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

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

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

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