Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Whole 30 Possibility

I have been in a good place lately. Working out. Eating right.


I bet myself that I would work out 5 times this week with Pact App. The most I have ever bet myself is 3. I'm really upping the ante here. So far I am on track. I've already worked out twice this week (2 for 2) and I am planning on doing yoga tonight. From Wednesday to Wednesday I got in four workouts. Also pretty impressive for me. I'm liking this direction that I am heading in.

Friday - My favourite yoga class. Deep Stretch Hot Yoga. It's been a long time since I've taken a flow class. The Deep Stretch classes are where it's at. Although I tend to get a little too intense with my pigeon pose and end up with a sore hip afterwards.

Saturday - I searched for an affordable Zumba class in my area, but I couldn't find a good one. So I decided to do a YouTube version in my living room. Well, that lasted about 10 minutes. I am paranoid about pissing off my neighbour below. I've never had any problems, but if he ever complains I might have to rip out my new floor because it is not carpet. Anyway, I went back to the drawing board and found the Mudderella training program on Pinterest. I did the Mudderella Workout #1. It was pretty easy at first. I struggled with the push ups. The last item on the list was step ups. Oh Em Gee. Those were killers... in a good way.

Monday - The Mudderella program starts with a run, but I mixed things up and did the run on my second workout day. Even though it was an incredibly gorgeous day, I decided to head to the gym to get my run in. I just wasn't feeling the whole running in the dark thing. Whenever I run outside, I wish I was on a treadmill so that I could just keep going and going and stop when I am finally finished. Being on a treadmill made me realize that running outside is where it's at. You don't have that easy out option. I really wanted to take it. But I persevered. Barely. It's been a long time since I have gone for a run and it was a lot more difficult than I remembered. Afterwards I did some laps in the pool. I pushed myself to swim a kilometre.

Tuesday - Back to the pool for Deep Water Aqua Fit. It was challenging, but doable. I think I was the only person in the class who didn't have any sort of floatation device on.

***

Soooo.... I'm thinking about doing the Whole 30 Challenge. I think I can do it. Scratch that. I am going to do it.

I've never considered paleo as an option before. I've done low carb before. I actually really liked it. But a lot of the low carb options that I normally go for are void on paleo. No dairy. No legumes. I have been living off big batches of lentil soup and chilli, so it's going to be hard to give those healthy options up. Soup and chilli are still on the table though... just a different kind.

How do you spell chilli? I always thought it was chilli, but then instagram told me that was wrong and that I should spell it like chili. But blogger is telling me that chili is wrong and chilli is right. What's a girl to do? Google.

I've signed up for a Heather's Whole 30 group. I'm going to try it. I'm in a good headspace right now. The key is to continue to be healthy for the next few days before it starts. If I can stay on this path then I shouldn't have a problem.

I also need to be prepared. Step one is reorganizing my cupboards so that I can't reach any of the foods that are not on the list. Besides, my cupboards need to be reorganized anyway. I still haven't found my kitchen groove since moving in (almost a year ago).

The first battle comes on the first day of the challenge. Superbowl Sunday. Obviously I am not a football fan, so it's not really a big deal to me. I do, however, like the commercials and half time show. I have been invited to a Superbowl party. I don't want to kill my social life. Especially since my current budget prevents me from having much of one. I'm going to go to the party and bring a Whole 30 friendly dish and some extra snacks just in case.

At least I will still be able to go for sushi. Sashimi for the win. Unfortunately my beloved miso isn't on the list.

***

I am also considering buying a monthly pass to my gym/pool. I normally buy packs of ten, use the tickets sparingly, and take advantage of the toonie swim at the end of the night. I've already been to the pool twice this week (those two workout days I mentioned earlier), and I am planning on going again tonight after my yoga class.

If I keep this up, it would definitely be a worthwhile investment. Plus, during the Whole 30 challenge, it would be a good distraction to have.

The only downside is that I don't trust myself to take advantage of it fully. I can't stand it when I pay for something and don't use it (aka the multiple gym memberships I have had in the past). I don't need another reason to be upset with myself. But at the same time, if I don't push myself how will I get anywhere?

***

I'm watching an episode of Chasing Life right now. Anyone else watch this show? It's fun to watch Steven Weber and Rebecca Schull interact again. Remember Wings? I loved that show as a child. I always get excited when I see any of the former cast, so it's doubly exciting to see two of them on the same show together.

My PVR is getting quite full. I love it. My TV watching has gone way down. More time spent cooking, working out, and being productive.

***

The weigh in: Down 1.4 lbs this week!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Fat Shaming of a Continent


It happened again.

A friend posted another comment on Facebook that rocked me.

This time he got on top of his soapbox to complain about how fat, lazy, and poorly dressed North Americans are compared to Europeans.

My impressions of North America after seeing Spain. Most of us are fat slobs. Everyone! Stop eating crap and wearing yoga pants to work. Have a little pride in yourselves.

I really wanted to fight back this time, but how do you argue with something that is true? We are fatter (scientifically proven), lazier (probably, but I'm not sure how you would quantify this), and less fashionable (is this something that needs to be fixed?) than our European counterparts. Don't get me wrong, I love fashion. I love clothes. I love looking the best that I can. I also love sleep and wearing yoga pants.

Pride does not come when you lose weight. Self-confidence doesn't magically appear once those dreaded pounds are gone. If you want to have any kind of success, you have to find those things before and during your journey. Shaming people into losing weight breeds eating disorders and a depressed population.

He said he was disgusted upon arriving home and noticing the differences in the people at the airports.

I was actually floored. Every single American at the airport was fatter than the fattest Spanish person I saw for two weeks. Frankly, I was disgusted.

Disgusted!

... we are fat and they are not. Just making an observation.

His argument was interesting because the word "we" was used over and over again. His "we" was a general one. A way for him to talk about the general population, both men and women. He is not fat. He has never even come close to being overweight. He is not including himself in his general "we." Do you want to know who else he is not including in his general "we"? Men. I am 100% confident that he is referring primarily to women.

His rant is not about encouraging his neighbours to commit to becoming more healthy conscious. No, it is about the lack of "hot," single women in his life. You probably think I am reading too much into things. But I know. I have heard this rant before. Many times in fact. The fat shaming is a new aspect though.

I wish I could clarify my feeling properly and come up with a compelling argument for the next time I see him. It really bothers me that he thinks it is okay to shame an entire continent full of people under the guise of health activism.

I also wish it didn't bother me. I know that his opinions are chauvinistic and misguided. I know that he is not thinking of me when he puts his comments into the universe, but it's still hard not to take them personally.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Beautiful doesn't come with a Weight Limit

 
I read this quote the other day and it really struck a chord with me. I am trying to live my life in the most beautiful way possible. I don't mean it just in the superficial sense. I want to be a beautiful person inside and out, and surround myself with positivity and sunshine. I don't have to wait until I am X amount lighter to start being the person I want to be. I can be that person now.


It's no secret that I struggle with getting my water in every day. I didn't realize how bad I am at this particular task until I went back and looked at my work water cooler order history. I haven't ordered a jug since July!!!! At the end of July I had three full jugs of water (18.5 L each). Those three jugs have lasted me the past six months. Yikes! I'm only half way through the last one.

I made the bold move of ordering 3 more jugs that will arrive next week. This means that I have just one week to finish off the last jug. It's not an impossible feat, but considering how much water I have been consuming at work this is going to be a challenge. I got this.

It's Wednesday: you know what that means!

228.8

Pretty normal for me. I've been sitting at this spot for the past month. Those dang holidays. I haven't quite undone all of my hard work from the autumn, but most of it. Thankfully I have turned my life around before it got to that point. I feel like I am getting back on track. I am still eating too much food, but it is better food. Stepping stones.

How did you do this week?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WIW W/O a WI

I have decided to create a new Instagram account. User name: @lessofless (obviously)

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but I wasn't sure how it would work logistically. I decided to just bite the bullet and try out having two accounts. I am looking forward to being able to post stuff related to fitness and getting healthy. I actually can't wait to get started. I think it going to be awesome.

I am going to try to use instagram to hold me more accountable. Which means I need to hook up with some like minded individuals. I want to follow you. Find me on IG and I will be sure to follow you back. Or leave your username below in the comments section. As of right now I am 0 for 0. Following no one and no followers. Gotta change both of those numbers.

It's weigh in day, but yet again I haven't weighed in.

I've got excuses. Always a lot of excuses. This time they are legit excuses, okay! I'm housesitting for my parents while they are away. It's actually pretty awesome. I get to cuddle with their cat and dog all night while simultaneously taking advantage of their "free" laundry. I'm using this week to wash all of the big items (comforters, pillows, etc), as well as my regular haul of clothing. Except this means I am doing laundry all the dang time. I honestly don't mind sharing laundry in my building. Bing, bang, boom, and it is done. It only takes me two hours to do five loads of laundry, including dryer time (although I do hang dry most of my clothes). With just one set of machines, I am doing laundry forever.

Enough with the laundry tangent. I didn't even get to my excuse: I don't have a scale. Okay, that's not completely true. My parents have a really crazy scale of lies that often makes skinny girls cry. I have seen so many girls come out of that bathroom completely freaked out because of the number they saw on that scale. It didn't use to bother me so much because it was the only scale I used. But now that I have my own scale I want to just stick to it. I don't need the scale of doom telling me what I already know: that I need to lose weight.

Last week I was really gung ho. I was starting to get back into the groove, but then whammy: I got sick. Just a little cold. No biggie. It's over and done with now and I am ready to start again.

I decided against making a bunch of resolutions this year. Instead I am going to make this the year of working on bettering myself. I want to spend my money on experiences instead of stuff. I want to learn things instead of tuning out. I want to focus on being the best me that I can be instead of focusing on losing weight. Don't get me wrong, I still want to lose weight. I just don't want that to be the reason for doing everything.

Weigh In Wednesday
 
Happy Weigh Ins! How did you do this week?

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The Argument for Fat Acceptance

Last week an old friend shared an article on Facebook: Six Things I Don’t Understand About The Fat Acceptance Movement. It wasn't the first time this article had come up in my news feed. It was the first time that it had been shared by someone I am/have been close to. I didn't take any offence when a college acquaintance had posted it, although, she has since deleted it, so there must have been people who did. It felt like someone had punched me in the gut when I saw that it was now being shared by someone in my life.

When someone posts that they are against fat acceptance, as a fat person, how can I not take offence to that? Are you saying that because I am fat, I don't deserve to be accepted by society? I, of course, took it personally. I know it wasn't even close to a direct attack against me, but it still felt that way. Especially when I did a quick tally of the people in his life and couldn't think of a single person that he associates with regularly who would be considered overweight besides myself.

It also irked me because I didn't feel like the poster and his supporters actually took the time to read the article. I see people do this all the time: post a headline that they agree with, without having any idea what has actually been written.

My friends quickly engaged in a lively, uneducated debate on the topic, complete with "fatty" memes. It was disgusting and sad. The main argument against HAES was that overweight people become a drain on society. I didn't chime in with my two cents because I don't like to make waves on social media, especially in a forum that can be seen by anyone (family, employers, etc.). I also didn't want to be the image of the fictional "fatty" that was being discussed.

I ended up seeing some of the commenters (not any of the hateful commenters) that evening as we headed down to our New Year's Eve celebrations. The car ride ended up turning into a much more thoughtful conversation about the topic. This time I didn't stay quiet. Everyone in the car had struggled with weight at some point in their lives, but I was surprised at the lack of empathy. It was easy for the weight losers to argue that Fat Acceptance and Healthy at Every Size shouldn't be a thing. It was clear that they still hated their former selves.

This is exactly why this movement is needed.

The Thought Catalog article is just one woman's views on the topic. She is questioning the movement, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I have read many extreme articles that have made me question HAES. The points in the article are valid questions, but there isn't any research supporting her findings. She is entitled to her opinion, as I am to mine. My problem is with the people who have read the article and decided that what she has written is what the majority of the movement is about.

1. America is extremely accepting of fat.
The author confuses fat acceptance with fat existence. One does not equal the other. Bullying and discrimination haven't gone anywhere. If an obese person and a thin person go in for the same job, who do you think will get hired first?

As a non-American, I  take issue with the use of 'America'. This is not a problem and movement involving only one country. I am not going to split hairs over this since clearly the author is writing from her perspective, but that leads me to another point. The use of 'America' implies that Americans are more accepting of fat people than those from other countries. I don't get a lot of male attention at home, but when I go travelling that always changes. The less 'American' the country, the more I can expect to be hit on. Of course there are other factors involved, but I usually find that I am more accepted outside of America.

2. “Body positivity” should include health.
Agreed. I try hard every day to make the right choices and live a healthy lifestyle. No, I don't always succeed, but I try. Isn't the point of Healthy at Every Size that you don't know how healthy a person is just by looking at their weight? You can make assumptions, but you don't know.

"How could you be positive about something when you are, at the same time, actively damaging it?" Does this mean that someone who smokes shouldn't feel positive about his or her body? There is no way to know who is actively damaging their bodies on a regular basis unless you ask that person.

When you have a positive body image, you are more likely to make the right choices. I'm not saying that I always have a positive body image. But nobody gets to take away my right to have one just because I don't fit their ideals at the moment.

3. “Health at every size” seems physically impossible.
This is not the best term. Neither a 60 lb adult nor a 600 lb adult are healthy. But my best friend who looks like she weighs 90 lbs is one of the healthiest people I have ever met. I also have a friend who is about the same size as me (we share clothes) and she is one of the best athletes that I have ever met. If an outsider looked at either of them, it would to assume that they were living unhealthy lifestyles. That assumption would be wrong.

Health at Every Size doesn't mean that everyone is healthy. It just means that it is possible to be healthy outside of the traditional weight restrictions. The movement isn't about losing weight or not losing weight. It's about changing priorities to something more attainable: living a healthy life. Chances are that if an obese person starts leading a healthy life, he or she will lose weight. But it doesn't have to be the primary goal. It's often damaging when it is.

4. People are allowed to not be attracted to certain body types.
That's true. There are plenty of people who I am not attracted to. I don't expect everyone to be attracted to me. In fact, I assume that most people won't be attracted to me. It's a damaging assumption, but it's one that society has been telling me my entire life. There are people out in the world who are attracted to bigger women, but don't like to admit it because it goes against the norm. Or when they do admit it, it gets shrugged off as a weird fetish.

5. Food addiction is a real medical problem.
Yes, some overweight people have eating disorders. Yes, I would consider myself to be one of them. But I am just one person. I don't know how many of my friends who are overweight also have eating disorders. Just like I don't know how many of my friends who are underweight have eating disorders. You can be overweight without an underlying mental illness.

6. Childhood obesity is something we can’t be accepting of.
The amount of children who are overweight is upsetting. But isn't making those children hate themselves before they get a chance to love themselves even more upsetting? Like I said before, if you are positive about yourself, you are more likely to make the right choices. Promoting a negative self worth does far more harm than good.

People misunderstand Fat Acceptance the same way they misunderstand Feminism. Fat Acceptance is not about saying that someone who is 400 lbs is healthy, just like Feminism is not about women being better than men. There are small, extreme, and outspoken groups in both movements that promote negative stereotypes. But nobody has the right to tell that 400 lb person that she shouldn't feel positive about her body. Maybe she used to be 500 lbs, so 400lbs is an amazing accomplishment. We are more than the number on a scale.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bad Decisions

Blank Space is my favourite song off of the new Taylor Swift album. Although, I am almost disappointed that it was released as a single. That means that I will probably be very sick of it soon. But until that time, I'm gonna love the heck out of it. I am also gonna love the heck out this parody, Plank Space, which sometimes feels all too much like my life.


Best line of the video: We could make a cheat day last all weekend. Story of my life.

It has not been a good week, food wise at least. One bad decision leads to another and another. I don't know why it has to happen that way. But it happens this way every time.

I did end up winning my diet bet this month. Barely. I received an email last night saying that I didn't win even though I made my weight and it had been verified. I went into my account to investigate. I guess what had happened was that my weight got switched to kilograms instead of pounds. So instead showing the 6lb loss, it should that I had gained 250lbs. I had thought that the verification process would have found a mistake like this, but I fell through the cracks.

The Diet Bet support staff was very helpful and switched me into the winning category. I was just hoping to get the money back that I had put into the round, but the staff put me back into the winning category. Yay!

I'm glad I didn't have to weigh in again, because I'm sure I've gained in the past few days. Like I said before, I haven't been making good decisions since I finished that round.

Which leads me to Weigh In Wednesday. I don't have a number today. I left my phone at work last night. My phone is also my alarm system. Needless to say, I didn't wake up on time. No time for the scale.

Because of the weird Diet Bet error, I was able to realize that I have reached a milestone. Everyone gets so excited about making it to Onederland. But just before Onederland is a stop at Double Digit Kiloland. That is where I am right now. Out of the 100s, at least I was during the weigh in. I'm sure I will have a few more stops at Double Digit Kiloland before I leave it in the dust, but I'm so happy to know that I am in the area.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas

I have a confession to make... I kinda liked Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever.


Black Friday shopping never used to be a thing in Canada. We are all about Boxing Day. Last year was the first year that I noticed any stores putting any effort into keeping shoppers from crossing the border. This year there were a lot of stores that were offering pretty good discounts. Although a lot of the better deals were actually on the Saturday instead of the Friday. Makes sense since most Canadians have to work on the Friday.

I found the perfect holiday dress to wear to the epic hotel party that I will be attending on New Year's Eve. It's purple (my favourite colour). It's completely covered in sequins (my favourite fabric... Yes, I consider it a fabric). And it has a pretty sheer fabric covering part of the dress that hides flaws and makes it look more sophisticated (because I'm 30 now, yo). Reitman's had a Black Saturday sale where everything in the store was 40% off, including my dress. The catch was that the sale started at 8am and only lasted for two hours.

So what does this have to do with Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever? I'm getting to it. Be patient.

On Saturday morning, I dragged myself out of bed and headed to the mall. It had snowed the night before, which meant that the roads were vacant (my people don't do snow).

Entering the mall was like entering the Twilight Zone. All of the stores were still closed. The escalators had turned into stairs. There was nobody around. It was a ghost town. I almost wondered if I had got the times wrong and maybe the store wouldn't be open after all.

Thankfully it was, and thankfully I got my dress... in a Size 16! Woot! I actually could have gone down to the 14, but the 16 was slightly longer (goes better with that whole sophisticated thing that I am trying to achieve). I was swimming in my usual 18. I'm sure part of it was vanity sizing, but it was pretty exciting to know that I could wear a 14 again.

Okay, okay, I'm getting to the movie.

When I got home I threw on Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever that I had saved on the PVR. It made for the perfect soundtrack to decorating my little apartment.


I wasn't expecting all to have such a strong sense of Deja Vu while watching this movie. Remember when I told you about how eerie it was walking around a vacant mall (oh, come on, it was only three paragraphs ago), well, guess where most of the movie takes place? Can't figure it out? A deserted mall!

You're probably thinking 'big whoop,' and you'd be right. It's not that crazy. The crazy part comes from the fact that it was the SAME mall. Okay, fine. Maybe that doesn't make it that crazy either, but it felt very surreal to me.

What was also surreal was knowing some of the cast members. I used to work with one of the actors. I always get excited when I see him in things. Another one of the actors was friends with my brother at one point. I think they were on the same lacrosse team.

What I loved
  • Aubrey Plaza's sarcastic and self-aware voice overs were on point. She was the perfect choice for the role. Although I did have a hard time picturing Grumpy Cat as a woman, which was something that Grumpy Cat even addressed in the dialogue.
  • That there was a twist! I won't spoil it for you, but the fact it existed at all made me happy.
  • The little girls that got coal in their stockings. That was a nice touch.

What I didn't love
  • I didn't really love the main character. She was a cute little girl, but I just wasn't feeling it. I don't know if it was a casting thing or just poor direction or writing. It was probably the too ripped jeans, so let's blame the costume department.
  • There should have been more of the B story... or less of it. I didn't care about this couple at all. Maybe if they had a few extra scenes to get to know them better, things would have been different. They could have also been more involved with the main story. Noticing that the little girl was gone would have helped.
Should you watch this movie? Probably. I have tried to get through at least six other made for TV Christmas movies this holiday season and I just can't do it. They are all really boring and bland. Grumpy Cat was the only one that I was able to get through. Back to the classics for me (re: Love Actually, Scrooged, Home Alone, etc)

TIP: You can usually tell how good a TV Christmas movie is going to be based on the font of the title credits. No joke. The better the movie, the better the font. I don't know why all the bad movies use such atrocious fonts, but they do, and it makes it easy to tell just how horrible a movie is going to be. I have tested this theory. It works.