Two weeks in, 12 pounds down, and my first group mental training session. We talked about setting smart goals - Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Timely goals...all I could think of was bondage pants. Oh, you mean the one we set with our trainers? 50 pounds gone by the end of this thing. We talked of semantics, positive self talk and gratitude.
The session is geared around building mental toughness for your journey - it is a good time to check in with yourself to see how you are doing and learn some skills to help with any challenges that pop up - Christie Gialloreto
About a month ago I had my one on one with Christie. How do you sum up your life and how you got the way got and the reasons for that in an hour? Realistically, how do you do that without laying on a couch with a box of tissues beside you? I managed.
I told her how I grew up healthy and active, I knew the ins and outs of food due to my dietitian mother, how I got really skinny in high school because my boyfriend thought I was kinda chunky. I told her about my switch from feeling in control by restricting calories to mindful eating. This is a tricky kind of consumption. The "you told me I was fat, you told me to eat less," well, I'm going to stuff my face with potato chips because that'll show you. How does that work exactly? It doesn't.
University living, junior varsity field hockey, and a change in relationships started me back on track for a year or so, but I started new habits...staying up all night, hanging out with friends, eating junk food, drinking beer, and then going home, sleeping, and repeating. Maybe throw some dancing in there for cardio - I had a love affair with Love Affair and the Drawing Room. Ah, good times. And this kept up until the 2nd part of 2nd year...when I was asked to leave. Shame! I guess that's what happens when you decide it's more important to attend Pub Night than Zooarchaeology 340...I know I'm not the only one out there that has gone this route, but I'm too polite to name names. You know who you are...and we are all smart cookies with insatiable appetites for fun. For the record, when I went back to uni I made the Dean's List each semester, and got my Bachelor of Arts with distinction. Pheuff!
Then there was Malta. I was more curvy than ever, but that didn't stop me from packing 2 bikinis to sport on one of the rocky limestone beaches on that most magnificent rock...and my university residence had a pool! Not to mention, the restaurant at said university residence sold very lovely $4 bottles of Matlese wine. Heaven! Summer school in archaeology and a fabulous place to live? Yes, please! There's even an entire city in Malta dedicated to partying. Paceville is chockablock full of bars and clubs...and university kids, like me. House music poured out of the discos and into the streets where we roamed in search of the ubiquitous foam party.
Summer school in Malta turned into real life archaeology in Ireland.
I was 21 through 23 years old when I was abroad. Archeology, despite what you might imagine, is hard work....it's not all old bearded British gentlemen donning suede-patched sports coats in oxblood coloured club chairs waxing philosophical. For me, it was digging in sand and dirt trenches in the sun, rain, and even snow. It was, "Here's this skull cap, now find the rest of this skellie." But, archaeology isn't the only thing I indulged in whilst I was living in Éire. I don't know if you have partaken in the nectar of the gods that is Guinness? It is certainly one of my weaknesses. From my first perfectly pulled half-pint at Bruxelles, I was hooked. And, here's what they don't tell you about Ireland in the guidebooks...no one entertains at home, everyone goes out to pubs to socialise. So when in Rome...erm...Dublin, do as the Irish do. And, FYI, you cap off a night of drinking the black stuff with a quick trip to the nearest Abrakebabra for some curry fries. My bathroom window even opened out onto the chippy downstairs. It was hard to resist the temptation of fast food when the smell of batter burgers wafted through my flat 24/7.
So, I gained some weight when I was there, and when I returned to Victoria I dealt with it. With my parents' help, I found an exercise physiologist who introduced a workout regimen that would take me from over 180 pounds to 160 something in the weeks that preceded my move back to Montréal.
After living in Europe, it became imperative for me to find a happy place somewhere between Valetta and Victoria, and what better city than my hometown of Montréal? I moved back in 1999. There, I returned to university and immersed myself in the subculture known as rockabilly. I reveled in the scene for the next 7 years. Montréal is the most cosmopolitan city in the world. It's like Europe, but not. It's idiosyncratic. Québeckers, like me, are enamoured with the good things in life. Fashion, food, drink, music, culture...the list is extensive...and these things are enjoyed with an unparalleled joie de vivre. I'm not even going to mention the poutine. Montréal, the temptress, took me in and showed me how to live life to excess. Sadly, my intemperance lead to obesity, yo-yo dieting, and depression - certainly not the sort of hangover you can cure with a greasy breakfast.
Stéphane and I moved to Victoria in 2006, partly because we thought the lifestyle would be healthier. Unfortunately, our bad habits had moved with us.
What does all this have to do with my mental coaching session? Well, this is my history...how I earned my weight. I was fine with food until my self-esteem took a bit of a beating, then instead of coping by starving, I coped by stuffing. I gave up sports, I lived the life of a student, I ate too much and drank too much, my addiction to junk food started and sheer laziness prevailed until I returned from my adventures overseas where I took charge of my health for a brief period until I lost myself in la plus extraordinaire city in the world. There, I learned to accept myself while trying to reduce my weight for several intermittent periods. Moved out west, continued the languorous lifestyle, dieted down, ate myself back up, broke my foot, gained more, depression set in, sprained my ankle...enough is enough (and this time I mean it)!
Christine heard it all...and now, so have you. I had already quit unhealthy food cold turkey and started training 9 times a week when we started working on mental toughness. It's all about commitment, control, consistency, and confidence.
I have learned that our background and circumstances influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become - Anonymous
If that's true...I want to become a ninja...in PVC bondage pants, of course.
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