#FlexFriday Brings Changes

Hard work pays off!

This week marks a couple big changes for me. First, this week will be my last check in with my Fitness and Nutrition Coach Corey. I have mixed feelings about this and it was totally my decision yet…. I am freaking out too. I know I am ready to fly solo, at my request he now has me set up on maintenance and I have a couple awesome weight training programs he made for me. Yet the thought gives me butterflies, I am nervous that I will fail without him but on the other hand I feel like I know my shit and it’s time. Since working with Corey, I have lost a total of 22lbs in the 5 months, 16lbs of that was weight I had gained back over the winter last year after hitting my lowest weight of 174lbs with Weight Watchers. I have since hit a new low weight of 168lbs for a total loss of 210lbs. It’s funny, I didn’t blog about that new low; for one I worry less about the scale and more on my physique but also because I am finding not everyone understands why I keep “working” on this aspect of my life so I didn’t want to feed the “judgers”.  I think the coolest part of my experiences with Corey, other than some of the hilarious conversations we have had, is how much I have learned from him.  When it comes to weight training, he knows his shit.  When it comes to food and nutrition, he not only knows his shit but he also understands what it can be like to have food issues.  I came into Macros way of eating with some baggage, confused about what and when you should eat; Corey has helped me navigate my fears with food. The difference having my intake calculated properly so I can get the most out of my training had a huge impact on my performance.  I was able to build muscle while cutting but at the same time my running improved immensely.  I am running distances I have never done before and race paces I have never hit, all because of a proper caloric intake and a proper weight training program. I still can’t believe how much weight training changes a person’s physique.  I am only a few pounds lower than my lowest weight yet I am at least 2 sizes smaller because of the toning weight training has given me. People see me and think I have lost tons more weight but I really haven’t it’s just that I am more compact. I have learned to accept my body with the “cottage cheese” skin on my legs and saggy arm skin, I have also learned that I “see” this more than others which helps me be a bit more confident and accepting of how I look.

Funny story, I ran past a flag person (lady) yesterday and then when I ran past her on my return I took my ear buds out to ask her if it was safe to pass.  She didn’t answer my question, she said “you have an amazing body, how do you get like that? Are you a body builder?” I laughed and said “no, but I do lift weights”.  She said, “well, you look insanely awesome”…. This made me smile inside and out because it’s moments like that that I go inside and remind myself that 4 years ago she likely would have either not noticed me at all or if she did it would have been “wow, look how big that lady is”…. So, moments like this are cool reminders of how far I have come.

This week is also the week I submit my final paper for my Graduate Certificate in Leadership, with one week left of mostly closing conversations with my amazing cohort.  It is hard articulate how much this program has impacted my life. Magic happened during our residency, we bonded and became close friends, we learned the importance of vulnerability and how we “show up” impacts everyone around you. I will miss everyone so much, keeping in touch will be a huge priority for me. The program ends at a time that sees me resuming my old role as Program Coordinator after being an Acting School Manager for the past year. This program has not only helped me navigate this transition but more importantly it has also helped me define my personal values and vision.  One of the courses of this certificate was around personal leadership which took me on an exploration of “who am I?” because you need to know yourself to lead others well. This really helped me define where I see myself in a few years and what my true passions are.  My passion is to help others get healthy and hopefully help others transform their lives like I have; recognizing that doing that without a coach from the start made my transformation so much harder so I am hoping that I can coach others through their own journey. I will continue to work on my leadership and enhancing my career wherever that may take me but I am also going to take a nutritional coaching program so that I can start helping others find a healthy lifestyle.  I have found that my Leadership program aligns nicely with coaching by learning more about self, working with others and systems thinking also enhances my ability as a coach. So, my next steps are to find friends and family that want to be my test clients, ha! while I wait for the next intake for the program I want to do.

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Peeling the layers – Getting to the Core

Peeling the layers of an onion, is what I think of when I think about how my transformation has taken place over the past few years.

The first layer was dry and hard, protecting the layers underneath. The onion had lost context to what was under those layers for many years.

When the onion peeled off the second layer, this was opening itself up to what may be possible. The second layer was tentative, guarded but hopeful.

The next layer really started to get into the meat of the onion. Things started to get exciting but there were still many layers to go, in many ways this was the easy part; not too dry and hard anymore but not yet able to get to the core. Sense of what to explore more.

The fourth layer, oh the excitement is building, the onion is getting close to core and things are starting to take shape. But with excitement comes confusion. The onion no longer looks like an onion, what is it? Confusion sets in. The onion needs to figure out who it is.

Pause. The onion steps back a bit and stops peeling layers. Time to sort out if it is still an onion or perhaps it has morphed into something else, who am I?

Reflect.

Peeling off the final layer, exposing the core. The onion now recognizes that in fact, it is the same onion that was first planted. Over time the layers had covered up the good meat of the onion but now we see the onion for who it is.

I am whole; I am beautiful!

#TransformationTuesday -The Transformation is Beautiful – The Journey Never Ends

The transformation or the journey never really ends. That is what I am learning as I continue to navigate my new life. The transformation is beautiful, the journey is fun but it never will really end for me. I think early on I always thought of this as once I get to that weight I will with just maintain it and get on with living. Partly that is true but I am also learning that the journey never ends, the focus just shifts as you constantly evolve into this new person but at the same time I am very much LIVING! I picked this picture because there was a day I couldn’t see myself living; never mind the thought of flying. Well today I am flying, but this flight has just begun… Time is precious so I chose to live life as hard as I can, while I can.

I am often questioned because I am still “losing” or what I am more familiar with now is the term cutting. Because although I am “losing”, hitting my lowest weight yet of 170lbs for total weight lose now of 208lbs, my focus has shifted to cutting fat. So as some may question why I am still doing this, it’s more about my body fat and trying to be the best version of me physically and mentally, this is where the journey will never end.  For me now, it’s like my running; I run because I love it and because I am constantly trying to get better and faster. It’s the same with my body, I think I look great but that doesn’t mean I should ever stop working on making it even better.  I am still cutting fat, so that means I can still manage to cut a bit more before I go into maintenance; it’s not an unhealthy thing to always try to better your physique, I would argue that we should always be working on ourselves.  My fat lose has slowed on my upper body but my hips and legs are still cutting fat, this is one of many benefits of looking beyond the scale and taking measurements, the scale is less of a focus for me now because it will fluctuate with my period, my salt intake from the day before, etc.. measurements don’t lie.  My mental transformation is no different; I am constantly working on being a better healthier version of myself.  Losing myself and re-connecting with the old better me comes with baggage and lots of confusion but as I navigate through the journey things become clearer and I am a stronger version of myself because of it.

I still set goals for myself.  I had to shift my way of thinking and eating when I moved to Macros, with that shift I had decided to hire a fitness and nutrition coach.  I had to two goals for myself, lose the 16lbs I had regained from being off on my surgery and hit 170lbs ( a new low weight) and learning how to lift weights properly so that I could be the lightest and strongest version of my current self for Tough Mudder this year.  Well this week is Tough Mudder week and I could not be happier with where I am at right now.  I have the lowest body fat I probably have ever had, lightest weight since grade 10 maybe (?) and I am so much physically stronger than I have ever been.  I have been lifting weights now for almost 3 solid months under my program that my coach Corey set up and it’s insane how much more weight I can lift from three months ago. What is even more insane to me is how much a person’s body composition changes when you lift weights. It’s weird because I am only 4lbs lighter than my lowest after Weight Watchers but I have really noticed people’s reaction lately when they see me.  “Wow, you are so fit” — THANK YOU, I don’t want, “WoW, you are so skinny” anymore, it’s not my goal, I want to be fit! I am excited to have my weekend in Whistler getting muddy, being challenged physically and mentally.  I get to leave my scales at home, no tracking, just me, my family, a fair bit of beer and Whistler; it’s going to be a freaking blast.  I am looking forward to a few days off the strict way of living to allow myself to have some fun.  This is why I work hard on myself so I can allow myself some fun too.  My short goal once I get home will be to get back at it and lose anything that I retain from my weekend of fun and transition into figuring out how to maintain my fitness, my family, my work and my schooling….. Yep, that’s right I am going to be a student again for three months.

For the next few months, which include two weeks on-campus in a residency I will be taking the Graduate Certificate in Leadership at Royal Roads University.  Three months may not be a long time but 20 hrs. will be a tough thing to add into my schedule, anyone that follows me on social media knows how busy I like to be with my fitness so I will have to make some sacrifices along the way.  This is why I did decide to continue with having a fitness and nutrition coach over the summer.  I am hoping with having that commitment will keep me accountable to myself as much as my studies.  I would be devastated if I finished my certificate and had not at least maintained the hard work I have done.

I recently ran my third half marathon and second one of 2017, taking off 8 mins of my time from my last one I ran in March.  I think it’s a combination of having a great program designed for me, hard work; weight lifting and proper nutrition that has helped me get there.  I have signed up for the Goodlife Half Marathon in the fall with the goal to make myself make time for my runs during my studies.   I am sorry this is a long blog but it’s safe to say that I won’t have much time to blog over the next few months.  🙂

 

Getting Comfortable in My Own Skin

Top two are late March 2017 — Bottom three are today after breakfast 🙂

For the past couple weeks and even more so this week I have found myself super self conscious about my extra skin. It’s so frustrating to know I am making gains at the gym, I know I am – I see it, but I have been so dragged down with negative thoughts about how I look to others. I have avoided sharing before and after pictures since I started with my coach Corey because they kind of make me feel bad about myself, to be honest.  But as I sit here feeling pretty shitty about myself, I reminded myself that I started this blog to document my entire journey; the good, the bad and the ugly… and my legs are ugly which is why there are no recent pictures of those suckers yet. (baby steps) I am 7 weeks into my program with my coach Corey and I am seeing huge results- which is AWESOME!  I am losing body fat but as I expected the skin is sagging even more.

On one hand, I could tell myself it looks a bit better because the skin isn’t as fatty anymore but the reality is the skin just hangs there. I often look at other women working out and admire their nice muscles and I think to myself, people aren’t going to see that when the look at me. They are going to be thinking, hmm… what’s her story why does she have shit falling out all over the place. LOL It’s not funny but I have to just laugh because the only other option would be to cry out of pure frustration.

So this isn’t meant to be a pity party, but I do like to keep shit real here and the reality is this is me and I need to be comfortable in my own skin.  This picture isn’t about vanity, its about keeping track and keeping me in check of how much work I have done.  Skin or no skin at least I am building muscle and getting stronger.

This is me!

I LOVE Leg Day 🙂

Three months ago, I decided to take a huge leap of faith in myself and trust that I can manage my intake without Weight Watchers. As I have mentioned in my couple blogs I am now following flexible dieting, I will always appreciate where WW got me but it was time for me to move on. I proved I can manage my eating without the Weight Watchers program, the first couple months were good, with minimal weight loss results but my training started to improve which I think was a direct result in taking in a proper amount of food while being as active as I am. What I lacked was the knowledge of how to manage or customize my daily intake based on my output and a general lack of knowledge on how to lift weights properly and safely.  As I mentioned in my last blog, that is why on April 1 I had decided to go with the coaching option through Macros Inc, my coach Corey has been a fitness coach for many years and has also lost tons of weight himself so it’s nice to have a coach that can relate to what I have accomplished.

The amount of information I am getting from their Facebook page is mind blowing, it’s been an interest of mine for a long time so it’s cool to have so much information available to me everyday.   I am currently sitting at 184lbs, which is still 10lbs from my lowest weight after losing the original 205lbs, but the crazy thing is, I am smaller now than I was then.  Since my coaching with Corey started, I have lost 7lbs in the first month and a crazy amount of cms off all parts of my body.  As part of the coaching, Corey has provided me with a weight lifting program, I can’t believe how much a proper weight lifting program is changing my body composition.  I am learning tons about how to safely lift weights and so grateful that I have him to answer all my silly rookie questions. And… I freaking LOVE lifting weights now.  The accountability of having that check in on Saturday mornings has been super helpful with keeping me committed to tracking everything.  This past week was a reminder that you really do have to eat all my food, although I saw more come off in my measurements, my weight loss was only 1.5lbs which is still good but it had slowed but when he looked at my overall average intake over the week I hadn’t eaten enough on previous Saturday, which is my long run and when I have the highest caloric intake which I didn’t end up using last week.  So, it’s a good reminder that the key to this is fueling my body because I am a very active girl. 🙂

I am starting to see baby muscles in my arms, back and abs.  My legs, well I know they are there as it’s probably the strongest part of my body but my excess skin from my weight loss makes them a bit less “pretty” but it’s a small price to pay and a reminder of my old life and how far I have come; and who knows, maybe as I lose the rest of my body fat, my muscles will start to show better there too. The fatty skin on my arms is slowly becoming less obvious too so I am hopeful by the time I am done with losing I will be happy with my body fully and completely.

I know my family and friends are going to see my face soon and say I look “gaunt” I have heard it before but to all those that worry that I will lose too much weight, not to worry, I eat TONS of food, but it’s the right food and although my face is sliming down I am building muscle at the same time.  I still have work to do and this just may be the face you will need to get used too. 🙂 Last week was the first week in probably almost a year that I have been able to swim because of the going shoulder saga from 2015 Tough Mudder, it felt so good to be back.  Last week I also did a back to back yoga session, Moksha Flow and then Yin, it’s probably been 6 months since I was able to Flow. I ride my bike to work every other day again and getting ready to run my second half marathon in 2017, whoop!

I feel like I am Robynne2.0, I feel amazing, I feel like I am building on the person I became a year and half ago but even healthier and stronger.  For me, mentally that first year after hitting goal was a bit of a mind fuck but I am happy to say I have figured out who I am and never felt better and more confident in who I am. Best feeling ever!

Fitness – I just can’t get enough!

Firstly, did you know that Mountain Bike for Her did a story on me?  I know, totally awesome and it can be purchased at any Chapters store or online through the Mountain Bike for Her website.  So grateful to them for sharing my story.  They are local too, I am a big fan of #shoppinglocal so go out and buy your copy and read all about me.  🙂

Secondly, I ran my second half-marathon EVER! Super pumped to have another one under my belt and one more fast approaching!  I was fairly happy with my time, a bit slower than I wanted but I was really happy with how smart I ran.  I managed to pace myself so I had enough in the tank to finish strong.  I am more than half way through the Vancouver Island Race Series, as the series is almost over, I am shifting gears to focus on the Oak Bay Kool Half which happens at the end of May. Training has been going well, considering I am staggering my long runs between the series races. Yah for injury free me! (knock on wood)

Thirdly, I hired a fitness and nutrient coach, his name is Corey Robb and I found him through Macros Inc. Super pumped about this!  I have been using macros (flexible eating) to track my food intake since early February. My weight loss has been slow but I am loving that I can eat properly while I train without hindering my weight loss. I still have 10lbs to go but the decision to go to a one to one coaching service through Macros Inc will help get me to my goal to lower my body fat and get stronger and more toned, “ripped” as they say.  🙂  And when I say 10lbs, I mean I have at least that, my final weight will really depend on where my overall body fat is, I am hoping to get this down into the low-low twenties which likely means more than 10lbs but we will see. The support you get from the admins at Macros Inc has been amazing, even their free version is awesome, but I think the coaching is the way to go to make sure I get the results I am looking for.  I have been lifting weights now for a couple months, I see and feel improvement but I didn’t really know what I am doing so starting April 1st I will be following the plan he has customized for me. The advantage to having a coach design a program that takes into consideration of all my fitness activities while customizing my intake for my food is that it allows me a lot of flexibility with this way of eating while still losing or “cutting” as they call it. 🙂  I think this is going to help me get to my goals faster as well it will help me be more accountable on the weekends but he has customized my intake to allow for a bit of fun one day a week.  He has recommends that I only do weights three times a week, which means I can start fitting in some of my other activities back into my routine. He has already sent me my work out plans for April 1 so I did a couple test workouts this week  and it’s safe to say after my leg workout I did this morning, sitting down tomorrow is going to a challenge. HA!

I am still struggling a bit with my shoulder but I am going to start biking again and gradually returning to yoga.  I went to a Moksha Music yoga class at Moksha Yoga Westshore again for the first time since November, I had to make some minor adjustments to accommodate my shoulder but for the most part it felt good and it was absolutely amazing to be back on my mat.  I have been holding off on biking because I was training for my half marathon and I live up a huge steep hill so I was trying to save my legs for my runs, but I now realize I just need to do it, my legs will adapt and get used to the extra work out.

I sure have missed both so looking forward to getting back into it.  Later Gators!  🙂

 

Wholy MACRO Change is good!

is-1

Well after two years, 1 month I have decided to track a different way. It was a tough decision and one I do with caution. So much caution that I have yet to cancel my online membership but I feel like I am on the right track so far. I have decided to track my food using the Macro system though My Fitness Pal. Why? With the amount of exercise I do I was so tired of being hangry, constantly chasing the hunger. I think Weight Watchers is a great program and it totally works for weight loss but I really struggled with hunger as I ramped up my fitness. I found the assessment tool just doesn’t capture the amount of activity I do. As well, as much as I love that “free” fruit, it was allowing me to eat endlessly even when I knew I wasn’t hungry. Now I am limited to one banana a day versus usually at least 2 and at times 3. Way too much sugar!  I was added to the Macro Inc Facebook page, which is free unless you want one to one coaching, so far I have found it to be a great source of information and super supportive to newbies.

Don’t get me wrong, I was still losing on Weight Watchers, in fact over the last two weeks I had lost 4lbs but I was always hungry. I tracked in both systems for a few days and I found I was living off 1800 calories with Weight Watchers versus the 2300 that Macros was suggesting based on my activity level. I am tracking my food very closely and it’s early but I am already down another 2lbs. I wouldn’t expect lose at the rate to continue, probably just the initial shock of a change and then things will slow down.  I also thought after so many years of doing the same thing that a mix up to my routine foods would help. One thing I have incorporated is protein powder to my day, this wouldn’t have fit in my points for the day but it does with my macros. I can already feel the difference in less than a week just being able to have more protein daily is huge for me. I did a long run yesterday and it’s the best I felt after a run in months. It feels so good to nourish my body when it needs it.

By carefully counting and planning ahead for my day I am far happier without hunger. This by no way means I think less of the program that got me to where I am today. It just means that I am to the point in my fitness that I need more than it can offer me.  I was bored with my food options so by changing my daily intake a bit it has forced me to eat differently which I find entertaining, I know I am weird. 🙂  I don’t think there is a perfect solution but I think changing things up for a little while is always a good thing.  At the end of the day, it’s about tracking whichever way you do it, do it accurately and stay active and the rest will take care of itself.  Whatever I decide I am well on my way to hit my goal to be down 10lbs by the end of February, I may in fact crush that goal. 🙂