News Flash

I don’t generally post two Bipolar Gains posts a week, however I’ve had a change of heart and wanted to share because my last post was pretty negative AND that does not embody the journey of self-love that I’m on as I try to be the HEALTHIEST VERSION OF MYSELF (key word – HEALTHIEST). Sometimes it’s so easy to get hyper-focused on one detail and it takes away from the whole experience.

I am no longer going to weigh myself – atleast not once a week. Maybe once a month or every 6 weeks, I’ll find a balance. I will take progress photos at the beginning of each month and measure BUT that blasted number is NOT going to ruin my happy vibe. I have seriously been getting so caught up with the fact my weight has stayed the same with all the effort I’ve been putting in that I have lost sight of how good I actually do feel in my skin. How confident I am wearing my outfits.

Maybe 155 lbs is not in my deck of cards BUT maybe being a size 9 is – even if I do weigh 170 lbs. The point is WHO CARES! I sure as heck need to stop caring about what I weigh. When I started this segment on my blog, I specifically said I didn’t want to focus on the number and with weight watchers that is a MAJOR CON because I weigh in every week with huge expectations on myself to see a lower number. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE NUMBER! I need to emphasize that for you and me!

From my highest weight I am down around 28 lbs – great. But how I see myself is so much more important than the figure I see on the scale. It’s an accomplishment, I don’t want to take away from that BUT I do want to remind myself that I am so much more than a number and even at my biggest I deserved to love myself and even now where I’m at, how I look, whether it is my ideal physique or NOT – I deserve to love myself.

Enjoy the journey, don’t get deterred because the “number”, is not what you envision for yourself. Trust the process, trust your body to change positively as you change your active lifestyle positively AND love and respect your body along the way. You can’t hate yourself into sustainable enjoyable change. That’s something I needed to hear again.

Happy vibes my friends.

– Steph

Frustrated is an Understatement

To say I’m frustrated is an understatement. I weighed in at 171.4 lbs, which means I’ve gone up in weight – but who cares. Honestly, I am fluctuating between 169 and 172 and I over it (but not actually). I know I said it wasn’t about the number BUT when I’m working out and eating clean for 85/15 then why the heck aren’t I seeing the number drop.

Sure, clothes are fitting better BUT I feel like I look EXACTLY the same as at the beginning of February end of January… and it’s really no surprise considering my stats haven’t changed. I am not even close to where I want to be at the end of my journey and yet my body is rejecting the change I’m trying to create.

If I’ve ever felt like saying “whatever” and throwing the towel in – this is it. I’m just so FRUSTRATED.

How can 170 be my comfortable natural weight? It’s obviously not BUT I can’t get lower, what will it take? Starvation? Not that I’d go there as tempting as it might be.

It is what it is. I’ll keep going to the gym, I’ll keep eating clean. And I’ll just be grateful my clothes fit and look good.

As for stats, aside from my weight I dont have anything, I threw the measuring tape once I saw that my first measure was the same as last week. I know, I know …. I was what we would call having a tantrum BUT I am not even ashamed; just frustrated.

Happy Monday everyone.

– Steph

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

Picture Day (Progress Pictures)

Okay!

I have to say not focusing on the weight and focusing on how I feel makes this post a lot easier to write.

I feel great! I feel healthier and stronger than I have in a long time. I feel leaner BUT maybe it is all in my head, because as you will see below with the pictures there isn’t a whole lot of a difference (at least to me).

With respects to my weight, over the past month it has fluctuated, ideally I want the number to be going down not up, so without further ado let’s get into the stats and then pictures.

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155lbs

Jan 1/2020 Weight: 172.2
Current Weight: 169.6 (I haven’t been in the 160s since 2014!!)

Measurements

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

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

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

Jan 1/2020 Bonus Measurements:
Neck: 14″
Biceps: 12″
Thighs: 24.5″

Current Bonus Measurements:
Neck: 14″
Biceps: 12″
Thighs: 24″

And now for the good stuff, pictures…

I feel like my shoulders are poppin’ a bit more in February… small differences.

So there you have it! Honestly, I don’t see that big of a difference (maybe just with my waist and shoulders??) BUT I feel like there is a difference and I’m liking how my clothes are fitting a whole lot more.

Someone who is the real MVP in this journey is my sister, she has been working her booty off and is down 11lbs! I’m not about to post her pictures BUT the difference is unreal. I am so grateful to be on this journey with her and I feel so honored that I have had the ability to help her achieve her goals (while having fun together!)

Working out and eating right should not be a chore. If it is a chore than it’s not a lifestyle. When you make living healthy a way of life there are endless possibilities to what you can achieve and the journey is SO much more enjoyable.

I’ll touch on my eating habits because I mentioned I was going to be stepping up my A game. Prior to getting married I did weight watchers for 3 months. I found success with their program and was able to find confidence as I wore my wedding dress and took pictures (an amazing feeling). However, I focused a bit too much on the weight component and soon became unmotivated and ultimately decided I was better off on my own after the wedding.

Perhaps, that would have been fine had I truly embraced the lifestyle of healthy eating… however my husband and I went on a bit of a binge together and we would buy candy, ice cream and pie …. like all the time. Pizza was plentiful in our household and although I was attending the gym at a mediocre basis I was packing on the weight AND feeling more and more insecure. Ultimately in the first year of marriage, I gained 16 lbs from when I was at my wedding weight. I was a solid 186lbs, BUT when we moved back to the homeland in December I started eating more plant based and lost weight.

Lately, my weight has fluctuated around 172-174 and I was feeling frustrated because I was EATING CLEAN AND HEALTHY and yet I felt bloated and was on the rise while also working out 4-5 times a week. The story goes on, and ultimately my sister and I together decided we would give weight watchers another try and this time embrace the healthy and portion controlled eating. I have to say we have not been disappointed. No more bloating (TMI) and the numbers on the scale have been reflecting the work we are putting in. Mind you before weight watchers my sister was down 6lbs in 3 weeks and now she is down an additional 5lbs! She is killing it! AND to make the experience more sweet, our husbands have joined us on the weight watchers journey. We plan all our meals with our spouses and it is an amazing experience to have the support of my sister and husband with this overhaul of nutrition.

Fun fact: I was eating healthy prior to weight watchers BUT since joining it has been eye opening with how out of whack my portions were. That was the kicker. You can eat clean BUT if you over eat you aren’t doing yourself any favors.

I’m on a journey my friends and it has really only just begun. I want to see the changes I can make in 9 months from the start of January and I have 8 more months to go. I’m hungry for change, I’m hungry for goals, I’m in this for the long haul and I don’t think I would be as committed or consistent as I am if it weren’t for my partner in crime; my sister.

I used to love working out alone, I’d get in the zone and crush my workouts – but times have changed and that mindset doesn’t work as well for me anymore compared to having an accountability partner who pushes me to give it my all at the gym. Quite often you can hear me quote that, “I’m going to throw up”. Music to my ears, I give it my all and at the end of each session there is nothing more to give – that energy and drive is thanks to my sister who pushes me to be better for her and me too.

Gushy post, but I don’t want you to underestimate the power of a workout partner. If the way you were doing things doesn’t work for you anymore – change it! Change your approach until you find a rhythm you can dance to and have fun with. Working out is my happy place and I’m grateful the love and commitment is blossoming once again in my life.

Happy workouts everyone.

– 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

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

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