Let’s Try This Again

Okay, it is the beginning of March and I should have progress photos to share. Sorry to disappoint but I never had time to get them done. However, I can assure you I look the exact same as February.

My stats are as follows:

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155lbs

Jan 1/2020 Weight: 172.2 lbs
Feb 1/2020 Weight: 169.6 lbs
Current Weight: 170.6 lbs

Measurements

Jan 1/2020 Bust: 40″
Feb 1/2020 Bust: 40″
Current Bust: 39″

Jan 1/2020 Waist: 32″
Feb 1/2020 Waist: 31″
Current Waist: 31″

Jan 1/2020 Hips: 42.5″
Feb 1/2020 Hips: 42″
Current Hips: 41.5″

So as you can see I’m up a pound, this is most annoying. I have not been able to break away from 169-172 for the past 4 weeks at minimum. I think I need to be laser focused on my nutrition for the month of March. The last few weeks I’ve been off the wagon a bit. Inconsistent gym time based on injury and holidays. The recipe for stagnant weight and inches lost.

I’m going to keep trying though, move forward in March and see what I can do. Unfortunately, my gym routine with my sister is seemingly coming to an end. It is just not working with my new work schedule. We can’t coordinate a time that works for me and my sleep and her having someone to watch her kids so we can go earlier.

This week I’ll be attempting working out during my lunch break at work. We have access to a beautiful gym for free, so I want to take advantage of it. I will be doing cardio in the evenings on Mon, Wed and Fri for 20-30 minutes and my sister and I will keep going to aquafit on Thurs.

I am hoping to get back in the swing of things and hopefully break into the 165 zone. I know it’s possible. It is just going to require a bit of extra work and attention to detail.

Happy workouts everyone. When you hit a wall dont stop, climb over or walk around BUT keep going. I know it will be worth it when I see how far I’ve come at the 9 month mark of my journey.

– Steph

Bumps In The Road

So life throws curve balls sometimes or if we want to be a bit more dramatic we can say wrenches. My shoulder(s), primarily my right shoulder have been acting up like CRAZY! It hurt to sleep, to hold things in my hands, to grip things in general. It was blatantly painful with no beating around the bush.

That being said, life happened as well, I went away for the long weekend and as a result of the above noted, my gym routine suffered.

Pain is no joke. I’ve learned the hard way that you do not push through pain. There is a difference between pain and discomfort from soreness or exertion. Push through those BUT not pain, otherwise you could do more damage.

I’ve rested essentially with minimum use of weights the past two weeks. If I lifted it was between 5-10 lbs which is a far cry from what I usually lift. But you do what you gotta do.

I’m hoping and looking forward to going back consistently with serious workouts… I just hope and pray my body obliges.

Stats time!

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155
Current Weight: 169.6

Measurements:

Bust: 39.5″
Waist: 30.5″
Hips: 41.5″

Shockingly I’m down in the stats department – I’ll take it!

Some bumps in the road lately, but my eyes are on the prize and I’ll keep heading in the direction I know will get me to it, even if I go inch-by-inch.

– Steph

Endless Possibilities

I’m not manic, but I’m feeling pretty darn good.

This week I started my new job, and might I say, I’ve made it to the big leagues my friends!

This firm is beautiful! It’s massive and everyone I’ve met has been so welcoming, which gives me good feels. 3 associates that I’ll be working with invited me for lunch. I’m a little nervous, but I think it will be a nice icebreaker. The Senior Partner that I am directly assisting seems like a nice man… again I’m getting good vibes.

When I was contemplating applying for this position I was really getting into my own head. I was excited about the firm, the area of law I would be working in (intellectual property…. how cool right?!?) and the challenge it would offer my career BUT then came the doubt.

I doubted my ability to commute, my ability to work for a senior partner, my ability to fit in one of the largest international firms of Canada, and my ability to learn a new area of law.

I was building walls around myself with limits I was inadvertently placing on myself with the “challenges” I was telling myself I would face. So, what did I do? I applied anyways and told myself I’d give it my all and if it was meant to be – it would be.

After submitting my resume I received a phone call, which resulted in a 20 minute over the phone interview. I was then contacted about a week later and invited to do a in-person interview. The nerves were real! I was so excited for the interview but was incredibly anxious… I literally scratched my legs to the point that I broke blood vessels (I scratch when I’m anxious, terrible habit).

So the 2nd interview took place with 2 personnel. The head of HR and an assistant. As soon as I sat down I felt a surge of confidence, how or why? I can easily say it was an answer to a prayer. I thought the interview went great. However, following our meeting I was asked to do an assessment on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Let me just say the letter I read was probably the most complex letter I’ve ever seen and my objective was to proof read. YIKES!

After I left the assessment I felt deflated, I sincerely felt like I bombed the proof reading portion. However, shockingly I was asked for a 3rd interview! This time when I entered the room there were 3 associates, the Senior Partner and HR staring at me. I answered all the questions confidently with my legs vibrating under the table. Again, I wasn’t quite sure I made the cut, there were some pretty intense questions.

Surprise, surprise after that entire process they offered me the position! And HR said my assessment was incredible, they said that my proof reading caught errors that weren’t even in their answer key! Talk about a shocker!

Ultimately, I was challenged every step of the way to attain this position. However, with each challenge I surprised myself with my composure in the trenches. I also learned I need to give myself a little more credit for what I offer as an assistant. When I was offered the job I was told that “ everyone was impressed by me.” By me! Can you believe that??

Can you imagine if I would have settled with the limits I was justifying in my head. If I would have limited myself because of the challenge applying for this position posed? I would have missed out on an amazing job offer from a firm that thinks I am worth investing in!

Surprisingly enough I wasn’t even nervous going into my first day of work this week. I think the intense interview process made me realize I am more than enough to fulfill and excel in this role. I bring skills and value to this role and I’m going to own it!

As I sat in the training the past few days, I’ve grown more and more confident and more and more excited. There is so much potential to learn, grow and shine in my role and I’m ready for it.

I really want to go into 2020 shedding limits I put on challenges and take as much opportunity as possible to challenge the limits I have in place (that need to break). We are our only limit when it comes to what we can accomplish, when it comes to our confidence, and when it comes to our growth. I want to burst through my self-imposed limits and face new challenges and grow a little more with each and every single one.

I encourage you to look at yourself with a little more confidence, look at yourself with a little more love and encouragement that YOU CAN OVERCOME CHALLENGING THINGS, and not just overcome but THRIVE.

Take that leap of faith to do something that you might think is out of your comfort zone and you just may be amazed at what opportunities unfold.

– Steph

Give It All You’ve Got

So last week was pretty challenging with respects to my fitness regime but just as I wrote in a previous post, we must be stubborn about our goals and flexible about our methods.

That being said I was flexible. I attended the gym 3 times last week, the Fiton exercises have been non-existent… needless to say I will be working on that. But I did literal gym time which is where I’ve always struggled to be consistent. So YAY for that.

I don’t know why BUT I was super exhausted this past week so getting to the gym was a trial in itself, but when I went I gave it my all.

On Monday my sister and I adhered to the workout plan cardio, weights and core. However, Wednesday once we finished cardio, we looked at each other and decided we needed to spice things up. Ultimately, we ended up doing a virtual Zumba class, which neither of us have ever done before. Might I say, not too shabby. The Zumba was a way for us to move and get a workout in when we both really didn’t feel like working out.

Thursday, our aquafit day never came to fruition as I was in a pretty foul mood (Nutmeg, my dog woke me up 4 times throughout the night!!!! The little turkey assisted me with waking up on the wrong side of the bed) this resulted in me having no desire to be wet. So that one was on me.

Friday’s workout ended up turning into a Saturday’s workout. My sisters and their families and my husband and I, all went out and didn’t get home until 11pm on Friday night. Needless to say my sister and I opted to do leg day the next day.

Consistent gym time is the objective, and when I get to the gym my goal is to give it my all. I’m happy to say, even though my energy level was low I gave all that I had to give in each session I went. Perhaps my 100% of effort this past week only looked like 75% in my previous weeks BUT that’s not the point. Every day; Every workout I want to be aware of what I have to offer and let’s be honest – it is going to fluctuate.

DO NOT GET DOWN ON YOURSELF if your everything doesn’t meet or surpass a previous workout. Do what you can with what you have to offer on that given day.

Previously (years ago), when I was obsessed with the gym I would go for 2 hours everyday. Drip sweat and nearly die each and every workout. I had a standard that I required myself to meet and there was no mercy granted to myself. This my friends is not how you build a healthy, sustainable relationship with the gym OR yourself. Show compassion, kindness, patience and mercy towards yourself on the days that you don’t feel your best. You deserve a pat on the back for just getting to the gym.

Every workout will not be a spitting image of the previous one. Your energy will fluctuate and that is where you need to give it your all and know that it is enough. Be realistic with yourself and you will be able to give yourself a whole lot more love and appreciation for what you do accomplish. Give it your all, whatever that looks like throughout your week and you’ll never lose.

Now my friends, stats for the week.

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155
Current Weight: 170.2

Measurements:

Bust: 40″
Waist: 31″
Hips: 41.5″

Regardless to the numbers posted above, I see and feel that progress is being made. My relationship with fitness is the healthiest it’s ever been and my relationship with food is heading in the right direction. All in all I know I’m getting closer to my fitness and wellness goals each day and for that I am grateful and proud of myself.

Happy workouts this week everyone.

– Steph

A Gift For You

I feel like I’m in the training process right now all over again.

So many wonderful things have happened since my husband and I have moved. I even have a job secured which is a blessing all in it’s own.

However, the work I’m doing is in fact different than working as a legal assistant. I know, I know in a few posts back I mentioned that perhaps I would be working outside of my profession and I think I went as far as to say it might be a nice change. But ohhhh how I was wrong.

I’m working as a casual receptionist. Slightly administrative, but to be frank I miss the hustle and bustle of my career EVEN if it gave me stress. I enjoyed the challenge and I realize that now. You never realize what you have until it’s gone, right?

It’s not to say that the receptionist position isn’t enjoyable, it is just a tad bit slow and not very challenging. However, as this post says “see the good in every situation”… so my friends the good that I can see is that this position is at a seniors manor. I love working with seniors, I’m not sure if I wrote on my blog previously about this, but during the summers between school years I worked at a seniors home as a dietary aide. Prior to that I did housekeeping at another manor.

Seniors are so lovely, sure they can be a bit prickly BUT they have such personality and are genuinely happy to see you each day you work. That is the good in my position as far as I can tell.

Training your mind to see the good is a philosophy I’ve tried to apply throughout my life. Life is so much more enjoyable when you try to look for the good. Lessons can be learned, memories can be made and cherished and it can all stem from the most unlikeliest of situations.

Perhaps as you move forward in this new year and decade you can work your mind out and train it to see the good when the good seems to be a bit out of reach.

But let’s be clear, seeing the good doesn’t mean we ignore the bad. Sometimes we need to see the bad so we can make a change which is the good at the end of the day. Maybe a bad breakup from a toxic relationship is the good in your life because you are now free to begin a new life (but you’d have to see the bad, before you make the change to be able to see the good… if that makes sense).

Sometimes I slip into a Negative Nancy mood and everything is wrong and nothing is right and when that happens, if it happens to you, all I can say is – breathe.

Take 15 minutes, close your eyes, leave the situation and just breathe. Talk yourself through what is happening and why you are feeling the way you are feeling and if you are lucky, you might just be able to find a sliver of reasoning advocating for some positive energy.

I am not the best at breathing thru stressful situations, but there have been many times where I close my eyes and listen to my breathing. I try to focus on the breathing in order to ground my mind when it is going up, up and away. Sometimes just focusing on your breathing can calm you and help you see clearly. And when you see clearly I’ll be darned if there isnt something positive to take away from the situation. Whether it’s self-development or having a mask pulled off someone in your life so that you see their true colours and you can move on in your own life. There is always a positive spin if we look hard enough.

I hope everyone is having a good week, and if you are having a tough one all I can say is take a minute to breathe. Listen to that sound and remind yourself that life is a gift that has been granted to you. There will be ups, there will be downs, but it is a gift and I hope and pray we each find a way to love the life we make for ourselves each and every day.

– Steph

Bipolar Gains – Let’s Get It

Alright, so here we are January 2020 and I am ready to go!

My weight has been one of the most ginormous Goliaths in my life. I have always struggled accepting the number on the scale and when I started a certain medication with my diagnosis of bipolar, that weight skyrocketed.

Understandably, when the weight went way up, my confidence went way down. I struggled to find self-love while weighing my heaviest and ultimately told my doctors that the medication needed to change or I’d stop taking it. Drastic, I know, but I was turning into someone I didn’t recognize emotionally and physically.

At my highest I weighed 198 lbs, which was more than I had ever imagined I would weigh in my lifetime. To allow you to more accurately gauge that weight I will tell you my height is 5 ft 4 and 3/4 inches. So it is fair to say that weight was more than just a little on my short frame.

I will be clear when I say I am curvy (I believe this trait stems from my Latin heritage) I am not petite and I have an athletic build. I have never been a size 0. This fact originally gave me a lot of grief growing up, as I classified myself as chubby and overweight because I wasn’t 115 lbs when in actuality I was at a perfectly healthy weight and looked healthy and lean at 150-160.

You read that right, 150-160 lbs is a golden weight for me at my height. So let’s get to the fun part of this post.

Bipolar Gains is a new chapter on my blog bringing accountability and honesty with regards to my journey to physical wellness. So far there have been a lot of highs and lows coupled with inconsistency. However, I want to emphasize the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle with Biplor. (I think the inconsistency that comes as a results of highs and lows is my biggest struggle)

Mental health is drastically impacted by physical health. Having some form of physical activity in your life is a foundational block to build a healthy mind. Every time I saw my psychiatrist (the one who cared) she would ask me about my physical activity and always emphasized the importance and the significant impact being active had on my health.

When I weighed 198lbs I had given up on the gym and felt terrible about myself. I lost myself to be honest. I had been an avid gym goer, however when the medication I was taking was making me gain weight despite my efforts I stopped. DON’T do what I did – DON’T stop going to the gym if you aren’t seeing results. YES, maybe talk to your doctors about changing medications BUT don’t stop being active and don’t stop your medication because of the weight. Easier said then done.

My medication change was exactly what I needed to get back under control. The change was what worked for me and just so you know, I switched my mood stabilizer from Quetiapine to Latuda (just for the know how).

Anyways, I’m trying to stay on topic. This chapter of my blog – Bipolar Gains, I’m sure you’ve heard weightlifters refer to their “gains”. I want to tie that in with bipolar. This journey has been and will continue to go up and down and all the while I hope to gain better control over my health – body and mind. My moods impact my desire to workout and sometimes being consistent is challenging, however that is why I created this chapter of my blog. Accountability my friends!

I plan on documenting my weightloss journey, giving you updates on how many times I worked out in the week, what I did and what my stats are. Believe me it’s not about the number on the scale, but for me it’s a good indication that I am on track. To kick off this series I will give you my stats as follows:

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs

Goal Weight: 155lbs

Monday, January 6th

Current Weight: 172.2

Measurements

Bust: 40″

Waist: 32″

Hips: 42.5″

Bonus Measurements:

Neck: 14″ (my husband says he notices my neck when I lose weight, so I’m curious if this measurement will change throughout my journey)

Biceps: 12″

Thighs: 24.5″

I want this to be real and raw so brace yourself for some photos, I find that a way to motivate myself is photos. Sometimes the number you see on the scale says something totally different than the photo you may see. These photos were taken on January 1, 2020 (a kick off to the new year)

I want to put this out there because I don’t want to back out. I want to share this journey with you so I can be accountable to myself and you while working towards my goals.

There are a few reasons why losing this weight is important to me. Ultimately, it’s for my health, I want to enjoy this life to it’s fullest. I want to be confident. I don’t want to look back with regret. I want to make a change and 2020 is the year. No more excuses, I may go up and I may go down BUT I will be as sure as heck be going forward.

If you want to join me on this journey I would be honored. If you would like to share your fitness and wellness journey with me, I would love that as well.

2020, a new year, a new decade, a new opportunity to grow into the person you want to be. Let’s flex these muscles and get some bipolar gains, bro.

I hope that this new chapter will be insightful and encouraging for you to begin or continue towards your own bipolar gains. Let’s get it!

– Steph

A Cure

Alright. Where to begin.

Over the past while I have been plagued by some memories of my past – in particular a relationship. This relationship extended over years, a brief history to understand the extent of this connection is the fact that I first met this individual in Jr. High School and in later years after keeping in contact we began a relationship (enough said).

The fact that this individual and the memories surrounding him crossed my mind was a constant discomfort to me. I felt guilty. I felt terrible. I felt like I was betraying my relationship, my husband – my marriage. It was something I talked to my doctors about and it was the same old solution – let the memories come – let them go – and do not judge yourself. Yah. No. Not working.

That advice was easier said than done. However, in one session with a random therapist in the new city I am in, something was said and it triggered a series of thoughts that I will get to in a little bit. What this psychologist said was “perhaps the memories are not the problem BUT it is the credit we give them, the power we give them as we try to rationalize them and make sense of why they are happening”. Okay – now I can definitely appreciate that new insight. It was something I had never thought about in LITERALLY countless hours of thinking.

I was adding fuel to the fire as I tried to determine what each and every individual memory meant and quite frankly as was to be determined THEY MEANT NOTHING.

BUT this is where it gets good… the comment the psychologist made was good food for thought BUT what really made me shake my head with a new found outlook on my life was a conversation with my older sister.

I called my sister in a frenzy during a lunch break, I was feeling sick from the amount of memories crossing my mind. I felt like it was getting worse NOT better and that I had no control over my mind anymore. I felt like I was looking backwards despite the fact that I was trying oh so very hard to appreciate and look forward into my bright future with the man of my dreams.

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?!

Did I still have unresolved feelings? I couldn’t. I knew I didn’t.

The relationship I was reflecting on ended on bad terms and was over almost 5 years ago, sure we kept in touch but, I AM IN LOVE WITH MY HUSBAND, no doubt in my mind or heart that he is my living heart beat.

So why the chaos? Why was my mind creating a problem where there was none?

Simply for that reason. There is no chaos in my life. MIND BLOWN! That was the insight my sister shared that changed my life. Like the therapist said my constant trying to “figure out” the memories was adding fuel to a fire. The fire set being myself.

For the last 9 years as my sister helped describe to me – my life which has been a roller coaster (excluding the most recent year), I was in one terrible relationship after the other. For may of those years I was undiagnosed and living in a hell on earth. I was functioning in chaos. That was my normal. My normal was to be in defence mode, to be fighting with myself and the men that I loved in any relationship I entered, because they were almost always toxic relationships (don’t ask me why). Associating with people in my past relationships was like a drug addiction. My normal was wayyy up high on the chaos wagon, not down low in a mellow peaceful state.

My husband is the polar opposite of chaos (which was one of the reasons I fell in love with him). He is a calm in the storm. He is peaceful, literally the opposite of anything I had ever experienced since the age of 17.

That’s not to say that I have not enjoyed my life and journey over the past 10 years. There have been amazing moments and serious leaps and bounds of self realization. For instance the memories I was thinking back on were good for the most part BUT deep down I wasn’t reminiscing on the memory; what I now know is that my mind was trying to recreate the chaos and panic I was living in during that time of my life, so for convenience it was bringing up that particular time in my life AND because it was about an ex of course that would create drama in my present life, where there would otherwise be none!

CRUEL BUT BRILLIANT. Just thinking about how my mind when thru all that effort to simulate chaos so that my body could feel like it was in a state of normalcy is incredible. The mind is a force to be reckoned with.

But in actuality, what has this epiphany done. It has calmed the storm my friends. I am no longer plagued by memories, a fleeting one may come and go BUT it is no where near as chaotic as it was. I know what is going on and why it is happening. I have the power again. There is no power in the memory.

I can’t emphasize how happy and at peace I feel. I have been sleeping better, I feel happier over all.

I know. I know. I know. I know that I am adjusting to this new “normal”, this new peaceful relationship – life in a new city, with a new job, away from my family and doctors.

I know that my mind was playing with me trying to recreate a sad excuse of a “comfort zone”, because my new zone was too good to be true. It blows my mind to say that I grew comfortable in my chaos, that is what I knew and expected. Is it what I wanted – NOT AT ALL. However, I was conditioned to normalize the experiences in my life because they were my normal – which doesn’t make them healthy.

I am healthy today. I am happy today. I have been chaos free for over a year and my mind has plagued me the entire time, trying to find a problem where there was none. (the memories were the only thing causing mayhem in my personal life)

All of my memories. All the feelings being brought up had absolutely nothing to do with the individual they were about, rather they about the state I was in at that point in my life. He has no power over me. He has no place in my life. He is in the past.

I am free.

I am not sure if this post captured the essence of this discovery, but if you are being plagued by memories give yourself a moment to ask yourself if the plague is actually about the person or rather the state you were in at that time. Your mind might be playing with you like mine did to me. The memories were a façade for a deeper problem.

But like I said a million times over and I will say it to my grave, once you acknowledge the problem and give it a name, once you know what is troubling you, YOU are that much more capable of resolving it.

Hallelujah and amen! I hope that if anyone is experiencing a similar situation this gave you some insight, and if not I hope you enjoyed the read.

-Steph