On the topic of self love..

Something i wrote recently to a person who was dieting because she wanted to look better, but then stopped and asked herself why we just didn’t love ourselves “as is”, obese and all.

I have come full circle on this. Too skinny, too fat, too tired to give a fuck anymore. Its all well and good to say “But I’m healthy” when you are young, but then you start noticing that you are aging and year by year, it starts getting really hard to say that anymore.

I lost my “healthy” friend when he was 42, when he had a heart attack at a car wash on his way to pick up his two young sons.  He didn’t have any warning (aside from his weight).  He didn’t get a chance.  If he would have known that he was at SO much more risk, I bet he would have done something about it.  He was a jolly guy, and his weight played a part of this identity, and his weight was left untouched because he was “healthy”.    

Then I lost my “healthy” parents when they were supposed to be in the prime of their lives. They were “overweight but healthy’ according to the doctors and over the years, got complicit about their weight and their diet and their lethargy.  You can call that self-acceptance, but now I am sure they would both say it was self-indulgence.   They accepted their weight as part of their identity, encapsulated it in with “love yourself”, but then they both got sick, didn’t have a fighting chance, and passed away, much much too early.  And i can tell you, they were both pissed as hell at themselves about it.  Unlike my friend, they both had a chance to look back and see how they had gotten to this point of no return.  They were angry and full of regret from not doing anything sooner.

I sat here for a while thinking about it. Reading about it. Thinking about it.  For a long time i wobbled between “maybe this is just who I am, all the other women in my family got really large stomachs” and “no, i need to MOVE”.   Then it hit me: we *should* love ourselves, but why are we tying our health and weight so tightly as “part of who we are”, that is to be accepted and not changed and not improved?  My health, my weight is not ME.  My thoughts, opinions, character, morals – those are me.  I can weigh 90 lbs, i can weigh 140 lbs and i can weight 240 lbs and I will still be me.  Caring about my weight and associated risks won’t make me not be me.  Gaining 5 lbs won’t make me a shittier human and losing 5 lbs won’t make me a less shittier human.  So I have learned, to dissociate  those two things.  Society can do what it wants, but I won’t let it make me feel shitty about myself anymore.  I have that power.  So do you.

Its great if you are overweight and the doctor deems you healthy. But all that means for me is that its a head start to get even healthier.  Not everyone has that – some people have to start from the ground to first improve their heart, asthma, diabetes, cholesterol before they can start really exercising.  If you are capable and fit, why not build on it? 

We are all just borrowing time, and the facts are the facts. People with a higher amount of visceral fat around their organs get sicker faster, recover slower, die earlier and are higher risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And for women, as we get older and hit menopause, we also get fatter, and the risks increase even more. That’s why “healthy body fat” ranges changes along with age. That’s not a scare tactic and its not just a statement people with the intention to fat shame. I have two little kids who rely on my existence.  And now i have the knowledge that my family heritage, either by habits, or genetics or just bad luck, is to die early.   What if i die early?  I don’t want to die early. 

I say don’t do it for how you look. I’m not. That’s society’s hang up, not ours.  I’m doing it because i want to live longer. The clock is ticking and I’m not going to tempt fate anymore. My numbers are fine now. They might not be fine in ten years. And then it will be harder to do anything about it. And it might be too late. Why not take advantage of the head start by eating healthy and always aiming to be in the best shape of your life?? You are healthy now, so take that and keep building on it. Fuck hating yourself. Love yourself and yell yourself you deserve to stop fighting for social norms and start fighting to get even FITTER.

I spent a lot of years hating myself, and then i spent a lot of years accepting myself. In the former, i did stupid desperate things and in the latter, i got fatter as i aged into my 40s. What i should have done was accepted that my body is not a static object to either love or hate, but something i can sculpt and use. I don’t give a shit anymore how i look in a dress, or if dudes check me out. Maybe I’m lucky as my looks face and my age propels me into the “invisible age” so that doesn’t even matter anymore.  I want my kids to see me lifting up their bikes with one arm to hang in the garage. I want to do things that i couldn’t do when i was heavier, even simple things like being able to reach beneath a car seat.  I want to teach my grandkids how do to do the front stroke or put a chain back on their bikes.  That’s why I don’t/can’t just “diet”. I eat well because it gives me energy and burns the fat and makes it easier to do the sports I love with the people I love.

Thats me, that’s my journey. It doesn’t have to be yours. But my bottom line is that you can love who you are, be kind to yourself, AND lose weight and be fit. In fact, for success, you have to have all of that  – because if you can’t, and if you are only doing it for aesthetics, or how society accepts you, you will just get impatient and frustrated.

Burnout is Real

This blog is going to deal a lot with the theme of yo-yoing, but that term itself isn’t even encompassing all that i mean.  What i mean is getting super into something, going crazy about it, and then falling off the wagon completely and forgetting about it.

I am the worst at it and part of the reason I am blogging about it is to try to uncover WHY I do it.  (Spoiler alert: haven’t gotten there yet).

So this morning, after 3 weeks of doing body weight fitness AND jogging AND keto, AND feeling great and not burdened by any of it, i thought “Ehhhh i don’t feel like jogging today”.  And there it begins.  Up till now I didn’t feel like i was overdoing anything or suffering.  In fact, I’ve been viewing it more and more as that it is giving myself a gift.  I feel better, i have so much more energy than ever before, and yet? The idea of a 5 km jog all of a sudden feels like it is too much.  And once the jogging stops, the boredom starts and “just a nibble because i’ve been so good these last three weeks….”  There we go again.

I decided to surf the information superhighway and found an article by one of my new favourite bloggers, and man, it was like it was sent straight from heaven to answer my mood and get me motivated again:

http://antranik.org/abs-are-made-in-the-gym-but-revealed-in-the-kitchen/

The title isn’t exactly the same topic as what I’m talking about, but keep reading.  AND THEN GET OUT THERE AND MOVE!  Don’t give up!  One of my favourite take-a-aways is this:  It is easier to create a deficit in calories than it is to burn off bad foods by overworking your body.   a 500 kcal deficit means 1 lb of weight loss per week.  This deficit can be easily divided into 250 kcal of exercise per day plus a 250 kcal diet deficit.  That is TOTALLY do able.  There’s no need to over think it.

So i think I’m getting closer to my answer.  Part of the reason why i was burning out was totally overdoing exercises that were exhausting, not enjoyable, and all wrong.  P90x.  Hiit.   Those 30 days sit up challenges, which actually, don’t do much at all.

You-cant-out-exercise-a-bad-diet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good thing about a new fitness routine…

Is already having the stuff.

After years of getting more and more lethargic, and motivated by the early spring we had, I decided, suddenly, I wanted to be strong. Also, my obsessive hobby was gardening, which requires a lot of pulling and bending and the use of a shovel, and I thought how cool would be it for the neighbours to notice that its me digging the hole, not me sitting on a lounge chair sipping a lemonade and barking orders at my husband? Ok that sounds pretty good too.

Ok, several people have influenced this. First, my long-time instagram buddy, Lindsay Mills, who does aerial silks. Another instagram I follow that’s been extremely motivating is Gabriella who is a power lifter. And Lorelai Gilmore, who’s not real but still eats a lot and has a nice body.

I can’t do aerial silks or lifting and nor do i want to try until i have some semblance of muscle and don’t look pregnant. So somehow, i came across the bodyweightfitness reddit and read and read and read and it sounded pretty good to me. Surely, when i can do a handstand on rings, everyone will admire me.

Lucky for me, it starts off very very easily. It’s doable. It’s time effective. And i actually enjoy it. I didn’t need to buy anything this time, all i have is my yoga mat, a resistance band and a pull up bar (all garnered from three different past hobbies).

My routine so far is a beginners routine, all from the recommended routine on the bodyweightfitness reddit.

Beginner Routine

Warmup – Stretches
10 shoulder rolls
10 scapular shrugs
10 cat-camels
10 band: straight arm overhead pull downs
10 band: straight arm chest flies
10 band: dislocates
5xeach wrist mobility exercises
10 front and side leg swings

Warmup – Bodyline Drills
30 sec Plank
30 sec Side Plank
60 sec Reverse Plank
60 sec Hollow Hold
60 sec Arch Hold

Skill Work
30 sec parallel support
(note there is more to come, but until my plank is solid I am not moving on to handstands yet)

Strength Work
3×10 seconds foot-supported L sit
3×8 Squats
3×8 vertical rows
3×8 wall pushups

As i progress through the plank and pushups, there are far more exercises to come.

Start Stop Start Stop

Do you ever find out about something, get REALLY excited, get REALLY into it, maybe read all the things, buy all the stuff and hope this is now you, finally really being hardcore about something, for life?  And then about a month or two later, slowly it starts disintegrating without you noticing until its not longer a thing anymore? You get busy, you forget about it, you think “tomorrow”.  Several months later, you are feeling antsy and then you find something EVEN BETTER and start all over again.

asdf

I know it, that’s me.  I hope you didn’t come here looking for answers or a solution, because I don’t have one.

I’ve done it all my life.  This is why i own:

  • golf shoes
  • water colours
  • fitness bands (P90x)
  • planners
  • A kettlebell
  • korean beauty products
  • A mountain bike
  • A sewing machine
  • Le Creuset
  • roller blades
  • Ketostix
  • Climbing gear
  • a viola
  • Yoga blocks
  • baby carriers
  • Books about strawbale houses
  • track and field spikes
  • Fimo
  • Yarn

No, i am not rich (and that list is probably why).  I’m just over the age of 40 and this has been going on all my life.  Ok the Fimo is rock hard, and the climbing gear is so old it can never be used again.

Rather than worry about it anymore, I decided to celebrate this about myself. I’m not a guru on anything.  I’m not pro-expert-level anything.  But I do like hundreds to thousands of different things and trying new ones all the time.  Don’t come to me to look for advice, mine is outdated.   But if you ever felt bad that you never stuck with anything, I’m here for you.  We can be best buds, get excited together, buy some shit and talk about it 24-7, and then move on to the next thing.  Let’s enable each other.

Of course, this blog will probably never get any dedicated readers, because blogs that do well are those that stick to a topic.  Oh well, that’s so not me.