it’s actually worse than I thought

Balance. defines balance. among others, as:
[baluh ns] noun
  1. a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc.
  2. something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
  3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

If I was to be tested on my current ability to strike a balance, I would get a big fat F.

FThe only thing I’ve managed to balance lately is work and sleep. And because sleep is vital to one’s physical and mental wellbeing, I’ll count that as a small win. Everything else, and I do mean EVERYTHING, has fallen by the way side.
In an effort to take on some accountability for the position I find myself in, I am providing a little Good News/Bad News style recap of the goings on in the life of one less-sweaty gal.

House Reno + Sale Plans:

Good news:

All renovations came in under-budget (although way past self-imposed deadline) and they provided some decent workouts on the real heavy-lifting days. The house sold at 98% of asking price, within a month of listing. All good.

Bad news:

The renovations, purging, and staging took up all of my free time. Very few real workouts took place. This is very bad news. And while my house has sold, I have yet to find another. Tick tock, tick tock. I have 3.5 months to find and buy another place before I have to leave this one. Yikes.

New Job:

Good news:

The job, while super challenging, is pretty awesome. I learn every day – and I’ll admit it’s been a very long time since I’ve experienced that. I have a wonderful manager, an awesome peer who has shepherded me through these first few weeks, and a great team I get to oversee. I also quite like the pay cheque.

Bad news:

This is a new line of business, and there is a ton of ambiguity. I have two open headcount that need to be filled. And I am leading a business with a lot of eyeballs on it. The company has put a ton of focus on this business. Failure of this business is not an option for my company. And for me, personally, failure is not an option. That will not be my story. So… I’m giving a lot of myself to work right now. At the expense of pretty much everything else.

My Health:

Good news:

I got to hike 6 out of 8 available days during my last trip to Vegas. I had to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to get a full day of work in, and I certainly didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked, but I got to refill my near-empty tank with the amazing experience of climbing mountains every day. I may not have had a whole lot of balance these past few months, but for those 6 glorious days, my soul was filled with peace and calm. I felt centered.

Bad news:

And, oh yeah, it’s bad. So, I knew, even before I stepped on the scale, I knew. My pants were feeling a little tighter. You know, all those new pants I bought in the new, smaller, sizes. And I knew because, mirrors. ANYWAY, I finally stepped on the scale to see how much damage I’ve done in the past 4+ months. I *thought* I had gained 6 or 7 lbs. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. When I looked down at the display, the cold, hard truth: I’ve actually gained 12 lbs. I’VE GAINED 12 LBS in 4 months. No bueno.

Worried that the weight gain combined with the fact that I no longer take prescription blood pressure medications could have caused my BP to rise into dangerous territory, I headed to the nearest drug store to use their BP machine. And… GOOD NEWS: my blood pressure is actually still well within normal range. This is nothing short of a miracle.

I suppose it could be attributed to the lingering effects of 18+ months of serious exercise. Whatever it is, I’m very happy that at least I won’t have to go back to prescription meds, especially after working so hard to get myself off of them.

So, there you have it, friends. I have managed, in just over 4 months, to undo a lot of the good that it took over a year to achieve. The good news is that I’m still much healthier now than I was pre- My Year of Sweat, and I’m still net down, poundage-wise. And the best news is that I know exactly what I need to do to right this ship.


The real question is, will I find the resolve to do it in the near-term, given I can’t even find enough hours in the day to write up and mail out my Christmas cards?

I know it all starts with moving.

Tomorrow my ass will find itself clear across the country. I’ll be spending the week in Vancouver, where I’m hopeful I will take advantage of a convenient hotel gym + the proximity to the sea wall to get myself moving. And I hope you all will join me.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

83 thoughts on “it’s actually worse than I thought

  1. Focus on the good!! Your blood pressure is still normal and that is a huge positive!!
    You have identified and admitted where you are out of balance and that is a brilliant first step!
    I have confidence in your ability to pull this back and not lose sight of the important stuff!
    I need to do it right along with you, I am way behind on my half marathon training and am contemplating restarting insanity to give myself a kick up the bum!!
    We can do this together!! (only separated by an ocean and some land…it is nothing!)

    • I know there is a lot of positive to be thankful for, the BP being highest among them. I also can’t believe how quickly I was able to get to previous hiking speeds after my first time that Saturday morning. There was a bit more huffing and puffing, but my body remembered what it was supposed to do, and did it. This is good.

      I swear to you that I will use that plan you set up for me. I just need to get into the headspace where I know I’m fully committed to that level. At this point it feels more like a January thing, especially given how busy I know December is, starting with 5 days away from home starting tomorrow. Thank you for your patience, and I REALLY look forward to getting my ass kicked by Trainer Sam soon.

      Going back to Insanity sounds like a great approach. Maybe I should invest in that program too.

  2. I hope you regain your balance and relose the pounds you’ve gain ~ unless of course you gained muscle from those hikes in Vegas. In which case, hang on to them!

  3. It is so hard to find and keep the balance! I just find that as much as I like exercise, as soon as something happens, there just is not enough time for it. But the only thing to do is to keep looking for the time and also focus on the diet (especially with Christmas coming up…) but hey, you have great good news, congrats on not taking the blood pressure meds! And how good that your house sold for such a good price so quickly, I am sure you’ll find something you will fall in love with soon, it will work out 🙂

    • I know that “this, too, shall pass”, but at this moment, it feels like…HOLY CRAP! A lot of stuff going on!

      Thanks for your kind words. And good point about the diet. I should have known better. It’s simple math – calories in, calories out. When I worked out like crazy, I could eat a lot and not gain weight. For some reason I forgot that and felt that I could keep on eating per usual and not workout. Big mistake.

  4. Here’s more good news: You recognize the problem and you plan on taking steps to avoid it getting worse. AND you’re not making excuses which is very cool. I’m sorry things have been so hectic, but I admire your ability to look at the issue objectively and not beat yourself up about it. That frame of mind will help get things back on track–or at least a new track since the old track may no longer be feasible. As for Christmas cards, why give yourself the added stress? I gave up sending those out a few years ago. And it feels great.

    • The truth is that this is probably more a mental issue (mentally exhausted) versus a lack of time thing. I’m not working from 6am to 11pm, so I *could* find an hour to work up a good sweat at some point during the day. On most days I just haven’t because sitting in a comfy chair thumbing through magazines or watching mindless TV feels better. I need to fix the mental side of it – permanently – not just temporarily, if I want to stay on track for good.

      Re: the Christmas cards, I actually used a bad example. Hubby has been taking care of those the past 3 or 4 years. (But there are a bunch of other little house-things that I should be doing, that I’m not.) 🙂

  5. Ditto to everything Carrie said above. 🙂 It’s so nice to hear from someone who is enjoying their new job even if the learning curve is a little overwhelming and a big high five to you for taking the leap to start again so soon after starting a job that wasn’t a perfect fit. Once I gave myself permission to modify Insanity and go more low impact for my knees and ankles I loved the workouts and have been considering going through the series again. I really like the bare bones, gym and sweat approach. As for Christmas cards… they are near the top of my stress out list today but I’m going to order some, pre-printed this afternoon. Just not sure if I can come up with a good family picture to include this year… oh well!

    • Love the idea of modifying Insanity for yourself. And well done on giving YOURSELF the permission to do that. Things are still wonky for me these days. More than just workload. I’ll figure it out at some point, but for now it’s good enough to just own up to where I’m at. xoxo

  6. I’m feeling for you Nancy, so hard right now. Trust me, I’m right there… I let myself undo 3 years of hard work in the past year, and admitting that and trying to move on with it is soul crushing. Trying to do normal human functional things while getting in shape is hard. Adding in a demanding career and home Reno and moving – you are a rockstar. It’s never too late, and once your stress levels start coming back down to normal that weight will fall right off. Thinking about you!

    • I’m mostly angry with myself for being so stupid. I.e. if I knew my activity levels had decreased so much, why did I keep taking in the same amount of food? I clearly thought fairies would come and disintegrate all the calories. 😦

      I know what I need to do, and I’ll do it. First I need to get my head on straight though. Something’s still off, mentally.

      • Well I hope that you get better soon. I know that mentally off thing and it sucks. So bad. You got this! I will be your cheerleader even though I mostly bitch and swear a lot 🙂

  7. This is just a small bump in your spectacular road! Show it who’s boss. And definitely cut yourself some slack….you’ve dealt with a lot the past 4 + months!!! You’ve got this, girl. Like you said, the most important thing is that your health is good.

    • Aw, thanks, gorgeous. Something is still not right with the mental side if things, and that’s my real blocker at this point. I need to do a little more soul searching to figure out what’s what before I can get down to the business of really getting myself back on track, I think. xoxo

  8. You’re like superwoman 🙂 You need to cut yourself some slack. You have so much going on, it’s only natural that it will take you a while to find your rhythm. But in a few months, you’ll be writing ‘How Nancy got her Groove Back’ style posts – I just know it 🙂

  9. Oh man am I ever hearing you. Eric and I were just fighting about this today. He says I have to put exercise and my well being as no 1 and then schedule everything else in which is fine except that failing at my business ventures also isn’t that great for my well being. Us women work so hard at having it all. I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and get up at the arse crack for a little while to buy some extra time in my day. See if that works. And then I can be fitting the exercise in. You can do it Nance. You can get back on track. xx PS Love that quote at the end – I’m stealing the image for facey. x

  10. Damn! The weight gain is definitely disappointing but you actually have have so many other great plus-es in your life right now. Feeling pretty healthy and having good BP is important so don’t discount that. And having a job you like and feel good about is important to you. And selling your house so fast at a good price! So everything isn’t perfect? Like you said, just do what you know you can do. None of us doubt that you can do it! It sounds like the ONLY thing you aren’t doing is managing your perfectionism 🙂 ????

    • Oh I definitely still battle my perfectionist nature daily, Kathy, believe me! In this case, it’s less about perfection I’m after and more about living that healthy life I had made habit/lifestyle for over 18 months. But, yeah, the perfectionist in me is PISSED that she needs a do-over! If there’s one thing I hate, it’s wasting time. And this sort of feels like that. 😦
      I guess it’s a good reminder that when it comes to diet and exercise, there is no start and end date. You just have to keep on keeping on… Lesson learned.

  11. You have so much going on I can’t even imagine adding in a move. I’m sure you’ll get back on track where you’d like to be once life settles down a tad 🙂

  12. You’ve got a ton of support here, and for that, I am glad. Do keep moving. You are an inspiration. Give yourself some wiggle room, though. What with the new job… moving house to address unknown… eek! (Like I need to tell you that!) Program in as much “you” time as you can, k?

  13. 12 pounds isn’t all that much considering everything you’re describing, New home, new job, eek! I’m a little sad that you’ll be here but we won’t have time to get together! Next time you’re in Vancity, we have to meet and, hopefully, hike together. I have a couple of good ones picked out for you that are close to the city and that I think you’ll like ie. incredibly scenic xo

    • I had been threatening my colleague with Grouse Grind until I found out the trail is closed for the season. 😦
      I would love to get together, Laurel! I’ll still text you once I’m in and have a better handle on schedule/demands. My only concern is me being in Richmond and not having my own car.

      • The grind is really ugly this time of year. Super muddy and usually snow at the top. But if you come back in the spring or summer, it’s a must! I have such a crazy week this week too but yes, do text me just in case 🙂

  14. I know we can’t use work as an excuse not to get out there and exercise, but really, sometimes finding the hours makes it nearly impossible, and I guess the key word there is “nearly.” We can do it when we are motivated, so there you go! I think those few pounds will come off quickly since they haven’t been on very long. You’ve experienced a boatload of changes over the past few months and the stress alone may have added some weight. I commend your honesty, Nancy, and wish you well this week. I know you’ll have a good one and feel better for the recommitment. ox

    • I feel like it’s actually easier to recommit during a week I’m away from home (and the demands of home), so I’m hopeful that despite a 3 hour timezone difference and packed schedule that I’ll still make time to get workouts in each day. Thanks Debra.

  15. You’re a powerhouse, Nancy. I have no doubt that you will get back on track but all of your reasons for getting off track are valid!! Finding enough time in the day is so hard especially with as much traveling as you do. I love the Jillian Micheals quote, that is great because we so often get off track and just think, “well, f it then, I’m done”
    Congrats on all the good news too!! 🙂

    • Doesn’t feel like I should be patting myself on the back for anything these days, given how far I feel I’ve backtracked, but I know I need to be very, very grateful that my BP is still in the healthy range without drugs.

      I know the holidays aren’t going to do me any favours, in terms of diet/food intake, so I definitely need to get my ass back in gear on the workout front to combat that and avoid any further backslide. That’s motivation!

  16. Nancy, considering everything being so fluid in your life, it’s amazing to me that you haven’t fallen completely off of the wagon. House sales, house purchases, old job, new job – and now the holiday season. Doesn’t get more crazy than that!

    • Yes, but, one always has the ability to choose differently, to prioritize differently. I chose to embrace all those excuses. Sure, some days it would have been impossible to work out (unless it was at 3:00am) but many, many days it was just me choosing to chill on the couch rather than hit the gym. My choice, and now I must pay the piper…

      • Yes, but once things get back to a routine, you can kick the pipers arse. I’m just amazed that you held it all together as well as you did.

      • You are very kind. And I thank you for that. Right now it may seem like I’m hating on myself a bit, but really it’s just that I’m giving myself the tough love I need. Thank you for your support. Much appreciated. xoxo

  17. Congratulations on the healthy blood pressure. I did the same thing- was able to go off the meds for my blood pressure. Vancouver is beautiful and should be inspiring to get moving. Please avoid the night street market, tho- that food is too tempting. I’ve never been, only seen on TV.

    • Ha! Street food is my kryponite! And I’ve maintained since I kicked this whole process off in Jan 2013 that you can eat what you want (within reason) as long as you work off those calories. My mistake these past 4 months was continuing to eat as my heart desired WITHOUT busting my ass at the gym. Stupid, stupid. Won’t be making that mistake again.

  18. Yay – it was so nice to see you in my mailbox. I was almost at the point of dropping you a line to see how you were doing. You are alive and well … in spite of feeling you are out of balance.

    I loved Simone’s comments. She nailed it. I have nothing better to add 🙂

    • Thanks, Jo. I’m probably equal parts forgiving of myself (because I realize many of my “excuses” are valid) and kicking myself (because tough love is also necessary). I just finished dinner, after a long travel day, arrived back at my room to address some email that couldn’t wait until tomorrow, and now I am exhausted (body knows it’s really past 11pm, even if my local clock says 8pm). I know I should hit the gym for a quick run, but I honestly just feel like I need to crash. Maybe if I’m asleep by 9pm I will be up stupid early and can workout before I meet my colleague for breakfast at 6:45??? Wish me luck.

  19. Nancy, oh sister, preaching to the choir here…I just responded to your email because I am THAT far behind on everything. You will get back on track, give yourself a little slack. I didn’t even try to rhyme, and look at that. 😀

    I am in the midst of a 30 day yoga challenge and everything else has been dropping off the rails, but I am determined to do at least 20 minutes a day, for all of December. Wish me luck, and I wish you mojo, friend!

  20. I’m happy there’s so much good to balance out the not so good! But I’ve been exactly there, working my butt off and had no time for anything else…gained more than much more than 12 pounds, lost a few and gained them again, high blood pressure and sugar pre-diabetic. I hope that while loving your job, you can make arrangements to find the time to continue your exercise routines – to balance it all out!

    • That’s the struggle, trying to give everything I have to the early days of building this business…. but not at the expense of everything else I hold dear. No one said it would be easy, but I didn’t think it would be THIS hard.

  21. Shit, Nancy, that sucks… but I find hotel gyms to be actually be awesome… prevents eating out. As for balance… I personally believe that there’s no such thing. It’s just a goal to strive for, but never really attainable. But that doesn’t mean you should strive for it…

    • I’m really stoked to report that I’m 3 for 3 in terms of early morning workouts (5:30 am). I will probably sleep until 10 am on Saturday (not to mention all 5 hours of my flight home tomorrow). 🙂 This past week doesn’t make up for my slovenly ways the previous months, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

      • I happen to be one, but my mornings are for work. It’s so hard to expend time working out when you could use that time working and getting so much done… I hate working out late, I always feel deflated.

      • Not to mention working out late tends to leave you wired, making it harder to fall asleep. Last week’s early starts really did allow me to squeeze a lot in to a single day. Now to remind myself of that when the alarm goes off at 5:30 am…

  22. No need to respond, Nancy. Just know I’m thinking of you and wishing you and your extra twelve pounds well. Be well, sister. Peace, John

  23. Good luck with squeezing some time for exercise. I know you’re able to motivate yourself. All my good yoga work has gone to pot since we left AZ. By pot, I mean that one around my middle. ;-(

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