28-day Challenge Day 13

I don’t know about anyone else, but it was been a busy week for me…and it’s only Wednesday!  Work got incredibly busy this week, school has heated up (I have my first quiz in two weeks and my first essay is due in six weeks!), which unfortunately has meant everything else has taken a back seat.  It’s really been a lack of planning on my part, but I’m not doing too badly.  The thing that is really suffering are my workouts.  I promised myself I would make them more of a priority and I just haven’t.  If anyone has any tips to help me get my ass in gear, I’m all ears.

Yesterday was a pretty cool day as I got a chance to see Harley Pasternak talk.  He was in Toronto promoting his new

book The Body Reset Diet Cookbook.  If you aren’t familiar with Harley Pasternak, he is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based personal trainer (you can check out his website here).  He whips bodies like Natalie Portman and Jennifer Hudson into shape.

I knew a little bit about Harley going into the talk, but I have never read any of his books.  I was interested in learning his philosophy on weight loss and healthy eating.  To say I was blown away is an understatement.  Harley is not your average weight loss guru just trying to hawk a book.  I found his view on weight loss to be very much in line with mine.  Bottom line—everything in moderation.  He doesn’t believe in cutting out certain food groups and thinks food can be healthy and be enjoyed.  Finally a man who’s speaking my language!!

He spoke about the recipes in his new book and showed the group a few prepared examples like the Carrot/Pineapple/Ginger Smoothie and the Asian Chicken Salad, both of which looked delicious.  He had samples on hand of the Fruit and Nut Popcorn Bars, which were AMAZING!  I actually turned my nose up at them at first thinking they were probably going to taste like crap, but after one bite I was hooked.  If a snack like this can be good for me and taste great then count me in.

I bought both The Body Reset Diet and The Body Reset Diet Cookbook.  I’ll read both and post reviews if each in the coming weeks.  I’m very excited about trying some of the recipes in the cookbook, a lot of them look right up my alley.

Ok friends, back to work *sigh*…my only solace is knowing that this weekend is a long weekend!  Woohoo!!  Enjoy everyone!


28-Day Challenge Days 8, 9, 10, and 11

Nothing very exciting has been going on so I decided to bundle up the last few days into one post.  It’s mostly been work and studying.  I’m super excited about being back in school and am loving my first class.  I am working towards my certificate in Publishing at Ryerson University and my first class is Practical Grammar and Punctuation.  It may sound tedious and boring to some, but I’m enjoying it (I know, I’m a total geek).

I got in some cardio and strength training on Saturday morning, finally focusing on exercise as I said I would this week.  the weather on Saturday morning was beautiful—sunny with a cool breeze—and I couldn’t wait to get out there for a walk.  I power walked 30 minutes listening to some tunes and all felt right with the world.  I’m so happy the nice weather is here.  I love being outside and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air.

I tried something different for my strength training session.  I recently came across Tone it Up! a website of strength training workouts by these two fabulous ladies Karena and Katrina.  I found them on YouTube which led me to their website.  They have great strength training workouts of various types and lengths (plus so much more – nutrition, tips and tricks, recipes, etc.).  They just started their summer Bikini Series so I did the total body Bikini Body workout.  Some of the moves were a little difficult for me, but if I couldn’t do something I just substituted a different exercise so I still got the full workout and benefits.

On the food side I did a little grocery shopping and stocked up for the week.  This week I’ll try and share with you some of the dishes I’ve been enjoying.  Right now I’m typically eating a lot of the same things every day, which some people may find boring but it works for me.  As I start to try out more recipes I’m sure my meals will become more diverse.  I say if something works, go for it.

I also indulged maybe a little too much this past weekend.  You let your guard down for one minute and suddenly there is a chocolate chip cookie in your mouth…and then another…and then…well let’s just say I learned my lesson.  Even though I ate a few things I probably shouldn’t have, I’m proud of the way I handled it.  I got right back up off the dirt and kept on moving.  No feeling sorry for this girl!!

28-day Challenge Week One Recap

Well here we are at Day 7!!  I made it through Week One and it was a pretty good one if I do say so myself.

The Highs

I think one of the best things this week was that I managed to keep my eating mostly on track.  I had a couple of—we’ll call them indiscretions—but for the most part I stuck to eating whole foods and stayed away from the processed and packaged junk.

The other good thing this week was that I think I stuck to my intention of showing up, at least when it came to eating.  I planned, I cooked and it worked in my favour because I had yummy, healthy eats available.

The Lows

The low this week was my utter lack of exercise.  I only got in one strength training workout this week and only about an hour of cardio.  It was something, but I’m going to try harder this coming week to make exercise a priority.

The other low was the bagel and cream cheese I ate at the train station on Day 6.  That was me just eating because I could and not because I needed to.  I thought about why I ate the bagel and the only thing I could come up with was that I felt like I deserved a reward.  I had just come from my first class at Ryerson that went really well and I’d been having a really great eating week.  When I emotionally eat, my brain doesn’t seem to distinguish between happy and unhappy.  When I’m unhappy, I’m eating to soothe, when I’m happy I’m eating to reward.

Week One Weigh In

Drum roll please……………………….I lost 6 lb!!  I’m very excited and going to use this as momentum to push ahead into week two.

Week Two Intention

My intention for week two is to move my body more.  I did a piss poor job of exercising this past week so I’m going to focus on that this week.  I’m looking forward to week two—incorporating more exercise and refining my eating a little more.  It’s going to be a great week!

28-day Challenge Day 5

I’m starting to revel in the little victories.  I’ve had a lot of them lately and they are starting to add up.

Yesterday my lunch plans fell though and because I had no lunch packed with me I needed to go and wade through the sea of food court food stalls looking for something to eat.  I made myself a promise that I wasn’t going to go out until I had a plan.  The plan was a whole wheat grilled chicken pita wrap with lots of veggies.  I got in, got the pita, and got out.  I stuck to the plan and felt great about that.

After work I had to go over to the Ryerson University campus to pick up some text books.  I’ve gone back to school to get my certificate in Publishing and my first class starts Tuesday (very excited!!!).  I walked from the office over to campus, which is about a 20 minute walk.  I was going to walk from campus to the train station to go home, but it would have been about a 30 to 35 minute walk and I was already so tired, I just wanted to get home.  I had ended up at campus a little longer than I had anticipated so it was 6:15pm before I caught the train home.  I stood in the train station looking at all the food stalls—Cinnabon, McDonalds, Tim Hortons, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Dairy Queen—and I was soooooo hungry!  But I thought really hard about all the progress I’ve made over the last five days and I just didn’t want to ruin it.  I grabbed a bottle of water and managed to hang on until I could get home and make myself something healthy to eat.

I think the lessons learned yesterday are about planning and being prepared.  Now I couldn’t foresee my lunch plans changing, but I did put a plan in place before I went to the food court.  I could easily have just said to hell with it and eaten whatever I wanted, but I didn’t.  I could have given in at the train station, but I didn’t (and frankly I even surprised myself with that one).  Going forward I’m going to start keeping some healthy snacks in my bag—an apple, some almonds and sunflower seeds, or even a protein bar.  Then I have some healthy options available all the time and I won’t be tempted to stuff my gob with double cheeseburgers.  Mmmmm… cheeseburgers………sorry…lost my train of thought there. 😉

I’m really looking forward to doing a weigh in on Thursday.  I’ve made some great progress this week and I’m excited to see if it will be reflected on the scale.  Even if it’s not, I still had some great victories. 🙂

28-day Challenge Day 1

Day 1 – stick a fork in it, it’s done!

Yesterday was actually an excellent day.  My eating was on track and I didn’t feel deprived at all.  I think I was too busy to be deprived come to think of it.  It was a busy work day and I had an appointment in the afternoon, so between work and running around I didn’t have time to think about noshing on something I shouldn’t be.  I ended up working through my lunch, but it was pretty yummy so I won’t complain at all.

Enjoying my turkey salad while I work!  Busy, busy!!

Enjoying my turkey taco salad while I work! Busy, busy!!

The only thing I really need to do is increase my water intake.  My water bottle is sitting on my desk still half full from yesterday afternoon.  Not good.  So I definitely need to be conscious of that.

In terms of exercise, I did do any full on routines yesterday.  I did, however, have to hoof it to the bus I was about to miss, so I’m counting that as at least a little cardio today. 😉   I’m going to do my first strength training workout tomorrow morning and I’ll follow that up with a walk in the evening.

All in all, Day 1 was a good one.  I did what I said I was going to do and I showed up.  I’m pretty proud of myself for that.  Now I just have to keep that momentum going.

Tell me friends, how was your day?  Leave a comment below and let me know how your first day of the challenge went.  If you haven’t signed up yet it’s not too late…head on over to Prevention.com and join the challenge!

On to Day 2!!

It’s Go Time!!

All right!!  Today is Thursday, May 1, 2014 – time to start my 28-day transformation challenge!!28-day challenge

I’m really excited to get started today, which is actually pretty surprising given that I’m going to be giving up junk and processed food and putting my body through daily workouts (geeze I’m exhausted just thinking about it).

To recap, I’m going to be participating in the Prevention Magazine 28-day transformation challenge.  From May 1 to May 28 I will do the following:

  • eat clean
  • 2.5 hours of cardio a week
  • 4 strength training workouts a week
  • set a weekly intention for each week

My intention for week one is this:  Show Up.

I am the master of talking myself out of doing things.  Eating what I’m suppose to, working out, taking the bus rather than walking home.  If there is an easier way to do something it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’m going to talk myself into the easy way.  So even though there are days when I’m not going to want to make the best eating choice or work out, I’m going to show up and try.  Feel like eating that chocolate bar?  Eat your snack of apple and peanut butter and see how you feel after that.  Don’t feel like walking 5 km today?  Go walk for 30 minutes and if you still don’t want to walk, head back to the house.  I’m going to at least show up.

I will do weekly weigh-ins starting this morning and every Thursday morning after that.  I’m not really sure what to expect so I don’t have a weight loss goal in mind for these four weeks.  I really just want to use these 28 days to be consistent and set up some good healthy habits.  Any weight loss will be icing on the cake 😉

Watch here for my daily updates, and I’ll post updates on Twitter as well.  I’m not a big twitterer (tweeter?), but I’m going to try.  Oh it’s going to be an interesting four weeks!  Wish me luck, kids!!

Are you joining me in the challenge?  Let me know how you’re doing in the comments section – we can support each other through the 28 days.

Courage at Life with Courage and Jenn at Pwning the Fat are both participating in the challenge with me…YAY!!  Make sure you head over to their blogs and check out their progress.

Take Care and Be Well

Hello friends!  How have you been?  A number of people have reminded me in the last few days that I haven’t posted recently, so I thought I best get myself to the computer and get some writing done!

There is a saying that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, and that has certainly been the case for me this month.  I’ve had some stressful work deadlines, sickness, and definitely some general malaise from this crap-tastic weather we have been having here in Southern Ontario.  So while I typically enjoy March (it’s my birthday month!) I can honestly say I’m not sorry to see this one come to and end.

[Note: today is the first day that the temperature is actually above +5°C and the sun is shining, so perhaps Mother Nature’s attitude is starting to improve]

It’s just like life to throw a bunch of things at you all at once, as if to say, “Hehehe, let’s see how she handles this!”  What I thought would be a relatively easy month at work, turned into a crazy stressful few weeks with multiple deadlines and lots of overtime. Of course as soon as my deadlines were complete I got sick.  I shouldn’t be surprised though.  Throughout all of the stress and craziness at work, I spent more time worrying about deadlines and not enough time taking care of myself.

Although we should obviously take care of ourselves all the time, it’s in those busy, stressful, and maddening moments that we need to take care of ourselves the most. 

I know that sounds crazy, right?  You’re thinking, “I’m super busy and stressed out, I just want to get though it and be done with it.”  That was exactly my mindset too; I’ll just power though and do what I need to do and take care of myself later.  Well guess what kids? Later came and I ended up having to take extra time to get myself healthy (and I’m still battling this cold).

I put together a list of things you can do to help keep yourself going during those moments of craziness—all the things that I SHOULD have done, but will definitely remember to do the next time life becomes too erratic.

1.  Try and keep some routines

When you’re busy you may not be able to keep all your daily routines, but you should definitely try not to break too many.  Eat your breakfast, take your vitamins, go for a walk, don’t break that scheduled date night with your partner—those little things can go along way in making those stressful days feel a little calmer.

2.  Give yourself room to breathe

I used to give presentations for an organization I volunteered with and when I first started giving the presentations I would stand up at the front and speak sentence after sentence after sentence, just trying to get out everything I wanted to say.  During one presentation, a mentor of mine was standing at the back of the room when she held up a sign that said “BREATHE”.  I would forget to breathe.  How does someone forget to breathe?  You’re busy, the adrenaline is pumping, you want to get things finished and it’s just go time.  Suddenly you look up and hours have flow by, and you can’t remember where the time went or when the last time was that you looked up from your task.  Stop, take a 30 seconds and just breathe.

3.  Just say no

I have a hard time saying no.  I’m very conscious of not wanting to disappoint people.  Sometimes though, you just have to say no to some things.  You know on flights when they tell you in case of an emergency to secure you’re own oxygen mask first before helping someone else?  If you can’t help yourself first, you’re not going to be good to anyone else.  Sometimes that means saying no.

4.  Be realistic

You aren’t perfect.  None of us are.  You’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got.  You’re got 24 hours in a day and only two hands.  Remember to do what you can and do your best – that’s all anyone can really ask of you.

5.  Make a plan

When things start to get crazy and chaotic the more I need to sit down and formulate a plan.  I know the feeling and what starts to happen – my desk gets messy, I try to complete multiple tasks at once (none of them very well I might add), and I start to become forgetful.  It’s right at that moment that I know I need to stop, clean up my desk, make a list of the things I need to get done and formulate a plan to get there.  It takes 15 minutes, but it sets the tone for better productivity and fewer mistakes.

6.  Sleep

If there is one thing that I need to get more of it is sleep.  When I’m busy, this is usually the first thing that I sacrifice when in reality it should be the very LAST thing I sacrifice (if at all).  Not getting enough sleep makes me tired, irritable, sluggish, etc., etc…  It’s only in the last few years that I have some to understand exactly how important sleep is, so I cannot express this one enough.  SLEEP!

7.  Eat well

It is so easy to slip into a pattern of eating poorly when you’re busy, or getting into the mentality that you deserve “treats” for all your hard work.  Trust me, I know.  Eating is my go to stress relief and the last few weeks were no exception.  I started skipping breakfast and got too busy to make my lunch for work, opting instead to grab something at the food court (always a disaster).  If you know you have a particularly busy time coming up, why not pre-make some food?  Grill some chicken and make a big salad, that way you always have good, healthy food on hand.


As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.”  Now you and I both know better.  Let’s do better.  🙂

Onwards and upwards to April I say!  I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, getting in some walks and breathing in some fresh springtime air.