Feeling renewed

I’m back! Hopefully for good. I am currently working on some projects and trying to get some direction in my life. While I was focusing on that, my eating and exercise habits fell off. I stopped doing Crossfit because my body could no longer handle the intense exercise. Not to completely blame Crossfit because I was also eating poorly with tons of inflammatory foods and alcohol, so who knows if I will return to it in the future. I’ve made lifelong friends at that gym so there is something to be said about the sense of community that it fosters. Like I just mentioned, I was eating poorly while doing Crossfit, so once I stopped lifting so heavy and working out as often, the scale went up, like all the way up. I’m up about 6-8 lbs… My fitness class also went on hiatus in August so that didn’t help either. Now that it’s back, I can see the weight gain and I don’t like it. Plus how can I be an inspiration to others in regards to living healthfully, if I can’t monitor myself? So here I am, slowly get back on the health train, for good this time. (Suddenly got this weird urge to watch Mission Impossible 1…probably because of the train scene. Yes, I am that simple)

Food– I am an all or nothing type of girl. I can’t say that this is the only plan I am doing, but this is the one that I’m starting with! I’m currently reading the “Change One” book which I found on my bookcase.  It’s not even a diet, it just teaches you how to implement one change at a time.

Week 1 is all about breakfast. My plan is to have my protein smoothie as late as possible in order to take advantage of the health effects of intermittent fasting.

  • Breakfast
    • Coffee
      • almond milk and almond creamer
    • Protein smoothie
      • 1 cup almond milk
      • 1 scoop protein powder
      • 1 cup fruit
      • 2 cup veggies
      • 1 tbsp chia seed

Exercise– I need to start exercising as intensely as when I was doing the Crossfit. And it’s not just cardio that I need to add, but the strength. I had a gym buddy when I was doing CF, so that’s gone. But I have you guys and will stay cognizant of the changes I want to make. I want to be an inspiration to my family and my class participants. This week’s plan:

  • Sunday
    • AM- Strength class, followed by elliptical machine
  • Monday
    • AM- Dance class prep, upper body strength
    • PM- Dance performance squad.  (There is so much stopping, that not much cardio happens, but I am doing more than I would if I was at home, so I’m counting it!)
  • Tuesday
    • AM- Dance class Prep
    • PM- Barre class with my sister
  • Wednesday
    • AM- Dance Class Prep
    • PM- Masala Bhangra Class
  • Thursday
    • AM Dance Class Prep, lower body home strength
    • PM- Dance freestyle class (have no idea what that is)
  • Friday
    • AM and PM- Dance Class Prep, upper body home strength
  • Saturday
    • Teach my class! Tons of calories burned

That is the plan. I will post during the week to keep you updated. Have a great day!!

Self Sabotage

What is self sabotage? According to Psychology Today, self-sabotage is “when a behavior creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals.” I have a lot of goals that I want to achieve in the next 6 months. So why have I spent this evening cleaning, cooking and am currently sipping my second drink?!?

How does one achieve their goals? How does one get the fire inside them that moves them to do more than others? I think I just have so much to do and so many thoughts floating around in my head, that I end up doing nothing. In the morning, I want to do so much, but the time just seems to fly. I have the basics down: eating, basic self care, going to work everyday, chatting with friends and the weekly exercise classes, but that’s kind of it. I want to be excellent, successful, financially stable and most of all, happy.

The good news is that I’m feeling better emotionally and much more positive about my current situation. Each morning I wake up and write down 10 things that I love and value about myself which was suggested by Jake Ducey. I also write a list of all the things that I’m grateful for. Doing those two activities in the morning leaves me feeling content with where I’m at. However, I know that I can do more and you HAVE to do more to move to the next level. If I wanted to stay an office manager, remain overweight and teach dance classes on the weekend, than I wouldn’t have to do anything more. But to find a new job, lose weight and get paid for my classes, I need to take the necessary steps to get there.

Plan of Action: I’m going to blog more often to have some accountability. Also to be more consistent with my goals. Changes that I will implement until my next post:

  1. Lower carbs- I’ve been doing research on keto. Even though I’m not going that route, I want to lower my carb intake because I think I’m insulin resistant and I don’t want to be a slave to glucose spikes. I’ve already cut out bread, so the next steps are bananas, plantains and other higher starched foods
  2. Write a blog every 3-4 days
  3. Practice my class choreography daily- I haven’t taught a class in 2 weeks. Although it’s nice to be off, I think I’m regressing in my fitness capabilities, especially since I’ve stopped doing crossfit. I want to start dancing daily, for at least 30 mins, in order to get my energy back and to have new moves when I return to teaching in 3 weeks
  4. Study 30 mins for my AFAA fitness instructor certification or GRE exam
  5. Take a walk during lunch every day, at least around the block

That’s it! Nothing too out there or challenging. I can get better. I will get better!

Advice to My Younger Self

I was listening to a podcast just now on regaining weight after losing it. The host asked the guest, if she could go back to a certain age to give advice…. when would she go back to and what advice would she give her younger self… This got me thinking.

I have been overweight since elementary school and have been dieting since that time. That’s one of the “perks” of having older sisters. I was reading Self magazine and admiring tall, thin and lithe bodies like Gabrielle Reese or Veronica Webb since before puberty. I never once thought that I couldn’t look like that if I followed a 1200 calorie plan. I have never liked the way that I look. Never. I have been comparing myself to celebrities and models since the start. When I got my first real crush in college, I started running because I thought that my weight was the only thing holding me back from him liking me. I started running around the track, lost the weight and started putting myself in his line of sight. We never dated. Then I would drink excessively to relax and be more sociable, because men would screw any girl that was there, right? You could blame 90210 and Melrose Place for those ideas. So now, not only was I a problem drinker, but I was eating like crazy to deal with loneliness and shame from drunken escapades. It’s just been a constant cycle of binging and abstinence, never any type of moderation with food or alcohol.

I love to dance which is why I am becoming a certified instructor and teach on the weekends at a church. Dancing allows me to workout every week to stay in some sort of shape and help others stay motivated and in shape. I really don’t like Crossfit, but I like challenging myself. I joined Crossfit to literally whip my body into shape. I loved the results but after being sidelined, I gained some weight back and have been binging ever since. Everything that I do to my body has been to modify the emotions with a substance, get it thinner by starving, making crazy eating rules or exercising until I get injured. I’ve never just loved it for still fucking working. Appreciate it for what it is because it’s as perfect as I’ve allowed it to be. And I should be grateful and I am in this moment.

I have these affirmations on my wall in my kitchen and bathroom that say:

  • I am beautiful
  • I love my body
  • I care about what goes into my body
  • I love myself
  • I care about my body

Is it normal to have to remind yourself of that? Why is my self esteem and self image so distorted? There is no one to blame at this point, but how can I rectify it? I know that finding the answer to this question is the only way to reach a stable and healthy weight. I aspire to love myself and treat my body with TLC. I think it’s time to put my scale away. That’s step #1 for damn sure.

12 week life makeover

I have been slacking off. In regards to my eating, working out and life in general. It’s all been cumulating over the past 2 weeks, and the final kicker was my ankle injury last week. Ever since then, I’ve been unable to stop eating and I am currently downward spiraling. As we speak. Adding to that, the non fitness parts of my life aren’t great, so I am on track to gaining all the weight back that I lost.

I can’t figure out what is wrong. I know when I’m at work, I’m miserable and don’t want to be there, but that hasn’t changed in the past 5 yrs. I have been doing more towards my fitness career, so perhaps that is putting a spotlight on the fact that my 9-5 job is energy draining… I have this knee issue that I feel all the time, that bothers me…. I signed up for Match, but don’t think I would actually date anyone because I don’t feel good about myself…. I just need a break from it all and I need to do better.

I signed up for a 12 week career bootcamp. I know that my job is just an external issue, so in theory fixing that might not fix the internal issues. My mom always says “Wherever you go, there you are.” If you hate yourself or are depressed, that will make you even more so. But I’m also  working on the internal stuff as well. The job is just such a major factor in my mood and life, I know that things will change once I get a new job so I decided to get some outside help in the job hunting department. It’s a 12 week program that provides resources, coaching, resume and linkedin help… so it seems pretty good.

I also signed up for my AFAA certification course to be a certified fitness instructor, so I can study for that in these 12 weeks. Plus I want to do an elimination diet,  so no alcohol, sugar (!!!), soy and gluten. The major thing I want to eliminate is the alcohol and the sugar because I am addicted to sugar and alcohol just wastes my time.  I want to focus on exercise, physical therapy, recovery and getting healthy. With each day, I see more concerning behavior, like buying Baskin Robbins 3 times in the past 2 weeks, and getting 3 scoops each time. If I had a therapist, I would ask how someone could fall so far from grace in 3 weeks… But I’m reading the signals and am changing things up NOW.

The bootcamp starts on Sunday, but I’m starting immediately.

Phase 1- Week 1-2

  • No alcohol (!)
  • No sugar (!!)
  • 8 glasses of water per day
  • At least 7 hrs of sleep per night
  • Daily meditation and affirmations.- I realize that my job isn’t great, but it pays my bills, so I’m grateful
  • Daily physical therapy exercises
  • Crossfit or fitness class 4x per week
  • Daily blog posts
  • Participating in the Career Bootcamp and the meditation programs that I signed up for

I want a life makeover, but no one is going to do it for me. I need to do it for myself. I can be better and reach my weight, fitness and professional goals. 2018 will be the year.

Namaste

1st Injury

Ok. So technically I wasn’t injured doing Crossfit, but I was injured doing a HIIT class at the Crossfit box. I sprained my ankle, mildly, but it got me thinking about what is important in my life. I wasn’t able to teach my dance class on Saturday because I have pain when I put my full weight on my foot. It’s improving with each day and I will be back to 100% by next Saturday.  I fell so deep into the Crossfit and gym buddy culture and mindset, that it’s nice to get a little reprieve, a break from working out. I have been going there  3-5 times per week, and at times taking 2 classes back to back. It was bound to happen.

I got injured in a class that is taught by a coach that isn’t my favorite. Coaches have different personalities and motivation strategies, but this one seems to think that if you say you can’t do it or are struggling, you just aren’t pushing yourself enough. Which is ironic because I usually am out of breath in his class, which is 100% plyometrics, ladder drills and sprints. Plus I paid $225 per month to be there and am taking 7-8 classes per week, believe me I’m trying.

They also all assume that you are trying to get in shape for “the summer” when I’m just trying to get in shape for life. They don’t know that I’ve lost 44lbs so far, so yes I am one of the largest folks in there at a size 14, but I’ve come a distance. Some also don’t pay attention to limitations. But in the end, if you get injured, it’s your fault. Even though folks are screaming at you to go harder, you are supposed to ignore it or tell them that you are having pain. So with that realization…… I’m going to start running my own race and paying attention to what I can and can’t do. I also will only listen to the trainers that I trust. Some trainers see when you are having difficulty and tell you to modify, others tell you to push harder. I’m going to stick to the former teachers from now on.

Can we also talk about peer pressure and gym buddies for a minute? In my previous post, I said you are who you hang out with, BUT if your gym buddy wants to work out 6 days per week, you have to just say no if your body can’t handle it. I’m going back to 4 days a week (S,M,W,TH) and my gym buddies can go together on the days that I can’t.

I started the post saying that I know what is most important now and it’s not working out at the Crossfit gym, it’s my dance class. They were unable to find a substitute for my dance class on Saturday, so due to my decision to take a HIIT class, they were teacherless. The site manager sent me a pic of the ladies dancing to a video of me that one of them recorded in order to practice at home. I am making a difference in these women’s lives, I feel it, and I don’t want to spoil that trying to do suicides sprints and box jumps. This internship, which is over in maybe 3 months, is the top priority for me now and I really need to take care of my body and add more rest to the mix. So I made a new rule, no more HIIT training on Fridays at all so I can be 100% on Saturday.

If I feel OK for the rest of the day, I will return to “the box” tomorrow morning, then rest on Tuesday and then do a double on Wednesday. If my gym buddy says anything, I will just tell her to kick rocks… in the sweetest way possible.

Weighing in

The dance class that I taught yesterday was NOT good. I didn’t rehearse the dances the day before like I usually do because I spent the prior day at a spa with a friend. I got home really late and then didn’t prepare that morning. So I was pretty much winging it. I made a few mistakes and in one song, I missed a mark and actually went to rewind the song so we could redo it, which I’m pretty sure is a faux pas. It was a vital part of the song though. Thank goodness this is an internship and I’m not getting paid. When you are dancing in front of a crowd, and they are all watching you… there is nowhere to hide and you can’t cover it up.

Today was my zumba certification class and it went well. I LOVE Zumba and I love to dance. I love great teachers and the one that taught the class was exceptional. I want to be a great teacher and I plan to put more effort into this. I’m glad that I am in this 6 month internship because it gives me time to perfect my craft, work on cueing  and just get better. That way when I start trying to get a job at a gym or studio, I will be 1000 times better and will also have 6 months of experience under my belt. But tomorrow is back to reality. On the scale of importance, I would rank 1) Fitness instructor development 2) Crossfit obsession and 3) Current job. With each new thing, the job is getting lower and lower on the totem pole.

Now onto the main event–>

IMG_0835Here is my current weight. I’m going to do a post tomorrow on maintaining motivation and how to do it. I was plateaued for 2 months going back and forth between 188 and 187. I made one change last week and have now reached the lowest weight that I’ve been since 2012. Motivation is hard to maintain, especially when you are stressed or feeling low. I set a goal of being 183 by April 1 and I’m pretty sure that I will be below that by the end of the week.

 

Quick Update

  • I’m still doing Crossfit and still loving it. I haven’t been brave enough to snap a pic inside the box aka gym yet, but I will one day.
  • Since my blog is called “Getting Fit With Vic”, I’m going to start posting my stats, weighing in weekly, so people can see that I am actually losing weight. I’m also going to post more frequently and have more topic related posts.
  • This Sunday I am signed up for a Zumba certification! After that, I need to get CPR certified and then it’s on. A real side job.
  • I’ve starting having a daily juice. I saw part of the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and it really inspired me to reevaluate what I put into my body. I deal with arthritis, which is inflammation, and it would be amazing if all of my pain went away by diet change. So many foods that I eat cause inflammation, like coffee, wheat, alcohol, processed food… I don’t do as well as I could and I was watching an interview today and the guest said something interesting. She said that they want to make sure that you aren’t removing processed meat food and replacing it with processed vegan food. I NEED to focus on being more plant based and eat more veggies. And eventually focusing on organic. I know my pain will go away and my skin will clear up. But how to eliminate coffee… HOW???
  • Not health related, but I joined Match.com

I’m feeling positive, but restless. I have a lot going on, but feel like not really. I’m doing Crossfit now 5 times per week before work and I am managing it. I get enough sleep and am trying to incorporate meditation and affirmations. I am still teaching cardio dance on Saturdays and someone actually told me that they look forward to Saturdays. I love it and have to believe that everything happens for a reason in life. I need to have patience.

 

Don’t Break the Chain

I knew I loved Jerry Seinfeld for a reason. Despite the fact that I think his show was way funnier than Friends, he used this awesome productivity technique in order to write jokes. It’s called “Don’t Break the Chain”

He revealed a unique calendar system he uses to pressure himself to write. Here’s how it works.

He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.

He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”

“Don’t break the chain,” he said again for emphasis.

And that is it. Daily action builds habits and in order to make changes some not fun things need to get done. Job hunting, researching careers, networking and updating my Linkedin is not fun for an introvert like me. BUT some shit just needs to get done. I am attempting to move from medical office manager to public health professional so that will take some planning, researching and networking. It’s doable but it will take work.

Each day I will do a task that brings me closer to a new job. I don’t want to devote a whole evening to it, but I will need to do something each day. I watched some videos yesterday and updated my Linkedin profile today… 2 days down so far! My plan is to not break the chain on this until I have a new position. After 30 days, I will add another goal but as of right now, the job situation is pressing most on my soul. I would love to have a career that I am passionate about.

I’m already planning for the next “Don’t break the chain” item. Online dating would be a good one, right? Message a new guy everyday is an awesome challenge so I think I will probably do that next. For introverts, perhaps  start a conversation with a stranger.  For those trying to lose weight, reach 12,000 steps per day or food journal everyday. The reason why I like this is because there is no end and no fake reward. I am not the best at rewarding myself for things anyway and I’m pretty sure that I owe myself a massage for losing 30lbs. So I like the idea of the reward being a row of Xs and knowing that I can be consistent.

What Is Self Care To You?

I read an interesting, and controversial, article on self care. The author said that it is not all salt baths and eating cake —> Article . I agree with her completely. We should all strive to have a life that we don’t need to escape from. Isn’t that the point? Self care to me used to be having a glass (or four) of wine per night to recover from a hellish job and sad, single existence. But for the past 7 weeks I have been doing crossfit and working out a lot. I made some friends and realized that I can’t workout in the morning if I am hungover… so I no longer drink the night before I exercise.

My job is no longer my top priority, but I am still there. And now I’m sitting in the uncomfortableness with no mental escape. I know I will get to the point where I can no longer take it and will hand in my notice. But until then…

Self Care to me is:

  • Preparing to leave my job by job hunting, saving money and controlling my spending
  • Paying down my loans and credit card debt
  • Continuing to exercise and do Crossfit; push past my limits and challenge myself
  • Not drinking excessively
  • Playing with Pixie, my cat
  • Learning to love and accept myself as I am
  • Getting 7-8 hours of sleep, drinking as much water as possible and eating my veggies
  • Listening to motivational podcasts and reading self help books
  • Putting myself first and surrounding myself with people that make my feel good

Crossfit has kind of taken over my life, but in a good way. I  have no idea what made my sign up for the 6 week challenge. When I went for the “interview”, which was just a facility tour and explanation of the challenge,  I thought it was HIIT. I was in a plateau and saw an ad on Instagram. I went there, signed up, and the rest is history. I have done more exercise in the past 7 weeks than I have in the past 6 months. After my 6 week intro package, my new friends and I signed up for 6 months. I definitely know that it was the right thing to do. My life was a mess and now I have some structure. I have pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible and lifted, safely, more than I thought I ever could. Most importantly, I have cleaned up my life tremendously. Like I mentioned before, I drink a lot less, at most 1 day per week, I’ve been reading more, sleep 7 hours per night and I just feel more balanced and in tune with my body. My self confidence has increased and now I’m trying to improve my self esteem.

I also want to figure out what challenge I can do next.