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.

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!

Protein & Tuna…

Photo2Sleep, all I want to do is sleep. I feel like I am getting all my days messed up with these daily posts! I wake up, get ready for work and type the post for yesterday before leaving for work, but sometimes I have so much to say about what has already happened in the 45 mins I have been awake that I get confused and forget that I have to wait till tomorrow to share it, because today ya’ll are reading about yesterday! Oi, it is to early for this today, my Keurig is making a weird sound as I am making my coffee for the commute to work and that has my worry mode in overdrive, because me without coffee…..I can’t even think #coffeeforlife!

Yesterday was a great day! I lugged all of my gym stuff to work with me in the morning and because of the late day the day before my boss let me peace out just before 2! It was super sunny and GOREGOUS outside. I was that annoying person on the bus humming. I got to the gym and there was hardly anyone there. I killed my cardio session and decided that I was going to do some upper body….stood there for about 5 mins feeling like a fish out of water. Quickly went to Pinterest, grabbed an upper body workout and went to town. In between I threw in some planks and that was when I noticed the voice inside my head going to town. I am not as strong as I used to be, you are using 10lbs weights, when you used to use 15’s or 20’s. You can only hold the plank for 30 seconds, you used to be able to hold a minute. You know that little drill sergeant that lives in everyone’s head that is always reminding you about how good or bad you are. How you can or can’t do something……an annoying little sucker it is. I just kept reminding myself that being there is what counts. Being in the gym, moving and working the muscles is what matters.

I left the gym feeling so pumped, I was so full of energy. Working out really is the best anti depressant. I grabbed some fruit, veggies and coconut milk and this is where things took a turn. Having my big gym bag and two heavy bags of groceries I decided to cheat and take the bus up the hill. Now….anyone who lives in New Westminster, BC knows that this is acceptable because it has A LOT of hills and some of them are quite steep, well….there was an accident after the first stop. I could sit and wait, but the litre of water I drank at the gym and my thawing frozen fruit had a different plan. I got off the bus and began the climb and the walk. I believe there was one or two text messages that went out to my friends and family about loving them because I was going to die. I made it and then this is where mistake number two happened. I had so many points left to eat in the day, I am always normally left with points, but I still had 27. So, I opted for a protein smoothie and a tuna melt, that was the mistake. That combination did not sit well in my digestive system at all. Have you ever experienced burping up a chocolate protein smoothie with tuna, yeah…it is worse than it sounds, take my word for it.

I have some sore muscles in my body this morning that are protesting excessive movement so…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.

I’m Fat…

FatI know the title is quite….blunt, at least it is for me. For the longest time I had this adverse reaction when ever anyone used the word “fat” around me. I would get ridiculously bent out of shape, anger and sometimes even rage would take over. I despised being called fat and would pitch a fit that could put a toddler tantrum to shame, then…

I saw this photo a couple weeks back and it started to percolate. Then I started thinking about women like, Tess Holiday, Whitney Thorpe and even Ashley Graham. For the record, I do not consider Ashley Graham fat in any way share or form, but bare with me, I have a point….I promise.  When these three women started to appear in social media, for the various reasons they did, I was irritated. I was not on board with what they were preaching to the masses. They were all talking about body confidence, body positivity, loving your body at any size and other varying forms of those messages. I was not “picking up” what they were “puttin’ down.” I would get bent out of shape and angry when people would ask me what I thought about their message. Then last week Tess posted on Snapchat and Instagram her experience with an Uber driver who was shaming her for her size. As someone has had that same experience, also the reason I will never set foot in a Royal City Taxi again, it really got me thinking. Tess fought for herself in that video. She didn’t post that video to shame him in return, she posted that video to show that this is not OK, shaming someone is not OK. I tried to remember when the last time I fought for myself was….it took a while to remember….

I don’t fight for myself, so much so that earlier this year it caused an argument with my best friend, where we didn’t talk for a week. If you know me and her you know that is like years in our world! She was fighting for me and my health and I wasn’t. I wait until my body is screaming at me before I do anything. Case in point, my gallbladder. I had so many symptoms but I ignored them. Work needed me, friends needed me, the new series I was binge watching on Netflix needed to be finished. I landed myself in the hospital for a week in more pain than I can ever explain. Then, in February my gallbladder came out, 3 days later I was back working from home,10 days later I was back at work, 6 weeks later I was back in the surgeon’s office getting a warning about my recovery.

So, I discovered this little nugget of insight and sat down in a session with my amazeballs counselor lady and the tears started flowing. Here is the thing. I am fat. I have excess weight, more than the average person. Me being fat is just a fact, it doesn’t define me as a person and it doesn’t mean that I am not capable of doing things and it certainly doesn’t mean I am not beautiful. But…you have to stand up and fight for yourself and for your body. Fat people do, more so than others because when people see you, they love to jump to conclusions. They assume all your numbers like cholesterol and thyroid function are all out of wack. They assume that you are diabetic or at the very least pre-diabetic. I am not and all my numbers are in the perfect/normal range and I am taking that for granted, so I am going to fight for myself and stop waiting for my body to scream at me before listening.

The last time I remember fighting for myself was a year, may two years back, when I did a 30 Day Challenge with myself. I was dialed into my body functions, I was exercising regularly, eating in a way that was respectful to my body and I loved every day of that challenge. Then I stopped, because of a multitude of reasons and excuses. I am going to start that challenge over again, although, if I am honest the word challenge feels like I am setting myself up to fail already, so if you have any name ideas, feel free to chime in!

So get ready for daily posts, some funny workout selfies, and some uncomfortable moments of what fighting for yourself looks like!

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!

 

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.