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

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

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

How Flexible Are You?

Alrighty, I think this quote is a good one to think about. My goals are to be healthy, strong – like the hulk and lean enough to see some baby abs (if that means I hit my goal weight so be it). It’s not about the number and that’s what sets this journey apart from every other fitness journey I’ve embarked on.

I used to obsess over the number I saw and that’s the only thing I focused on and it’s what threw me off and discouraged me from what was truly important. My goal weight is merely something to work towards but if I reach the 3 goals I listed above before hitting 155lbs I won’t be disappointed. It’s just a gage to make sure I’m heading in the right direction with a bit more accountability.

My goals are only going to be attainable with consistency and flexibility. Every week is not going to go exactly as planned. Life happens! And please don’t forget that. If I missed a workout in prior years I felt like all my effort up until that point was wasted, seriously now?! All because I ate a piece of candy or missed a workout at the gym… there needs to be more flexibility my friends.

This past week has really challenged my ability to be flexible while maintaining a positive attitude. In my previous post I mentioned my plans to do FitOn with my eldest sister Monday- Friday. Yup, didn’t happen – like at all.

The mornings were dreadfully cold and waking up was brutal and then our afternoon plans never seemed to line up. However, we determined we needed more flexibility. Rather than do it exactly at the same time together, we are going to attempt to just report back to one another that we fit in the workout AT whatever time work bests for our individual schedules. Staying accountable while still feeling like we are doing it together.

Flexibility my friends. We will try again next week with a new approach and hopefully it will allow us to reach our goal.

Additionally, with my gym workouts they went as follows:

Monday: (by myself because my sister was sick) I worked out shoulders, biceps and chest. I started with my cardio and walk-out pushups then moved to weights and finished off with core.

Tuesday: Nada

Wednesday: Cardio and walk-out pushups followed by weights. We worked out triceps and back. Finished with HITT cardio and core.

Thursday: Aquafit. The instructor was much more pleasant than last week… although she still singled me out, which I’m not the biggest fan of.

Friday: Cardio and walk-out pushups followed by an INTENSE shoulder workout. We generally do legs and glutes on Friday, however I was feeling not so hot and we decided that standing or sitting would be the best course of action if we were going to get any workout in. Flexibility.

Saturday: Last minute workout, Cardio and walk-out pushups followed by a leg day routine with weights and cardio to cool down. I really wanted to get a leg day in.

All in all, I got it done. I worked out to the best of my ability based on how my body was feeling. I pushed myself hard and stayed consistent.

It is actually incredible to see the progress my sister and I are making. My sister and I flexed on Friday together and the muscles my sister has in her biceps are the most I’ve ever seen in her entire life! Which is such a rewarding feeling for her and me! I’m so proud of her hardwork! Additionally, my flex has got some biceps poppin’ as well, which makes me a happy camper. Slow and steady.

I’m trying to focus more on how I look and feel rather than the numbers, I’m not perfect at this mindset but I’m getting better at it. However, for the sake of the journey I will share my stats below:

Heaviest Weight: 198lbs
Goal Weight: 155lbs
Current Weight: 173.4

Bust: 40″
Waist: 32″
Hips: 42″

Although my weight is up by .2lbs I’m not stressing. My hips are down by 1/2 an inch, which is great! I wore a dress this past Sunday and I have to say I felt like it fit better than it has in a long while.

Please remember, it’s not about the number.

May you and I both be kind to ourselves on our journeys to physical wellness.

– 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