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!

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.

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.

 

Crossfit

I gained some weight over the holidays due to excessive eating and drinking. I went back to eating better but the weight wasn’t falling like it was before. At 5’3 I have found that the best way for me to lose weight consistently is to exercise but I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I was instagram and came across this ad for a 6 week crossfit challenge at a gym that was close to my job. So I signed up.

I wanted to be somewhere for 6 weeks in order to get back into the exercise schedule. Even though I want to lose weight, I lack discipline and I often make excuses so this felt like a good solution. And boy was it a solution. Crossfit is the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve ever encountered in regards to exercise. Has anyone tried it? They focus on functional exercises where you are lifting your body weight, kettlebells and barbells. It’s tough. Mondays workout involved 4 rounds of running 400 km, 10 deadlifts and burpees until time. And it was 30 degrees outside. Studies show that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. But all the muscle in the world can’t counter a bad diet. I like crossfit because of the community aspect. I already made a friend and everyone that is a newbie like me is always in shock of the next f*ed up thing they are going to have us do. My goal is to make 1-2 more friends and exchange numbers.

After this challenge is done I think I might actually buy some classes from this gym. I like being challenged and I need to lose more weight. I’m going to set up an appointment to see a nutritionist again because if I’m going to be exercising, I want to make sure that I’m eating as clean as possible and getting proper nutrients on this plant based meal plan. I know that I will lose weight quickly if I:

  • exercise consistently
  • drink 8+cups of water per day
  • sleep 7+hours per night
  • limit processed foods and sugar
  • cut off alcohol

If I plan on reaching my goal weight in 6 months, I need to follow these steps. I plan to do a post on discipline in the near future. A lot of the advice is usually “just do it”, use the 5 second rule, or live like the person that you want to be.

 

Vegan Weight Loss and Smoothie Recipe

I’m back with a food prep blog. I went to the gym this morning and went hard. A little too hard and have some tightness in my back, either from a deadlift or clean/press. I work for a back doctor, so I know what is going on and tomorrow will be a rest day for sure. Which is great because I need to start goal setting for next year and figuring out what is next in life. Here is the gym pic…

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Too many weights…

Now I am not a perfect person, but one thing I have perfected, is my breakfast. It is easy to get overwhelmed by choices (and  sugar) so I try to have the same thing everyday. I really do and people think it’s weird, but SO many specialists recommend automating 1-2 meals per day for weight loss because it makes life a little easier. For breakfast, I make a simple smoothie.  Since I am in the process of losing weight, I try to intuitively keep my calories down, without actually counting calories.

For instance, my morning smoothie could easily become a calorie bomb. When I started plant-based eating, I would have 2-3 bananas, 4-6 dates and a cup of berries in my smoothie and believe me, it was DELICIOUS. As someone who loves sweets, dates and bananas are a godsend and as someone that loves caffeine, I was bouncing off the walls from the sugar rush. However, after I met with a nutritionist, I realized it was too much sugar and too many unnecessary calories. When you are trying to lose weight, every calorie counts, even as a vegan.

There is a great article in this month’s Women’s Health magazine titled, “Losing Their Veganity”. Many women become vegan to lose weight yet they end up gaining weight so return to eating meat. One nutritionist quoted in the article said that one of her clients was consuming a smoothie bowl for breakfast that was 700 calories after the calculations. Some of us, myself included, follow these folks that are eating 4-5 bananas in a smoothie, but we go to sedentary jobs while they run and bike all over the city. It doesn’t matter if you are eating meat or not, calories count and do not let anyone fool you. If you are gaining weight, you might want to count for a few days or see a nutritionist. And here is my breakfast smoothie!

Vee’s Breakfast Smoothie -~300 cals*

  • 1.5 cups lemon water (3-10 calories depending on where you look. I just juice a lemon and put it in a mason jar and keep adding filtered water so it maintains its lemony goodness. Discard the lemon at the end of the week.)
  • 1 large banana (120 cals, less if smaller)
  • 2 cups kale (66 cals)
  • ~1 cup mixed berries (70+ cals)

*The lemon water cuts the kale’s bitterness and makes it so I don’t need almond milk, peanut butter or any other calorie additive. I usually have an apple as a snack mid morning and am ready to go for lunch at 12pm. My lunch and dinners are usually substantial (rice bowls or pasta) so saving 200 cals in breakfast helps a lot because I sit most of the day. If your job is more active, you could add chia seeds, peanut butter, or even omit the lemon water and use a milk substitute.

I prepare the bags on the weekend. I take one out the night before and put it in the fridge that way it defrosts a little. (I find if I blend straight from freezing, the kale doesn’t blend all the way through). You can change up the berries or the fruit for variety (I added peaches and nectarines in the summer). You can even change up the greens. When I get bored of this, I have some oatmeal for a few days and return to this. Try it!

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Lemon Water
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Packing the bags
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Storing it in the freezer

Getting a Punching Bag

One of my goals next year is to deal with stress and frustration in a… healthier manner. One that doesn’t involve me gaining weight, feeling lethargic and having any regrets. So I’m buying a punching bag. Work is super stressful, and so is adulting. The first thing I realized when I became an adult, even before I knew how hard it would be to get a job, was that no one cared how much or how often you drank. As long as you fulfilled your duties, you could buy it at ANY TIME. Which I did! I went to work everyday, socialized, occasionally drank too much at happy hours yet most people liked me. But life isn’t supposed to be about surviving, it’s supposed to be about flourising. To be perfectly honest, and no one knows this, there were full YEARS, when I was still living with a roommate and miserable, that I would go to work, come home and drink beers and cranberry vodkas, get drunk, go to sleep and start over again the next day. Could you imagine?  I had weeks of abstinence, even got help including AA and outpatient rehab treatment, and I somehow got it under control, but I never stopped for longer than 30 days. I think if more people knew that about me, they would understand why I am the way I am… 34, single, introverted and all that jazz. I am probably not someone that should be drinking given my history and that is something that I am eliminating ASAP. But anyway…

I took my second boxing class this week and I realized I love the punching bag. I imagine it’s my boss (I really don’t hate him). I imagine it’s my fears. I imagine it’s all my self-anger and my frustrations and I beat it until I’ m done. Unfortunately in classes they only let you go for 2 sets of 3 mins… so I’m getting my own. That way after work, instead of the occasional, or not so occasional drink that I was having towards the end of this year, I will beat the crap out of it.  And also tone my upper body while I do it. I have some rage in me and I’m tired of complaining all day to coworkers and myself. I don’t want to hear it so I will just beat the bag and call it a night. I really want to be myself and authentic. I feel like alcohol and depression pushes everything down to where you are drinking your sorrows and  pretending everything is OK and then repeating it the next day. I don’t want to bite my tongue anymore. I want to be proud of myself and help others. So here is the bag I bought:

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I’m Back!!

Whew… Where have I been? Well I have been a mad woman these past few weeks, literally. Things are looking up, yet staying the same. I’m trying to navigate the waters and trying to decide what is the next step.

Fitness Instructor Training– The program was successfully completed this past Tuesday! I had a final last week which included teaching a class and multiple choice test. I was a nervous wreck. Over the past few months, I’ve really learned a lot about myself. I don’t handle stress too well. It affects my sleeping, I drink more and I am constantly on edge, probably due to the drinking and sleeping less. I get it done in the end but everything suffers, including my appearance. I passed the class, so I am officially in a 6 month internship starting in Jan/Feb. I will be teaching a class every Saturday which will be great for me because it will limit Friday night happy hours. I have my playlist down and about 75% done. I need to just fine tune it and clean it up but I still have…

Statistics– Yes. This beast is still on my back and I’m taking the final on Dec 17. I want to get a A- in the class, however to qualify for tuition reimbursement I think I need a C. I’m currently at B level if I get EVERY QUESTION RIGHT on the exam. I started studying. I’m giving myself more time to prepare than the midterm which should be better because I won’t have to prepare an exercise routine that’s due at the same time. It’s just a hard class for me, the theories seem convoluted, the class is online, but I need to focus. This is my last class in my program, I need to pull through and like Tim Gunn says.. Make it Work. Tomorrow is my job’s holiday party. After that, I’m not drinking until after the final so my mind is clear and all the wires are firing at 100%. I’m making cheat sheets as we speak and rereading all of the information.

Weight Loss– I’ve plateaued. I made a friend in my instructor training course and we have been working out a lot. I started taking dance classes, like Samba and belly dancing. I don’t think I’m overcompensating with calories by eating, but I’ve (honestly) increased my alcohol intake which was at zero when I was losing weight the fastest. I also stopped the extra lunch time cardio I was doing during my lunch hour because work became a mess. I just feel burnt out. I constantly feel in a state of mild exhaustion. When I don’t focus, I say stupid things, like the wrong day or that I don’t understand what reproachful means, or I’m smart enough to figure it out from the context.<—– see brains. I know it’s my fault because my self care has gone out the window. I need to focus on getting enough sleep, drinking enough water.

Work– Work, work work. What is there to say. My job is one that I can do and as of right now there is some level of security, but I dislike it a lot. I asked for an increase in bonus and my boss said yes. It was a crazy year with the drama with the hiring and firing of the assistant. This job is just so not what I want to do long term, if at all. I loved being in the instructor training program. Being with folks that cared about fitness, discussing it. I realized that even though I sound like an idiot sometimes at work, when it comes to fitness and exercising I am an encyclopedia. I love making up dances and teaching it and will definitely make that a side job once I get certified. But what about the full time job… I have a wellness job search going and I get notices when positions open up and there are so many great jobs out there. I think once I get my Public health certificate and start teaching, I can put that on my resume. That way employers can see that I am serious about this. The end goal of course is to be a Health Coach and helping people lose weight.

The struggle is real. I won’t even get into dating now. That will be a post for another day…

So my plan until next week to get back track is to

  1. Drink 11 glasses of water per day (it’s recommended that we drink half of our body weight in ounces per day. Since I am 185, that is 92.5 ounces which is 11.56 glasses. I rounded down for sanity purposes).
  2. 7 hours of sleep. At the beginning of the semester I was in bed at 10-10:30. Now it’s 11-12. I need to get up at 6am to have a productive day so I need to start getting ready for bed at 9:45 pm. Have my Epsom salt bath (I will do a post on this soon) at 10 pm, and lights out by 10:30 pm.
  3. Limit TV. Not sure how I found the time, but I’ve made it through 7 seasons of Criminal Minds this semester…. From now on I can only watch TV, movies or frivolous YouTube videos when I am beautifying myself or cooking, because if I’m not multitasking, I’m really wasting time. Plus it might give me some inspiration to paint my nails or twist my hair more often.
  4. Stick to my exercise and food plan. Studies show that deviating from a plan lowers yourself esteem and your ability to follow through in the future. Which is why missing 1 gym class in a week, can lead to missing 4 classes, or is that just me? They say it’s better to aim low and achieve it, than aim high and miss it.

So those are my 4 goals for next week really, but I’m starting now, because I don’t believe in waiting for tomorrow or Monday. I always say, when you decide to start something, start immediately at the next meal or even the next bite!

Happy Friday!!