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Getting back into the gym

Okay, so yesterday was my first morning spin class in a LOOOOOOONG time.

Good test of my READY FOR THE GYM system. Too bad the system failed. Although I was able to make it through!

  1. I forgot my towel – but, luckily the gym had one I could use. And the ladies at Hot Shop are all GEMS and so nice, that I don’t get scared to ask.
  2. I forgot work socks – but luckily had an extra pair of gym socks that I could wear to work and then change into a pair of shoes I keep at work that need NO SOCKS to wear indoors.
  3. Was missing face cream – again, a bummer, but not a deal breaker
  4. Was missing makeup brushes – used my fingers, still looked okay
  5. No time to dry hair – but managed something work-able [no pun intended]

So this weekend’s ‘goal’ is to CORRECTLY pack gym bag! and to actually have two separate ones. One for workouts BEFORE work and one for workouts AFTER. Workouts after work need clothes. Maybe spin shoes. Workouts before work need an entire trolley of products and items to get me into ‘ready for work’ state that must be finely managed.

Both need a waterbottle.

Easy goal for the weekend and it will make me happier with myself!

Side note – it’s been so long since spin classes, that I’ve lost my ‘butt callus’ – my butt is killing me from the seat after one class. Guess I have to build that up again!

 

 

 

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Losing Weight and Letting Go

In March of 2014, I had weight loss surgery. I had a procedure done known as a VSG – Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. Going through my decision to have that surgery, the prep and the aftermath is a whole other post. One I may or may not make, I don’t know (although feel free to email and/or comment with questions if you’re curious – I’m happy to share my experience for those who may be considering the same surgery).

Since my pre-op, I’ve lost about 70 lbs and I’m at a stable weight now – one I can maintain with my current diet and exercise, provided there aren’t too many trips to Palm Springs with Key Lime Martinis!

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But, as the weight started coming off me physically, I really tried to focus on where I could also lose weight emotionally and mentally. I have a lot of STUFF. I keep a lot of STUFF. I’ve come to realize that in some ways, I think  these material things help my memory, in that, if I didn’t have them, I would forget things from my past. I also have this notion that these things validate my experiences, validate ME – If I get rid of them, somehow the memories and experiences that are attached to these things are no longer valid.

My first big ‘break’ came when my mom sold her house after my dad died. I had this fear that I could never go home again, and that somehow my memories of my father would fade without the concrete and tactile presence of that house. Of course, you can’t go home again. Our experiences are what they are when we are there, in the moment, and despite the fact that traveling forward in time is no different than back in time from a physics point of view, you cannot go back. If you were to go back, you are who you are now, and the experience wouldn’t be the same. If you were not who you were now, then you would be who you were then and you wouldn’t be able to grasp the reason why you wanted to travel back in time to begin with.

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This was a hard thing for me to come to grips with and something I still work on. But, as it relates to my parents’ house, I think I got there. However, I’m still trying to incorporate the global scale of that idea into my entire paradigm. Translation – I keep a lot of shit. A LOT.

After I lost weight, I had to get rid of a lot of clothes because they didn’t fit, but I also was coming across things I’d not worn in YEARS and wondering “do I wear this now? It fits again?” – and these were tough decisions! After reading a book on the subject, I knew I had to ‘lose some weight’ in my life, but I wasn’t prepared to do the BIG DUMP the author mentioned. But, I found that holding each piece of clothing I was reluctant to part with in my hand and thanking  garment for the memories and reiterating that I was donating the garment, not throwing away the memories or feelings associated with said garment helped.

I’m still slowly working my way through things. Tonight was a BIG moment for me. I finally got rid of my class notes from my last year of university. How long ago was that? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA-cough-cough-cries-a-little-sniffle. A while. I always had this notion that maybe I would go get my masters and I would need those notes. But this week, the thoughts I ‘SAT WITH’ were this: I like writing. I want to keep writing. With my day job, writing takes up all my spare time. If I were to get my masters, I’d have to give up writing. And, at this point, it’s been MANY A YEAR since my classes – I’d have to retake a SLEW of those courses to refresh my brain so I could keep up.

So, that was one reason I was keeping those notes. What were the others? Well, that last year or so was a tough but proud one for me. I’d had to take a year off school for illness and going back was a struggle. I’d changed faculties so many times that I’d been in university for 5 years and still had no degree. I’d finally managed to pick a major and I had a plan to complete it. It meant I’d have to do Fall Semester, Winter Semester, Sprint Semester, Summer Semester, Fall semester and Winter Semester. and my final semester would be 5 400-level math classes. It wasn’t going to be easy. But I DID it. and I GRADUATED and HOLY SHIT, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??

I felt like a lot of my soul and being were infused into those notebooks – this had been a major milestone/event in my life and if I got rid of those things, was I throwing all that away?

Obviously, no. I still have that degree [FINALLY FRAMED AND ON MY WALL, YO. I got it framed JUST THIS YEAR, lol!]

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So tonight, I fortified myself with two glasses of wine and then some puppy snuggles and went through those notebooks, taking the time to hold each one, feel gratitude and validate my experience with them and then, say goodbye. I know to some people that sounds hokey or like woo-woo, but it was definitely a necessary step for me and one that made the entire process viable.

Deep breath. Time to keep losing weight. I need to make room for all the good things yet to come.

Weighty Issues

Internets, I try to be positive but sometimes, I just need a good rant. There’s gonna be language below. STRONG OPINIONS. Those with delicate sensibilities should avert their eyes.

Let’s talk about weight.

I’m overweight. Chubby. You could even say the f-word – Fat. I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. Consequently, I know a metric fuck ton about weight loss and calories and metabolisms and working out.

Let’s face it: if you want to know about weight and how it all works, don’t ask a thin person – someone who’s been fit their whole life. Ask a fat person. I GUARANTEE the fat person will know more. You can disagree, you’d be wrong.

This week my FAT BUTTONS got pushed when I was speaking with someone about weight and this person proceed to spout off that all people needed to do was burn as many calories as they ate. This person said that he/she burned ‘at least 5000 calories a day’ by moving and so could I if I chose.

CLEARLY THIS PERSON DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS. After talking more it turned out that they also never really liked sweets and always preferred vegetables anyway.

So yeah. KNOWS NOTHING. perhaps is lucky by nature to be the kind of eater that promotes a healthy weight, but in terms of knowledge, isn’t knowledgeable. But! Because they are slender, they are seen as ‘an expert.’

So, what would I, a 37 year old woman who weights BLAH BLAH BLAH [sweet Jesus you didn’t think I would put my weight down did you??] have to do a day to burn 5000 calories? According to my research [google I love you] SEVERAL HOURS OF EXERCISE. So, if I had say, 5 hrs to kill and an elliptical trainer and I went ALL  OUT for those FIVE HOURS, I could expect to burn 3500 calories. ALL OUT FOR FIVE HOURS ON AN ELLIPTICAL TRAINER.

You let me know if you have that kind of time and I want your day job.

Now! Let’s talk about LIES THE WEIGHT LOSS WORLD HAS TOLD ME AND OR USELESS ‘TIPS’ in every mag out there:

1. Are you feeling hungry? Drink water! You may just actually be thirsty! – I drink 2 litres of water a day. I’m pretty sure I’m fucking hungry. So hungry I feel sick. And the more water I drink  the MORE NOTHING ABOUT THAT CHANGES.

2. Eat some veggies if you’re hungry! – I did. I was hungry 20 minutes later. You fuckers. And my tummy hurts because raw veg are tough on me, but I don’t carry a steamer around to blanch them a bit so if I want to eat veg on the go, it’s raw or bust.

3. Make sure you get protein at every meal! – listen, I have the BEST diet of people I know. I’ve seen a nutritionist to help me ensure that I’m getting all I need. I’m still hungry like a MOFO 70% of the day.

4. Eat every few hours to keep your metabolism going – I DO. Still hungry folks.

5. Cut out those sugary drinks! Full of empty calories – I DID. WHEN I WAS 17. TWENTY YEARS AGO.

6. GET MORE SLEEP – Uh, listen. there’s a limited number of hours in the day and I already go to bed at 11 and get up at 5.45 REGULARLY. I’m pretty strict with my sleep schedule. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to fit MORE SLEEP in.

7. LIFT WEIGHTS – I  DO.

8. I’M JUST RANDOMLY CAPSLOCKING NOW BECAUSE TALKING ABOUT WEIGHT ALWAYS MAKES ME ANGRY

9. Throw that scale out! – Everyone I know that has done this GAINS weight. It’s the WORST advice out there. I don’t need to get rid of the scale, I need to manage my reaction to it. Getting rid of a scale is like…. Telling me to get rid of my hammer because I don’t like hammering nails, but then telling me the nails still have to be hammered in. You’ve pretty much just crippled my ability to do anything. and now I feel worse about it.

10. After a couple weeks, you’ll find working out is a habit you just don’t want to break – LIARS! I did a bootcamp for TWO YEARS [LOVED My trainer and my fellow work out people], I worked out with a personal trainer [Liked my trainer, saw results] for a YEAR – I still don’t like it. It’s STILL a struggle to do. I’m just not a person who enjoys working out. I’ve found stuff I like to do as far as exercise goes [dancing, ballet, cardio aerobics] but I still have to grit my teeth to get started. EVERY TIME. I don’t like it. And let me state for the record, that I really did have the BEST bootcamp trainer out there. Her name was Michelle. SHE WAS AWESOME. She worked us HARD but she was SO GREAT About it. I never had a fitness person motivate me positively before while still getting me to work as hard as I could, but she did. So it wasn’t that I had a bad experience. I loved Michelle! She was great! I still don’t like working out.

The whole weight thing always makes me want to just… stomp around and yell and hit things. It’s one of the few things in my life that makes me angry, upset, irrational, anxious, embarrassed and self-righteous all at once. I’ve been fighting my weight since I was 9 [that I can remember] and I’ll be fighting it until I die. It’s exhausting. I don’t even know how to wrap this post up. I wish I had some silver-lining advice or zen-like realization that I’ve come to. All I know is it’s all-consuming and if I didn’t have to worry/agonize over my weight, I feel like so much of my brain would be freed up to work on other things.