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Life Is Suffering; It Does Not Mean We Should Suffer

I think we all have been there. Me for sure. More than once. Repeatedly time. The wallowing in pain and suffer. Feeling like you are about to suffocate from the despair you exhibit.
The pain of unmounted levels and the feeling that nothing is interesting anymore.
It seems like many of us, if not all, have been there or are there. Again, me included.  The idea of living without pain and suffering has been impossible. Almost offensive to me, when presented.
How on earth would anyone be anything else than pain and suffering. Life is not fair, and the sheer thought of that statement, that life is not fair, is painful in itself.

It would aggravate me and offend me. As if all my collective suffering would be greater than anyone else suffering.
It seemed as well as it was this what life was about. Endless pain and no happiness in sight.
Why would everyone work against me and my happiness? If people could just act and be so I could feel happy.
It was in fact everyone else faults the whole debacle of pain and suffering.

Really mean people!

After my most recent meeting with hello darkness my old friend though, I had the good fortune to be around a friend who took me into a new train of thoughts, and on that have I built something new.

Buddhists believe that suffering is part of life, to be expected, and that if a person experiences pain calmly, without becoming emotionally distressed, he can attain greater states of being.

Life Is Suffering; It Does Not Mean We Should Suffer

What is then the difference between these two statements?

Looking at it from a language standpoint we have a thing: Suffering and we have an action: To suffer.

One is an observation we can say and one is the action we are doing.

I can observe that life around me is suffering. It is. I will not take that away from anyone.
My divorce was inherently painful.  Living as a single mom without proper salary and the stress it put on me was also huge suffering.  Me ending up in the hospital at the mental ward as I totally burned out from the suffering.

Life is suffering. It is. It is painful to live and most of the things that we endeavor are painful. It is not fair and a lot of times are we treated unfairly. We do things we do not want and are pushed to people we do not maybe like because we are in a position that we cannot do anything else. 
These are all sufferings. They are hard and painful things that happen.

I can also observe how I act.
There are big events happening in life from which we cannot escape. I was getting a divorce was; I was going to live on air and bread from now on.

I acted it.

I went into it with all the pain that one can imagine.  Before I had my mental breakdown, after moving back to Prague and Europe, I lived in stress and agony and pain. I wallowed in my pittieness and whenever something positive came my way, I immediately dismissed it.
It would not make any difference anyhow, as my suffering was bigger than anyone else. Mine made sense and I had no other option than to live like this. In this. Unless maybe all people around me started to act in the way so I could stop feeling pain or that all bad things happening would stop happening.
Then it all would be OK.


Here is where I truly think I was wrong. And so many like me. We live the suffer instead of being trajected by it.

There is a difference between a thing and an action.  We can observe and then we can choose.

Before Life Transformation
dav

Then What? A Life With Suffering; Without Pain

Pain is a basic instrument for our body signaling that something is wrong. The suffering is there. You feel pain. Now what we have to do is to remove it.
That is the purpose of suffering. To overcome it and to act on it. If we do not act on it, we stay in the state of suffering and we begin to suffer.
We begin to see the world as a black, dark and lonely place. Very often blaming others for their good fortune and how we cannot have the same. As we are suffering.

Believe me, I have done this. Over and over and then again over.

In the last years, after my collapse, I decided to live a life not in suffer. It has really not been easy and I have slipped up many times and wondered if this is really the path to walk.
To see the suffering, acknowledge it, and move on. This is what I am doing. Even more so the last year.
I decided that I was done feeling like the world was about to crumble. I had just had enough.
So small changes at first. I decided to everyday work on myself; to become a little bit stronger and a little bit better version of myself than I was yesterday.
I reconciled with the idea, that I will have struggles and hardships for the rest of my life.

This is what life consists of so why try to escape it.

The funny part is, that once I reconciled with that idea, and that happiness is not the ultimate goal but removal of pain is; a lot of pain disappeared.
So after deciding that every day I should be a bit better, I had to look at the things that brought me too much pain and clinically look at it and remove it.

I just had to do, whatever I needed to do, to be able to observe something and see it for what it was and make changes.
because that is what suffering is telling you to do. Change. Evolve. Move forward.
It has been everything. Jobs. Friends. Hobbies. Dreams. 
it is hard as f**k to start with, as everything is at the beginning. Everything has a learning curve. Am I doing the right thing? What if I make a mistake in what I think is right?

Well, if one action or situation or person or whatever gives you the same feeling over and over or we do the stupidest things that we feel ashamed of. Anxiety about. Stress from.
There sherlock, that is your cue. You are in pain and you need to honor that sign and do something about it.
And the amazing part is, that if we for some reason see that what I thought was the right thing to do in the end was not. We can always do something about that too. I am not saying it will be easy, not at first. Just as nothing is easy at first. Remember when I was going to go for my first run and I failed after about 10 meters.
This is just the same.
I run 10 kilometers today. You can as well if you are willing to change and do the work.


My Net Worth Status- Half-year Mark 2021

As you all probably have understood, this has turned into so much more than just weight loss and its journey. I am tackling life and all of its aspects to find the root problem of my weight and fix it.
I have been able to identify few things that make me overeat and one of these things is:

My finances and money!
It gives me great deal of anxiety.

No let me take that back.
It used to give me a great deal of anxiety. The stress that I felt often ended in me eating.
At least that was something I could control. It felt like I had no control over my life and finances and that it forever would be in disarray.
Of course did I have control, it was only an awful negative feeling, that was cemented inside me.
I would forever be poor and I would never be able to get out of the rat race, never be able to go on holiday, never be able to retire, never be able to do anything.
Things did change though, and I read books and watched videos about money and how to manage it.
Today I am no longer feeling this black pit in my stomach, due to my finances. I have really shaped it up quite incredibly.

I sometimes visit the same old thinking patterns and stress out and get anxiety, due to absolute doomsday thoughts.
Losing jobs and ending up homeless and needing to live off the grace of stately support.

I have less and less of them though, and it is both a relive and strange feeling.
My plan all along though is to grow what I have.

Where Am I Today?

As I have written before, I did manage to get my emergency fund in order. This means that I have 6 months of living expenses saved up.
Thanks to this one, I was not stressing myself to death over the forgotten phone while in Spain and I know I can go on holiday in peace using some of it.

At first I this was my only goal.
This was the end goal. Knowing that I would have this fund and that would be it.
During my period of saving it up, this has changed. As with everything else on this journey 😀
I have a deep feeling that I want more and I need more in many sorts of ways.
So as of today, I do have my emergency fund and my sinking funds.

I have officially reached and crossed the 100 000 line.

goal lettering text on black background
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com



– No this is not dollar nor Euro but Czech crowns, so maybe not as much as some but for me. Hell yeah!

I am so incredibly happy and proud of it. This has really helped me a lot in reducing the level of my anxiety.
It is quite interesting though, as when I started this transformation this amount seemed so high and totally a fortune, now it seems like just a small dent of a fortune.
Especially as I made a decision though to add more money into my fund, I am opting for 12 months.

You Cannot Save Up Wealth- This Is What I Do Now

I live pretty frugally.
I live below my means and I do save a lot today.
I look at things and wonder if I really need to get or buy an item or if I can do without. Pretty often it means that I do not buy it, as I realize I can be without.
I do not let the lifestyle inflation eat up my pretty good paycheck.
I can save quite a lot of money, and I really enjoy doing it. I do not think it will likely change anytime soon.

What I do not think though is that one can save up wealth.

I do not want to cut back on everything and save 70% of my paycheck. That is not what I am looking for.
My latte for 2 euro a cup, will not bring me wealth if I cut it down.
Do not get me wrong, cutting back and making sure I did not use more than I got helped me a lot. For sure.
But where the real work began, was a good paycheck that made it possible for me to save up bigger amounts.
But the good paycheck just takes me one step.

The same as the latte cut back will not make you rich, saving from your good paycheck will not make you either.
Obviously some exceptions here, but I am talking about us regulars with normal wages.

I believe in investing.

photo of person holding smartphone
Photo by Anna Nekrashevich on Pexels.com

I think that to build a bigger net worth I have to invest. Of course, now comes the crux; what the hell to invest in.
By the end of 2021 I want to have reached and crossed the 250K line. I got 6 months more to go and quite a bit to go.


What is your best tip and what to do to make this happen?

Non-Scale Victory #2- I Am That Person Now!

I have quite often in my life been jealous of people who are sporty. I have secretly wanted to be just like them, but not been able to put my shit away and do something about it.
I would hide the jealousy with either mocking them to myself or just blatantly trying to make them, if a person I would know, just as lazy and incapacitated to life as I was.
Claiming that their life was just boring, and consisted in nothing fun and that I felt sorry for them not wanting a fun life.
Secretly just wanting to be, healthier, in better shape, mentally stronger, and slimmer.
I would also try to make everyone around me feel and say the same thing. How I would try to justify my own mediocrity by pulling them down.
I have to say it is a really ugly trait.
One thing I could never understand; openly made fun of, secretly really liked, and always envisioned myself doing, was the vacation exercisers.
Why would someone want to go for a run while on holiday, when you could drink wine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner- and truth to be told quite late into the night too.
I had no one to be accountable for. I did not want to be accountable for anything
Stuff yourself with food- I mean I was on holiday god damn it. I deserved it.
Or I had an afternoon off, or it was Friday. or my birthday or something else.

Now, something is happening, and I am really morphing into this person, that I have wanted to be for a long time, but in which I have felt constraints of being able to be.

  • Not strong enough to be myself.
  • Not really knowing what is me.
  • Scared of what would come if I went and did what I dreamed of being. At least I knew what I was now, change is really scary.

Still not knowing, but I am quite excited and interested where this journey is taking me.
I am being accountable of myself and my action

As Long As I Fit My Jogging Outfit in the Luggage I Am Good.

This is what I actually said when I packed for my vacation in Spain. I got myself new running shoes two weeks before the trip; I really made sure that they were broken in as I did not want to bring two pairs. My old worn out and new that would not be properly broken in.
I was counting how many jogging t-shirts I may need and if 2 pairs of pants would be enough for 7 days of traveling.
Jogging pants that is.
Jogging Pants people jogging pants.
One year ago I could not even fit in my jogging pants I had, let alone be thinking of bringing them for my 10K run I planned.
I got maps ready and caches that I planned to pick during the stay in Spain.

This Must Count As My Biggest NSV so Far.

When I woke up the first morning in Vigo, I checked my plans of where to go.
I made sure that there was music ready and I went out for my run!
Ok it was not really like that, I had to spend few hours working, I had a proofreading to finish. Then I went for a walk in the town.
But then!
I did that thing that I had seen other people doing and secretly wanted.
I was now the person out running on my vacation!

I know this might seem like a trivial thing to be excited about, but I have for few years really intended to live a different kind of life.
To be the one, bringing my jogging shoes, looking up the caches, and go running to find them has been one goal I have had in mind.
I desperately wanted to be that person.
Why?
Truth to be told, I had felt stagnant and mediocre for quite some time. Feeling that my potentials were much higher than what I performed.
I do not mean that only people that go running on their vacations are something, or that everyone else is mediocre.
No.
I just mean that I was stuck in a place and routine. I did the things I did, and I knew that for me they were no longer serving me. I wanted a change. I wanted to see that my life took me places.
Emotionally.
Physically.
And I had felt that the ways that I had been doing were not leading me anywhere new. It just brought me back to the same old and that same old would not meet me emotionally any longer.
This is a gain, a victory for me, as I can feel I am on a new path and life excites me again. I am curious about what I may find.

I am being accountable of myself. Coaching myself to go out and do it!

No road is right or wrong. You have to pick one that suits you for the moment. And when it does not feel right anymore, change again to join a new road.
This is where I am at.
On a new road, jogging along. I feel utterly and incredibly satisfied that I am on just this one.

No matter how long it will take to lose the weight I have, I have already hit my goal.
I am that person who wants to put the effort in. The one who does not mind bringing shoes for her holiday as it is no effort. It is just part of me.







A Profound Change and Peace of Mind- My Life Transformation

I am in Spain on a bit of vacation. I am absolutely loving it. After this last year and half everyone of us needs it.
I have my AirBnb so not meeting people, got tested before and will be tested again in few days.
I am extremely tired and I think that I would need more than just one week, but it is for sure better than nothing.
I feel so blessed that I can afford this. And with that thought started more thoughts.
Thought on how I take on life today. How, since I decided to take charge of my life, my life has profoundly changed.
How I am in such a different spot than I have been and how I have not really noticed the change and how I see life until now. I have had my fair share of testing my newfound attempt to peaceful living and harmony and I can honestly say that I am blown away with how I have been reacting.

As most things that could go wrong, has gone wrong, but my reactions to them has been quite fantastic. Things I have implemented during last year and half have shown to give results.

I Want You to Panic!

i want you to panic text on paper against wooden background
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

We sat on the bus, my daughter and I close to Prague Airport, 45 minutes away from home. 45 minutes until check-in closed. My daughter will be away for really long time, so we needed to check-in manually as there was a piece of luggage involved.
I looked for my phone.
Nowhere to be found. NOWHERE. I panicked for a bit. Getting angry and upset. How the hell am I suppose to be away a week without a phone.
I had one day of work which needed to be done, people to contact and some Geocaches to be found, just to mention some of the impediments not having a phone. I was so angry and felt the stress building up.
And then! Like a bolt.
My old cues to make me panic were not completely engaging. They stopped actually. It was strange. It stopped from escalating because:
New thoughtprocesses were there!
Just buy a new one. You get a new phone and a new sim card and problem solved. You have for the first time an emergency fund and this is when it should be used.
For an emergency.
I felt the anger and stress come right off. I have not thought about this unplanned purchase really at all, as it has not affected my plans over my trip. It has not dipped into my travel budget nor has it left me stranded.
It was a hick-up and now it is gone. 2 years ago, this would not have been the case. I would have eaten myself up inside. Hating and punishing myself. Talking bad about myself to myself.
What a “small thing” as an emergency fund can do. What peace of mind!

The Rest Which Followed

I ran about 10 KM out from the city, with the intention to take the bus back. I had misunderstood the information given and I was not able to leave with the bus. I needed cash, nearest ATM was about 5 KM away.
Just to start walking.
For a split second my first thought was to cry. Cry and Cry and feel that this was impossible to manage.
Then I reminded myself that I RAN the 10 KM out, and WALKING 5 would probably not be the end of the world.
Again the panic subsided and I was all good to go.
I found the ATM inserted my card and nothing happened. Nothing at all.
A man behind me told me that you should not insert the card, just use the contactless way.
Card was gone gone.
Again no panic. I knew I had some food at the Airbnb. I knew that I could walk the rest back home and I knew that I could transfer money from one account to another, having the money in a day or two.
Not at one point did I panic about it
2 years ago. I would have gone under. I have profoundly changed and gotten really peace of mind. I have, what they say, really transformed.

What Do I Dedicate the Change To?

purple petaled flower and thank you card
Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Many things but I can see few clear reasons why I am dealing with these debacles so much better than I would have done in the past. Again can I see that there is not one answer. Not only about one part of my life, but in many.
My holistic view is working out.

  1. My Emergency Fund.
    It is insane how this is helpful. I messed up NOTHING financially by forgetting my phone. No scandals. No Panic. No skipping meals while on holiday to pay this phone. Nothing.
  2. Physical activity and moving in general.
    I have way more energy than I had about 1 year ago. I was lethargic, out of breath just thinking about moving. Annoyed and angry as I was in horrible mood. Physical health has put me on such a great trajectory with my mental health. The mind clarity being active is something I neer intipicated.
  3. Not drinking alcohol.
    This is a topic I have not really touched yet. But I will. It is not that I never do it, but almost never and cutting it out from my life to almost nonexistent has been such an improvement of life. Hangover anxiety is a past memory. Forgetting my phone being hungover would have killed me. Not entering the bus hungover would have killed me too. My tolerance to shit happening has increased imensly. Also being mind clear, makes less shit actually happen.
    1. Cutting away drama!
      Not talked about this either, but will. You live the life you want to have.
      You shape your life.
      If I do not want drama, I have to leave drama behind. If I want peace I need to look for peace. It is that simple. Not easy but simple. All my actions need to transcend this. This is something I have worked on last year. It has helped me a lot.

      I am in no way finished and I am in no way perfect. I get anxious and panic. My mind plays tricks with me on a regular basis. What I did realize though these days is that I am on a very good path. The work I have put in is coming back. Imagine where I can be in another year!

      Where are you in your transformation journey?





From Snail to Speed of Light- Part 2 – How to Move Forward

fit athlete during training on running track
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

As you all, by now know, is that I am a somewhat newfound runner. Or at least a wannabe runner. A runner in the making.
I did a check the other day, mostly for fun of course, or maybe not. I am still not fully sure which one of them, it was.
Yes, so I did a check to see where in the runner scale I am. How much of one am I? According to this check, not a full runner just yet. Check it here.
Again it was just for fun.
What I have done though is becoming more intentional and focused when it comes to my running. It is such an interesting path. Never have I ever looked at exercise as I am looking at it now.
It is not a punishment it is an investment and a treat in and to myself. So I wrote a text about how I managed to go from absolutely nothing to something, sometime back. – Read about it here

I have now a new plan. Not so much looking back but looking into the future. How to move on from where I am, into something even better.

Where I used to be and the Future Where I Am Going

I have come a long way since I started my running journey, about 10 months ago. As you already read, it was an ultimate fail at first. My idea that I would just go and run my 10K without breaking a sweat just seems as quite ridiculous looking back at it. It is OK though. I did not know better.
I know that my goals seem too much for some. I have not received the best reactions as apparently they are too much for me but it is totally OK. I rather aim high and come somewhere near it, one day than conform to the idea that I as a fat person should not have plans or goals, that might be “too high”.

My old goals which I already have reached:

  • Able to run 5 minutes straight
  • Able to run 10 minutes straight
  • Able to run 3 KM straight
  • 5 K
  • 5 K in 30 minutes ( this one is still questionable if I reached as my Runkeeper stopped working the day of the run. So I am recycling this one.)
  • 10 K in one go, under 1.30 minutes. I did it in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

These are my new goals. Shorter list, but I am pretty sure it will grow.

  • 10 K in 1 hour sharp.
  • 5 K in 30 minutes.
  • 5 K in 25 minutes.
My first time trying hill practice- just last week!

What Is the Plan I Have?

I have been reading a lot of running articles and blogs. I did kind of surprise myself when I found myself doing this. It was about then I also figured that I am probably starting to think about this on a new level.

It started with Christopher McDougall’s “Natural Born Runner”
This one took me to the other places too, such as :

Runners World, Runners Need, Global Triathlon Network, and Higher Running just to speak about few of them. I constantly read and watch videos on this topic.
I started to see that a plan was really not set into action and what I did was great to get me reaching the goals I had reached but probably not the best to get to the next level.
My idea has been to just go out and run. The more KM the better has been my philosophy and that this would translate into faster, better, and longer runs. Automatically.
It seems like this is not the case.

I will have to incorporate intervals:

Running an interval involves running at a faster pace than your usual aerobic pace. … A pace that requires more huffing and puffing, a step up from your aerobic pace, is run for a predetermined length of time, with a recovery jog interval, and repeated for a set number of repetitions.Active.com

Hill training :

Training on hills improves leg-muscle strength, quickens your stride, expands stride length, develops your cardiovascular system, enhances your running economy and can even protect your leg muscles against soreness. In short, hill running will make you a stronger, faster and healthier runner

Slowrun:

Doing your regular, weekday runs at a slow pace reduces the risk of injury dramatically while still contributing to your fitness. A weekly long, slow run will improve your endurance, enhance your fat-burning ability, improve bloodflow to your muscles, and build mental toughness.

First time I did 10 K 1hour 15 Minutes.

How Will This Translate?

I plan to manage it like this.
3 times a week run so far, from now on to the end of June.

Week 1:
1x Hill training= Hills up and down for 30 minutes adding 5 minutes per time for this.
1x Slow run = Run for no time for 40-60 minutes. As speed nor length is really the interest I have seen it seems good to add some time here.
1x Interwalls= Meaning you do 400M fast 400 M slow. Then 500 fast,600, 700, 600,500,400. Inbetween 2-400 meters slow.

Week2 :
1x 30 Minutes fast= Run a fast 30 minutes race.
1x interwals= 5 Min fast and then 5 Min slow.
1x long run= The 10 K long run practice. Every 2 times of this adding another 1 KM.

These 2 should be switched between every second week.
So this is my plan and then by end of June see how my 10/ 5 KM speed has improved.
Let’s GO!

1 Year Anniversary of My New-found Life and Transformation


This was me exactly one year ago. I was just in the life-changing decision to start doing something with myself.
I was dead tired of myself and my whining. Every single time I met with my friends it was the same story.

“I want to lose weight. I am really getting too big. I just cannot go on like this. I just have to lose weight.”

But this went on repeat. Over, over, over, and over again. I was so sick and tired of hearing it.
I was also so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Because no matter how much I smiled, and how much I said I did not feel bad.
I. felt. Bad.
All. The. Time.
Something just had to change.

16 May 2020

What Made Me Change?

Not only did I feel bad all the time, but it also hurt constantly. If I sat, it hurt. If I stood up it hurt. If I walked it hurt. If I laid down it hurt. The photo above is from my first hike of 2020. I remember it so vividly, as I walked 20K steps and I was crying coming home. Everything hurt.

Not only that.
I knew that I was not well as my blood vitals did tell me that. Everything supposed to be high was low, and everything supposed to be low was high.

I would wake up with massive headaches and my uvula swollen and hurting, on an almost daily basis. I knew I was snoring, and I did fear that I was suffering from sleep apnea due to the really swollen face and aching throat.
It was more than just few nights when I was a bit scared of going to bed. What if the sheer weight on my chest would be too much and I would suffocate.

I would have a strange feeling in my head as if wind was blowing in it. Still to this day do I not know what that was. High blood pressure or something else. For sure something was off.
I would get winded really easily and I remember getting my step counter and really struggle to get 5000 steps in, as it was just too much for me.

Joints and ligaments were hurting. I was constantly tired. I was constantly hungry. I was scared of falling, I did not want to break anything.
It just had to stop.
One day I just had enough. I was 35 not 75.

July 2020- I had already started losing weight here

Transformation to a Healthier Life.

The start was really hard. I got a trainer 3 days a week that I paid a small fortune for. My best spent money ever. I was now accountable, not just to him – as at that stage I could not be accountable to myself. I did not know how- but also to my money.
A single mom in a raging pandemic, not knowing if she would have a job or not, paying for such nonsense. I just needed to not waste one single cent.
And that I did not. I kept that word to myself.

It is funny how I thought 10 sessions with this trainer would solve it all. Somehow I really did. Silly me!

II just saw it as a lack of regimen and that I needed to work out few times and life would magically transform itself to pink sky and rainbows.
After 2 months of this idea I started to realize that I was way wrong and it was more than just few sessions with a trainer that I needed.
Neither the dietist really did it for me. I knew what I needed to eat, that was not the issue. I just ate anyhow, regardless of the knowledge.
That is where the idea of a holistic viewpoint grew stronger and stronger.

My body and health is the product of all stress, anxiety, bad thought, old coping mechanisms, memories, traditions and habits. it was not just about getting on a diet and run 3 times a week. It was about honoring myself and creating a better life- in general and overall. A overhaul of my life and its inventory.


Test of My Transformation and Finding Support In Myself

I went to my GP 2 weeks or so ago. Probably more.
My vitals are back to normal, except one part of my cholesterol but it is so marginal that he said that it is deductible.
I am no longer deadly tired, at some few occasions have I woken up with my uvula swollen. My daughter tells me I do not snore any longer, at least not to the extent I used to.
I smell better, why I do not know. Maybe I am not leaking, from you know where, as I used to.
I have better skin, sleep better, eat better, and my mental health is totally 180. My work on all the mental parts has been huge. From eating few medications due to mental issues I take occasionally one medication.
It was 2 weeks ago I went for a hike and I did about 30K steps and I knew I could do some more.

I am not going to lie though, It has not been easy. It was not simple either. It was difficult and hard. It IS difficult and hard. There are still so many parts that are missing.
It has not been easy for my friends. The change I am doing, and everyone will not support.
Many times have I been tested in my conviction to my transformation. Tested to see if this is really what I wanted. Friends pushing to peer pressure to not do what I was on my path doing. I have slipped up. I have done things I really have not wanted. Just as “Old” Manka would do. Give up. Give everything to the instant gratification monkey. Not looking into the future. It is not their fault. It is normal but it would have been easy to just throw my hand up and give up but the positive feelings has so far been winning over old pathways and habits.
It has been sad to feel that I have not been supported but in that, I have reached out to others. I have reached out to myself and that push and accountability I so desperately needed to get from someone else- I gave myself.

I give myself!

2021 Hike

I have a long way still. There are more kinks and stuff I have to work on to get where I really want to go. I need to push myself again, a little bit more and not feel so comforted in this change. I need to continue doing more. I have stagnated some the last 3 months, as I feel it is pointless. Pandemic lockdown has not added positively to the motivation.
I still have things that block me and keep me away from reaching my full potential.
But this year has taught me that I can do it. I am doing it. I am full of accountability and I can do it without the external locus of control but my internal.
I am stronger inside myself than I thought. remembering that hike last year and this year they were just so different. And how this coming year is quite exciting!

Hill practice run! first of many to come!


What Did I Do to Get Active – Active Weight loss

Christmas 2019 at my highest weight

Working out nor not working out-that is the question.
The idea in the past was that work out alone was the main activity that would get us slim. Now the winning thought can be found in the expression:

You Cannot Out Train a Bad Diet

I do not know which is correct. I do understand that working out and eating shit will not do a lot. I do think that dieting alone and no training will make it harder and I believe that exercise is a healthier way  and will keep the weight off in the long run.

In May last year, I started off my weight loss journey by working out. I had the feeling I needed a massive action and that I could wait no longer and had to start. I might have gotten more results when I  really worked on my diet, but for me, the mental part of getting out and working out is the key for me to keep consistent.
So with no further ado.

What Did I Implement to Start With

I started off with a personal trainer. For me it was absolutely crucial. I do not have tons of money, and especially last spring when we were in total lockdown and all my clients postponed all work. I needed the push to prepay someone for a month worth of sessions, for the next following 6 months, so I would go. If I had to pay, I knew I would do it. I could not afford to lose that money.
3 times a week for 1 hour each. These were gym classes and not so much more. Resistance and a little bit of cardio.
I had this idea, similar to my running experience, that I would be out and skating, jumping, free running, swimming, climbing trees, and just be in total zen with my body from the very get-go.
That was obviously not the case. I realized pretty fast that this would take some time. And yes it does. This is a long ride. I slowly started adding things.

What Have I Added After This?

I added mostly walks to begin with. I have a friend that introduced me to it. Geocaching. If you do not know what it is, read more about it here.  A fun treasure hunt around your town, city, country. This I started to do every single weekend. Out and walk and collect caches. I remember one of the first walks that were a bit longer than just the normal walk in the city. I logged 21000 steps and I was almost crying coming home. Head spun all walk and at some point, I did even think I would pass out. It was really scary and the notion that I needed to do something now now now grew even more urgent.
With this came my running in. I slowly started that too. You can read about it here.

As School was closed, well and still is, the was a need to bring in my child into the mix. Set a good example and teach her from an early age to work out.  I used to swim a lot in the past, and I went to swimming lessons, so I do have some understanding of it and we began to swim together.

Trying to include her even more and have her moving inspired me to get a set of skates as well. This has maybe been the scariest of them all. Falling with 110kilos is not such a pleasant idea, so I have been terrified of it. My daughter has really liked it though.

Hard Lockdown Workouts

In October did Prague to into a harder lockdown. Gym and swimming pools closed. I had the feeling I needed to up my game if I wanted to reap the benefits of working out. Both mentally and physically. Without my trainer did I feel quite lost. In hindsight was this may be the best. It pushed myself more than anything else. I did not want to lose the gains I had managed to win.
With nothing more than me, myself, and I did I look into more things.

  1. Skating continued for as long as the weather let it. Not magnific but at least something. We did geocaching as much as possible.
  2. We are fortunate that we have quite a few outdoor gyms here in Prague. I went once a week to one of them.
  3. I ran on a regular basis. Not long but 3 times a week. I also started to add in my own resistance training.
  4. My body and I had quite some dates in my courtyard. I bought myself a skipping rope and in the dead start, I could skip about 30 seconds in a row. I am up to way much higher times.
  5. After running I implemented yoga practice, once a week. I am really stiff and help with my flexibility is more than welcome.
  6. Basketball with the intention to add something more fun and playful for my daughter and that she learns a new sport. Ok me too, I had no idea how to play basketball
    My 2021 Plan I am not really sure what I will do. I know I will continue, and that I will continue doing them all. I have this feeling though, this year that I want to add more structure into my exercise. Have a clearer plan and goal with it. There is an urge to see improvements and have some tangible measurement. Learning about what the different practices do and how they are connected is surging. I know that I did a lot in 2020 and I introduced many things, and this year I want to develop them all and more. It is a newfound love and I do not want to let it go. I think I might need to take some course or learn from someone, a bit more. It is all so exciting!

My 2021 Plan

I am not really sure what I will do. I know I will continue, and that I will continue doing them all. I have this feeling though, this year that I want to add more structure into my exercise. Have a clearer plan and goal with it. There is an urge to see improvements and have some tangible measurement. Learning about what the different practices do and how they are connected is surging. I know that I did a lot in 2020 and I introduced many things, and this year I want to develop them all and more. It is a newfound love and I do not want to let it go. I think I might need to take some course or learn from someone, a bit more. It is all so exciting!

Beat Procrastination- Beat Weight Gain

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

Maybe not beat but at least work towards some decreasing of it. I really believe hinder the instant gratification monkey and work towards productivity is to be truly successful on a long-term basis with my weight loss. It has to be sustained forever and to do that, I need to heal from whatever shit is going on and to heal is to work on things. It just has to be done!

What Is My Plan to Beat Procrastination?

I have written about my plan to beat procrastination here.

It is not so much of a very deep plan, as it only consists of 1 thing. Lists. That is the idea I have for the moment. I could have added few more steps and gone all-in killing this beast inside me, making me really unproductive.
I think of doing that would have been a failure as so much in my life, as I would not have been able to keep it going.
Too big of a change, and we get scared and do not do it. Too little and we get bored and do not do it either. It has to be the right balance.
My balance was 1 thing. One could not do less than I did but for me that was the right amount. That is how bad I was in actually getting things done.

How and When Did I Make My Lists?

Every evening, apart from very few nights am I sitting down at my desk and evaluating what I want. I do this on many different levels. What do I need done?

  • Short-term, such as everyday mundances but that is better for me to plan out so they get done.
  • Urgent things that have come up over the course of the day, or that I know will approach soon. Such as filling my taxes or getting my papers in order.
  • One-time work that needs to be done for the better good of life but that has been kept off such like fixing that squeaking door or calling the dentist for a checkup.
  • Long-term work needs to be broken down into smaller steps, so they get manageable and now done. Working on my children’s book or taking up that class so I can improve things at work.

I am trying to get all these points down and worked on the next day to make sure that it is a process for the long run into this equation and not the daily work points written down.

 Evaluation of  the Productivity

It is a strange and odd feeling I have. A feeling I have not really experienced many times in life. It is a warm fluffy feeling in stark contrast to the stressed, angst, and worried feelings I used to have.
What am I talking about?
The feeling of getting things done. Of really getting things done. Seeing that things get done, consistently and timely on a monthly, weekly, daily, hourly basis. Consistently and routinely.
Not having the feeling of un-accomplishment, stressed over lost time, always chasing the feeling of getting ahead. Angst over things not happening and ultimately lies over not done things. Lies to myself and others, why things are not done. What do I do with these feelings normally? I eat them up. I lazy them down.
I have had those feelings as long as I know. Being a mediocre failure that does not do what she should. All this due to procrastination and instant gratification monkey.
These are gone.
Gone.
Working with lists has truly transformed my life. I know it sounds like a cliche but I cannot credit anything else. It is an amazing feeling crossing over that item that I have done. Productivity level is up tenfolds. It is an amazing feeling to know that I have filled those taxes 2 months before deadline and I do not need to get stressed. I know that my story is being worked on and closer for that old dream of mine to be realized.
The squeaky door does not squeak anymore and my plants are thriving from the constant care they get. The stress has decreased as I know I am doing all that I should. No more lies to myself about what I did not do and why.
The only thing I wonder is why I did not do this sooner!

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Moving Forward- What to Do Now

I will forever do my lists now. I have tried few times not doing them, and I fall back into my old patterns. Not as bad as before but I accomplish way less if I do not write down what to do. The decreased stress levels are so important for my life that it is a no-brainer to continue with this.
So this is a given keeper. What I have also heard and read in many places is journaling and that how it can help with structuring up ideas and what to do and even though it might sound like a childish thing to keep a diary I have started this too.
I will see if keeping a journal can keep me even more structured and actually do the things I am set out to do. Maybe do some more things. Structure up how I do things. An evaluation of the day and why some things were not done.
It is small implementations but for me this has truly changed me and my life in the way I am productive and where to I have moved in 3 months.
What are you doing to beat the instant gratification monkey?

Intermittent Fasting As My Weight loss Strategy?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.
What does this really mean?

Well it can mean different things to different people, but in general it means this:

What does if actually mean? Basic information
  • 16:8 You have a 16 hours fasting window and you have a 8 hours eating window. Fasting essentially meaning that you do not consume any food. Some people also include drink anything else beyond water.
    A more simple way of putting it. You do not eat.
  • 18:6 Which is essentially the same as previous one, but with the difference of eating and fasting times. 18 hours non eating and 6 hours of mouth pleasure.
  • OMAD – One meal a day. Quite explanatory in it self. You basically have one meal.
  • 24 – You eat nothing for 24 hours.
    If you want to read more about it, as I am no way near a dietician or nutritionist. Please read here. I have read quite a lot here and I do really like it.
why would anyone torture oneself with this?

I did have this idea that it would be torture and too hard to do anything like this. Come on I have had 35 years of food dependency and used food as stress reliver. How would I be able to manage anything like this? Why would I want anything like this?
I did not read in the link above too much at that time, I did read this book which I found it in a city library booth.

Surprisingly at first, not so much when I started to think about it, IF(Short for Intermittent Fasting) has quite some health benefits they say. So what are just some of the benefits we can see eating after IF method.

  • For example, your body starts important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible.
  • Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals. And truth to be told this is the reason I started to look into this. The only reason.
  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels
  • Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers and blood sugar levels
    All these have I copied from
    HealthLine.

    These are just a few of the health benefits we can see with IF. As I wrote. Mine was only number 2. Nothing else. So I did start it. Thinking the fat would just shed off like snow in spring.
A new mindset forming

As I mentioned I started off IF with the mindset of losing weight. What a great way to lose weight. I did see it as some kind of magic pill. Just do not eat for 16 hours and the fat will just melt off. This is exactly what I believed. Melt of like snow in spring.
But like everyone knows, snow do not melt that fast as we want. It comes back and it is icy and mushy and just a big grey blob of smush.
This can sum up IF for me, for losing weight. Nothing melted off. I did not wake up one day and wohoo! 20kilos off! Not even close.
What I did though was pushing on almost every single day doing it anyhow. Let’s see this through, for once, was my mantra.
And you know what, something started to change.
After two weeks of headaches and fatigue something started to change. Not in the KG section but in the grey section. My brain.
Feelings of energy, amusement, clarity and possibility started to form. From sleeping quite poorly to sleeping really good. From being without energy to feeling full of energy. From brain fog to clarity. I started feeling that my runs went better, my recovery speeded up and the easiness of working out when my stomach was lower on intake, or empty. From feeling dependent on food and the mouth pleasure, I started to see it as a way of fueling myself. Something I have never ever thought about.

How does my if look like?

This is exactly how it looks like.
8AM– Coffee with milk to stave off a bit of hunger from the night.
12 AM- Lunch, which is normally a soup and a second plate. Quite often a small desert too. Had no photo from it though.
6 PM- Dinner- Plate of Yoghurt with fruit. Usually banana plus other fruits. Knackebrot or a piece of bread with ham and cheese. Tea with milk or Decaf coffee with milk.
6PM- 10PM – A cup of decaf coffee and tea or water.
And that is it.

So where am I know?

I have totally embraced IF. Not so much as a weight loss plan, as it initially started out. The KG are still not melting off. I go at a really slow pace. One still cannot eat too much to lose weight. Even if it is just in a 6 hour window. 6 hours window is not a magical number where you can have whatever you want and rest does not matter.
What I have started to feel though is that during these 6 hours, I have to make sure I fuel myself. I need the right thing to enter my body because I need the energy from it. This is an idea I never ever had before. I never thought of the idea of fuel myself. I just wanted to stuff myself.
Never have I ever felt good and done eating. I will not paint pink clouds and unicorns in the sky but I do have to say I am getting to the point I do not obsess about food.
My brain fog is just not there anymore and the amount of clarity I have is on such a different level. It is as if the brain has woken up after years of nothing.
So I will for sure continue with this. Not for weight loss but for life gain. For the future of myself.

From Snail to Speed of Light- My Running Guide

We all need to take that saying with a grain of salt, I do hope you all understand. I have improved, and in my eyes really impressively, my running form, stamina and speed. It is pretty awesome what the human body and mind can manage!
But let us take if from the beginning.

The Beginning 

Last year I started to see a personal trainer to kick me out of my house and start doing something. This was a huge incentive for me to start doing something about my health. For me health is mental and physical. Physical as in what the body can manage and mental in how you deal with shit.

I started in May and came June I felt it was time to add something more. Some cardio on my days without my trainer.

I envisioned myself how I started running and gracefully took long and amazing looking strides. How I would bounce on my feet and every obstacle would be nothing as I jumped and bounced around them.
I laced my shoes and off I went!
It was amazing, I was running! I took strode after strode. I would run 5K at least. Maybe I should even aim for 10!
About one minute into the run I collapsed. Lungs ached, I could not find my breath. Ankles begged me to stop already. Everything that had bounced around was not me gracefully but my fat rolls up and down, up and down hurting everytime I hit the ground.
My 10 KM plan was officially a failure. I made some walk-jog for about 2 and then it was it. 

A Plan is Building Up

I could have given up there and then as so many times before. Something is different now though. I do not know what, something just is. I did not give up. Not at all. Quite the opposite.
For the first time in my life, I put a plan in action. 

  1. I consumed every little running video on Youtube. With Global Triathlon Network being my absolute favorite. They have both beginner and advanced as their target. 
  2. Reading about running and how it is beneficial and helpful for us. How we should run and what is the correct running technique. 
  3. Made up a running plan and decided to rigorously stick to it, no matter what or how I felt. 
  4. Practice not just running but really focusing on running form. Aim to work on muscle groups which would be beneficial to train, aiming to help my run. 
One of the first times


How Did This Manifest? 

I decided not to jog with music at all. There were these two ideas behind it. 
One: if not finding my headset to be able to listen to music would be a reason not to go, I did not want that reason.
Second: I wanted to not get lost in music but really focus on my form and breathing. 

I also decided to run in blocks of 3 weeks. And stick to that block of time, no matter what. If I felt like doing more I told myself not to do it. I was still at 110+ kilos and running with this amount is not recommended. The strain on your joint and the added weight on ankles each time you step down your foot is not something to disregard.

My Plan I Followed

First 3 weeks were mainly about getting out. I jogged 2 minutes and then I walked for another 3. Jogged 2 and walked 3. I remember being dead most of the time. Not liking it and how my lungs and joints killed me.

Then I added one minute to the run and subtracted from the walk, so 3 minutes walk turned into 2 minutes and 2 minutes jog turned into 3 minutes. This I did for 3 weeks. I would take each jog and practice belly breathing. Trying to get as much air into my lower lungs.
My calves did really eat me up. I would cramp up really heavily. I did not understand from what, and did think I was running out of electrolytes. Now I just think it was just extremely heavy for my body, even these small jogs.

The next following 3 weeks, I added and subtracted again. 4 minutes jog and just 1 walking.
Once a week I would also do intervals. 1 minutes really fast, 1 minutes slow, 1 fast, 1 slow and then walk 1 minutes and repeat for 20 minutes and then 5 minutes slow jog and that was it. 30 minutes all in all.

And then it was 5 minutes of jog, this was my plan but actually I felt so powerful that when I decided for the 5 minutes I just continued to run though I remember. I was so full of the potential that I did not see the reason why not to just continue. I did 10 minutes in one go. For me it was like a 10K race. I was extremely proud. And rightfully so.
I took 5 minutes and focused on one specific form. Legs, or arms, torso, or head. This would make the 10 minutes easier.
Over time that has also really helped me improve my form. Which today is pretty OK actually.

My First Jog In One Go

Before this day, I had just been jogging and stopping and jogging and stopping. But the time I ran my first 2 kilometer in one go was amazing!
I do not have any record of it, but I was so extremely proud. I remember my bargain of one more tree, one more sign, one more 5 minutes. Soon had I finished my first 3 kilometer jog. No stopping. 

Where Am I Now?

My goal now is to run 5K 30 Minutes flat or less. 10K 1 hour flat or less.
How I will get there is a post all by itself because this post is starting to look like a short novel.
I will finish by saying that I went out today for a run, and I did 4,3K in 30 minutes. I am soon reaching my goal. My plan, my idea, my execution.
I have come a long way from that first jog in June. From feeling that jogging was a punishment, and that all my body hurt from it, I enjoy it today. I am looking forward for the runs and if I do not do them for a while, I get grumpy and angry.
It is a really integrated part of my life today.
It took some time, and I still have a long way. Hips hurt after running due to the extra weight. But persistence wins the race!