Welcome back. Let’s pretend like I haven’t been writing this since practically JUNE. I have been very, very nervous to write this because this is probably the most transparent I am going to be, probably ever please do not ask me to do this again, thanks.
Coming out of ISO and back into the gym on June 15, I had gained some major quarantine weight. I mean, I was the heaviest I have ever been.
I know it’s not about the scale, but my clothes didn’t even fit. I was really uncomfortable with myself and it was hard for me to feel comfortable in front of Blake or in front of a mirror.
I was 73 kg. (160 lbs.)
Writing that number out makes my heart hurt. I tried so hard to stay on top of everything in quarantine, but I was really missing the gym and I wasn’t in exactly the best environment for me to focus on my weight/food. Excuses aside, it happened…I gained the quarantine-ninteen.
I decided to focus on my weight when I started back at Virgin Active. I started taking 3 GRID Training classes, 2 Pilates, and an additional strength day if I could handle it. I was up at 4:30 a.m everyday trying to get it done, watching my food intake, drinking tons of water, following my supplement stack daily (will post below), and trying to get a good night’s sleep.
All of those things were great – IN THEORY – then I started getting lost in the black hole of social media. You know the one. All of a sudden everyone on my feed has lost a massive amount of weight in like weeks talking about the shakes that replaced all their meals. All the fitness influencers are back at the gym lifting more than ever (I’m sure not all of them were, but the ones that did stood out the most), they’ve lost weight and replaced it with sheer muscle. I kept seeing the whole: “Coming back stronger” “Doing the most now”
At this point, I was checking the scale daily for ‘an average,’ being careful about my food intake (not counting, but being more acute), feeling those all too familiar feelings of food guilt after eating ice cream or cheese………..NOW WAIT A MINUTE
This was 6-years-ago-Claire, not 23-year-old-and-living-her-best-life Claire. But nope, there she was. Coming back to say hello and I was giving her the ideal environment to grow in: low self-esteem, social media comparison, food guilt, sleep deprivation, weight-watching…I was mad at myself by week 5. I knew better than this!! I had worked so hard to recover from this!! I have my own unique challenges of not being able to count calories and I am only vaguely aware of my macros. If you were to prepare all my food and hand it over and say this is what you’re meant to eat, I would it without question. But if I have to prepare everything down to a number…that’s a major trigger for me.
So this is my Week 7 accountability post. I am (content) at 68-69 kg. (weight fluctuation is totally normal) and I am actually figuring out how to eat based on my body’s needs/wants (more on this later) I may not be losing weight as fast as everyone on those ‘special diets’ (Thank GOD, because the INSTABILITY), and I may not be lifting as heavy (I was not weight lifting prior to COVID either let’s be honest), but I am learning how to lose/maintain weight the HEALTHY way, the way that works for me and also realizing some very important things.
Let’s talk about what is working:
If you follow me on Instagram, I post about these OFTEN. These are the top products I’ve used and actually seen a difference in my physique, mentality, and training, overall. They are also all reasonably priced
DISCLOSURE: These are what worked for me, of course I recommend them because I would never take anything I would not recommend to any of my readers or my friends/close family/etc. Again, I am not affiliated with any of the brands and am not paid to post any of this
White Wolf Vegan Protein: Iced Coffee
This has been a life savour! Not only because dairy has been kinda funky with my body lately, but also because I drink coffee every morning and it tends to be pretty sweet (I add vanilla, cocoa powder, etc. whatever I’m in the mood for). Swapping iced coffee protein powder for regular espresso and sugar helped me cut back on my sugar intake significantly. I also get a great boost because there’s actually coffee in this protein powder, and it’s got 23 g. of protein per serving. It’s just what I need to recover after my morning workouts and helps keep me going throughout my day. Whether I’m blogging, recipe-creating, content-writing, job-searching, walking, etc. This is my go-to!
Skywalk is a ‘Nootropic,’ so it’s a non-stim, pre-workout that stimulates the senses, not the muscles. It enhances focus, sharpens the ability to concentrate, does not have a short fuse (lasts all day) and only takes 10-15 minutes to kick in. When I was working full days, I would have this in the morning whether I was going a workout or not. It keeps me mentally awake. I have this on subscription, it has about 30 servings, so once a month I am filling up on this. I also haven’t need to increase my dosage even though I’ve been taking this almost daily for four months now
Illa is MyoBlox’s brand of BCAA’s. I take a shaker bottle with me after each workout with a baggy of BCAA’s so I can drink them on the train ride home. They keep me feeling hydrated, refreshed, and agile. I feel like Illa and Skywalk work together to keep me mentally clear and aware all day long, so I don’t usually skip a BCAA day. It also tastes great, and helps out when I’m tired of drinking water.
Okay truth time: I hate vegetables. I mean absolutely abhor them. I think it’s a childhood trauma thing, but not sure. Martian has 34 servings of fruits/veggies in each scoop. I take on scoop before bed and feel like a new person the next day (usually). Of course, this is not a magic potion. It performs better in my body when I am hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of restful sleep. The effects are simple: helps decrease bloat, aids in digestion, nourishes my body with lacking nutrients since I hate veggies, and just tastes good.
EHPLabs: Acetyl L-Carnitine
This was one I didn’t start taking until I really wanted to start losing weight and focusing on a more consistent burn. L-Carnitine is already naturally produced in the body to help boost metabolism, add this little teeny tiny (I mean very small) scoop into my pre-workout every morning to help boost my metabolism a little more. Not only that, it also aids in enhanced muscle recovery, helps avoid muscle fatigue during training, and helps with a consistent fat burn. AGAIN, this is not a magic weight loss potion, and it only works if I do. I don’t depend on it, but I have noticed a difference in muscle fatigue and enhanced recovery since I started taking it – so I’m not going to stop.
I know, I know! I used to love posting about my posh, boutique Pilates studio in the city. Yeah, it’s all fun and games until I’m no longer challenged, I’m not excited to go, and it costs me $55/week……WELCOME VIRGIN ACTIVE.
This gym is perfect for me because it has all my favourites: Reformer Pilates, Barre, GRID, Boxing, Dancing, Cycle…etc. Also, the locations include state-of-the-art equipment, uber-nice bathrooms/locker rooms, and some of the best staff I’ve ever met/worked out with at a gym. They are aware of my lowerback issues and walk me through anything that might trigger an injury, but still push and challenge me to go above and beyond. I have been victorious through (at this point) 5 Sprint classes (and I absolutely abhor springing or running, but this one is good), starting to lift more, and also noticed an increase in my endurance. Despite me being frustrated with not losing weight, I still love this gym and still feel challenged. I did commit to a year-long contract, but I think it was the best decision for me (mentally, financially, physically). I have also met some really great trainers and other people working out that I have been able to talk to and take classes with
Finding a gym is important, but finding an environment that pushes you and believes in you is VITAL. You want to be in a place that you feel comfortable sweating it out, working slowly if you need to, growing over time. I excel in classes, it’s hard for me to work out by myself, but the classes are great and push me to my limit every day. Find your environment that pushes you, whether that’s an outdoor bootcamp, a pilates studio, a regular gym, a specialized gym, etc. Losing weight and staying fit and active and healthy is much easier when you enjoy what you do
Your Goals Will Change Overtime, as they basically should
I started off strong wanting to lose weight. That was my mindset: just lose the weight, forget the rest. The rest is the maintenance to losing weight and keeping weight off. It’s great if you lose weight in weeks or months time, but let’s remember there will come a point that the way you lose weight is either:
- Not sustainable
- Not flexible
I fought myself very hard during week 5 not to go back to the toxic, disordered eating Claire I was 6 years ago; that battle is so hard to overcome every time. It’s internally exhausting, its outwardly draining, and its overall not rewarding. Yes, I wanted to lose weight……but that wasn’t the real goal. Overtime, the real goal was to feel better about myself. To gain back my confidence. To have clothes that fit again. To last longer and lift more in the gym. To feel good inside and out. The weight loss thing was a benefit from finding a routine that worked for me.
Talking about weight loss is tricky. Some people think it’s superficial, some people think it’s necessary, some people get uncomfortable. I am trying to write this in a way that is empathetic: I am right there in that battle with you. If you want to lose weight (the healthy way) great! I support you. If you want to increase stamina and endurance and lift more, great! I support you. If you are just trying to find confidence in your body despite your weight or whatever, great! I also support you. I have been through it all. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, I had Anorexia Nervosa from age 17/18-20/21. Imagine going to your first year of college, feeling so out of control all you want to do is control your food to the point its unhealthy, sick, and extremely detrimental to your health (both physical and mental). That person seems like a different person entirely, but it was easy for me to see how quick that transition from healthy to obsessive happens overtime if I’m not being careful.
Whatever your goals are, if there is one piece of advice I know works 100% of the time:
Just love what you do
If you love what you do, you’ll notice that the difficulty and challenge in losing weight or reaching new goals will be a little bit easier because you enjoy what you do. You look forward to it. Whether you are dancing it out, sweating it out, doing barre, pilates, burpees (ew), WHATEVER, find something you love and commit to it and watch everything else just fall into place. It’s all about your mindset, your internal drive, your comfort. (But also do not lack the discipline to get there)
Thank you for reading all the way down (if you did!). This was a big one and one of the hardest ones I’ve posted thus far. It is hard for me to be this transparent. I can’t see everyone that reads and so I know there are total strangers on here. But I know if a total stranger is reading this, they obviously had a reason, so hey total stranger! I hope you got some kind of motivation or guidance or whatever you were looking for.
One of my eventual, very very future goals, is to someday get my Cert III & IV in Fitness so I can coach and train others like me. I just help people find their confidence through the gym and finding something they love and just supporting them every step of the way.
Here it is. My Accountability/Transparency post. Maybe I’ll do another check-in post…once a month?? We’ll see how I feel 😉