Sunday, November 24, 2013

My road back

For some blogs, I have been mentioning that I am going through a healing process. But what exactly do I mean by that? What am I healing from? And what makes me believe that I am getting better when from the start all my medical tests have been flawless?

Road To Recovery

As per dictionary definition genetics means "the genetic constitution of an individual, group, or class". It is what we are made of, our structural shape. In addition to whatever our qualities are, as we grow, environment, relationships and how we deal with situations also mold us. All this together with the addition of the experiences we go through 'now', form who are: physically, mentally and psychologically. 

When I decided to train more consistently and take my physique to the next level, I made certain choices ignoring my being as 'a whole'. After one year and half of intensive workout and dieting, certain predispositions rose up and started to get in my way.
Healing cannot occur in the absence of self-love and compassion.

One important step I took in my lowest point was taking control of my health. Not that I have some sort of healing power, but I just decided to become a serious student of the game. Instead of just sitting around and waiting for someone to tell me what to do and how; I started researching and learning. I am not alone in this though. The insights I have been receiving from Nicole Moneer are priceless. She is being a great guide who is showing me a path I feel incredibly comfortable with.

I also started looking within my body and doing some tests with my food choices. Controlling gluten ingestion has brought immediate results that I could have never dreamed of. Organics greens and fruit and hormone-free meat are not only good for the body, but they taste so much better! And sincerely, if you search well, you may discover that they are not always necessarily more expensive.
For your health - Get Enough Sleep

Sleeping enough hours is the simplest medication I could give yourself. If you have a full-time demanding job like me and has to stay focused for at least 8 hours a day, you will see the results of a good night sleep in no time. And that is not to mention that you will probably need less stimulants throughout the day, which your adrenals will thank you for.

Eating 'right' goes beyond eating healthy. One common mistaken done when one wants to get a lean figure is eating too little or simply unbalanced meals. If you have constant cravings, your body might be sending you signs that something is lacking. It is not only a matter of giving in or not, but of getting it right.

Food cravings

These small changes together have brought my energy levels up considerably. Around August, I had reached the point in which I had to sit on the floor and take deep breaths before being able to clean my gym bag. For two months, I was not able to train at all. In November, even though I have not been able to do any consistent cardio yet, I was able to train consistently for three weeks in a row. My weight fluctuation during the day is around two pounds and I do not retain water and get bloated on a daily basis. I drink healthy amounts of water sparring my kidneys and am taking more care of my liver, my personal achilles' heel.

It is just the start for me and I am glad with the direction I have taken. Step by step, I am getting there though.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taking a deep breath

Choosing a topic for this week's blog was not an easy task. In the past months, I entered this "thoughts-full" mode and it is sometimes hard to be selective.

Here, I essentially write about my fitness experience, but there is more than training and dieting in the life of Debbie Rodrigues. There are the things I can control, and those that I cannot. There is happiness and there are the lessons. Who I am now is a reflection of my experiences and how I have been reacting to them throughout my 38 years of existence.

In general, I have this all-or-nothing attitude. Instead of first putting my feet in the water and slowly getting accustomed to its temperature, I jump in! Sincerely, it is a very rewarding way of life when it comes to things that are not influenced by others or the environment. Unfortunately when we "depend" on external agents, things frequently get messy.

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
In my case, I had this pretty 'boring' plan for 2013. I did everything I could to go with the flow without thinking anything over. However, life had other plans to me.

Amongst some of the decisions I had to make in order to readapt, was changing my "Body Transformation" path. The idea was to be stage as fast as I could, doing anything necessary to achieve it the physique I dream of. My body did not like the idea though and after awhile, it started to play tricks on me. Since I'm not a Cylon and cannot jump into a more suitable body (Oops! Geek joke), I had to look for alternatives.

Therefore, the once "asap-plan" became a 2-year one. This more realistic approach itself already took a major weight off my back. I can breath again and enjoy my workouts like I haven't in a long, long time. And the results are already showing! Last week, I trained 6 days straight and even (finally!!!) included a session of Power Yoga to my routine.

Yoga Benefits
It does not have to be perfect to be enjoyable and to bring progress. In a world surrounded by negativity, we have to take charge of ourselves if we want to remain sane. There is suffering all around the globe, tragedies and cruelty; there is laziness, hate and arrogance. But there is also sunshine, the stars, nature and there is hope, kindness and love.

We cannot let the craziness and all the rush imposed by modern life take the best of us. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a deep and connect back with people and things that really matter. The rest... Well, let go of the rest.

Have a strong week!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Inside Out

In 2010, after years of thinking about nothing but work, I realized that my physique did not "match" the person I had become. I was doing a job that I really liked and had found balance work x home. However, after years without training and not caring at all about my intake, I had become heavy and unhealthy. In September that year, after annual leave, I got enrolled in a gym and I restarted to workout.

At that time, I did not really care about the quality of the food I was eating yet. I still thought I could outwork a bad diet by training intensively for enough time. It was not before 2012 that I realized once and for all that it was not really the best approach to achieve the results I hoped for.

Now, around one year and a half later, I am facing another phase of my own 'evolution'. I am not living in pink clouds anymore, but I have been rediscovering the joy of taking control of my life.

"Happiness is not the absence of problems; it's the ability to deal with them."

My journey back to my roots includes looking within. We are so much more than what meets the eyes... Concepts like 'being in shape', 'looking good' etc not always determine our health inside. Our organism also suffers from the stress of modern life; our own expectations and of our environment; and from all the substances that we consume on a daily basis. Of course that their impact on us differ depending on how we and our body deals with those external agents.

Me, an assumed workaholic, perfectionist and control freak, do not spontaneous balance things around me. There is no gray in my color scale, just black & white. So for me, and those out there in the same situation, it is necessary to first acknowledge that 'there is more out there' followed by a conscious work of self-forgiving/cleansing/healing.

Detox Your Body

To avoid exerting myself in the processing, I am taking one step a time in this personal journey to becoming a better version of me. At first, I pulled the handbrake (see blog 'Changes are good'). Then, I started to observe my interactions (with people, food and environment) and their outcomes (see 'Trying new things'). Even though these two cycles will always be a work-in-progress, it is time for some action.

One month has passed since I started to approach my intake in a different way. The results are already beyond my expectations for such a short period of time: no more joint pain (I thought I had developed carpal tunnel the past few years), my heart rate is slowly raising again, I haven't been short of breath in weeks, no more tachycardia and despite cardio still being a 'no-no', I managed to do weight training 4 days in a row this week.

"The best is yet to come."

In this detox period, I will start focusing on my liver. Back in Brazil, I was raised drinking Boldo tea, but since it is not that easy to find it here, I need to adapt. This means that for the next weeks (to say the least), my water boiler will be my best friend, together with various tea sorts I have stored in the cupboard, but rarely drink.

This is another small step towards bringing my body back to balance before being to advance in my fitness goals. At first, I took it all as a major set-back. I was overwhelmed by all the tiredness, soreness and pain I was going through. Words are not enough to describe how sad I felt by not being able to train and diet with the same intensity I had been doing since March last year. Looking back though, this has become a very rewarding experience to me. I have been given the opportunity to learn so much. It all forced me to take control of my life and not let external facts dictate how my day will be. In spite of them being my baby-steps, I am moving forward and that is all that matters.