Week Beginning: Monday, April 25
Starting Weight: 348.8
Current Weight: 344.4 (First week weight loss is always skewed. My long term goal is not to be *ruled* by this number and just to be seeing how my body reacts to food. More on that later.)
Weekly Low Point: The pre-workout panic attack. (Read more below.)
Weekly High Point: Not dying during my first workout. (Bwahahah.)
Second week done! *drops mic and walks away….slowly, cause my thighs still burn from Friday.* This week can be summarized by the following poorly written haiku.
Big thighs felt the burn
Embrace the fear stare it down
Week Two done and gone.
First and foremost, I made it to the other side of Post Nasal Drip-Apocalypse. While this may sound silly it meant a few things. Like, being able to leave the house and function. Sleep through the night. Cough without wanting to pee at the same time. (Don’t even play like you’ve never been there before. If you say you haven’t, and you’re over the age of 30 then I know you’re lying.) You would be amazed at how much better life gets once you can do all of that! That being said, in all seriousness, moving on from being sick allowed me to get back to a somewhat normal functioning of life.
This week I wanted to start making some new habits. Habits, of course, take time to become (well) habits so the key was just to begin doing something that would be really be different for me but I knew would be GOOD for me.
Let me chime in real quick and say– if you are expecting this blog post to be filled with massive shifts Biggest Loser style then, you will be disappointed. What you WILL see, over time, is a shift that is, hopefully, slow and steady. This week I set my goal to do something that most people probably do every day but I haven’t done in years… Eat breakfast.
I never eat breakfast. I know I should, but I never do. When it has happened in the last ten years, it has been grabbed at a Starbucks drive-through or consisting of Diet Coke and some leftover form of bad-f0r-you carbohydrate. So this week, I made breakfast. I made breakfast EVERY DAY! And you know what? I actually enjoyed the act of making breakfast. Maybe because it was at the start of the day before stress kicked it, but the act of spending an extra few minutes prepping my morning meal was actually pleasurable.
Maybe because it was at the start of the day before stress kicked it, but the act of spending an extra few minutes prepping my morning meal was actually pleasurable.
What did I eat? I kept it simple. A few mornings I cooked one egg with several egg whites, scrambled with a bit of garlic and a protein added to it. Like two slices of deli turkey or a chicken breast (that I make in batches) sliced and added in.
If I had specific veggies in hand, like zucchini (which I’ve been getting in bags at Coscto and I LOVE) I would dice those up. If not, I would stay with a protein heavy breakfast. Sometimes topped with a spoonful of salsa for flavor.
One morning I had a delicious dairy free frittata with spinach and tomato from Model Meals that seriously made me consider wanting to bake eggs for the rest of my life. And once I treated myself to a Starbucks Iced Coffee (just coffee and Soy Milk with no sweetener) and an oatmeal, also with no sugar.
I’d make my breakfast and head out onto my small LA apartment patio and eat with the sun shining and my feet propped up and my dog, Winston, staring at me with envy. I have a small Bose Bluetooth speaker that I keep in my bedroom, so I’d bring it out onto the patio with me. My goal was to spend a few minutes and enjoy the art enjoy the act of eating my breakfast and welcome in the day. No social media. No texting. Just… Breathing and whatever thoughts would come to me naturally. In a long, unedited train of free thinking. It felt SO GOOD!
It only took one day before I fell in love with the act of eating my breakfast. Slowing down long enough. One thing to note? Is that listening to music became a key part of the ritual. And I’d find the music propelling my soul in different directions, leading my thoughts down different paths.
The funny thing is — I didn’t take a ton of time to do this. My breakfast ritual was only lasting about 10-15 minutes, or enough time for a few songs to play on my Spotify.
And so I have coined my ritual and created… The Three Song Breakfast.
Dispel from your head the idea that a sit-down breakfast is a luxury. Instead, think about it as just the right amount of time you need to charge your day, fuel your soul and get you going… in the time that it takes you to listen to three songs. No major commitment. Just three songs.
This week I found myself drawn to a lot of country. Josh Turner and George Strait. Towards the end of the week I got lost in Chris Stapleton…. If you are looking for a single change to your day to add some more self care in, I would totally encourage you to have a Three Song Breakfast with me! In fact, if you do, share it on social media or chime in the comments below and tell me what you played and how you started your day!
If you are looking for a single change to your day to add some more self care in, I would totally encourage you to have a Three Song Breakfast with me! In fact, if you do, share it on social media or chime in the comments below and tell me what you played and how you started your day!
Moving on… Another big change for me was drinking water. In the past, I could easily go a day without adding any real fluid to my body. If I did drink it might be iced coffee or Diet Coke. This week…. I switched to water. Honestly? It wasnt even that hard. I got myself a Nalgene bottle and simply make it a point to fill it up non-stop. Also, I use a straw. I dont know why but I seem to enjoy drinking water through a straw.
Don’t get me wrong, there were days this week when I would dived head first into fountain soda but…. on the whole I made the switch to water.
And so I went about my week. Food, water and continuing to weigh myself every day. You are probably wondering why I would do that? From guidance of my Health Jedi, we are continuing to see how many body reacts to different macronutrients. Over time this will help me figure out what the best general target eating plans for me are.
I want to fast forward now to what was, emotionally, the most challenging thing this past week — the time leading up to my first workout. I’m going to be really blunt here; I am unable to move the way I want to move. It’s not like I can’t move, I’m a fully functioning human being… it’s just that I can’t move how I’d like to. Walk a mile. Walk around the block a few times. Walk down the block in general without my lower back reminding me of it’s presence. There was a time, when I was younger, that I felt really strong. I kickboxed .I danced (ALL the time) and I walked European cities with my black Kate Spade diaper bag slung over my shoulder for hours on end. Not any more. Sometimes, just standing there at the kitchen sink hurts my back. There are so many things I want to be able to do. Like hike. Walk on a beach for more than a few steps. Walk my way through Manhattan (my home city) instead of relying on cabs and Uber.
I had met my Health Jedi, Blake, once before. We’d spent a few hours talking and establishing some ground level trust with each other. I remember, very clearly, sitting across a table from him holding a warm mug of coffee in him. I was trying to convey to him the passion I felt and the need I had to become in better shape. And I was trying to tell him that a workout with me wouldn’t be like workouts with his traditional clients. “Look,” I said, “it’s gonna get bad. There’s going to be a time when I’m going to cry. Not because its physically hard but because I’m trying to undo twenty years of adult shit. But, if you can handle me crying… I will trust you to take care of me and push me.” And he said yes.
“Look,” I said, “it’s gonna get bad. There’s going to be a time when I’m going to cry. Not because its physically hard but because I’m trying to undo twenty years of adult shit. But, if you can handle me crying… I will trust you to take care of me and push me.” And he said yes.
Cue up to Friday. I woke up stressed. I had my Three Song Breakfast, but I was still… anxious. And for a while, I felt, what I thought was, fear. It was overwhelming. I had no idea what this workout was going to be like, I knew I was going to be awful and, the combination of all that it was really setting me off. Check out my “spill my guts” post here.
Rather than keep talking my negative spiral, I turned to Gabby Bernstein who reminds us that we can think our way out of fear and, on another level, that fear is a “sure sign that we are relying on our own strength” when, instead, we should have more trust in the Universe. I forced myself to really think about why it was I was feeling fear, and was that rational? When it came down to it, my fear was… irrational. For so many reasons. So, lets break down what I was afraid of:
- Disappointing my trainer and having him judge me for being so wildly out of shape.
- Failing. Being shitty. Feeling like crap and just being really bad and not succeeding.
My first fear was, frankly, bullshit. Because if he did judge me than that would be something out of my control and it would also make him a pretty shitty human being. And a bad trainer. But even more so… I knew he was on my side. So, I had to release from my mind that I was, in ANY WAY shape or form, in control of Blake and what he thought of me.
Second… well… while that makes more sense, it’s still a thought I had to chose to throw away. Because… YES of course I’m going to be sucky at working out. I’m 37 and over 300 lbs and haven’t worked out in years. But sucking is TOTALLY OK because if I’m sucking at least it means that I tried. And TRYING is doing something more than I had been doing before. I could not compare myself to others. I could only think about things in terms of my own body, my own life and my own journey. And, for me, the fact that I was even doing this made it the opposite of failure.
So, for the rest of the day, I embraced the fact that what I felt was nervous energy and not fear. I texted every friend and family member I loved just to touch base with them and get a few positive words of encouragement. (Side note, it may feel like a luxury to have people tell you that they love and believe in you but, believe me, it’s not; thats what friendship and love is about. If you are lucky enough to have people who believe in you, give them the chance to be there for you.) And the next thing I knew I was at my local park watching my Health Jedi park his bike and walk slowly towards me, all the while I had a feeling inside that made me want to scream, fart, throw up, hug him and cry at the same time. I was a little tense. Which I think he saw….
Him: Where’s your water?
Me: In the car.
Him: How’s that going to help?
Me: (Panic) Well I didn’t know what we were doing (still panic) and if I was going to have to lug it around (lots more panic) and if I wasn’t supposed to carry anything extra. (Yup, panic again.)
Him: Well, go get it.
Bless his heart, he did his best to make me comfortable. I knew I was being wonky. I knew I was wound about as tightly as a person could be wound. He made some jokes. I wasn’t able to laugh (just yet) but at least I announced that clearly. LOL. At our destination, a park bench, he started by having me do modified squats and pushups using the bench and just my body weight. And sometime, in the middle of all of it when I must have looked like I was going to paralyze myself with pressure—— he elbowed my left boob. And I laughed. And then everything was ok.
Side note. It’s probably not professional for a trainer to poke his clients breasts. But, given that we met on Tinder and had already spent weeks becoming friends, playfully flirting and shooting the shit about life, we’d already established a mini friendship before beginning. And, not even going to lie, that silly and playful gesture was unexpected enough for me to lighten up, release the pressure and just focus on doing the things he asked of me.
For the hour I did my best to complete every task. I did some things better than others, but I was willing to do it. I asked Blake later, did he think our session was successful? Here’s what he said:
Every time you do something out of your comfort zone it’s a victory. – Blake Elarbee