Bust A Face

Guys… I used to be a bad ass but now I can hardly walk in public without my leg giving out on me. It kind of looks like I’ve randomly decided to bust a move Carlton style when in reality I’m just trying not to bust a face.

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I’m not a very vain person, but I must say that among all of my flaws I’ve always loved my legs. I’ve always had naturally muscular legs that look toned no matter what the state my muffin top was. And I was fast, I could move stealthily no matter what my weight was.

Needless to say… things have changed.

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(Don’t look at my leg hair… that’s rude.)

I want to be a haus again. I used to be ashamed of my muscles, and now I can’t wait to feel them stretch and flex. I can’t wait to feel powerful again. I can’t wait until I feel as physically capable as I used to feel.

The other day a few of the kids in my hall at school were trying to jump up and touch an exit sign that was hanging from the ceiling. Upon witnessing this I told them to stop it… and then promptly tried to do it myself.

I barely got off the ground.

The kids were nice enough to congratulate me on my effort and not point out the fact that I looked like a baby penguin throwing a fit.

I’m making small strides. I’ve finally been able to work out consistently even if the workouts I’m capable of doing are really lame. One early morning I found myself on a treadmill next to an acquaintance that I hadn’t seen in a long time. She ran effortlessly beside me not even noticing me as I wobbled along side her.

It was four thirty on a Tuesday morning. I was wearing the t-shirt I went to bed in and she was wearing a cute workout outfit meant to be athletically cute. (Damn her.) At first I didn’t notice that she was beside me because I was sleep walking trying to convince myself that working out at such and ungodly hour would later make me feel good. Then I glanced over and recognized her.

I’m not really much of a social butterfly when it comes to working out. I kind of just want to do my thing and then sneak out of the gym unnoticed, but I felt rude not saying anything to her.

Finally, I tapped on her shoulder and gave her a quick wave hello.

We exchanged a few niceties and I awkwardly kept trying to put my headphones back on even though she wasn’t quite done asking me questions. She was really friendly, but I couldn’t help but feel self-conscious due to the fact that I looked like an albino without mascara and she looked like freakin Bambi with her black eye lashes batting in my direction. I tried to simultaneously focus on what she was saying to me and the belt moving beneath my feet, so I didn’t end up doing one of my accidental Carlton moves.

The competitor in me couldn’t stand the fact that she was having a full conversation with me while she ran. I couldn’t stand being lapped by her (even though she couldn’t technically lap me due to the fact that we were on treadmills). Plus, I’m pretty sure this woman runs 50 mile races every other weekend and could probably kick my ass on a good day, but this didn’t stop me from wanting to provide an explanation for why I wasn’t as awesomely fit as her.

As the conversation finally ebbed I blurted out, “I had surgery.”

She looked at me.

“That’s why I can’t run.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, it was pretty intense.” And that’s why I’m fatter than I was the last time I saw you. Even though that shouldn’t entirely take the blame because in reality I was fat before I had surgery and I kind of hate how your boobs stay still while you run while mine shimmy uncontrollably under my oversized pajama shirt despite the efforts of my too small sports bra. Anyway, I used to be a bad ass and still totally could be even though technically I’m not. Thought you should know… you know in case you were wondering why I can hardly walk beside you. 

“Oh, well good luck with that.”

The conversation ended shortly after. My time on the treadmill was up so I stopped the belt, gingerly stepped off the machine and hobbled out the door wondering what the hell is wrong with me.

The Monday Diet

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Teaching is taking over my life guys.

Seriously.

I came upon this realization the other day while I was putting on my quotation mark earrings.

Seriously? 

This isn’t the only questionable fashion choice I’ve made recently. I’ve also taken to wearing jeggings to work.

Yep.

My normal pants are just a wee bit tight. Not tight enough to cause me to run to the store to buy more, but tight enough for me to want to avoid them. You see, I had been on the Monday diet for the whole month of February. You know how it goes, you decide that Monday will be the day that you will be super strict on eating. You make all of these plans and get all hyped up. Then Monday sucks, so you come home, eat cookies and drink wine. Then Tuesday rolls around and you are just one day away from Wednesday which is practically the weekend, soooo you might as well just wait start again next Monday…

I was on that diet.

Lately, I had been treading water just trying to keep up. Work life was kicking my ass, family life was kicking my ass, the size of my ass was kicking my ass. This doesn’t mean I’m not having fun. I just have a whole lot of life happening all at once.

It appears I am allergic to many things in life (stress, knee injuries, having babies, almost having babies, working full-time, surgery) all of these things make me fat.

I’m fat again ya’ll. True story.

For some people this may be a one time thing, but for me I have a trigger in my brain that causes me to get fat. I’m not alone, I know that, but it still bums me out.

Every time this happens (I hate that I have to write that phrase out) I go through the same cycle. It goes a little something like this…

  1. Oh shit I’m fat!
  2. How did this happen?
  3. Don’t worry it’ll go away.
  4. It’s not going away!
  5. Do something about it.
  6. What the hell do I do?
  7. Oh shit I’m fat!
  8. This is stupid, get it together.
  9.  I still don’t know what to do!
  10. Ok, I’m ready now.
  11. What was my problem? This is much easier than I made it out to be.

It takes about a month to go through all of that emotional turmoil. It’s exhausting, and kind of ridiculous. Which is probably why I didn’t want an audience while I went through it. (That and I didn’t have time to write it all out.)

I’m pretty sure this cycle has a little something to do with my own biological seasons. I have my own summer, fall, winter and spring. Having the predisposition to depression can cause any season to show up at any moment. For the past month I was plunged into winter… sluggish and unmotivated. But suddenly little buds are starting to pop up, and I just know that it won’t be long before I’m blooming all over again. In fact, I can feel it coming now.

I think it all started with a walk around the block.

I hadn’t exercised (other than my weekly physical therapy sessions) in months. Walking around the block was such a hard core workout. I was sweaty and my right leg was exhausted. But I finally got to just listen to music that wanted to listen to. I got to feel the fresh breeze on my flushed face. And I got to gulp down clean fresh air. It was divine.

After that, I started walking every day, going further and further.

Then I started waking up earlier than normal just to have a moment to myself before the day begun. I swapped my nightly wine for morning tea. I gave myself some time to read, or write. You would be amazed at what can happen if you force yourself to relax and be mindful.

 

Slowly I started to come a live again and in addition to my quiet time in the mornings I chose two days out of the week to go to the gym in the mornings before work. It took some bartering with Brent to make it work. He’s in paramedic school, so he works out in the mornings since he’s in school all day. I begged him to give me two days of his five days. He agreed but said that he would take them back the first time I didn’t do it. This only motivated me more.

I’ve also gone back to having my weekly sunrise walk with my friend Andrea. We switched it to a weekend morning, so I don’t have to rush to get to work. Last time we ended up walking for almost 90 minutes just talking and catching up. It didn’t even feel like a work out, but when I got home and looked at my fit bit I had already walked my 10,000 steps. I ended up burning somewhere around 3,400 calories that day.

After a while other things started to fall into place again. I guess all of my previous attempts at being healthy and losing weight weren’t a complete waste after all. It turns out I had developed some healthy habits before that I was able to jump right back into.

A few weeks ago I felt like I was missing out on life because life was consuming me whole. I didn’t think I could add one more thing to the equation. I was just too busy and too stressed out. But surprisingly, the key to my happiness was adding more and prioritizing it. I added more alone time, more self-reflection, more yummy clean food and fresh clean air. It is surprising how quickly the little things add up.

Before I knew it I was five pounds down and that much closer to shedding my jeggings.

It works the other way too. The little things can be what derails you from the life you want to live. I always forget this, but it really is a matter of deciding what kind of life you want and simply living it… one step at a time.