Saturday, September 29, 2012

Finding Body Confidence

This week we had no regular Biggest Winners workouts as it is our week between sessions. Some may look at this as an excuse to "cheat" but I look at it more as a way to regroup myself and prep for another session. I felt completely on track this week, saying no to temptations, getting my workouts in, getting over laryngitis. Unlike last week where I was feeling frustrated, I got myself back to a place of at least looking at things day by day and not worrying about the number so much.

I had a couple body image successes that I wanted to share with all of you. First, I have had this issue with wearing shirts that don't cover my stomach/skin flap. Even though I am always told that the outfit looks great, I always feel uncomfortable and try to pull the shirt down. I have not gone out in public in a shirt that showed the zipper of my jeans probably ever. This week I wore a shirt that was shorter, it doesn't show any skin, its just shorter and I looked at myself in the mirror and that feeling of being "off" was not there. It was like, ok I like this - I look good. I felt confident walking down the street. And of coarse no one said "look at that girl, that shirt is way too short". Even better, I didn't say that in my head! I'm not going to say i'll be comfortable all the time in shorter shirts, but this is a huge step for me.

Second, in my efforts to try to fall asleep last night I was reading some blogs and came across a post called half which is a self portrait post by Julia Kozerski who is an artist based in Milwaukee. This is an exert from the post: "These photographs are self-portraits. They serve as reflections of my experience and address and explore my physically and emotionally painful, private struggles with food, obsession, self-control, and self-image". Please note before viewing the post there is nudity, so be forewarned.

So in viewing this post I looked at the images of this beautiful and confident woman who was so brave to put herself out there for the world. I looked at these images and though, wow I am not alone! I knew other people had excess skin from significant weight loss, but seeing pictures of it is not common place. I have had a hard time separating my thoughts of my body being "overweight/heavy" with it just being what it is with excess skin. Literally I felt like those pictures were me, that is what I look like, I look in the mirror and that is what I see. But what I realized when I looked at these pictures was that it is ok. It doesn't matter that I have excess skin, the skin makes me who I am, it is my tattoo of my journey. Without this skin I would have never been heavy, I would have never walked this journey, I would never have met the people I met or done the things I've done. Who would I be without my skin? I wouldn't be who I am today. The decision I made last night was to just be one with my body, to accept it the way it is, not worry about the skin, and embrace it's beauty just the way it is. I can only hope that everyone can come to their own self realization about their body image. We are all beautiful and unique just the way we are, regardless of what shape/size we are.

In honor of my new found confidence I wanted to share a very personal picture that I have shown few people. A few months ago I had boudoir photos taken, I posted one photo, not very revealing. The following is an unedited/untouched photo that I asked the photographer to take. I am not ashamed of it, it is who I am and today I am celebrating that.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Working Through My Frustration

I'm trying really hard not to get discouraged right now. I've been back to work, back to my routine, and had an awesome food week and lots of water. I went swimming on Tuesday with Jaylene, had a great workout. I'm really proud of both of us for showing up and doing it! Went to a Landmark session on Wednesday night. Was feeling totally on track emotionally and physically, was in my grove. Then by Thursday I was getting sick, so lethargic, and yucky, Friday afternoon my voice was going and by 7PM Friday night I was pretty much out to the world. I have spent the entire day today on my couch with no energy to move, a sore throat and inability to breathe normally. Also, I went to my regular chiro/physio appointment and now there is a possibility that my knee issue is stemming not only from my pronated feet but from a possible cyst behind my knee cap which is causing fluid build up. The fix would involve a surgeon draining the cyst if that is even possible and that might not even fix it. Looks like I have to go back for more tests.

Like I said, i'm trying to be positive, to not get frustrated, but i'm human too and sometimes I can only take so much. I am focusing right now on keeping on track food wise, especially while all i'm doing is lying here on the couch and watching TV. I know the cold will pass, and before long I will be back to workouts. I know that all I can continue to do is be patient with my body and do what the professionals are telling me to do. But I can't deny feeling frustrating, in fact i'm allowing myself to feel frustrated instead of ruining my diet. I'm allowing myself to feel my feelings with my outlet being writing them out instead of stuffing them in.

Tomorrow is the last workout for this most recent Biggest Winners session. Even though I can't be there right now, i'm focusing on being grateful for this amazing group of people, this community, that I am a part of. The people who have supported me in this journey and inspire me every day to not go backwards, even when I feel frustrated like I do right now. A support network is something that is extremely important in long term weight management. Without this, I don't think I would be able to maintain the weight range I am in right now. Look around you, who is your support network? Who do you turn to for inspiration when times get tough? Keep those people close, cherish those relationships, long-term your journey will be just a little bit smoother over those bumps in the road.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Back & Focused

It's half way through September already, where did the time go? I feel like I haven't sat down in the last two weeks, but that's not a bad thing. I love being busy, being engaged in life and living. Though sometimes I do just like to chill and home and vegg out in front of the TV.

In August I finished the Landmark Forum in which I was able to get some deeper understanding of who I am, why I react the way I react, and how to move forward in life. It's been an interesting dynamic living the last month in this head space of being fully aware. I feel "lighter", though the scale does not reflect that, it's more of a emotional lightness. I'm taking things day by day, moment by moment right now and trying to be very present to myself. After the Landmark Forum I went up to see my Mom on Savary Island, I have not stepped foot on that island in over a decade. The turmoil of our relationship, and the emotional blockage I had, prevented me from even considering me being there a possibility. Every time I though of it, I was physically ill, I felt threatened. But I did it, through much anxiety and self talk I got myself there, and just like anything else it isn't as bad as you imagine it to be. Of coarse there was "drama" there, but I was able to recognize it as nothing to do with me and not take it on.

Being totally honest, I gave in to huge emotional eating while I was away. I can't even begin to explain the amount of anxiety that overcame my body. The thing is that this time, for the first time, I actually was present to my body accepting the sugar as a way to deal with the feelings. I have "recognized" this in the past, and know that I've done it, but I can never actually say I "felt" it. I can't change the food I ate in that week, but I can own up to it and move forward. I was able to overcome some massive fears and grow as a person. Now, recognizing, the emotional eating I can learn to be that much more present to it happening. By the end of my trip, I wasn't giving in to any emotional cravings, I was so present that I could self-talk my way out of eating the crap. This will allow me to move forward in my weight loss journey and continue to get healthier. I signed up for the 10 lb challenge at BDHQ to keep myself accountable, 10 lbs in 8 weeks will get me back to my lowest.

After Savary I went to Toronto to visit a friend, with another friend, it was fun to get away but it reminded me what it was like to be with people who aren't as present as I am to "conscious eating". By that I mean, having to really think about and plan what and where i'm going to eat. Of coarse my friends are super understanding of my needs and we did chose restaurants I was able to make good choices at, but it was more the ability to ensure I was eating every 2-3 hours, and eating breakfast. Basically, very out of my own element.

I came home on Monday night, late, and the next morning I was scheduled to do a radio interview with a health coach. She had found me on twitter and asked to interview me on my journey, I was very nervous about this because it's one thing to write (you can write and erase and think) but with speaking you can't go back on your words, especially when the interview is live. For those that missed it, it has been recorded and you can listen to it here.

Now i'm back to work, at least for another few weeks before I head to Vegas for my cousin's wedding. I'm happy to be back working out and in control. These next few weeks I intent to be very strict with my food to get back into the grove, get back to swimming at least one day per week, and continue with chiro. What is your intention for this coming week? How will you move forward, and not backwards, in your journey? Persistence is far more important than perfection!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

When I Grow Up

September - WOW - school's back, but not me. I'm just back to work. Pretty good news though, I got offered a permanent job with the feds so i'm not being sent back to the province anymore. I did love my province job and peeps, but was feeling a lot of stress with the impending pay cut so i'm relived that I get to stay put where I am.

September always makes me think back to school though. It was always exciting starting a new year, knowing I was that much closer to getting OUT! The question, what do you wanna be when you grow up? Some said doctors, some lawyers or teachers. My answer, I wanted to be beautiful and happy, I actually wrote that in a journal "I just want to be pretty and be noticed, I want to feel happy". Thinking back to my school days it was not a happy time for me, I was pretty alone, depressed and not liking life at all. I cried myself to sleep many nights or ate myself to the point of needing to pass out. What a complete 180 life has done since then. It makes me think of the Pussycat Dolls song "When I Grow Up"

When I grow up, I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star, I wanna be in movies
When I grow up, I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars, I wanna have groupies

When I grow up, be on TV
People know me, be on magazines
When I grow up, fresh and clean
Number one chick when I step out on the scene

But be careful what you wish for
'Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it

I'm all grown up now and a much different person than I was 12 years ago when I was entering grade 12. I've seen lots of the world, drive a pretty nice car, have lots of friends (aka groupies ;)), been on TV, in a magazine and like to think of myself as pretty fresh and clean (except perhaps after a workout). I feel like the #1 chick when I go out, because I choose to put myself out there for the world to see, no hiding! Everything I wished for came true, it came true because I worked my ass off and challenged myself. So no need to be careful of what you wish for, just wish for what you want and make it happen! What do you WANT? Are you willing to do anything you need to make it happen? The one thing I believe more than anything is that you can have anything you want if you put your mind to it and do the work. Are you willing to work for what you want? I regret to inform you that no one is going to do it for you, so go out and make your wants into reality NOW, not 12 years from now.

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are" EE Cummings