Saturday, October 27, 2012

Take Away the Scale

Far to often those of us on a health journey get caught up with the number on the scale. Heck, I do it, I signed up for the 10 pound challenge and it turned it to me re-obsessing about the number on the scale. As of last week though I decided that I was letting it all go. I didn't like feeling like the number was controlling my feels or what I thought of myself. I am much more than a number on a scale. It is important to remember the non scale victories, the accomplishments and above all that who you are is not a number you are unique and special.

Wouldn't it be amazing if our scales said positive things like this, instead of a boring old number that defines nothing?

Here are MY reasons for not allowing the scale to define my self worth.

8. The scale doesn't tell me who loves me and cares about me
7. The scale doesn't define my intelligence or my ability to do my job
6. The scale can't tell me how fabulous I look after just getting ready for a night out
5. The scale doesn't know about the conversations i've had with people or the joy I get from inspiring someone to make positive changes
4. The scale can't tell me how amazing the feeling of soar legs are after a run
4. The scale can't take away from the physical accomplishments i've met
2. The scale doesn't know anything about the emotional hurdles i've overcome and how much stronger of a person I am

and my #1 reason for not allowing the scale to define my self worth...The scale does not tell my story, I do by living with integrity every day. When I do everything I am supposed to do to live a healthy life (drink lots of water, eat clean, move my body) then the number does not define anything for me, it is just a number.

What are your reasons for not allowing the scale define you? What are you proud of?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Keepin' it Simple

This week we focused on keeping it simple. Especially when starting on a weight loss journey, it is often overwhelming to change everything at once. So the focus was just to pick simple foods, no need to try a new recipe every week. I practice the simple technique alot, in fact I actually make "trying a new recipe" a goal because I find my food to often be very boring. But boring works, boring keeps me focused and on track (most of the time).

My struggle this week was getting back from a trip, not feeling like I had time to get organized, getting my period and feeling hormonal...all a compound effect that led to not nearly as good of a food week than I needed. All of this was also compounded by the added stress of knowing I have to weigh in for the ten pound challenge in a couple of weeks. I'm not quite sure what came over my decision making parts of my brain when deciding to join the challenge as I know every other time I've done it it has messed with my head and had the opposite effect on my motivation. This time I have two weeks to lose nearly 10 lbs, its just not realistic to make it happen. Sure I could go drastic and I could lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks but it would not be done in a healthy way. I am committed to having a good food week, lots of workouts and water and if my body wants to let go of 10 lbs in 2 weeks then fantastic, if not then that's ok too. I am at peace with whatever happens. I am not willing to be drastic because that will lead me right back to gaining the weight again.

This week my goal is to make my 3 BDHQ workouts and then add in 2 days of swimming laps and 1 short 5K run. I'm feeling very optimistic with my running and even ran up a hill three times today!! that is three times in an entire year and I did it today - woohoo! Patience and persistence, that's what im practicing this week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Me Vs. The Bully

Anti-Bullying has been a topic that has been in the media a lot recently. The first story that went viral was that of Jennifer Livingston, a US news anchor who received a e-mail attacking her appearance and weight by one of her viewers. Instead of ignoring the email Jennifer spoke out against bullying and stood up for herself. Her story went viral on social media and received millions of views. The most recent story is the suicide of Amanda Todd. This young girl was a victim of bullying both online and in school. The torment led her to take her own life after previous failed attempts.

For me, both of these stories hit home on a deep and personal level. Jennifer Livingston, a successful and beautiful woman, was brave enough to stand up to her bully. The unnamed viewer had said she was a poor role model for young people for making the choice to be obese. Livingston's response was basically "you think I don't know that". She said "To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the colour of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now: Do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies."

For many years I allowed my self-worth to be defined by what other people thought of me, not any more. My self-worth is defined by me and only me, by what I define as important, my values and ethics. I am more than a number on a scale or the size of pants I wear. I am important and valuable in this world. It took me a long time to see things this way because, like I said, for years I allowed people's words to define how I felt about me. I allowed other people's opinions to impact my decisions in life. I have taken back control and am more conscious of my choices and decisions, I own them!

The second story, Amanda Todd, who took her life last week saddened me. I was fortunate enough to not endure serious bullying in High School, but I struggled. I remember sitting in the halls on lunch, alone, and see the popular boys walk by and laugh in my face. I sat there and snarfed down my chocolate bar. To be honest, when I look back on High School most of my memories are sad. I suffered with depression and it was not until after high school when I was out of my house that I was able to get a prescription for anti-depressants which helped turn things around. I felt alone in that time of my life, I was suicidal but suppressed those urges with food. It is a deep, dark, place to be in, to feel like no one loves you and that you are better off ending things. Most nights I would cry myself to sleep hoping I would wake up and the pain would be over. I am one of the lucky ones to survive through this, it came with wounds and scars, it came with significant weight gain but I have battled that now and I have overcome the emotional daemons that plagued me. I can say now I have the tools to deal with the darkness and my life is more full of light than dark. I came out of this a better person.

Something I realize now is that no matter how much I was made fun of in school, really the biggest bully I faced was myself. I said some pretty mean things to myself, I beat myself up daily for my weight and appearance, I secluded myself and withdrew from the world because I felt I deserved to feel that pain. Often we are the worst critics of ourselves, so my challenge for myself is to live each day with positivity in my heart. To be positive in my thoughts and beliefs, even though that is often very difficult. Be the best you - you can be and your world will reflect it.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

What an amazing and beautiful weekend it was here in Victoria. Thanksgiving weekend last year I was running the Good Life Victoria Half Marathon. This weekend I enjoyed two beautiful dinners, one at my Dad's and one at my in-laws. Kudos to the chefs! No pumpkin pie, indulged in two dark chocolates yesterday and today indulged in bread.

After today's dinner/lunch I had committed to going for a run/walk in preparation for my ultra sound tomorrow. In order to determine what is going on with my knee pain the doctor wants to run an ultra sound while my knee is inflamed. So today I was to go for a 5KM run, and again tomorrow right before the appointment. I tell you, after eating turkey at 2PM, the last thing I wanted to do was run 5KM, but I did. The weird thing is that I wasn't actually experiencing pain during the run, which is what has been happening every other time I run. This is awesome, but I don't trust that the pain wont come back yet, i've got to this place before of feeling better and then I go back to square one. I struggle with being in that place because I want so much to push myself, but I am terrified that if I do I will wind back up at the beginning and I have been working very hard these last couple months to re-hab it. Just taking it day by day though and see what the ultra sound brings.

But back to the theme of this weekend, giving thanks. There are so many things I have to be grateful for in my life.

#1: My family and friends who have supported me in this journey
#2: My health - my life is a total transformation from where I was just a few years ago.
#3: My will power - I was looking around at old photos and stumbled upon these. The photos make me incredibly grateful for my determination and strength in this journey.

#4: BDHQ and their support and dedication to their client's success
#5: My fitness buddies who get me going every day I just don't feel up to it
#6: The countless people I don't even know who have found strength from my journey, I am grateful that my experience has allowed you to find success

There are so many moments, people and experiences that I am grateful for. I am eternally grateful for everyone who reads and follows my blog and journey, it keeps me grounded and accountable. What are you grateful for in your life?

Friday, October 5, 2012

And the female winner is...

Can't let another month go without an amazing success story. Our most recent session of Biggest Winners ended a couple weeks ago. Because we have a growing number of male participants this last session there were two official winners. Jim and Rebecca. Congratulations to both amazing participants for their fantastic results, couldn't be more proud. They both look amazing. Today's post is dedicated to Rebecca and her journey of the up and downs of weight loss, check out her own inspiring words.

This is Rebecca before...

What was your heaviest weight?
Short Version: 272 pounds, the day my twins were born, That doesn't count, right? :)
Long Version: In 2007, after four years of trying to get pregnant, I was 248 lbs and when we had to seek help to get pregnant, it was strongly recommended I lose weight first (not really a surprise!). I lost 42 pounds and was 206 before getting pregnant in 2008. Then came the 272 pounds! However, I lost 50 pounds within two weeks of the babies' birth (let's just say I had a lot of water retention!). That was fun! In 2010, my BFF convinced me to join BDHQ (she not only bought me a gift certificate, she went with me to every workout!). When I was finally getting exercise, I went down to 188! This was better than my wedding weight in 2002! Then I injured myself running and then went back to work full time ...which led me to start BWs this July at 224. I am now 196 lbs.

What is your goal weight?
I'm not sure but I am looking forward to surpassing 188 (my lowest weight in 11 years). Then I look forward to surpassing 165 (which was the weight I was after Jenny Craig in 1999 but that didn't last long) and then I can't wait to be 155 (my weight when I started university in 1992). And anything past that will be a miracle - and really, really exciting!!

How long have you struggled with weight?
I've always considered myself a little chubby, but the real battle began when I stopped dancing at age 16.

What made you decide to join Biggest Winners?
Going back to work full-time after 2 1/2 years at home with my twins was way harder than I thought it was going to be! It was so overwhelmingly busy and exhausting... I gained 23 pounds in 10 months. I knew I was headed back to where I started from and I was scared. I was hoping to get myself back on track during the summer.

Then my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. To put it mildly, Life's had a shake up here. She has always been an inspiration to me - in many ways! I wanted to get healthy even more than before - to show my friend I appreciated her support all this time and that it wasn't a waste, and, now more than ever, for my family. I always, always, always went to BDHQ with my bud - never by myself. It was our social time - and I am so grateful to her for getting me started and keeping me company there! I knew that while she was unable to go, I was unlikely to go without her. I needed another reason to go.

What is the biggest non physical change you notice?
My determination and motivation! There is no question in my mind that I am going to show up for the next BW workout. I don't feel it's a choice. I don't even try to make up an excuse to allow myself to stay home. Joining BWs was like flipping a switch - all of a sudden, I was actually doing things I hadn't made time for all year - following a healthy eating plan, drinking 3 litres of water, getting more sleep, and working out!

What is the biggest physical change?
The legs and butt in my work pants are huge and ballooning around me! The waist is loose....but not loose enough yet.....

How do you involve your family in your weight loss journey? are they supportive?
I really want my family to be active together. I want my children to be healthy and happy - now and forever! I want us to hike together, bike together, enjoy life together! I desperately want to be a good role model for them. My kids are very supportive - even if they aren't conscious of it. When my daughter fell off the couch and was crying one night as I was attempting to leave for BWs, when I stayed home with her, she worried, "How will you get healthy if you don't go to the gym?" After seeing me write in my BW book so often, they will bring it to me sometimes after meal to remind me to fill it out. It was also inspiring to be compared with runners my kids saw on the street - "Look, Mommy, they are runners too - like you!". I love that my kids see me as a runner. When we finished this last session, my goal was to get my hubby to join BWs with me some day. He is starting this next session with me! I am excited for him to join me on this journey. I'm hoping I can show him the same support he has shown me.

What is your proudest moment in the last twelve weeks?
Losing weight while on vacation. I've never done that before! We were in Oregon for 8 days - I lost weight. We went camping up island for eight days - I lost weight!

And here is Rebecca NOW...

She looks absolutely fabulous. Every time I see her in the gym, even at 6AM, she is full of smiles. I'm blessed to be able to check in with her every day over email and get a little boost of my own. Rebecca I am so proud, as is everyone else in your life, of everything you are doing to be a healthier Mom, wife and friend. Can't wait to see what you look like after another 12 weeks.