#WellnessWezday #3

Does doing this three times in a row mean it’s a habit yet?? I sure hope so. So this is the third installment of my weekly #WellnessWezday progress update. This is the first one I’m finding a bit of a challenge, because for some reason this past week left me a little disappointed in myself.

Which is why I’m checking myself now – there is no disappointment on #WellnessWezday, ya dork! (I’m referring to myself, of course)

Sure, I had a pretty lazy weekend and had some emotional ups and downs, but I still did some pretty awesome activities that further my desire for balance in my health and well-being.

Like last Thursday, I went out in the hot, hot August-in-Seattle heat and did some hiking at a nearby state park on the shores of Lake Washington. It was gorgeous outside, and the challenge was REAL! In actuality I think I pushed myself a bit too hard, but I did it nonetheless.

 

 

It’s here I’ll talk a little bit about mental and physical walls. I’ve worked with a personal trainer before when trying to get fit, and I know that most of us have a tendency to see boundaries a little too early when we’re working out. Most of these are mental walls. Now, there are some trainers out there who are maybe a little too gung-ho about walls being merely mental, and will expect you to push yourself past your limits. A little is okay – heck, pushing past a wall can end up feeling downright amazing! But then there are those barriers that one should respect: feeling dizzy, experiencing tunnel-vision, feeling nauseated…

Those are some barriers I ran up against last Thursday. And there was a part of me that said, “Push past it, keep walking, keeping your heart rate up will be good for you!” But then there was the healthy part of me that said, “No, you can stop to take a break and wait until your heart isn’t busting out of your chest anymore. Drink some water, stand in the shade, respect your current fitness level.”

The fact is that I’m not an athlete at peak condition. I’m a heavy-set¬†woman in her early 40’s (I know, right???) who is slowly working her way towards better fitness. I don’t need to go balls-to-the-wall every time I set out on a nature walk. This is a struggle for me, because I get into a lot of all-or-nothing thinking with a dash (okay, a landfill) of competitiveness thrown in. If I’m not one-upping myself at each opportunity, I have an inner voice that likes to tell me I’m not pushing hard enough and that it doesn’t count if I’m not going all out.

Well that inner voice isn’t serving me well anymore, if it was ever serving me at all. And this week I allowed myself to pay attention to that voice not as “reality”, but as a facet of my upbringing and inner self that isn’t telling me the truth. A facet that isn’t showing compassion. A facet that is maybe trying to be helpful, but is like that wacky aunt who doesn’t know how to help without hurting a little, too.

This week I’m choosing to hear that voice, politely tell it to hush up, and to embrace myself – every part of myself: my resilience, my humor, my intelligence, and yes- my limits. These limits will slowly fall away and I’ll have new limits to target. That’s called progress!

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 19, 369
  • Pants Test: Some of my pants actually felt downright baggy this week. Better than too tight! Comfort is the best.
  • Personal measure of wellness: This past week was tough, felt like a slip, but I’m staying on top of it and staying positive.

 

 

#WellnessWezday #2

Well friends, we’re here for the second installment of my weekly progress update: #WellnessWezday! This past week (August 10th through August 16th, 2016) was a banner week, filled with activity and enjoying the Seattle sun while it lasts. Building on the previous week’s breakthrough involving putting shoes on (which for me is no small feat… get it???), this week was about honoring (without caving into) my limits.

What does that mean? It means that yeah, I was eager to go hiking on Thursday, but while I let my friends goad me into a trip over to Rattlesnake Ledge, I didn’t force myself to get to the very top.

 

That was tough. I tend to fall into all-or-nothing thinking, and something about not getting to the top brings up a lot of feelings of inferiority, or not finishing the job. But the reality is that I’m really out of shape. I can’t just tell my body to press on and expect it to rise to the occasion. Sure, I can push myself – going hiking alone is quite a feat for me regardless of its length – but pushing past reasonable limits would likely not lead to glory, but to injury.

I’ve ascended Rattlesnake Ledge before. Back in May of 2014 I tried it for the first time (at the peak of my physical fitness), and celebrated at the top. So when I was roughly halfway up on Thursday, it was not easy for me to make the decision to turn around. That belittling voice was trying to persuade me that the hike “wouldn’t count” if I couldn’t take a selfie at the top.

But the healthy part of me – the balanced part that is willing to live in the grey area – knew that every step counts towards the pursuit of a fitter me. And it also knew that hiking downhill is often more calamitous for me than the reverse direction, and that if I wanted to make it down without tiredly, clumsily twisting an ankle or face-planting, the time to turn around had arrived.

Other awesomeness in my week included another trip to a local beach park with the pup where, after walking laps around the pier in 80-degree Fahrenheit heat, I finally succeeded in encouraging him to get out into the lake. We played fetch into the shallow shore of Lake Washington and it was simply delightful. He loved it, and I loved it!

 

Finally, yesterday I missed my Tuesday stream for a very good reason: I was invited to do a PokeWalk with some friends from my old workplace at one of the best places to play PokemonGO in the whole world: Bellevue’s Downtown Park. I’m serious, the vibe is crazy at this park! I felt a little like a lemming, migrating with the crowd from one spawn to the next.

 

As silly as it was, I got something like nine new (to me) Pokemon and had a lot of fun getting steps and working up a sweat in a downright jovial atmosphere.

Weekly Stats:

  • Fitbit Step Count: 38,197 (+12.8% increase)
  • Pants Test: Bought some ostentatious blue pants about 2 months ago – they’re getting loose!
  • Personal measure of wellness: My feet are usually sore at the end of the day, but I’ve been bouncing back quickly!

#WellnessWezday #1

On many “weight loss blogs”, you’ll find that many bloggers opt to weigh-in on Wednesdays and call them… can you guess? Of course, “Weigh-In Wednesday”. Might as well delay a couple days and call it “Freak-Out Friday”. I kid, I kid.

In any case, that’s a mentality I want to reject here. But as a fan of alliteration, I wanted to find a way to take the overall flavor of a weekly update post and inject it with my special brand of self-care that I’m trying¬†to embrace – one of wellness.

Over on my Twitch stream, a viewer (and new friend!) once referred to my #WarcraftWednesday streams as #WarcraftWezday, and thus the ridiculousness of “Wezday” became a thing. Because I love ridiculousness! And thus we merge the two and get the title of this weekly feature! #WellnessWezday

Every Wednesday, I will provide a review of my previous week and the positive steps I’ve taken to increase my overall health and well-being. I’m not going to nit-pick or cast shadows on what I didn’t do, I’m just going to celebrate the great stuff. We should all be doing that for ourselves more often!

And now for all the cool stuff I did this past week (August 3rd through August 9th, 2016):

The story of this past week has been putting my shoes on. Seriously. Working from home, it’s easy for me to spend days without so much as putting on socks and just lounging around in various states of pajama-wearing. It’s easy to wake up and stumble over to the computer, bleary-eyed and cobwebbed-brain and then stay there the whole day (or do a mid-day transition to the couch and then lose myself in some high-level multi-tasking involving Facebook, Twitter, free-to-play mobile games, XBOX, and Netflix.¬†At the end of these days, especially when the weather is bright, I end up feeling like I missed out – wasted the day.

But this past week I believe I finally found the key to unlocking real health productivity: putting on some shoes! Getting dressed is one thing, that’s no big deal. But finishing by putting on some shoes and socks readies me to leave the house for errands or adventures, or even just to hop on my treadmill-desk or go outside in the backyard to enjoy some sun.

I had a big list of to-do’s I had created a couple weeks back and I’m stoked to announce that by merely methodically lacing up my shoes each day, I got to strike-through the vast majority of that list. Two of those items were “find a recipe to cook” and “go to the grocery store (for at least¬†one meal)”. Well, turns out I found a more than one recipe because, well, check these out!

After months and months of eating whatever was most-convenient (drive thru, take out, pre-packaged stuff), preparing delicious REAL food for myself and my husband felt really, really good. And look at how beautiful that food is! I’m no food photographer, but those pictures are making my mouth water right now.

Other highlights of the week were taking my dog Benny out for multiple walking excursions. Last Thursday we walked around a local beach park where there is an abundance of PokeStops and where Benny could get ample attention for his cuteness. A bonus was seeing the Blue Angels rehearse for Seafair Weekend in the cloudless blue Seattle-in-August sky. And yesterday we walked from my house down a rather steep hill to the local Starbucks in order to enjoy my morning dose of caffeine. The round-trip yielded nearly 7000 steps, some seriously-sore calf muscles, and improved cardiovascular health!

Wrapping up this long first update post will be some quick stats to counter things like pounds or inches lost:

Weekly Stats:
Fitbit step count: 33,844
Pants Test: They fit. No drama.
Personal measure of wellness: The kindling’s caught fire and I’m fanning those flames!

Lastly, this post doesn’t include all the fun stuff I did throughout the week to further my health and wellness goals, but I do keep track on Twitter and Instagram, so follow me those places for the full effect!

Week of Warcraft

This week I’ll be streaming TONS AND TONS of World of Warcraft. Why? Well, beyond the fact that it allows for another amazing opportunity for alliteration, Legion-time is nigh and this week we’ll be getting two awesome events in-game to get things rolling:

First up, there’s¬†Demon Hunter access for pre-orders. Yes, for those of us who’ve pre-ordered the Legion expansion (I did basically for the awesome pet), and who also have at least one level 70+ toon already (just read that, so newbies might wanna start leveling now!), the new Demon Hunter class will be available for selection when creating a new character starting tomorrow. I wouldn’t rate myself highly at playing alts (I ‚̧ my warrior main), so I’m not as stoked as everyone else may be, but the character models do look pretty awesome, and the¬†double-jump and glide abilities have loads of utility. Learn more about the new Demon Hunter class here, and if you haven’t seen it already, check out this excellent video highlighting a Demon Hunter origin-story:

The big excitement for me is the pre-expansion event – the Burning Legion invasion – scheduled to begin tomorrow. In six zones around the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, demons will be dropping from the skies ready to wreak havoc on Azeroth, and it’s our duty as players to band together to hold them off – and collect loot doing so!

felbat-pupv9761I won’t go into all the details here, but Wowhead has a pretty in-depth guide to the whole event: locations, what the different stages are, and the rewards. I’m in it for the Felbat Pup companion pet, personally. I started playing WoW back in January of 2009 – several months after the launch of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, and I will always regret those pets from launch events past that I’ll never have access to… *sigh*

There’s also¬†some transmog items, for those of you Fabulous¬†folks out there! I don’t yet have a feel for how many of the rewards are going to be possible to acquire during the event (can you catch them all???), but hopefully I’ll get enough play time to grab what I need.

Suffice it to say, my streaming schedule this week will be completely dedicated to WoW’ing it up. I’m still re-learning to play my Arms Warrior, so hopefully the invasion will give me more opportunity to practice the new skills. Want to know when I’m streaming live? You have two options available: first you can follow me on Twitch and allow live notifications there, or you can follow me on Twitter for the official announcements of when I go live. Hope to see you there!

If you do not play World of Warcraft but are interested in starting, I have a limited supply of Starter Edition codes available that I’d be happy to send through the Recruit-a-Friend program. To take advantage of this offer, head on over to Twitter and follow me (@wonderwezgaming) and then tweet me your request¬†including the phrase “WoW Starter” (no DM’s, please).

Welcome to WonderWez!

selfie_1My name is Wezmerelda, but you can call me “Wez” for short. Okay, my real name isn’t Wezmerelda, but it’s my oft-used gaming alias. I¬†live and game in the Pacific Northwest with my computer engineer/genius husband and goofy/genius Boston Terrier, Benny. In addition to playing (and watching other people play) video games, I love hiking, reading post-apocalyptic novels (the cheesier, the better!), playing drums, photography, and gadgetry of all kinds.

This is not a Weight Loss blog

I’ve been struggling to take care of myself… pretty much my whole life. I was a happy-go-lucky kid until some time around the age of 7 – when some insensitive adult called me chubby. From there, I spent almost all my time trying to be thinner – a state that I thought would be¬†better – and dieted my way to an unhealthy, unsustainable lifestyle.

I’ve spent many, MANY years trying to lose weight to feel better/happier. Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Shakeology; even intensive, medically-supervised weight loss programs. I’ve had spurts of success, but have always had the weight come back – leading me to feel worse about myself, and ultimately heavier than I was before I started. It took me awhile (and being introduced to recent overwhelming data on the matter), but I now feel very strongly that conventional dieting will not help me lose weight, and that the mere pursuit of weight loss will lead me in the opposite direction of where I want to be.

I don’t want to be skinny. I don’t want to have a “beach body”. I’m a big girl, and I always will be. But I definitely want to regain my flexibility and strength, I want to be able to hike several miles without nearly dying, and I want to spend my life enjoying my life; not counting calories, beating myself up for eating a slice of birthday cake at an office party, avoiding adventures because of my low fitness level, or cursing my size.

I’m taking a new, two-phase tactic in order to feel better about myself and to feel better in my body: 1) No more dieting, and 2) Have more fun. This is quite a simplification, but it’s my hope that this yields more lasting success in the improvement of my overall health and well-being. I hope you’ll stay tuned here to follow along on this intrepid journey!