Category Archives: Fitness

Slip Sliding

I’m not very focused these days. I’m sure being jobless and watching the purse strings get tighter and tigher isn’t helping. I’m sure being in a new place isn’t helping. I’m sure feeling soley responsible for our survival isn’t really helping either. There’s most likely a lot contributing but regardless of what it is, I’m still more scattered than I’ve ever been.

I have slid, slid, sliiiiiid back in my health and fitness. I am SO frustrated yet clearly not committed to getting back on track. My eating is all good – minus sugar. I am a FIEND for sugar and we are possibly in the worst time of the year when it comes to treats and candy. Ugh. I have zero willpower around sugar. The SECOND dinner is over, I already start craving something sweet. I know I need to break this addiction but damn if it isn’t super tough.

Thank goodness I don’t have a scale right now because I would most likely break into tears. My body doesn’t FEEL good, inside OR out. I can FEEL flab where it wasn’t before and I am so uncomfortable. I was running when I first got here, but then a mystery ankle injury sidelined me as it tended to flare up even after a lot of walking around. The neighbours downstairs complained when I tried to work out in our livingroom. I can’t afford dance classes just yet and I am waiting until I have an income to join a gym so I can zone out on a treadmill. It sounds like so many excuses but I just…don’t know what to do right now. I can’t be the only one, can I?

When I was losing weight steadily, I was kind of work out and food crazy. I really don’t want to be like that again but fear I have to be. The small changes aren’t making the changes I want in my body. THey aren’t really getting me where I need to be.  What I need to be able to do, is jump and workout in my apartment. That’s so, so frustrating. My anxiety has me wound about the neighbours so I haven’t dared try in over a month. Running isn’t all that fun for me, I just do it because it’s cheap and ‘easy’. In other words, it doesn’t take any thought for me.  I do it because it helps my mind space out and give me the break that being anxious and highly sensitive will never, ever let me have.

I feel so awful about myself every day. I KNOW better. I KNOW what to eat. I KNOW that I have to move. Why is it so damn difficult? I feel like people look at me and frown, knowing how great I was looking before oh…the world felt like it was caving in on me.  If I’m honest, I barely made it through the summer so I know I should cut myself some slack.  I probably wasn’t that honest this summer with anyone, you, myself, my family. No one really knew how close I was to just…collapsing.

And then I moved across the country. Into another country. Where I’d be the sole earner. In an expensive, loud, busy new city. I guess there’s a bit of reason to be stressed, to have let myself fall by the wayside.

I’m just so frustrated guys. How the hell do I get out of this hole? How do I stop feeling sorry for myself, fearful, anxious and just..DO something?  I mean, I know it’ll get better and I’ll find a groove but for now, this sucks.

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Big Goals

This past week, I went to hear Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete speak about his brand new book of the same name. I had already pre-ordered his book through Amazon and wasn’t sure if I’d attend the signing but on the day of, I signed up for the waitlist. I figured if I got a ticket, great. If I didn’t – I was still getting a signed bookplate thanks to pre-ordering! Well I did get an invitation to go and while I was all fluttery about it I am SO GLAD that I went.

Matt spoke about setting BIG goals. This was in reference to running and sports, but as he was talking, I was thinking.  What was it that I really wanted to do with myself? Was there something athletically I wanted? What about the rest of life? He suggested that we probably already knew what this goal was and that it most likely felt or seemed impossible. He gave a few examples and spoke about creating goals that may seem impossible now but that are EXCITING to you or you won’t stay on track. He also suggested that you tell everyone you know. That blogging, calling it out on Facebook, telling family and friends, tweeting about it – are all ways to help you stay accountable. To help push you toward that exciting goal.

I’ve been tossing around a few ‘goals’ here and there lately. I’ve been meaning to really focus myself, nail some things down. I even got a new notebook and pen to write about my goals! To put them out there and think about them. Manifest your destiny, Sarah! I haven’t exactly done it yet. Womp, womp.

As Matt went on, I couldn’t help be inspired by his story. A normal, average, everyday guy that decided to run a marathon. After years of struggle (and many marathons later), he finally qualified for the Boston Marathon and now he has completed his first 100 Mile Ultramarathon. You heard that correctly. ONE HUNDRED MILES people! I can only imagine how impossible that must have seemed way back when, but now? It’s a reality of his.

Two things came out of this talk for me. Two goals. Two seemingly BIG goals to me. One I’ve tossed about on here, on twitter and with family friends but have yet to solidly commit to it. The other, I’ve spoken to absolutely NO ONE about. Hell, I’m still even hesitant to admit to myself that I want this. I also thought about you guys here, how supportive you all are and how maybe, you would be a motivation for me to keep on track.

Are you ready?

1. I want to be a midwife. 
2. I want to complete a triathlon.  

Sure the first seems so simple. Like of course Sarah – go do it. The fact is, it hasn’t been that easy for me. Back in July, I loosely made a plan in my head of how I would become a midwife.  I would use my time in New York constructively. I would become a Doula while here, using the vast resources of such a big city to help me gain experience and certification, making me a desirable candidate for UBC Midwifery School when we returned to Vancouver. I even downloaded several books from the Dona International certification reading list to my brand new kindle. Seems easy right? Well – since then I’ve had the dates of the course I wanted to take in my head. November 9th, 10th & 11th. Over and over, the dates rumbled in my head. I figured, if we had a little left over from our move and could spare it, maybe I’d take the course and get started. Then, some family gave me money to help us get settled here in NYC and I quietly earmarked it for this course. If I signed up before October 9th, I’d even get a discount.

Well, it’s October 5th. After hemming and hawing. After being scared and thinking of all the failures I could. After worrying about our financial state and my lack of employment. I took the leap. I registered.  I am registered for a Birth Doula Workshop in early November that counts as 2 out of 3 course requirements for certification as a Birth Doula.  I did it.

Goal #1 – started.

As far as Goal #2, it’s a bit more complicated. The day after Matt’s talk, I was reading Caitlin’s post about her triathlon. I read through the links she provided on training, what, where, how etc. I thought about it quietly to myself before even admitting it to Andrew. Then? I went to TriFind.com and started a search. Just a hypothetical ‘what if’ kind of search, I told myself.

I mean, I’m struggling to get back into fitness as it is, how could I do this? I don’t even LOVE running. Sure, I used to be a competitive swimmer, but I haven’t in YEARS. I don’t even have a bike!

All sorts of things ran through my head as to why I couldn’t possibly do it but as a sprint triathlon showed up in my search, for June 15th, the one thought that kept ringing true was – I really want to do this. So while I haven’t registered for this one yet, I’m going to work on it. It’s far enough in the future that I can prepare myself. This fall and winter, I’m going to work on my running. I’m going to talk to my Stepdad who is a cyclist and see if he can help me with that part. I’m going to find a pool and squeeze into my racing suit again. I’m going to spend the winter working on things and see where I’m at. I’ll be sure to tell you guys when I make this one a reality. I can do this, I know I can. It might be in a beat up bike and some spandex shorts instead of a svelte racing bike and trisuit, but I’m going to do this.

So thanks, Matt, for the inspiration and motivation.

I’m excited guys. I’ve got November 9-11 and June 15th on the brain.

*And as a side note, I would highly recommend Matt’s book, “No Meat Athlete” if you’re interested in fitness on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Or even just on becoming a better runner.

I WANT to love yoga

I just…don’t.

But I really, really want to.

I know this sounds ridiculous and you are all probably like, “Well, Sarah, just don’t do it  and do something you love!” which sounds so simple and beautiful. I just can’t do that. It’s not just fitness that brings the masochism out in me. It’s food too. I don’t like black pepper, cilantro or turnip. Yet! I will eat them all as often as I am able. I’ll put pepper and cilantro in food. I’ll put turnips in stew. I will order food at restaurants with those items in it, simply because I don’t like NOT liking something. I know. I know. Ridiculous.

It’s true though. I hate not liking something. What if my distaste for a food, or an activity or whatever limits me!? What If I’m missing out on some AMAZING dish or food combination because I have a distaste for something? What if I pass by an opportunity because I didn’t like the location, or what was for lunch, or or or.

What if I’m just not giving yoga the chance it deserves?

There’s another part to this too. I often think, the things we struggle with the most are the very ones we really need. High intensity activity just fits me. I love it. I love getting my heart rate just screaming with great music, high intensity moves and a great burn. I love lifting heavy enough to really struggle and feel EXHAUSTED in the end, but know I got a great workout. I struggle however, with slowing down and being calm. I don’t do well really being in the present. I don’t do well when I’m asked to be still, be quiet and listen to that silence. I mean, REALLY struggle with it. I’m sure we all do to an extent, I just know that it is still important to find that space.

I want to find that space. I want to work through the uncomfortableness I feel in the stillness. I want to find quiet inside. I really do feel like where I’m at right now both emotionally and physically, that something a bit more gentle and flowing will be better for my body. That is, IF I could get myself into it.  I have a lot I’m working through right now and yoga just FEELS like a good place to start.

I just…can’t get into it. It always sounds like a great idea yet in practice? Eh. Is the fridge humming? I wonder what’s going on with Twitter. Did I buy orange juice? What should I make for dinner? Where is the cat? Do I smell something strange? Immediately as soon as I start, once I get my head out of the way to ACTUALLY start, all of the things slam into my brain. ALL OF THE THINGS.  I am suddenly aware of EVERYTHING that is ontop of me. All those things above, and then all the stresses that I tend to push back, push down and plaster a smile ontop of.  I’m aware of every little ache, every little struggle. Physical. Mental. Emotional. All of it, all at once.  And then my friends – I run.

Off goes the podcast or DVD and I’m off to be busy and flood myself with other things rather than my thoughts. High intensity working out pushes all that crap to the side because it requires 110% of my efforts in that moment. I feel awesome for hours, but of course, eventually it all comes back. I’m kind of tired of feeling like a serial exerciser, some crazy addict that has to work harder, jump higher and be stronger just to deal with her own brain.

So I guess what I’m saying people, is I’m really overwhelmed right now and need to deal with this shit. ASAP. I think yoga could help me find a space to really sort through some things while still feeling like I’m making a difference in my health.

I really do want to stop running from stillness and into it.