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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Must Count As My Biggest NSV so Far.

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

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

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

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

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







A Profound Change and Peace of Mind- My Life Transformation

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

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

I Want You to Panic!

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

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

The Rest Which Followed

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

What Do I Dedicate the Change To?

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

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

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

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

      Where are you in your transformation journey?





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

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

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

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

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

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

My old goals which I already have reached:

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

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

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

What Is the Plan I Have?

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

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

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

I will have to incorporate intervals:

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

Hill training :

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

Slowrun:

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

First time I did 10 K 1hour 15 Minutes.

How Will This Translate?

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

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

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

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

What Did I Do to Get Active – Active Weight loss

Christmas 2019 at my highest weight

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

You Cannot Out Train a Bad Diet

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

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

What Did I Implement to Start With

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

What Have I Added After This?

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

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

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

Hard Lockdown Workouts

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

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

My 2021 Plan

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

Beat Procrastination- Beat Weight Gain

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

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

What Is My Plan to Beat Procrastination?

I have written about my plan to beat procrastination here.

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

How and When Did I Make My Lists?

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

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

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

 Evaluation of  the Productivity

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

Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

Moving Forward- What to Do Now

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

Intermittent Fasting As My Weight loss Strategy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How does my if look like?

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

So where am I know?

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

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 🙂

Let Us Focus on NSV- Non Scale Victories

I am not going to lie. This morning when I did my weekly weigh-in I almost lost it. I had not lost anything. Nothing. Not a single gram. This is not the first time. I have had this 1 kilo up and down for 2 months now.
“But Manka, once you have lost, most of your weight. Weight loss slows down.”
I have not lost most of it yet. I have 20 kilos down so far, but even just to enter into non-overweight territory am I missing 10 kilos. So there are still quite some kilos to go.
Hence me almost breaking down in tears this morning. I feel I am doing so much, and no result is yielding. This is not starting to affect my well-being as I am really just thinking about this and nothing else. I need to change things up, so let’s focus on some NSV instead!

What is NSV?

NVS is an abbreviation for Non-Scale Victory. And it has been a term in the weight loss world for quite some time already. This is what we tell ourselves we should focus on, and not the scale, to see that health is not only what the scale says.

Nonscale victories, also known as NSVs, are health improvements that result from small life changes. They may go unnoticed if you’re only focused on the scale as a measure of your success. A bathroom scale shows a number — a snapshot of your weight at a given moment on a given day. – Healtline

I guess that it is correct to think like this. Health is so much more. I am able to do things now that I could not, not even when I was 10 kilos less than now. I have a really hard time though to actually be happy about these things, as I just do not want to be considered obese any longer. I am so over it.

 Here Comes My List! 

  1. I can fit in my bathtub as of now. We have a pretty normal-sized bathtub and I could actually not fit in it before. I could not stretch out properly as the tub gets narrower at the end. So that is a pretty nice feeling!
  2. I am able to run several kilometers, without feeling like I am about to die. Not only can I do it but I enjoy doing it. I love the feeling of rushing breath and how I can transport myself.
  3. The blouse I bought last September actually fits now.  It seems to be a reoccurring issue of mine. To know how big or small I actually am. You can read about it here.
    I bought a blouse, that did not fit me that well. Today I think it is a pretty nice fit.                               
  4. I bought a ring few years ago, and I have not been able to fit it. It is back on my finger now.
  5. I have gotten some new hobbies. Today I count working out as a hobby. It is imperative that I move on a daily basis, if not it makes me totally grumpy! As I am challenging myself to live differently from the past, time is being used differently than in the past. I value learning things and experience new things.

Moving Forward

I need to find a balance between these two measurements. I need to learn that these measurements are OK too and that everything is not in what the scale says. That it is OK to be standing still for to months. Learning to see it as a learning experience too. I am working on how to deal with maintenance. This is my end goal, so I should be happy I have found it.
The only problem I am not supposed to be there. I am working to lose weight, so if my losing weight strategy is actually a maintenance strategy, well then I am a bit off. 
Anywho. I will try to be happy about these victories and feel proud about them for now and not worry too much right now, about anything else.

What Did I Do to Get Active – Active Weight loss

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

Christmas 2019 at my highest weight

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

You Cannot Out Train a Bad Diet

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

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

What Did I Implement to Start With

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

What Have I Added After This?

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

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

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

Hard Lockdown Workouts

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

  1. Skating continued for as long as the weather let it. Not magnific but at least something. We did geocaching as much as possible.
  2. We are fortunate that we have quite a few outdoor gyms here in Prague. I went once a week to one of them.
  3. I ran on a regular basis. Not long but 3 times a week. I also started to add in my own resistance training.
  4. My body and I had quite some dates in my courtyard. I bought myself a skipping rope and in the dead start, I could skip about 30 seconds in a row. I am up to way much higher times.
  5. After running I implemented yoga practice, once a week. I am really stiff and help with my flexibility is more than welcome.
  6. Basketball with the intention to add something more fun and playful for my daughter and that she learns a new sport. Ok me too, I had no idea how to play basketball

My 2021 Plan

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

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.