Exactly What I Needed

I am so happy I have a job that allows me to take bereavement leave. This past week has been up and down, time of sorrow and time of joy. As I wrote before, my life always has a way of evening itself out.

Thursday night, I attended an event that I was on the brink of bailing. I was making up excuses and reasons as to why I shouldn’t go, and made up my mind to do something else. Just as I was about to leave the house, I get a message from a friend that was leading the fitness event asking if I would like to be on stage. That was the spark I needed to help me make the decision to go to the event.

I honestly cannot put into words how much this event was exactly what I needed. It was Fitbit Local Minneapolis’ event where it was a combination of HIIT training, Dance, and Yoga. I moved my body, endorphins were released, and ending with yoga put me in a place of peace. After the class, I had so many people come up to me and tell me how I crushed the workout and they were impressed. One guy even said, “Way to be a role model up there for the rest of us”. I was honestly shocked when I heard that. I was thinking, “Who, Me?”

This concept brought me full circle, and remembering why I am doing this fitness journey. I got certified as a personal trainer because I want to help people live healthier lives, and not live their life in pain. I want others to realize they can do all the things, just like I can. I’ll leave you with some amazing pictures from the event.

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Day 24 – Tiger Blood

Today is Day 24 of my Whole30.  I wish I could say I am feeling absolutely fantastic like I typically am days 20-30, but in reality, grief is taking over my typical tiger blood feelings.

It’s been a rough weekend/week for me.  Friday, I get the news my Grandfather passed.  Saturday, we get news that my boyfriend’s relative passed, and we went out of town Sunday – Monday.  Tuesday I went into work and explained what happened, and was granted bereavement for the rest of the week.  Wednesday I go to the gym, and get news that one of the dogs that I loved dearly also passed.  What is it with this week?  How much grief can a girl deal with?

This is definitely impacting how I meal prep.  It is hard for me to find the motivation to determine what I want to make as recipes, and then make my grocery list, shop, and prep.  My hardest part is coming up with the ideas for meals and recipes, usually once I have a list and know what I’m going to make, it is smooth sailing from there.  I guess most of my brain capacity has been commanded by grief.

I am fortunate that the gym I go to has a cafe that is capable of making a Whole30 meal, which is what I had for breakfast on Wednesday.  Tuesday was a hard day eating wise for me since I just came back from out of town, had to explain what happened to my coworkers, and then take Benji to puppy training class.  I was really crossing my fingers that Cub Foods had a “Just Bare” rotisserie chicken left over for me.  However, by the time I got there, around 7:30pm, there wasn’t a single rotisserie chicken left.  I felt a little crushed.  I did decide just to grab a few chicken breast fillets and grill them at home on my little grill pan, and toss with buffalo and ranch (whole30 compliant, of course).

It’s times like these that make Whole30, even more hard.  Whole30 is definitely hard to begin with, but when you had layers and layers of stress onto it, it can guide you off a cliff. Today, I am fully aware of what is happening.  I guess I was always aware of what was happening but I was just letting it happen the past few days… However, today is different.  I will be figuring out a meal plan, I will be grocery shopping, and I will be setting myself up for success.  It’s 100% okay that I am feeling grief, but something that will help me cope and make me feel better, is fueling my body with nutrient dense foods.

Plus, I need to feed my body to keep crushing my goals at the gym.  Below I’ll post a few videos from Wednesday.  This probably isn’t the type of post you’re expecting, usually the last week of Whole30 is more of “oh I feel so absolutely great, here are all of my non-scale victories, everyone I know and their Mom should do a Whole30!”

I try to be as honest and consistent as possible with my posts.  I pour my heart out into these and I explain exactly what I am going through.  And again, I would like to thank you so much for reading.  I am honored you spent time to understand what I am going through.

And now, Wednesday’s Workout Videos:

My last post was absolutely accurate, this is what keeps me, me.  If I wasn’t working out, I would not be in a good headspace for sure.

That’s it for today, have a wonderful day.

What Keeps Me, Me.

Life always takes us by surprise. Just when you think everything is going great, there is something that pulls the rug out from underneath you. It knocks you of your feet and you need to figure out how to stand back up again. I’ve noticed my life is a little bit of a rollercoaster, that somehow balances itself out. I say this because whenever something very bad happens, something equally good happens in a short time proximity.

This past week I have been dealing with a lot. I always am dealing with the hardship of my Mother, as her mind slowly gets taken away from her. Piece by piece, day by day. It’s hard to out into words how you witness such a strong beautiful woman who had it all together, decline into a form where she no longer can go to the bathroom.

Layering on that, my Grandpa has been declining rapidly on a slippery slope. And with a heavy heart, I will share he passed away on Friday night.

Grief is such a vast topic, everyone grieves differently and there’s different types of grief. With my Mom, I call this ambigious grief. I grieved her the day she got her diagnosis, and every day beyond that.

I had shocking, sideswiping, rug pulled out from underneath me grief, when my oldest brother passed away. I couldn’t believe it, and went through a longer denial stage of grief.

With my Grandpa, I’m not saying it was any easier, but he was 95 years old, and his last week was in the hospital. We knew his time has come.

If you search grief in Google, you’ll maybe discover the Kübler-Ross model, otherwise known as the 5 stages of grief. They are:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

These are general stages, I do not believe everyone grieves in this perfect order. I do firmly agree with the model on the last stage of grief is acceptance.

With my Grandpa, it was much easier to get to acceptance. I think what made this easy, is the night of his passing, he visited me in my dreams. This was so very special and I absolutely cherish it.

Thinking about my brother, it took a long time for me to get to acceptance. Even when you may think you’re at acceptance, that doesn’t mean you will never have a STUG: Subsequent Temporary Upsurge of Grief.

For example, whenever I hear the band Green Day I think of him. Funny enough, when I hear someone say the word “moron” I think of him. There are other things I could list out, but I believe you get the point.

Grieving my Mom is very hard to explain. Her physical body is still here, and I am her legal guardian. I don’t have a Mother I can go shopping with, or talk about boys, get pedicures, etc. I do have my Mother’s physical body here on Earth, and I’m not sure where her mind and spirit have gone.

This is why I call her grief ambigious, it truly is hard to explain. I’m at acceptance in the sense that I know Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death, there’s no cure, no treatment, and we know little about the disease in general. What is interesting is how I am grieving her soul and spirit, and I will have a different experience when her time comes.

To wrap all of this together, I want to bring up the concept of a Mind-Body link. Your mind is 100% linked to your body, and will affect your output if your mind isn’t in a good stage. For me, there’s also an inverse relationship of this. It helps keep my mind at ease, if I push my body. I cope by keeping up with my workouts, meditating, and nourishing my body with foods that make it happy.

I let my coach know what happened Friday evening, and she was surprised I was at Sunday Conditioning. Without hesitation, I said, “This is what keeps me, me”. I know who I am, and I need to workout to keep my mind right. I have two short videos to share of the workout I did Saturday morning.

This was a special workout since I was working out not just to get stronger, but to focus my mind, and to cope. I video-ed some Step-Ups and Glute Abduction.

I also have good metrics to report on my check-in. This is Check In #3, and while I have lost a total of 2 inches, and the number on the scale went down short of two pounds, I will post my pictures because that’s where I do see the true body composition change.
Weight: 142.5 lbs

  • Chest: 36″
  • Waist: 27.5″
  • Butt: 37.5″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Bicep: 11″

Again, I’d like to close with gratitude. My last post about fear preformed really well. I am honored and grateful you have read this. Thank you.

Check In #2

Day 15 Whole30, and I am half way there!

Every Tuesday I provide check-in stats to my coach, and below are my metrics:

Weight: 144.3 lbs

Measurements:

  • Chest: 36″
  • Waist: 27.5″
  • Butt: 38″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Bicep: 11″

I’ve decided to not upload my progress pictures because there isn’t a noticeable difference between last week. There isn’t a huge noticeable difference in my weight either, in one week it went down 1.3lbs.

What is something to note, is my difference of inches compared to last week. I am down a full inch in my waist, a 1/2 inch in my thigh, and a half inch in my butt.

This goes to show, that the number on the scale does not reflect the full and true result of your body composition change.

I am happy to see that I am thriving with my workouts and eating Whole30. I don’t feel the full effects of tiger blood, but here are a few of my “non-scale victories” I’ve felt already:

  • Falling asleep faster
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Whiter eyes
  • Waking up easier
  • Going to the tightest loop on my belt
  • My once tight work pants now fit well

I am excited to see what next week will bring, and my full metrics from Whole30. I am half way there, and I’ve said this almost every day I’ve talked about Whole30, it’s not that bad.

I think a huge game changer for me has been meditation. My coach suggested downloading headspace, and I can’t put into words how much more at ease I feel. I love the image below, it changed my view of meditation. I thought when I meditate, my mind should be clear and I should squash all thoughts that circle my mind. But in reality, I should just acknowledge that was a thought, and be at ease with it and let it go.

I will now sign of with gratitude. I truly appreciate if you are reading this and welcome all comments. I am honored you are reading what I write. Thank you.

Eating Out on Whole30

Day 9 Whole30 for me, and first meal I ate at a restaurant today. I have a few tips on how to manage eating at a restaurant while on Whole30.

  • Look at their menu online. Check to see if they have a gluten free menu.
  • See if there is anything available that you could easily remove grain and dairy from.
  • Be very polite to the server and ask for their help and suggestions.
  • Come up with a plan of attack for the meal and with at least two options.
  • Be very appreciative of the server if they speak to the chef and ensure your order is made correctly.

Here’s how I managed my lunch today. I viewed the restaurant’s menu online and was pleasantly surprised to see a gluten free menu. I also saw a dish that didn’t include cheese in it! It was a grilled salmon fillet, brushed with lemon butter, served with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Knowing I couldn’t eat butter, I had to ask for the salmon to be cooked in oil instead. Assuming the mashed potatoes were made in bulk with butter and sour cream, I scoured the menu to see if there was a different potato I could eat. I was pleasantly surprised to see the offered roasted fingerling potatoes. However, there’s a chance butter could be in that recipe as well. So I decided if that wasn’t possible, sub more asparagus. When the server came over I was very polite, and told her my dietary restrictions. I asked politely if the salmon could be brushed with oil instead of butter, and requested for the mashed potatoes to be subbed with roasted fingerling potatoes if they could be cooked with oil instead of butter. I also gave the option if the kitchen couldn’t accommodate that, to please sub extra asparagus. Lastly, I requested for the asparagus to be steamed or cooked in oil.

I’m happy to report everything came out perfect at the restaurant. It is about adapting and know what is and isn’t possible. I was a little sad to not see a potato on my plate, but I am happy the kitchen was willing to work around Whole30 rules.

I’m learning that adapting is really helpful during a Whole30. When I come home from work, I put my lunch containers in the dishwasher and pack my next day’s breakfast and lunch. Monday night I had a dilemma. I was out of my egg bake! Oh no! Could I prep more of that and get to my volunteer meeting by 6:30pm? I think I can… I think I can… So I did! Then another road block, my 9×13 pan was dirty. I also noticed I only had 6 eggs left over. What was a girl supposed to do?

ADAPT.

I had a glass 8×8 baking dish clean and made a smaller egg bake with 6 eggs and made 4 servings. Ahhh, at last, breakfast is taken care of.

Then Tuesday night comes, I realize I ate my last portion of my sloppy joe in a bowl for dinner! Whatever am I supposed to do? Benji has puppy class tonight, I don’t have time to make anything!

Low and behold…trusty Walmart has frozen Whole30 meals now available. In my previous Whole30’s, this was never an option for me! Check out my findings:

Three different options available! The first two have the whole30 approved sticker on them. The last one doesn’t have the sticker, but it is Paleo certified and when you check the ingredients, it is squeaky clean!

You may be thinking, Annie, you just had lunch at a restaurant, why did you have to buy a frozen meal for lunch? Great question, and this is something that will stop you from derailing your Whole30. What if my lunch date cancelled last minute? What was I supposed to eat? I’m very fortunate I have a cafeteria at my work I could make a compliant salad from, but that is the least exciting thing I could get downstairs. Whole30 isn’t just about adaptation, but it is about preparation and knowing yourself and boundaries. I knew if I had the option to get something compliant from the cafeteria, I still would, but I would be tempted from all the other non-compliant meals available. I would also think of my meal as lack-luster and would be jealous of everyone else eating all the sugar, carbs and dairy.

Day 9 is almost done, and I am almost 1/3rd of the way through Whole30. It’s not so bad. I will be having one of the frozen meals tonight and will update on what I think about them! That’s all for now.