Keeping it Real (De-Progress Pictures)

Everyone who has fallen off the fitness bandwagon before, raise your hand.

I may be wrong but I feel like I can see a few cyber hands being raised. Believe me, you are not alone! My cyber hand is raised high and is waving around for all of you to see.

I’ve failed with keeping it consistent. Not just in regards to posting about my fitness journey on my blog BUT in regards to being active in my fitness journey on the daily.

Because of a little discouragement and not seeing what I wanted to see I did then worst thing I could do and literally threw out all of my eating and gym habits. Add on the fact the literal gyms are closed and it equals me not taking the initiative to workout at home. It’s fair to say I’ve been failing at putting in the required effort to achieve my desired results. I’ve done a few workouts here and there, but nothing to write home about.

I will acknowledge however, that over the last few weeks my shoulder has been acting up; when I went to my doctor about it last week he said he thinks I may have torn something. No bueno (I have to wait for this covid situation to calm down before I can get an ultrasound). It’s fair to say that my shoulder pain has been a deterrent and blockade to exercising BUT where there is a will there is a way and I’ve literally had no will… if you get what I’m saying.

The idea of the segment “Bipolar Gains” on my blog is to illustrate my journey as I work towards my fitness goals and living a healthy lifestyle; who would have thought that if I didn’t post you wouldn’t have any idea how that progress is going – good or bad.

So I apologize, if I only post when I feel like I’m making headway that isn’t going to capture the real authentic journey. The journey where I succeed and fail and keep trying even when I don’t want to (which is the key to never failing). I haven’t been holding myself accountable to myself or anyone else for that matter.

This is a new week and I plan on starting from where I am – I am not “starting over”. I am picking myself up and moving forward. It might seem like I’m starting over when you see my stats and pictures BUT alas this is a journey and just because I stopped along the way doesn’t mean I need to tell myself to go back to the very beginning. Learn to rest not to quit, perhaps I rested a little longer than I should have and ate one, two…fifty many snacks BUT I’m back in it.

I am going to do what I can with what I have.

A. Monitor and track my eating habits so that I am more accountable and aware of what I’m eating. Whether I track with weight watchers or something else, I need to track what I’m putting in my mouth.

I have a serious problem, dare I say addiction. Sugar. It’s serious and potentially dangerous (diabetes runs in my family tree), when I was (or have ever been) on my fitness roll I had very limited sugar intake and when I essentially let myself go I went to town. It literally got to the point where I felt like crying because my husband told me I shouldn’t have a bag of candy…. because I’d already eaten a bag the day(s) before. It’s terrible. Perhaps on first glance you wouldn’t think I have a sugar problem. But I can literally eat a cake to myself.

A cake. No exaggeration, and not over the span of a week but in a day or two. I seriously go through withdrawls like an addict. I don’t touch sugar for weeks and then I get a taste and I go on a bender and relapse and binge.

It’s one thing to eat clean, which I know I am capable of and another to engorge myself senseless with the slightest touch of processed sugar. I know myself and I just can’t do it. There is no happy medium and thats something I have to admit and come to terms with. You might think to yourself “just don’t restrict and you’ll be fine”. It doesn’t work that way. I can’t just have a few pieces of candy, I’ll eat the whole bag in less than 5 minutes. I can’t just have a cookie, I’ll eat the whole bag in a day or two. So what do you do when you are an alcoholic? You don’t drink just a little bit. You just don’t drink.

My pledge for this week, no processed sugar. I am going to take it day by day but I will not be eating candy, or cookies or cake in the slightest or sugary beverages. I need to clear my system. Gain some control back and mentally break the unhealthy relationship I have with sugar. I don’t binge on any other type of food (if we can call sugary garbage food) – just high sugary sweets and now seemingly drinks.

I admitted that ugly truth, so there is nothing hiding my demon now. And if you admit you have a problem, that is generally the first step to overcoming it. I am a sugar addict, who will eat it to the point of being nauseous because I just can’t seem to get a grip.

Now that, that is out there on to the next point.

B. I hate working out at home BUT I don’t mind FitOn workouts. I will workout 3-5 times this week between 20-45 mins and continue to take my dog on her daily walks.

C. I will go for a walk-jog for 15-20 minutes 3 times this week. I will walk for a minute and jog for 30 seconds. Back story: I injured my foot and ankle in 2008 and only realized that after years of therapy this past month when I attempted a walk-jog my foot didn’t light up in pain as per usual. I used to love to run, so rather than be a hobo and not try, I will have the PATIENCE and CONSISITENCY to start slow and build up the strength in my foot to get to full-time jogging. Not do what I usually do and try to go a million miles a minute ( I don’t want to ruin it again). Slow and steady.

My original goal was to be the healthiest version of myself in 9 months from January 1, 2020. Like I said earlier in my post – I am not starting over. If my calculations are right I have until September which is just about 5 months away. Looks like I need to buckle down to make up for lost time.

I know I am capable of reaching my goals pertaining to my health and desired lifestyle. Whether that is a goal weight, or physique that I always wished for but was never dedicated enough to achieve, I can tell you this – if I am consistent there are no limits to what I will achieve by September. Anything is possible if I am not casual with my goals.

Now for the fun stuff. Stats and pictures…

Highest Weight: 198lbs

Current Weight: 181lbs

Goal Weight: 155lbs

Measurements

Jan 1/2020 Bust: 40″
Feb 1/2020 Bust: 40″
Mar 1/2020 Bust: 39″
Apr 20/2020 Bust: 41″

Jan 1/2020 Waist: 32″
Feb 1/2020 Waist: 31″
Mar 1/2020 Waist: 31″
Apr 20/2020 Waist: 32.5″

Jan 1/2020 Hips: 42.5″
Feb 1/2020 Hips: 42″
Mar 1/2020 Hips: 41.5″
Apr 20/2020 Hips: 43″

Pictures

As you can see, the numbers reflect poor decisions and literally throwing my hands and eating myself sick. Such a short span of time, but if you let your self discipline go … what do you expect? I will not get the results I want by sitting on my rear and downing candy by the bags

Not gonna happen.

I have so many reasons for losing this weight. The two I’ll share today are as follows:

1. I want to show myself I can shed the weight after years of struggling to.

2. I want to know my mind is more powerful than my cravings. I control the food I ingest, the food does not control me.

This is not the beginning, this is a continuation and that is what I have to tell myself. I should not expect the fitness journey to be perfect, because I am not perfect BUT I can be dedicated and I can be consistent even when the results are not.

I’m going for it. It is going to happen. I’m hungry for goals, and if I need to feed anything it will be my goals not my sugar cravings.

– 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

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

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

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

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