Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The end of the road.

What a long hiatus in blogging. 
One might think that the author of this blog is negligent and apathetic.
Perhaps this is true in many ways.
However, I should share, there have been many thoughts that have kept me back from this particular form of expression. 

First of all, I have REALLY been enjoying the work of a dear friend. Barb Janicek is an incredibly gifted researcher and writes so beautifully about fitness trends, reviews products and explores the hills and valleys of the weight loss journey. With that kind of talent on the board, I have been happy to take a step back and be a reader, not a writer. Read her stuff here, it's good I promise : http://www.myguttellsme.com/ 

Next, I have been working A LOT - I began selling Epicure recently (3rd job on the table for those who might be keeping track). If you know the products you will know that they really align well with my journey to "health" - with food making up more than 80% of the results we experience in fitness, preparing meals quicker, eating healthy and ENJOYING food has been wonderful. If you are an Epicure junkie like me, or you'd like to know more, check out my website (or shoot me off an email and let me give you my quick commercial, I promise I'm not a pushy sales woman, just a passionate lover of knowing what is in my food). http://aliciabecker.myepicure.com/

(Here's my one and only flashy plug) Ask me about: 

-Cooking a juicy delicious chicken breast or fish fillet in 2 minutes
-Healthy, AFFORDABLE, natural, low sodium, gluten free, nut free alternatives to grocery store products you use every day.
-How to get a free shopping spree!!

Finally, I have struggled over the last few months with the continued emotive, drag myself through the gutter kind of experience of blogging my journey while I live in the valleys. How helpful is it for you to continue to hear about my bad days (or weeks, or months)? How helpful is it for me to express my goals here on these pages when I so often miss the mark (read: unrealistic expectations I set for myself)? My psyche has taken a beating, my own doing, because I have often not had the will power or the desire to meet my own targets. It's been a long journey the last few months, of self discovery and learning to live "in my own skin." 

They say when you turn 30 you finally get it. You learn to love yourself and you stop caring what other people think. I've been dreaming of that day for YEARS. I would love to say it just happens, and that when you wake up on the day after your 30th birthday your whole perspective changes. That's not true though. 

What is true? (Gosh I love lists)

1. After 30 years of living with myself I've realized that I often allow the small voices to speak most clearly, and they're mean little assholes.

2. After 7 years of being more intentional about my health and fitness I've realized that I need to be content at EVERY moment, wherever I am or I will live in a pattern of self hatred and disappointment. I need to learn to be me in EVERY body, EVERY size and in EVERY situation rather than allow the small voices to tell me that I'm less than okay.  The last 7 years have been a journey in, "I'm almost done" - implying that I'm not fully me yet. I'm fully me, whether I'm a size 12 or a size 6. 

3. I am obsessed with indulgence. I desire over-stimulation and over-indulgence and I am killing myself slowly by allowing that obsession to rule me more often than my will. (This is a hard one. Over-indulgence is okay every once and awhile, but lately - again - I find myself filling any sort of emotional void in my life with stimulants that do not include exercise and tasty healthy food. It doesn't help that my life is in hyper-drive all of the time, it's one of my greatest triggers. I work hard, therefore I deserve a treat. Un-sustainable, un-healthy and un-productive habits are born from such sentiments).

4. After a few weeks of thinking like this I've realized that I've got a LONG way to go until change really sticks. Dangit. 

The drive to move myself forward has been lacking so much the last few months, but I think that this new big of self-understanding launches me on a new trajectory. I can no longer consider myself an ugly lump on the way to being beautiful. I need to claim what beauty I have and allow myself to believe that it is worth sharing or at least living in. I need to coax MYSELF out of the dark and into the light and I need to stop blogging about being healthy and actually just DO it. 

So. I believe this is the end of the road.
I may be wrong, but I'm usually not... (just ask Cliff)

To all of you who are with me on this fitness journey, be encouraged - because if you're on the journey at all you are doing great things. I have LOVED hearing your stories and reading your comments. If anything has encouraged me to keep going it is seeing the progress and the hard slugging work of all of you!

The community of people who have read this blog has been so supportive and caring, and for that I Thank You. Please don't be strangers, walking the journey alone is so isolating, but walking it together with all of you has been my greatest joy. 

Keep moving ;) 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Obsession - One thing at a time...

If you're like me, you have a short attention span, a knack for finding the sweetest and most delicious treats when you are feeling emotional, and a habit of becoming engulfed in something completely...until you're not.

I was talking to a friend the other day about stress eating. 
She asked, "Why don't you just replace it with stress working out?"

Great idea - That's another thing I do sometimes...

When I have an obsession, I own it...until I don't any more... 

Obsessive Working Out - 1 time a day, 300 calories minimum, late night "oops I ate too many calories" workouts, tracking calories like a crazy person, weighing myself and re-evaluating my process EVERY DAY, avoiding the cinnabon hallway at the mall, talking about being healthy ALL THE TIME (until friends stop calling)

Obsessive "stress" Eating - Treats whenever I feel like it, an "I deserve this" attitude, eating until I'm full, ignoring calories because (I'll deal with these later, I'm too stressed to think about it), intentionally placing myself near snacks that I think I might like (poutine, gluten free cakes, rice crispies from Norris), eating whatever I want ALL THE TIME (until I stop calling friends - who wants to be the girl who gave up on working out and IT SHOWS!!!), lol

Obsessive Budgeting - Checking my bank balance every 3 hours, reminding myself of my goals, beating myself up for buying coffee instead of making it, talking about budgeting and healthy finances ALL THE TIME (until my friends feel bad for me and start buying me coffee so I shut up about it, LOL). 

Heck, I was obsessed with video games for awhile. Skyrim specifically. Noble questing through an imaginary world, fighting dragons, casting spells, battling evil. No big deal...

Sometimes I feel like I can only do one thing REALLY well ALL the time. It's a self defeating attitude, but there it is.

(This is why I probably shouldn't have kids)

I admire people who seem to have it all together all of the time. I envy them. (Though I'm told everyone is just faking it, and that gives me a little hope).

So today I come back to this place (again) where I recognize my shortfalls and pick up the pieces. I'm telling the inner voices to take a hike and I'm replacing their nagging with: 

This will be a better week. 
I will not allow stress to get the better of me. 
I will take it all one day at a time.
I'm good at this.

Gosh I must be an adult or something. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Phase 3....the cycle unravels

So last week I hit phase three of my fitness cycle. 

Just to remind you, steps 1 and 2 are as follows: 

1. Wait miserably through what feels like fitness hell and healthy eating torture while not one ounce of love          handle appears to budge.

2. Become inVINCible....or at least feel invincible when you start to see subtle changes, this is a precarious       stage because it can quickly fold into a, "I'm good right here" attitude followed by a, "who cared in the first      place" mantra...to avoid this detour is to truly begin down this enlightened path. 

Now onto last week's snag. 

3. Become NEUROTIC - truly, down to the last calorie. 

I've been tracking again through MyFitnessPal.com. I love it because it allows me to casually track things throughout the day and provides data ongoing about my eating patterns, my fibre/protein/carb intake and a minute by minute view of my day in terms of how many calories in and how many out...based on a goal of course. 

However, having just come from the invincibility stage and glowing with it's warmth, I begin to allow small thoughts to change my healthy patterns into NOT so healthy patterns. 

It's totally healthy to lose about 2lbs a week. In fact it is PROVEN that if you lose at a small weekly increment you are more likely to keep the weight off in the long run. Pushing your body through large weight loss increments affects your metabolism negatively as well as causing your body to react to the lack of carbohydrates by exhibiting symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, and exhaustion. If you can make it through those symptoms to the big "Hurrah!" you will be dissapointed to find that the weight begins to quickly creep back on when normal eating habits resume. 

I say all that because I think it is important to let you know that I KNOW....but there's something about being able to control your weight loss pound for pound each day by taking late night trips to the gym, skipping out on a snack or pushing my body through exhaustion to burn that last 200 calories (so that I can eat more on the weekend, says my foolish inner voice)

I've long since stopped intentionally gorging myself on the weekend (though it's a hard habit to break and I love food), but I've replaced a relaxed sense of freedom on weekends with a neurotic effort all week long. Gotta make the weekly total!! It feels so good to CONTROL my calorie intake/output. It feels so good to see the quick changes as my tummy starts to slim down and my pants fit a bit looser. 

So I fight for a balance. Every day. 

Haven't decided yet, but stage 4 in this battle may just be exhaustion and self preservation. I'll let you know as the days go on. 

Thanks for reading, all the best to you as you unravel your patterns and seek balance in your life! 

Namaste :) 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Speaking of invincibility

I wish I were invincible. 
As it stands, I would even take invincible will power. 

Last time I wrote a little bit about my fitness cycle, let me elaborate:
The cycle starts with that slow "never-gonna-end" kind of stage...

1. I'm eating well but I still feel like a fat kid
2. I'm exercising, but what's the point? 

3. I have goals, but the scale doesn't seem to want to play nicely. 

Then I head into the invincible stage. 
Now what does that look like? 

1. People start to notice/comment on my progress
2. I start to notice my own progress (in that order)
3. Clothes start to fit differently
4. I'm in a "groove" with eating
5. I FEEL healthy and strong and fit. 
6. MOST CHARACTERISTIC: I feel like I've never been anything but fit and healthy. 

What often happens when I'm deep enough into this stage is: 


Self fulfilling prophecy: I can't do this, I'll never be able to do this. 

and begins the cycle of guilt. 

Sometimes recognizing patterns is the most helpful way to make a different choice. 

So because I recognize this pattern I've been taking it day by day, or at least week by week. 
I pack my lunches and think about lunches one day ahead. 
I go to the gym and burn a few hundred extra calories when I know I'm going "out"
I recognize that even though I ate 1.5 days worth of extra calories on the weekend - every day is a new day and if I live in the guilt of yesterday I will only ever achieve the results of yesterday's choices. 

Head up. Keep moving. Do what you can. 

Food is my greatest battle. Some days I win, some days I lose. 
Whatever happens, don't give up. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Slow Part of the Road

You may have noticed that I have lost a bit of steam over the last few months. 
Reasons for this change have included: 

1. Sense of dissapointment in self - not meeting goals
2. Less time to commit to blogging (or do anything else in life)

No apologies to make. Just a few thoughts that have been floating in this brain as of late. Take them for what they are. 

The question I have asked myself (over and over) is WHY?
Why do I fail to stick with my goals? 
Why do I work my ass off just to turn around and head back to the beginning again? 
Why is life so hard *whine* *whine* *whine*?!?!

lol. That last question was really all for comedy. But seriously. 

I heard somewhere the other day that telling someone about your goals can actually release the same "acheivement" endorphins in your brain as actually getting there. (Wish I had some credible website to quote here, but it is just as likely to have been the John Tesh Radio show...reallllly credible source, you know?)

Credible or not, this made me really question how helpful this blog has been to me (as I found myself in a loop of setting goals and watching myself fail). I can see in myself how it could be true. I recognize the feeling of lift or release when talking to someone about goals and being affirmed in my desires to achieve those goals. 

I'm going to go for a run tonight - can be a promise or a way to seek accountability...it can also be the beginning of a long night of guilt when I feel too lazy or too tired to get my butt out the door. 

I have been reflecting on my first steps into the world of fitness. What made me so successful that time around? Could it be that I only really told one person what I was doing? Could it be that I quietly tracked my progress by hand each day? Could it be that I wasn't working 60 hours a week? No one thing really captures the full picture. 

Suffice to say it has not felt as easy this time around. The same 30 pounds are hanging around like an unwelcome house guest, convincing me at every turn that I should further extend the arms of hospitality rather than lose my cool and show them where the door is. 

I'm in the first 2-4 weeks of effort now. These are the slow weeks. The weeks where nothing feels like it's going to work, no amount of effort makes me feel like I've done enough, and every bite above that calorie goal makes me feel like a fat kid. (These are also the weeks of late night gym trips - trying to fix all the mistakes of the day). If I can get through this first part of the journey I know what comes next - The invincible stage...I'm terrified. Can I break through misconceived invincibility to make it to the next road? Do I even know the way anymore? 

No lofty goals - every day is a new day. Gotta make them all count for something.

Happy Weekending Friends!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hey Look! A Bandwagon!!

New Years, New Goals...New potential for failure? 


Is it enough of a potential for me to just forgo this opportunity to pull my S&*# together and get back in shape?


Do I regret that it sometimes takes something so cliche and unfortunate as New Years Resolutions to get me back on the bandwagon? 


That being said. Clothes are too tight, every shirt I wear makes me look like I'm trying to get something for free and my booty is beginning to regain it's own gravitational pull. Enough is enough. 

For a bit of day-by-day inspiration take a look at this young woman's 100 day journey
100 days. Could you do it? Could I? 
Guess I better grab a calendar! 

Onward and upward Friends! 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Tough....or at least trying...


Tough Mudder training program. 
I hesitate to spend too much time talking about it, for fear that you will pressure me into actually doing this. 
But the workout is crazy intense, and makes me think I could eventually become invincible. 

Something happened to me on Saturday morning. It's not often that I have these moments, but somewhere between thinking that I might not make it through a whole Group Power class (about mid-way through the warm up), and the third track (chest)...

I did a push up. 
I did a bunch of push ups. 
I did enough push ups to prove to myself that I could do it. 
and it felt good. 

So, why not push it a bit farther? 
My dear friend (and fellow crazy) is training to participate in the 2014 September Tough Mudder. 
I have not yet committed to doing this, but I HAVE committed to the training. 
At least until I become god-like and un-stoppable (or I die). 
Tonight was workout #2 on this program. 
I'll keep you posted.

Wish me luck ;)