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!

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28-day Challenge Day 12

There are some days when everything just falls into place. You’ve got on the perfect shade of lipstick (Syrup by MAC), the perfect song plays on your way to work (Suit and Tie by Justin Timberlake), and on the train a cute guy gives you the look (you know which look I’m talking about). All of these perfect little things add up to a calmness and a confidence that just makes you feel good. I call these my FGLG days—Feelin’ Good and Lookin’ Good. It just so happens that Monday was one of those days.

I have to say, my attitude has changed dramatically in the last little while, especially when it comes to my weight loss. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I did a little extra eatin’ on the weekend, none of which was very good for me. Today I set the wheels back in motion: I ate a healthy breakfast and scheduled a workout setting myself up for a successful day and week. A few months ago eating poorly would have sent me down a path of further unhealthy eating; now it’s just fuel for me to get right back on track.

What’s with the attitude change? I love my FGLG days, and I want more of them. They’re addictive. I never used to feel this way about myself, often times just too insecure about my weight and the way I looked. Here’s the thing though: my weight has only slightly changed in the last little while and I’m starting to have more FGLG days. I’m taking better care of myself on a consistent basis and THAT is making me feel good. I’m fueling my body with yummy, whole foods; I’m exercising my body with semi-regular workouts (I really need to step that up); and I’m doing little things that make me feel great like using a fantastic smelling body oil, or getting my nails done, or having coffee with a friend.

We all want to have FGLG days, and I want you to know that you don’t have to wait to lose the weight to have them. For a long time I thought that I did—I’ll never have confidence until I’m thinner, I’ll be happier when I’m 50 lb lighter, or 75 lb, or 100 lb—but it’s not true. Just knowing that I’m changing things is making me feel good and any weight loss is definitely going to be icing on the cake (mmm…cake 😉 ).

What sorts of things make you feel good? Have you had an FGLG day? Tell me about it in the comments below.

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 4

I’ve written a lot about my eating over the last few days, but I haven’t written much about the fitness part of this 28-day challenge.  I’ve been procrastinating about working out.  Why?  Well I’ll tell you, but you have to promise to keep it to yourself.

I hate to exercise.

I wish I was the type of person who enjoyed it, but I just don’t.  When you’re my size, exercising is HARD.  It’s sweaty, uncomfortable and exhausting.  And that’s just getting my gym clothes on and my shoes done up.  I watch exercise DVD’s and get inspired thinking, “I can do this!!”  Then I try and it’s miserable for me.  I can’t do half the exercises, which leads me to quit trying.  I ultimately came to the conclusion that I’m just never going to enjoy exercise.

On Day 4 I did my first strength training workout, but again I was a little frustrated.  There are four exercises in the workout program for week one provided by Prevention Magazine.  I was able to do three of the four.  One of them, the Pilates Roll-up with Forward Fold, was really difficult for me.  I carry most of my weight in my stomach and I have back issues, so anything on the floor where I have to sit up is really difficult for me.

So there I am, laying on the floor in the living room, feeling ridiculous, wondering how I’m going to get through this if I can’t even do these simple exercises.  Then it occurred to me: modification.  Why don’t I just modify the exercises I can’t do into exercises I can do!  So that’s what I did.  I searched some of my favourite workout videos for exercises that worked the same muscle groups (in this case my core muscles) but that I could do without worry about hurting myself.  Problem solved—I got through the workout and felt great after I was done.

On the food side of things, I got creative in the kitchen and put together a simple tomato sauce of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, basil and oregano with wilted spinach.  I made some Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Wholegrain Pasta to go along with it and topped it with a little ricotta cheese.  YUM!!!  It turned out fantastic!  If you haven’t tried the Ezekiel pasta, I recommend trying it.  I wasn’t sure at first if I would like it, but I really did.  Plus it has 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fibre in a 2 oz serving.  So I can have my pasta and eat it too. 🙂

Happy Monday and I hope everyone has a great week!

28-day Challenge Day 3

“If I only had Doritos, everything would be ok.” – Victoria

Yes, I said that.  The fact that I think Doritos are the answer to all my problems is rather disturbing, isn’t it?

I was in fact craving Doritos, but I did not succumb to my cravings.  It’s starting to get easier to make good choices, but obviously I’m still thinking about eating la junk food.  Temptation is everywhere!  Remember yesterday when I mentioned not grocery shopping while hungry?  I would add looking at Pinterest while you’re hungry.  Not a good idea.  At all.  So many pictures of gooey chocolate treats and deliciously-rich pasta dishes.  I can feel my blood sugar spike just looking at them.

I had another good eating day yesterday and honestly I’m pretty impressed with myself.  Like I said it’s starting to get easier.  Keeping the refrigerator full of healthy food choices has made it easier to eat the right things.  I bought some steel cut oats last week so I’m going to give those a try.  My friend Kim told me about how she makes her oatmeal—cinnamon, vanilla, and some frozen berries—so I’m excited to give it a try.  I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal, but I know it’s good for me so I’ll give it another shot.

Next week is going to be interesting.  I am having lunch with a friend on Monday and I’ll be in the office a couple of days next week as well (I work in the office part-time and work from home part-time).  It’s going to mean some planning on my part.  When I don’t plan I get into trouble.  Especially if I don’t bring my lunch to work.  I wander over to the food court and lose all sense of reason.  Cheeseburgers, pizza, dim sum, bagels and cream cheese…I have no chance.  So it’s better if I just stay away for now.  The friend I’m having lunch with on Monday is well aware of my efforts so I know he’ll steer me in the direction of a restaurant where I can find a healthy option.

Here’s looking forward to a successful Day 4!