2 weeks ago
Hello! How's everyone doing?
As you may have noticed, I disappeared in the middle of Buff Buddies (awkward). My schooling got more difficult and then my mental health had another set back, forcing me to withdraw from my classes once again. It was a big blow, having to do that two semesters in a row, but it made me realize that school isn't something I'm capable of handling right now. I've decided to take the next year off and focus on my fitness and work.
Work hasn't been great lately, so I find myself in the incredibly competitive job hunting category again. Thanks to the problems with the oil field (I live in Alberta, Canada if you don't know) jobs are insanely difficult to find at the moment. I'm lucky to have one already, but they aren't willing to give me the hours I was told I could have once school was over. I found an open position at a gym in town here that I applied for. There are actually two positions as customer service specialists, and I've applied. I really hope I get this job, because it looks fantastic. A friend of mine used to work for this gym as a personal trainer and she said it was great. I have all the skills they need, plus the bonus of being bilingual. Fingers crossed that I'll hear back from them soon!
Now onto the more interesting part of life right now!
As I said during Buff Buddies, I'm still training for the Spartan Race in September. I've volunteered to help with registration and such the day before my race, and I'm super excited about that! I can get a letter of recommendation and everything from that, so it will be nice to have something else to add to my resume. I have had to slow down on training a little bit as there seems to be something going on with my shoulder. I've given it the last few weeks off, sticking to my runs and nothing else. I went in to the doctor's to have my shoulder checked out a while ago and he couldn't find anything wrong with it. He sent a referral to get some x-rays and an ultrasound done, and I was supposed to hear from the clinic but they haven't contacted me yet. I'm going to be phoning them tomorrow to figure out what's going on. My mum thinks I might have a soft tissue injury, but I'm really hoping that's not it since those take a long time to heal. Today was the first day I've done arm and upper body exercises since before my doctor's appointment, so tomorrow I'll find out whether I actually still have a problem or not.
Anyway, I'm hoping to start updating more often again. If anyone's interested in what my workouts look like, let me know and I'll start posting those!
Hope everyone's doing well!
4 months ago
This week is going well!
Still working on eating properly, but it's coming along!
My co-workers and I went to the gym last night after I got off work. We did full body circuits, and by the end of the night I was in a CRAZY amount of pain and I was absolutely certain that I wouldn't be able to move today, but I actually feel great. No pain. My muscles are a little more tired than usual, but that's it! I'm kind of hoping that means that my recovery time and endurance are getting better. I can definitely run and work out longer, which is nice. I haven't really lost any weight yet, but I know that I'm building muscle, so I might actually be gaining a little for now. I'm planning on going to the gym by myself tomorrow, and then I might go again on Friday with Lee (and C if she's not working).
My current goal is still the Spartan Race in September, and I'm already feeling like that's totally attainable. C might do it with me if she can keep up with working out. I'm really hoping that I'll find someone to do it with me, because I think it would be really fun with a friend.
Anyway, not much to say today. I might update again in a couple of days.
Keep it up everyone!
5 months ago
Okay, still not doing quite so well as I'd like, but I'm improving!
For anyone who doesn't know I work as a customer service representative in one of the malls in town here. Our desk is situated in the food court, which means that no matter what time of day it is I can smell food, and it smells damn good. After eating mall food for the last yearish I've managed to go from eating it almost every day that I work to only eating it twice in the last month. I'm pretty proud of myself for it, so hopefully I'll be able to keep it up.
I've also been challenging myself to drink more water, as this not only helps with digestion, keeping my skin clear, and overall hydration, but it can also be insanely great for weight loss (who'da thunk?). I usually have a bottle of water beside my bed at night so that I don't have to go all the way upstairs for a drink. I usually end up going upstairs to fill it up at some point anyways, but it's one trip vs five or six. Once I've filled up the bottle before falling asleep I try not to drink too much out of it and instead I drink the whole thing before getting out of bed first thing in the morning. I've only been doing this for a couple of days but my skin is already clearer, and I definitely feel better.
I've taken to tracking how often I work out in my phone, as well as my weight. Again, there aren't as many dates in there as I was hoping, but since my medical issues finally seem to be improving I'm optimistic that this will get better!
So far I've worked out November 3, 4, 6, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 30, and December 2, and 3. On November 4th I weighed myself and considered that the 'official' start date of my workout/weight loss challenge. My weight then was 183 lbs. On November 29th I weighed myself again and found that I was 186 lbs. For a few minutes I was really bummed out before remembering that muscle weighs more than fat, and a lot of what I've been working on so far has been building muscle. I also have to keep in mind that once I get my period I'm going to put on a few pounds of water weight (thanks, Mother Nature) so it might seem like I'm going backwards when I'm not.
I'm still working really hard on cleaning up my diet. It's tough when I don't get to go grocery shopping very often, so I don't really get to influence what we eat in the house. I've taken to buying some things for myself now, though. I've swapped out my soy milk for almond milk, and I'm currently focusing on not eating after 7pm (which is tough on the days when I don't get home until after 9), and finding healthier snacks since I tend to graze more than I eat actual meals.
Anyways! I realized it had been a while since I updated, so I figured I would do that today. I'll work to decrease the span of time between posts.
Stay classy, folks!
P.S. Spartan Race FINALLY released their race dates for my city, so I'm going to sign up asap!
P.P.S. I'M PLANNING MY TRIP TO TEXAS FOR RTX!!!!!!!!! I'm insanely excited!!!!!!!
5 months ago
Okay, so I didn't do as well this week as I'd been hoping, but I'm picking it up again already.
My diet has been...absolutely terrible. I'm working on cutting back the amount of sugar I have, which is actually super tough for me because I have a serious chocolate addiction. I'm not letting myself buy any chocolate right now, but someone gave me one of those chocolate oranges the other day and I told myself I'd only eat three pieces...next thing I know I'm half way through it, and by the end of the day it was gone. Big whoops on my part! So no more chocolate for a while (*ultra sad face*).
Despite not going to the gym at all this last week, I'm actually already in better shape than I was when I started. Thanks to my three workouts the week before I can already sprint longer without feeling winded, I'm lifting heavier weights consistently. Last night my gym buddy and I did the treadmill for a 15min warm up before working with weights the rest of the night. I've always had more muscle in my legs for some reason, and especially in my abs due to playing the flute, piccolo, and singing, so I was a little concerned about how my arms would hold up, but I managed to use the 8lb weights the entire time, so I'm pretty happy with myself. I thought I'd be in a lot more pain today despite the fact that I recover really well from most workouts and such, but I'm actually totally fine. Even when going up the stairs (the curse of a basement dweller) I barely feel anything.
I'm actually about to head to the gym for a bit. I'm going to do some cardio intervals and see how far I get, and then depending on when my gym buddy gets back into town tonight (she's out of town for her grandmother's funeral) we might go and do some yoga and stretching for a bit tonight.
Anyway! Figured I'd share my walk-run drills that I'll be doing for the next few days! So here they are!
10 min brisk walk (just fast enough that you're on the verge of being out of breath)
1 min walk, 10 sec jog/slow run (do this ten times)
10 min free form run (walk or run as much as you want)
I usually do one of these workouts, take a 30 - 45 min break and then do this again. If I'm super out of shape and I'm working on getting to the point where I can start doing more than just this, I actually do this one day, take a day off, do it on the third day, take a day off, and then do it again on the fifth day. I'll try to get it all into the span of a week and then I change the workout slightly for the next week. (Once I'm doing the next workout I'll post it on here for anyone who's interested!)
For my 10 minute free form run, I usually walk a couple of laps around the track and then pick a point where the track is straight and do gradual sprint drills. I'll start off from my walk into a jog, and then increase my speed. I pick another point along the track where I plan to be at my top speed, keep that going for a few seconds, and then slow to a walk again. I'll repeat this as many times as I can while focusing on my breathing and my form.
If I'm feeling up to it after my second run sometimes I'll do some equipment free exercises like sit-ups, burpees, crunches, leg-lifts, push-ups, etc...but it really depends on where I'm at and how long it's been since I ate something. I'm pretty good about staying hydrated at the gym, and I try to eat something about 45 minutes before I head over, but I never eat anything heavy because I really don't want to get sick. That would seriously suck.
Anyway, as I said I'm going to be heading out right away. Just need to grab a snack and get my bag together! Hopefully I'll have better progress to report next week!
Hang in there!
Buff Buddies goals:
Current date: November 19, 2015
Current weight: 184lbs
Goal weight: 140lbs
Goal date: haven't decided yet
Times worked out so far: 4
Ultimate goal: to be able to participate in the Spartan Race Trifecta next year (August or September)
5 months ago
It's been a while!!
Lots has gone on this year, not all of it great. I'm still at the job I got last November (the one year mark is in a couple of weeks) and I'm still really enjoying it! My boyfriend and I are still together. My sister left for her mission in May -she's in Madrid! She'll be there until December 2016. My boyfriend's brother and his girlfriend are FINALLY engaged and getting married at the end of December this year before heading back to Australia for who knows how long. Oh! And I'm finally learning to drive! Last winter of taking the bus in -40C weather! Woot!
On the other end of the spectrum I've had a major backslide in my mental health. Over the last three years I've gone from being suicidal and self harming to being relatively happy and rarely experiencing anxiety attacks. For some reason about three months ago I started having panic attacks again. Depression and anxiety have both come back full swing, causing me to withdraw from my college classes, making it nearly impossible to sleep, and causing difficulties in my day to day life. It's tough to get out of bed most days, and I've had to cut back my hours at work a lot. I've seen my doctor a few times and had my medications adjusted, but it will still be a few weeks before we can really tell if things are improving or not.
But I'm trying to cope. At the moment I'm focusing on getting to the gym and getting into shape again. I was doing really well at the beginning of the year. In March (I think) I stopped going for no reason. Since then I've gained over 40lbs, and that's doing nothing to help with my mental state at the moment. So I really appreciate that Buff Buddies started up, because the timing was beautiful with my desires to lose weight and get into shape! My goal is to get back to the weight I was at in February. One of my good friends from work and I are both motivating each other. Every Wednesday night when she gets off work we head to the gym for a few hours together and work out for a bit before settling down with some yoga. I have my own routines that I'm planning right now and I'll start doing pretty quick here. One of them is actually a fitness program designed by Kayle Istines from Australia, but I need to be more in shape than I am right now to actually start it! Luckily there's a pre-training for it, so I'll be starting that on Monday.
Anyway, I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon with Meg, Josh, and Zach, so here I am! Part of my goal is to actually post my progress weekly with my workouts and such, so hopefully I can keep that up! (If you don't see me for a while, PLEASE feel free to send me messages! I like hearing from you guys!)
Talk to you in a few days!
Buff Buddies goals:
Current date: November 13, 2015
Current weight: 184lbs
Goal weight: 140lbs
Goal date: haven't decided yet
Times worked out so far: 3
5 months ago
1 year ago
So it's been a while since I posted a journal. Update on life: I've finished my first semester of college. I only had two exams, and I failed math spectacularly. I also didn't get a high enough mark in bio to get into my program (after all this upgrading that is) so I have to take both classes again. I don't really mind retaking bio. The teacher is amazing, and I love bio. Math on the other hand...
In grade 10 I was diagnosed with a learning disability. At the time I was put into a program for students like myself and we had one on one help with the subjects we had trouble with. It was great. I got daily help with all of my math work, and as a result I did really well in my classes. Part of these accommodations was double the amount of time on math, chemistry, and physics exams, even finals. Also very helpful, as it takes me quite a bit longer to get through math questions than most people.
Fast forward to college. I still get double time on my exams, but I don't get help with my homework and such. Tutors are fine and all, but when I'm placed with a tutor who isn't trained/educated in helping students with disabilities the tutor just gets frustrated with me because they don't understand why I don't understand this grade 10 level math.
There are, of course, a number of factors that contribute to my irritating inability to comprehend basic math. One of them is the severity of my learning disorder. Another is that I was in French immersion from kindergarten to grade 11. I learned math and science in French. Terms are different, and often times we actually did some things in a different order (backwards, almost). Mix this in with someone who quickly begins to realize that I am, in fact, pretending to understand so that they don't yell at me because I don't understand, and you've got a mess.
I'm going to try to go see the student services head person tomorrow to see what can be done. A normal tutor won't work. Even my boyfriend, who I know loves me and has been amazing throughout all of this (and who is also a mathematical genius), gets frustrated with me almost immediately when I ask him for help with my math.
It's been a long few weeks because of this. Lots of stress. I've also had all my other obligations going on. Kid's Night Out, Youth Night Out, Cultivate, work, church on Sundays, and whatever my parents' think I should be doing. I'm currently waiting for my dad to throw six phone bills at me and demand that I pay them, which I won't be able to do. I'm still on the family plan because it's cheaper, but my dad doesn't tell me when the phone bills arrive, never mind how much I owe him. He just hoards them for six months or so and then complains because I haven't paid any of them. I've even told him flat out that I've been waiting for them each month and he never gives them to me. I probably owe him like 2000$ right now and don't even known it. *sigh*
Oh well. I've whined enough for the moment. I've got youth starting in a couple of hours and it's event night, so I should probably go find something productive to do.
Hope you're all doing superbly!
1 year ago
So it hasn't been an amazing couple of weeks here. On Friday I managed to sleep in and miss my math class. On Monday I managed to sleep in, miss my biol lab, my math class, and the bus that would have gotten me to my biol class on time. Tuesday I barely caught the bus, made it to my math unit final, promptly failed said unit final, and then wrote my biol exam, which I barely passed with a 53%. Until now I've been getting solid 85% on everything in biol, so I'm pretty upset with myself right now.
On the up side, my boyfriend was home this past weekend. I haven't seen him since reading week, and it was sooooo good to see him again. Long distance relationships are seriously frustrating.
Anyway, I just wanted to check in. I know nobody actually says anything to me most of the time, but there's something really satisfying about writing things down here...I'm sure I'll have more to say next time.
Hope everyone's doing well,
1 year ago
Reading week is over. I was really enjoying the break from classes, and especially enjoying having my boyfriend home all week. I didn't get to see him as much as I wanted to, as I still had youth events and had to go to the gym a few times, but I wish he could have stayed longer. I can't wait to finish all my upgrading at the local college so that I can go up to Edmonton and live with him.
Anyway, despite having no school this week it was still pretty busy. February is birthday month in my family. My cousin and me are both on the sixth, another cousin on the eighth, my sister's on the thirteenth, my mom's on the sixteenth, and my grandma's on the twenty sixth. So on Monday we had a big family dinner (though I spent a lot of it playing Guild Wars 2- I FINISHED THE EPISODE AND I ALMOST CRIED). Tuesday, as always, was a gym day. Wednesday I had youth, as usual. Thursday was going to be a gym day, but I went and did archery with Andrew and his cousins instead. I've really missed archery. I wish I lived on a property big enough that I could do it at home. Friday was an adventure and a half. We had a sleepover at the church for the youth. It was a lot of fun! We took them skating, came back and watched Big Hero 6, and then played sardines for a good hour and a half. I had the best hiding spot by far. There's a baptismal font hidden under a large trap door in the stage in the sanctuary, and I had one of the other leaders help me pry it open so I could hide there. Only two of the youth managed to find me, though a bunch of them figured out where I was (they just couldn't get in).
The only thing that really sucked this week (apart from not seeing my boyfriend enough) was yesterday. I didn't sleep well at the sleepover. We got everyone settled down around 1 a.m. but all the girls were sleeping in the sanctuary, which meant that I was sleeping on the floor. I tried to find a sleeping mat to take with me before I left the house, but apparently they're all in the attic, and I didn't have time to go up and find one. So I got maybe three hours of sleep? It might have been more, but I not much more. After all the kids went home I finally got to leave, but I had to go straight to work. I was okay when I left the house, but as soon as I got to the mall I started to feel a little queasy on top of feeling exhausted. My eyes hurt, but my stomach felt absolutely terrible. It continued throughout my entire eight hour shift, only subsiding when I went and got some peppermint and chamomile tea, but as soon as the tea was gone the queasiness came back. I wracked my tired brain for what could have caused this, but I didn't manage to figure it out until I got home after work.
I didn't take my meds at the sleepover. I've never suffered side effects from any medication in my life except one of the two I'm on right now. Every time the dose changes or I forget to take it, this medication messes with my stomach. It usually just screws with my appetite, making me feel like food is disgusting even if I'm starving. About a year ago this med's dose was upped and I haven't missed taking it since then until Friday, so the effects were that much more powerful once my body realized those levels weren't what they were usually at. It was really frustrating.
That's all I really wanted to say for now, I guess. I'm still pretty exhausted, so I'm heading to sleep.
Farewell, friends. I hope everything is going well for you where ever you are! <3
1 year ago
Well today has been an experience!
Every Wednesday I have youth group with my church, and I'm now a leader there. Last month we changed things up a lot and split up the junior highs and the senior highs so that they attend on different nights, and now I work with the juniors. It's pretty frustrating at times, but I've enjoyed it so far.
One of the biggest things I find difficult about working with the juniors is the general lack of respect for everything and everyone. During the games, the kids don't listen, and some of them actively sit out. During the lessons there are maybe three or four who listen. During skits (in which their peers are acting) they make fun of and bug each other. A couple of weeks ago we actually caught a few of them smoking pot out back (really guys? At your church youth group?) which was seriously concerning as well as frustrating. But overall it's been a bit of an uphill battle that kind of came to a head tonight.
My awesome friend J has recently taken over running the SRC (that's our group's name) from his older brother, and so far has done a fantastic job. Now, J's one of the most patient people I've ever met, but tonight, after nearly two months of bad attitudes and disrespect from the juniors, even he snapped a little bit. He straight up called them out on the mics and told them that they needed to stop disrespecting each other and the leaders who were trying to talk. They listened for a few minutes and then went right back to it. After that we broke into smaller groups for the lesson. Usually we all stick together, but since that hasn't been working well we're trying a few other ideas out. I went with one of the other leaders with a group of six boys, two of whom we'd caught smoking, one of whom has some...difficulties with boundaries and attention, and another whom really does like coming to youth and learning but struggles with how the others see him.
Things didn't start out well. Almost immediately C and R were muttering to each other. Q was fidgeting and asking unrelated questions. V was echoing the other leader unnecessarily, and CW and MH were being great (but those two usually are).
Anyway, the other leader and I tried to go ahead with the lesson despite these interruptions but it was difficult. We tried involving the boys as much as we could, but most of them just wanted to get back to their friends or head out for another smoke. My co-leader stopped the conversation at one point and basically echoed J. He asked the boys to stop disrespecting each other and listen. Unsurprisingly this had little to no effect.
I sat there for a few more minutes, helping MT with the lesson where I could when Q, C, R, and V started arguing. It was small, but it was enough that I was done with it. MT tried taking control to no avail, so I pulled out a half decently loud voice and said "Alright stop! Every single one of you, eyes on me NOW!"
Silence. Blissful, beautiful silence. Seven pairs of wide eyes stared at me as I expressed my frustration with the lack of general respect towards all the SRC leaders and myself, as well as towards the rest of the kids in the youth group. To be honest, I kind of ripped them a new one. I felt bad doing it to CW and MH, as they were not part of the problem, but the others all needed to hear it, and for once they were actually listening. It was a welcome change, though I do wish I hadn't been so harsh. Once I finished talking everyone was silent for a moment, and MT managed to get the lesson going again. It was the same lesson as before, but (most of) the boys were taking it more seriously. The entire conversation got surprisingly intense, despite our attempts to lighten it again.
I was worried for a bit that I had crossed a line in snapping at the group, but when some of the boys started opening up a bit more I thought that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing.
In the end we managed to not only get through our lesson, we learned a lot about some of the kids we've been watching with concern for the last month and a half. MT was able to take C,V, and R, aside afterwards and speak to them more in private, which was great. It's really difficult for some of these kids to let anyone in, especially a leader they only see once a week, but the fact that these guys did is amazing. I can't help but think that God is so good. After weeks of trying we finally got through to some of these youth, and can start helping them more!
I'm super excited for what next week will bring!!
Sorry for the super long post, I just wanted to tell the story somewhere!
I hope everyone's having a good night!
Christian. Bilingual. Future zoologist. Chocoholic. Gamer. Multi-fandom member. Musician. Cats. Dinosaurs.
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