Sunday, 20 November 2011

Pushing your limits and respecting your limits

Well hello again! It's been a while! Let's just say I've been busy trying to fit everything into my schedule. I keep adding stuff to my schedule and sometimes it's difficult to drop things to make sure I have sufficient time to relax, but I'll get there...

I have become a great fan of pushing my limits, of not letting my fears define me. In the last few years, I have made it a point of doing things that I have avoided out of fear: fear of being judged, fear of not being capable of doing it, fear of not fitting in, fear of failing. I always get a thrill out of doing something that I never thought I could do, just to name a few : being in a play, accepting to be myself even if it means that I am different, allowing myself to be vulnerable rather than trying to be perfect, doing interviews and, of course, running! This quest to conquer my fears is not over, because there are still quite a few out there.

That being said, wanting to overcome your fears sometimes means that you want to do a lot of things and that you need to find time, you need to organise your time around new goals, new priorities, and it is not always easy, which is where another principle comes into play, respecting your limits. I have always been a great believer in that principle, sometimes it has played tricks on me because it has made me put limits on things that I was avoiding out of fear rather than because they were real limits. It means that I avoided going swimming out of fear of being judged because I was fat (and made myself believe that being too fat was a limit), it means that I dropped a class once because there was an oral presentation to do (my "limit" was that I was too shy), it get the point.

These days I'm continuing to overcome my fears with the following goals : to run a half-marathon at the end of April, to do a triathlon in August, to do courses related to intervention in criminology and to get clinical experience next year. Among the fears I need to overcome to reach those goals : running in colder weather, buying a bike and learn to take care of it, swimming in open water and of course to doing face to face interviews.

To achieve these goals I need to follow the plan, but I need to respect my limits. It means I have to drop volunteering (this will be done at the end of December) to get some more free time, it means I need to say NO at work when the schedule doesn't fit with my plans (this week would have been a good time to do that), it means I need to stay sane by making time to be with friends (whether they call me or not), it means I need to take time to just relax and do nothing (I find this very hard to do), it means I need to forget about having a perfectly neat and organized appartment (this...not so hard!) and it means I have to respect the limits set by my budget (I'm still in denial about the loss of salary caused by my being part-time to go back to school). All of those have been very hard to do lately, and hopefully it will help to write about them.

Finally, to achieve my goals, I need to remember the why's  I need to remember that I'm doing all of this because it allows me to grow, it allows me to enjoy successes and it allows me to just be myself. So there! In the end, I believe it's all worth it and I encourage you to push your limits, but to respect your limits as well.

Monday, 10 October 2011


I came upon a very sad story this morning which said that, last year, 388 persons in Quebec died without their bodies being requested by a next of kin for funerals. Apparently, there has been a 27.6% increase of this phenomenon between 2008 and 2010. It is caused by various factors including the aging population and broken family ties in the case for instance of youths living on the streets and people with mental health problems. I find this very sad and I do hope that I’m not too alone and lonely when I die.

This news made me reflect on loneliness. I hear about loneliness a lot when I do my volunteering in a suicide prevention help phone line. Sometimes people are really alone. Sometimes, they have drained their families and friends so bad with their problems that the family and friends moved away from them purposely. Sometimes, they just feel alone. When you go a little further, you can help them realise that they do have people around them that care about them. Sometimes they just worry that they will bother them, but they don’t check if they’re right.

Now...this is not something that I admit easily because it makes me feel vulnerable and I don’t like it...but I feel lonely too sometimes, especially at a particular time of the month J. I’m sure it happens to many of us in this individualistic society of ours, we just don’t like to admit it. What do I do when I feel lonely? I try to get rid of the feeling: sometimes I will call up a friend to see them, “sometimes” I will go for a run...although I do tend to forget about this coping mechanism J, sometimes I will go out to a restaurant...sometimes it will be good food, sometimes it will be a bunch of crap...sometimes I will go see a movie, sometimes I will put up the volume of my music really loud, sometimes I will go and buy a book or borrow one at the library, sometimes I will just cry and feel sorry for myself, sometimes I will send a nasty email to someone. Hey, I never said that all my coping mechanisms were good ones, but they are useful and the feeling doesn’t usually last too long.

About the “calling a friend to see them” solution, sometimes I do it because I feel lonely, but luckily I mostly do it because I just want to spend time with my friends. But there is something which I don’t get and which you should probably know about me if you want to stay my friend. I don’t understand why some people never seem to call you for anything even when they seem to enjoy the time with you. I mean...really...I just don’t get it. I get it if they don’t like spending time with you and if they’re not interested in knowing what’s going on with you, but that’s often not the case...they just don’t call for whatever reason: they’re too busy; they have too many friends, whatever! I do have a bad tendency to stop calling these people after a while, not because I don’t like spending time or talking with them, not because I have that many friends to spare, but because I just get tired of always being the one who call...That being said I am grateful for the friends I do have and for the friends I have had in the past...even those which I don't call anymore...Have a good day friends!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bittersweet race...

I thought that today would be the first time I would write a race report. I was wrong. I will just say this. This race was particularly important to me because it is the first race I registered for consciously knowing that I would run through it. I actually registered for the 5k of this event in January. I ended up doing the 10k today and I have ran four 5k's this summer. Today was a celebration of all that I have accomplished since December. I have lost 70 lbs, I am running...a lot, I am swimming...often, I have changed my life in more ways than one and I have conquered a lot of fears. I ran the 10k in 1 hour and 20 minutes which is not too bad considering that it was an accomplishment to just run one minute back in January. So today was about celebrating life with my family.

Today, I was also reminded of how fragile life can be. After I was done with my race and I was going back home walking next to the people who were doing marathons and half-marathons, a guy fell right in front of me and his head hit the ground. He was not breathing...People tried to ressucitate him and the ambulance was called. I later learned on the news that a 32 year old man died at the marathon. It could be him, but it could also be a number of other people because as I was making my way home after that I saw a at least 3 other men who were lying on the sidewalks getting help. I pray that the guy we saw is alright, but even if he is, there is still another young man who died today. This guy died doing something that has given me my life back. This guy pushed his limits and I admire that. This guy also reminds me to make sure that when I go out running or doing any other thing that makes me push my limits, I need to take calculated risks. This guy mostly reminds me that life is fragile and that I need to cherish every minute of it, that I need to keep conquering my fears because that's what life is all about and that I need to keep telling the people I care about that they are important to me because I never know when I won't be able to.

My thoughts are with his family tonight...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Why don't you sit down?

When you’re overweight, you sometimes have to be careful where you sit down. Yesterday, an overweight woman came sitting next to me. I was role-playing a patient while she was coming in to do her exam. She stumbled a bit as she sat down, but everything was OK. The evaluator later told me that she had worried that she wouldn’t fit in the chair or that she would fall or something and I hadn’t thought about it, but I could totally see that happening. I’m so glad it didn’t though, that would probably have made her real nervous starting her exam.

And that made me think back to when I was overweight and I had to worry about where I sat down because it happened at times. I was always careful of seats that didn’t look too solid and sometimes sat very slowly just to see if it was safe to make myself real comfortable.

I was often wondering if I would fit between 2 people in the bus and sometimes I would have to stay up because I knew I wouldn’t. I still wonder sometimes and I’m happily surprised when I do sit and realise that I actually fit in there with some space left on both sides!

It also took me a while to do exercises where I needed to sit on a stability ball because I worried that it would explode right under me.

I remember a few times where I had to sit on Santa and all I could think of was...poor guy...and I was really careful to put all my weight on my feet rather than on my ass to make it a little easier for him.

So yes...I would avoid sitting down sometimes, not because I wasn’t tired, but never knew. And some of those seats with the handles on the sides were just very uncomfortable...

Now that I think about it though, I never actually fell...maybe because I was so careful about where I sat, I don’t know. And the people I did see who actually fell in front of me were not overweight. They were either drunk or the chair was probably long overdue to break, but nobody hurt themselves. I'm thinking of one instance in particular where my friend sat on a camping chair on my balcony, and the chair just broke and she just sat there in the broken chair for a bit with her ass on the floor and her legs extending outside the chair. It was hilarious! And let’s be honest! It was just plain funny every single time!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

What is it about running?

I started running on January 6th of this year. I had actually decided to run in November and started working with a coach towards that goal in December. I couldn’t run right away because I had some pain in my leg (as I write this I can’t even remember where the pain was), but I went to an osteopath and she gave me the OK to start running a bit in January.

Did I think I could run? Not really. Was I scared to do it? Hell yeah! The first time I ran one whole minute on the treadmill I felt like crying and kept thinking I couldn’t do it. And when I did, I was VERY surprised to find out that I hadn’t fallen or that I hadn’t broken the treadmill! Really!!!

I have now been running for almost 8 months. I ran an hour and a half this morning. I ran four 5ks this summer and I’m planning to run a 10k in September. Originally, my goal was to run my first 5k in September. Little did I know that my coach had other plans for me. Thanks to her, I have spent the last 9 months constantly surprising myself. Take a look at her blog: She’s awesome!

So, what is it about running that keeps me going?
·  I love the feeling of getting a big breath of fresh air at the beginning of my day
·  It makes me feel like I’m achieving something special (not that many people run)
·  It gives me energy to begin my day
·  It allows me to see that I keep improving when I compare my results from one day to the next, from one race to the next
·  It makes me feel strong
·  I can do it!
·  It allows me to lose weight much faster
·  It makes me believe that I can try anything I want. If I could run this much when I never thought I could, what else could I do that I never thought I could?

If you are running, what is it that keeps you running? If you’re not running, I highly encourage you to give it a try. Don’t start too big though and do get a coach if possible. Even though running is something that we naturally know how to do, there are things you should avoid if you don’t want to hurt yourself! If you’re thinking “she’s crazy, there’s no way I can run”, all I can tell you is I’ve been there. A friend of mine once told me “anybody can tri” (meaning do a triathlon) and my response was “this isn’t just a little fat you know!”, but she maintained her position and said that some people walk during a triathlon (some triathlons anyways). All the while, I was thinking “if I ever do a tri, I won’t be doing it walking!” and that’s what made me want to run...eventually! So there we go, I am now a runner and I plan to be one as long as possible! You want to join me for a race?

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Missing the point!

Alright! People seem to be missing the point here! Clearly, I did not communicate what I meant to communicate on my latest post. I've had three people write me messages telling me how beautiful I am in response to my post. I appreciate it, but I just wanna say that I was not fishing for compliments. Now, this may be presumptuous of me, but I KNOW that I'm beautiful! Even, when I was fatter I thought I was cute, so that's really not the point. The point was that sometimes we won't take the time to get to know someone better because they don't look that good on the surface or because they look different from us, but that if you do take the time, I bet you'll find that's it was really worth it. It was not about all the beautiful compliments that I got lately, I love those and I keep those. It was not about getting more, although it's always nice to hear, the point was just that : do not let your perceptions stop you from getting to know someone better and do tell people what you appreciate from them...whether it is physical, emotional, intellectual, social, or whatever... because it's always nice to hear what people like about you! And I am talking about people in general...not me specifically :)

Sunday, 31 July 2011

You're beautiful!

One thing is for sure, when you lose 65 lbs, your looks change a bit. In the last few weeks, I have had quite a few people telling me how good I look: “wow! You look beautiful!”; “I can’t recognise you”; “you look really good”, etc. On the one hand, I love these comments, because it acknowledges all the work that I have done in the last 8 months and because it makes me feel good. On the other hand, it makes me wonder...if people tell me that I look good now, but never told me that before, does it mean I looked that bad before? Could people really not see beyond that fat and see what I really looked like before? Some people think I’ve changed. On the surface, I have. I exercise more, I have changed physically, I will allow myself to do things that I didn’t do before. But really...deep down I’m still the same person, a person who loves to help people, a person who tries to be honest about who she is, a person who likes to keep busy, a person who loves to laugh and make people laugh, a person who loves playing games, etc. So really, do me a favour, the next time you look at someone who is fat and you think that he/she doesn’t look that good, take a few minutes to try and figure out who this person really is. You might actually be surprised! You might actually find them much more beautiful than some people who just look great on the surface!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

I am grateful for...

Skinny pants has been on a negativity path lately. Training is fine, eating is...well...ok. The work is good. But old issues have come back to haunt me and have gotten me down a bit. I don't like that. I'm trying to find ways to get back to being positive and to enjoy what's going on rather than what's "not going on". So, in the spirit of being positive, here is a list of top 10 things (actually 11, I couldn't figure out which one to take out) which I am grateful for these days, in no particular order (if you look closely, you'll notice that half of those are about losing weight or exercising. What can I say? That's a big part of my life right now!) Here it is :

1- I am grateful that I have lost 63 lbs since the beginning of December for a grand total of 103 lbs since I started to lose weight a few years ago.
2- I am grateful that my vacations are coming up.
3- I am grateful that I was able to run two races this year and that another two (maybe three) are coming up!
4- I am grateful for my parents, my sisters, my nephews and my niece.
5- I  am grateful for my coach and for how she cares about what happens to me.
6- I am grateful for the friends that I have.
7- I am grateful that I have started to run and for returning to swimming and biking.
8- I am grateful that I am able to help people through volunteering.
9- I am grateful that I get to go train with my coach in August.
10- I am grateful that I have accepted God back into my life.
11- I am grateful that I get to go back to school in the Fall while keeping my job part time.

Monday, 27 June 2011


I wrote before that I don't think losing weight is about motivation or at least not only about motivation. So, if it's not about motivation, what is it about? For me, it has been about believing. BELIEVING THAT I COULD DO IT! Believing that you can do it means that when you do fail, because it happens, you can get back in the game and try something different until you figure out what works, until you figure out what makes you fail. For example, last week was not a good week for me. I can say that I failed because I had French fries three days in a row...this has not happened in a very long time.  But this week it did for a variety of reasons : opportunity (I had to go out to restaurants a lot), pre-period cravings that lasted too long, loneliness, not writing what I eat and allowing myself to stuff myself on things I wouldn't normally eat and feeling bad about having to skip workouts.

I have a funny story about that last one. It's actually not funny, but it is. A few weeks ago, I was getting ready for a run on the treadmill. I had 5 minutes of quick walk done and I decided to drink a bit of water before I started to run. I was holding the bottle in my right hand and trying to open the top with my left hand and...all of a sudden...I have no freaking idea how it happened...but the treadmill started going faster and faster and faster. I had something in both my hands and I was at a loss to figure out how to stop the treadmill. Eventually, I managed to stop the machine, but not before I fell on it. I scratched my knee and had quite a few bruises to show off for it. It seemed to be just that for a bit. But then I started to have all sorts of pain and funny feelings in my leg during the week, so I reduced the exercise a bit. That being said, I'm happy to report that I ran my second 5k yesterday and there was no problems with the legs!

Back to believing. Any behavior modification requires believing that you can do it. That's the first step. I just heard a quote this week which says it all : If you believe you can do it, you will. If you believe you can't do it, you won't. It's as simple as that! Well not quite...Anyways, I think that behavior modification requires a lot of fighting with your brain. When your brain is telling you that you can't do something, you have to fight back and tell it to shut up (in a manner of speaking of course!). When your brain is throwing excuses at you for not doing something, you have to figure out a way to get rid of those excuses.

It's about believing that you're worth it, you're worth the energy that it will take you to change your behavior. It's about doing it too, but before you can do it, you have to be convinced that you can. Think of things that you were able to change in the past. Remember that you are strong and that when all is said and done, you can stop eating those French fries and get back to exercise (or stop smoking or stop using drugs or whichever behavior you want to change).

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Things are about to change...again

I have been thinking a lot in the last few days...a lot...I have changed a lot of things in my life in the last year.  Among other things : losing 55 lbs, exercising much more, changing jobs, going to church more often, doing volunteer work, confronting my fears more, I'm moving in a couple of days, etc. That's a lot of changes! But isn't life about changing things to keep growing? To keep things interesting? At least, that's what my life has been about so far...

All these changes have led to great things and great results for me. But it has also meant that I have had to make choices, to redefine my priorities. And I feel like right now I need to redefine my priorities again. I feel like I have been so focused on all these great things that I have forgotten a few people. This reality is hitting harder now because a good friend of mine is going away.

I don't want to stop what I have been doing, but I also want to focus on meeting new people. People that will share my ideas and my goals. Ideally, people that are at the same level as me : not top athletes and not couch potatoes. What this means to me is that I should try to include meeting people in my training plans. I'm not sure how yet, but I'll think about it...

Monday, 9 May 2011

The turtle, the splasher and me!

When I go to the pool, there are three lanes opened for swimmers. They are labeled slow, medium and fast. Now that is great, but how do you know which lane to use? You can label yourself as a slow, medium or fast swimmer and use the corresponding lane OR you can switch lanes depending on who's in them. I usually go in the medium lane, but sometimes you get a really slow swimmer and you just cross your fingers that there are no real fast swimmers in the fast lane.

The other day, there was such a slow swimmer in the medium lane, let's call him "the turtle". Unfortunately, there were also real fast swimmers in the fast lane so I couldn't switch lanes. I just had to resolve to either pass the turtle or turn around whenever I got close to it. Eventually another swimmer joined our lane, let's call him "the splasher". I don't know where this guy learned to swim but as he swam, he was splashing all over the pool...literally!!

Now let's just picture this for a moment, the splasher coming across the turtle, which incidentally happened to be swimming on its back. The splasher passed the turtle (a few times I might add) and splashed it so much it was hilarious!! It made my day. Take that turtle! Maybe next time you'll go in the slow lane...or not.

Since we're on the subject of swimming, I would like to write a bit about my own swimming history. When I was younger, I loved swimming. I use to say that water was my element, I just loved it. I took swimming lessons with a friend of mine. I dreamed of becoming a lifeguard and if I hadn't been ice skating, I probably would've loved competitive swimming.

At one point though, I failed my swimming class whereas my friend passed it. That's when I started to swim less. Gradually, I also stopped swimming whenever I had my periods. Then it started to piss me off to go to the pool because it took too long to dry my hair afterwards. It didn't help things when I gained weight and I couldn't stand letting people see me in a bathing suit. So many excuses for so long.

Now that I look back on it, I think it's kind of sad because I love being in the pool so much. I've only remembered that a few months ago when I went swimming after my coach mentionned that I should try it. Actually, the idea was to go running in a pool with a running belt because I couldn't start running right away. I had some kind of problem (or excuse) with my foot which eventually got resolved. It took a while for me to accept the idea of going to the pool, but eventually I did and I'm so glad I did. Now I wouldn't have it any other way. I can swim 1400 meters (23 laps back and forth) in 45 minutes. I just love it!

Maybe I'll register for some classes to keep improving my technique. I'm sure some people consider me a turtle! I wonder if I'm a splasher...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Crazy weeks!!!

Last time I wrote something here was on April 1st, so I figure it's about time I start writing something. It's not that I don't know what to write, I have a few posts in my head, I just can't find a time to sit down and just write for me these days. Last Wednesday was my last night volunteering until one in the morning. Last Friday was my last day working at my previous job. This Wednesday was my first day at my new job. This Thursday night I had a 2h workshop at this other place I'm volunteering at. Between last Friday and today, I have been experiencing sore throat, itchy eyes, tiredness and getting a bit emotional. My eating was not so good last week. I have been skipping workouts. I have also started a chat with my coach at a time which wasn't planned and I usually try not to do that (I mean, I know she has a life too and I don't want her to get sick of me!). In summary, the last two weeks have been crazy.

Last Friday I got an email from my coach that said : "Do I need to stage an intervention? Lots of chocolate going on this week". Indeed that was true. I have also eaten quite a bit of French fries. This week I have tried to do better on the chocolate, but I did skip quite a few workouts, which hasn't been typical of me in the last few months. I know this is just temporary. I know I need some adjusting because the new job implies a new schedule. Some of my workouts will have to be done at other times than what I was used to and I just hope I won't have too much problems adapting. But not doing the workouts just ain't gonna cut it. I mean what's the use of paying a coach if I don't follow what she gives me, right? I need to figure out a way to make this work without being so fricking tired.

On the bright side, there was a nice lunch at work last Friday for my departure. Getting free ice cream cone on Tuesday with my friend Amelia was also nice (did I say one cone? I meant two cones...ouch!). I love the new job and the project I'm working on and the team seems really nice, there was also a nice beer and nacho afterwork meeting Friday at the new job which was fun. Also, my coach hasconvinced me that I could do a 10k in September instead of a 5k and that I should do a 5k (and maybe even 2) earlier. We've even started talking about triathlon for next year :-) (meaning that I can't start skipping workouts now!)

Anyways, I know that this was just my first week at my new workplace and there was a lot of things going on this week. I know I'll figure out a way to make all of it work. Let's just hope it doesn't take too long. Next week I plan to change some of my workout schedules. We'll see how that goes...

Friday, 1 April 2011

Getting rid of loose clothes and getting creative in the kitchen

Skinny pants has been busy this week. I had to get some paperwork done for my new job (which starts in two weeks) and I also had to deal with finding an appartment and signing a new lease among other things. So this weekend I'm taking it easy. I will still do volunteer work and I have a BBQ planned on Sunday for one of the places I'm volunteering at. And I also have spinning, running and strengths exercises to do. But aside from these "usual things", I am not planning to see much of anybody.

I have started to do a major clean-up in my wardrobe. Meaning that anything that's too big goes...I didn't realise how fun that would be. I mean getting to buy smaller sized pants was fun, but having to get rid of stuff that use to be too tight and that is now way too loose is REALLY fun. It makes me realise even more how much weight I did lose already.

The other thing I will be doing this weekend is trying new recipes. What I like to eat is changing so I need to figure out new recipes that don't take too much of my time and that will taste good. The fact that the new worplace does not have a cafeteria will also have an impact on what I'm eating. I have had it easy for lunches for a while. The food where I worked was really good and mostly healthy, but now I will have to be creative if I don't want to end up eating salads for lunch everyday (I don't like making salads AT ALL).

The recipe I created tonight was really good so I thought I would share it. Personnally, I think that the mix of sweet potato and lentils was the best part. For the other vegetables, you can take whatever vegetables you prefer, especially if you're not used to eating some of those. I'm not saying you should avoid the foods you're not used too, but I do think it's best to introduce new tastes gradually, one at a time. So here's the recipe :
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Boil sweet potato. 
  3. Heat some olive oil in a pan and gradually add diced onions, eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. When cooked, put the mix in a bowl that can go in the oven (that's the first layer of the dish).
  4. Second layer : Rince canned lentils and add on top of the first layer.
  5. Third layer : Mash the sweet potato and add it on top of the second layer 
  6. Finally, put the dish in the oven for about a half hour.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Who do you look like?

Has anyone ever told you that you looked like somebody else? Who were you told you looked like? Were you happy about the comparison?

Have you ever told someone they looked like somebody else? If so, who did you tell them they looked like? Do you think that the person was happy about the comparison?

I have been told a few times that I looked like someone else. When I was younger and thinner, the comparisons were somewhat flattering. Someone once told me I looked like Jodie Foster. I didn’t mind that comparison because Jodie Foster is a nice looking lady. But as I have gotten fatter, I have liked the comparisons less and less. And that is because as you get fatter, the people you get compared to are fat. And you feel like some of them don’t really look like you, they just look fat. In other words, it didn’t sound like a compliment to me; it was just annoying to be compared to someone else at that point.

Really, think about it. What’s the point of telling someone they look like someone else? If you feel like the person is not going to receive it as a compliment, should you tell them who you think they look like?

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Excuse me?

Today I had a new core strength workout to do. I had a hard time with a couple of exercices, namely  the swiss ball push-ups and another similar one. My hands just couldn't stabilize on the ball and I was wondering if I was doing something wrong. I asked one the coaches where I train if he could help me try to figure out if I was doing something wrong. When I showed him what I was supposed to do, he simply said "I think this is too much for you". Excuse me??? You don't know me, you have never watched me exercise, you don't know what I can or cannot do. My coach gave me this exercise because she obviously thinks I can do it (right coach?). She knows me much better than you do and you think this is too much for me?? I will admit that I wasn't able to do much of those 2 exercises tonight. But does this mean I will never be able to do them or that I shouldn't even attempt to do them? I wonder what he based his opinion on since he doesn't know me. My weight? The fact that I am a woman? The fact that, as he said, even he finds this exercise hard? Luckily, I'm the kind of girl that uses such comments as extrinsic motivation (yes that word again). So you can bet I will do whatever I can to be able to do those exercices. That'll show him! (I may never actually get to show him, but that's not important). Just try to imagine for a second if he had told this to someone who just believed him and gave up...Choosing your words carefully, it's so important. The good news is he did end up giving me a few tips because he realised that I was just not going to believe him without trying!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spa day!!

Today was spa day. I spent all afternoon going from sauna to steaming water to freezing water to relaxing on a chair outdoors in a bathing suit. Yes!! Outside in a bathing suit in the middle of March! And it was lovely. It was sunny and beautiful and as we sat in the steaming water we could watch people skiing on the hills in front of us. Lovely I tell you!
It was kind of weird to just have a day of doing absolutely NOTHING, but relax. That sure doesn’t happen very often. Spas are to relax, so you’re not usually supposed to talk. You just sit there thinking of nothing or a few things. I did both. One thing I thought about is how I was one of the rare women who had a one piece bathing suit. And it is a bit loose too (about 4 sizes too loose!). I need to change it; I just don’t have time for shopping much). What’s even more ridiculous is that my bathing suit is white on the top and a bit old, so that the white gets a bit transparent in the water and I have to keep bringing the white back up so that it doesn’t get too low. Anyways...moving on! So as I was sitting there with my one piece bathing suit, I was wondering if I would ever get comfortable enough with my body to wear a two piece suit. I’ve heard people say that if you don’t have a great body you shouldn’t wear a 2 piece bathing suit. I don’t agree. I think that if you feel comfortable enough to wear the 2 piece bathing suit, you should totally wear it and I don’t care what other people think. But, I’m just not there yet. I hope that someday I will be.
On a somewhat related topic, I was also noticing how everybody went behind curtains to change into and out of their bathing suit. Now this is totally different from the place where I do most of my exercise. Whenever you step into the locker room at this place, you’re bound to get face to face with a naked woman at some point. Although I have to admit it feels a bit weird sometimes, I always thought that it was kind of neat that all these women feel so comfortable with their body that they can just walk around naked in the locker room. Even when I was younger and fitter, I didn’t do that. I was too self-conscious of my body even then. I don’t know if I will ever do that, but that is not the point! The point is why is it OK sometimes to just walk around naked in the locker room and at other times you would just look completely weird? Is it because the place where I train is a community center? Is it a cultural thing? And wouldn’t we all be better off if we all had gotten used to going around naked in the locker rooms?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

About the concept of motivation

I would like to speak a bit about the concept of motivation. This is a word that is being used a lot these days, especially as it relates to weight loss. Many theories and studies have been done with regards to the concept of motivation. And everybody has their own notion of what it means, including me. Personally, I dislike this word very much. People come up to me and say “wow, you’re very motivated to be able to lose all that weight”. In the same manner, many think that people don’t lose weight because they are not motivated to lose weight. PLEEASE people! Do you think that overweight people don’t know that being fat is bad for your health? Do you think that they don’t know that it’s hard on your self-esteem? Do you think that they don’t want to bet fit and healthy and look good? Granted, maybe some don’t. But I guarantee you the vast majority does. The vast majority IS motivated to lose weight. They just didn’t figure out the right way to do it.

If I must use that word, then so be it. I HAVE been very motivated to lose weight for many years. I HAVE tried to do so in a variety of ways. I HAVE made many baby steps along the way that have made me change my habits in more ways than one. And there are things that happened that have slowed my efforts down along the way (like this pain in my thigh right now that makes me stay home with my leg elevated and ice around it instead of going to the gym to run). So, don’t you dare tell me or anybody who is fat that they are not motivated enough, that they are not trying hard enough or that they just need to stick with the plan. It is just NOT that simple. And you just don’t know the efforts they have put into it.

Okay, that seems a little harsh. So, on a more positive note, what does keep me motivated to keep trying? Remembering how I looked when I was younger and skinnier; Thinking of all the energy I will get if I keep losing more; Thinking that I can do it; Fixing myself goals (like running a 5k in September); Having people around me who notice the work I do and the changes I make; Having role models around me who exercise so much more than I do and who just love it; Thinking positive thoughts; Thinking that the day I give up trying is the day I give up on me; and so much more...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

French or English? English or French?

I was wondering if this blog should be in English or in French. Being francophone, the logical answer would be to write a blog in French. Then again, the blogs I read are mostly in English and most of my blogger friends are anglophones. Yes, but if I want my francophone friends and family to read it, it has to be in French because many of them are not that good in English. So the next logical thing was to wonder if the blog could be bilingual. I'm no expert in blogs so I don't really know how to do a bilingual blog. I looked a few things up on google and basically, they say it depends on who you want your audience to be, but the sites I found don't really explain how to do it except to find a good translator. So who do I want my audience to be? My friends, my family, people I know and maybe other people. The more the better in my opinion. So really, I have no choice but to do a bilingual blog. But how??? The only way I figured out so far is to have an English version and a French version, so this what I will be doing for now. Doing a bilingual blog probably means that I will post less often, that is fine by me. It also means that whichever version I do best will probably be the best because let's face it, I am bilingual, but I am not translator. That being said I will do my best to translate the best I can. So for any of you who want to practice your French skills, the adress for the French version is :

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Celebrating little successes

A couple days ago, I mentionned the importance of celebrating little successes. Here are a few examples of things that I have celebrated recently, sometimes quietly, sometimes by telling a bunch of people around me and sometimes by doing a little happy dance.
·    Being able to cover your entire body with a towel
·    Being able to bring one leg across the other without holding it with your hands
·    Being able to run on a treadmill (without breaking the machine or falling flat on your face)
·    Being able to run up to 21 minutes in a single workout
·    Being able to swim 1250 meters in 45 minutes
·    Being able to do an entire spin class
·    Being able to fit into jeans 4 sizes smaller
·    Being able to fit into x-large t-shirts
·    Needing your pants to be shortened
·    Changing BMI categories and going down
·    Feeling your thighs getting smaller
·    Being told that your neck is smaller
·    Being told that it shows that you lost weight
·    Being told by someone that they didn’t recognize you
·    Being able to run to catch the bus without being out of breath
·    Not taking too much space in the bus
·    Switching second numbers on the scale, for instance from 230 to 229.
·    Being told that you inspire people
·    Discovering that you actually crave foods that you wouldn’t even have considered eating a few years ago because you didn’t like the taste, such as plain yogurt
·    Being able to say no to French fries... most of the time
·    Having up to 10 hours of exercise planned in a single week
·    Losing 30 pounds in 3 months
·    Having the osteopath telling you that your foot is OK and that you can run
·    Going from being an athlete to being a couch potato to becoming an athlete all over again

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Why do people let themselves get so fat?

So I read a comment recently that went something like this : I don't understand why people let themselves get so fat. My answer is "Oh so many ways". I can only speak for myself, but here's a few of my own answers that explain why I got to where I got and that can certainly apply to many others :
  • Attempting to lose weight the wrong way (while thinking you're doing the right thing) and ending up gaining twice as much as you lost.
  • Having low self-esteem.
  • Neglecting to weigh yourself regularly and not realizing (or admitting) how big you are getting.
  • Unconsciously avoiding your fears. Being fat gives you an excuse for not doing what you're afraid of doing.
  • Having thyroid problems.
  • Having erroneous beliefs about exercise and food.
  • Not having role models who exercise because they like it rather than because they have too.
  • Stopping sports and not realizing that you need some exercise to replace it.
  • Thinking that exercise is an option.
  • Not realizing that the more you exercise, the more you can do.
  • Thinking that what you eat is not so bad and not realizing that some foods are stopping you from losing weight.
  • Craving more and more fat and sugar...The more you eat junk, the more your body wants it.
  • Going through life events which end up making you eat your emotions because you haven't figured out better ways to deal with your problems.
Finally, just because you accept that you have a problem doesn't mean that the problem can be solved easily. Gaining weight is a result of many different factors... and losing weight, when you're obese, can only take a lot of work on multiple aspects of your life. It takes time to change a lifestyle. You have to take one step at a time and celebrate little successes.

Friday, 4 March 2011

why skinny pants and why this blog?

First, let me tell you, I am not skinny. In fact, I have had a problem with obesity for a number of years. It hasn't always been like that, but over the years, and because of a variety of reasons, the fat has kept on coming. That being said, I have also tried to get rid of that fat for a numbers of years and lately it has started to pay off. I have lost 30 pounds in 3 months and I know I will keep losing those pounds because I have finally managed to figure out what I needed to lose it.

A few weeks ago, I met my coach (who lives in a different country than I do), and she told me that my jeans were way too large for me and I needed to get some new ones. Oh I new that, I just couldn't find the time, but then I did. When I saw how many sizes I had dropped, I couldn't help myself and just started dancing. After I related the story to my coach, she started calling me "skinny pants", and although I am not skinny yet, I kind of liked it. Hey! I am skinnier than I use to be when I was 75 pounds heavier. And I will only keep getting skinnier. So I chose the name for this blog.

Why this blog? Because I hear a lot of comments and judgments about obesity and losing weight that make me think. Yes, I think a lot! I analyse comments a lot and I do judge too sometimes, but I'm thinking that maybe I can help some people understand how it is really like to be obese, how it gets to that point and how we can help decreasing the problem. I am not going to say that I have all the answers because I don't, I only have my own answers from my own experiences and my own perspective and that's what I will try to convey.

That being said, this blog will not be limited to reflections about obesity and weight loss. It will also be about things that happen to me, things that I reflect upon, things that make me happy and whatever else comes to mind. So there you go. Enjoy!