You Become Who You Hang Out With

I had a bad week. Everything that I could’ve done wrong last week, I did. I had take out, twice a day, everyday, and the scale is 5lbs greater than the week prior . I’m at the point of existence, where I know what I should be doing, but I allow a crazy work day to cause me to tailspin. Please note that I said allow because I’m not a victim here. My favorite line from Ferris Bueller’s day off is “Sooner or later everyone goes to the zoo.” It was as if I fell down, couldn’t regain my balance and everything that I reached for pulled me back down.

The week started off bad with an interaction with my boss that pretty much happens multiple times per day. He refuses to see a patient that was referred to see him, sometimes for a good reason and other times not so straightforward, and I have to relay the message to an angry person that yells at me or vents their frustrations about the process. This makes me, and many of my coworkers, turn to food.  Some days I am better able to deal with the complaints but last Monday it put a spotlight on what is wrong with my job. No one, not even my administrative manager, cares about the position that this puts us in. Or the stress that this has on my mental health and my body so after 5 and a half years, I’m done. I looked at my previous weight logs and it’s the same cycle, I lose weight, gain it back plus 15, lose weight and gain it back plus 20. I won’t do it again so I made the decision to quit and actually move forward with it. I’m giving myself until August to get a job in the public health/wellness field or save enough to quit. I’m also planning to apply for a Masters program. Luckily I missed the application deadline for the program this year, so I don’t have to use the excuse of tuition reimbursement to stay at my job. I will pay for each credit out of pocket just to quit my job.

But how did I get out of my downward spiral of french fries and veggie burgers? I went to dinner and happy hour with two of my Crossfit friends and it really opened my eyes to what is possible. One woman quit her 200K job due to her mental health and has multiple job offers coming in. The other woman is the creative type that just got her first paid role in a play, she has a successful podcast and constantly has meetings in her craft.  She asked me what I wanted to do and at first I was hesitant but I said.. “I want to help people lose weight but I know that there isn’t much money in that.” She got excited and said “Wow you have so many options, you can open a studio, do coaching, there aren’t a lot of black women that are losing weight doing this. People would follow that, let me know if I could ever help you”. I woke up on Saturday with a whole new attitude. I was positive and didn’t feel hopeless. Which brings me to the title of this post.

I have told that dream to other folks but no one has had that reaction that it was actually possible or that I had options. Her reaction literally made me excited and I started planning what to do. They say that you are the sum total of who you hang out with, whether it’s weight, salary, or attitude. This is reason number 1736 that I am glad that I joined this gym. The soon to be employed lady is encouraging me to go to grad school and the creative one is someone that I can sound off ideas to. Yes, in the perfect world I should be able to be self motivated all the time, but it’s not always the case so now I have friends to keep me accountable and motivated, not just in the gym but outside.

Current mood: Grateful, motivated and positive AF

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.

 

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!!