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!


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?

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!

Who Is the Person Behind the Blog You Are Reading?

This could be a really tedious and annoyingly boring post. Imagine listing up your entire life in order of your life. Telling all the little in and out of one’s personality and life.
And then. And then. And then.
Not planning on doing that 🙂
Let us do a few Questions & Answers and see if we can get to know each other some.

Where are you from?
My passports are issued in Sweden and Czech Republic. So I guess somewhere along that line.

Where do you live?
I live in the Czech Republic as of now. I moved here about 12 years ago, not really knowing I would stay for this amount of time. I had a plan to stay few months and that would be it. My father is Czech so there was some meaning of moving here. I did venture out to Bolivia for about 3.5 years, so I have not lived in Prague for 12 years. I moved with my husband and child to Cochabamba, Bolivia but returned 3 years ago.

Married, Single, Mother, what?
As mentioned, I was married but it did not last. Two people wanting to be right and not give in is a hard equation for a lasting relationship. We made a child, my, not so, little daughter. She is here with me now. I also have 5 sisters, brother and a mother.
They all live in Sweden though. I have Czech family but we met way too seldom.

What do you do for a living? 
I work as a teacher, and more specifically an English teacher. Yes, what a shocker right. Expats in Czech republic that is what we all do. I work mainly with companies and business English. I am a certified Agile Coach, but I never really hit it off with that. I like many principles of it, but honestly, I just think going to the same place, work with the same for 8 hours a day would bore me.  I also do translations and some proofreading.

What do you like to do when you are not working?
This is something I am discovering at the moment. I am not so sure. I have had a feeling for a long time I am not doing anything. I used to read, sew, create with arts n crafts. Cook. But last years I have not done a lot of things. I have had a feeling that I lost all these things since I got divorced, as life changed from stability to instability and all I did was to just survive. There was no time to have real hobbies, I could engage with.  I am finding out that I really love exercising and the time I spend doing this is quite a lot. Just today I built a plan for what to do today, reading about what muscle group I am using for each exercise. It is really interesting!

What do you like eating?
This is also something I am discovering at the moment. I have eaten just about anything always. Never really thought about how I feel afterward or what it does to me. More the merrier so to speak. I have noticed that I do not enjoy eating late at night, as it leaves me feeling stuffed. Coffee over tea, but herbal tea is quite nice too. Which I never thought I would feel. I enjoy savory over sweet. However, I do not like too much salt, as I used to. It was my go-to thing. Add salt and it is good. I enjoy the taste of each item, and I prefer not adding too many flavors to it.

What is your plan in life?
I really want to come to a point in life of financial independence. I want to be able to work, only because I want to and not because I have to. I want to work on my writing skills, to be able to publish a book I have been working on for a long time. There is this idea that is growing, that I want to work with people like me. Obese or overweight who want to change their lives. On all levels. I want to have hobbies, I enjoy doing and learn how to play the piano.

What is one strong attribute you have?
That I just do not give up. Ok I panic, and cry, and feel life is utterly unfair and why oh why do I have such a hard life. But after that I set myself up to work and I just do it. What needs to be done, I do.  Okay, then I might come back to the giving up phase and crying phase, but I end up just doing it anyhow. I have learned over my course of life that almost everything is doable. You just need to find the way. I very often freak out during the way, douting everything but one just needs to keep one. If one door does not open, find a different door, to the same room.

What is one negative attribute you have?
This is a tough one, as I do not have many.
Has no one ever said. I have, at least in my head, many. To point out just one is hard. And that might sum up a negative attribute I have. I talk down about myself and focus on bad things about me. How mediocre I am, how many things I have failed for no other reason than just myself. How I have all these bad sides which no one likes. We become what we think about ourselves, so I just giving this negative gift to myself.

Well ladies and gents. Those were some questions and answers from me, to me. I hope you have enjoyed it. Who are you, who reads this blog? Tell me, would be interesting to hear 🙂

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.

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.