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.

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I’ve changed platforms. You can find my new blog at ——->  Around Your Way Fitness

I will post on the two platforms for a few more posts before heading over there completely. Follow me there

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1st Injury and Recovery

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.

Motivation Monday

When you have a lot of weight to lose, it requires a lot of motivation, not so much willpower. Some folks believe that willpower is not finite, but as someone that has dealt with intense cravings, willpower can only get you so far before you tell yourself, “screw this, I can start again tomorrow or Monday.” For better or worse, weight loss has always been in the forefront of my mind. When I see a new health magazine at my job, I always take it.  I keep a binder filled with weight loss stories, recipes, pictures and I retain any interesting tidbits that the magazine offers. I also post 1-2 pictures of cover models in my kitchen, just as a reminder to stay on track and so I never forget what I’m trying to do. I’ve plateaued for awhile, completely due to poor eating habits, so I brought it up a notch. Phone screensaver. I plan to reach my goal weight by my birthday in October, and I only need to lose 6 lbs per month.

In order to be on schedule, I need to reach 183 by April 1. Seeing this picture on my phone is the reality check that I need when I’m craving a cheat meal or about to go down the road of no return. Every cheat meal matters so I’m trying to limit them to 1-2 per week. This screensaver reminds me to stick to my plan and ever since using this trick, I broke the plateau and am the lowest I’ve been since 2012. If you try it let me know how it works.

What tricks do you use to motivate you for weight loss?

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.