Counter Sex and Other Limitations

I am taking a HUGE risk publishing this, but as part of my own journey and forcing myself out of my comfort zone, I can only accomplish this by taking  a risk.  And it is hope I don’t lose you as a reader as the final word is just an important in how we get there…

Certain, in fact most, activities in life are burdened by physical limitations.  And if you have not yet experienced this, good on you.  If you have always fit into the airplane seat, if you have always walked a day at an amusement park without having to stop to put baby powder between your legs and if you have always enjoyed the finer more intimate details in your love life without limitations, way to go!

My eldest is the smallest in her class and she told me the other day that because she is the shorter out of her locker buddies her backpack and coat are the first to go in the locker.  Minor details, but for someone with a physical limitation, very real to her.  As a plus size woman since the time I can remember (around grade 8), I have been limited.

I don’t know how the conversation started, but I reflected with a friend on my continued journey and my desire to lose another 50 pounds. When asked what the extra weight meant to me, I replied with, “It is limiting me”.  I didn’t qualify that statement, so the question was further probed.  Limited in doing what?  It was an easy and forthcoming answer, “Doing monkey bars and having counter sex”.  Now, the conversation of course led down a completely different path, but I have since reflected on my non-filtered, Adina-to-the-tee response and I began to think – what does that mean?

Monkey bars – easy. One of my first physical goals when I started at 295 pounds was to do cartwheels with my daughter.  There was a period of time there that she and all her little friends only traveled by means of cartwheeling.  It was an amazement to view on the play ground and something that intrigued me enough to try.  What seemed effortless and oozing with swan-like grace to her and her 5 year old friends, was nothing short of a disaster and anxious-ridden task for me.  For six months, I couldn’t even get my hands on the ground.  I couldn’t.  I just couldn’t.  But as my physical being changed, my mental capacity and confidence widened, and I did it.  I was watching her in our backyard on July afternoon, and I said, I’m doing it.  And I did.  Now, it’s monkey bars.  I will do monkey bars.  But holding 200+ pounds on the smallest wrists God ever granted is tough.  But I’ll get there.

86537925-284x445Now, counter sex.  For many of my close (and not so close) friends, they know sexuality is important to me and who I am as a person.  And I don’t mean in the dirty and naughty way (well, maybe not all the time), but I think we are all sexual beings first.  Desire, want and feeling needed are basic.  And even though I have always lived the life as an internal sex-kitten (love that term, Julia B.), my outward awkwardness and heaviness didn’t allow me to express myself as I have always wanted.  You know that scene in The Notebook (movie version), where after Noah and Allie are reunited and take that lovely canoe ride back in the pouring rain, they enter the house and he passionately and with purpose lifts her up and presses her against the wall as they experience each other after seven years of being apart?  Well, that!  Counter sex is much more a metaphor than anything else.  We all, all of us women, want to swept away and pressed up against the wall. I would not expect anyone to effortlessly grab me by the hips and toss me on the counter when I outweigh him.  And my stature is tiny.  I am only 5’4″ so the thought of jumping up on a counter BY MYSELF is daunting enough.  To put the ‘weight’ on his shoulders to somehow get my short frame up on a fairly high counter is ridiculous. And quite honestly, I would never have the confidence to even attempt this in fears I would end up with a broken hip or bruise on my head.  Again, more of a metaphor but even the literal translation is not in the cards.

So, what?  Well, the monkey bar and counter sex response forced me to consider my WHY.  And guess what, dear reader?  I haven’t had one.  I haven’t reflected, focussed and made real my WHY – why everyday I get up and do what I’m doing.  And if you don’t have that real, make your mouth water, squeeze your hands around it’s neck reason to get shit done every day, then what happens?  I’ll tell you what happens, you stop progressing.  Monkey bars are a goal, but definitely not my WHY.  The counter sex and feeling like a woman who can accomplish anything she wants without limitation, THAT is my why.  I don’t want to be limited, in the bedroom, kitchen or anywhere else my sweet ass may take me.  I no longer want to have to explain why I don’t know what a Lulu Lemon looks like inside (recently I had to go in to grab a donation) or what an Abercrombie and Fitch is.  I don’t want to have to mentally say NO to anything I want to experience.  And there are a hell of a lot of things out there I don’t even know exist because of what my weight has limited me from seeing, experiencing, tasting and loving.  Once limitation is broken, I can only imagine what lies ahead.

I have been crazy focussed over the last week and it is scary.  It is scary that this is it.  This is the feeling that I have been missing.  Focus (not on the scale). Determination (not to “not” eat A or B). Experience (nothing negative but all positive).  I am elated that I have found my WHY and even though it is entrenched in a little naughtiness found on the kitchen counter, what it stands for is so, so much more.

Find your counter sex and make that your mantra until which time, you find yourself in the arms of your man experiencing it for the first time.



A Catholic Girl’s Confession of the Evils of Yoga Wear

Something incredible has happened over the last little while.  I am a new me.  Really.  I don’t know what’s happened, or who is responsible, but I have a renewed sense of focus I didn’t even have two years ago when I met my trainer for the first time.  Back then it was scary to think of everything I would need to change, give up and do.  Right now, I know what has absolutely worked and what has not, so my knowledge is now leading me down a path of complete clarity and purpose.

I am up 14 pounds.  God that hurts to see on the screen of my laptop.  I haven’t weighed in or taken measurements in a very long time.  And when you’re not accountable to ANYONE or ANYTHING, it is so easy to go back to old habits.  And it has been the words of a very good friend that has shifted my perspective. I am paraphrasing here, but essentially his philosophy is you need to leave behind what was.  And what was includes all the things that used to comfort me.  Eating when I was sad, lonely or happy.  Being completely and embarrassingly addicted to white pasta (I could cook and eat an entire package and still want more!).   Eating popcorn EVERY NIGHT with butter and salt and the occasion pop (soda for my American readers!).  And, I hate to say this, yoga pants.

download (1)I worked corporate for a long time and while there was a period of time there I only bought elasticize-waisted pants and skirts (and eventually just moo-moo type flowy dresses), I still owned jean, albeit size 22/24.  Having to ‘do up’ pants is accountability.  When you don’t have that, terrible things can happen.

Leaving the world of water coolers, monthly birthday celebrations and the (no offence) boring schedules of conference calls and round table meetings, left me vulnerable to a life of leisure suits and pjs.  I do work from home half time, and at fitness locations on the other half.  Both neglecting my need to do up pants.  So, shit, I say .  Sliding into a pair of jeans the other weekend, made me realize something was up.  And that up was the scale.

I guess the point in today’s post is surround yourself with all forms of accountability.  I am currently doing a 100 miles in 100 days challenge – I’m accountable to my calendar on my fridge counting down from 100-0 and the 40+ people in our running group.  I am participating in Chris & Heidi Powell’s DietBet to lose 4% of my body weight in four weeks – I’m accountable to the scale and my after picture.  Pants… ugh, this one hurts.  I will only wear yoga pants after coming home from work and if working out. – I am accountable to myself on this one and I need to profess, this one scare me.  So many of my friends are envious to the fact I can lounge, but lounging lends to lounging-like activities and with that, I can’t be George Costaza and his velvet suit.  I just can’t.

Find one thing that will keep you accountable today.  And I do encourage that whatever that one thing is, stick to it.  I have a lot of great things I’m looking forward to this Spring.  Photo shoot, travel, a 10K.  These are my focus as I choose the button and zipper over the elastic.


The Metamorphic Turn

I have gone back and forth with this post for over a week now.  For those of you who are new to this blog, I started a while back to document my weight loss and transformation journey and all the ugly realities of it; however, as time has gone by,  I have come to realize the number on the scale and the circumference of my waist are mere details in the grand scheme of things.

Like any addiction, there are moments of self-loathing and you may come to a point when you realize the back and forth of it all is a result of the angels and demons in your mind battling over good and evil.  And it is in this battle and eventual epiphany tha t you may move towards change.  Leaving a spouse, a job or the manner in which you have treated your body, are much more mental steps than the actual act of doing.  In this, I have decided to pick today, the third anniversary of my dear friend’s death, to write about what was the true metamorphic point in my story.

More often than not, my demons have won.  And it wasn’t until  I lost a childhood friend that my life was ‘getting ready’ to change.  Now, I say this with some hesitation.  If you have listened to my podcast with Tips of the Scales, or read the article in Huffington Post, you have come to know it was meeting a trainer and words from my daughter’s mouth that pushed me to make the first steps in my journey.  However, it was months prior to these events that other amazing seeds were being planted, totally subconsciously.  And that is why I write about Elliott’s passing…

images (2)I have lost before.  My grandmother, co-workers, even a parent.  But it was always in those losses that the inevitable came.  A tragic and sudden loss is something very different.  No chance to take a breath.  No chance to somehow prepare your mind for what’s to come.  No chance to ultimately say goodbye in a way that is drawn out and painful.  This is a loss that you may not be able to relate to right now, but may one day will.  And if that experience has happened, is happening or is an inevitable occurrence of the future, you can read the following with some assurance a little bit of you is in this post.

To those who are close to me, there may be parts of this entry that you recognize as pages out of your own story; brief moments in time where you felt my loss, where you were in my arms again trying to console, where you felt the pain as real as I did.  Or possibly, just a face across the room as we both grieved individually the loss of Elliott.  I want you to know today that each and every one of you were in my heart when I wrote this.

Loss is the act of unsuccessfully retaining something.  We have all been there.  Losing your way on the map.  Or maybe losing something your mom gave you when you promised you wouldn’t.  But to truly lose something that you cannot put a value on and know it is never to be replaced (ever) is devastating.  And when that loss is a person, it is sometimes hard to imagine your life the same ever again.

58275_10151405925330359_1478313444_nIt was a chilly January afternoon, the 15th to be exact, and I was massively pregnant with my unknown-gendered baby at the time.  I walked through my front door returning home from who-knows-where, and I could tell in my husband’s eyes he had something to say.   “Your mom called. It’s Elliott”.  And that is all it took.

I hadn’t seen Elliott in over four years.  The reasons for this are irrelevant, but when his name hit my ears and my brain quickly connected the tiny dots, the first thing I thought was that it had been too long.  Far too much time had passed since I hugged him, since I had seen that look in his eyes, since I felt the arms of a broken man around me – and while broken, his embrace was always so strong and heartfelt.

I had been introduced to Elliott, his sister Ade and his family at the young age of five moving to Georgetown in my newly pieced together family.  We enjoyed a childhood that did not include the amenities of today.  Our days were spent outdoors, using nothing but our imagination to get us through our days, returning to our warm homes only when the bats and stars filled the skies.  My brother Dave, my baby sister Alana, and the Smith kids (Steph, Chris and Jeff),  were always exploring and finding fun in the activities we created; those years 1521388_10151787924581266_594541697_ngrowing up would forever connect us to open fields, outdoor play and the nostalgia of the impending Spring melt.

Then life happened.  El and Ade moved a couple side roads over and we saw each other as much as our families’ lives brought us together.  Our moms found a connection in doing business together out of our home and a marriage of my uncle and their sister brought our sides a little closer and officially together as family.  I loved them both like my own siblings.

While I have many great memories of Elliott, all of which his sudden death forced my brain to remember, it was the better part of 1994 that brought Elliott, Ade and I together in a way like no other time in our lives.  As three kids in our late teens,  life was about experience.  About laughing, exploring, trying to find our own paths.  Days, nights and weekends were spent camping, drinking, at parties, hours outdoors as we had done as kids, traveling downtown, and wasting our days away as all teenagers should.  As the sole license holder among Elliott’s friends, I was the older gal with the big family van, destined only to become the chauffeur to an awkward group of dutch boys travelling to Vaughan for school.  Those months with them were exciting.  As  the leader of the pack, being at Elliott’s side brought many new experiences to my life all of which brought us closer.  He become responsible for me and always ensured I was looked after in a way a brother would.  I am grateful for what that time gave us.  It was also in this time that I saw Elliott begin down his path and where his future would ultimately take him.  I am happy to have gotten to know him in the way I did, and that all his friends let me into their lives as they did, even just for a short time.  Elliott loved you all very much and I know those years with him were very important to him as well.  🙂

It has taken me three years and a lot of reflection to intimately understand how Elliott’s death, that one event impacted my life.  Loss is terrible.  But I think out of the dark you are sometimes lead to light.  And while I did not know it at the time, I was in a pretty dark place, reaching my heaviest weight of almost 270 lbs (add on another 25 while pregnant – yikes!!)  and having to face the death of a friend made my reality that much worse.1457602_10151989902395359_1413472924_n

I had to face regret.  I had to wrestle with my pride and open my heart again to Elliott’s family whom I had not seen or talked to in some time, including his sister, Ade.  I had to, as so many others did, attempt to understand why this was happening.  And while I was outwardly dealing with a true tragedy, my subconscious was adapting, trying to process so much about Elliott’s life that I had not known.  I was ultimately doing the mental work that is needed to move forward in life…

248124_10151634954620359_116209546_nI learned the importance of friendship, of looking after the life that was given to me, of staying true to who I was and not taking my days for granted.  The repeated moments of ultimate grief was laying the foundation of my own personal journey.   I was faced with loss.  With regret.  With rekindled friendships.  With the dynamics of family during tragedy and loss.  And really, how a single act can have such an immense domino effect on friends and strangers alike.

It would only months later I start my weight loss journey and transformation.  It would only be months later that after 21 years of carrying my extra weight (both physically and emotionally), that I was finally mentally ready to make change.  I had a different kind of courage to make decisions I never did before.  I somewhere and somehow found the strength to walk away from so much that I had known to move towards a life of uncertainties.  And that is pretty extraordinary.

I am sad every day for this loss.  I am sad I can’t tell him I love him.  I am sad to know that he was only moments from my house when he died.  I am sad when I think I could have somehow been able to prevent this.  I am sad for El’s family and his friends.  I am sad I wont see him grow old and be able to reminisce as I am able to with friends about our past.  I am sad each and every time I pass over those train tracks where he was killed, taking a long deep breath as I bump over them, and picturing him beside me smoking a cigarette.  I think of him with every train that goes by, knowing that train will keep forging forward; a good reminder to do the same.

With this immense sadness, however, I am also grateful. I am grateful for what this awful event taught me and essentially brought to my life.  I have my best friend back.  I got the opportunity to see that group of boys (even just briefly), as fathers, established tradesmen, PhD.s, wizards and men and to remember El with them.  I was given a new outlook on life that ultimately planted the seed for me to make change and I cannot be angry or resentful about imagesthat.  If I did not have to survive Elliott’s death and find my way out, I would not be where I am today and you would not be reading this right now.

I hope this post brought a little light on where I was, and for me, now, understanding that it can be anything in life, really, that helps you get to where you want and need to be.  Being mentally ready to make major change in your life is more than half the equation.  If you are not ready to take on the daily head-battle of working out, eating well and taking care of your spirit, it will be hard for your body to follow.

For you Elliott:  Death Cab For Cutie – I WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK Video.

Thanks for reading.


What’s Next?

It has been an interesting few days.  That lull between Christmas and New Years is always a tough one.  Not so much when you’re obese and you normally would continue on (if not in greater force and apathy) the grind of eating and being fairly inactive.  This year, I managed to ward off most of the temptations, but having some house guests around, I snacked on chips and indulged a bit more than I had hoped.  Three days of having my gym bag ready also failed, but I’m somewhat content with where I am.

I have received six separate messages from friends over the course of the last 14 hours that this is Adina’s year – 2014 will see big changes and that my life will take a great turn for the best.  I have to say, I am hopeful and happy others see the optimism in my journey and for that I am eternally grateful.  It was not only the heartfelt messages that gave me a boost today, but my weight loss story was also featured in Huffington Post Canada last night.  A great honour and a definite reason why my blog got over 800 hits in the last day.  Thank you for the story and the amazing feedback….

The question now remains, what’s next.  Do I start a new year as I have before, without any goals or items to scratch off my list?  Nay. I have decided to focus on three main things for all of 2014.  I have also started a bucket list.  These two categories I am treating very differently.  My goals are day in and day out thing that I need to keep complete top of mind in order to eventually achieve my bucket list items.  Here are my goals:

PicsArt_1388605035531Now rewind to My Year in Review post and remember, I have had very little experience reflecting back on the year past and forward thinking to the year ahead.  And while there have been many entries of wishes and dreams to squeeze my ass into a sexy pair of jeans and sport a quick white tank, the end results were never achieved because I didn’t put in motion what needs to be done to get there.

This year, like many a blogger may be writing today, is different.  It is different because I know hard work pays off.  I know because I have done it (I’m not doing it right now, but I have done it).  And I believe my three goals are so encompassing that if I execute and succeed in these three simple goals, the results will be there.

Now, I could have made these goals massive and more defined, but I need to to create my path in a way I know I can move forward.  It’s simple.

Mind:  meditate for five minutes a day to give thanks for what the day brought and what my intentions will be for the day to come.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?  Well, I suck at meditating.  I have tried and tried so this five minutes will be work, every day.  And to have five real minutes of quiet will be a treat not only for myself, but a clear mind and focussed intention is just better for everyone around me!

Body:  One hour of activity five times a week.   Under my previous post of “Guise of a Workout Addict” it may LOOK like I get a lot of activity in, but it can be sporadic.  I endevour on this goal so I am doing something for at least 60 minutes five times a week.  And with this, I need to start letting other things go.  This is a big deal for me.  As mentioned, I had my gym bag packed for three days straight and it was putting others before that prevented me from going.  I’m not blaming anyone else around me for my choice other than me.  I let it happen so I need to ensure I am putting me first and that others around me understand the importance of getting that activity in.  I feel better, I do better and I am happier and I can live more productively.

Fuel:  Track my food six out of seven days.  History has shown I completely suck at this too.  Honestly, terrible.  But I know if I write it down, I am accountable for me.  It is easy enough to eat the kid’s leftovers from their plates as I clear the table.  But if I know I have committed to myself to write it down and then need to own up to it, I believe this will be a true reality check for me.  I could have said no sugar, no white processed foods, eat clean, blah, blah, blah.  But honestly, we all know that shit.  The thing is, if you write down that you are eating three cups of white pasta five days a week, you own that.  And either you live with the harsh reality nothing will change or you say, “It’s here – in black and white and the results are ‘x’ – so make a decision.”  I have never taken this approach and I am again hopeful, this one step will domino effect all the choices I make.

My bucket list so far includes a few of the following (all as a result of my three on-going goals for the year)

-Boudoir Shoot

-Monkey Bars with my daughter

-Another 5-5k races

-One 8k run on my own

-Something completely out of my comfort zone that I would have never been able to do before when heavier – zip lining; paddle boarding… something like that

-Try three new foods (from the nutritious column) that I would have never thought of trying before

-Order from my local Organic Farmers for weekly fruit, veg and eggs

Just a few things right now, but the list will continue to grow.  I will be super happy as I cross those items off!

I have a few challenges going on right now too.  These will add to the momentum of January.

Thank you again for continuing to read and I do look forward to great strides in 2014.