One step forward, two steps back

Why is it that it always feel like I am playing catch-up [on life]?

As I slowly check off the items that are on my to-do list, more and more gets added at the other end. Things that I need to do, but more importantly, things that I want to do. How do I simplify my life? Do I just have a shorter wish list? Do I get rid of my possessions so I have less to worry about?

I just feel that I am at a stand still. That I am completely overwhelmed — I “cannot see the forest through the trees”. I know that I need help from my business to my personal, but I cannot afford to pay for either. So I am stuck doing it all on my own. So instead of tackling it little by little, day by day, I sit there and I do nothing. Well, not nothing, but the bare minimum and procrastinate until I’m in trouble and I have no choice.

Life’s too short to be beat by “overwhelmed” or “procrastination” — so, it’s decided. No more excuses. I’m going to leap past the two steps and keep moving forward.

Feeling Settled

I’ve moved far too many times in my lifetime (thanks to my father), and no, I wasn’t and Army Brat or we weren’t fugitives. He just moved us on average every two year all around the GTA (mostly Scarborough). But, back then, it was easy, he and my mother would take care of everything while my brother and I stayed with family or friends for a weekend. When it was all done, we’d go back to a new bedroom, that was all unpacked and we were all set to goto school.

While in University and College, I moved around just about the same frequency as my father had us moving. But I did it the college style: futon, dresser, suitcase of clothes and CD collection. Took less than a couple of hours to pack move and unpack with the help of a couple of friends.

Since having my kid, I’ve moved 3 times. But this is the 2nd place I’ve owned on my own. With all my furniture, stuff, and kid & dogs in tow and the added stress of buying a selling my place(s), it’s taken me until now to feel settled. Almost back to my old self. This last move started just after Victoria Day Weekend 2011. I think that is a long time to be in limbo.

Now my house feel really lived in (especially after the water leak) and I have a sense of routine with everyone in the house. I can finally breathe again.

I’m looking forward to writing more in my blog. And maybe, just maybe, it will be interesting…

You should see me now….

I’m on a roll. Finally. I’m now 40lbs down and I’m not done. But I’ll be honest, it’s not about the number anymore. It’s not even about the clothing/dress size. It’s about how I feel, my fitness level, and my endurance.

Working out with my trainer and being at Fight2BeFit was the best thing that I have done for myself my whole life. From having the best trainer, that truly cares and wants to help you achieve your goal. As long as you have the drive and the will to do it, he will help you get there.

I’ve been working out for three weeks now (training 3 days a week with the trainer and 7 days a week of 30 min cardio) and I’ve dropped 1-2 dress sizes. My flexibility and range of motion has also improved greatly.

Below are my before, during and progress photos. I’m going to leave the reveal to a later post.

It’s a New Year

It’s the first day after my 38th birthday. The Chinese say it’s the start of your 39th year. Either way, 40 is around the corner. I feel that I’ve been dealing with my image and weigh issues as long as I can remember. And it’s taken until now for me to do something about it. 

I know that in previous post from the past year have been about positive change and positive thoughts (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I truly feel that I’ve finally taken action. 

Two weeks ago Monday, I walked into George Kiriakou’s gym, Fight2BeFit, and told him that I was time for me to sign on with him.

I’ve know George for a few years now. We live in the same building and I knew that he was a trainer (at another gym that I won’t mention) for a few years, but wanted to go out on his own. And six months ago, that’s exactly what he did. 

Within a couple of months, he approached me to have an open house/info night for the residents of our building. So I helped him make it happen. He suggested that checked out his first. I walked into 77 Finch Avenue E to the lower level to find a room with the usual suspects – upright an reclining bike, elliptical, stairs and a treadmill, plus all the range of free weights. Turn the corner and there’s a ghetto kitchenette that he called a Protein Shake Bar with one bar stool. There wasn’t much to it. I really wondered how I’d get to my goal in a place like that. 
Well the open house/info night arrived. I really wasn’t sure who or if anyone would turn up. I didn’t think that anyone would  want to pay for a gym membership when we had those same machines in our condo gym. Sure enough, people came. We had about 15ppl come. All of them gave their contact info and got a booklet of free passes to try out services and classes that offered at Fight2BeFit. 

I still didn’t sign up as I had just committed to a year at another gym and I couldn’t get out of it (and I still wasn’t sure if I couldn’t do it on my own). I knew and believed everything George was saying at the open house/info night. January 3rd 2011, I start at my new gym with great enthusiasm trying all the classes. I even signed up for nutritional counseling. 

Three months in, I became frustrated. There was little change to my weight, endurance and clothing size. My mid way goal (of 20lbs down) was 2 weeks away and I wasn’t any closer to it since I had been battling the same 5lbs since January. 

Back to today. It’s the day after my mid way goal, and granted I’m 14lbs from the mid way goal, but I can say that I’m stronger, my recovery is getting better and I already noticed that doing my cardio on the bike is getting easier. 

This is the year that I change my life for the better. 

– Posted using BlogPress

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy New Year! The Year of the Rabbit.

Gong Xi Fat Chai! Kung Hei Fat Choi

This Chinese New Year seemed to have crept up on me. Normally (or previous years) I used to decorate the house, get everything ready (buying new things, having the red pockets ready etc). But this year, the only thing that I remembered was that I would get time off from work.

To prep for Chinese New Year, I would get out our decorations, clean the house and buy something new (face cloth, slippers or PJ’s). I would get some red pocket envelopes and some crisp new bills and get it ready to give to my daughter. I’m still figuring out what traditions I want to continue/pass down to her. And I try to remember what my parents had done. Here’s what I remember:

Days leading up to New Year’s Day, you clean your home from top to bottom. The sweeping of “bad luck” allows good luck to come into your home

Day 1 New Year’s Day you put away all the brooms and dust pans so not to sweep away the “good luck”. The purchasing of something new to wear or getting a haircut represents a fresh start.

Day 2 (doesn’t apply to me) have married daughters return home to see their birth parents, as they might not be able to see them often after they are married. Also the second day would be the day that new businesses would start.

Day 3 is the day that you would stay home. You wouldn’t socialize with friend and family to avoid saying bad things or fighting with them.

Day 7 is the common man’s birthday. This is the day that we are all a year older.

Day 15 is Lantern Festival. This is the day that I’ve known to be like a Valentine’s Day where single women and men seek each other. This also marks the last day of the New Year celebrations.

All of these might not be 100% accurate, but it’s how I remember it to be.

So for those who celebrate Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year

Loving my Lululemon

I had just updated my status on Facebook that I have dropped a total of 30 lbs since I consciously decided to make a change.

Back in April, I went to a family wedding in Taiwan. I’m not sure how much I actually weighed back then, but I felt like I had exploded. The flight to Taiwan/Hong Kong not only made my feet and ankles swell, but the rest of my body (so I thought). Everything looked wrong. I looked wrong – I lost all my curves. I felt like I was expanding like Aunt Marge from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I was embarrassed to have attended the wedding looking like this. Seeing my extended family (for a mini family reunion) and be double the size that I thought or felt I was.

I have dealt with my weight issues all my adult life, plus having a baby (7+ years ago) I had tried it all. From Jenny Craig/Weight Watchers. Herbal Magic and wishful thinking. But I knew what I needed to do. So I bit the bullet, contacted a nutritionist. I knew that weight loss was 80% what you eat and 20% exercise.

The nutritionist couldn’t take me as a new patient until June, so in the meantime, I cut out processed foods (as much as I could) and pop.

I should add that not long after this photo was taken, I went to try on bridesmaid dresses for a wedding that I was a part of for later that year, and I was fitted into a size 22!

I was finally able to meet with the nutritionist [June 21st, 2010], had my intake and assessment and I followed her recommendations the best that I could. I then hired a personal trainer. I started with her July 22. By that time I had dropped 12 lbs just by changing what I ate. After 3 sessions, I had to leave for a family vacation for 3 weeks. During that time, although I was only able to keep up my workout for the first week away, and was on my new food plan 50% of the time, I dropped another 8lbs by the time I returned home.

I set a goal, to lose as much as I could for the wedding of my friend, which was Oct 4th and therefore I had 5 weeks to pull it off. The trainer asked me to commit to walking at least 3 days a week for 10-20 mins. And I managed to do 3-5 days a week for 30-60 mins. We met 2 times a week until the wedding. I had lost inches but maintained the 20lbs down. I’d say that my dress size had to around a size 16 (although it was custom altered)

Of course I kept going. My ultimate goal is to be around 150 lbs and a size 6-8 (or any single digit dress size is fine).

30 lbs lighter30 lbs lighter Here I am today – 7 1/2 months later and a total of 30 lbs lighter. I’m a little over half way to my goal. And most of my loss is in my mid section. My pant size hasn’t changed, but I am in a Medium/Large for my tops (instead of XL-XXL) and the top that I am wearing here is a Lululemon and it’s a size 8!

A friend ask me how I was feeling about this milestone. At first, I didn’t feel any different. But now, I feel like I have accomplished something big. So even though I might not official be a size 8, thank to Lululemon’s top, I feel that I am.

[Previous posts Nutritionist and Committing to a New Lifestyle]

Here’s to 2011

I’ve been posting irregularly on my blog. I’ve been over extended the last couple of years. I haven’t even been able to post on my daily photoblog every day either. And after attending Blissdom Canada, I realize that I still need to work on finding my [written] voice and have more of a focus of what and where I am posting.

That being said, I am going to create a list of things that I plan on accomplishing this year. I will be coming back to this page to strike off every task that is completed.

[* represents priorities]

  1. (Aside from Books) get rid of things that I don’t touch/use on a [semi] regular basis
  2. Clean out my storage (at my father’s house) so that I only keep seasonal clothes and items for my work studio
  3. Sell, donate, throw out all baby stuff (minus a couple of momentos)
  4. Downsize my [Everbest] office library
  5. Try out as many different classes at my new gym in the month of Jan then:
  6. *Schedule a regular exercise routine
  7. *Create a healthy and balance diet
  8. *Use a meal planner
  9. Create a healthy meal plan for DD (that she will be willing to eat)
  10. *Lose 20lbs or 2 dress sizes by my birthday in March (a kind of half way goal)
  11. *But lose a total 40-50 or down to a size 8-10 dress size (by May 28)
  12. Wear moisturizer with SPF daily/take care of my skin
  13. Truly organize (everything in its place) my home/office and simplify my life
  14. Read “Getting Things Done” and apply it (while using Remember the Milk efficiently)
  15. *No more Fast Foods, No more Pop, No more Processed Foods
  16. File my taxes on time. Get all my personal documents in order
  17. Maintain my friendships with friends near and far, beit via phone, email or Canada Post
  18. Make ALL my gifts or give anything that I have in my gift trunk

Blissdom Canada ’10 and Blissdom ’11

I was a late registrant to Blissdom Canada’10. I had heard about Blissdom prior to it coming to Canada from a few blogger that I follow. I never thought of going to a conference for myself until I noted that a lot of the Tweeters that I follow (from Canada) were going to Blissdom Canada.

So I missed the early bird registration when it was a good price, and to make it more difficult, I had to go on a wait list (which I thought was a cruel way of saying that you’re not going to make it this year). I really didn’t think that it was for me until I got the email (and a phone call) giving me a 48-hr window to register as my name came up on the wait list.

Without hesitation, I registered (although the extra $100 really hurt). After tweeting that I was going to Blissdom, I approach a techy mum from [my daughter’s] school yard that I had been socializing since Spring of this year. I asked if she had heard of Blissdom and if she is going, and she tells me that not only is she going, she’s a speaker and she was one of the people that approached the ladies from Blissdom to bring it up to Canada.

It took a lot of juggling with babysitting, but I finally made it to almost every event. Wished that I could listen to all the sessions. But I got a lot out of the ones that I heard. There were amazing speakers. There were inspiring and encouraging ladies there. It was a great time.

After the three days, and “following” as many ladies as I could on twitter that I met, I started to “engage” as Scott Stratten said in his keynote speech. But by Monday, life was back to normal, I had to get my daughter to school, I had to play catch up with work and I’m still trying to find time to work on …. myself.

Then I think about where I came from. That I have been working hard all year on personal improvement. For the first part of the year, I had been figuring it all out. By mid-year, I had found a nutritionist, (six-wks later) a personal trainer, I de-cluttered my storage of all baby/toddler stuff for a Mom-2-Mom sale. So I’m on the road to my goal.

One2One Network is having a Blissdom ’11 Conference Giveaway, where the grand prize is an all expense paid trip. With the conference in August ’11, it would be a nice way to celebrate my first year working towards a more blissful life.

I don’t think that I’ll be able to go to any more out of town conferences in the next year without contest like this. So wish me luck.

Progress

Seems that since I last posted, which was back in July, I have managed to continue my weight loss. I’ve managed (since around June 20th, 2010) to have lost about 20lbs. This was all though better choices of what I ate + exercise. I’m continuing with my trainer, and starting next week, I think that I will be seeing her 3 times a week. This way, I think that the days that I don’t see her, I get a break.

As for personal goals (sorry, I was just thinking about new year’s resolution – and that start of the school year is like a new year):

1. take more photos

2. learn to use my Nikon D90 properly – can’t get the internal light meter to work right

3. finally have a house warming party

4. clear out everything that I don’t need anymore and try not to become a hoarder

5. do more for others

Committing to a New Lifestyle

It’s been a while since I have posted because I have been busy changing my habits. I had hired a Nutritionist prior leaving on my West Coast trip and I had filled out all the forms and answered all her questions. So that upon my return, she had my plan all ready to present to me.

So I started my new eating habit on June 21, 2010. And in a months time, without adding any exercise to my routine yet, I’ve manage to drop 12lbs – which has already made me reach my minimum weight-loss goal for my friend’s wedding in early October.

Then earlier this week, my good friend forwarded me a email where a personal trainer has a summer special. So I met with her yesterday. We hit it off, and I have a good feeling that I can work with her on this.

I’m putting it on paper (okay, the web) that I’m committing to walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

I’ll be meeting with the trainer for 3 sessions prior to my East Coast trip, then upon my return, I’ll be working with her twice a week until the end of the year (well, let’s say until the Christmas holiday).

So I’ll keep you posted with my progress!