Sunday, February 23, 2014
This morning's check in was a follow up on last week's check in or maybe reality check in. For me I took on this week looking at my number from 1 to 10 on how "in the game" I am, last week I said 5 and there's nothing wrong with it. In fact, it is incredibly powerful to get related to what is so or the reality of the now, that is why we weigh in each week, that is why we write in our books, not to feel bad, but to get related to what is so right now and what is missing that we can put in to have the results we want. So what I took on this week was creating a whole new view on my fitness such that I move that number from a 5 all the way back up to 10. The view I created this week was being an athlete of integrity, wowsa - now that's a view to take on. The funny thing is, the moment you create that view of life, everything that shows up is all the places that doesn't exist. So who I am is an athlete of integrity and there I am in bed at 5:30AM fighting in my head about waking up to go run in the cold. Now, the view of "i have to workout" probably would have had me stay in bed, but the view of "im an athlete of integrity" had me up for 5 workouts this week. In reality, my experience of my health and fitness this week completely altered, there was a pretty big impact on my life in not being excited or engaged in my fitness anymore. What's important to me is that I make a difference for other people in their health and I was robbing myself of the opportunity to do that because I wasn't doing it for myself. Even though I still had people tell me how they were inspired by my story, on the inside I felt like a total fraud - this week in taking this new view on I completely altered that for myself and started making a difference with people all over the place. In some cases even constant texting to remind them to go drink water, and its not like I couldn't do that before, but I didn't relate to myself like it would make a difference because the difference wasn't being made with me.
The invitation and the opportunity for everyone is to create something as a view that totally inspires you, and you don't need to know how to do it, but what is amazing is every time something shows up that is outside of that view you have this new access to being incredibly powerful in the face of it. It's simply enlivening to know that I fulfilled on getting up for 5 workouts this week, despite the conversation of wanting to stay in the warm bed, so what will you create? what will you do this week to bring your game up to a 10? YOU and only YOU can make this difference in your life, you can join programs and talk about things and wish and hope, but at the end of the day the only thing that will ever make a difference is taking an action in the face of "i'd rather be doing X" with a view that simply wakes you up or reality checks you, life for me "being an athlete of integrity".
So that's the invitation to you - OWN THE PODIUM in your game of life!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
This morning I dragged myself to Biggest Winners and about 95% of me wanted to stay in bed, about 4% of me wanted to quit the program and a small 1% of me said GET UP AND JUST SHOW UP! Well i'm lucky the 1% won this morning. After a workout that only an evil trainer could think up Michele had a really straight conversation with all of us. To sum it up, WHY ARE YOU HERE? if you arent going to put the work in, why are you here? She started by asking us to rate our potential, the level we are currently participating at, in this current session, I wrote down 5 - for what I am up to in this program I can see that is insufficient to reach my promises to myself. For me a 5 is like "I show up and go through the motions, but not really into it". I do show up, I go to my workouts, but I acknowledge my food has not been 100% every single day for a long time, it's been "satisfactory" but not where it needs to be to forward my progress. So what is there for me to do, I thought of a few things:
1) show up to every workout, even the ones I didn't tell anyone I was going to
2) no eating after 8PM,
3) 2 litres of water consumed before finishing work each day and a subsiquent litre before 8PM
4) no more lattes or special coffees
5) limit eating out to 2x per week (once on Sunday morning and one other time)
6) take time for ME every week, unscheduled, relax, unwind, no phone
7) no more sneaking a treat at work
8) bring fun, excitement and aliveness to my workouts - not a sense of "when will this be over"
So that gives me a few places to start to bring my number from a current 5 up to a 10 by the end of this current session, no more messing around - time to get this done!
It was interesting though, we also talked about how to celebrate our successes without food. It is so culturally ingrained in us to celebrate by going out for a drink, or for dinner, but what if we celebrated without food and even without money - what would that look like? When I think about celebrating my milestones what comes to mind is a few things:
1) Allowing myself quite time at home where I have no expectation of anything, I can read or write or do whatever
2) Creating a fun social night with no food involved, could be crafting or board games or maybe even a clothing exchange
3) Share with just one person you don't even know what your accomplishment was - their reaction can be one of the best gifts ever - take it in!
4) Love yourself up, bath/hot shower, do your nails at home, give yourself a facial - maybe even invite some girlfriends over
5) Take the day off work for no reason but to just do whatever you want!
And for those of you with some cash to spare
6) Go get your nails done or facial (Yes, even boys)
7) Treat yourself to a movie out
8) Put $ away for each milestone you reach so that when you reach your goal weight you can treat yourself to a big trip or reward
9) Buy a new outfit
10) Buy a new book and read it
I'm sure I could think of several more things, but I actually realized that I stopped celebrating anything to do with weight loss/maintenance, it's been all wrapped up in shame of re-gaining some weight. And stopping to think about it now I know that I still had a huge accomplishment, nothing takes that away, AND what there is to do is put the work in - have fun at the same time - and continue on the journey which never ends.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Helllooooo :) I am bouncing off walls right now - well in my head. I have been away and just got back from an incredible 3 week holiday. I was in beautiful Belize for 2 weeks and then San Francisco for a few days. I've got so much for myself in these last few weeks I don't even know where to begin, so let me give you a few tid bits.
First, I was incredibly excited to go on this trip after committing and figuring out my time off/money etc. we were off on a long travel day. I traveled with Sarah and Paul from Victoria all the way to Houston where we met up with Ainsley and carried onto Belize. And you would expect that I would have been excited at that point getting to Belize but I was pretty much ready to come home. Have you ever had an experience where you are nearly teleported back to a place in your past and it is like "wow I've been here before, I know exactly what's going to happen?"? Well that basically sums up my experience in meeting Ainsley. It was right in front of me, so real, a conversation for "you are now going to be the third wheel AGAIN and really they don't like you, they pity you". Now, I have lots of training and development in how these conversations go and how to be powerful in the face of them but my experience in that moment was like I was teleported back to being a teenager again and I was prepared to lose my friendships for good. It was kind of like watching myself in slow motion, I knew what I was doing and I didn't stop myself, I completely took myself out of any conversation and choose to live in struggle. Now, that's not FUN given I was travelling and going to spend the next 2 weeks with these people, so of course a conversation was in order. And all there was for me to do, which I knew, was to say what I was afraid to say and get how unreal it is. I did that, I shared my conversation with both Sarah and Ainsley and then it was as if it never happened, yes we all lived happily ever after ;) but for real, we had an incredible trip and I connected with not only Sarah, Ainsley and Paul but many other people on a level I have never really connected with people on.
Second, Yes I was incredibly excited to go on this vacation and I also had this looming thought in the back of my head that went something like "you'll never measure up", we all have a version of that I think. I knew that I would be wearing a bathing suit, and for the most part I have no problem being in a bathing suite, I go swimming all the time, but this was different. I was going on vacation with one of my best friends who is a fitness trainer and a new friend who is a yoga instructor, and then there was me....What I created before going on this trip was the possibility of being radiant, glowing and alive and I really really took that on as who I was. That conversation of comparison reared its ugly head at least daily, sometimes hourly, and every single time it came up I had a choice to make. The choice was either have the conversation take me out of the game of life, or have who I say I am win. I want you all to know that who I said I was on this trip won gold medal! I have never ever related to myself as someone who people (ie. strangers - not people who know me intimately) want to know, or spend time with, how I have generally related to myself is like the third wheel or actually - I'm going to be really straight - how I've related to myself is like a waste of space. This trip, my relationship to who I am completely altered, I got - not just on a logical level, but on a physical level - that I am someone who is confident, alive, beautiful, present and contributes when I get out of my own way and play the game of life! I can't explain it any other way than that I feel for the first time connected to my own self worth.
Third, I faced a huge fear of mine - swimming in open waters. I am a good swimmer, and not concerned with drowning, I am however paralyzed with fear when it comes to swimming and not being able to see what`s around me. This trip, we were on an island which takes no longer than 5 minutes to walk from end to end and the closest piece of mainland is over 30 miles away, so you can imagine not facing open water really wasn`t an option for me. On this trip I jumped off a boat into the middle of the ocean, I went scuba diving and survived what felt like the last boat ride I'd ever be on. There were tears and lots of deep breaths, possibly some extremely fast heart beats, but in true ME style I don't let that stop me. I know without a doubt that what is on the other side of tears, fear, anger and shaking hands is massive breakthroughs in who I know myself to be. And who I continue to know myself to be is someone who takes on fear after fear and doesn't stop.
Fourth, I had FUN and did not care what I looked like for one minute - actually I was kind of a forced not caring what I looked like given there was no mirror to look into :) but for real, I just had fun - let go and let life happen. I will never forget this trip and the memories I created. Thank you Lifehouse Retreats.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Check in with yourself today, what are some messages your body has been sending you that you have been ignoring? Maybe you haven't been getting enough sleep? or enough water? what is it you really need to take care of your well being - only you can say.
On a side note, save the date - Saturday November 9th from 1PM to 3:30PM I will be at an incredible event called Balanced Mentality which is being hosted by Studio4 Athletics. I will be sharing my own journey which includes my own personal diagnosis of depression and how exercise, healthy eating and participating in BDHQ's Biggest Winners has transformed my experience of myself.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
1. Scheduling time every single week for my workouts, for me they happen to be in the morning and I know that my experience of myself when I wake up and accomplish a hard workout is that of pride.
2. Having one evening a month (minimum) where I have absolutely no plans, no workouts, no socializing, just taking time to regenerate and recharge my brain. Usually this looks like enjoying a glass of wine and a movie with my husband or reading a book.
3. Spending time every weekend to prepare my food for the week so I am not confronted by the busyness of the week.
4. Scheduling my breaks at work to connect with people who are important to me, this fills me up and keeps me engaged in the rest of my day.
Everyone's self-care list will look different, but what I know is that if you do not know what you need to do to take care of yourself then you will never take the actions to do it. What you may experience is burn out, you may even be successful for awhile at transforming your health BUT I can pretty much guarantee you there will come a point where you will hit a wall. The wall of "I give up" or perhaps "What's the point?" and if you are not present to what you need to do to recharge yourself, to take care of yourself and to make yourself a priority I guarantee the results will be the undoing of all your hard work. So ask yourself the question, "what do I need to do every day, every week, every month to make sure that I am taken care of?"
Sunday, October 6, 2013
1. At the very beginning of the program I was asked to share my story in a local running group. When I was first asked I figured it would be like 15 to 20 people so I said yes, later I found out I would be speaking in front of approximately 200 people. Imagine my face as I sat at my desk on the other side of a telephone call being told it would be 200 people, it kind of looked like this....
ok or maybe more like this....
or imagine something in between those two reactions, I think my response was something along the line of silence as Mena said "oh is that okay that it's 200 people.....are you still there?" And I said "ummm...yes that's no problem". Immediately after I hung up the phone I was dreading this and in this program dreading is not a place we want to be. After some self talk and a phone call with my coach I was clear I was no longer dreading it, I was excited that I was about to make a difference for 200 people. I just watched the video again today, I hadn't seen it in several months, and was reminded of those body sensations I felt as I stood there. What else it reminded me of is how far i've come in just these few months that now if someone asked me to do that I would have no problem saying yes to it. Here's the video for those that missed it.
2. Throughout my weight loss journey, and my life in fact, I have had this context for who I am like "i'm not worthy", "i'm not important", "what I think doesn't matter". I've written and shared about this multiple times and throughout the last few years I have had glimpses of finding "self worth" and then it fades. When I entered this program how I was relating to myself was the same, I was uncomfortable with my biggness, I didn't want ot be acknowledged or looked at. It's like this...
I can truly say that I have changed the way I look at myself. What I got in this program is that who I am for the people in my life is someone who makes a difference. I make a difference even when I dont know i'm making a difference just because that is who I have created myself to be. Being a contribution is my self expression. I'm clear that I was put on this earth to go through this journey in order to empower other people in their lives and i'm even more clear now that I fulfill on that every day when I am willing to acknowledge who I am, I got that in this program.
3. Also in this program I truly got how still afraid of connection I was. I was intimidated by people who were really self expressed or out there and I had it like I was the odd person out. What got created out of this program was a community of people all out to have each other win in whatever we were all up to. I started to play games with myself to have connection become fun. For example, last week I played a game with myself called "authentic connection" and the game was I would make a comment or talk to every single person I met that day, wether it be standing in an elevator, at a cross walk or in the line up at the coffee shop. I got that in the past I would never do that, I had it like what is the point of even talking to the stranger in the coffee line up? They will never remember me. But what this did was open up a whole new world of connection with people all inside of simply saying "Hey, I love your outfit, you look fabulous". Now I get that my connection with people is all my creation, moment by moment I can choose to have connection or not and those moments that I choose not there is nothing wrong but I can look if there is something stopping me from wanting to be out there in the world and living.
So to sum up what I really GOT in the ILP, I got that I am whoever I say I am at any moment under any circumstances I have the choice to be unstoppable, unmessable and a contribution or I have the choice to give in to my internal dialogue of "i'm not good enough". What an incredible thing to get for myself in only seven months! Thank you to all the participants, coaches and leaders in this program who always listed to me as someone more capable than I ever saw myself to be.
Friday, October 4, 2013
What was your starting weight?
What is your current weight?
What is your goal weight?
What had you join BWs?
One night I saw the BDHQ advertisement pop up on facebook and I ignored it, but found myself creeping back to it a couple of times. I was able to access the website where I came across a blog and read about peoples different weight loss journeys. I remember wanting to join but feared it at the same time... did I mention the program started the next day? I began playing the mind games where I was disappointed in myself for being scared and not following through. I emailed the gym really late that night... a nervous wreck... hoping and praying that my request was received too late to start this enrollment... but at least I tried, hence not being disappointing in myself. Did I mention mind games? Well, I received an email early the next morning inviting me down to the gym, and as I said a few choice words my new reality began. It was time. Time to gain back control of my life, time to invite fun back into my life, and time to choose it for the right reason... me!
How long have you struggled with weight?
You know, I've always hated this question. Being overweight doesn't always imply a negativity such as sadness or depression, in fact I have always been quite a positive upbeat person who lived quite happily at any size. What I have struggled with is Society's view on obesity. I was born into this world with hypopituitaryism, long story short (pardon the pun), I was injected with growth hormone- an anabolic steroid- 3 times a week from the age of 18mos old through until about 16yrs old. Following that was daily estrogen/ progesterone pills which I finally stopped (against medical advice) about 2 years ago. I had enough of people telling me how my body should look. I have always been a huge advocate for self love regardless of your size.
Why was this time the right time for you to take on your health?
A couple of years ago I had a routine doctor's appt and learned that my blood pressure was high. I was given the speech "next visit in 6 months, if it remains high we will have to look at medication to control it" It took me 2 years to return. Mortified that I would be back on any medications, let alone blood pressure medication... at 38yrs old!! During those 2 years I made some lifestyle adjustments, none which included exercise. The truth was I was petrified of having a heart attack. I honestly thought that it was a highly likely possibility.
I had that follow up appt., and to my surprise my blood pressure was fine. It was the rush of emotions that followed; relief, shame, and fear... because now there is really no excuse. When did it become okay to give up on my health? When I joined BDHQ I remember saying "If I am going to die of a heart attack I would rather it be during a workout than laying on my couch watching tv.
What would the YOU today tell the YOU 12 weeks ago before this program about deciding to be in it or not?
As I would say to anybody in that situation, when the time is right it will happen. I would also say, yes it's fun, yes it's safe, yes you will love it, and yes you can!
Apart from the weight/inches what is the biggest change you have noticed?
I have my upbeat, cheerful energy back... plus I have never slept better!!
What do you do to maintain your schedule, life, health and have it all balance?
First off let me just say I do not have children to worry about- kudos to all of the parents out there balancing their own health with their families. It isn't easy, you really have to know what you want and prioritize in order to get there. You also have to make sacrifices. I had to switch over 20 shifts at work in order to attend all of the workouts. It wasn't easy but I wanted and needed it so badly. I missed my 21st high school reunion in order to attend a weekly weigh in and workout. Again, not an easy decision but I really wanted and needed to be focused on this program. I missed opportunities to get off the island and visit family. I was able to fit in some desperately needed girl time but had to sacrifice the late nights in order to get in the early morning workouts. It's a balancing act for sure, but I find if I keep my goals at the forefront then the sacrifices are tolerable.
What was your biggest accomplishment over the last 12 weeks?
The small victories: attending a party and not snacking on the chips and cheezies, getting through a day at work without eating goodies delivered by patient's families, getting out of the grocery store with only the items on my list. Feeling proud of myself for succeeding each and every day.
What did you have to do to make this program work for your life? what changes?
I had to face it head on. Life I mean. I had to look at my current situation and admit that I wasn't happy. That was one of the hardest truths I have ever had to tell myself. From that point it was all forward motion, one step at a time.
What is next for you? goals?
I have just resigned with the Biggest Winner program for another year-yay! My goal is to find joy in everything I do. I want to say yes to every invitation, I want to ski down those slopes, hike up those mountains, lay on those beaches... and look and feel good doing it. I also want to retire from my nursing career with a healthy pain free body.
WOW Shannon, I acknowledge you for being brave, courageous and authentic and taking this program on FULL FORCE! You are a shining star and will accomplish anything you set your mind to.