Wednesday, January 22, 2014
3 years ago, when I joined SP in 2011, I made a goal of climbing a mountain. The first mountain was a figurative one, losing the weight that was stopping me from climbing a real mountain. On January 8th 2014, I climbed a 13,000ft volcano near my home in Guatemala. This volcano is called, Acatenango, which shoulders an active volcano named Fuego.
Fuego is the smoking one on the left. Acatenango has two peaks, on the right.
I had two fears about this climb. First, I was scared of slowing everyone down and being the one that everyone has to wait for, especially with the 40lb pack on my back. Second, I was scared that my breathing would not allow me make it to the top. The first hour was bad. It was a straight hike up in sand. I questioned my sanity but sheer stubborness and short breathing breaks kept me going.
I remember thinking at this point: what did I get myself into?
But I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. After about an hour, my breathing calmed down and I no longer felt like I was on the brink of an asthma attack. From that point on, I was at the front. It felt so amazing to have to stop for the others!
I've come so far! It was the most amazing and memorable experience. The beauty that surrounded us was incredible. And I realized that I am strong enough! If I just push through the tough times, nothing can stop me! This is one of the most challenging hikes in Central America and I made it to the top in 5.5 hours!
So yes, I was on top of the world!
Friday, November 22, 2013
Like most people, I've bought clothes for my 'estimated' goal weight. Over the years, I've accumulated a few, especially pants. And every once in a while I go through them and try everything on. Today, I did the rounds again and tried it all on.
I'm happy to report that I no longer own anything that is too small!!! Everything fit or was too big! What a weird feeling to not own any clothing that I'm working towards fitting into! WOW! What a feeling accomplishment.
This really highlighted for me the importance of strength training. In 2011, I weighed about 5 lbs less than I do now but couldn't fit into a certain pair of non-stretch pants (size 6). And yet, even with the extra weight, I can now. Just goes to show that sometimes the scale gives you grief, but it doesn't mean there aren't any changes!
On other fronts, still sick. It's really affecting my breathing which is made worse by living at high altitude. Still not exercising, trying to save my strength. My family arrives on Sunday and Monday. My parents, my grandparents, my brother and sister in law and my great aunt. I haven't seen any of my family in at least 1 year some almost 2 years. So this is a big reunion. We rented a beach house for the week. I'm getting all the groceries bought and organized before they come since there's no grocery stores near the house. Also, I made cabbage rolls today, my Ukranian great grand-mother's recipe. We might be making pierogies also while they're here. So food galore! But I plan on enjoying myself without going crazy. I see some pool exercises will be in order :)
Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend! Rock on!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
After completing my dietbet in October, I had decided to do a 5 week strength training and squat challenge. I have 3 days left to it and I wanted to share what I've learnt.
First, I've realized that I really need to work on my upper body strength. Don't get me wrong, I can lift heavy things. In fact, I lift 10 pails of 20 liters of water for every load of laundry I do. But I really struggled with the military push-ups. My elbows hurt afterwards. But I like the way it started to define my shoulders. So I really need to keep Upper Body exercises on my list.
The challenge I set for myself was 6 days a week of strength training, 6 days a week of squats (up to 250) and push-ups, on top of my regular 45-60 mins of cardio daily. I've realized that this is a bit much for me. I end up working out around 2 hrs a day, every day. Moving forward, I think that I will reduce my strength training to 3 times a week. Much easier to maintain long term.
I've seen a big difference in the month. I feel stronger and leaner. It has slowed down my weight loss but I've lost an inch each on my waist, hips and thighs. I'm now 1.4 lbs away from goal. It has shown me that losing weight isn't everything. You can stay at the same weight but lose inches and look a lot better, stronger and much more toned. I'm glad that I decided to up my weight goal. I won't feel pressured by the scale and can just focus on getting toned. Any other weight loss will be bonus.
Funny story: last night I wore a dress that was tight in August and fit fine in September. Its a tailored dress, no stretch. I had it made so it basically fit me like glove. Anyways, I asked my husband to zip me up and he says: the dress is kinda loose on you, honey. Actually, looks like you're wearing a paper bag. Haha! It now has about 6 inches of extra fabric. Anyways, others made comments last night about it too which is the first time anyone has said something. A great feeling! Perseverance pays off!
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
I don't want to bore you with what's been going on lately but I've been feeling really down for over a month. Struggling to get out of bed, get out of the door, have human interactions. Even seeing the weight going down doesn't even make me smile. I don't want to be a debbie downer so I won't dwell on why, just that I've having a hard time seeing myself as a valuable person. Anyways, despite these negative feelings, I have still persevered with my 5 week challenge, daily cardio and healthy eating habits.
Its really easy to drown your 'sorrows' in wine and chocolate. But part of this process and making better choices is learning how to process your feelings in a less self-destructive way. I am working on finding ways to deal with the negativity in a positive way. Because isn't this the vicious circle? You're faced with something that drags you down and then you try to make yourself feel better with poor food choices, which ends up making you feel even worse... Its so hard to break that destructive cycle. I think that that's half the battle.
I was reading something the other day about learning to love yourself. Self-love shouldn't be conditional on how much you weigh or what size clothing you wear. If you hate yourself when you're fat, then you still won't love yourself skinny. I need to love me for what I am and not what I'm not.
Take a moment to love yourself for what you are, what you've done, where you've been and where you're going. Its what makes you beautiful!
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