Saturday, 18 April 2009

Talking fat Some More

I’ve been keeping up with this happy blog for over a year now. Considering I have major commitment issues, I would say that is pretty good! If you have been reading for any length of time, you might know that it was meant to chronicle my days in Banbury, England – however short they may have been.

Time out for a moment. I’m at my regular coffee watering hole, but I can’t concentrate. Thanks to a recent upgrade to my laptop, earphones are no longer recognized by the system. Part of my “blogging zone” includes listening to music. Instead I am now forced to listen to the girls on my right side talking about kidney dialysis and how stupid physiologists are (assumed med students), and the table of girls to my left discussing how fantastically awesome they are (oh to be young and full of ego!).

Needless to say, this isn’t going far.

Alright, so this blog started as my testimonials for life in Banbury. It has kind of adapted into a chronicle of my disaster zone and weight loss goals. I guess the weight loss thing is sort of relevant at the moment; it has kind of consumed my life for the past 16 months, and prevents me from seizing a life that I desperately want. Mainly I blog about the weight thing to help others struggling with the challenge; it’s not something I talk too much about in the “real world”.

Recently I was asked if loosing weight has made me happier. If I had to evaluate my happiness, from a year ago compared to today, I would have to say that I am far more unhappy (does that make sense?). Ok, yes, a large part of that has to do with the mass uncertainty surrounding many aspects of my life at the moment. But…But… Here’s the big but…the weight loss has made me far from happy.

The true confession is that I see myself far fatter today than I did in 2007. I look at my body and keep thinking… “God, that’s gross!”

Maybe I spent so long ignoring my size, that now I’m making up for it.

But then there is the notion of the 30 pounds – I can’t kick start my weight loss again. Even with cutting meat, and moving to a largely fruit and veggie diet, my body is in a “f*ck you” mode. And even once the 30 pounds is gone, will I really be satisfied?

Now here is the other side of weight loss…
I’ve worked so hard to get to this point – to be able to see muscle definition, bones, etc that it makes me fearful. As much as I want to go back to London, I live in fear that it could undo that work; that the muscles will go mushy, and the fat will return. That fear is justified – when I started piling on weight, it happened literally overnight. It can’t be the reason for living in fear, can it? Yet the fear doesn’t go away – I could never replicate my home workout in London, the hills that I climb every day do not exist in the metropolitan environment.

The most amazing thing is how I have managed to reach this point with the zero willpower that I have. I am still unable to control myself around my primary comfort foods. Wave chocolate in front of my face, and watch out! Throw in bread, beer battered chicken strips, wings, etc and it is a cataclysmic breakdown.

Now, if you are doing the weight fight, I can’t say that it is all bad. But loosing weight won’t change your life (unless you were on the Biggest Loser and happen to sign T.V. and book deals as a result. Or if you are Jared and you went to Subway to loose your weight. Neither apply to me). I would love to say that I had more direction, or some sort of stability thanks to the weight loss. I don’t.

The only really cool thing is my anonymity – people don’t recognize me now. And that’s a really positive affirmation. The encouragement and support that I receive are awesome. Initially when an individual begins to have noticeable weight loss changes, people are afraid to ask about it. Now, I have lost enough weight that friends, family, neighbours, etc, ask me about the process and want to talk about it. Consistently I am told that I must feel so much better; but in reality I do not. I’ve always been active, the only difference is that I eat

Alright, so I’m running out of time for today, and too be honest, my head is swirling. I’m not sure if it is because I am getting sick or because I am hung over. It could be both.

Pictures: LEFT - Ottawa, March 2008 - side profile pic that made me cry ;p (I had already been on "diet" for four months and thought I was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay thinner!); RIGHT - Thunder Bay, April 17, 2009 (first side profile pic that I was actually moderately OK with!)

Friday, 17 April 2009

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Back to the moments of stagnation

There is nothing worse than sitting in front of a computer screen, with absolutely nothing going through your head. I’ve sat here, for nearly 40 minutes, clueless, staring at the screen, growing increasingly irritated. An empty place, and yet a group of people had to sit literally on top of me, and are talking about the most irritatingly mundane things possible. I have nothing against mindless conversation – but there are many other tables to choose from; why bother me? Now throw in the two musicians who have taken up residence at the table across from me. Why do “indie” artists (is that what they are?) all have to sing the same songs? Be original, and get rid of the guitar.

I am in such a rut right now. I stay home, and I go stir crazy. I literally pace back and forth, and have creeping anxiety. I go out and I’m irritated by people. So much time is spent lost in contemplation. Things never really change, do they?

One year ago today, I arrived in Banbury, England. Why didn’t I just stay?
Ok, Banbury and I wouldn’t have had a kosher existence, but somehow I would be further ahead. Maybe I would have had a direction. So much has happened in the last year in terms of economic breakdown, employment, etc. Yes, maybe I should have stayed.
Alright, I’m beating a dead horse here. I got nothing tonight, other than a rising sense of irritation.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

UK Teaching

Here is why I love teaching.............................

Life in the Moment

Already nearly a week in to April - where has time gone?? Sometimes it leaves your head spinning.

I haven't been blogging as religiously as I once did; not that I haven't been writing. But some of my more recent writings are more controversial than this blog allows. Eventually I might host a seperate blog, with the "unpublished posts"....hmmmm....

Typical to Thunder Bay form, we have been sucker bunched by the weather. The last week of March and beginning of April saw dirty, disgusting weather. An ice storm left as literally encased in a layer! A week later, 30 cm of wet, heavy snow was dumped on the region (I know, I know! Snow is wet and heavy...). It was gross nonetheless.

Aside from the weather, March bore witness to the CIS hockey championships. This resulted in four days of solid hockey. I am fairly certain I left an *ss imprint in my seat! It was worth it though - especially getting to see UNB beat Western!!

The month also saw the meeting of old friends, the discovery of a local supplier of Leffe beer, a brief sojourn to the West, my acceptance into the University of London/London School of Economics, and the creation of more questions than answers. Yes, I'm usually more specific and open on this blog, but life is in transition...somedays you just can't escape it.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Talking Fat: For You...

I notice that I haven’t posted in awhile…it’s not from lack of trying; mainly just from lack of interest – ya, my interest.

So first off, I know you read this blog. If you are still eating a 1000 calories a day, I will personally kick your *ss.
Here is why – and if you read my blog closely you will know – but a 1000 calories a day constitutes a crash diet. Your body will hit starvation mode, which means that instead of loosing weight, you will start to gain weight again. As soon as you introduce food to your body, your starved ass will attack it, and hold on to it like there is no tomorrow. At your height and weight, you can’t eat 1000 calories a day. You want to loose – not gain, right? I know that weight loss should be an overnight process. It’s not. Find a website that can calculate for you, how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Then work in a daily deficit of 750 calories. Two pounds a week is the MAXIMUM amount you should be loosing. I know it sucks. Especially when you can put on more than two pounds every week. Weight loss wasn’t meant to be fast. If you want to quicken the weight loss, then work out – it burns more calories, and converts fat to muscle, which makes you look lighter than you actually are. Also, muscle burns more calories just to maintain– it’s a good reason to work out.

Actually – here is the calorie maintenance calculator…enjoy!

So…I have been asked to keep talking about the fat burn. I can’t really say I’m a good authority on it at the moment. It is funny to be reaching this stage, and be doing the research that I should have done almost a year ago. No, I am mistaken. I am not really researching topics related to weight loss – the majority of my reading pertains to staying away from the ugly chemicals that inundate North American food. That sh*t scares me. Fortunately cutting all those chemicals out is actually beneficial for overall eating habits. Sort of.

I am pleased to say that I am over two weeks meat free. Now, that isn’t to say that I will stay entirely meat free on a permanent basis. I won’t give up my love for Chinese food for the rest of my life. Or chicken curry. Or beer battered chicken strips. Life is just too short to cut out so much enjoyment. But, for the majority of the time and for the health benefits, I will be meatless. No more mass quantities of animal hormones!

At the moment I can’t really write too much about healthy living and weight loss. Even though I have given up meat, I have eaten more food in the past two weeks than I have in the past year. I’d like to think that the veggies are making me hungry, but I know that the calories are chalking up. It doesn’t help that I have also rediscovered my passion for beer. Thank you to the Fox and the Hedgehog for carrying Leffe. Right now I feel bloated from a night of drinking, followed by overindulgence in vegetarian, but calorie-filled chilli. I have kicked up my workouts by several notches, but have been having trouble maintaining my daily workout regime. Yup, I am hitting the wall.

But listen, it happens. I am not excessively worried about it – just a little bit.
I repeatedly tell individuals, that changes need to be made gradually – November 2007, I started eating healthier and working out. In October 2008 I gave up refined sugars. In March 2009 I gave up meat and most dairy products. Over the same time, I have increased the intensity of my workouts. Gradual changes…not overnight.
Ok that’s it for weight right now – I need to step my butt on a scale and see what the damage of my recent indulgences has been. And I need to get my head out of the clouds. But don’t worry…I’ll talk more about the food process in future blog entries. And maybe about general life too. Who really knows these days…?????