly excited about eating one again to see, so I think I will simply go in search of a new protein bar that doesn’t cause me pain.

On the topic of eating yesterday, I did great up until I was packing my lunch last night. I made the decision a few weeks back to join Weight Watchers….again. I was packing and noticed that I still had 11 points left to eat for the day. I saw some yogurt covered cranberries and thought “Those can’t be that bad.” Made by this sweet older lady at her little shop in Fort Langley. I can read and pronounce the few ingredients that are on the list. I had eating about 10 when I thought that I am just gonna check the point value. OH SWEET JESUS!!! All of a sudden, that sweet old lady, was the witch from Hansel & Gretel. Her cranberry salad dressing is THE BOMB, but those yogurt covered demons are now being consumed by the security guards at work.

I headed to the gym after work, for the first time in about 6/7 months. It was the same lady behind the desk, she smiled and said, “Welcome back!” BUSTED, she remembered me. I smiled and told her that if she didn’t see me in an hour to send help. It was good to be back in the gym, I forgot how much I missed it. There is apart of me that feels like I half assed my workout, and there is a part of me that was just SUPER proud for going. My legs this morning are stiff and muscle sore, in the good way. I was on the elliptical for 30 mins, broke a nice sweat and then I saw it, a machine I loathe…..the rowing machine. Suddenly, as if my legs weren’t jelly enough, I found myself sitting down at it! For a few minutes, I heard a former personal trainer in my head “Thank your legs for sharing, let’s go” so away I went. I did 3 sets of 200m with a short rest in between and I beat my time each set! Thank you for being the voice in my head Emilia! I left the gym feeling accomplished and proud, that was when the voice set it “You could have stayed longer, pushed harder.” I reminded myself, that it was great to show up and next time I will come armed with a proper workout planned. Sometimes that battle you fight for yourself is the battle that goes on inside your head, the mental one.

My body is a happy stiff and sore one. I contemplated this morning, as I was packing my bag and typing this post, returning to the gym this afternoon. I stopped, listened to my muscles and we have happily agreed on a yoga DVD that I have here at home. I will do my best to contort my body into these bizarre positions that are supposed to bring to a deeper Zen.

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.

A Funeral…

image

You know when you have one of those cries, the really therapeutic ones. The one where your face is all red and puffy, and you had no idea it was human possible for your body to produce that much fluid and go through that much Kleenex, all the while wondering what is causing this.

That was me, last night. I was curled up on the couch watching TLC’s “The Little Couple” when it started.  In an effort to distract myself, I did the dishes, didn’t work, tears still flowed. I had a long hot shower, didn’t work, tears still flowed. Getting concerned about dehydration I started to drink some tea and I started to reflect on the day, to get to the source of the tears.

I received an email from Emilia, my trainer. It’s scary how well she knows me. She sent me a link with a request to do this challenge with her. Thinking it was some sort of run, obstacle course or fitness challenge I clicked on the link. Boy was I wrong! It was a “Love Your Body Challenge” (http://mollygalbraith.com/2014/03/im-baaaaaack/). I read the article and instantly started shaking my head with a forceful “Not in your life” motion. Now a reaction like that was quickly followed by a text to Emilia that said “I’m in.” Yesterday I sat down and began to answer the first 10 questions which really have you address how you feel, act, talk and respond to thoughts about your body. I wrote out in detail my responses to the questions. Some of the questions I have answered before and some of them I have previously avoided answering. I was 100% honest.

In addition, on Friday I spent some time with a guy friend that proceeded to have a conversation with me about my body, and why he liked it and why I didn’t. It was different having this conversation with a guy, from his perspective. It was a really, very difficult conversation to have. I have spent all my life telling myself that no guy will ever love my body, then to have a man sitting in front of me telling me he did…..

Now, it was all starting to make sense. I have been going through a lot of change over the last few months. My father passing away, leaving an old, comfortable, unhappy job for a better more exciting new one, facing life, taking charge, making changes, putting in an effort to view my life and the world from a newer, happier, brighter perspective. Taking on this challenge and taking the first step to start loving myself more than anything else. Last night was a funeral, putting to rest the destructive parts of me and working to embrace me, for everything that I am.

Join the challenge 🙂