Flat Abs, Fat Wallet

getting fit, living a life of purpose and lamenting life in general

A reflective post

PPP (Previously Privately Posted):

Today, I confessed an innermost secret to a friend from the gym:  I stress, to the utmost maximum, about every interaction I have with everyone outside of a core group of people.  I wonder how they view me, if I measure up okay. And every time someone talks to me more than once, I wonder why. I constantly expect people to just stop talking to me at some point.  And I always assume they’re making fun of me.

Put it all out there

I had previously posted the above as a private post because I wasn’t done with it, but I also wasn’t sure I wanted to share this with the world.  However…..why not?  Maybe other people feel the same way?  My friend was stunned because I apparently “always come off as so confident”.  It turns out I might be an amazing actress, although I DO have a certain amount of confidence, and a helluva lot of false bravado.

It’s fitting that I would come back to this post today, because I had another realization about myself, following a conversation I had with my Mom this past weekend. Earlier this year, approximately 7 weeks ago, I reached the 199lb mark — I finally broke 200 — and it broke me, mentally.  It turns out that I had no goal after that, which is not something I had previously realized.  I always assumed that I would celebrate my loss and the milestone of breaking that number on the scale.  Not so!  Not at all, actually.  Instead, all I felt was deflated.  I reached out to my tweeps in the fitness world and they helped me to realize why I was so upset and that I needed to set new goals.  So, I have set a few physical challenges (10K in May, Spartan 5K in August) but I still feel….dissatisfied, or something.

Time to Focus

In an effort to refocus, I spent some time today going through some of the photos I have saved in this file folder on my work computer called “Inspiration”.

Many of the contents of the folder are pictures of incredibly hot, muscular men:

Inspired to watch him all day, definitely

Which is silly, because I don’t exactly want to look like that.

The majority of the photos in the folder contain inspirational messages that I love, but don’t follow:

yah!! that's right. oh wait? i have to DO that??

A much smaller percentage of the content are photos of women that I love the look of, would love to look like, but don’t think it’ll ever happen:

This is a dream. A goal?

Aha!! Suz!! Did you hear yourself??

I want to look like this, but I don’t think I ever will.  One thing I know for sure is that I haven’t been putting the kind of work into my diet lately that Ms. Wilkins does in order to attain/maintain this physique, so why would I ever think I could possibly reach it?   (note: I KNOW I have to work hard to see changes.  I am just tired of working really hard and not getting to this point immediately.)

In a world of instant gratification in almost every other facet of our lives, the idea of working so hard and having to wait to look like Nicole, up there, or any other fitness model or body builder seems like a completely impossible task.  I KNOW that it’s not.  I have made HUGE changes in my body over the past 6 years:

And yet….I still don’t think I’ll ever get there.  In addition, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied if I don’t reach it.  Which is a huge realization in and of itself, actually.  At one point, I must have decided that I’d “be happy” when I broke the 200lb mark on the scale, but sometime between 265lbs and 199lbs, my goal changed to looking like a figure competitor……?  Weird.   Is this really my new goal???  I wouldn’t have thought so, but, as I say, I honestly don’t think I’ll be satisfied until I do.  From one extreme to the other, I suppose.

So….What Now?

Now, I have to get my diet back on track.  I need to “go hard” for a few months.  I saw an AMAZING transformation on facebook (although now I cannot find it, of course).  This gal, in four months, made a massive difference in her body and then with a further 7 weeks of working out and working with a nutritional coach, she put herself in the OMG THAT’S AMAZING category.  SEVEN WEEKS.  You know what I’ve done with the last 7 weeks???  Not that,  that’s what.  I have sort of just coasted along, trying not to go back over the 200 lb mark, but really, not working very hard on reaching anything below it, either.  I still workout hard, but my diet has slipped to the point of “what’s the point”.  I don’t have the money to invest in a nutritional coach, although I would dearly love to.  I am going to really really really focus for the next two months (I leave for Belize on May 12th) and if after that I feel that I need a coach, I will do so.  I have no intention of competing, but I obviously want to look like I do, so I might have to do what is necessary to get that look.

Any suggestions are welcomed.

(quick note: yesterday someone at the gym commented on how much I’ve lost in the past 8 months; my typical response was used “thanks. I still have a long way to go.” He replied, “You’re not on the Biggest Loser ranch, Suz.” Yep, excellent point, thank you!)

Why do we do what we do??

I have no idea what I’m doing anymore. In life, in general. Why I feel the need to get obsessed about anything….gym, food, guys, you name it….If I like it, I’m obsessed with it.  Super annoying.

That is all.

 

ps – i have no idea what the two replies on my other post was re: password protected were referring to!  What???

Fat Tuesday Confessional

Worked from home today as I seem to have come down with a headcold.  A minor one, but still enough to knock me out for 2 hours this afternoon.

Was a surprisingly productive day, considering it was done from my kitchen table through a headfog and included a long skype call with my parents (yay!!) (Finally, they’re back in the country!  It’s not that I worry, really, when they’re gone, but I like knowing we’re on the same general landspace.)

Obviously, I am not going to the gym today, which…I think…is a good thing.  I didn’t take a break on the weekend, and with yesterday being a holiday, I went in the late morning (note to self: if you go at 12:30pm instead of 11:30am, you will run into FAR fewer people — how come you haven’t learned that yet??) and my body hurts. Needs a break.

Which brings me to the main point of this post:

The Confession

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, has long been a day of final indulgences prior to the 40 days of Lent.  As well, a day of confession.  For me, it was the indulgence of sleep and reflection upon the indulgences of the weekend. Ohhh….the indulgences.  It was like Denver all over again.

I think I’m seeing a pattern.

I do “so well” during the week and then binge on the weekend.  But not for just one meal or even one day. No, this starts on Friday afternoon and goes to Monday morning (or evening, if said Monday is a holiday).  I think I need to find some balance in my diet.  Seeing the scale this morning was a major shock.  I truly hope it’s mostly water weight. (and also? i am ALWAYS hungry when I overload on carbs. It’s annoying.)

I will not write out what I ate here; it won’t be that sort of confessional, because honestly, it’s embarrassing.

It’s enough to say that it was Denver: Part Deux.  Instead, I’m going to try a different approach this week and include more carbs daily so that I’m not so tempted to binge on the weekends.  This cannot be healthy.

Here’s to the learning process!

Alright, it’s time to crack down

I wouldn’t say I’ve been slacking, exactly.  Working out 6 days a week and killing it at every single workout does not equal slacking.  Food-wise, I have been doing really well (with the exception of last week, which we will ignore, as it is in the past and therefore, unchangeable).

However(!!!)…..I have just renewed my personal training sessions for another six months, which is A LOT of money (although my recent raise covers the cost — WOOT!!) and so I figure, if I’m going to shell out this much cash over the course of 14 months, I’d damn well better be on my best behavior.

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Behave Yourself

And so, I hereby vow to make every moment of the next six months of personal training count.  This is not to say I will not live a good, balanced life, because I think I put wayyyy too much pressure on myself sometimes.  This is amazingly counterproductive, because the more pressure I put on myself, the more I want to rebel….against…myself….(??)….and then I end up in this tangled web of pressure and hate and binge-eating and despondency.  

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To Infinity And Beyond

Learning balance might be the hardest thing of all, actually. But, like everything else…..

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ps – thank you to those of you who have influenced my blogging style, which is really more of a “hey i like what they did there” sort of style. 

Carbs were invented just last week, right??

…..because last week I ate like they were new in life and as though they’re going extinct this week.

I visited a friend in Denver, CO., last week and I made a decision before I left that I would not be on-plan at all if I didn’t want to. Here’s how that panned out…..note the rapid decline into requiring a shovel to put everything in my mouth fast enough.

Day 1 — because I was travelling, I ate somewhat off plan. This included a muffin and some chocolate. And a beer.  And mexican food!! mmmmmmmmmm

Day 2 — no no no, I’m going to be good today.  Okay, I’ll start the day with a healthy bowl of Peanut Butter Cheerios.  Lunch was a healthy salad and a cannoli because we were at this kick ass italian restaurant.  Dinner….we had mexican again, which was awesome.  Not bad at all, actually!!

Day 3 — Peanut Butter Cheerios (GAWD these things are amazing — we do not have this in Canada that I know of)….WORKOUT (yay me!!!)…..PIZZA(?!?!mmmmmmm)…..and then…..chips. and almond/pecan/cashew clusters.  and copious amounts of full-sugar pop mixed with Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon Whiskey.  Oh, and chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies with chocolate milk.

Day 4 — Bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast.  <<—- this was actually amazing greasy spoon diner food!!   Didn’t eat again until around 5pm when I had spicy peel ‘n eat shrimp at this great little pub in downtown Denver.  Last slice of leftover pizza.  Cue the copious amounts of alcohol and pop again.

Day 5 — travel day again.  Let’s go crazy!!  Airport #1: Egg McMuffin, McHashbrown, McCoffee.  Airport #2: A bagel with cream cheese.  Chocolate.  Did I mention chocolate?  Airport #3:  Sushi. And….Chocolate.  Home: Eggs. LOL

Wow.  So…..yes.  I’m pretty sure carbs were invented last week, because I ate as many as I could.

This binge was brought to you by Suzanne’s  Happy Brain.  Honestly, I haven’t been this happy in months.  I don’t feel great about my choices, but I’m not beating myself up, either.  Life goes on and I had a TON of fun!!

Re-focused, re-energized, re-motivated

What a fantastic workout yesterday!!! It’s not that I don’t usually have great workouts, because I surely do – most days, in fact. But you know how sometimes a workout is just SO DAMN GOOD?! Well, that was yesterday.

Trainer and I did a full hour of just back work. He worked out with me, and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoy the “I go, you go” routine of partnering. Have never been much of a “partner” sort of gym person, but I can totally see where the advantage is for occasional switch ups.

Approx 2/3 the way through the back workout, I got the endorphin rush. Then the hot guy I love to watch showed up, so the adrenaline kicked in (LOL!!!).  I kept going on biceps after trainer and I were finished and then put in 45 mins cardio. I kid you not, by the time I left, I had so much energy I felt like I could run a 10K, easy. I was flying high!!

Even today, I want to shout from the rooftops about how good I feel. Some DOMS, but very little, considering the thrashing we put my back through. I think that means I’m doing something right!

As a result of the talking-to I gave myself Sunday (read: perspectives blog on my bodyspace site) and a very focused day at work + a killer workout, and I feel like I could easily take on just about anything today.

Have a great week everyone!!! I’m off to Denver tomorrow to see a friend I’ve had for 20 years this year. Will be keeping on track as much as possible while there, but am not going to kill myself for not being 100% on plan. I know that we’ll be active enough, and I know how to keep my diet under control.

 

Day….418…I think

I started this post with the title “Day….418….I think” because it seems to me that everyone has been counting the days that they’ve been on a challenge, or that they’ve been “good” on their diet and whatnot. I think that’s all very well and good and if it works for you, then great.

Personally, I’ve had to make it my lifestyle. “What I do.” This has been the case for more than a year (hence the 418 day approximation). I do post, on occasion, “week 4 is staring with a bang” or whatever, but that just means it’s the 4th week of the year.

When I quit smoking this last time (which was THE LAST TIME), I counted the days smoke free for the first 5. After that, it was like “okay, so now I’m a non-smoker!” It was a mental shift.

I think the same thing applies when it comes to my health & fitness. I am not doing this for a pre-determined amount of time. It is simply something I do, now. Sunday through Friday, I eat high protein, low carb. Saturday is cheat day. Sunday is laundry, groceries & food prep. Workouts are Monday through Saturday. It may sound boring, but it sure has been working! I woke up this morning, had my shower, made my eggs, packed my protein, chicken & veggies for the day, and off I went! My entire morning routine has become a 35-minute endeavour and my entire day goes swimmingly because of it!

I guess what I’m saying is, if I were looking at it as “Day whatever of whatever”, then i could find excuses to not do something because there’s always “x” amount of days left, or then I’d be pressured when there’s ONLY “x” amount of days left. This way, everyday has the same importance allotted to it and therefore, it’s just…habit.

Journey 2012 — what will this year bring??

Funny how “journey” and “january” can look so similar.  As the year begins, most of us will take time to set goals for the upcoming 12 months, as though the clock striking midnight on Jan1 were some magical occurrence that has the power to change our lives.  Truthfully, if that’s what you believe, then that is exactly the power it has.  Too many of us, though, do not take time to look back and figure out what went right and wrong in the past 12 months.  This month, I will do both.

Looking back:

I started 2011 with my first ever half-marathon, which I did in DisneyWorld in Florida, USA.  To say that this kicked off a year of fitness and weightloss would not be an understatement.  Just knowing that I could not only complete a half-marathon, but that I enjoyed it, was HUGE.

I have been on a 6-year journey to lose the >100 lbs I put on since I was 18 and I made a decision at the end of 2010 that I am finally going to do this.  I do not expect it to come off immediately and I know that it requires a ton of hard work.  That, I can do.  I am finally at a place, mentally and physically, to be able to put the work in, and I decided nothing is going to stop me.

On May 29, 2011, I completed my 2nd half-marathon.  That’s right – I did two in 6 months.  The feeling of accomplishment was overwhelming!!  I celebrated by starting with a personal trainer the next day (what can I say, I’m a sucker for punishment, I think).

After 7 months of training 3x/week with a trainer and 3x/week on my own, I show no signs of stopping.  My body has changed in incredible ways.  I can lift, pull, drag and carry more weight than I ever thought possible, and I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight.

I reached a goal!!!

I finally broke through 200lbs on the scale.  Yes, I am posting it here, for the whole world to see (if they so choose), that I used to weigh more than 200lbs.  In fact, I used to weigh 265lbs back in 2006.  (gross, right? I agree.)

Well, it turns out that hitting 199 on the scale was a tipping point for me, but not in the way you would expect.  I truly truly thought, this whole time, that my goal was 24% bodyfat (approx 160/170lbs).  Apparently not!  My goal, in my head, was breaking through that 200lb mark.  I know this, because I had a mini-breakdown after it happened and I spent an entire weekend in the most foul mood you can imagine.  (honestly, I almost threw things in my apartment.  the only thing that stopped me was knowing I’d have to fix it or clean it up)

Now what??  Looking forward:

So now….I need a new goal.  Yes, my goal is still 24% bodyfat, but I need something to work towards to propel me to that goal.  I am considering a number of options, but the forerunner at the moment is a Femsport Challenge, which is a crossfit competion being held on the day before my 34th birthday.

Ideas are welcome!

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