“Okay Google, stop the music,” I say.
For a long time, I was a professional writer at an indie rag based out of Guelph. I wrote dozens and dozens of articles. Conducted dozens and dozens of interviews. When that mag went defunct, I began my own. And I spread my wings further, by blogging for a tourism sight. Finally, I’d become the one thing I’d hoped for as a child – to write for a living.
But the magazine I owned became work – grueling, sleepless nights, work. I love work. I love to work. So it sounds magical in my mind – 3am twilight hours, furiously clacking away at my keyboard about some fantastic group that landed in my proverbial lap – laying affirmation and validation to the little magazine that could.
The truth is – writing became a chore, when I had editing, and publishing, and marketing, and advertising, and staffing, and delivering, and web developing to deal with. And a fledgling bank account that threatened to be completely depleted every ten seconds. And on top of struggling to even publish my magazine, (which I was not being financially compensated for – nor was anyone else who wrote for me), I still had to have a day job, raise children – attempt to be a decent wife, which was revealed as a fail some few years later.
So, sitting down now and writing takes work. It takes work to walk my weary ass from my couch to my table (I cannot write if there is music in the background, a TV playing – anything distracting, including a cozy recliner) and actually lift the lid on my laptop and spin a yarn. When I complete a task, like a blog, or a press release, or an entry, or a wordy prose on how my weight loss challenge is going, I feel liberated and excited – accomplished, even. Writing never fails me. It never gives up. There is only one thing that brings me to a sense of self-satisfaction – it’s writing.
I had committed to myself that I would blog weekly about my weight loss journey in 2022. I haven’t. So, we’re starting on Day 1 of Week 4. There’s only one direction we should all be headed towards – forwards. Not backwards. Not living in the past, or in our shoulda coulda wouldas. Just forward. So let’s recap what the first three weeks looked like, so I can justify my non-blogging ways.
At the end of December, I announced my 2022 challenge. Since each year, I try to prioritize my health by pushing my mental and physical being to the brink, this time, I’ve entered a BodyBuilding Competition. And I’ve got 9 months to shape up. So I’ve enlisted Farr of Visionary Fitness to whip my ass into gear.
A year ago, I was headed to towards the lowest I’ve ever weighed since having children. But, after six months of anxiety medication, a break up, and a move later, I’d since gained back a bunch of what I’d taken off.
Day 1. No filters. Back up to over 200lbs.
Ugh. I’m just going to say, “Ugh”. We’re all thinking it. We look in the mirror, and we just go “ugh”. Especially being nearly 40, and single. Like. It was hard enough to date in my 20s when my waist line didn’t get its own dialogue. But now, how do I put myself back into the world when I’m feeling so fucking low? And it’s not the weight, as it is the shape I’m in. When I first started losing the pounds in 2020, I couldn’t believe the hour glass shape I was developing. Though I’d always have the belly over the belt line issue, there was a curviness along my silhouette. My waist line was shrinking. Now, I feel about as dumpy as a potato. And I want to look in the mirror and feel fucking terrific, and healthy and happy. How do you do that when you’re admonishing yourself for putting back on the weight?
Oh. Did I mention I picked up smoking? Not my finest move. But, inevitable. Stress has always triggered me lighting up again. And with no one to be accountable to but myself, this vice found its way back into my world, and quitting it has been anything but simple.
After seeing myself tip the scales at more than 200 again (a threshold I’d promised I’d never see again), I was finally meeting Farr for an assessment.
I refer to Farr as a “gentle giant”. For a dude that looks like he could crush a brick with his bare hands, he is soft spoken, and kind. And motivating. And kind. I don’t think I know anyone as kind as he.
By this point, I’d considered myself motivated, ready and hungry for results. Food is something I can do. After my year of losing weight, I know how to eat. How to sub in Greek Yogurt, and No-Salt Salt. How to measure chicken, and add extra veggies. I can do breakfast shakes, and drink a ton of water. I was ready to do this.
Day 1, Week 2. Results. Actual, as I live and breathe results. Almost 5lbs down in seven days. I had begun work as a house cleaner, and the calories I was burning were fabulously falling off of me one by one.
But Mama said there’d be days like this.
Ford shut down the gyms, and I fell off a chair. Like an asshole.
With this fresh set of setbacks, I saddled up for what I knew was going to be a shitty check in on Day 1, Week 3. And I wasn’t wrong.
That brings us to this week. A recap of what Week 3 eventually spilled on to my plate. And how I dealt with it.
On Monday, during the wicked-ass snowmaggedon, Snomicron, Betty Whiteout, I took the time off work to get a second opinion about my ankle that just wasn’t healing the way the ER doctor had promised. I hobbled my ass like a pirate to a local walk-in clinic to be assessed, and, unsurprisingly, it took less than five minutes to have new xrays ordered. I was told: “It’s either a fracture, or the ligaments. You’re right to have come back.”
The OG doctor from KGH was adamant that an airboot was “overkill”. That I should be up and walking on my foot without too much strain by the end of the first weekend. It ballooned up like a golf ball from puttering around my house. Something was wrong.
By Tuesday, the results were back. And, if I didn’t think I’d be cursing the universe by saying out loud – I very nearly wish it had been broken. Because the results I received felt like a bomb. “It’s the ligaments,” announced the doctor in her follow-up. “And I see early osteoarthritis. We’ll need an ultrasound in two weeks. And I don’t expect you out of that cast for six. Then physio and massage therapy. This could take a long while to heal.” She assured me I could go back to work “within my pain threshold” and drive “within my pain threshold”. Fuck.
By Wednesday morning, I was adamant I was getting back to work. I’d been off for more than a week. I was going to get into my damn car, and head to my client’s house to clean and I was going to do this as safely as possible, but it was imperative I go back to being able to provide for me and my kid.
I walked around my house with the boot on. My ankle was barking at me. I conceded and called a friend for a lift. I couldn’t drive. I could feel it. But maybe if I could get a ride to the client’s house, I could clean wearing the cast. There was still hope.
Packed, dressed, airboot fashioned tightly, I grabbed up my cleaning caddy and headed down our hallway to the elevator.
And burst into fucking tears.
The caddy weighs around 10 or 11lbs. And carrying it while on the cast was not an option. I could feel my ankle swelling inside the boot. I texted the client. And my cleaning agency. And I was defeated.
It’s been an arduous process of staying mentally fit while adjusting to a physical set back. And it’s going to take all the strength I can muster to make it to the competition in September I refuse to back down from. Fortunately, with the injury happening in January, I have lots of time to heal and continue to try and get into shape for the fall, and I’m focused on that.
What can I do, if I can’t work out? Concentrate on diet.
And probably most importantly – heal. Ankle up, boot on, try not to push it. Advil. Ice bags, bean bags, muscle cream. If not the competition coming up this year, I can’t let this injury be the deterrent for my rollerskating career this summer.
I’ve had an extraordinary number of people message, provide help, motivate over the past two weeks. I’m extremely fortunate, and lucky, to have the family and the friends I do. I’m working diligently on not slipping into a depressive coma again by feeling sorry for myself. And I’m relying on good mental health to prop me back up on my path, and keep fighting to get the distance.
With that said, we’re back on track.
Just about 3lbs down this week, on a quest to find myself, my body, and my purpose. Just over 5lbs this month overall.
Some may say – with these tiny fluctuations, do you really feel the need to keep stepping on the scale, and taking photos?
For me, this is what I need to chronicle this journey. This is what I require. Journeys, paths – they’re different for everyone. As unique as your own story, and your telling of it.
Time to pump up an at-home gig.
I hear Ford is giving us back our gyms.
“Okay Google, play the music.”
– c ★