what to do when you’re not you?

I’ve always been an anxious girl, I constantly worry and I get killer heart palpitations. I’m also claustrophobic so I avoid busy elevators, Sephora in December and rooms without a view.

In March I realized my social anxiety has a lot to do with my weight. I reverted back into my denial bubble awhile back but that bubble burst two weeks ago when I realized just how unhappy I am.

My body is tired, NOTHING fits my anymore, I literally wear the same 3 outfits all week and feel like crap in those outfits, might I add. I don’t want to go anywhere or do anything, I haven’t felt cute/sexy/pretty in a long time. My mom is worried about me because I don’t seem like myself, “it’s like the light went out in you” is how she described it. If things weren’t bad enough, everything boiled over last weekend.

I bought Blue Jay tickets for me, my mom, brother and sister months ago. We like baseball and went to a bunch games last season and despite feeling uncomfortable in the tiny Rogers Centre seats, I always buy them on an aisle. On Friday a feeling of dread came over me when I would think about going to the game. Maybe it was because I’ve gained a bit of weight since last summer, and if I was uncomfortable then, what was it going to be like now? I tried to dismiss all those dark thoughts and get excited.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling miserable. I just wanted to sleep in, I didn’t have anything to wear and I didn’t want to go. I also didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer so I just stayed quite for the car ride there, and quiet isn’t one of the things I do well. We got downtown parking and after 15 minutes of walking, half of it uphill, I was cold, out of breath and feeling completely out of shape. As soon as  we got through security and I was starting to catching my breath we had to walk up three levels to our seats in the nosebleed section. Level by level I felt worse and worse. I told my family I’d meet them in the seats, ran to the bathroom and vomited. I couldn’t catch my breath, my heart was hammering in my chest and my head was spinning. I stood in the stall for 10 minutes until I felt better then ran some cold water over my hands and held them to the back of my neck until the nausea stopped.

I came out of the bathroom, found my gate and the usher told me my seat was to the right, 20 steps up. 20 steep steps up. I got to the 10th step and my thighs were burning and I couldn’t hear anything but the blood rushing in my ears. I didn’t want to get dizzy so I didn’t look up or down, I just wanted to get to my seat. Now I can only imagine what I looked like, chest heaving, tears in my eyes, struggling to get up those steps. I finally got to my seat and my heart felt like it was going to explode in my chest and I immediately started sobbing. It took 15 minutes but slowly I felt better, except for the embarrassment of having everyone look at me like I was crazy.

I’m an open book about a lot of things, but my anxiety isn’t one of them. I’m the rock of my family so I don’t open up about how I’m feeling all the time. I like to keep that vulnerability to myself, I don’t want to worry anyone. When I came apart at the game, I knew everyone was worried and surprised, so was I. It has never been that bad, so it was scary to me, too! I’m still not too sure what happened or why but it was a big wake up call.

Last week I made sure to portion out all my food and be honest with tracking. Finding out a large double double with cream and sugar is 14 points plus was like a dagger to the heart, but I can learn to love black coffee, right? Right, guys!?!?!

This week I’m focusing on upping my water and reintroducing myself to the treadmill in my bedroom.

I weighed myself today, the first time since February. I’m looking forward to getting everything back on track so I can start feeling like myself again because carrying around this rain cloud isn’t fun.

 

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I have confirmed but not yet booked a vacation in November. I’m going to Disney World with my road dogs, my mom, brother and sister, aunt and cousin. It will probably be the last time going to Disney for a while. I’m already really excited. Last year we went in August and I cannot express just how uncomfortable I was. It was averaging 93 degrees Fahrenheit which is around 33 degrees for my Celsius people. Disney World was a raging, soupy inferno thanks to the sun, humidity and surprising lack of shade.

Other than the vacation, last summer was really busy for me, being a bridesmaid really took up a lot of my summer. When my grandparents mentioned they wanted to take the family to Disney for 2 weeks, I was worried about how I would swing it so I decided to just go for a week. No one really tells you how much being a bridesmaid costs!

Preparing and packing for the vacation was horrible. I needed a bathing suit, a hat, some t-shirts, capris, sunscreen, USD and I needed everything in a hurry. I couldn’t find yoga capri pants to save my life. The 2XL Nike ones I had at home felt like Spanx and nothing I tried on in the stores fit right, I left every store frustrated. Bathing suit shopping felt like a telenovela. It was a mess. I was stressed out, unhappy and had never felt worse about myself. I had not a single item of clothing I felt confident in.

The flight was horrible, we got to the airport only to find out I wouldn’t be sitting with my family. I kept my legs clenched so tight together to make the stranger sitting next to me feel a little more comfortable, I think I pretended to sleep for the whole flight.

Not only was it really hot in Florida, but the whole week was busy. A more relaxed day in Disney usually consists of at least 10,000 steps. As someone who works in an office, I average probably 2,000 in a day. In Florida I was walking more than I had in a long time, in the heat, carrying around all this weight. I was tired. I felt like I couldn’t keep up (even though I’m pretty sure that was all in my head), my feet hurt because even the most supportive shoe can only do so much. My back hurt, I was getting more and more irritable, and I was really disappointed in myself for allowing it to get this bad. Simply standing strained my lower back, when I sat I felt like I looked like a melted mound of a person.

It’s funny how my mindset has changed in less than a year. I don’t care as much how I look in those yoga pants, I just don’t want to be fatigued all the damn time. I want to have more energy, I want to be able to swim or fly there without having to talk myself down from a mini panic attack. I want to able to walk all those steps and not feel like I’ve been trekking through the dessert for many, many months.

Really, this extends to everything in my life. The idea of going on a walk feels so foreign to me now. Walk? For pleasure? Whaaat? I have a treadmill in the bedroom, there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t use it after work while watching 1 of the 100 shows that I love.

I just don’t want to get that vacation dread that creeps up a month before I leave. The worrying about the flight and if I get separated from my family again, if the seat belt will fit. Worrying about how I look and if I’ll be able to go on all the rides and if I’ll be able to keep up.

Moral of the post, I need to lose weight for functionality more than aesthetic. Oh how I’ve grown.

Bye January!

The first month of 2016 is almost over.

I’m slowly but surely creeping out of Baby Shower/Christmas/New Year, New Me debt.

I had successfully planned and hosted my cousins bridal shower a year ago so when she announced she was pregnant, her best friend and I stepped up to plan her baby shower. It’s stressful planning and hosting a party with 50 people but I think I’m good at it and I think everyone had a great time. Baby Aleksija Auleny was born on December 8th, she’s absolutely adorable and sends me into baby fever whenever I’m around her.

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I don’t usually put things on my credit cards but the baby shower in November really put me behind financially and this year I had a bunch of Secret Santas and extra people to buy for. Christmas is my favourite holiday and even though it was just as lovely this year, I was exhausted.

As for the New Year, New Me debt, I signed up for Weight Watchers, got myself a cute turquoise Fitbit and chopped 3 inches of dead, damaged hair off my head. All of the three were very necessary, very worthwhile purchases.

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It’s been a month since I signed up for Weight Watchers and I’ve come to two major conclusions. The first is, I’m eating too much of all the wrong things and the second is I’m not going hard enough.

I have always had serious issues with food. I binge eat and I seek comfort in that uncomfortable full feeling I would get after eating way too much. I miss it, that bursting, heavy feeling in my stomach as crazy as that seems. I also mindlessly eat and I self-sabotage after a good eating day. I’ll catch myself thinking ‘oh, I didn’t eat breakfast this morning’ only to remember I had toast and 2 cookies. Last week I was having an excellent eating day with 6 points to spare and instead of eating those 6 points, I ate 3 croissants.

As I said, I’m not going hard enough. I’m not measuring and tracking diligently enough and I know this because a.) I catch myself doing it all time and b.) The scale is not moving down the way it should. I’m eyeballing condiments and cups of rice and recipes. I sometimes track after the day is done only to realize I had one too many double doubles and maybe those fries at Swiss Chalet wasn’t the best decision.

In February I’m committing to strict tracking and portioning, I know this will make a huge difference.

Does anyone have any monthly goals for February? I’d love to hear them!:)

Sunday: An Adult Affair

My work schedule doesn’t give me two days off in a row, so I never have a real weekend but I’ve come to love Sundays.

Sunday is the only day I don’t wake up to an alarm so I like to leave my curtains open so I  can wake up naturally.

I usually schedule my week so that I don’t have to leave my house on Sundays, which is ideal. Because I’m off my boobs are too, so I go au natural.

I get around to doing some laundry and actually put the laundry away while watching a movie or tv show I’ve probably seen a hundred times before. Today it was X Files.

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I like to cook and only get a chance to on Sundays so I make big batch meals that everyone can eat through the week. I turn yummy things like this

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into this

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and eat eventually eat dinner.

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I also like to figure out my breakfasts and lunches and their smart points for the week. I’m a horrible impulse/mindless eater so I feel taking the time to go through what I’m going to eat sets me up for success.

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After dinner I like to slather my head in Josie Maran argan oil. Between the blonde that I put in it every year, blow drying, and flat ironing, I really put it through the ringer. I like to think (and pray) the argan oil helps a little.

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To end the day I get into a freshly laundered bed, watch some more tv or catch up on some reading.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

If not now, when?

20160105_221035The ads reads:

Why I joined Weight Watchers

Inside every overweight woman is the woman she knows she can be. You look in the mirror and sometimes don’t recognize yourself because you’ve gotten lost, buried in the weight.
But nothing you have been through is ever wasted. So every time I tried and failed, and every I tried again and every time I tried again has brought me to this most powerful moment to say if not now, when?
I feel that way and I know millions of you feel that way too.
Are you ready? Let’s do this together.  -Oprah

 

 

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I decided to write this post after the new year didn’t feel as new anymore. I’ve been notorious for writing bittersweet posts on December 31st/ January 1st about what a failure the last year has been, but how I’m putting it behind me and starting a new year with sunny optimism. I felt the same this year, if not better,  but something about posting on January 1st seemed like a trap.

On December 29th I signed up for Weight Watchers, again. I saw the ads and felt something spark in me. As an advertising graduate, I’m definitely not immune to the effects of a good ad. Oprah pulled me right in, but I wouldn’t attribute it all to her, over the holiday break I realized just how in denial I’ve been.

I have a favourite shirt. It’s sheer, black and as flattering as it gets for something with no stretch at all. I’ve had it for years, it’s my go to, I wear it over and over with no shame at all. I put it on a month ago and it felt too snug to wear but I threw a cardigan over it and prayed it would loosen up a bit as the day went on. It really shouldn’t have come as a surprise, I hadn’t felt comfortable in my clothes in months. Mind you, I also hadn’t weighed myself in weeks. When I got home, I took off my cardigan, went to take off my shirt and noticed the arm was ripped. I inspected it and knew it would be very hard to fix, if it even could be fixed. And then came the tears.

Flash forward to right after Christmas. I needed to get rid of the hideous monstrosity of an entertainment center in my bedroom so I went to Ikea to buy a new dresser and bookcase. I got home and started trying to demolish the entertainment center, huffing and puffing the whole time. After walking up and down 13 stairs 5 or 6 times, my 53 year old dad noticed how out of breath and fluorescent pink I was and asked if I needed to take a break.

On December 28th my family went to my grandparent’s house to see them before they left for Arizona for 3 months. It’s the longest they’ve ever been away and I was feeling irrationally abandoned. Before I left, my grandmother told me she wants to be get healthy, I could tell she was genuinely scared for me. My 75 year old grandmother is scared for me.

Last week I split the zipper in my $300 knee length winter jacket and the domes bust open when I sit.

I’m forever exhausted, sore, uncomfortable and out of breath.

All of this was bubbling up to the surface and when I saw that ad, it was the beacon of hope and clarity I needed.

I’ve always been chubby/big/fat/overweight. I was chubby baby and toddler, a big kid and teenager and I’ve been overweight all of my adult life. Trying to determine a goal size is extremely difficult because the lowest weight I’ve been in the last 5 years was 260. I’ve suppressed so much of out denial and shame, I can’t remember what size I was in middle school or high school. So I took a shot in the dark and decided my goal is a size 8-10, roughly.

I’m really sick of feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable, avoiding attention as much as I can.
I’m sick of being scared of being diagnosed with something terrible because of my weight.
I’m sick of how my weight plays a lead part in my social anxiety.
I’m sick of feeling the need to apologize for how much space I take up.
I’m sick of feeling the exact opposite of beautiful and alive and healthy.

A couple days ago it dawned on me it would be a good idea to take some before pictures . While I knew it was a good idea, the thought of it filled me with dread. I decided I was going to try and take a picture that could conceal “the damage”. I thought if I wore a baggier shirt and some leggings the picture I took wouldn’t be as cringe worthy. Instead, I captured a true representation of what I look like. Minus a big cardigan to hide behind, voluminous, bouncy hair  or a support garment to smooth down the lumps and bumps. I posted the the picture in a support group on Facebook  and on my weight loss inspired Instagram account @erinsdoingit. In a way it was like a ripping off a band aid, no more denial, no more hiding.

I bought a Fitbit in an awesome boxing day sale, I got a vegetable spiralizer for Christmas and I’ve been successfully tracking since I joined. It would appear I’m doing the damn thing.

And, it’s true, if not now, when?

 

Longish Update

Ever since I was a kid, if it was hard, whatever it may be, I might attempt it, but I would ultimately give up. The fact that I threw in the towel might nag at me a bit, would I would (and do) quickly get over it and wouldn’t (and don’t) give much thought about it again. This doesn’t just apply to weight loss attempts, it pretty much goes for everything. I stray/ignore/procrastinate a lot.

My work is relocating in the not-so near future and while the role I’m in doesn’t suit me at all, and I swore up and down that I would not get stuck in it (despite the fact that every week when that direct deposit enters my bank account, I am grateful), the idea of updating my resume, going to interviews, competing for a position fills me with dread. Whether it be the fact that I’m super self conscious and don’t think I have a shot or whether I would just prefer doing something else, who knows. So I’m procrastinating.

I probably don’t have as much money as I should saved, I didn’t really start getting serious about saving money until a couple months ago. I put it off and put it off until I was laying in bed one day when the idea that there is a very slight possibility I could get laid off popped into my head. I then worried until the early hours of the morning that there was a very slight possibility I cold get laid off. I’m not quite at the point of stashing money, like nuts, away for the winter but I’m making sure to pay myself first now. At least I’m not ignoring this anymore.

I have three weeks of vacation and instead of going somewhere this year, I’m taking days off here and there, attaching them to civic holidays and my natural days off, and planning two vacations next year. The problem is, last year I was planning a trip for this September, I got excited about it then and when April 2015 rolled around, I just didn’t book anything. I’m putting off traveling until I can feel better about myself, fit in a place seat comfortably, wear a bathing suit without cringing. I’m always making plans for the future, and putting them off when the future arrives. I must stop doing that.

I’m going to make a solid plan to work on my resume this Sunday, as absolutely tedious as that sounds right now. I’m going to set up a direct deposit from my chequing account to my savings account, every pay day. I’m going to start working on myself so I can get excited, stay excited and actually live out my plans.

In general updates, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve been going through weeks of ‘being in a funk’, not necessarily sad, just blah. For the longest while I wasn’t reading, wasn’t really going out, just going to work, coming home, sleeping, going to work, coming home, sleeping and on and on and on. I think it’s stemming from not doing much but going to work and coming home and sleeping.

My scale is broken. I keep haphazardly trying it out and it’s still broken. Every time I try I get annoyed that it’s not working and yet I haven’t bought another one. I’m pretty sure its because I don’t want to spend upwards of $50 on something thats going to tell me what I don’t want to know. I know pants that used to be comfortable are now a little tight and I can tell that I feel heavier. I’ll probably cave in the next couple weeks and get one, I really should get back in the habit of weighing myself at least weekly. If nothing else, at this point, it’s a good reminder to either get my shit together and keep doing what I’m doing.

Tracking is still hit and miss, I’ll do it for a day and then not do it for 2 or 3 days. I don’t love the Weight Watchers online tool, I much prefer to write it all out so I’m a little torn between keeping paying for the online service, just because or cancel it and either start going to meetings again (expensive, but ultimately worth it I think, then again there’s that whole ‘no time’ thing…) or just using the online bootleg calculator and writing it out in a notebook. Decisions, decisions.

I’ve been actually enjoying buying clothes lately, even though they’re not in the size I would like. Below are some of the things I’ve purchased recently.

My discovery for Asos.com is very near and dear to my heart. Asos.com is an online fashion retailer based out of the UK. Their Curve label makes the comfiest, true to size, jeans that I can get away with wearing to work. It’s really nice when you can put on clothes and not feel that disappointment of ‘ughhhhhhh they don’t fit’. Below are the ankle grazer, ultra high rise and super soft skinny fits that I bought. The ankle grazers, in a 24, are actually a bit big for me, they’re pretty baggy in the bottom area but they look really cute with flats and Converses.

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They also had a great 50% off sale and there was a shirt that everything in my soul said I needed. It’s my style to a t, somewhat structured, black and longer.

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The only problem was, I waited too long and the only thing size I could get was an 18, which is currently 4 sizes too small. I know they say not to buy pieces you can’t fit into now, but I’m thinking of using it as a goal piece for the fall.

Reitmans has a very limited plus size section which I think runs small, but sometimes they have really cute, good quality pieces. I grabbed this shirt on sale. I like it because it has just enough stretch and it’s not a lightweight material (which I really hate because they always get stretched out) but you can get away with wearing it on cooler summer days.

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Now, lets talk about Addition Elle. I have a love/hate relationship with Addition Elle. There used to be located in malls but now I believe the only locations they have are at outdoor shopping centres. AE went through a brand refocusing around 2012, updating their stores to feature more glass and chandeliers, overall a sleeker, more modern look. Their clothes got an update as well, shifting from typical and frumpy to more edgy, fashion forward pieces. I like that their clothes don’t make me look like a 50 year old, but in Canada, theres not a lot of options for good quality, fashionable plus sized clothes. Therefore, AE really feel like the default place to shop. I also feel like their bottoms run a little small. When pieces from Addition Elle’s fall lookbook appeared in their new arrival sections online, I thought they were pretty lacklustre. I took a quick peek yesterday and boy was I wrong.

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I NEED these pieces. The bottom lace dress would probably be worn with opaque black tights, the upper right colour blocking sweater with black jeans, the top middle shirt with a longer line black cardigan and the upper left just as shown. Give me a longer, black, chiffon, sheer tunic and I’m all over it, give me one with a edgy print and I squee inside! I’ll probably need to buy the pieces in conjunction with coupons and definitely not all at once because Addition Elle is a bit more expensive, but I need these clothes in my life. I’m thinking of buying them in at least a size smaller, call me an optimist.

This summer has made me realize, I’m not a summer girl. I dislike being hot it makes me feel uncomfortable and out of sorts. Summer attire makes me uncomfortable too, I don’t think my upper arms have seen the light of day since my cousins wedding, last August and that was because I didn’t want to be the only loser wearing a shawl. I’m waiting for cooler days, apple picking, pumpkin spice everything and for the first time ever this fall, leather boots. That’s going to be my late September mission, the perfect boots for chubby calves.

I just bought a Ninja bullet blender because I missed smoothies.

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After a couple attempts at trying different kinds like the avocado, cocoa powder and honey one (which tasted exactly like dirt), I’m sticking to the usual almond milk, banana, spinach and some kind of berry.

My eats haven’t drastically changed, I’m still eating too many processed carbs and I’m still struggling to decide whens a good time to eat. I leave for work at 9:45 am, start at 12, lunch/dinner break at 3, home at 8:45 pm. I might start trying to eat oatmeal again before I leave for work, light snack when I get to work, dinner at 3, light snack or nothing at all when I get home. I really need to find my groove and get the non-existent scale moving downwards.

I’ve missed blogging, I hope these ramblings are making sense and are at least somewhat enjoyable.

I got glasses just for reading or when my eyes get sleepy in February. Here’s some shameless glasses selfie. I dig them!

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I just finished a great book, hopefully I’ll get my review up at http://www.erinreadit.wordpress.com tonight, it’s been a couple months.

Acceptance & Denial

During the last year or so I’ve really wavered between acceptance and denial in regards to weight loss/healthy living/body acceptance. I think both helped and hindered me majorly for the latter part of 2014 and into 2015.

Acceptance got me far. It stopped me from wearing baggy track pants and oversized tshirt all day every day (I guess so did a full time job, though). I threw self-consciousness to the wind and replaced my bootcut (apparently the best fit for my body type) jeans with skinny jeans. I wore dresses that weren’t the most flattering for said body type because I liked them. I bought nice clothes often (I fell in love with asos.com) because I was so sick of not really having a personal style. I’m sure that acceptance blurred into denial which helped me gain 15 lbs in 4 months.

I made the last payment to clear up my credit card debt for good a week ago when I noticed that I was billed for Weight Watchers online. I’ve been paying for this service while I’ve been actively gaining weight. Cue Ironic by Alanis Morrisette.

At work I went through all the foods I eat all the time to find out the Point values. My problem is I’m not necessary eating junk, I’m just eating the wrong things in the wrong portions. Too many carbs, too much sugar, not enough water, not enough fruits and vegetables, not enough 0 Point snacks.

I’m hung up on time again, just like they say, history has a way of repeating itself. Instead of being content with the fact that I have the ability to change courses, start a new path, do things different, I’m caught up on the fact that the last year, 2, 3, 6 years could have been different. The logical me knows there’s no point in crying over spilt milk, but the irrational me cannot get over it! The only thing I can do is harness that frustration and use it in my favor, to change things for good, finally.

The above was written a week ago, so far:

I made a weekly weigh in plan.

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I’ve also started tracking again. In a perfect world it wouldn’t be necessary to portion everything out and track every last morsel, but this is not a perfect world. I’ve successfully tracked for a week, the official weigh in date is Sundays.

And here’s a picture of my lunch on Friday, just because it looks pretty.

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