Monday, April 29, 2013

Just in time, I'm suddenly feeling Super ;)

Hey Everyone!

So hot off the heels of my last blog, something happens to help me see the proverbial "light".

I had one of those Ah Ha moments today.

It was an early start today with work.
For those who don't know, I'm a makeup artist/production stylist & manager/little bit o everything needed. lol
Like I said, it was an early start today. We (the crew of the short film I'm working on) were setting out on a location scout, looking for cliffs, escarpments and the perfect forested areas for shooting some of the key scenes of Suddenly Super (that's the name of the film if you hadn't guessed! ;)

So this outing took us, you guessed it, hiking! Good old muddy, damp bushwhacking!!! hahaha

Feel free to reference Stand by Me lol 

It took all of about 5min for the majority of us to get soakers!
Gotta love that squishy feet sound! :P

When I say we went on a hike, I seriously mean we went hiking!!! I'm going to ballpark our excursion at about 3k... I could be off but we were out there for an hour and a half doing some serious trekking!  

Notice my new buddy Thomas helping guide me through the incline :)

Ok, so you're wondering when my AH HA moment came?
Well it was around the time we came to the top of one of the cliffs.
There we are... Myself and the crew Scott, Ange, Derek, Andy, Erik and Thomas checking out the beautiful surroundings and it hits me... there was a time, not too long ago, that I could have never made that trek! No way in hell. Period.
I think I said something to either Scott or Derek, as they've known me "before and after". I said to one of them "I'm really glad I'm not still fat". I know I said it jokingly at the time... truth is I was pretty close to losing it right there.
The realization, that I would've turned down the opportunity to work on such a cool project, because of my weight was a pretty big slap in the face.
How many other opportunities, projects or just plain cool things had I disregarded or lost out on experiencing?!

Well, not this one! 

Self esteem and confidence are things that I struggle with daily but today I had a little "wow" moment just for me. 
A moment that made me see the actual hills and rocks that I was able to climb, the physical things that were in my way that I navigated around and through and when needed, a hand from a friend or two to steady me incase I lost my footing. 
Metaphors of my journey being played out right before my eyes.
Sometimes we miss embracing the memories as they happen, only to have the flashbacks later. Today I was really in the moment. Obviously needing the message it was sending me.

In the true fashion of life imitating art for a brief moment, like the film we're making, I was suddenly super. 


Til next time...

Super hugs... Crystal :) xo

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Getting back to ME...

Hey Everyone!

I know, it's been a while!

No excuse as to why I haven't posted a new blog or update, I've actually been writing quite a bit.
The problem isn't in not writing as I have ample amounts of inspiration, topics and feelings to feed from. Honestly, I think it's the immense amount of stuff I have to pull from that is causing me to lag in my posts!
Sounds weird I know!
I have so many blogs started that I haven't finished yet! lol Time to buckle down and wrap loose ends... or loose thoughts anyway! :P

So what's on my mind today? Well, Me actually!

Going through the healing process, lengthy as it is, has forced me to have more patience with myself both mentally and physically.
While the physical changes from surgery were pretty immediate (one day the skin was there, the next day it was gone) my mental and emotional state is still playing catch up.

Don't worry... I'm not "going off the deep end" at least not yet lol OR anymore than usual anyway! hahaha

I'm not going to blow smoke up your a$$ and say that after all the surgery I feel 100% better and confidant. Truth is, I feel physically better and satisfied in the fact that I can now see the results of 2years of hard work. Before this I couldn't look past the mess of skin to see what I HAD accomplished.

The flip side is that there is a whole new path of self discovery ahead. This isn't a bad thing! lol
Scary maybe, but not "bad".

Once you start stripping away the excuses of why you can't *fill in the blank* it becomes harder to hide from the real reason! Ooooohhhhh I'm getting all introspective and deep! hahahaa
Bear with me on this one though!
I used to tell myself "You're not as successful as you want to be because you're obese" then I lost weight.
Then it was "You're still hiding who you are because you're self conscious of the excess skin". Well that's no longer an excuse... soooooo.... what now?! lol Self discovery time!!!! hahaha
I'm running out of places to hide! YIKES!!!! lol

That was a lot of babbling to let you know that all your patience with my sporadic blogs, rants etc. is appreciated and hopefully insightful and helpful?!

I have found though that getting back to "me" is easier when I turn to the outlets that helped me get to this place... NOT FOOD!!! lol

I have been cleared to resume all physical activity again (being mindful and careful of course).
So with that in mind, I headed straight for bootcamp and Coach Compton! lol (surprise, surprise!) ;)

This is another place where patience with myself is greatly needed!

I have now done three nights at camp and at some point I have cried. Not an all out sobbing bawl fest but more of an internal struggle between the abilities I had and the abilities I'm working with now.

Patience... I'm fully aware that I will get back to that place and surpass where I once was.
This does not make it easier mind you.

So here I am my first real night back... getting ready to do some squats!

Leg lifts are pretty challenging at this point, any ab work is tough really. I take it really slow.

And this is pretty self explanatory! LOL I don't recommend EVER flipping off your trainer. This was more of an FU I did it!!! hahahahaaaa

Wow I was super chatty today! :P

I'll be posting all those filed blogs soon for your reading entertainment!

Til next time...

Healing hugs... Crystal :) xo

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Road to recovery

Hi Everyone!

So today marks two weeks since my surgery, time really does fly!

In the last two weeks I have been out of the house four times, twice for doctors appointments, once for a much needed breakfast date with Coach and for my daughters KungFu grading (which I was NOT missing!!!).
I have watched more TV than I have probably in the last year and have possibly become addicted to "Duck Dynasty" "Mad Men" and "Homeland". 

For those who know me, being shut in the house is a challenge as I am usually on the go. Thank goodness for all my amazing friends/family that have been visiting with coffee and news of the outside world! Hahaha

This forced down time is really teaching me the importance of time and healing. Not just physically but emotionally.
While I feel really good physically, better than I thought I would at this point, I am having to constantly remind myself that I still need to take it easy and rest.
Not being able to do household things like reaching into the washing machine or stretch to put dishes away is frustrating. Letting go of all the responsibility is even more so.

Mentally, this struggle is harder.
Being dedicated to losing weight and creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been my main focus for almost 3 years now. Always planning, organizing and keeping active.
Now needing to rest and letting go, temporarily, of the desire to push myself. The fear of how my body is going to react to the lack of exercise and adding to all this the guilt that I feel for allowing myself to get so far out of whack in the first place. As you might guess, there has been much reflection happening.

At the end of the day, I’m not completely daft lol I know that rest is the best thing for me. Pushing myself too much is just not worth risking all the amazing work that the good doctors, coaches and I have done up to this point.
As for everything else, well what’s done is done!
I did become morbidly obese… I chose to do something about it and surrounded myself with genuine people that helped me become healthy… I worked my ass off… gave no excuses, just did what I needed to… paid the price physically, mentally and even monetarily to get where I am now.
I guess that earns me the right to forgive myself.

I’m sure that I will have many more ups and down in the healing process but right now I’m feeling pretty peaceful.

Til next time, 
I'll end with this "funny" cause I just couldn't resist :P... 

Happy Happy Happy Hugs...

-Crystal :) xo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Next Chapter

Hi Everyone!

I hope you are all well and still smiling through the last leg of our Canadian winter!

In any journey, there are stages. Like the changing of seasons, one phase ends to begin the growth of the next. (wow I'm all poetic today! lol)

This is where I find myself... at the beginning of a new season in my journey. The next chapter :)

Tonight marks the beginning of a new 6week BeautyFit bootcamp. It also marks the first bootcamp that I will not be at. Completely bittersweet.

For the last 2 years I have been part of every bootcamp held by Coach Compton. Even during times where I had to miss almost half the classes due to work, I was still a part.

So why will I be absent this time around?
Though I'm not one for excuses, I've got a pretty great one! :P

After a very long time of weighing my options and working my ass off, I made the decision to "finish what I started".
While many people have lost large amounts of weight and come out looking wonderful (underneath it all). My weight loss left me with a very large amount of hanging, very poor quality skin.
This skin was mainly concentrated in my middle section.

No amount of dieting, sit-ups or exercise would remove this.

I very much felt like I was still the obese person that started over 2 years ago. Though I knew the numbers on the scale and clothing were much smaller, I still looked at this skin and felt fat.
Many would say they had no idea what I was talking about because I looked great in my clothes.
I camouflage well lol

So last Thursday the 21st was what many friends called my new birthday! :P
I had a full tummy tuck and lift done to correct these areas :)

With my friend and coach by my side (and now as my own personal nurse lol), we ventured into the Plastic Surgery Clinic in Mississauga to close the page on this chapter and start new!

So after approx 3.5hrs in the operating room and another couple hours in recovery, the excess skin that was weighing me down physically and emotionally was GONE!!!

My recovery station :)

All the essentials for a speedy recovery lol

Coach making a shake at the ice machine! :P

It may not look like much,
 but this was my amazing pain pump that kept me comfortable 
my first night after surgery :)

I have a few long weeks of recovery and healing ahead of me but I am feeling really great considering!

Before many of you ask, yes, I did take some before photos. lol
To be honest, I am still struggling with whether I will show them to the masses or not. While my journey has been pretty public, I'm not sure if being that exposed is right for me at this point.

I will post recovery pics (fully clothed lol) as I feel up to it and maybe more depending on how I feel.
All I know at this point is that even with staples in, swollen and compression girdle on etc. running my hand over a flat stomach feels incredible!!! 
It feels like overnight I am seeing the results of 2+years of hard work.

My surgery and recovery will be the topic of the next few blogs I'm sure. There are many changes and feelings that come with something like this. As my emotions and outlook change I'll be writing about it ;)

So until next time, I'll leave you with this pic taken about 6-7hrs post op...

Hey, totally didn't say it was a pretty pic! lol

Flat tummy hugs...

Crystal :) xo

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do my "Check ins" annoy you?

Hey Everyone!

So while working on a completely different blog topic, this came to me. :)

Well, let me be a little more clear... I was on Facebook (ya ya ya I know, I was suppose to be working, whatever! lol) Anyhoo, I was on FB and saw the following...

This lead me to wonder, since I am ABSOLUTELY guilty of checking in at the gym or boot camp, if these posts really do annoy the masses or more importantly... the people that follow me on FB?

To be fair, I have myself laughed at the following...

and my personal favourite... LOL

Now this is where I get all philosophical :P
IF gym, workout or similar activity check ins or status updates annoy you... why do they?

Would your irritation be lessened if you knew the reasoning behind the check in?

For example, the reason I post my workouts on FB, or possibly twitter (@crystalizedMUA) or InstaGram is not for my ego...GASP!! WHAT? How can this be?!

It seems that many are under the impression that posts or checking in are purely ego driven. 
Don't get me wrong here, if I set a personal best or do something super kick a$$ I'm going to post it, its my FB after all! lol
What I'm referring to however, is the main reason I do what I do... to maybe, possibly inspire others :) 
That's it, that's all (except maybe to also let my trainer know that I'm actually there lol).

Everyone is busy. Everyone leads a hectic and chaotic life with work, home, family, errands etc etc. 
I know what it feels like to use every one of those excuses... for far too long!
In my humble opinion, if I can do something as simple as check into the gym regardless of how many it annoys... and 1 person says to themselves "hey, if she can figure it out so can I" pardon my bluntness but I'll take your annoyance anytime! ;)

The bigger question, and maybe I'm walking dangerous territory here... is why it bothers you? 
Before you are so quick to roll your eyes at yet another post about the gym, training, whatever. Stop and think... is it the post about someone going to the gym that bothers me? or the fact that I haven't gone in ages? 
I'm gonna duck now for the hate mail I'm bound to get!!! Hahahaa

Just please keep in mind that while a post might make you roll your eyes... it could very well be the post that opens someone else's. :)

Till next time, 

"Checking in from my dining room table" hugs...

-Crystal :) xo

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lose 5lbs a week!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well that got your attention didn't it?! :P

Just like everything else that sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

So why try to grab your attention in such a deceitful way? Well it worked didn't it? ;) Hahaha
Now here is the real reason I did it...

There are some significant realities, choices and changes that I am currently dealing with and working through. I absolutely plan on sharing these things with you all when the time comes and when I feel ready to do so.
These issues have led me to do some pretty heavy reflecting. Where I was, how far I've come and where I'm going from here.

A huge part of my reason to blog has always been, that in some way, I might help someone else.
It was while I was watching the season premier of Biggest Loser, that the inspiration for this blog came to me!
At almost 250lbs, I was convinced that the first week or two I started on my program with Coach Compton, I would be dropping upwards of 10lbs a week. After all, isn't that what happens with the morbidly obese people on the show? I'm morbidly obese (or was), so I should fit into that category! Furthermore, every week after that I should be dropping a good 5+lbs consistently cause I'm just as big as those people!


Imagine my absolute horror, honestly I thought I was a failure and worthless, when my first week weigh in resulted in a 2lb weight loss. Crap! I suck cause I'm fat and I can't even lose weight right!
You want the reality of what was in my head at that time? Well there it is, and it's not pretty!

Many know me as the one that is always smiling, dancing and being positive. What many don't see is that I can bruise myself from head to toe with a verbal beating like no other.
Why am I so upbeat and nice to others? Because they deserve the the gift I was not able to give myself.

I spent a very long time being not very nice to myself, something I have been working on for the last two and a half years.

So why relive all this? Well selfishly, it's pretty therapeutic! lol And like I said before, I want to help.

With the new year beginning and resolutions being made to become healthy and lose weight, I want people to know the truth about weight loss.

It is hard effing work!!!

Please do NOT hold yourself to some bizarre weight loss standard just because you see it on tv. You have NO idea what goes on behind the scenes.
Don't get me wrong, I love watching weight loss shows. The determination and drive, frustration and hopefully success that these people go through inspires me to keep on my path and I applaud them!

That being said, it is not sunshine and roses every week when you step on the scale. It is an emotional roller coaster. But just because you didn't hit an unrealistic goal that you saw on tv, or came up with in your own head, does not mean that you are or will for forever be an overweight failure!

Did you hear me??? YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!

What did Sam (Coach Compton) say the first time I stepped on the scale? You lost 2lbs! Thats great!
Were there some weeks that I lost 4lbs? Yes, two weeks in a row actually. There were also some weeks I didn't lose an ounce!
But when I finally hit my 100lb mark and Sam did the calculations, it was an average of 2lbs/ week.
Not glamourous or fast. It was nose to the grindstone, living a whole new way, moving forward little by little.
Kind of like erosion! Hahaha

Just because my main focus of losing weight has now shifted (more to come on that later ;) doesn't mean that the lessons I've learned no longer apply OR they might help enlighten others.

Take from this what you will or file it under BS. lol
I just know that the day I realized (with the help of those around me that truly cared and knew what they were talking about) that your journey is YOURS and not a cookie cutter of someone else's success  or "failures", was the day I was able to really commit fully to the fact that I wasn't going to stop progressing.
Each step forward or backward or to the side was still movement and movement is always better than being stagnant!

Well thats it for my rant! hahahaa I hope it helps in whatever way its meant to, I know it has helped me just in writing it ;)

Til next time...

Forward facing hugs...

-Crystal :) xo

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Holiday Wind Down...

Hey Everyone!

While I may be a tad late to wish you all a Merry Christmas, it's not too late for a Happy Holiday or a Happy New Year!!!

Not posting a specific Christmas blog was actually on purpose! lol (seriously, I considered it and decided to do something a little different).

I am a self proclaimed Christmas fanatic... I love everything about the season! This includes the snow (or in our case lack of :( this year until Boxing day).
Crowds, craziness and alike add to the fun for me, yep I know it's not for everyone but I really do love it all!

This year for some reason I felt an absence of excitement. Maybe it was because this is the first Christmas without my Dad? Maybe the lack of snow which I love so much? Regardless, I found myself forcing the whole Christmas feeling much of the time.
Regardless of the reason, I decided to keep my "holiday" blog until closer to New Year.
Don't get me wrong, Christmas was great. Time spent with friends and family was much needed and appreciated.

Now back to my blog! lol

If you turn on any tv channel or radio station you'll notice a trend... lists! Top 10 moments, sports plays, songs, movies etc. etc.

Sooooo, who am I to mess with a good thing?! Lol

I have decided to compile a partial list of some of my favourite moments of 2012!!! Notice I said PARTIAL!!! :P and in NO particular order!

Sidney breaking her first board!!! lol
Pretty EPIC moment at the Chinese New Year celebration :)

The birth of my niece Elliott :) seen here with my niece Pea (Payton).

Seeing PITBULL in concert!!!! 

Experiencing the Arnolds Sports fest with some AMAZING people!!!

Helping to build a Habitat house :)

Finally getting my chandelier tattoo!!! 

All of the amazing and inspiring friends I have met! 

Some of my favourite memories (work wise) come from being part of my Brides wedding day and this year was no exception! 
It would make for an insanely long blog to post all my weddings/events from 2012 but here is a couple of highlights ;)

Clearly not a wedding but such an incredible honour to get my Coach and friend ready for a photo shoot!

Getting longtime friend and fellow boot camper Trixie ready for her wedding!

And last but certainly not least... one of my BFF's Vicki :)
Getting Vicki ready for her big day was a blessing and highlight of my year!

So there you have it folks! While I'm sure I've left out a bunch of awesomeness, this is just a taste of the greatness that 2012 brought!

It is so easy to dwell on the past and the sadness or heartbreak it may have brought.
I could sit here and label 2012 as the year I lost my Dad... that is true BUT what good does it serve to blanket a year in one sadness when so much happiness was felt as well?!
At least that's how I'm choosing to look at it all :)

So now what? 
Well this is probably the part where I'm supposed to blurt out a bunch of resolutions for 2013 right? lol
Giving much thought to resolutions has left me with one definite... keep on keeping on! 
That's all I've got for right now and that is perfectly fine with me. :)

In the words of my Poppy (my Dads father).. "Be happy". Sounds like a good plan to me and I wish the same for you all! ;)

Until next time, 

Happy New Year Hugs...

-Crystal :) xo