Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feelin' groovy..

So, I had my monthly check-in with my trainer today -- which basically means he makes me stand on some machine that takes a bunch of measurements including weight, BMI, yaddah yaddah yaddah... you can't eat for 3 hours before the assessment, so I was absolutely ravenous by the time I got to the gym at 6:30. So, I stuck to my guns and didn't want to know the numbers... but Sebastien did tell me that he was really happy and pleased with my progress -- not only based upon the assessment, but also in terms of my ability to crank up my cardio and strength training. That said, I'm going to continue to stick by my rule of not fixating on numbers, but instead I'm really trying to tune into how I feel physically and emotionally about my progress. And just as Sebastien is happy with the numbers, I'm equally happy with how I feel tonight. I made it to the gym 6 out of the past 7 days -- which was easy to start doing considering I was on vacation for two weeks prior. But getting into a good routine of going every night after work is taking shape, so I'm happy with that. I've got good energy, am sleeping well, and eating regularly -- and fueling myself with things that are good for me. Raw broccoli is my new best friend (although it makes me VERY gassy), and having my new dishwasher is really helping to keep the kitchen clean thereby making it easier to cook at home. If that at all makes sense... (part of the thing about blogging is that it can be a stream of consciousness type thing, so bear with me). I guess what I'm saying is it feels like things are falling into place nicely.

Back to feeling groovy... as I said, I've got good energy, having good sleeps and am generally feeling more rested. But for some reason, I've started breaking out with pimples!!!! I've never had pimples like this before.. but I guess that's what sweat pouring down your face for an hour every night will do to you. And yes, I realize the remedy is to give my face a good scrub... don't think I haven't loaded up on lots of fancy products with scrubbers and bubbles and fizzles to get the dirt out....

So that's the scoop for now. Off to bed shortly,and another day back at the office... capped off with a visit to the gym for my hour of solitude... it really is kind of relaxing in a bizarre sort of way. Throw on a headset, and all i have to tune into is my own breathing and myself for an hour... a neat feeling.

Kia kaha

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Shoes Make the Man...

So, the workouts are going very well... I've spent the past two weeks trying to get to the gym every day, except for Thursdays... I give myself Thursday off because I work out with Sebastien on Wednesday nights, and frankly, I need the break. Getting to the gym every day during my two weeks vacation has been great for forming habits... so we'll see how next week goes when I head back to work -- planning to squeeze in a workout each night around 6:30.

Now that I'm feeling more confident about being in the gym and doing my thing, I feel like I can really focus on bringing everything into sync so that I can be successful. Past attempts at getting healthy have failed, I think, because it's too overwhelming to do a complete 180 and change everything all at once. By contrast, I've spent the past six weeks getting confident in the gym, figuring out the food side of things, and also tuning into my easily divergent thinking around how to maintain focus and keep exercise and diet in line. Heading into this next week at work, I feel like my feet are firmly planted and I'm focused on what I came here to do. About 4 weeks ago, Sebastien did an assessment (weight, BMI, etc.), which I had no desire to see -- it's too easy for me to get obsessed with numbers and caught up on the psychology of weight loss. He's going to do another assessment this coming week, and while I'm not wanting to see the numbers then either, I'm not necessarily holding out for huge changes. My goal for the past month has been to realistically think about and take steps towards changing my behaviours, without feeling extreme pressure to yield numerical results. I feel like patterns are changing and I can now start setting some achievable goals in the short and long term. Again, feet firmly planted and pointed in the right direction.

Speaking of shoes... I got new ones. I was working out with a new pair of Adidas trainers... tons of support, etc., but in the past week or so, I've had pain in my shins and my back because I'm supinating in my shoes (i.e. walking on the outside of my foot). As I increased the intensity of my cardio work, the shoes weren't doing me any favours and I was planting my foot and rolling out onto the side... which proved to be pretty painful, requiring me to take frequent breaks in my 45-minute cardio sessions. So, today I went to the Running Room ( and had them do a gait analysis, etc. Turns out the Adidas were good shoes, but not the best ones for me. So after trying out about 5 different pair, we landed on a pair of New Balance Trainers with a nice wide base and the right kind of support for a supinator like me. I just took them for a test drive, and was able to do 50 minutes straight on the treadmill, taking breaks only for sips of water and pulse checks. Didn't need to stop to stretch out my legs and my back... so the new kicks were definitely a good choice. And in this case, they make the man. LOL!

Kia Kaha. Signing off for today...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Let's Start at the Very Beginning....

So, I just finished watching 'How do You Solve a Problem Like Maria'... and the beginning does indeed seem like a very good place to start.

In October 2007, I made a choice. I decided to give myself 6 months to lose 50 pounds. I wasn't going to be really aggressive about any sort of plan... I was just going to be more conscious about what I put in my body and what I did with it. If I wasn't able to do it, I would decide to take the plunge and get a laproscopic band... where a surgeon ties an adjustable ring around your stomach and makes it physiologically difficult to ingest lots of food. I have never wanted to get surgery, but was at a point when I was desparate. I felt like surgery was a bit of a cop-out, and didn't like the prospect of not being able to enjoy food for the rest of my life... it seemed like I was admitting that I had no control, and would have to rely upon a $16,000 piece of elastic to control me. And for people who know about my control issues, this would not work. So, I gave myself a short term goal. 6 months... 30 pounds.

And I succeeded. Without even really trying.

So, to celebrate my success two months ago, I took a flying leap into a world that I've never been to before. I was watching some late night television and tuned into a special on City TV that featured a personal trainer and some other health specialist. Needless to say, the idea of hiring a personal trainer had been on my mind for a long time, but I had never found someone with whom I 'clicked'... who I thought would 'get me'. Hiring a personal trainer seemed like the best way to celebrate my accomplishment, and a great way to keep the momentum going. I've maintained that for the past 20 years, after having tried every gimmick diet and weight loss program known to humankind, that overweight people are among the smartest people when it comes to dealing with food and weight. And I felt like I needed to work with someone who was going to not only recognize the path I've already been down, but also respect the fact that I wasn't a complete idiot who didn't know what to do.... In spite of the fact that there have been may times where I've felt like an idiot, I needed to work with someone who was going to meet me where I'm at, as opposed to drag me kicking and screaming to where it is he/she wanted me to start. Most importantly, I needed to work with someone who was going to fill the gap between knowing and doing -- that ominous, confusing, vulnerable space where we recognize what we should do, and actually put it into action.

That said, I met Sebastien ( and as we talked through my goals I learned very quickly that he got it.... that he was going to honour where I'm at, and gradually bring me closer to where I want to be. We started slow.. training once a week, with the goal of getting me moving and more comfortable with the idea of working out. I remember when we first met, he tried to establish what I did and didn't like to do... in terms of physical activity. I made it very clear that at the top of the list on the 'didn't like to do' side was 'I don't like to sweat.' I don't. Seriously. It's gross. But it's what I've got to do.

So since my first workout, I've been letting people know what I've been up to. It's been like coming out again -- as I slowly but surely told people in my life that I was taking this big step. Doing so was important -- because it helps to form a circle of support around me that I don't feel like I've had other times I've tried to tackle this situation. However... continuing to give updates is challenging. I'm a very private person, and don't like to talk a lot about myself... especially my 'problems'. I know, I know, I know. It goes against everything I tell students and people around me every day... but do as I say, not as I do. Get over it.

So this blog is a space for those people who are close to me to share in my journey. To get a glimpse into how I'm doing with this exciting adventure, and also to hold me accountable (to a degree) for what I'm doing. The only person (after my trainer) who is going to hold me the most accountable, and make this happen for real, is myself. But I know it's important to share this part of myself with those about whom I care, and who I know care about me.

Some people might say that this blog is self-indulgent... if so, then that's fine. But I see it as an opportunity for me to sit down every once in a while and download all of the stuff in my head about how things are going. And I don't necessarily have the patience, or the courage at this point, to have the same conversation with all of my friends and family, so this is the place to find out how things are going. I don't know exactly what I'll post here... my thoughts and reflections for sure... maybe an occasional picture... rarely my results... 'cause it's not polite to ask a lady how old she is, or any other personal detail (wink!). But I may eventually get to the point where I have the courage to tell it all... I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, enjoy the read... if you read this and get a glimpse into my life ('cause those of you who are close to me know that asking directly is WAY off limits, ha!), then cool. If you post a comment or thought, then that's cool too... just know that everyone else who has access to this blog will read it... and if you don't read this at all, that's cool too... I'll never really know. But this space is my brain dump. And it will be an important part of my path, as finding a way to process my thoughts and feelings about this next phase of my life will be critical to my success.

So it is what it is.... and thanks for being a part of it.

all that said, I heard a cool quote last night as I was watching 'So You Think You Can Dance'. One of the judges, L'il C, told one of the people who was up for elimination:

"It's difficult to locate the avenue of gain when you're being chauffeured by loss."

I feel like I've found the avenue. Driving down it is going to be quite a ride, but at least I'm on the right street.

Kia kaha
(Maori phrase meaning 'Be Strong')