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

It’s a Comeback… Again

Following my last “Bipolar Bliss” post I figured I should lighten the mood with a meme, and might I just say this one is hilarious.

Sometimes the moods of bipolar get the best of us, but the beauty of it is that they won’t last forever. We are entitled to a comeback, with a happy mood. I had been going thru a rough patch and feeling pretty crummy about life in general with this diagnosis, however I have a life so I’ll start with that fact, which should be enough for me to show gratitude. Not only do I have a life, but I live in a country with access to modern medicine and therapy (which I do require)… more to be grateful for.

Taking medication stinks BUT so does being a tornado in my life and those that I love. Medication allows me to live a moderately stable life – so it looks like I’ll bite the bullet and pop the pills for the rest of my life. Besides, I have so much practice now I’m a pro.

So much has changed from my last Bipolar Bliss post. I recieved a job offer!!!!! From one of the largest firms in Canada, not only does it act nationally but it is also an international firm. The pay and benefits are mind blowing – so things are looking to have taken a turn for the best! I will be working as a legal assistant in a new area of law; intellectual property, which honestly is so exciting! I can’t wait to start learning about this area of law and the litigation process.

Things are picking up, and despite my pessimism last post, I have tried to be positive and lo and behold things have seemingly gotten better…. coincidence? I think not.

Attitude plays a huge role in managing this diagnosis, if you have the right one and try to push thru the ugly the possibilities of finding things to be grateful for are endless.

– Steph

I Made It!

Last week was a lot mentally. However, I’m happy to say I worked out through it all. I made it! I had a constant in my life that I stayed consistent with and although I didn’t feel the greatest mentally I did get a pick me up when I checked off my workout.

I was drained and I felt it, but I tried to push through and gave all that I could muster and that’s all I ask of myself each time I start an exercise.

So what did I do?

Monday: Cardio & pushups warm-up, shoulders, biceps and chest, rowing machine cardio, core

Tuesday: Nada

Wednesday: Cardio & walking toe-touches warm-up, triceps and back, core, 2 FitOn classes

Thursday: Nada

Friday: Cardio & pushups warm-up, legs and glutes, core

Saturday: Nada

My gym routine is a work in progress BUT there is continual progress being made with each workout done.

I’m planning on overhauling my diet to hopefully see some more drastic results, because you can’t outwork a bad diet. To be honest, mine hasn’t been that bad BUT I think my problem is it’s inconsistent and the portion sizes gets me. So bring on the new challenge that will hopefully tip the scale in the direction I want to be seeing.

Not feeling the stats, but for the sake of the journey and accountability here we go.

Highest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155lbs
Current Weight: 173.8

Bust: 40″
Waist: 32″
Hips: 42.5″

I’m trying not to get caught up with the stats this week as there are certain womanly factors in play at the moment, which can often lead to a change in weight and tummy circumference… if you pick up what I’m putting down. Hopefully next week will yield more positive fruit from my labours.

– Steph

Close To The Edge

I have been really struggling lately. I don’t know where I’m at mentally to be honest – but I wouldn’t consider it a good place. I feel like crying, I feel like screaming, I feel like thrashing my arms and legs, I feel like giving up on life (not to suggest I want to die… just keep reading and you’ll understand).

The past few weeks (this last one in particular), it has been painfully difficult for me to take my medication. I just don’t want to do it anymore. With each pill I put in my mouth more and more resentment is built. This resentment is not directed towards anyone in particular its just a matter of me loathing the pills I’ve been popping since 2014. And I just don’t know if I can do this the rest of my life.

I’m tired of all the effort and energy that goes into living life with bipolar day-in-and-day-out. I’m tired of the maintenance. I’m tired of the monitoring, tracking and appointments. I’m tired of the self-talk. I’m tired of trying to be optimistic. I’m just done. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do any of it.

I’m tired of doctors appointments, of therapy. I just want to feel normal not like every little thing I do is scrutinized. I told my husband I was unhappy and the very next thing said was a question, “when is your next therapy appointment?” I DON’T WANT TO HAVE EVERYTHING TURN TO THERAPY.

Family will always ask when I have an appointment as if it’s a lifeline for them and me. As if I’m incapable of dealing with life on my own. Perhaps it’s TRUE, perhaps I can’t deal but I’m tired of this life and living it this way. I’m tired of having my emotions constantly analyzed. It’s a two edged sword, I missed therapy when I didnt have it BUT at the same time I’m sick and tired of it being in my life even if it does mean I “function better”.

I’m spiraling. Maybe it’s because I have too much time on my hands these days since I am not working. Which I also hate. I hate being bored and unproductive and I am bored. I am also tired of trying to find a job that accommodates my bipolar and insomnia (commuting). I’m tired of my inability to wake up super early like the average person can do to get to work on time for a typical job.

Life is an accommodation when you have bipolar. I am writing this now in frustration BUT I’m pretty sure it’s the blunt truth and I won’t be able to deny this fact even when my souls at peace, which hopefully happens sooner than later.

Bipolar. It requires you to change your way of life to accommodate it, as to not poke the beast and cause a scene. I’m tired of it, maybe I will let the beast out to play and wreak some havoc.

I feel so disconnected from everyone. The only time I sincerely feel anything, any sense of just being free is at the gym with my sister. The gym is my happy place. It was years ago and I am happy to say it is again.

If you get anything out of this negative post it is as follows: if you are spiraling cling on to your happy place. Hold on to something that is liberating. Maybe its art or reading – just find something not someone you can connect with. People are great, but sometimes solitude is what you want and need and people just can’t understand how or what you feel.

But honestly, aside from the gym I have 0 desire to do anything. I’m just not interested, I feel like everything is a waste of time. So that brings the question of what constitutes as boredom. I could fill my time with menial hobbies, but why? What is the point.

I am just tired my friends. This blog post doesn’t unravel years of blogging – it just shows I’m human and I am living with bipolar and I am in the wringer right now. I am having a rough time and that’s life. But the question at the end of it, is what am I going to do about it.

Sleeping for 1000 years is not an option unfortunately.

Not my typical post, but my blog is a space where I can let my emotions soar so please bear with me while I’m soaring yet spiraling.

– Steph

Not Just A Pretty Face

I am more than what you see. This is something that I know for a fact, yet at times I need to be reminded of.

This post is about to get real, and I hope you can bare with me as I try to express myself.

I am human, I am not perfect. I lead an imperfect life filled with my own goliaths, as I know you do too. Some are bigger than others and sometimes the most I can do is acknowledge them and say to myself, “hey, I see you… not sure what I’m going to do about you BUT I see you.”

Sometimes we are battling things on our own privately and the idea of sharing our battles with anyone else seems out of the question. However, I encourage you to find a safe haven, whether that be a family member, a friend or a counsellor.

I am so grateful to be back in the swing of things with a counsellor. I was matched up with a great lady named Gail in the town I am now residing. So far we seem to jive pretty well and she’s been able to shed some insight with what I’ve been struggling with. Yes, I still talk to my husband and family about it BUT I find my counsellor gives me a different perspective that allows me to express myself more eloquently.

Lately (that’s used loosely), I’ve been struggling with my self confidence. It’s ironic, the more I feel like I’m looking better outwardly the more reassurance that I need. Feeling beautiful on my own isn’t enough for some reason. It’s as though I don’t believe it’s possible so I need others to reassure me (believe me, I know how messed up that sounds).

Yesterday in my appointment I realized so much of my self worth is dependent on how I look and believe me when I say that standard applies only to myself. I DO NOT MEASURE PEOPLE’S WORTH BY THEIR APPEARANCE. I firmly believe its deeper than skin – I just wish I could extend the same kindness to myself.

I’ve struggled with my weight and skin for years and my confidence has been shattered. For years I was fixated on how disappointing I must have been to my family to look the way I did. I did not love myself truly even though I was doing the best I could. And don’t get me wrong, I was still happy, but at the same time I was sad because of the way I looked.

I was saying to my husband I don’t think I’ve ever been happy with my life coinciding with my looks in a very long time – if ever. Either I was happy with my appearance and sad with my life or sad in life and sad with my appearance or happy with life and sad with my appearance. And I know it may sound weird, but I’m happy in my life right now (SO HAPPY) and I’m growing more and more happier with my appearance AND I don’t know how to handle it. I just don’t know how to truly believe or accept I’m beautiful on my own without needing validation or reassuring from my family and at time friends.

How unbelievably shallow. I know. Pity party for feeling pretty. Wah. Wah. Wah. But I’m serious, so much of how I view myself revolves around looks. I haven’t looked like the person I’ve wanted to look like for yearsssss and now that I am starting to I’m happy BUT I don’t know how to accept it for myself. It’s messed up and I’m being honest even though I’m not even sure it makes sense.

Everyone’s struggles are different. Right now I’m learning how to love and accept myself at any shape or size even if it’s the one I want to be! And just because I’m reaching that size it doesn’t mean everything is just magically going to be better. There is a lot of extra psychological weight with the weight I’m shedding and I’m trying to work through it so I can sincerely accept myself (and be happy).

On a different note, my counsellor gave me some worksheets to do regarding my values BECAUSE shocking news to you and myself – I’m not shallow. My fixation on my appearance may elude to it but I do have strong values, beliefs and a heart and mind. She gave me excercises to stimulate my vocabulary and give me more words to describe my values.

Sometimes we just need a push in the right direction to take away the bull seeing only red. And lately, I think with all this spare time on my hands from not working everyday 9-5 I have a little too much time to think and dwell on myself. The gym is great and is helping me reach my goals BUT that is one part of a ginormous puzzle of who I am as Stephanie.

I think I’ll share some of the values I have and rediscover in next weeks post, perhaps the values will hit a chord and you will have them in common with me or they will make you think of new ones entirely.

I’m not just a pretty face and I sure as heck don’t want to die with that being what people think of me. I want to be so much more. I really want to have it all – and dang nabbit I will. If I work on myself physically, mentally and spiritually. If I can learn to love myself – as myself at every stage, that is what will be truly beautiful.

You are beautiful, I don’t have to see you to know it. You are priceless with infinite worth, I believe that without a shadow of a doubt. Be kind to others BUT please, please, please be kind to yourself, that’s something I’m trying to apply into my own life.

– Steph

Make it Happen

In reference to the quote, can I get an AMEN to the fact that Canada has brutally cold winters!

I have to say this week was a success. And for all intents and purposes that is exactly how I’m going to approach my physical wellness goals.

Week-by-week. Step-by- step.

In terms of how I felt, I’d say I felt motivated and committed. And not surprisingly, I felt better about myself with each workout accomplished. I know that the motivation will wane at times BUT I’m hoping to stay consistent despite this.

It’s amazing what difference a workout/accountability partner makes! I have been going with one of my sisters to the gym and I feel more inclined to go AND to push harder when I’m there. If you are feeling stuck and unmotivated, I highly recommend having a gym buddy. You will be doing each other a favor while becoming better for it. That sounds like a definite win to me.

That being said, think outside the box, I will list my weekly activity down below BUT one of my activities the past week was a pilates class that I did via an app AND I did it with a different sister who lives in another city! We decided what class we wanted to do and called each other on skype and did the workout together, laughing as we struggled together.

It was so fun! And I feel incredibly grateful to be able to share this fitness journey with another sister who is also wanting to better herself physically.

** Small note in regards to the app, this is not a paid or sponsored post BUT I want to let you know what app I used and will be using moving forward with my oldest sister. The app is called Fiton, it is pretty much like a having a virtual fitness instructor. They have live classes that you can join and leave in real time and you are able to schedule a reminder to participate in these classes or you can watch pre-recorded classes and repeat them at your leisure.

All in all, I was incredibly impressed. My sister and I did a pilates class and it was so fun! Challenging, but engaging and it was free!!!! It was literally the same quality as going to a paid pilates class but rather than being in a studio we were in our living rooms AND rather than doing it alone we planned on doing the live class together (like going to a studio) and skyped – so we were literally together. Like I said, be creative!

So my week, what did I do??

Monday: 2 hrs at the gym; I worked out shoulders, biceps and chest. (I always love starting my week off with shoulder day because its my absolute favourite… that’s a tip: start the week off with what you love to do at the gym, it helps to get you there in a good mood and starts the week off right)

Within the two hours I did a cardio warm-up followed with some calisthenics to get the joints warmed up and ready to work and then weight training followed by some HITT cardio and lastly core.

Tuesday: Nada, unfortunately I had a wayyyy late dinner and felt like if I worked out it would not have ended well.

Wednesday: 1 hr and 45 mins at the gym; I worked out triceps and back. Again, I did a cardio warm-up, followed by some calisthenics and then weight training, and core (we had a shorter workout so passed on the HITT cardio)

Thursday: 45 mins of Aquafit (the instructor was a little prickly and singled me out, which I didn’t like BUT the class was overall good)

Friday: 20 mins of pilates using the Fiton app (I think this was around 1 pm) then I went to the gym in the evening for 2 hrs and worked out glutes and legs. Again, warming up with some light cardio and calisthenics and then moving into weights and core. No HITT cardio again, as my sister was not feeling the best and I didn’t want us to push our luck.

Saturday: 30 mins of cardio and 15 mins of calisthenics.

Sunday: Rest day.

So my week was a little all over the place, but at the same time it was scheduled. To put it in a nice little package moving forward the plan is: Monday, Wednesday & Friday are weights & core with some HITT cardio and Thursday is aquafit. Saturday is a free for all if I do decide to go. (This Saturday my husband and I were sitting at home doing nothing so I was like, “want to go so some cardio?”, it wasn’t planned but it just happened.)

I do want to try a yoga class on Tuesday, but I’ll be attending that alone if I go. Additionally, my older sister asked if I’d like to do the fiton classes with her (accountability partner for the win) and we are going to try next week Monday-Friday for 20-30 mins. We will solely be doing pilates, yoga and core. I’m trying to stretch more this year.

What I am not trying to do is kill myself and burn out. I know it may sound like a lot BUT I feel like a morning yoga or pilates session will be a nice waker-upper for me. And then weights and cardio 3x a week is reasonable as well… yes, yes, yes we go for 2 hrs BUT a fair amount of time is going over the excercises and proper form for my sister as she is new to weight training. I anticipate that we will get down to 1 hr 30 mins or 1 hr and 45 mins when she is more comfortable and familiar with the moves.

Also, I’m trying to ensure we warm-up because it is really beneficial for the overall workout. And cardio, is a necessary evil. So all in all because we are only going to the gym 3x a week it all gets lumped together.

You may ask why not spread it out? The answer is we are working around my sister’s schedule and to make it work we have 3 gym days allotted and then a bonus Thursday with aquafit. We go in the evenings after her husband gets home from work. So this week we generally went to the gym at 7:30pm and left at 9:30-9:45pm. When you want to make something happen, you make it happen.

Again, I had so much fun this past week with my sisters. They are real troopers who try hard and motivate me to give my best and go!

So, now the fun part – stats.

I decided pictures will be once a month, I will do my current weight each week and if it fluctuates… so be it. My weight is temperamental as is. I will do my measurements weekly (bonus measurements will only be done once a month as well) and we will go from there. So without further ado:

Highest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155lbs

Monday, January 13th
Current Weight: 173.2

Bust: 40″
Waist: 32″
Hips: 42.5″

It’s not about the numbers as I said before, they are just a way to stay accountable. I am trying to break my number complex and I think by posting it, I’m facing it. What I do want to focus on is how I feel.

That was week 1 of my 2020 fitness journey accounted for. Let’s go for week 2!


– 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