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Flashback Friday – Being Healthy AND Social

Happy weekend everyone! Or, at least, I hope it’s a happy one :)

I got my day off to a good start with the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones DVD.

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It’s a 50-minute strength DVD, divided into seven circuits, going through about four moves two times in each circuit. Mostly made up of combination moves that work both lower-body and upper-body at the same time. It’s perfect for days like today where I want a low intensity workout. Although, it’s no walk in the park either. I was sweating up a storm and my shoulders are sore!

Only had 20 minutes for breakfast today so I went for one of my favourite quick n’ tasty morning meals.

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Waffles! What else :P Nature’s Path maple cinnamon freezer waffles, topped with a mixture of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup and cinnamon. Since I scorched my toaster oven, I had to make these in my full-sized oven. Still have to learn how to do that without burning them…

Morning snack at work was a banana and almond butter.

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Except this banana gave me a tummy ache :( Sometimes they do that, I have no idea why…

I broke into my lunch at 11:30am. No point in waiting till noon if I already have a growling belly!

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Tofurkey sandwich with the usual suspects: pickles, mustard, onions, tomato, spinach, side of baby carrots.

I ended up running errands over my lunch break, and what was supposed to be a quick stop at Shoppers Drug Mart turned into a $150 haul.

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I never budget for beauty supplies, nor do I ever splurge and buy nice beauty items. So in celebration of being paid yesterday, I did! That hair straightener by the way, is a wireless one. While it’s a nifty gadget to have, I don’t think it’s the quality iron that I need. I may have to throw down close to another $100 to get a more solid one :( I hate spending money on beauty crap!

Afternoon snack was a stinky one…

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I get so embarrassed eating boiled eggs in public. I had to apologize profusely to my officemate.

Dinner had more eggs – a smoked mackerel egg white scramble.

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  • onions
  • sweet peppers
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • chopped chipotle
  • 1/2 cup egg whites
  • smoked mackerel
  • old cheddar cheese

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Nomnom. The smoked fish/smoky chipotle flavour combination was a great one. Don’t know why I don’t do “spicy” with smoked meats more often!

 

Flashback Friday – Q&A Edition

As soon as I got tonight’s question, I knew I had to save it for a Flashback Friday post.

What was the biggest struggle you faced with your weight loss and maintenance journeys? Sorry if this is already asked, and if it is then feel free to ignore it. I know you have talked about in the blog in general, but I’m just wondering what the one hardest thing was. Thanks!

Tina

I suppose I’ve yammered on a lot about various struggles I encountered while losing weight and maintaining my 30 lb weight loss, but I’ve never picked out one aspect that I really struggled with throughout. For me, the hardest part was, and is, leading a normal social life.

When I first began my journey, I would say I lead a pretty active social life. I was in my third-year of university, had a solid group of friends and a boyfriend I hung out with regularly. Thing is, I really only did two things when I hung out with other people – drink and eat. I’d been able to keep my weight at a reasonable level up until that point by walking everywhere. But once I got my car, it all went downhill (or technically, “up-scale”)

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This picture of me in Jamaica is probably 5 lbs below my highest weight. I was eating and drinking like I didn’t have a care in the world. Litres of draft beer would be consumed, with piles of nachos, and pieces of cake, all the while laughing and having a grand ole time with my friends.

Then I realized enough was enough, and I changed. The first course of action I took was giving up beer. At first, my friends laughed, as if it were some sort of joke. But I dropped close to 6 lbs those first three weeks without beer, which was motivation enough for me not to go back.

Then the peer pressure began, my friends would try to force it on me, or said I was being a party pooper. In all honesty, I felt like a party pooper too. Hanging out in a dark pub while people ate and drank what they wanted was no longer fun for me. I found myself obsessing over what I couldn’t have, and ignoring the conversations going on around me.

I also became very controlling over what I put in my body. About a month into my weight loss journey, I went on a trip up north with my family.

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By this point, I’d lost around 15 lbs and I was feeling pretty good about myself. I was on-track, and determined not to let anything throw me off. But this trip was probably one of the hardest for me socially. I had been learning about the nutritional value of all my foods, and found it very difficult to let myself go knowing what I was consuming. Back then, no one even knew I was trying to lose weight, so I’m sure they were all confused as to why I was freaking out about eating potato salad!!

I also felt out of place when I would make healthy substitutes in front of other people. I really wanted to be one of the normal people at barbecues who could gobble up sausages and buns with reckless abandon.

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Instead, I felt like I had a huge target on my back for going with the healthier options.

Part of my struggle with this also came from the fact that I was a university student. Drinking on the weekends (okay, weeknights too) is just what college kids do. So not wanting to do those things made me feel very much like an outsider.

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Then of course there was the fitness aspect of it. It took me a really long time to learn how to explain to people that I’m up at 5am to workout everyday. Or that I’m training for things like triathlons and half-marathons. 

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Even now, trying to explain to friends, family and colleagues about my personal training aspirations is difficult.

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I hate to sound like a broken record here, but the two things I’ve learned about having a “normal” social life while losing/maintaining weight is that it’s all about honesty and balance. I was never straight-up with people about my trying to lose weight. I’m sure my family and friends would have understood and been more accepting had I just been like “I don’t want to go to the pub tonight because I’m trying to lose weight, let’s do something else.”

In terms of balance, I should have loosened up on myself a little in the early weight-loss days too. I needn’t have been so strict in situations where I should have focused on the people around me, not the food being offered. Instead of saying “absolutely no beer,” I now have no problem with drinking a couple with friends every once in a while. It doesn’t really add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Same goes with exercise – it’s worth it to skip one early morning workout sometimes so I can have a late night out with friends!

I’ve also learned that having a good social life also important to my overall health. Perfect diet and exercise patterns aren’t the only things required to make me a happy person. I need more interaction, thought provocation, and whole-hearted belly-laughs to keep me thriving on a daily basis :)

And with that, I send all my bloggie friends a giant HEART!! <3

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Thank you to Emily for showing the Valentine’s Day love (only 5 days late, not bad for Canada Post!). Now it’s my turn to give it back to all my readers :)

Lost catch-up beckons! Night night! xoxo

 

P.S. I’m still taking questions for the Q&As, comment or e-mail away!

Final monthly goal check in!

Loved hearing all your favourite muffin varieties!! I’m a big muffin head. I blame it on my mom, who didn’t let me eat them as a small kid because I would crumble them everywhere and make a HUGE mess (don’t worry mom, you made up for it by teaching me how to make a mean chili). One muffin variety that piqued my interest were Ellie’s “kitchen sink muffins” with carrot, zucchini, raisins, banana, and walnut. Doesn’t that sound fab? Must add that to my ever-growing list of things to bake…

Moving on!

I caved and bought dark chocolate M&Ms yesterday, so you know they found their way into my breakfast cookie today.

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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • M&Ms
  • splash almond milk

All mixed up, flattened out on a plate and set in the fridge overnight :) One of my coworkers came in a FIVE A.M. this morning while I was chowing down on my cookie. It scared the crap out of me! But it was nice to see a friendly face. Normally I’m there all by my lonesome on the weekends.

Snack was one of my chocolate banana protein bars muffins.

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I put peanut butter on it last night before wrapping it up again, that’s why it looks funny. I also heated this up before eating, as that usually makes bad baked goods taste better. But it made it squeaky :\ Like, it squeaked in my teeth. It was still edible with the PB though. And surprisingly filling!!!

“Lunch” (I always put that in quotation marks because I eat it at 10am) was a smoked salmon bagel sandwich. 

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I finally found decently priced local smoked salmon at my grocery store – it’s my new favourite thing! It had laughing cow cheese, mustard, onions and spinach as well. There was an orange in there too, but I trust you know what that looks like ;)

I immediately dug into my Peanut ButterNut Squash Muffins when I got home from work.

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Wait. You hear that? Oh, that’s just me tooting my own horn. *Toot toot* :P I’m in love with these muffins! Besides the perfect marriage of the PB and squash flavours, the texture is perfection for me. Soft, dense and a little crumbly. Nomnomnom.

Then I read a chapter of Eclipse, and proceeded to conk out for an hour. One of those naps where I just remember closing my eyes, then all of a sudden I open them and it’s an hour later. I laid around for a bit, waiting for my post-nap drowsiness to subside. Then had another snack in preparation for a long gym visit:

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Bananas, dates and almond butter. I don’t always photograph it because it’s redundant, but if you’re reading about a workout on here, you can just assume I had some variation of this beforehand. Never fails me.

My gym visit today was ohsogood. I’ve been doing a combo of HIIT, upper-body weights and abs on Sundays lately, so that’s what I stuck to. Since I only ran once this past week, I decided to do all my cardio on the treadmill. I ended up with three separate variations of HIIT on the treadmill. It was awesome. I felt h-core.

Warm-up:
Walk/jogging on the treadmill for 5 minutes

HIIT:
incline = 1%
0:00-1:00 – 6.0 mph
1:00-2:00 – 6.2 mph
2:00-3:00 – 6.4 mph
3:00-4:00 – 6.2 mph
4:00-5:00 – 6.4 mph
5:00-6:00 – 6.6 mph
6:00-7:00 – 6.4 mph
7:00-8:00 – 6.6 mph
8:00-9:00 – 6.8 mph
9:00-10:00 – 6.6 mph
10:00-11:00 – 6.8mph
11:00-12:00 – 7.0 mph
12:00-13:00 – 6.8 mph
13:00-14:00 – 7.0 mph
14:00-15:00 – 7.2 mph

A1 – Wide-grip lat pulldown:
3 sets @ 55 lbs x 8

A2 – Dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 15 lbs (ea) x 8

B1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 50 lbs x 8

B2 – Dumbbell bench press:
3 sets @ 20 lbs (ea) x 8

B3 – Tricep dips:
3 sets @ bw x 8

HIIT: (a la Janetha)

incline=0 – 2 min @ 5.5
incline=0.5 – 1 min @ 6.0
                       1 min @ 6.5
                       1 min @ 7.0
                       1 min @ 7.5
incline=1.0  – 1 min @ 6.0
                        1 min @ 6.5
                        1 min @ 7.0
                        1 min @ 7.5
incline=1.5 – 1 min @ 6.0
                       1 min @ 6.5
                       1 min @ 7.0
                       1 min @ 7.5
incline=2.0 – 1 min @ 6.0
                       1 min @ 6.5
                       1 min @ 7.0
                        1 min @ 7.5
incline=0 – 2 min @ 5.5

A1 – Swiss ball crunch:
3 sets @ 11 lbs x 15

A2 – Russian twists:
3 sets @ 11 lbs x 30

A3 – Reverse crunch:
3 sets @ bw x 8

HIIT:
incline = 0%
0:00-1:00 – 3.0 mph
1:00-3:00 – 3.5 mph
3:00-4:00 – 8.0 mph
4:00-6:00 – 3.5 mph
6:00-7:00 – 8.5 mph
7:00-9:00 – 3.5 mph
9:00-10:00 – 9.0 mph
10:00-12:00 – 3.5 mph
12:00-13:00 – 9.5 mph
13:00-15:00 – 3.5 mph

Cooldown:
Bah! Accidentally skipped it! I was so hungry when I finished, I ran out of the gym. But no worries, I foam rolled and stretched at home while my dinner heated up ;)

This workout took me almost 90 minutes and I loved it! HIIT on the treadmill is so much fun, I ended up covering just over 5 miles. And Janetha, I lovelovelove your routine. I was a sweaty mess at the end of it, and I even skipped the final sprint because I knew there was more in my future.

As previously mentioned, I was ready to eat my arm off when I finished. I grabbed the quickest, most filling thing I could thing of when I got home. Frozen leftovers of moo-beef chili.

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I realized I was lacking in the green department today, so I heated two big handfuls of spinach into it. Hit the spot! Just what I needed.

 

Final November Goals Check-In!

I cannot believe it’s almost December. Wow. This was my first month checking in every week on my goals, and it really kept me motivated. With that said, I feel I only accomplished maybe half of them. I don’t see that as a bad thing though, I may never have accomplished any of them had I not set the goals in the first place!

Have fun workouts.

Monday – Step class at the women’s gym. Sosososo fun. I LOVE this class.

Tuesday – 5 miles speedwork on the “dreadmill,” except I really enjoyed it!!! I swear, I really did ;) I’m a sucker for intervals, they make anything fun.

Wednesday – Rest day.

Thursday – Body Pump at the gym, followed by HIIT on the elliptical. It was “meh” but got the job done.

Friday – Spun my little heart legs out in spin class. I pushed myself and it felt good!

Saturday – Rest day. Broke my quads in spin.

Sunday – HIIT extravaganza on the treadmill with some upper-body weights and abs. Best way to spend a “lazy” Sunday afternoon :)

I also did no yoga this week! My schedule didn’t jive with yoga classes, and I suck at getting motivated to do it at home.

Be less complacent with food.
I’m still feeling okay with this. I definitely feel like I’m “on track” and my food choices are for the most part deliberate.

Get more sleep.
Again, it’s hard to switch from early morning shifts on the weekend, to evening shifts throughout the week. But I did okay once I got into the swing of it. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had 8 hours though…

Make it through the last month of work with a positive attitude.
My co-workers set up a going away get-together for me!! How sweet!!! I’m not incredibly close with any of them, so I’m very touched by the gesture. My schedule for this last week is going to be tough, but having that in there should make it easier :)

Try my best to not let anything hold me back.
Um, I registered to get my personal training certification this week. I finally followed my heart and took the plunge. I say I excelled at this goal.

Figure out a way to get into the holiday season.
I’ve been smiling at all the pretty lights that are starting to pop up :) I’m getting really antsy to see my family again too. Definitely feel like I’m entering December with a positive attitude.

Spend more time with my grandparents.
I really wish I did better at this one, as I only got the chance to see my Nana once. I still have two other grandparents in another city that I never get to see.

Be more honest with people.
Check and check. This goal has been on the back of my mind a lot this month. I think I moved forward a lot by being more honest with people, it’s something I’m definitely going to continue to think about and strive to do.

Look for a job.
How about got a job :D Albeit, it’s just another temporary gig at Starbucks. But a paycheck is a paycheck my friends.

Start playing music again.
This is my biggest fail of the month. I don’t want to push it though. I’ll start playing again when I feel inspired again.

 

Re-reading that, I feel pretty good about it actually. Tomorrow, I’ll do another instalment of “Things I Learned This Month” and then Tuesday will be a whole new set of goals for December!

 

Question of the day: What’s one thing you feel you accomplished this month?

Tour de Fredericton – Partie Deux

Thank you sooooo much for all the positive feedback on yesterday’s post! I don’t know why I was so nervous about posting that picture and talking about it. I guess I didn’t want to look like I was “showcasing” my weight loss in a “look at me” kind of way. But I have the awesomest readers ever, and you all understood the meaning behind the rambles :)

For the record, my blogging uniform isn’t as nice.

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Sometimes I like not living with my boyfriend!! :P

I think I deserve to be lounging around in an oversized tee after my 4:30 am wake-up and crazy long bike ride today. Wanna hear about it?

Work eats were the norm. Breakfast cookie.

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I changed things up and added sliced almonds instead of coconut. Livin on the edge.

My new favourite bar (Luna is in trouble!)

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Peanut butter PowerBar. Kinda like a bar-shaped cookie! One of the best things about these bars is that the first ingredient is “whole oats.” Can’t go wrong with that, especially in a “protein bar.”

Lunch was not the usual white – but pink!

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Smoked salmon and laughing cow cheese on an english muffin.

And a braeburn…

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I was excited as this was my first braeburn experience. But I think I got a bad one, because there were some brown mushy spots inside even though it looked bruise-free. Good thing I’ve got more!

I then rushed home to watch the last 10k of the Tour de France. It was so exciting!! Cavendish (on his Scottie) whipped out in the last 1k and took his sixth stage. He may have lost the green jersey, but it was still pretty sweet :)

Then there was a little food porn to get me ready for my bike ride.

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Cinnamon raisin bagel, 1/2 a smooshed banana, 1 tbsp almond butter. Sweet jebus, this was good.

I was thisclose to putting off my long bike ride for this week. But in the end, I liked the idea of spending my afternoon on a “leisurely” bike ride :)

Duration: 2 hour and 24 minutes
Distance: 55 km (34 miles)
Avg Speed: 23 km/hr (14 mph)
Max Speed: 40 km/hr (25 mph)

The first 30 minutes seemed to drag on, but I eventually got into a groove. I ate four dates with PB at the 90-minute mark. It was perfect! My energy was starting to wane a little, but it was just enough to carry me through that last hour. I just wish I didn’t have to pee after the first 20k :( By the end of the ride I didn’t want to get off!! However, my crotch, neck, wrists and bladder would not have been impressed with that.

Next week – 60 km!!

I’m putting my morning workout off tomorrow until after work so my body has a proper 24 hours to recover from the bike ride. While it wasn’t overly taxing, it was still a significant amount of activity.

I had lots of time to think of what I was going to make for my recovery shake.

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  • 2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 scoops plain yogurt
  • handful frozen papaya chunks

The papaya chunks were added after I tried it and felt the texture was off. They make it so much smoooother!

After stretching, rolling and showering, I got started on another awesome homemade burrito.

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This burrito contained 1/2 cup Eden Organic Caribbean rice & beans, 1 scrambled egg, onions, mushrooms and a laughing cow cheese wedge (cause they make everything taste better).

Don’t worry, I also had my “congratulatory piece of chocolate” for my bike ride ;)

Eeek! My landlord just stopped by and said they’re showing my apartment on Tuesday!!! I’m going to have to whip this place into shape! Oh my gosh, I don’t know if that’s possible. There are some closets that need some serious cleaning, and a floor that hasn’t been vacuumed in weeks because my vacuum cleaner is broken (a certain boyfriend told me not to fix it myself because he can do it, I have yet to see these “skillz”)

Random Question: Are you a tidy person??

This may or may not be obvious, but I’m really messy. I have this tendency to not notice when things are lying around or in the way…

Have a great start to your week! :D

Edited to add: I forgot! I’m on Twitter!! I joined in a moment of office boredom. Please come visit me over there, I’m completely lost and have no friends! http://twitter.com/BalanceSusan

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