Friday, August 30, 2013

Advice on Getting "Back on Track"

A little bit over a week ago, I was still struggling to lug my lazy butt back onto the weight-loss bandwagon. So, I posted on an online "Fit Camp" that I belong to, and asked for THEIR top pieces of advice about getting back on track. Here is what they had to say:

1. "Start with a support group!!!" - Amy W

2. "Meal plan!! Whenever I need to get back on track, I meal plan, list out every ingredient and hit the grocery store. I feel SOOO guilty about throwing out food I didn't eat so that way I actually cook the meals I have bought the ingredients for" - Wendy W

3. ""Schedule" your workout like you would schedule anything else." - Valori T

4. "I post my Big Girl photos on my fridge, in the pantry, in my bathroom by my mirror. To remind myself how far I have come, and how quickly I could be there again if I don't get my ass together!" -Sheila R

5. "Start small: more water less juice, re-committing to small bursts of exercise a few times a week, and letting go of guilt." - Christina F

6. "Food prep, a s*** ton of water, and some sort of exercise 4x a week! " -Patricia

7. "Change up your motivators. When I started I had pics of celebs on my fridge. Then once that impact was gone I created a vision board. A new one each month. Then I started a list of rewards for when I reach a milestone such as a tan at 50% lost, hair & nail supplement ($85) when I get to 'normal' weight range, etc. Then I also created a spreadsheet that has about 10 different calculations on it so everyday when I punch in my weight it gives me results for my lost pounds list, pounds to goal, kilos lost, kilos to goal, kilos to next milestone, percentages lost etc. and finally I use a glass chalk pen to write myself messages of encouragement around the house. That way you keep motivating yourself from lots of different angles." - Sonya

Great tips, ladies! Thanks for sharing them! And I hope that you, my readers, gain some inspiration from them!

P.S. Apparently I like using exclamation marks...dork...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LITERALLY Ran Into a Problem Yesterday

So, first of all, let me say this: when I use the word "literally", I MEAN literally. I do not confused it with the word "figuratively". And neither should you. No, it has NOT "literally" been a million years since we last saw each other. You're not LITERALLY five feet taller than your sister. Stop it. Stop it now. (With that said, we'll get to my story in a minute.)

Second of all...thank you SO MUCH to every who left comments on my "Depression Sucks" post. I received several private messages letting me know that, by putting it all out there, I have helped to make a lot of people feel more normal. While I never like to hear that others are suffering, it's good to know that I can connect with those who do. I really hope that, together, we can help break the stigma associated with mental health disorders, and help create a more compassionate community. That is so important to me.

Now, onto my story about literally running into trouble. While I was out jogging yesterday, I ran into a little problem. Can you guess what it was?

(Yes, I'm REALLY sweaty. It was hot!)

Anyway, in case you can't tell...those are bugs all over my chest. BUGS. You know those teeny little ones that swarm around you in in the summer, right at eye level? Well, I guess I ran through one too many clouds of them, because this is what I looked like when I got home. Attractive, yes? My daughter was so confused. And I felt gross. Guess who took a shower right away?

And with that, I'll end my lame story of the day with a much BETTER picture:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blither and Blather

This was me last week:

“Darn you, coworkers! Bringing in cookies and chocolate and forcing it down my throat…can’t you see that I brought a banana with me to try to keep things healthy? You’re going DOWN.”

(Yeah yeah yeah…darn ME and my limited willpower, you say. Well, right now I’m in a sassy-frassy mood, and I don’t feel like accepting responsibility for my own problems, mmkay?)

And here is me this week:

Willpower? No problem! You can keep your cookies and cakes – I got my oatmeal for lunch and I’m feeling skinnier already!

Sometimes, it just takes a change in perspective to make ourselves feel better. And having confidence DEFINITELY helps with weight loss, I’ve learned.

It’s funny – before, when I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t care about having self-confidence. I thought that if I felt good about myself, I’d stop caring about my weight-loss goals. It was so wrong of me to think that way. I actually WANTED to hate my body, thinking it would motivate me to change. In reality, the worse I felt, the LESS motivated I was. And the more I ate. But, when I started exercising, my confidence went up very quickly. Whenever I lost a pound, made healthy choices, or noticed my clothes getting looser, I felt good about myself. And that made me want to keep going…and improve even more.

Please don’t let yourself focus only on the flaws you think you need to change. Find something about your body that you like – and flaunt it! Let yourself gain that much-deserved confidence. Because, in my experience, the better you feel about your body, the more you’ll want to take care of it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Depression Sucks

For a long time, I have debated writing a post that touched more on my struggle with depression and anxiety. One the one hand, I thought it would be somewhat cathartic and therapeutic to just put it all out there; on the other hand, it's not something that I talk about often outside of my immediate family and circle of friends. It's a sensitive subject, and one that is prone to a LOT of judgement. I get it, to a point. To those who are unaffected by them, mental health problems seem to defy logic. I know that what I and others experience is hard to understand. Even so, while understanding our struggles might be difficult, treating others with kindness should not be. If I get no other message across with this post, I hope that one sticks. We can always afford to be more kind.

Ultimately, I have decided to talk about this, after some urging from friends, in an attempt to help others. If even one or two people read this and feel more "normal" and less alone afterwards, then it will have been worth it. Please understand that every individual is different, though, and that I can only speak of what is true for me.

So, here is my life...

I wake up in the morning, and instantly wish I hadn't. To me, there is something wonderful and calming about the blissful nothingness that sleep provides. But from the moment I awake, my brain tortures me. Or at least that is what it feels like. Between the anxiety that causes my brain to LITERALLY never stop, and the negative thoughts that are a constant in my head, being awake isn't a treat. I stay in bed until the last possible minute before getting up. Because the truth is, I don't want to get up. Ever.

Time with my kids brings me joy, albeit with the proverbial cloud floating around over my head. But when I have to head off to work, it's another story. I don't work at a bad place. I don't work at a particularly stressful place. And I have great coworkers who are a pleasure to work with. There is simply no logical reason as to why heading to work should be such a problem for me, except that I CAN NOT cope. Remember when I said that my brain does not stop running along? That includes time where I am at work. I'm not sure that there is any way I can properly articulate how exhausting it is for me to try to focus my brain for hours at a time. I can feel my heart racing, my palms sweating, tears welling up in my eyes, and my internal body temperature shoot up as I try to keep myself composed. I plaster a smile on my face, and make as many lame jokes and I possibly can to keep the mood light. But in reality, I'm wondering how long it is until my next break so that I can just go and lose it in the bathroom. And then I feel like a child.

By the time I get home, my brain is done. I can not focus on anything, and I feel trapped in a state of near-constant daydreaming. I feel that my family suffers for it, and my kids suffer. And I only work part time!!! For financial reasons, I need a full time position (sooner rather than later) and the thought of that makes me physically ill. I simply do not understand how I will ever be able to survive that without being committed to a loonie bin.

I have to engage in a lot of self-talk during the day, too, to prevent my thoughts from going too dark. I hate to over the "life is tiring" mantra, but I can't stress enough how I tire myself out. That might be the worst part - how exhausted I am. Just from living life. Every day.

I have a loving husband, two amazing children whom I love more than anything else in the world, and a great family...and yet every day is just simply something that I have to "get through". How pathetic is that? Sometimes, I just don't know how long I can keep going...

I am not writing this for sympathy. I do not want that. I am writing this to help others understand what their loved ones might be going through. If you don't care to understand, fine. You can judge me if you want. But this is my reality. And believe me, I am doing my best. And so are so many others. Every day. In every country of the world. We are NOT alone.

Without fail, there is one thing I look forward to every day (aside from time with my family, OBVIOUSLY): when I climb into bed, shut off the lights, and wait for sweet oblivion to welcome me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I'm Back, Baby!

Back at the weight loss game, that is!

I should be more specific: today I felt like I was back. Yesterday I was not back. Yesterday I was face-first in a bag of dill pickle chips that SOMONE (not me) brought home from the store. Obviously I couldn't help myself. But today, I pretty much rocked it. Okay, okay, I did sneak a few chips again, but I stopped myself before finishing the whole bag. And that is a win to me!

I also went to one of my favourite gym classes today after work. It's called Body Attack, and is a high intensity cardio and toning class. I was DRIPPING in sweat - I love that feeling! No better way of knowing how hard you are working! I just need to stay motivated enough to keep at it and have more those bathing-in-my-own-filth type of feelings!

I know that I pretty much abandoned my Summer Slimdown challenge, but don't you worry...I have new plans starting September 1st for an Autumn challenge. I really need to fit back into my favourite jeans (which are currently giving me major muffin-top). Stay tuned!

One last thing: during my class today, while we were doing our ab exercises, I was reminded of this picture...I think it describes me to a T:

Hey, you gotta laugh at yourself, right?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What. Is. This...?

No, no, no. This can't be happening:

I had heard the rumor that they had turned my daughter's beloved "My Little Pony" series into a featured movie, and this is the end result. "Equestria Girls." Why does the "pony" look like a person, you ask? Well, because that's the plot of the movie: the ponies turn into teenage girls. Shenanigans ensue.

I just can not bring myself to check out this movie. Can NOT. It's way too creepy. And why turn them into teenagers? Is that the supposed age of the characters normally? I don't think my poor brain can handle this.

With that said, if any of you have had the misfortune of being exposed to this creep-fest...can you at least tell me how it is?

P.S. As you can probably tell, I'm still struggling with what to blog about :) Please send me your ideas!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer Makes Me Lazy

I'm too lazy to clean, too lazy to cook, too lazy to exercise as much...and apparently too lazy to even think of good blog topics to write!!

Please, peeps, give me some inspiration! What do you want to read about? What should I write about next? Let me know...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Ran Yesterday...

...7.5 kilometres!!!! I am so excited that I didn't die.

Lately, my mileage has been suffering, and I've been sticking to 5km runs. But yesterday, I had a little bit of extra fire in my soul I guess, and I decided to make it a long one.

Here is the funny thing about running: I find that, sometimes, the longer I go, the easier it gets.

The first couple of kilometres is the hardest. Once I get to five, I feel like I want to stop. But then, shortly after that, I feel that I FINALLY hit my (slow) stride, and I can just keep going. In fact, the only reason I even stopped yesterday at 7.5 was because I ran out of time! I can't believe I forgot about this until yesterday!

Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I really enjoyed myself. I am so glad to have re-discovered my LOVE of running. I guess I'm meant to be a distance runner?

I'm heading to a Blue Jay's game tonight. You're going DOWN, Red Sox! (Err...probably not...but one can hope, right?)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Not Sure How to Start this Post...

Something has been rolling around in my head for awhile...but I'm not sure exactly how to write it out. It's a real weakness of mine, having thoughts rolling around in my head that I can't manage to get out. But, I'm going to try. It needs to be said.

I feel like I suck.

I guess that's the best way to start. Lately, I've been engaging in a lot of self-loathing. Whether it relates to work, motherhood, or health and fitness, I just have been feeling like I can't do anything right. I'm sure that part of these feelings are due to stress, and that some are related to my anxiety and depression problems (actually, I KNOW that's a big factor), but nonetheless, it's been no fun going around feeling like there is a big grey cloud following me.

No, I'm not saying this for sympathy. I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I am telling you this for a reason.

My regular followers have probably noticed that my blogging has sucked lately. It hasn't been as upbeat, nor as interesting. The truth is, my Debbie Downer attitude has left me feeling very un-inspirational. And I struggle with what to write.

When I started making this blog into one that revolved more around fitness and weight loss, there were two reasons for it: One, to help keep myself accountable, and two, to hopefully encourage others who were struggling. I know that when I struggle, one of the most motivating things for me is to read about others' successes. And I wanted to help be that person for you.

I'm not special, so I really believed that if I could do it, you could too.

But because I've been struggling so much lately, I feel like I don't deserve to be thought of that way. Lately, I've been the prime example of what NOT to do. I don't know what to write about because all I want to do is whine about how hard things have been for my lately...and that is just not helpful to anyone. I worry that people will look and me and think, "Wow, everything in moderation? Follow your own advice, woman!"

But, at the same time, I have been SO LUCKY. I haven't received one negative comment or email. Only encouragement. And for that, I am so thankful. And because of that, I will still continue to write.

I need to start making a real, HONEST effort to get back on track. It's going to be a challenge this week, because I'm on holidays from work...but what better time to start that when it's challenging?

I think I'm back. And I hope you stick around to help me re-lose these last 10 pounds.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Junk I Love

This summer, as you know, my cravings have been getting the better of me. So, just to get it out of my system, I thought I'd share with you some of the junk food that I adore:

1. Ice Cream. It's been my biggest down fall this summer. Especially McDonald's Oreo McFlurry's.

2. Chips, especially this kind of Dill Pickle Chips :

But, you have to eat them with this dip:

3. French Fries. Why do they have to be so good?

4. When I'm trying to be good, I eat this yogurt-covered pretzels. They are the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Unfortunately, the benefit of the 100-calorie packs is eliminated when you eat several...

5. And, finally...any kind of chocolate...seriously, any kind...

What are YOUR biggest food weaknesses?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Runner's High? Not for me!

There are a log of blogs out there that are dedicated to fitness and exercise. Among them, many feature bloggers who are into running, like myself. What I've noticed in a lot of these blogs is that there tends to be a post describing "runner's high"...a feeling of euphoria that occurs at some point during their run. It's described as an amazing feeling that helps motivate them for future endeavors.

I, however, do not get this.

Nope. I have no idea what a runner's high feels like. How I wish I did!

I do, however, get what I call "runner's indifference". At some point during my runs, I reach a point where I stop feeling like I'm torturing myself, where my breathing has regulated, and even if my muscles feel sore, I'm running at a steady pace. And at that point, I may not feel great or amazing, but I do feel like I could keep going for quite awhile. Like, "I can stop anytime, but I don't NEED to." Take THAT, former lazy self!

So, I'd like to hear from you, if you are a runner, or any other type of athlete. Do you have experience with runner's high...or can you merely relate to my indifference? Why do you think some people get this elated feeling while others miss out? Tell me, please!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Bucket List

A couple of weeks ago, I was on vacation from work. I have another vacation coming up next week, but it occurred to me that I never recapped the last one!!! So let me do that now...

The week was wonderful! The weather was hot...almost unbearably so! But, I didn't let that stop us from crossing some things off of our summer bucket list. We didn't go away, but we did enjoy several day trips and excursions. We had a very busy week actually! My husband didn't have the whole week off, so my parents helped me with the kids on some of our outings. Here is what we did:


- Took the kids to a local(ish) playground and splash area
- Spent some time in the family pool
- Went to a zoo in a nearby town
- Took my daughter to a nearby (mini) waterpark AND the drive-in movie theatre to see Despicable Me 2 (it's quite funny, by the way)
- Went to a BIGGER waterpark
- Drove about an hour away to a Safari/Zoo-type area (and got caught in a really bad storm!)
- Helped prepare for, and attended, my niece's 4th birthday party (yes, I made the cake!)

Overall, it was a tiring week - but so much fun!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rough Start

My "Summer Slimdown" is off to a rough start. Don't expect to see a Fat-Free Friday post from me tomorrow - I don't even want to know what the scale says!!! Ulgh...

Part of my struggling has been due to some stress that I've been experiencing lately, which is causing me to eat my feelings. And I have a LOT of feelings. I know, I know...excuses, excuses. BUT...we also got some very good news this week: my husband passed his licensing exam, so after years of working as an apprentice, he is FINALLY a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer!!! So of COURSE we had to go out and celebrate. And you can't celebrate without an appetizer, entrée, dessert and wine, now can you?

So, what I've learned is...when I feel bad, I want to eat, and when I feel good, I want to eat. And that's a problem.

But, I feel like today is going to be the start of some better weeks ahead! I went for a run last night (and pushed myself, despite wanting to stop every darned second!) and have eaten really well so far today. And I am determined to re-lose these pesky 10 pounds. Because I can't wait to look like this again: