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!

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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. 🙂

Routines and Goals – My Sanity!

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#Truth

I know it’s been a while since I did a post so I thought it was time for me to do an update on my progress.

Although I am still working on my shoulder issues things seem be getting better to the point that I have been able to get back into somewhat of a routine. It always amazes me how important these routines are for my mental health. The second half of 2016 was riddled with obstacles for those routines and it took its toll but I am firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I just don’t always know what the reason was until it’s in the past.

I have had a couple learning lessons. My first lesson was that when injury takes away the things I love to do, instead of sitting and doing nothing, the fighter in me should have been out trying new things rather than feeling sorry for myself. My second lesson was trying to not count points when my physical activities where decreased due to injury. I think I can revisit that idea one day but only when I am fully back into my fitness routine.

On January 8th I did my first Vancouver Island Race Series race. That same week I had decided to sign up for a Moksha Fit session, knowing I can’t due regular yoga yet but I had heard that it was something that I can do by making alterations to accommodate my shoulder injury. I am now back to my run club, Frontrunners Athletic Club, ran out of the Frontrunners in Westshore, boy did I miss that! The minute I was in my car driving to my first #VIRS race, my mind was more clear and I was less controlled by what I couldn’t do and more powered on what I could do. It was then I realized I had been a bucket of self-pity. I was disappointed that I could go there but I wasn’t in a good head space so the bad over-took the good.

Although, not a ton has changed with my shoulder injury, my neck is better so I can now focus and train for my half marathons for the spring. I still need to be mindful of my shoulders, but at the same time I have Tough Mudder in June so I am feeling super motivated to figure this shit out so I can ramp up my strength training. That is where Moksha Fit comes in; it has proven to me that there are things I can be doing in the gym to build strength. Just because I am not 100% doesn’t mean I can’t give it 100% everywhere else. Just being around my running and yoga community again has helped me feel strong and ready for challenges. They are inspiring to be around and everyone is dealing with some form of limitation due to physical or emotional issues.

As for my weight, I finally weighed in and I have some work to do. Between my post-surgery 10lbs and my injury-self-pity session over Christmas I managed to pack on 20lbs total. So to some of you that will be a jaw dropper, to me it’s a good lesson on respecting what worked and sadly where I am most comfortable, always working towards a goal, I am far from panicking about this. Aside from my legs being bigger, I really don’t notice it much but it’s enough that I am not staying here. Sadly, this is where I feel most comfortable, I love having that goal to achieve. I have been tracking, eating super clean, weighing and measuring and I already know I am down 3lbs this week but tomorrow is my official weigh in day. I have set a goal to be down 10lbs by the end of February and then I will set the next goal.

New Year – New Outlook

After a rough year, nothing is better than finishing the year off with friends for life!
After a rough year, nothing is better than finishing the year off with friends for life!

So, 2016 didn’t turn out to be the best year ever for me. Sure, I finally got that beauty tummy tuck, and I will be forever grateful for that but the year came with a lot of ups and downs and pretty much consisted of me being off my routine either due to recovering from surgery or battling injuries. This was the first real test since my lifestyle change and to some degree I past and on some level, I failed but I am ready to say goodbye to the past and focus on today and the future!

My 2017 will be all about getting this injury dealt with and mixing up my training so I have more strength training during my routines so I hopefully can avoid injuries going forward. I think most of my issues stem from alignment which is probably a result of my many years of not being active and packing around so much weight. I have many runs planned and a Tough Mudder in June. I have challenged myself to 3 months of no alcohol to help get my weight back down to where I am happy. The challenge just allows me to avoid those unnecessary calories that I usually don’t mind taking in when I am active but until I can be as active as I used to be I need to avoid this.

Back to the basics! Over the past few months I have become slack with weighing and measuring my foods so I now revisiting all those tricks that really helped me get to my lowest. I am still registered as a Weight Watchers Online member but I am not currently using the tools. I am trying to challenge and prove to myself that I now have all the tools/knowledge to do this on my own. I will see how it goes for a couple months and if I am not getting the results I want then I will go back to tracking but it’s my overall goal to be able to live life without requiring the everyday tracking. I haven’t weighed in since the beginning of the holidays, which at that point things were looking good but I know I had some bad days over the holidays, especially considering I wasn’t able to run them off so I will give myself a couple weeks of clean eating before I do a check in. This is more of a mental thing for me, I know I put on a few pounds over the holiday but I tend to get to wrapped up in a number so to avoid a downhill spiral of emotional beating myself up it’s an onward and upward approach, no looking back and I am going to kill it in 2017!

I think I have learned over the last few years that this battle will never be over. I think we will live in a constant cycle of trying to improve, getting lost, and then trying to improve again. This is life, always changing, always being challenged and we are always finding a way to adapt to what life throws at us.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this year brings us all good health, many miles of running, miles of cycling and muddy obstacles to climb and have fun doing them!

Three Years Later #transformationtuesday

 

It will be one year this weekend since I hit my goal weight with Weight Watchers and almost three years since it all started. I cannot believe how much has happened over the past few years.  I created a video to capture my last few years of this amazing journey.

My last year in review – I have been feeling bad that some of my blogs have been negative or confusing, one minute I am blogging that “I got this” and the next one I am blogging about confusion but it’s because that is how my last year has went for me, that has been my life. It’s been a fucking roller coaster! If someone said, “go off and lose 200lbs, you will never be more confused” I wouldn’t have believed them but it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets obviously, but transitioning from obesity to healthy and fit has come with some emotional struggles. I went from being able to control everything in my life while I was in losing mode to having to adapt and change as my life did, seems easy? Not for me, but I am learning to let go of some of this and take it one day at a time.

I think a transformation like I have done usually starts with someone starting to deal with whatever made them over eat in the first place.  I didn’t do this before I started; I was simply just desperate and knew I had to do something before it was too late.  I think that is what has made this year so difficult, this year has been a challenge for many reasons but one of them has been processing how I used to deal with issues or how I didn’t do right by myself because I didn’t have the confidence to.  I can’t live with regret, and I don’t, but it has taken a great deal of reflection to say goodbye to some of those demons and embrace life today and be so grateful for all the love and support I am surrounded by.

I am slowly learning that for my mental health I need to try to only focus on the scale once a week. I have went back and forth on this topic all year long, and blogged about it, sorry 🙂 but I have come to the conclusion that I can only check in once a week and I need to trust that I have equipped myself with the tools and lifestyle to maintain my weight.

Maintain, you say? Yes, I know I am 10lbs heavier than my goal weight and I hope to address that over time but to be honest, I love my body and it took a great deal of reflection to try and let go of the 174lbs for now and embrace the 180’s. At the end of the day, I think I look healthy and I feel amazing, so why would I go down the spiral of worrying about the 10lbs gained while off recovering from my surgery. As some of you know I am back on Weight Watchers online, being true to what really worked for me, when I switched over I changed my goal weight from 174lbs to 180lbs because I recognized that I am happy at the weight for now at least.  When I first hit goal weight, I struggled because I didn’t have a goal to work towards after 2 years for living “goal focused” I felt lost. Now my goal should be and eventually will be to get rid of those 10lbs but to be honest, meh, maybe one day. It just doesn’t seem like it’s something I need to focus on at this point, now that being said, I still count points, I am always pushing myself to incorporate a bit more for fitness but that 10lbs is not owning me anymore because I LOVE me! I realize and always am reminding myself of the risks and I will not allow myself to slowly gain more weight. The only reason my weight is higher is from being off on my surgery, which was the best thing I have ever done for myself, so NO regrets.

My surgery and recovering from my surgery ended up being, although freaking fantastic results, a super challenging time for me.  First I had to accept that I couldn’t do any activity and specifically core stuff for 8 weeks.  Then I struggled with worrying about the potential weight gain, for my sanity I had to realize I couldn’t worry about it and that I could deal with anything once was running. I still tracked but there were a lot of events happening in my life in those two months, which resulted in the gain. C’est la vie

Going forward – My next year will be full of running, biking and yoga. I have several races happening in the spring, including 2 half marathons. I will be participating in Tough Mudder in Whistler again this year after missing last year due to my surgery. If all goes well and my body doesn’t hate me, I still plan to run my first full marathon in October at the Victoria Goodlife; we will see how my body holds out for me.

Thanks for everyone that follows my blog and sticking with me through this year of confusion, clarity and rewards. Life is great!