Thursday, April 13, 2017

Starting Over.

I look back over this blog that I [thankfully] kept, and I just shake my head. I mean, I'm glad I kept the blog, I'm just utterly disappointed in myself for letting go. I did so well for so long, even after my mother passed away. And here I am, eating crap food, sick all the time, almost back to my heaviest weight, and smoking. YEP.

The past couple years has been a rough ride. I wouldn't necessarily take any of it back, I've learned a lot about myself, but I let myself go in the process. I've been struggling with my mental health, with my sense of self worth, and with my highly addictive personality. All those things combined when not managed can be a recipe for disaster.

I NEED to get back on track before I can't anymore. The time is now. Should have been yesterday, but now is all I've got.


Two months later...

I've managed to almost completely quit smoking. I went from a pack or more a day to two or three cigarettes. I was able to make it a couple days without having a single one, then I let the stress get the best of me. I still haven't bought a pack in over a week.

My juice press is sitting assembled and ready to go on the dining room table. I've even used it a couple times this week. The nutribullet has seen fairly consistent action for my breakfast smoothies, but just about every meal has been (delicious, but) an assault on my insides. My digestive system has been in revolt for a few months now, but the stress and anxiety I've been dealing with was my huge excuse not to give a shit.

Oh, and I bought a scale. It's been a long time since I've stepped on one, and I nearly cried. Weight wise I'm pretty much right back to my heaviest. At least I still kinda fit in my jeans. Kinda. My weight is a good tell of how bad my insides are getting. The worse they are, the more I retain. If I don't get back up on it, I'm gonna get very sick very quick.

I'm worried that it won't be as 'easy' as it was last time to get into a routine. I'm a little nervous that maybe it will be much harder to lose the weight as I get older. I'm kinda scared that it might be too late. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to try.

There's a produce store in the nearest town that happens to be on my way home from work, no matter what city I'm working in. I have to pass it to get home. There's a vape place in the plaza next to that. I have no excuses to smoke or not eat the way that I should. There's a big-ass garden planted beside my house that in a couple months will be so abundant I won't know what to do with it all.

I don't need junk. I don't need sugary snacks or pizza. I don't need sammies every day for lunch, or meat at dinner. I don't need salty greasy fried things to be happy. I don't need to smoke to feel alright.

This is it. The beginning of the rest of my life. And I'd rather live in health than in sickness.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

things falling apart.

okay. alright... so the last time i hit this blog was in december of 2014, about six months after my life started falling apart. i promised i wouldn't let it all get to me, and i called myself out for slipping. here i am again, starting over. not right from scratch, i'm certainly not back to the state of dis-ease i was in back in 2012/13. but if i keep on this path i'll be back there in no time. i can feel unpleasant things unraveling inside me. and the weight is a sure sign of the sickness, my body always does a good job of showing me on the outside when shit just ain't right within.

so, where am i at? i'm not entirely sure to be honest. i lost my scale on one of the several moves the past year and a half. my jeans do not fit me arse. my guts aren't working right. my hip has been mildly disjointed for quite a few weeks now and it's getting uncomfortable. i have a doc's appointment tomorrow to find out what's all up with my thyroid function, and hopefully get on my way to seeing some specialists about some things. i haven't really managed to stay put anywhere for very long since i moved west a couple years ago, and i think that has had a huge impact on my ability to maintain my physical health. i get frustrated when i'm on the move trying to accommodate to uppity diet restrictions and fitness routines. which shouldn't actually be as much a problem as it is, but unfortunately our society gives zero fucks about what it consumes and how it lives so i'm far too often left to choose the lesser of various evils when it comes to eating. things are changing in that realm, very slowly, but it's happening.

for the most part, this blog has been reserved for keeping track of my physical health, and i haven't made much mention of the mental side of things. if you already know me, you know that mental health issues a] run in my family, and b] have been a part of my every day life since i was a wee one. my mental health i have been less willing to address medically, mostly because of my blatant lack of trust in western medicine, especially regarding these kinds of things. brain chemistry isn't something that i like the idea of messing with. but, it's a thing. and another aspect of my health that i have to take responsibility for. i will admit, when i was doing all that i could physically to support this vessel, i was doing far better mentally than i ever was in my past, and i know that by addressing one side of things it will help the other. this time though i have to take a sort of backwards approach to find the mental motivation to take better care of myself physically.

so i gotta start where i'm at with what i've got. i have a steady place to stay right now which is rad. makes sleep and cooking and hygiene much more of a thing. i have my nutribullet smoothie machine, a hand crank masticating juicer i gotta pull out of storage, some space to do some stretches, and a produce market store right across the street. i gotta reset my system, ease in as to not go into shock and fall over. i have to find the right amount of calories for what i do for a living without eating anything that hurts. the way i did this last time was start swapping out components for cleaner options and figure out how much of that food is needed to make it up. i need a lot of calories especially in the colder months, and decent hydration. oh, and i have this blog. sooo thankful i kept track of things. i know i can do this again, and better.

one thing that i don't have and wish i did, is the garden space. i was spoiled back home with a quarter acre to do with what i pleased, and it turned to a sweet little camp surrounded by epic food gardens. the produce was abundant and delicious sun fresh. i am grateful to have access to a wee balcony, which my flat mate and i are attempting to turn into a mini food jungle.

oh ya! and how many times have i quit smoking now? like 6? haha. i'm kind of that path again, i've been smoking on the weekends and vaping during the week for a month or so. i'm just about ready to drop the cigs completely. i feel kinda strange about replacing them with a vape instead of going cold turkey, but i know myself and the act of smoking is just as addictive as the nicotine. for now at least, i need that thing to do. with that little bit of nicotine in the juice.


my challenge for 2016 is still a health challenge, just one without numbers. i don't have a weight loss goal [although i'll certainly lose some], i'm not as concerned about inches, i'll know i'm there when my clothes fit again. there's that little black dress.. [not even shitting, i own but one 'dress', it's black, and rad, and i will get into it again].

i just want to feel better. i want my guts to stop hurting. and bleeding. and my joints to hold together right. and my head not to hurt all the bloody time. and my hip.. i want to be able to climb a hill and take a breath at the top of it. be a part of the world around me and fully enjoy it without some sort of stabbing/throbbing/annoying pain. and have the energy to get excited about it! and feel like i deserve it, i suppose that's key. i just want to be me.

so that's what i'm gonna do. one step, two...

it's over due.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

calling myself out..

me at my goal weight of 165 lbs, an entire 50 pounds lighter than last year.

i just did it. again.. that common mistake people make that i mentioned in my last blog post.. i managed to reach my goal, and then i stopped doing all of the things that got me there. maybe not entirely, as a lot of them have become habit, like the fitbit ocd i now have. and of course, the Shakeology. thankfully i actually enjoy it, which is a miracle, and it's super simple to make.. and just happens to have a boost of everything i need for the days i'm feeling too lazy to be healthy. which has been a lot lately.

last time i caught myself in the act. this time i let it go on... thankfully i didn't gain any weight back. permanently anyways. but i have been feeling like crap, and it's starting to show on my face. my skin hates it when i eat oily or sugary things, and i'm totally guilty of downing a bag of chips or two in the past week, loaded with both. a little break-out is enough of a sign for me to get back up on it.

it's not like i dropped my healthy lifestyle completely, as i said i do have healthy habits established now, the smoothies and dark green based salads have still been staples in my diet. but i have been a little over-indulgent on things i shouldn't have. and as much as i hate to admit it [but i'm calling myself out here, that's the point..] i started smoking again. roughly around the same time i started working the job that i've been blaming my life-hate on, a physically demanding, mentally draining, and shift-rotating job at which i can barely afford to survive at let alone thrive. i'm still debating holding out at this company for an upcoming full-time position, or finding something new. the stress isn't helping my situation, so i have to stop letting it get to me and get on with my life.

that said, today i dropped the excuse of taking 20-40 thousand steps a day as a reason not to work out, and restarted the PiYo challenge. i decided to become a BeachBody coach earlier this summer because i do have faith in their products, their workouts certainly give results if you stick with them and do them correctly. the Shakeology was an added bonus, i never ever like shake mixes and usually ditch them before finishing a bag, but their vegan chocolate option is actually amazing. anyhoo back to the coach thing.. as much as i enjoy their products, and even though i have seen results and proven myself successful in using them, i'm far too modest to put myself out there and sell this thing.

i should really give it a shot though.. i'm just not sure where to begin. i have my story, i have results, and i'd really love to help other people do the same.. but i know it's expensive [not really, compared to a daily starbucks and picking up a new video game], and i know it takes dedication, and i'm not sure if i have what it takes to coach others when i sometimes have a hard time staying on track myself. i suppose that's just another realistic dynamic of being engaged in such a challenge, changing your entire lifestyle to encourage health from a state of illness can be daunting. being and/or having a coach is a good place to start with accountability. sometimes you fall down. no reason not to get back up.. at least that's what i'm telling myself. time to get up.

i'm so thankful that i started this blog. it's almost hard to believe without looking back, how heavy and unhealthy i was, and how i could allow myself to get that way especially knowing all that i know. it's a reminder of the challenges and the lessons, and a motivation when i feel like giving up on myself. although i have been determined to change my life and regain my health, i wasn't always confident that it would work. it's time to take it to the next level, beyond just losing a few pounds and reaching a numerical goal. for 2015 my new challenge is to strive for super-fit, and put this thing to work for me. i wanna be a coach, for real! because if i can do it, i truly and honestly believe that anyone can. i'm stubborn, 'lazy' at times, and LOVE food, on top of having a pre-existing health condition that causes weight gain and fatigue. and here i am, fifty pounds lighter and in far less pain. impossible is Nothing. onward!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

getting the goal.. and beyond.

well, i made it for a minute there. i did the seemingly impossible, losing fifty pounds in about 9 months. weight that took years to accumulate due to ill health and poor choices. weight that i'd never thought i could lose. and here i am.. i crossed the 'finish line', but it's not over yet.

i think a common mistake that people make when they set a goal for themselves most particularly involving weight loss, is thinking 'hey, i made it' and then suddenly stop all the good things they were doing to get them there in the first place. the weight comes back, the individual becomes frustrated and claims that the program or whatever 'didn't work'. of course i've said it before and i'll say it again, maintaining good health involves life-long changes for the better. no matter what you're doing to get there, chances are if you stop and go back to doing whatever you were doing before, you'd end up right where you began. unhealthy and unhappy.

not gonna lie, i did exactly that. but i caught myself soon enough.. one of the reasons i insist on stepping on the scale daily is to keep myself in check. just as it's not easy to tell you've lost weight when you're stuck inside your body, it's also hard to tell you've gained it. especially if it's 'only' five pounds. that extra long weekend of pizza and ciders and and smokes and submarine sandwiches took it's toll. five pounds on, guts in a knot and a yummy cough. gotta love it. nah.. gotta take responsibility, suck it up and get back on that there wagon.

after being a couple months without, i finally had to bite the bullet [ha!] and purchase a new nutribullet. i'd killed mine before leaving home anyways, so i didn't feel so bad getting a new one. now i just have to get back in the habit of using it daily.. at the very least i make sure to have my Shakeology. i know it's a shake mix, but it's delicious and filling and vegan which is a million times better than grabbing a cheeseburger on the go. i still have my hand crank juicer somewhere, but not having a garden to feed the compost to makes me more conscious of the waste. one of my new goals is to try some of those 'super boost' green drinks in the recipe book. and do my best to make them taste as cream as the booster juice... i don't know how they do it! but i will figure it out.

and beyond..
now that i know what 166 looks and feels like, i know my journey to better fitness isn't over. i'm not sure what i was expecting, except maybe to not feel so heavy on my feet. this is true. now that i've achieved this, i'm fairly confident that i can move forward from here with some more specific goals. now that the majority of the pounds that were in my way are gone, i can work on toning muscles, tightening up and maybe even push a little further down the scale.

my main challenge at the moment is re-establishing a routine. i've been kind of vagabonding around since the middle of summer which certainly added to the challenge of maintaining any sort of ritual. now that i've finally decided to settle in somewhere for the winter, i can re-build my healthy habits and work on some new ones. i have to get back on the workout routine for sure, the hills of Vancouver have been quite a help but now that i'm adjusting i have to continue to push my body's limits.

i'm currently working the night shift, which is tiring and not usually a good thing when trying to establish a healthy way of life. but it's my reality right now, and i have to make the best of it. working the opposite of everyone else kind of forces me to have a lot of time to myself, and though that gets a little uncomfortable at times, it's probably exactly what i need right now, so the best thing i can do is embrace it, and make the most of every moment.

well, that's where i'm at right now.. excited to achieve and to move forward. thanks again to all my readers family and friends for your ongoing support and encouragement. without it, i likely wouldn't be writing an ongoing success story. love! until next time..

Friday, September 19, 2014

21 months in - the journey

it's been a long one, and it's not over. i'd usually do this 'review' process around the end of the year to see where i'm at, but now is a better time. i've certainly come to the end of something. i have finally come to the end of being in the 'obese' range on most conventional BMI charts that compare height to weight. at 5'5 and 215lbs my BMI was around 35, and now i'm down to 173 which put me around 28. of course these charts don't know that i have more muscle than the average female my height/weight, so a proper BMI measurement at some point may be helpful. i'm still overweight, but not obese. says these charts. and that's something.

i've struggled with my weight for many years. when i was ten i was diagnosed with hashimoto's thyroiditis. for years my energy and weight would fluctuate, i would spend months at a time absolutely exhausted yet unable to sleep. no matter my efforts diet wise, it didn't seem to matter. i steadily gained weight, roughly 8 pounds a year since high school. being 'fat' never bothered me, but feeling unhealthy does. the last twenty pounds i gained i could really feel. it gets harder to walk, to bend, to move, to work... i was getting in the way of myself, and tiring myself out just carrying the extra me around. not to mention what goes on inside when carrying extra pounds...

insult to injury
long since my underyling health issues fully developed including digestive issues i've been living with since around the same age, i had done some of my own additional damage. pills, alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, poor food choices, sugar, salt... the list goes on. there was a good number of years that i didn't much care about the state of my well-being, and i think most of us have been there. but not everyone recovers. i hope to recover.

the time had finally come where i felt motivated to do something about it. to take responsibility for my own health and well being, knowing no one else can do it for me. western medicine had no solutions, conventional dieting and exercise only served me temporarily. i had to make a change in my attitude towards myself and my health, and i had to make some real lasting lifestyle changes. but first i had to accept that i got myself into this mess, even if blindly i got here myself.. and i can and do have the power to dig myself out.

time to change
at the end of 2012 i made a resolution, and i made it publicly. i announced that i would do what it takes to find better health, and lose the weight. i started this blog to keep track of my progress, but also to keep me accountable. as soon as i started posting, people engaged in conversations about my proposed journey. people i would have never expected to read my blog started talking to me at work about how i was doing. this alone gave me tons of motivation not to give up, everyone is watching and cheering me on.

by the end of 2013 i had tried everything from running, to diet plans, to various meal replacement and weight loss products only to see temporary results. i did yoga, pilates [which are both great by the way, if you stick with them!], various 30, 60 and 90 day challenges, even that green coffee bean stuff. each thing did have an effect, but only short term. by the end of the year i was right back where i started weight wise, but much more informed. i learned that above all diet was key, before exercise routines and gym memberships, i had to start with what i'm made of, what i eat.

i had learned something precious. there are products and programs out there that do work, some that don't. many offer a 'boost' in the right direction, but without diligent maintenance it's easy to fall off. i finally found something that i wish i had found in the beginning, but at the same time i'm glad that i hadn't tried it right away as i wouldn't have known the true value when it comes to cost, quality and effort involved. before i get into that, i'll write a little more about finding my own path.

life's unexpected challenges
things happen that make you think.. unfortunate things mostly, like losing someone close to you. my cousin was only 32 when she lost the fight with cancer in March of this year. my mother was only 55 when she passed in May after spending the last twenty years of her life on disability. both of their lives were very much in the hands of western medicine, neither had much of a chance. it's hard to get your mind around things like that. it's difficult sometimes to continue searching for better health when it seems so impossible. headed down the same path health wise it really made think, what is wrong here? what are we doing to ourselves? i feel like now more than ever i must think 'outside the box'. i decided to start doing my own research.

self education
we have an infinite supply of information available to us every day instantly, and a lot of the time for 'free'. it takes a little sifting, common sense and citation but self education is completely possible and recommended. if you don't have any idea where to start looking, there's at least a couple dozen good 'food docs' out there these days that showcase the awesome power of food. there are two good ones to start with, Food Matters, and Hungry for Change. watch either or both and look further into the stories of the people shared and you will find leads to endless information.

beyond food documentaries i have also picked up many texts about nutrition and researched some of the fundamentals of nutritional science. what do we need to survive? to thrive? i've asked these questions before, only now i'm finding answers. and i've also found that everyone is unique and what works for some won't work for others, but overall the more raw vegetables fruits and foods included in my diet, the better i feel. juicing is an absolutely amazing discovery which helped to really kickstart my journey to better health.

making the changes
i learned the hard way... start slow. trying to change everything at once is simply too overwhelming which increases the chance of failure. for me anyways.. i've heard [and read] the same from others who have been successful in changing their routine and building healthy habits. i started by adding good things to my diet, ultimately crowding out foods that aren't as good for me and have less or no nutritional value. after eating good foods that aren't saturated in processed oils and salt and sugar, now if i reach for these things they just don't taste as good as i remember.

incorporating more exercise into my lifestyle was more of a challenge than i thought. a part of my struggle being that i was already living a reasonably active lifestyle, it seemed daunting to attempt to add more physical activity. the first thing i did was invest in one of my now favourite tecky little gadgets, the fitbit. now i know exactly how active i am and when, and i can see when i haven't been very active and challenge myself to get up and do something. it's better than an app that requires you to always have your phone on you, as it's tiny and discreet and the charge on the battery lasts about a week. i still use it to this day.

the first few months of 2014 i did little more than replace breakfast with smoothies and fresh pressed juice, and keep track of my steps making sure to get a little extra walk or jog in if i didn't meet my goal. i'd hit the gym a few times a week to make use of the machines. i noticed that on days i had made a juice i felt a lot more energy and didn't need a nap half way through my day. i was losing roughly one pound per week, which is substantial! i've more or less kept that rate up, as i'm 37 pounds lighter than i was in January.

as time went on making better food choices was reflexive. on the days i'd laze out and grab a quick snack, i'd feel it in my guts within the hour, instant regret. reaching for junk happens less and less often. my body craves the good stuff now that it knows what it's missing when i don't eat well. also i'd feel sluggish and sore if i didn't get enough activity in for the day, so i'd find a good workout to add to my routine.. my body now craves good exercise as well. and that's how i built some healthy habits!

where i'm at
fifty pounds seemed like an impossible weight loss goal at first, but now that i've come this far i'm confident i can [eventually] work myself back into the athlete i once was, maybe even a better one. i'm also sure that working through the last ten pounds may well take about as long as the first forty but i've learned something key: don't give up. it's okay to feel like crap some days and it's okay if i slip up, but it's important to never ever ever ever give up.

now back to my major discovery.. Beachbody! i owe the last ten pounds, and the simplification of my diet to this company and their incredible products. after learning the hard way all on my own that their workouts are the most effective, i was glad to have found them. i'm also glad i went through everything that i did first. i feel that i have a greater appreciation for finding a system that works for me that was designed by professionals that know their stuff. it gets even better..

i'm probably the hugest skeptic when it comes to health products and meal replacements, i've tried them all. when i became a Beachbody Coach i told my own coach that i'd totally rock the workouts and help others get into them, but i'd be highly unlikely to try their shake products. firstly because i'm sensitive to whey, and second there's no way their shake ingredients could even touch the lineup of healthy smoothie boosts i have sitting in my cupboard. she insisted that i give them a try at least, to get a feel for the products. after doing my research i found that they did indeed use a lot of those exact same boosts i had bought separately, and that they have a vegan option!

i was thrilled and had to try it. i've tried a few other vegan protein shakes and meal replacements and not liked the taste, even when blended with things. with my Shakeology, the taste isn't so bad, and it really satisfies my hunger. i am truly, absolutely amazed, and how much easier it is when traveling to make sure i get everything i need in a day.. instead of trying to find all my boosts and healthy stuff when traveling, i just need to bring a few packets of Shakeo with me, and suddenly it's way easier to be healthy on the road! what a relief, and what timing.

here's where i'm at now, 173lbs. little tank. Beachbody's PiYo workout [my new favourite] has helped me through. i'm strengthening muscles i forgot i had! i finally crushed a couple pounds off the plateau i've been stuck at [176lbs]. now just barely past it, i know it's going to be a lot of work moving forward. it's worth it to know i'm prolonging my life, and improving the state of the vessel that i'm experiencing it through. surviving is one thing, but to thrive.. that is my goal. and it's ongoing...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Day 18-30 - the Thirty Day Challenge

so i dropped off the face of the planet.. it happens! i kept up mostly with workouts until the day i boarded the bus, and then of course everything changed. i've managed to keep my diet in check since i left for the coast, there was one fast-food indulgence on the bus, and a frank at a husky stop. otherwise, not bad! i have a few packets of shakeo that i've been using every few days when i need a pickup, but i had skipped a shipment that was due the same time i'd planned to travel. i have other boosts to make smoothies with until the next box arrives.

the bus ride was rough, needless to say i didn't get much exercise. i did manage to get a few thousand steps in each day by walking as far and back as i could at meal stops, or doing laps of the terminal places i couldn't wander too far. sleep was minimal, bus travel isn't good for that unless you don't mind sitting for days on end. some people pass right out, not me... impossible.

after wandering Vancouver for a couple days i've already located places to  buy cheap fresh produce, and places to collect various healthy goodies i enjoy like unsweetened coconut water and bulk nuts and dried fruits. speaking of wandering Vancouver.. being a pedestrian in this city is a workout of it's own. i'd love to get a bike! everywhere is a hill. the way home for most people involves going up for the most part. i love that i haven't climbed an actual set of stairs all week and yet my fitbit sees the change in elevation with my steps as flights, apparently i did 43 flights yesterday.. that's pretty cool.

well i'm rockin' a place to stay for now in the city until i move along, and i'm doing my best to get back into a sort of routine. i've been retired from retail for a month now, and really digging in to what it takes to be a wellness coach so that i can help others make progress on their goals as i have, despite extra little challenges. right now being transient is one of those challenges, and i must adjust to my environment and situation.

ahhh yes and to conclude the 30 days i've lost 3 pounds and 4 inches total. not bad considering i'm nearing the end of my 50 pound weight loss goal! sorry about the delay, i'll attempt to stay connected in the coming weeks despite the impending adventures. to health, happiness, and fresh air!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day 12-17 - the Thirty Day Challenge

all of a sudden, it got real busy. the good news is, i haven't skipped a shakeo or a workout. the meh news is, the scale isn't moving much.. but the number has decreased. i wasn't expecting much considering i'm at the last ten pounds of my fifty pound overall weight loss challenge this year, and i've been stuck here for a while. i lost over 30 pounds in the first 21 weeks, then.... huge plateau. the interesting thing is, my shape is changing. it's showing minimally in the measurements [i'm down overall about 2 inches and a pound and a half] but i do look and feel different. clothes fitting different, that sort of thing. something is happening..

i feel pretty good. i've been hella busy preparing for a big long journey west, and this challenge has been the cornerstone of keeping any sort of schedule or routine. i'm keeping up with it despite my strange sleep patterns, sometimes the workouts happen around midnight, sometimes it's early in the morning. but it's happening. i don't get to choose when i sleep, but i'm sleeping. i'm working on the when, and it won't help changing three time zones next week, so i think i'll wait on the when till i get there.

for the past few weeks we've been getting some pretty decent weather. cooler than our average summers, it's been nice sleeping outside in the tent. the time has come to pack it up, and busy as i have been, kick my agenda into high gear. each day between now and departure is right full, and it will be an even greater [but very much worth it!] challenge to keep it up. the bus journey will be interesting. i'm starting to collect some clean snacks, and some not-so-horrible treats so i'm not tempted to grab junk on the road.

well, i've got to get to my PiYo and clean up a little. tomorrow i have some running around to do, lunch with Matty [probably our last date before i go] and bring the last load of stuff i don't need to the storage locker. gotta fly!