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!!

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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 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 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!!

She’s Just a Girl and She’s on Fire

Seriously.  My legs are burning, someone please make them stop.

Today is such a fantastically, beautiful day outside I couldn’t help but want to get out there and enjoy a walk—get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and work up a sweat.  OK, full disclosure, I ate like a pig yesterday and my brother was up at 7:30am to go to his indoor cycling class so I was feeling doubly guilty for just laying on the sofa this morning watching Will and Grace re-runs.

I haven’t been exercising AT ALL over the last few months.  I went to the gym a few times, but that quickly fizzled.  I was much happier curled up on the sofa in the warmth of the apartment rather than going outside into the cold and snow.  Now that the spring time is upon us though, I no longer have any excuse.

I decided this morning I’d walk 5 km.  I got myself dressed, shoes laced up, iPod on and off I trotted out the door.  Sun shining, birds singing, and the cool air kissing my cheek as I power walked my way up the street.  What could go wrong?

As I mentioned, it’s been awhile since I’ve exercised, and while last summer I was doing 5 km walks with no problems, my body doesn’t quite remember that.  In fact my body was in full on amnesia mode this morning.  I’ve outlined a map of my 5 km jaunt this morning:

Walking Map

1. My starting point.  Home base.  Feeling optimistic, energized and ready  to take on 5 km with gusto.

2. I’m 0.7 km in and my body is not so subtly reminding me that it’s been awhile since we’ve done this.  I’m seriously considering turning back.  I press on, determined to at least make it to Guelph Line (#3).

3.  I promise myself that if I can make it this far I will turn around and head back.  It’s a good start, I made a great attempt but I can’t go on.  My legs are burning and my hips are killing me.  Seriously, it’s like someone is stabbing my hips with tiny knives.  Something happens though when I get here.  I must keep going.  For the love of all that is good and holy woman, move those legs!

4.  This is the point at which I’m considering whether to book it the 200 ft down Woodward Avenue to my grandmothers house.  I know if I go there she’ll feel sorry for me, let me lay on the sofa, and feed me lemon loaf.  I also know that if I go in there and lay down, or even sit down, I’ll never want to get back up.

5.  I’m at the halfway point and am suddenly feeling…what is that feeling?  Happiness?  Excitement?  No, it’s pride.  I could have thrown in the towel at a couple of different points but I kept going. GO ME!

6.  I’m moving at a good click now, still feeling it in my legs and hips but unwilling to stop at this point.  I think about new clothes, and more energy, and my thighs not rubbing together…all the good things that come with weight loss.

7.  I am in the home stretch now.  I can hear the crowd chanting my name “Victoria! Victoria! Victoria!”.  I crank up to tunes knowing that pushing myself will help me get home faster.  So I can sit down.  Because my legs are on fire.

8.  I did it—5.14 km in a little over an hour.  This may seem like a small accomplishment to some, but to me it is a big achievement and a sign of bigger and better things to come.

I couldn’t be happier with my walk today.  I got out there and did what I said I was going to do.  I learned not to doubt myself or my abilities.  Just because something gets a little hard doesn’t mean it’s not achievable.  Don’t doubt yourself, believe in yourself.  If I can do it, you can absolutely do it.  I’ll be out there tomorrow morning doing it again.

Happy Easter everyone and enjoy this fabulous weekend!

Up and Out

This morning was awesome.  Seriously awesome.

I never thought I would ever say that about getting up at the crack of dawn and working out, but I’m saying it now.  Awesome.  Sometimes everything just falls into place for me, and this morning it absolutely did.

I got to bed last night at a decent time, got a full night’s sleep, and woke up when my alarm went off at 5:45am.  Most of the time this is the hard part for me.  I hit snooze and linger in bed for awhile, napping on and off until I have to will myself to get out of bed.  This morning I got up, got my running shoes, drank a sugar-free energy booster, and out I went.  Still dark out, a little cooler than usual, but I was feeling good.

The plan was to finish a 6 km walk (but with a little hustle).  I was doing fine, but about 30 minutes in my stomach started rebelling against the energy booster.  I think the only change I would make there is to have something to eat when I drink the energy booster.  I think it would have kept my stomach from feeling like it was eating itself.

Forty-five minutes in and I’m cruising along, but my hips were killing me.  It’s never my legs, it’s always my hips.  That familiar ache screaming at me to stop, rest, or at the very least slow down.  “We can’t do this, you’re going too fast, trying too hard, please I’m begging you to stop.  No one will ever know.  It will be our little secret”.

Then, like a gift from the music gods, the familiar strains of “Suit and Tie” start up.  Suddenly Justin Timberlake is slapping me on the ass and whispering in my ear “go girl, you got this”.  And I totally did.  I’m walking, I’m singing, people are looking at me like I’m crazy, and I don’t even care.  I am crazy, and proud of it.  If crazy is the only thing that’s going to get me healthy, then I’m all in.  I just kept walking, and soon there was no more pain.

Walking back up to the apartment door this morning after killing 6 km was one of the proudest moments for me, I just had to write about it.  I feel calm and cool, my head is clear and I’m ready to take on the day.  And I’m actually looking forward to tomorrow.  🙂

Oh Canada!

Happy Canada Day!!keep-calm-i-am-canadian

Today is July 1, 2013 and I am feeling fine!  I’m enjoying the last day of my super long weekend, and looking forward to the fact that next week is only a four-day work week (ah can I get a hell-yeah?!).

On Saturday I got to spend some time with my brilliant friend Randy.  He made the long 50-minute train trip from Toronto to Burlington just to visit little ol’ me.  A typical big-city boy, Randy starts to get antsy when he moves out of the 416 area code range (oh how he suffered so :P).  We headed to downtown Burlington for dinner at a great Italian restaurant called Celli’s Osteria—my first time there, but I will definitely be back—we took a walk down to the new pier and then got some ice cream.

The night was warm and lovely with lots of people out and about enjoying the summer evening—some of whom, we noticed, were rather chatty.  There was the man on the bicycle who approached us for the sole purpose of complimenting Randy on his shirt (which was lovely…oh no, wait…manly, I meant it was a manly shirt).  Then there was Valerie who chatted us up while we were waiting for the bus back to the train station.  We know her name because she was nice enough to introduce herself as we were leaving (and not just because she was clearly half in the bag).  Randy and I were apparently THE people to hang with on Saturday night.

Me and the Randster...contrary to the look on his face, he was having a good time ;-)

Me and the Randster…contrary to the look on his face, he was having a good time 😉

Today I’m off to the gym to get my exercise on.  I have sooooooo been procrastinating about exercising.  On my list of things I don’t want to do, exercising ranks right above…well, frankly it doesn’t rank above anything because I really don’t want to do it.  But this week I’m giving myself an attitude adjustment and embracing the workout!!  After yesterday’s blog post I received a great note from my friend Kimberly, who reminded me that I should take time to enjoy the process of becoming healthier.  The more I thought about it the more I agreed with her.  I’ve always got my eye on the prize and I never leave time to just enjoy the experience.  So experience I shall!!  I’ve downloaded some new tunes, whipped up a few new playlists, and I’m ready to GO, GO, GO!

I hope everyone has an awesome week and a big, fat, Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian peeps!

PS – I’ve decided to switch things up on the breakfast front and start eating rye toast with peanut butter and fruit in order to eliminate my upset stomach issues with milk.  Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas!