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!

Removing the “Golden Handcuffs” and Quitting My Job

Quitting my job is the current thought in my head, all of the time. My fitness instructor career (albeit a volunteer one) is gaining momentum. My classes are getting fuller and people actually love my content. My mind is blown away half of the time by the positive feedback that I’m getting. I’m glad that my song choices and choreography are resonating with people. I want to do it more often so I’m currently studying for my AFAA Group Fitness Instructor certification so I can work at a real gym and get paid.

On August 27, 2018, I will have been at my job for 6 years, but I don’t plan to make it that far. I dread the job, the patients, the phone calls, the doctor, the complaints… I don’t want to deal with it and manage it anymore. So…. I’m planning to quit, very, very soon. My job requires 4 weeks notice, so in order to leave by my anniversary, I need to give notice by July 27. Already, I feel anxiety in the pit of my belly, but I think it’s mainly excitement mixed with some fear.  As of right now, I don’t have a plan (LOL) and I have never quit without jumping to the next job. So really I’ve been working in hospitals for 10 years straight. I know I would be able to survive 2-3 months without a salary. I’ve already been looking for work, but it would be so much easier to look if I had more time instead of working this 9-5pm.

Before I quit, I want to 1) Take a mini vacation 2) Get CPR certified 3) Pay 3 months rent in advance. The rent is the main factor, also utilities and cell phone, but besides that, everything else can wait for my next job.  These golden handcuffs that I’m wearing, which is really just a steady paycheck because I don’t get perks, are making it too hard for me to make progress. Plus the fact that the job messes with my emotions, I feel like I’m treading water. Losing and gaining back the same 5 lbs. Making positive changes and then having setbacks after a bad day. If I stay my current course, I will slowly truck along towards my dreams. I feel deep down in my bones that I need to do something drastic. Like getting the f**k out.

Great blog post below that I plan to read everyday until I give my notice. I’m considering waiting an extra week to give notice, just to get an extra paycheck in my hand, but I’m going to let my heart lead me.

Quit Your Job and Join the Gym

Forgiveness

Sorry I’ve been missing. I’ve been feeling a little out of it and not at peace. I’ve always had issues with looking ahead into the future, seeing what is possible but not the path and getting discouraged. I end up turning to old habits, such as eating takeout daily, drinking too much and watching lots of TV. For some people, that might not seem like such a bad thing, but I know that I could do so much more if I actually tried and didn’t get discouraged so easily. It also makes it so I’m not happy in the moment. Always waiting to be happy in the future, which isn’t even promised. I’m currently working on correcting those bad habits and working on my mindset, which is a daily process.

Even though my eating hasn’t been ideal, I have continued to work out and do Crossfit, although I am the only person gaining weight while doing it, it’s because of my diet. I really love to exercise and see the progress that I’m making on that front. I’m also still teaching my fitness class on Saturdays, however I can’t be a good example for my students if I’m gaining weight and not living a healthy lifestyle. One of my missions in life is to help people lose weight, so I will be Subject #1.

Forgiveness – It’s not easy to forgive but they say it’s the most important step in moving forward so I am extending that to myself.

  • I forgive myself for not treating my body in the best way possible and for being so hard on my appearance.
  • I forgive myself for simultaneously having an ideal of perfection yet making so many active attempts to fail, causing a constant state of body dissatisfaction.
  • I forgive myself for criticising every aspect of myself making it difficult to ever be at peace.
  • I forgive myself for sabotaging relationships and friendships for fear that people would leave me or that their feelings weren’t sincere
  • I forgive myself for not knowing how to maintain healthy relationships.
  • I forgive myself for not opening up more to people for fear of retaliation or dismissal of feelings.
  • I forgive myself for putting my cat Elf through months of chemo making the last months of his life painful and scary (I started crying when I wrote that one so I think I have a lot of guilt with that one).
  • I forgive myself for drinking and eating in excess.
  • I forgive myself for not really trying to find my calling when I was younger and working on jobs that were not for me.

I forgive myself and will continue to work on it everyday. Just like if you were cheated on, it will take daily effort to truly get past it.  I need to start listening to my mind and body in order to see what I’ve been covering up with the excess food and drink.

Quote of the day –  “Create an inner harmony where your loving soul guides your physical behavior, rather than having your soul always come in second place” – Wayne Dyer

Next week’s goal is to focus on mindful eating. Asking myself before I eat -1) Am I hungry? 2) Will this food bring me towards or away from my goal? Try to accept my answer with no judgements and enjoy the food, whatever it may be.

Community Question – What are your goals for next week? Do you need to work on forgiving yourself for something?

 

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.

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.

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.