This Has Nothing To Do With Weight Loss – Trust the Uncertainty

As I went out on my interval run/walk this morning, hastily preparing for a 5K run I have in only 24 days, my mind was rambling with thoughts and feelings.  With only four minutes left on my stopwatch, I could feel my chest getting tight and my breath become shallow – these are all sensations I have felt before when a full blown panic attack lurks around the corner.  And this time, my heart was palpitating at a rate that forced my Triple Ds to shake like I was jumping on a untethered trampoline.

Today, however, as I felt the rain start to fall on my eyelashes and the music in my ears turn from LMFAO to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, I paused and decided to embrace what was happening;  the reality of what was about to take over every cell of my body.  I looked out to the pond, started watching the bulrushes sway back and forth, and I focused on my breath.

My life right now has moved me in the direction of learning the art of meditation; attempting to quiet the thoughts in my head at a time where I have a lot of questions.  It is these questions that have left me crying for hours on end, numb to the laughter of my kids, and doubting (as a close friend labelled it) everything around me.  I have come to realize it is this uncertainty in life that can make our heads spin until we convince ourselves we are going down the wrong road.

At the tail end of a therapy session about three months ago, during a rather acute, down moment in my personal life, the highly educated professional who sat across from me said a few words that have weighed heavy on this small-A type personality’s shoulders like the extra 100 lbs I once carried on my five inch four foot frame:

Sometimes, Adina, we need to trust the uncertainty.

I didn’t know what to do with his words.  But today, experiencing that almost-panic attack, his matter-of-fact statement rang in my ears like the deafening screech of car accident  and I knew I had to let so much go that I have been holding.

Some people say I have a lot on my plate, that I need to focus more on what’s important to me, that possibly I may burn out if I don’t slow down.  These statements are true only if I am in constant battle with what’s unfolding around me – and I was doing just that up until this past weekend.  I finally got to a point where the uncertainly became so overwhelming, I had no choice but to submit.

I am uncertain about my dad’s health and impending death.

I am uncertain if my body is cable of getting me through to my goals.

I am uncertain if I am spending quality time with my kids.

I am uncertain about possible heartbreak around the corner.

I am uncertain if I have given too much to those important to me.

I am uncertain if I am capable of real love and connection (again).

I have a lot of unanswered questions that have caused (too much) worry and anxiety. I can no longer live in the space of what if or maybe or I don’t know.  Instead, I am taking advice from someone who taught me to be in the moment (see post back in February:  click here), to live in the here and now.

I am living as we were meant to live; from a place of love (always) and just trusting the uncertainty of life.

I am working hard at my goals.  I am loving my kids as best as I know how.  I am sharing my time (our greatest gift to anyone) with my dad.  And love, well, I will continue to give it with all my heart and soul and know it will one day be accepted for everything it is worth.

Axo

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Starting over means you haven’t yet given up

I haven’t stepped on a scale in over three years. I know my relationship with this little box is a healthy one so at no point am I concerned about the number that stares back at me because it does not measure:

  • My strength
  • My fat vs muscle mass
  • My endurance
  • My love of my body
  • My worth 

But we need measurables and this is but one. I have advocated my feelings of the scale for years and those feelings still hold true. I respect those who smash the shit out of it or those past clients who put theirs in hibernation in my garage until they were ready to take their own power back.

I also respect honesty and transparency with ourselves  (first) and then those around us. Secrecy works sometimes.  But I believe in an age where masks and fake happy lives on social media seem to be at epidemic proportions, a little truth and discomfort can do the soul some good.

I visited with my dad yesterday after a near miss fall that has him fairly  incapacitated and a feeling of clarity took over me as I sat beside him. Health is so all-encompassing. It isn’t just the size of your dress, the curve in your squat exhausted booty or the macros that follow you throughout the week. It’s how your body gets you through stress and sadness and anger; how your immune system responds to broken sleep and imbalanced diet; how your mental fortitude pushes you through the tough in life. 

While a round ass and carved shoulders are great goals, I’m finally realizing health and strength in fitness and consistency in nutrition will one day be the reason you overcome the life- sucking moments that will pop up.

My scale has reminded me this morning that, 45 lbs later, health cannot be achieved when we don’t truly know a starting point. I thank my scale for being honest with me today. Our relationship is a good one, but I have the power in where I’m going… not that little $39.99 piece of metal.

This morning’s workout dedicated to my dad.

Axo

The Summer of Giving Up

I had to.

A while back, I reached out to an old weight loss warrior friend with whom I hadn’t talked to in over two years.  We exchanged “whatcha doin’s” and life went back to cat videos and dead lifts (me and him respectively).

It was an Instagram post that he wrote a while back that got me thinking of how to approach the continuation of my recently stalled journey and the steps needed to get back to me.  For a further read click HERE.

This post, along with some words from my man friend last night, got me really digging deep in the emotions and caused some introspection, particularly where I may have fallen short when I took the first step towards a healthier life over five years ago.

I was trying to articulate to him the difference this time around; that I am not resigned to the fact I am fat, but that I am taking the invisible steps (at least to those around me) necessary in order for the physical steps to happen and to stick!  The work inside my brain and heart and soul far exceed the changes I will make physically – it is essential to the process and, in my opinion, is the foundation to lasting change.

I failed to do this last time around. It is because of this my injury and breakup were an easy scapegoat for the relapse that has taken shape.

I do best under pressure and when I have multiple projects on the go – my success has always been in the multiple and whether at home or in my career, give me more, and my productivity will increase exponentially.  A true multi-tasker.

At least I thought.

Back to Tim’s post:

The greatest predictor for personal and professional success comes from our ability to eliminate the non essential… new practices could not have happened without eliminating other practices like reducing television, eliminating video games, eliminating toxic and non value relationships and seeing my time as valuable. 

I took this post to heart.  The starting and stopping of my workouts and meal plans was driving me crazy and  I didn’t know why consistency was lacking.  While I hadn’t thought things through completely, which is true to character lately, I believed this was a great way to achieve success in small  steps.

The decision to not multi-task for the first time in my life happened over the course of a few days.  And then, I decided to start with the biggest of non-essential.

First item to give up was Facebook.  We love it, we hate it, we scroll instead of listening to our partner or kids or our own thoughts.  It’s the greatest distraction and the most time-sucking platform out there.  I valued Facebook when my business was primarily online.  But much like the Meh character’s reflection in the recently enjoyed Emoji Movie, “All they do is talk about themselves.  I would rather have real friends.”

The app has been removed from my phone.  The extra time has allowed me to do essential things in my life that I may have otherwise ignored: grooming and playing with Opie, playing cards with my kids, being present when I am with family and loved ones  (this was a big one for me – I encourage you to be aware of how often those around you pick up their phone. It’s the dozens of nano seconds that add up to many missed hours with those around us), repotting a plant, organizing my closet, reading, writing… all these things hold so much value in my life, although small things, result in me doing things that are not only essential to keep my life moving forward, but things that bring me joy and contentment.

Once three weeks passed, I had to decide on my next non essential to give up.

Second  item to give up was take-out at work… even if it was from Whole Foods.  This was necessary for a number of reasons, all of which are fairly obvious.  Money, time getting to and from places on a half hour lunch, the quality of food being consumed, etc., etc.  What has this freed up for me?  The biggest take away from this is getting in the habit (again) of preparing meals and planning ahead. I also committed to taking all the money I was spending on my take out lunches and making a weekly deposit into my newly opened Savings account.  For the first time, I have a small pot of cash that is growing every day, my waist is a little slimmer and I certainly have my half hour to enjoy eating, listen to a podcast, go for a stroll or do a little reading.  All essentials to a happier life!

Third item to give up has been sleep.  WHAT??? Our time is finite.  We all know that (currently listening to Ted Radio Hour’s “Shifting Time”).  Sleep is something that I believe is both essential and vital for a healthy life.  But, you need to find your sweet spot.  For me, it’s 6 1/2 to 7 hours.  By giving up one hour of sleep every day for three weeks, I will allow myself an extra hour in the morning for me.  Now, I could go whole-hog here and say I’m going to work out every morning with that hour, but I don’t want to commit to one thing because experience has shown if and when I miss one or two workouts, I feel defeated and consistency is broken.  For me, it’s committing to an hour of me time where I can do any of the following:  read, work out, meditate, have breakfast with my man, write, do my nails, sit outside, go for a walk.  It will not be used to prep lunches, dinner, house chores such as laundry or cleaning, paying bills, or essentially any adulting.  By sacrificing an hour of my sleep, I need to be adding in something of mental or emotional value.

Giving up this summer has been a great way of laying the foundation of new habits.  By sticking to each item for three weeks at a time, I am celebrating small successes.  Will I ever go back to those things I have lost?  Well, I guess the importance in this lesson is not to focus on what I have given up, but focussing on all the great things I have gained by eliminating the aspects of my life I once thought I valued.

“If you want to grow, start by shrinking.” ~TinierTim

Axo

 

 

Fat Chicks Deserve This Too

I have started six blog posts in the last eight weeks.  The titles range from “Fear is the Biggest Boner Killer” to “Gonna Get Good”.  The sentiments of these posts have included the spectrum of emotions and feelings from defeat to hope.  I have listened to podcasts, watched numerous Ted Talks, sprinkled my evenings alone smoking cigarettes (a little out of character), drinking Tom Collins, reading love stories and books on discomfort while my cat curls in next to me.  I have stumbled on posting because nothing has felt super authentic.  But, I remember when I was producing a blog every week for Tips of the Scale and the advice of my fellow Scale Warriors.  You just have to write sometimes.  And for the 8th year in a row my psychic has told me my sacral chakra is blocked, so I need to tap into my creative and to write.

Here I am.

I recently listened to a podcast entitled “Tell Me I’m Fat.”  If you have an hour to spare (30 mins to and fro work is all you need), I suggest you listen.  I attempted pressing play on this numerous times to be faced with either technical or time restraints that disallowed me past the constant circular motion of the loading icon.  But, two weeks ago, I was able to press play as I sat at work doing nothing but data entry for an entire day.  As my lonely day went on, I listened to a kaleidoscope of podcasts, one of which was this one.

For those of you who read my last post, you know where my opinions lie when it comes to Fat Matters, because it does.  It matters because our size and health can determine our direct relation to our experiences in life.  That does not mean that being fat prevents you from happiness.  But, for me, it means limited potential in terms of our experiences and access to said experiences; and some may then argue, happiness, fulfillment, engagement, resources… you get the picture, may not be realized fully.

See Being Fat is Not Fun.

So, being fat may not be fun because of the possible direct and indirect results.

You get what I mean here and if you don’t, that means you have never experienced life in a fat body.  I won’t pass judgement or even opinion on that because I don’t know what life is like in a skinny body, so we are both ignorant of each other’s experiences because of just that – our experiences.

Throughout this podcast, I took a few moments to jot down words or sentences that struck a chord with me, in chicken scratch penmanship on my note pad donated to me by a local retirement home in downtown Oakville.

The biggest (pardon the purposeful pun) impact statement was “Fat Chicks Deserve This Too.”  It was a beautiful story of what this fat chick deserved, but what I loved about it was everything.  And I came to realize there is nothing we don’t deserve at any stage in our lives.  Most importantly the ability to love and experience life as we are.

I have often thought…

when I get smaller, or thinner, or fitter, or prettier, or leaner, or fit in a size 8 or 10, or 12, or 14, I  will…

Be happy, satisfied, content, fulfilled, able, successful, loved, worthy, deserving.

I have written about loving yourself and accepting yourself and meeting yourself exactly where you are in life before – but I was being a complete fraud because I didn’t really know what that meant. Right now, at this exact moment, I know I deserve happiness.  I know I deserve a life of joy.  I know I deserve never to settle.  And I certainly know no one should hold the ability to make me feel any less than I am.

All this had to come before anything else.  It has taken five years on this journey, an injury, a divorce, a career change, 40 lbs gained, an ailing father, newfound love and a hell of a lot in between to realize fat chicks deserve happiness too.

This Fat Chick deserves it all… And that’s why I’m doing what feels right, no plans but to do what feels right and authentic and true to me.  I will continue to move my body, fuel it with good food, and love it for everything it does for me every day I’m on this planet.  I will continue to act out of love, always, even if it’s difficult to do so.  I have no end game in sight other than to always be the best version of me and if right now that means holding extra pudge in places I didn’t two years ago, well, I’m okay with that.  I’m not the girl on the left any more, but the girl on the right is certainly learning to love life where she is!

What are you doing to honour you?

Axo