Category Archives: Goals

Bye Bye TO 10

I wasn’t originally going to write about this. I tried to do it on my own. “Tried” being used loosely here, as I was really only half-assing it.

I’m talking about The Toronto Ten. Those ten pounds I gained while living in Toronto. I know this is not a crisis. That’s why I wasn’t even going to address it publicly or make a big deal of it.

But then I fell, I broke my arm, and I sat on my butt for two months straight.

I surprisingly didn’t gain any more weight during that time. But boy, have I lost muscle mass. Especially in my upper body. Seems like that muscle weight has been replaced by fatty tissue.

Anyways, lately I’ve been “trying” to eat better. I’m back to exercising five days a week. Albeit, at a much lower intensity than before. But nothing has changed in terms of the scale (yes, I still use that antiquated tool sometimes) or body composition.

Truth of the matter is, my jeans don’t fit and I can’t afford to buy new ones. My body is injured and I need to focus on taking better care of it. It’s time to take this thing more seriously.

By blogging all of this, I am hoping you readers will keep me accountable. If I have any hope of maintaining what little “blogging integrity” I have, I will have to lose that dreadful ten. Right??

Now it’s time to talk game plan. Or rather, lack there of.

In the past, I’ve counted calories to lose weight. I measured and counted every morsel that entered my mouth. I actually never minded doing this and I was quite successful with it. But that was then, and this is now.

Truth be told, I am soooo tired of measuring and counting food. It’s so much extra work and I’d really like to focus my energies elsewhere. Like writing that Great Canadian Novel I’ve been talking about ;)

Instead, I’m doing it the old-fashioned way. Eating well. Moving more. Plain and simple. I may keep a hand-written food diary to start just so I can visually see my food choices. It will help me make better ones. I’ll also be photographing some of my more “regular” eats and featuring them in a weekly round-up.

Apart from that, there are two areas I really need to be conscious of:

1) BLTs, aka Bites, Licks & Nibbles. I’m an awful snacker. A few chips here, a piece of cookie there. There’s nothing wrong with grazing, but not when it’s in addition to what I’m already eating for the day.

2) Fresh, homemade foods. I’ve been eating a lot of prepared foods over the past few months. Mostly at (amazing) restaurants. I’m happy I did that while I had the chance, but there’s no reason to keep that up here at home. I know for sure and for true that eating out makes me puff up like a balloon. Going back to simple foods made at home will certainly help my cause.

Most of all, I just want to eat like a normal person. Whatever that is. I want to prove that you can lose 10 lbs just by eating more consciously, exercising moderately, and still having a few drinks with friends every so often. I really don’t think this has to be rocket science. It’s just a matter of really dedicating myself to it instead of half-assing it like I have been up until this point.

So the Toronto Ten stops here. It’s just a normal girl’s journey to lose a normal amount of excess weight. I can do this!

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(photo taken 10 lbs ago)

A Simply Giveaway!

Happy Thursday! It’s the end of the week! We made it! Not only that, but the month of January is drawing to a close. A perfect time to take a look back at the goals I set out for this month and review how I did.

Usually, I set goals at the start of every month, but this month I created a list of Simply Switches as inspired by The Simply Bar. Cathy from Wellness Foods shared this idea with me and I immediately got excited about it. I’d been slacking in the goal department lately, so switching out unwanted habits with better ones sounded a lot more doable! And, well, simple ;) Here’s how they described it:

Simply Switches is our “get real” resolution – a campaign to make
health a habit, one switch at a time.

What are Simply Switches? They’re small, achievable shifts in
eating, exercise and lifestyle habits – simple changes that don’t
require a lot of effort, but really go the distance for your health. A
Simply Switch can be choosing a green tea instead of a sugary latte
in the afternoon, or going to a yoga class after work instead of going
home to watch TV.

By making 2 or 3 Simply Switches each day, we’re inspiring positive
changes that actually last. Join us!

And here are the switches I chose:

1. Switch out sugary desserts with natural sweets.

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I can happily say that I have made the switch! Mind you, I still have one sugary sweet a day. But that’s down from three. A big step for me in my self-proclaimed sugar addiction. Thanks to citrus season I now have a clementine at the end of the meal. Natural sugar as opposed to processed sugar. We’ll just forget those few days surrounding my b-day…mmmkay?

2. Switch out 5 minutes of internet time for meditation time.

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This is the one switch I was most pumped about, and the one I failed at. I’m contemplating taking a meditation class. A period of time when I’m forced to do it. Otherwise, it’s just one of those things I never schedule to do on my own. Any meditative personal trainers out there?

3. Switch out one workout a week with yoga.

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Even though I spent a good chunk of the month sick in bed and not exercising, I still call this one a successful switch. My yoga attendance has doubled since the New Year and will only continue to increase (more on a new yoga venture in a future post). I haven’t been feeling as enthusiastic about my fitness since leaving my favourite gym in Fredericton nine months ago. But creating a yoga practice of my own has infused passion into my own personal fitness again. Finally.

4. Switch out unreplied e-mails for replied ones!

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I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m terrible for reading e-mails quickly when I don’t have time to respond to them, then completely forgetting about them. I reallyreally tried to set aside e-mail time every day this month. And I got a lot more diligent about not marking e-mails read until a proper response had been sent out. I still wouldn’t call this “switched,” but it’s at least set the ball in motion to get me more on top of it.

I also made some other switches as the month went on. I made my own protein bars. I switched out “sitting on my butt time” with “going out and exploring time.” Which I’ve done quite well with thankyouverymuch. I switched out my afternoon coffee or diet coke with club soda or tea. And I made homemade bread instead of buying some.

I love encouraging my readers to set goals along with me so we can support each other and work toward enjoying life more together. So this month I also encouraged YOU to set Simply Switches of your own. Well this time the reward isn’t just the feeling of accomplishment. The Simply Bar is rewarding your hard work with not one, but TWO prizes and chances to win.

First off, you could win The Ultimate Healthy Prize Package.

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  • All in one digestive enzymes from Digestive Wellness. The only enzyme that breaks down wheat, dairy, beans and fat. As much bean enzymes as Beano and as much lactase as Lactaid. (Worth $21)
  • Amazing sleep kits from Crowne Plaza, including an eye mask, ear plugs, linen spray, plug in night light, and drape clip. All the essentials for a good night sleep! (Worth $10)
  • Wonderful natural skin care from Ella’s Botanicals. Win 2 of the following 4 products: Chai Latte Moisturizing Soap, Almond Scrub Soap, Yummy Almond Uplifting Lotion, and My Darling Clementine Lotion. (Worth $10)
  • Wonderful organic and fair trade dark chocolate products from Cocoa Camino. Hot chocolate, coconut and dark chocolate bars. So good for the earth and good for you! (Worth $10)
  • Gluten free, organic, and simply delicious pasta for the whole family, from Go Go Quinoa. (Worth $11)
  • “Gloves Off” Stain Remover Spray and IQ Non Toxic Cleaning Spray (made from plants and natural resources), from Planet People. (Worth $20)
  • The Hormone Diet by Dr Natasha Turner. This is a revolutionary book in that it is a “fool-proof plan to balance your life, one hormone at a time.” (Worth $25)
  • One workout with MedX Fitness. An amazing and intense workout, recently lauded in the Globe and Mail. (Worth $89)
  • Delicious and easy to make, loose leaf tea, from Nourishtea. (Worth $10)
  • Simply Bars: Delicious and filling! Win one box of your favorite flavor of Simply Bars. More protein and less calories than any other protein bar. (Worth ($45)
  • Simply Protein Oatmeal: A great way to start your day with 12 g protein and more fiber than sugar – 5g fiber, 4g sugar. (Worth $8)

I know! Right!? On top of that, Cathy has offered to throw in a second prize of a box of Simply Bars in the flavour of your choice. Because she loves you all that much.

To be entered to win one of the two prizes you have to visit this link that will take you to the Simply Switches website. Once you are there, go to the guestbook. Leave a comment saying you’re from The Great Balancing Act and tell them what switch you made this month. Got it? If you have any trouble let me know.

Now here’s the important part… you have 24 hours to submit your switch. So until 10pm EST on Friday, Jan 28.

Good luck! And if you win, choose the Caramel Simply Snacks. They’re my favourite :)

Starting The Week Off Right

No better way to start off the week than with a plate of pancakes.

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Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes to be exact. I almost scrambled them in my pre-coffee Monday morning daze. But I managed to save them and ended up with crispy edges instead. Score!

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Dipped in 1 tbsp cashew butter whisked with 3 tbsp sugar-free syrup.

Then for my mid-morning snack I had an amazing combo – rosemary biscuit + pear cardamom butter.

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I whipped up a batch of these rosemary biscuits for the crew at the running store this weekend. The flavour paired amazingly with the spiced pear butter. I luuuuurve rosemary!!

Finally, I thought this was an odd thing to find at the grocery store last week:

IMG_5208 Frozen figs! I’ve seen fresh ones, but never packaged frozen ones. Seems like an odd fruit to freeze because of the mushy centre…no?

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They aren’t the little figs either. In fact, quite ginormous.

I defrosted one in the microwave and chopped up the mushy fruit to add to a yogurt mess.

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The usual – yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, raw oats, cinnamon, almond butter and maple syrup. And of course – fig! The frozen kind was only $2.75 a bag and would probably be decent for cooking or baking with.

 

Simply Switch Check-In

It’s been a week since I talked about the switches I committed to, inspired by The Simply Bar. Time to re-visit them to stay on track!

1. Switch out sugary desserts with natural sweets.

I was thinking today about how much my sugar intake has decreased even in the first two weeks of this year. I can now go full days without any sort of chocolate, which was virtually unheard of just a few weeks ago. I still have a piece here and there, and I still have dessert when the occasion allows. But I don’t feel like I need something sweet after every single meal. And if I do want something, I grab a clementine or small handful of grapes instead.

2. Switch out 5 minutes of internet time for meditation time.

I am struggling the most with this one. I’ve probably only done this one-third of the days so far. It’s not so much giving up the internet time, but sitting and doing nothing for 5 minutes that feels difficult. It’s hard channelling energy inward when I’m so used to sending it outward!

3. Switch out one workout a week with yoga.

I was doing this until I fell onto my death bed with ebola or whatever illness it was that I had. Then I didn’t workout for 10 days. I’m currently working on group coupons for three different yoga studios in Toronto, and I’m reeeealy excited about all of them. So I don’t see this being all that challenging!

4. Switch out unreplied e-mails for replied ones!

This is taking a very conscious effort on my part. It’s like my inherent messy and lazy nature is seeping into how I manage my online inbox as well. Most days when I read an e-mail I have to talk myself into responding to it right away. But I am doing it. Except on weekends. My clients joke that I am unreachable on weekends because I just don’t have the attention span or time to sit down at the computer until Monday mornings.

 

Other switches include grabbing healthier snacks – check! Exploring my city more – got an itinerary planned for the week! Switching my morning munching with my morning vitamins – check! And switching out my afternoon coffee or tea with more water instead – check!

How about you guys? What are your Simply Switches this month and how are you doing with them?

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