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?

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.

 

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.

 

Making Moves

On Saturday I taught my first cardio dance class and I can honestly say that it was the best day of my life. To think that I could create an hours worth of choreography and teach it to people in order for them to get in shape is amazing. It really put a lot of things in perspective, including my j-o-b. (I call it a j-o-b because it’s not my career and it finances my life)

My j-o-b eats at my core. The interactions that I have with patients affects me in such a way that it’s not healthy. The conversations stay with me, the complaints, the annoyances. No one is ever happy because they are in pain and I’m tired of dealing with them. All of the office managers in my practice feel the same way, but unlike others I no longer want to push down my emotions. That’s how I got to 234 lbs.  I’m taking some steps to go forward in my health professional journey, this job is bound to limit me by chipping away at my life force. I’m not going to share my plans with a lot of people because I don’t want anyone to talk me out of it. Sometimes when you tell coworkers that you want to leave, they try to convince you because they don’t want to be alone. In August I will have been there for 6 years at a job I dislike. Of course there are good aspects of it, mostly the money and coworkers, but it’s not worth it anymore.

My ideal outcome for 6 months- By August 1

  • Get a new full time j-o-b to pay the bills (hopefully it will be in the health industry so it could be a step towards a career)
  • Continue to improve as a fitness instructor, have a booming class and get Zumba certified
  • Reach my goal weight
  • Get a boyfriend (I had to throw that in there. I can’t be too career focused)
  • Get paid as a health coach by at least 2 clients
  • Start a meetup group

I created a private group on Facebook where I’m going to post motivational posts, diet advice and vegan inspiration. Once I get more posts up I plan to start telling people in my class. I’m REALLY excited about the future and I haven’t felt this way in awhile.

I hope everyone is doing well.