5 months into 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve updated on my fitness, however I continue to work hard to stay in good shape. I know a lot of people have been complaining about gaining weight during the COVID-19 quarantine, I absolutely refuse to let that happen. If I didn’t let cancer, chemotherapy, and early menopause do it to me…then COVID-19 isnt going to either! It’s not meant to be a judgement of anybody else, I don’t care if other people exercise or not, or are overweight or not. However for the last 10 years I have taken a lot of pride in being average sized (after years of being plus sized), and fit, and it is not something I’m prepared to give up. I also have no interest in buying a whole new wardrobe! Lastly, I am well aware that being overweight increases my risk of a breast cancer recurrence, so I am very motivated to not that that happen. As my posts and pictures show, just how fit and toned I am tends to change a bit, however I continue to maintain the weight I lost in 2010, with a few pounds and centimetres of leeway here and there.

For new readers, picure from way back in 2010 when I first realized that I simply needed to get my weight under control.

Unfortunately spring exercise has not looked as I planned. I was registered for the Sporting Life 10K, but of course it was canceled. It doesn’t really matter though! I’ve only ran twice the spring, and both times I had excruciating heel pain for days afterwards. I could probably try to figure out what’s wrong, but instead decided to focus on different kinds of exercise. Running just doesn’t feel like my thing this year!

What I have been doing:

-For my main workouts I have been alternating spinning/biking, a circuit training. For circuit I have recently been doing the Les Mills body combat workouts, which I love! For spinning I use the Peloton (free for 3 months) and Sweat Studio apps…however I recently discovered this Gabriella Guevara on YouTube, and love her! She also has her own site and app, which I will probably subscribe to eventually in order to support her content. I do between 20 and 50 minutes a day most days.

-I have been throwing in some short yoga and weight training workouts. Usually 10-15 minutes a few times a week.

-I currently have my Fitbit steps set at 8500 steps a day, which is enough that I definitely have to make sure to get some walks into my day, but not so much that I feel like I cannot take time to do lower step activities like strength training, yoga, and spinning/biking.

-Like many families, we have been experimenting with some new recipes and cooking during this time, as we find ourselves at home more. Although I am still working as much as ever, I do have more time to work on meals because I finished my workday at home instead of 40 minutes away from home, and my kids have taken over some of the meal plan. However we have been looking at healthy meals! Cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, brown rice, rice noodles, artichokes, chickpeas, black beans, sweet potatoes, and squash are some of our favourite ingredients! Although we certainly do make some delectable treats, for the most part we are also trying to make desserts that are full of fruit, nuts, and limited sugar.

Here are pics from New Years, and today. I’m feeling pretty good!

How is everybody else doing? Any tips or tricks to stay in shape during this unusual time?

Reflecting and reframing

A few days ago I was feeling dejected and rejected (too much time alone will do this), so I created this. I felt like it was just time to give up on people. (I like creating quotes like this when I’m feeling something strong, maybe it’s weird but it’s what I do! Sometimes I share, sometimes I don’t, often I share and then delete!)

Then I reflected and realized it’s not who I am. I don’t give up on people, I look inside myself for compassion. So I edited it:

1. There are some people I often engage in debate with…some of them consistently respond to that by being demeaning…indicating I “don’t understand” or “missed the point” instead of responding to what I actually said. It got so frustrating I wanted to just not know them. Then I reflected, these are people that in general I get along well in real life even if I don’t always get along well in Facebook debates. If their debating style is and compatible with mine, I don’t need to engage in such discussions with them. I can just focus on the other aspects of the relationships.

2. A few times recently, in such exchanges, friends have “liked” somebody else demeaning or even making fun of me. I would never do that…sure there are time I watch people in a conversation and think they are wrong…I may or may not engage in a discussion about it. However I would never ever “like” somebody being rude or demeaning or making fun of one of my friends. I actually unfriended someone for this behaviour, and considered doing it for another. I’m trying to look at it a different way. I don’t know the ins and outs of everybody’s relationships, maybe there is something about the relationship leading them to feel like they want/have to support them, or like what they say. At the end of the day, who cares? We are not in high school. If somebody wants to demean me, and somebody I care about wants to like it, then instead of disengaging from someone I care about, I can choose to ignore it. There’s a good chance they didn’t even pick up on what was demeaning or disrespectful about the comment, and were just supporting someone else for their own reasons.

3. I’ve been checking in with people a lot during this pandemic, I mean in general I try to be that kind of person, but particularly now because I know how hard this is. Every once in a while I realize there was someone I forgotten about, and reach out to them (I’m not perfect, at all). I have noticed that very few of my friends have checked in with me very often. It has hurt me. I need to let it go. Maybe they are busier than me. Maybe they are forgetful. Maybe they are having a really hard time themselves and don’t want to talk about it. Maybe they hate texting. Maybe I am just not as close to them as I thought I was. Whatever the reason…I will continue to reach out because it is who I am. Not only that but I’m going to really try to start FaceTime me and calling people more, because I am craving that personal connection. If the way I’m going to get it is reaching out for it, then I will do that. I’m sure at the end of all this, my circle will have changed somewhat, hopefully for the better!

4. There are some people I have noticed we have nothing to talk about if it isn’t talking shit about other people. I really hate gossip. Another thing I really hate is that I can easily be pulled into gossip. I’ve tried to disengage from people that are always gossiping, but often there are other things I like about them. That’s why we are friends. So instead of disengaging, I’m going to try to seek and find out what we have in common and what else we can talk about-maybe we enjoy the same games, or TV shows, or music. If there really isn’t anything maybe we don’t need to be friends, but not because there’s anything wrong with them. Just because we have grown apart.

5 & 6. I’ve noticed there are some people that are always subtly putting me down. Talking badly about things they know are important to me. Bringing up mistakes I’ve made in the past. Bringing up things they know I’m sensitive about. I’m going to ignore it though. I’m going to stop getting hurt about it and recognize they are probably doing this for a reason which I guess leads into my next point. Most people do things like this to make themselves feel better, not to make others feel worse. If someone needs to make themselves feel better in any manner, then they can do that. I know who I am, I know my weaknesses, I know my strengths…I don’t need anybody else to build me up. I suspect most people don’t even realize they are doing this. I could also spend some time really thinking about the put down, whether it’s valid, and whether it’s something I need to work on. I can use this behaviour for personal insight and growth, instead of to feel hurt or break apart relationships.

I have a thing

I saw this article on Facebook, and it blew me away. There’s a name for what I have, rejection sensitivity.

People wouldn’t expect this of me, because I am friendly and outgoing and talkative, but I am also terrified of rejection.

•For me to text a friend is very difficult, even one of my closest friends. When I text someone, my heart beats wildly in my chest until they answer, because I am somehow convinced that I am bothering them, or they actually don’t like me

•For me to call or FaceTime someone, is it almost impossible.

•For me to ask somebody to get together, is full-blown terrifying.

•If I see on social media or elsewhere that people have gotten together without me, my heart breaks. Even though they have every right to, even though it might be something that has nothing to do with me, even though it might be a group I’m not really a part of. I still feel left out. I know it’s irrational.

•I’m so sensitive to being ignored, avoided, or rejected. If I post something on Facebook, and two people start having a conversation that doesn’t include me, it hurts me.

I have lived this way as long as I can remember. It’s a very hard way to live. I want relationships, but it’s hard to maintain relationships with everything someone else does hurts you. I’ve worked so hard to develop a thicker skin, it’s never really happened. What I have done is learned how to reframe things, and look past them instead of starting drama. I also pushed myself to reach out to people, even though it’s so difficult. I’m not perfect, but I do my best, and it gets easier.

(Weirdly, I called and text people for work all the time, and that does not bother me at all. I guess it’s because it’s my job and whatever the outcome is not personal)

Good things, Bad things, What Helps

I’m trying hard to not get bogged down in the negative, but also not toxic positivity. I linked to an article also this is a great chart about toxic positivity!

Ignoring difficulties, and ignoring when others to share what is difficult, might seem like a good way to deal with things; but really denying hard feelings never helps others or ourselves.

We have to acknowledge what feels bad, before we take steps to make it feel better (This is honestly one of the life changing lessons I have learned in my work, that is useful in almost every relationship with others, and myself)

So I’m going to try to share some good things going on, and also some struggles. Hopefully that can help me put up my feelings, and make others feel less alone.

Good things:

-We are all healthy

-Although this has had a financial impact on us, we should be fine. We both have our jobs!

-I don’t have to drive anywhere scary

-I’m getting a lot of sleep

-I’m doing an online course, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

-I’m getting lots of exercise and eating well for the most part.

-We have everything we need.

-Family walks!

-My kids seem to be doing OK for the most part! They are staying in touch with friends, doing the school work they are supposed to, exercising, getting fresh air, and doing some creative activities. They are both learning to cook and bake (They haven’t had a choice if they want to eat!).

-I feel like I have done some really really good work in the last few weeks. I came across some situations that were very challenging, and had to find new ways to problem solve without the support and resources I am usually reaching out to. I have thought of and advocated for some very creative solutions, that have come to fruition.

Bad things

-Work is busy, really busy. I’m glad to have a job but feel bad that I literally do not come up for air all day! It’s exhausting, painful (I am doing most of my work from my bed which is where I find the most privacy but is not such a comfortable place to sit for hours on end) and I also feel bad for the kids.

-I’m alone with the kids all day every day. Adam is still going to the office, including Saturdays.

-During the week I’m mostly fine, following my usual routine (except it’s at home). I find weekends very difficult; I love to get together with friends and socialize, and I miss it.

-I am very worried about the world after this. I’m worried about the economy. I’m worried about people dying. I’m worried about people suffering loss. I’m worried about people’s mental health and physical health. I’m worried all the time.

-I feel like I am reaching out to friends a lot more than they reach out to me, which leaves me feeling hurt and rejected and wondering if I even have friends. I know that some of this is my own cognitive distortion, but it’s hard.

-I feel like other people are getting together online, Houseparty and is in Zoom dates and I’m left out. Again, it might just be because this is what people are showing, it might be my cognitive distortions, but I hate feeling left out and rejected. I often feel like I’m the only one that’s lonely.

Things that help

-Exercise

-Music

-Chatting with friends (I just force myself to reach out)

-Watching cute animals online

-Learning about something new

-Reading a good book

-Focusing on family

-Reminding myself how overly sensitive I am to rejection and that it leads to cognitive distortions, reminding myself of evidence to the contrary (Thought records when I need them). By the way here’s an interesting article about rejection sensitivity, it really explains me perfectly! I don’t know why I’m like this, though I have some ideas…but I am.

-Checking in on people, trying to be a good friend.

-Doing something good. Sponsoring a good cause, bringing people food, etc.

Corona style

So I’ve now been working from home for four weeks (The first week of isolation I was off work on vacation for March break, which was not a good March break!). I have been on video most days, but of course can only be seen from the chest up! I’m not generally someone dresses super casually for work (although I can(, but I have worn leggings or sweatpants almost every day! The last couple weeks I have tried to wear jeans one day a week, just to make sure they still fit! Here is a look at some of my working from home stylings!

Another thing that’s been different as my hair. Even though my hair is naturally curly, it kind of takes a lot of work to make my curls nice. If I just leave them to dry naturally they are frizzy, and flat, and weird looking. It requires a lot of product, and steps, to make my curls look the way I like them. If you want to see what that looks like, take a look at the curly girl category.

So for the last few weeks I’ve been doing different things with my hair. Sometimes I just let it dry naturally but when I do I usually put the front up, because I hate the way frizzy curls look around my face. I started out with clips but now I’ve been doing some creative things with little buns!

I’ve also been blow drying my hair straight a lot, with hair is thin and fine and short as mine, it takes about five minutes!

Here are some pictures of some of my recent hairstyles!

One other changes that I’m usually wearing my glasses, my daily contact lenses are not cheap, my health insurance barely covers half of them for the year. So it really doesn’t make sense to wear them when I’m not leaving the house! The few times I did wear them was when I was going for a walk or run and it was very sunny out, so that I could wear my sunglasses because I do not have clip on’s for my eyeglasses (In normal times I literally only wear them for about an hour a day, right before I fall asleep or if I wake up and want to read in the middle of the night).