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?





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!


How to Holistic Weight loss- My Version

I read something really sad today. Something I think about quite frequently and it is something I have on my mind on a regular basis.
According to the article on CBC
“Only about five percent of people who try to lose weight ultimately succeed, according to the research. “
There is other research out there saying that losing more than 20 percent of your body weight once, has a success rate of 5% going for a second time the rate is down to 1%
This is not my first nor second time. But It will be my last time. That is why I am doing it differently this time.

Holistic Weight loss

“PHILOSOPHY

characterized by the belief that the parts of something are intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

MEDICINE
characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.”

And this is exactly what I do differently this time around with my weight loss journey. I have a holistic approach.
I cannot treat my weight loss as a free-standing problem in my life that does not affect or get affected by the other parts of my life. It is all connected.
I have problems with mental health and my mental health issues as many underlying reasons.
I have had financial instability and uncertainty and these issues give me stress and my coping mechanism is always eating. I cannot cure one thing without looking at the other.
I have lived an empty life, without meaning or path, guiding or reason. There has been no plan to work against, and nothing to work towards. I have just had the next meal in mind.
This is what I have done in the past. I have looked at weight as just the single issue of weight. Never ever have I wanted to deal with the issue at hand. All the other parts connected.

What  I Do For a Holistic Weight loss

I have made a plan to discover life. I know I am 35 but better late than never. I need to want to do something more than watch movies and snack. Or go for dinner and have food and drinks. Or meet friends and drink and have snacks.

  1. I am dedicating a minimum of 30 min a week to self-exploration.
    These are things that I do not know if I like, but I have to give it a go. I need to try things out. I have put some time into drawings. I will maybe not become a new master painter but I have to say has given me quite some joy. Ok, quite some frustration as well. I just don’t get how to do it.
    This targets the boredom of life which I often feel and staves off that feeling which just wants me to eat instead.
  2. Studying languages for a minimum of 30 min 3 times a week.
    I live in Czech Republic but I do not speak Czech fluently nor even close to it. This stresses me out, tremendously. What do I do when I am stressed? Yes you are right. I tend to sit on my ass, watch a movie and snack.
    This targets the discomfort I have with language which ultimately will give me peace of mind and less angst about it. 
  3. I work on my finances and the financial independence I am working towards. I have created budgets, sinking funds, plans, and investments to create stability and  foundation for me and my daughter. I do not need to go to bed nervous if I can pay my next rent or not.
    This is quite explanatory it targets the stability in life. 
  4. I am reading books again, both fictional and non-fictional. Traditional self-help books, investing books, novels, anything right now in written form. I want to read what others do or feel. Improving my own situation by learning from others and reading is an amazing resource for that. Reading how others have done things, inspires me to become or do even better, and keeps me motivated to not cave into the mouth pleasures of food.
    It targets the spiritual instability with little connection to meaningfulness I have. 
  1. I move and getting truly excited and interested about it. I know that moving is not the biggest need for weight loss. It has shown that for sustained weight loss exercising is an important tool. Being genuinely interested in it, and actually looking forward to moving and how to improve and what to do really help the entire process. Keeping active helps me with my food intake as well, and my general healthiness.

Will This Work?

I do not know. I cannot tell. I for sure hope so. I can just say that I have a quite different feel about this time around. I feel different. I am different. It is this notion of clarity and understanding. The things I do might change, but I will not stop doing them. Even if it will not work for losing weight, which it will, it is a really workable tool for my life. Getting ahead and having the life I want. Doing and experiencing life to the fullest. As it looks like now, this will be the thing that keeps me in the 1%.

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

Photo by Total Shape on Pexels.com
  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. 
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. 
  3. Drink water before meals. 
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. 
  5. Eat soluble fiber. 
  6. Drink coffee or tea. 
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. 
  8. Eat slowly.

Does anyone recognize a list like this?
I got this from googling “top daily tip on how to lose weight”.
This is not the exception. This is the standard. Almost everywhere people give tips and tricks like these on how to lose weight.
And even if these tips are per say not bad I no longer want to abide them. I used to, just as so many before me but this time around it has to be for life and never again. I cannot mentally go through this again. 
I want and do things differently now because I truly believe that these tips above are only short-term mentality. At least they have been for me. I want and need long-term success. There cannot be any other option for me. This is like my shot of doing it right. I am exhausted already, and making it again, I do not know if I have it in me. 
Hence me really looking into a new way of doing weight loss. Sustainable, long term, mindful and holistic. 
This means, for me looking into all aspect of life. Weight loss is  much more than the amount of water you drink, or how much raw food you consume.
Weight loss is about strategies and a fulfilled life which give you balance and helps you to choice wisely. Weight loss is about being in peace with your mind and get proper coping skills to deal with the suffering of the world. 

What I Do In a Day to Lose Weight

1. Making my bed- I do it straight away when I get up.
This was advised to me years ago by a really dear friend. He told me this when I was in my deepest depression in Bolivia, when I just had gotten divorced. I did not do it then though but wish I had. It does something with me. I start the day of achieving something! If I have achieved one thing, I can do just about anything. If I start the day doing something, I want to keep the day in a positive way. 
And is there anything better than going to bed in a made one!

2. Reading books– Last year I was able to manage 12 books.
This year I want to push it a tad bit more and get 15 under my belt. Once you are in the read, time flies and there is no time to think about anything else. It enriches me and I feel as if I accomplished something again.  An extra plus is that I learn something or only to get entertained. Keeps my mind away from wandering off into the dark side. 

3. Working attentively during the day-I do not only work and nothing else.
But I tend to be quite focused on what I do. I also tend not to think about food while I am working. I am a scout and the scout lead word is to always do its best. Neither this have I truthfully done in the past. But to be immersed and really work your best gives me a real satisfaction and I feel proud over it.  Why make myself unproud of this proudness, doing something which is not beneficial for me, such as stuffing my face or skipping that run. 

4. Working on a new or old skill. I often eat when I am bored.
I do not have time to be bored if I work on some kind of improvement of myself. Again, if I do it properly and give it my all, I do not feel I have cheated something.  Neither am I  in the need to eat those feelings of shame that I have done nothing,  away. I work on my self esteem and to see that I can actually improve, and quite quickly once I have decided about it is such a boost I do not want to spoil it with any negative feeling. 


5. Being on top of my finances. A huge stress factor for me has been finances.
It has been a big reason why I overeat and overfill myself. I have gotten so stressed so I do not know what else to do, then to eat. Having my finances in order and creating a strategy on how to improve them further gives me a sense of relief and I stress less. 
6. Not meeting people. I of course mean people which I do not want to meet.
I am terrified of being left alone. Not being loved and to have no friends. Many times have I met people “because we have been friends for long time and I should”. I am working on not feeling terrified anymore. Everyone do not need to love me, nor me them. I have met with people I did not even like and this is no a healthy action.  Due to some twisted feeling of should. Or old memories and connections. I do no longer do this, or rather say I try not to do this,  and it is such a relief!
7. Working out and watching my diet. Here it came though.
The bit more normal tip. I do try to move and exercise every day. I have a goal of walking 10 000 steps just to know that I have been moving. Then I do quite a lot of other things. You can read more about my activity plan here. I also eat after intermittent fasting and I try to stay away from some foods sometimes. There are no bad foods though, just unhealthy amounts! 

Does It Work Not Focusing on Traditional Tips?

Truth to be told, I have not been moving one single gram the last 2.5 months. Nothing. It is extremely frustrating and more than once have I broken down in tears. Why oh why do I not shed the weight? This is what I have asked myself. Not even one single gram and I struggle immensely with this as of right now. Just today I wanted to stuff myself with something, nothing in particular just something, as I could feel the panic and resentment towards myself rising.
Why you idiot did you do this to yourself. You are a fucking idiot and loser. No one will ever love you as you are such a idiot and you will forever be shit.
On and on it goes.
But somewhere I am truly convinced that if I do not focus on losing weight, and I am focusing on creating a balance in life. I focus on making my bed. On removing toxicity in life, on being gentle with myself it will give the best result. It might take longer time but it will happen. If I really look at my eating habits, there are probably tweaks I can do. I probably do not do all the points above all the time resulting in me not feeling well about myself and either do not do as good work out, or eat something I should not. My mind resent myself sometimes, and by doing this we hang on to weight. I need to forgive and let go. If I work on loving myself and enjoying this journey it will result in something good.

10 Months and 20 Kilos Later- Am I Failing My weight loss?


I have been on this weight loss journey for about 10 months. It is not for about, I should say for 10 months.
It was 10 months ago to the day, that I had my first workout with my trainer. It is interesting looking back because somewhere did I think I would be in great shape 10 lessons later.
As that was my initial plan. 10 Personal trainer sessions and I would be in top shape. What a naïve girl!
The first 10 sessions did not even do a dent in my weight and my overall performance and health. I loudly proclaimed that I would be done by end of month 2 and I would be able to return to life known before.

Where Am I Now? The Same Stats For Last 3 Months


I am at the exact place as I were December 11th. The exact place.
I did get that I did not stay consistent over the holidays and that I would need to work towards losing weight after new year and that did come true.
I did not expect it to come true for this long.
I weight myself every Friday but I took the executive decision to not do it for a couple of weeks. I had a total breakdown last Friday as I had again not even lost 100 grams. The weight transformation does seem to have stopped.
Not only the scale, but my measurements are the same as well. The exact same for last 3 months. I will not lie and say that this does not bother me, as it really bothers me. As well as all the tools and implementations I do which all improve my life, I do them as I think this is the key to a sustainable life and weight loss. I am starting to really doubt myself. Maybe this is not the route to go? Is it? I am doing everything right. Or am I not?

Weight Loss Plateaus Are Normal- Here Is Why

When I first started reading about weight-loss Plateaus I was quite excited. As the first things you read is this:

When a person reaches a weight loss plateau, they will no longer lose any weight, despite following a diet and fitness regimen. Research shows that weight loss plateaus happen after about 6 months of following a low-calorie diet.

That feels quite reassuring. It is not me who is doing anything wrong. It is just how the human body works. As I am following the same regimen both physical movement and eating habits.
The came the less reassuring information. And quite demoralizing information. It is all my fault.

However, the researchers behind a study on this issue concluded that although a person’s metabolism can change as they lose weight, this does not explain why the weight loss plateau occurs. They believe that the weight loss plateau happens due to a person no longer adhering to their diet plan. – Medical News Today.

This have I read in more than one place. Many sources point towards the same results and information.
So what is the conclusion for me? It is easy. I either do not eat really as well as I think I do nor am I expending as much calories as I think I do. One of these or quite plausible both. It would be so amazing if it was something that happened in the body which made us enter the plateau, but as researchers say. We are not as focused as we used to be anymore

Am I Failing My Weight loss or How Do I See It?

Looking at the “proofs” above, we can see I am not doing as well as I could do. I am on a plateau not because the body is entering a plateau for no reasons. I am not moving in any direction as I am not at focused and as strict with my regimen.
I am technically failing the weight loss as I am not losing anything. I do, however, not see it this way. I am somewhat learning how to live without gaining. Which is amazing! This is my end goal one day. Right now? No, but I truly try to see it this way.
I honestly believe that my way I am on, is the one for me. To not focus on only my weight loss as calories in and out, but focus on a holistic loss and improve many sections of my life. I am now incorporating this. I am more mindful and holistic than I have been before, so adding on extra levels will give me a “set back” in the weight loss section. I truly believe though that if I keep on this trajectory and keep being mindful, stress less, doing my daily lists it will naturally come. I will naturally take the food option which is most benefitable for me as I know I might not do that right now. Evidence says I do not. I will continue with my intermittent fasting not because I will lose weight from it but I have gotten amazing brain function from that. I will focus on the benefits from this route I decided to take and not just count calories, as I deeply thing It will move downwards if I just keep at it. Something I have learned is that keep consistent and focus and results will come.
This does not mean I freak out from time to time, I do. As said I will not use the scale for two weeks as I feel the frustration each time and that frustration leads to stress and stress leads to eating for me. So tweaking my life to keep calm and not stress out. Holistic point of view.
I am not failing I am learning!

Lifestyle Inflation- Do Not Stress Over Money With This

I have written about my start in improving my financial situation. You can read about it here.
However it was not an easy and straightforward transformation to actually care about my financial life, my budget, tracking it and actually sticking to it.
It took me a long time to see the value in it and see how it is holistically connected with other parts of my life. 
I felt it did not matter to budget, track or save. Every cent I had was needed somewhere. The money I got was the exact amount that I needed to cover my life.
Budgeting and tracking made no sense, so why do it? 
It would make sense though, once I started to earn more money. If I would have 1000 more that would do it. Then I could save.
Oddly enough, even when I got that 1000 extra it did not help. I found something I needed to spend that on so 1000 was not enough to save. But probably 5000 would be enough. If I would have 5000 more, I would for sure be able to save. It was never enough. 
So I had to look for more students to teach, more translations to do, and just more ways how to get those extra 5000 which I needed which left me working 12+ hours a day, as the rule and not an exception. Thinking back at it, I feel sad about it and how little time with my daughter I had. Spending it working and working. Each hour I increase, my stress and anxiety also increased. Never having time to fully recharge. I could not see how it was all hanging together.  How one part of life, influences the other. 
Only thing I was wondering was how come did I never have any money? I had those 5000 extra but I felt that I had less money than ever. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Never Having Enough Money- Lifestyle Inflation

 Many live their life like this. First time it hit me was when a friend of mine had her credit card declined. I could not understand it as I knew that her salary was in the 6 figures.
How could she have no money?

Lifestyle inflation happens when your expenses increase along with your income. As earnings increase, it’s natural to want to buy a better car or take another vacation. After all, it seems feasible. But if your savings rate isn’t at least keeping up with your rising expenses, you could end up worse off compared to when you earned less.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinmckenna/2020/06/22/the-true-cost-of-lifestyle-inflation/?sh=720381212423

How I Started to Say No and the Path to Financial Stability


This was exactly what also I did.
I had a decent salary but still a deep pit in my belly every time I needed to buy groceries.
Would there be enough money in my bank account?
I very often felt that it did not matter how much money I received as it all only disappeared. How was I still struggling paying rent when I had more money coming in than in the past? It was obviously a rigged game and I was the loser.  This was my excuse. I did not want to look myself in the mirror and see what I did wrong. 
What made it change I do not really know. Somewhere the transformation towards a healthier mindset commenced. 
Maybe had I had the feeling of being sick and tired of too long? A life revolved around anxiety and stress and pushing it away with, mostly, food.
The humiliation, stress, worry, and sickening feelings had grown enough big. Something just had to change. 

I started to finally say no.

Healing From Psychological Hunger

Photo by Henri Mathieu-Saint-Laurent on Pexels.com

I have been hungry as long as I can remember. I would eat, and almost immediately be hungry again. I would never think that the food on my plate was enough. Going for dinners was planned out so I went to the place not with best food but with biggest plate.
I constantly thought about what my next meal would be and look like.
I would be full, but feel hunger at the same time. Always wanted to eat something. Never feeling saturated.

It has for sure been one of my biggest struggles whenever I have wanted to lose weight. I have not been able to keep myself from not eating. The struggle has been too hard. I would go down to not eat almost anything and then one day have some of the forbidden food and I could not stop myself. I would just eat. Not overfilling myself on one occasion so I have no issues with binge eating. I would just start eating again and as my psychological hunger would be so great, once the forbidden foods were back in my diet, I would just eat them and eat them at whatever occasion. Never restricting a thing any longer.

I did not know that I wanted to fix this, as I did think of it as normal. I was a thought that slowly has been creeping up.
I knew that something needed to change this time around. I want this transformation to be long-lasting and not for a short fix.

What Psychological Hunger Is For Me

Physiological hunger is pretty straight forward. You do not eat for an extended period of time and your brain gets messages from the stomach in form of ghrelin that it needs new fuel.

So what does it really mean- psychological hunger- for me?

It meant for me, that I was constantly hungry or thought about food. Constantly
I would wake up and think about how much I wanted to eat for breakfast. Already before finishing breakfast, I would think about a snack I could have before lunch and lunch could not come fast enough.
The hours between each meal was long dragging time which could not go slower.
It meant thinking, and breathing food and hunger. What I would cook, and how I would enjoy eating it once it was cooked. I would never feel saturated and I could always have just a tad more. Just a tad more again please. And just a tad again.
I would need cup after cup of coffee in-between each meal to be able to manage until the next one.
It must have been impossible that these feeling were sent from the stomach with the transmitter ghrelin. As I was was full.
This is what I refer to as psychological hunger. Something which was not sitting right with my mind and kept me feeling a mental hunger.

What Transformed Me and My Eating Habits?

I started intermittent fasting around September of 2020. I would eat between 10 AM to 6 PM. I would need to sip cup after cup of coffee and tea in the morning and after 6 PM just to be able to continue on. Hunger would be ravenous and I still dreamed about food.
At one point it was even worse than before as now I was restricting the time, and I would stress eat, just because I knew that soon my eating window would close.
Slowly but surly something was happening though, not over night. Not in a week and not in a month.
I started to feel that the 10 AM bit of food was not making sense any-longer. Between 10 and 12 which is my lunch time I would be able to manage. I would not need to eat during these 2 hours.
Staving hunger away with a coffee would be enough. Soon not even that. The hunger was just not needed to be staved away as it was not even there.
So my new eating window would be from Noon to 7PM. And by time the most interesting thing happened. I was not counting the hours until I could have a meal.
Not needed to cook anymore really helped as well. Not needing to be around the aromas and tasting of the food.
The interesting thing is that I have had no restrictions. More than my eating window yes, but the amount or the type of food has been really giving. There has been no forbidden food nor ingredients which I would not eat.


Healing From Psychological Hunger and Coming to Terms With Food

I have been so sad the last month. I have felt like a failure and not knowing how to really move on. I have been working out, and in that department it has been great. I have become stronger, been able to run farther.
My weight stood still though. Not a gram in any direction. I was ready to throw in the towel and announce myself defeated.

Then it hit me.
I am no longer hungry. I no longer obsess about food nor think about it. I do not think what I want to cook and I do not plan what I will snack.

Of course I am hungry, but I do not feel the hunger as a never ending emotion. I wake up in the morning, not feeling like an endless pit or that I have to drink my coffee to be able to survive few hours before lunch.
I do not feel like all I want is night to come, so I no longer need this punishment of not eating food.
I feel fine. I eat. I feel full. I do not think about food, as I feel full.

It is a odd sensation honestly, as this obsession has been with me forever. If I did not eat, I thought about it. Planned it or cooked it.

For me I can clearly see few things that has truly helped me

  • Not cooking myself any-longer.
  • Intermittent fasting.
  • No restrictions in regards of food types
  • Practicing accountability as a part of my life, as it has reduced stress
  • Dealing with my emotions about everything- as it has reduced stress
  • Getting financial stabile- as it has reduced stress and I am in control of my life.

Moving Forward With Weight-loss

Realizing this. the other day left me feeling so much better. I have healed from a terrible condition and we cannot do all in one go. This process might be longer, but I think it is the right one and this only confirms it for me.
I feel I finally have a normal relation to food. I do not need to overeat, I have found that what I eat and how much I move can clearly keep me maintaining. I have somewhat found home.
And I have done it, without feeling like I deprive myself from anything. Amounts has just been naturally and I have stopped when I felt good.

I do want to still lose weight though. I know I have too much body for my frame. I can feel it in my hips and knees and lower back, that they are not happy.
My joint in my toes hurt and I do not think that having these extra 20 kilos is a plus in this equation.
So I will continue on this path, making some tweaks though. I will remove the afternoon cake and the extra 2 bread slices a day.
Being mindful of not eating it everyday, but just sometimes. Not removing completely but decreasing the frequency of it.
Pizza and pasta sometimes, and maybe not all of it every week.
I feel so much in peace with this now, as I know it is nothing painful I need to do. I have already found peace with my food.
Being more mindful about the nutritional value I put into myself does not feel like a chore right now, if feels like a treat.

Quarter Review of My Weight loss and Life Transformation

3 Moths has come and gone already. 2021 is shooting forward, and time could not be flying slower and faster at the same time.
So many things I want to do and there is no time for it, yet as there is nothing open the time runs extremely slow.
An oxymoron I know.
As you can see, that looking at my weight and body I have not changed for the positive. But it is OK,
I love to look in the rearview mirror and evaluate my life.
If we do not look back at what has been, reflect and ponder upon what was, we cannot move forward.
Or as you would refer to it in Agile and Scrum, to hold a retrospective.
What to ask oneself in a retrospective is:

  • What went well in the Sprint?
  • What went wrong in the Sprint?
  • What We had Learn in the Sprint?
  • What should we do differently in the next sprint?

Why on earth am I speaking about Agile and Sprints, well funny fact I am a certified Scrum Master, hence the reference.
I do think that they are really good questions and if we want to succeed in life we have to ask these things.
My Sprint refers to the 3 first months in 2021.

What Went Well In My Weight Loss and Life Transformation?

Due to the lockdown we went into in October, being harder than what we experienced April through July, I had to quite my PT.
I was really scared going into new year, with keeping my consistency in working out. I know working out is not that much related to weight loss, but I want to transform life and keep a healthier life.
What I am really proud about is that I have kept the consistency and I went running 3 times a week on average and 2 times of homework outs.

I started journaling and list making and it has been imperative for me. It has structured down and visualized the issues I am dealing with. Seeing it on paper has been great for me.
In conjunction to this I have made a list to do of the day, and it really has kept me pushing myself forward. So many things were finally taken care of and I have felt that I was not stagnated in one spot.

Writing down my feelings and reactions to things, really have made me realized what I want and directing my life towards that life. Not just saying it, but actually working towards it. Being more intentional with my feelings and writing them down, has helped me healing in my eating disorder.

The plan in finding a hobby has been quite successful and I have been drawing, practicing my handwriting, and working on my math skills has all been so awarding. These are all things I want to put more time into.
It feels like my life took a big leap these three months.

What Went Wrong in My Weight loss and Life Transformation?

Nothing everything went perfect.
Has no one honest ever said.

My eating habits went a bit off these three months. I did give myself a bit more free room than I actually needed.
It has been great, tp start healing from my unhealthy eating habits but in doing so I gave myself a little bit too much wiggle room for eating things which is not beneficial for me.
It is good to let yourself rest a bit, but I should still keep my eyes on the ball and not feel like I have crossed the finished line. I still have 15 kilos which is considered over weight. I understand that scale is not all. But You can see in the photos that I am in no mean average weight still.

I could for sure have added more daily activity into my life. There has been cold and dark and March is hell month for me.
Come on winter, go away already! The panic I feel every single year.
Will winter ever end? Will spring and warmer weather come? Maybe this is the year when eternal winter will prevail.
This breaks me down and keeps me paralyzed. Keeping myself active is really helpful for me, dealing with this. And I have not done that. I have not done all the walk I should have done, just to keep myself not just sitting. As sitting makes me feel this hell, which March is.

Consistency in general has been a weak point, except me working out. It has been hard trying to keep the schedule I wanted to do. It seemed I forgot I have a kid that wants to see me, and me who want to see her too.
I think that I did a lot of work, feeling exhausted afterwards, feeling I needed to get out from home, being alone was all I could deal with. So that was really not positive at all.

What Have I Learned in My Weight Loss and Life Transformation?

I have learned, OK not learned but I have realized what are my goals. What do I really want out of life.
This is amazing! Journaling and working with myself and learning how to deal with feelings has cleared my head and I am realizing what I want.
I am seeing what is standing in my way, and I am learning not to be apologetic for it.
I have not always put myself nor my small family first, and this is absolutely shit. I have let people pressure me into doing things, which has not been beneficial for me nor my kid. I have done this, as I am so scared of being left alone and done anything just for people to like me.
I started this change already last year, but these last 3 months has been really great for this.
I will no longer be pushed into something I do not think is beneficial for me or my daughter. I have several goals and only to stay on track will they come true, and if someone can not deal with my change, I cannot do anything about it.
I am finding my voice again and it is amazing.

I am so capable of doing so much.
I have survived moves from country to country. Continent to continent. Divorce, poverty, lonelytude, depression, alienation, singlehood, parenthood, obesity, mental illness, death.
My adversity is my strength. If I can manage to drag myself up from all, anyone can. And I want to right there helping doing just that.
I have gone though this fairly alone but I have had some amazing support as well of course. I want to be that sort of support.

Searching for hobbies and interest has opened the door to a world that I feel has been lost for such a long time. I am interested in so many things again. I am so much more than what I have let myself be, for long time.


What Should I Do Differently These Following 3 Months in My Weight loss and Transformation?

To keep my good habits, which I felt were sliding a bit. I know they are really positive for me.
I have gotten a trainer, so I can work on some fitness goals I have had in mind and I need help hitting.
I need to do positive affirmations to keep myself on track for a transformed life.
I want to voice my voice more. If I do not feel something is positive for me, I need to do something about it.
Pragmatism. That is my lead word. I know it can be tough on friends and family, but I have just one life.
I want it to be awesome the rest I have.
It will happen with progression, not perfection.

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck- Working Towards Financial Security

Living paycheck to paycheck: For many, this act of using most or all of your monthly income to cover your monthly expenses — with no money left over and none for savings — is a fact of life.” – Read more here

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I used to have huge problems with my personal finances. Especially after my divorce. I spiraled down into this black place of borrowed money and panic over paying rent. 
I once had a washing machine dysfunction and my entire flat was covered in water, leaking down to my neighbors. I ran to the janitor in the building complex to fix it. He had to turn off water in the building and to turn it on, I needed to repair the connection with my washer. It cost 200 Bolivianos, 30 dollars or 25 euros. 
I did not have it. 
This was not the last time something like that happened, but at one point in life I was exhausted by this. Exhausted by living one small accident from chaos. One tiny incident away from eviction. I had to do something. 

How to Not to Budget and Failing to Keep On Track

This is my first-ever budget. It is not a fancy program that you connect to an app that is connected to your bank account. I had KISS in mind.

Keep It Short and Simple. 

There was no point in adding fancy things and complicating it. I needed it as simple as possible, to actually do it and be successful. I have more categories now, and few more tabs now. Tracking all kinds of different things.  
And truth to be told, even this was too boring and complicated and the first 2 months I did not really know what the heck I was doing and mostly did I not do it.
I added some arbitrary number ideas to my excel sheet, expecting it all to come together. Deciding I would spends this and that amount on this and that category.I had really no idea what I had previously spent, but it sounded great to spend 100 euro on food. That is about right, right? 
It was all just a mess and I felt many times I would be better off just stopping. I kept on though and practice become the master.  At this point it was Youtube and blogs I watched and read to understand what I needed to do. 

 And with this structures and processes happened. It helped me understand how I can budget, with my type of income, better. I am a freelancer and I get paid a bit all over the month, so it is hard to think about my paycheck as my monthly income. I want the money to work for me, not me for my money. I need to create the life I want with my money. If I do not want to spend 100 Euro on money, why should I put this arbitrary number into my budget? 

Realizing that a budget is not one thing fits all was the big thing that helped me. I can make it do and work for me, how I need to to work.

One Effective Way to Budget to Make the Money Work For You.

Instead of budget for future money, and adding in some random numbers into random categories I decided to budget with the current money I have. I decided to go from 15-15 each month, and everything that was leftover would be treated as extra money and be added to savings and anything that came into my account after the cut-off date would be counted as the new month’s money. I also decided to only budget the money I actually had received and not money that would come in. 
I also sat down and looked where I wanted to go in life. What were my life and financial priorities.  When these were defined I looked if they were actually in my budget and what amount did I assign to this priority. 

I wanted health and active activities, but I, in my budget had 0 allocated for this. So I always felt short of money doing just this. On the other hand, did I have a HUGE category which was for entertainment and drinks.
Where were my real priorities?  All this is crucial to define. This can obviously change over the course of time, and I look at this every month. What do I want to do? What is my focus this month?
Having these defined I set up the plan on how to allocate the money received and nothing else. 

 

  • I have only received two payments this month and it is only these two I will budget out
  • The most crucial expenses are listed out and how much I need to pay for these. If these are paid first, I know that my obligations are fulfilled and I can sleep better at night.
  • You budget clothes and no food? I have a full fridge for another week and I know there is coming in more money for this, in one week. And I have to get snow protective clothes for my kid! This is what I mean by having the money work for me. Why put money in a food category if I do not need it now?
  •  After paying them, tracking them just by adding them to the right category.
  • When I get a new payment I will add this into the budget and give the money a job in the categories I feel and know needs to be contributed to. 

This way I have a clear view of what I can actually afford and not and at what time. 

Will This Make You Reach Financial Freedom?

Absolutely not. 
This is the first change and decision I made to create a better financial life and stop the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. Creating wealth and financial freedom is a lot of work, but one has to start with the first step.  It was far easier and better than I could ever have excepted.
It is now clear and obvious what I have to pay, what I want to cover, and how to get the money create the life I want. 
This has resulted in far less stress and anxiety which has left me with a feeling of relief that I did not for many years. This order in my finances created the space how to add new levels to my money and make them work even
It is sometimes strange not to stress over my finances and the disorder it used to be in. Strange but amazing more for me. 
Overeating and stuffing myself due to poor financial control is no longer my problem.
This is why it is so important to have a holistic view of weight loss, as it is all connected. NO machinery works well without all its bolts and gears.