This is a follow up to a previous blog as posted here current-goals-and-how-i-have-set-myself-up-for-success.html
The summer here was weird, really hot and smoky as fires got out of control in the province next to us. Food prices went up, we had to leave our house for 3 weeks as it was repaired and had a funeral to attend in Manitoba, a long drive which took 5 days unexpectedly. Also the food plan service we were subscribing to was sold and no longer offers the weekly plans like we were doing.
We were successful in a month of meal plan eating. The meals were delicious but the heat and smoke affected me greatly I don't know that I had any more energy than before. Overall the cooking all the time was good but I felt stress. I dont know why I can't seem to balance out the pressure, instead of feeling better about making better choices I beat myself up about the bad choices I made.
I want to try the plan again as what I am trying to figure out the most: my rational vs irrational mind.
I know beating myself up is the automatic reaction and what I am trying to figure out more and more is how to battle that automatic and make more logical choices.
So instead of calling August an eating failure I am just going to go forward and make some better choices for September.
As for our step goal, I found it hard to be outside in the sun and the smoke and although I walked fairly regularly I did not always hit that 8000 step goal. And I did very little hiking.
It was not exactly the same summer that I planned but it was what I wanted in that I am testing certain things to see how I can create a system that works, that I can keep up and that is healthier for me.
The fall plans are tricky but they involve a lot of work so we can save up money. And I hope a lot of climbing and yoga.
I need to focus on my mental health and balance.
I will set up some new goals and check back in, but for now I am deep in a tech week at my theatre which means long days of nothing but work.
We are at a turning point I believe. The media is get friendlier with plus size bodies and plus size active wear is starting to be carried in stores and most plus sized stores have an active wear section.
If you want black yoga wear you are set.
But all I really really want is a pair of hiking and or climbing pants. They exist in lovely arrangement of colours, lengths and come with all the pockets and stretch you would need, as long as you don't exceed about a size 1`4.
I don't always want to be in tights and yoga pants. And I don't always want to wear black.
But here the problem lies for me, some companies like Columbia, are offering closer to what I want and so I think I need to both purchase them and promote the purchase of them and also promote everyone who buys them to leave a review asking for more.
The only way retailers are going to get the point is from hearing from us and showing our buying power. If we don't buy what they are already offering and give feedback it may be construed that there is no market rather than they just don't yet carry what we want to buy.
So what to do?
Ask for more.
This is a follow up to the previous post "Matching body positive with losing weight"
if you would like to get further context for this I would suggest reading that one first :)
I have a goal to get moving this summer, get smaller so moving is easier and get my energy and mood up. I am currently about 20 lbs away from two activities I would like to try before the summer is out: zip lines and the revelstoke mountain roller-coaster (both activities have a weight restriction). AND I WANT TO GET DOWN BOTH!!!!
So I have crafted a plan that honours all of those intentions with some concrete SMART goals. (specific, attainable, measurable, realistic, and time sensitive.) Setting a clear defined goal ups the chances of succeeding and will give me definite measurable's to go by.
My husband and I are doing it together, which in some ways makes it easier as I have an accountability to him. That also creates team and support. I will also acknowledge that that adds the challenge of coordinating everything together and what we will do on days where we are apart. So together we set the same goals and will support each other to succeed even on busy days and when we are not doing it together.
First up is the activity goal:
For an activity we have made a modest goal of a minimum of 8000 steps a day for 30 days (starting may 25) Although this is far better than we have been doing for the past few months, I say modest as last summer is was a 10000 step goals and we often surpassed it. So that being said surpassing it will be a bonus but we focused on realistic and attainable for this one, its a big jump from our current activity and we still have a lot of desk work to get done but it is realistic as we can fit those steps into a pretty average day. We also think this a sustainable number even when we get really busy.
Food is the other part of the equation, in general I have been eating a lot of fast food breakfasts, pizza, fried foods and very little fruit and veggies. And the result is bad mood, low energy and 10 extra lbs. So in order to counter those 3 things I have got to add nutrients back into my diet. I am going to eat a lower calorie diet but this diet is not based on calorie restriction, its about eating foods that balance your blood sugar, reduce cravings, are filling and fully nutritious. Naturally cutting fast food and pizza out will be a calorie restriction all on its own but beyond that I am not worried about that.
So here is the goal: 30 days starting May 25 I will be participating in a meal plan, no pop, chips, candy or cake/muffins/pastries etc as well as no fast food or eating out for convenience. The reason that last part is attainable and realistic is my husband and I are both off of work right now and have lots of time to focus on food prep, also we are going with an outside plan that defines the meals for us.
We have gone with a plan from Authority Nutrition , a website dedicated to healthy eating, they also have many articles available that upon first inspection look to be a little fat shaming but as I read them the science and message matches much about what I have been learning.
They offer a weekly mean plan with recipes and a shopping list. It is high in protein and focuses on healthy carbs, is meant to break food addictions and help with the transition away from simple carbs and sugars. This means no bread and no added sugar. (healthy carbs being whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal and brown rice as well as fruit, starchy veggies like potatoes and squash and beans) So far the meals are delicious, easy to make and the ingredients are simple. We seem to be able to do it on our current food budget which is $100 a week for the 2 of us (although we are adding a little because we will not be eating out.)
We have made an agreement to do this for one month and re assess.
The meal plans come weekly and it is a subscription service for $10 a month. I am not a paid promoter, just a customer and so far I really like this product. Taking a lot of the thinking out of it is helpful. The meals themselves are varied, there are snacks, and easy substitutions are available. I will follow up at the end of the month with the review as we are only 2 days into it.
So here we go again, starting something new and making an effort to change, backed by 2 smart goals for the next 30 days.
This is a lifelong process, a lifetime of choices. Some days will be amazing and some days maybe not.
But I will love myself no matter what and I want to have energy and live a long life full of mobility and adventure!
I must be very honest, I still want to lose weight. To me balancing what it is to be body positive while also wanting to change is a tricky area: its saying I accept myself, but i don't?
I like to think I want to lose for health and mobility but I know much of it is vanity and wanting to fit in.
The big thing that changed for me with the body positive movement is that I am ok right now, and I am allowed to participate in this world the way I am. I also have just come to accept that whatever success I may have with getting more fit or losing weight I will not punish myself for not being "ideal weight" Its understanding that much of the standard I used to measure myself up to is false advertising, and that whatever I achieve I will know that I am beautiful. Still I do have many days where this is a far cry from what I think, but having an anchor of body positivity can pull me out of those down times.
BUT I do see a difference in not being "ideal weight" and giving up on changing my body. Lately I know I have been eating poorly, emotionally and way too much and as a result I am exhausted, my skin is dry, I have gained 10 lbs and my mood has dropped.
How I am being BODY POSITIVE: this doesnt make me a villain, and it doesn't mean I am a bad person or my worth is less.
What it DOES mean is that I don't feel good.
Objectively I can not argue that many of my actions have given me a result that I wish to continue. And that is the logical judgement I can put on the past couple months. I wont vilify what I have done but I will say thats enough for now and lets try something else.
I would like to get down to a weight around 220. That is a weight I have been in the past that I consider a nice maintenance place where I can move easily, have more energy and maintain with out strict dieting and restriction.
And I am giving myself a real goal to get there. but not only there....
I dont like to measure all success on the scale as there are many factors that affect that and I will likely not go down consistently and may even go back up a few times. So I like to measure more by measurements of my body and how I feel.
What I want to focus on is the mental health: I want to stay in touch with my emotions to know if my actions feel positive and progressive. If I feel happier and have more energy and if what I am doing is moving me forward.
Being smaller is nice where I can go on some activities that I am currently too heavy for, it will make travel easier, it will make walking easier, it will be easier on my joints. Often when I have tried to lose weight I have felt overwhelmed, pressured, like a failure even with success, and felt guilty about every little action I took. I think this was a major factor in my short term success and then giving up, mental.
This mental game is the tough one, loving myself. Making choices out of love rather than because I hate where I am. Moving forward for my future not because of my past.
I will not be restricting calories significantly and will be focusing on real food, preparing food and not eating fast food.
I like real food, and I am going to eat what I like.
Most of all I am aiming to feel nourished, energized, and improve my general mood.
And if I start to feel like one of those things is suffering I will re assess.
Next post: Whats my plan to do it and the SMART goal I have put in place to increase the chance of success.
Spring is amazing for my mental health. As I watch plants bloom I feel completely amazed. Crawling out of winter I think its amazing how things wake up, all that energy that is stored is suddenly released and the plants grow.
I have started some seedlings indoors this year for the first time and I am amazed every day as they grow, this incredible demonstration of energy transfer for growth and life.
It makes me feel motivated, that my own energy transfer can bring life to me to. I have a lot stored up and I need to turn some of that it muscles and movement.
So dust off the bike and inflate the tires, plan some hikes (though there is still a lot of snow in the mountains) and just walk outside.
The winter hits me harder every year and I see why people winter warmer places more and more. It was incredibly hard to keep up momentum on the progress I made last summer and carry it through till now.
Climbing was the one thing I was able to get out and do over the cold dark months and it worked out well as every time I went I felt better. Now I am excited as its getting close to the time that I can try climbing on the real rocks outside.
I can also take my kayaks out. I can go camping. I can get outside with so much less challenge and everything becomes much more doable.
The next few months hold so much promise and I am going to soak it all in, open up all the windows and let that energy flow in and give me life.
Got any plans for this season? ready to Adventure?
I sure am!!!!
All i can do lately is dream of spring and summer! Camping, hiking, gardening but most of all much less working.
I work backstage in the theatre as a costumer, during the theatre season (September to May) I work long and wonky hours as well as 6 days a week.
I find it hard to balance out life at all while I am working. The last 2 weeks have got me reeling at 55 hours and 72 hours. Sigh.
This is the life of the entertainment biz.
Feast and Famine.
Long days or nothing at all.
My job is also mentally tiring as working backstage with actors I have to give a lot of my energy to them. I must be calm and collected and at worst neutral emotionally as to not distract from their performances.
All this combined with cold weather and snow, well sort of.
Calgary is weird as we get cold snaps, sometimes lots of snow and then it gets warmer and melts everything so we are left with piles of dirty ice and mud.
Not just to complain, this post is just saying we all get a little down in the winter.
So if you a there, the sun is coming.
When I took to instagram with my adventureish account I wanted to be a strong voice that helped bring together a movement of inspiring unexpected athletes, and yeah sure I am doing that. But man oh man am I not the first one there.
This community is amazing and I am awed by those that have come before me. I only hope that I can be as strong as you ladies.
One of the first accounts I came accross was @unlikelyhikers, further looking into it I found Jenny Bruso's website and discovered a beautiful supportive voice that was not just fat activist but people activist. I had not at all realized that fat people were not the only people who were considered unlikely hikers. The people she has given voice to are so inspiring.
And she herself is raw, vulnerable and ok with you knowing her strengths and weaknesses.
I look forward to seeing more and more of what she has to offer.
In her own words
Woman, queer, fat, thirty-four, writer, Unlikely Hiker. I Take the Long Way is a body-positive nature blog that gets personal, based in Portland, Oregon. I always considered myself an indoor kid, a city kid. For a long time, I was a DJ and party girl. In 2012, I started hiking and it quickly became my therapy, my church, my medicine. (For the drama and dirty details, read Story of a Body.) Nature feels like the only place I can turn down the noise in my head and disengage with the harmful dominant culture. In nature, I can take up as much space as I want and also revel in the minuteness of my existence. This is such a gift.
The idea of exercise is so fraught with negativity. We are told we can exercise to “fix” ourselves and achieve unrealistic body goals. We aren’t told it just feels good. It makes our bodies work better, our minds clearer, our sleep better. It’s meditative. It can even be a spiritual practice.
Through sharing my personal writing practice, I hope to show anyone, especially other Unlikely Hikers, how to heal their lives mentally, spiritually and physically with nature. I curse, I talk about sex, I make jokes. Most nature blogs seem to keep it light, polite, apolitical, family friendly. There’s nothing wrong with that, generally, but there’s so much of it and so little else.
Lindy is a high profile feminist and fat acceptance advocate. Funny, and talented she has a relatable voice that is welcoming and friendly. She is honest, vulnerable and at her best she is patient with haters asking them for explanation rather than meeting them with anger.
I recommend her book Shrill, and I also recommend getting the audio book format as it is well worth hearing these stories in her own voice.
Check out this article she wrote when she got married. Something I read before I got married, she gave me the courage to do something bold and unapologetic.
Happy new year all.
REALLY! I loved 2016 overall. It was the first time in years that I felt better than awful. I opened up to the body positive movement. I started this thought which turned into this site, which has turned into me joining a really exciting movement.
I adventured bigger and better than I even have.
Now I know, world speaking there was some shit. BUT we cant change that.
We are inindated with the news, and we can not escape hearing of all the things we can not change. That we have no effect over, and a lot of it that really wont effect us.
So, I need to do a big thing (well big for me)
Im leaving facebook, sort of. I am turning off the wall.
And I am going to continue my search for amazing inspipring beautiful instagram accounts.
Who knew that starting Adventureish would immediately help me so much. Ladies, I love you all.
You are all so amazing.
Its brave to stand out and challenge perception, and the more we all put ourselves out there the more we will win as a team. We create the change
This is the thing that affects us, that we can change, that we play an amazing part in. Change the perception in the world, be open and brave and help those who need the strength. Make the world see us differently.
So 2016 you are done.
2017 you are coming.
What will you do with it?
This has been a hard month to stay focused. First its cold, and Im not really into a lot of winter sports. Second I have been working...a lot.
I havent been climbing in 2 weeks....maybe almost 3. And I dont know why
I have been working a lot, but I have had time.
My brother and I have made several dates to go but I have either been too tired and sore from work or we have ended up doing something else.
One he got a virtual reality headset that I could just live in right now.
But also, for some reason I am avoiding things.
I find it hard to focus on anything else when I am working. I am a seasonal employee and I dont work much in the summer. That allows me to adventure whenever the want is there. But when I go back to work, I work weird and long hours and I find that I crave my home. I never want to socialize or do much else. I havent even gone grocery shopping in weeks. My job drains me. It requires a lot emotionally. All that and I am fighting an uphill battle to get out and do other things.
So I am not sure how to change that other than one of two things: change my job or not worry about adventure until the summer.
Now I am laid off for a month in the new year and I know that I can get lots of climbing and adventure in there. BUT I really want to be better for you. Better for this site.
I think hope that this honest post is honest and helpful. I find it difficult to balance life with work. I dont really have work life balance and I need to create that.
there are facts and then there are emotions. This is as honest as I can be about my struggles and triumphs.