Blog Archives

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.

IMG_4022
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.

IMG_3995

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.

IMG_4005
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!

IMG_4004

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.

IMG_4019
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…

IMG_4002 
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.

IMG_4011

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

IMG_4017 
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”)

IMGP1213

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.

IMGP0346

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.

100_2934
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.

2632_515638056195_115400581_30863989_1625116_n

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. 

100_5742
Even now, trying to explain to friends, family and colleagues about my personal training aspirations is difficult.

3 
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

IMG_4008

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!

Mind Your Qs and As

Hi friends! Hope everyone’s week has gone by swimmingly. Mine’s been pretty relaxed – definitely needed and appreciated :)

My alarm went off at 5:45 am and I had second thoughts about going to the gym. Actually, I do not hop out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed every morning. I’m quite grumpy until I get some food and caffeine in me. I think the key is to just know that the haziness doesn’t last long.

Sooo, I hobbled into my gym clothes, walked into a few walls, ate half a banana and PB, chugged back a glass of iced coffee and stumbled out the door. Today was a treadmill day. Yup – straight up treadmill, because I FOUND MY IPOD!! Wooo! Here’s how my hour of running and entertaining tunes went down…

*on a 1% incline

Minutes Speed – MPH
0-5 3.5
5-10 5.6
10-20 1-minute intervals of 6.0 and 6.4
20-30 1-minute intervals of 6.2 and 6.6
30-40 1-minute intervals of 6.4 and 6.8
40-50 1-minute intervals of 6.6 and 7.0
50-55 6.0
55-60 3.5

Loved being back at it! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve ran anything over 3 miles, but I did 5.3 pretty “easily” today. Next week I’ll get up earlier and do 10k ;)

Showered and went straight to work, where I risked my life to eat yogurt.

Liberte Greek yogurt

I mixed up the remainder of my Liberte Greek yogurt with cashew butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, shredded coconut and dates last night, then I left it out on the counter!! It was in my insulated lunch bag, so that probably kept it temperate for an extra couple hours. It smelled/tasted fine this morning so I just went for it. That’s $3 worth of yogurt right there!!!

Liberte Greek yogurt
I sprinkled on some fauxnola granola at the office. Dare I say, it was delicious! Nut butter in Greek yogurt is much better than in regular yogurt.

Chased down with some more iced coffee.

IMG_3968

I actually prefer my coffee hot, but the iced stuff is quicker to drink in the morning. It’s also more thirst quenching after the gym ;)

Work was uneventful, I came home to a deep dish salad. 

IMG_3976

  • spinach
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • tomatoes
  • yellow & orange pepper
  • pickles
  • capers
  • smoked mackerel

IMG_3978
For the dressing, I mixed up a laughing cow cheese wedge, yellow mustard, 1 tsp olive oil and pickle juice. It was reallyreally good!! Probably one of the better homemade dressings I’ve ever made!

Dessert was a few of these bad boys:

IMG_3982

IMG_3981
I often get comments from people noting how I can eat only five M&Ms or one Hershey’s Kiss at a time. First off, I don’t view these as a “snack,” but a teeny sweet treat after a meal. I usually have at least a couple sweet treats like this throughout the day. I rather spread it out than eat it all in one sitting. Plus, I suck on these eggs until they melt in my mouth – it takes almost five minutes!

Shortly after dinner I found the energy to go to yoga class. I’ve been putting it off all week, but was motivated by knowing tonight’s instructor does mostly gentle hatha. Plus, I got to wear my new Lululemon pants!

IMG_3985
And apparently do jazz hands. Props to my Canon self-timer for taking this photo ;)

Yoga was actually challenging tonight! She had us doing a bunch of “bladder friendly” poses. Picture lots of frog poses and equally embarrassing legs-spread bum-in-the-air type things :P

I was pretty hungry by the time I came home again, so I immediately made another carrot peanut butter protein cake.

IMG_3991

  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp egg whited
  • 2 tbsp carrot baby food
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter

All stirred up in a mug and popped in the microwave for 90 seconds. I topped it with marshmallow fluff watered down with almond milk. And sprinkled of course! Yumyum :)
 

Q&As

I’m getting some great questions for my next round of Q&A’s! I’m going to dedicate whole posts to a few of them, and then just sprinkle them throughout other posts. Today’s questions come from the ever-talented Sophia:

1) What was your dream job when you were little? Was it journalism?
2) ‘fess up! Ever crave fast food? ;-)

1) When I was little, I thought I was going to be a veterinarian. That idea was soon lost after getting an electric guitar for my 14th birthday, after which I was convinced I was destined for punk-rock stardom. There were brief periods where I though I wanted to be an English teacher, flight attendant, career barista, and MTV host. I think the most recent dream jobs have all involved communication to some degree, and that’s probably why I ended up doing journalism in university. It’s still my dream to communicate what I’m passionate about with people. That’s why I’m pursuing personal training, and hopefully will find a job writing about it!

2) Yes! More specifically – Burger King veggie burgers. I used to eat them all the time when I was a vegetarian and I love them. Even the sketchy mayo that comes on top. But I was a vegetarian between the ages of 14-22, what I would consider to be the fast-food “formative years.” So I never had a chance to develop a taste for greasy burgers and chicken nuggets. Also, I never liked fast-food french fries. I’m a Maritimer, I need a good potato!!

 

Now it’s your turn! What was your dream job growing up? And what’s you favourite fast food??

Remember, if you have a question, anything from food, fitness, or personal fun stuff, leave me a comment or e-mail thegreatbalanacingact@gmail.com

See ya tomorrow!

Opening the Floor

Did you have your waffles today??

IMG_3937

Waffle Wednesday has officially become my third favourite day of the week (behind Saturday and Sunday, of course). Wednesdays are now my regular full-on rest day from the gym. Which means sleeping in late(er), making breakfast in my peejays, and drinking a whole (giant) mug of coffee while perusing the internet.

IMG_3942

Until I realize I have 20 minutes to shower and primp, and rush off late for work :P Today was just one massive waffle instead of my two regular big ones ;)

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash vanilla extract
  • 1 package stevia

All blended up and made in the belgian waffle maker, then topped with peanut butter, blueberry jam and maple syrup. Puuurrrfect way to get over that mid-week hump!

Work’s been pretty good this week. Things have slowed down a bit so it feels like I have time to catch my breath between assignments. I actually love being busy at work, but I also need that down time of easy stuff in-between.

Snacks!

IMG_3928

Banana+cashew butter mid-morning. I totally thought I packed peanut butter and got quite the surprise when I tasted it.

Lunch!

IMG_3931

Leftovers from supper yesterday – Olive & Feta hummus stuffed chicken breast, roasted pepper quash, parsnip and turnip. Dude. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to realize that making extra food at suppertime makes for suuuuuper easy lunch preparation the next day. I guess it’s because I have access to a microwave at work for the first time. This meal would not have been as yummy cold.

Speaking of cold meals – check it out!!!

IMG_3922

GREEK YOGURT!!!! In my fridge. Better yet, in my belly.

Not sure if everyone knows, but I’ve never tried Greek yogurt before. Up until now, there hasn’t been a brand that made it available where I live in New Brunswick. Thank you Liberte.

Now, I know making Greek yogurt is easy peasy, but I could never figure out if the stats on the homemade stuff would be the same. Anyone got any insight on this?

IMG_3923 
Doesn’t get much better than 20g protein for 110 calories!

I paired the yogurt with a free sample I got off the Kashi website.

IMG_3924

Toasted Berry Crisp cereal. The stats are just like many of the other Kashi cereals… decent on the protein, good on the fibre.

IMG_3926

All packed up for my afternoon snack!

IMG_3935
So what did I think?? Well, first off, I wasn’t that impressed by the cereal. It was too fake tasting with the weird chewy berry bits. And some parts got soft real quick in the yogurt. As for the yogurt – um, Greek yogurt is just thick yogurt. Actually, I didn’t really notice much of a taste or texture difference between the regular Liberte stuff (which is really thick to begin with anyways). I suppose it does taste like sour cream plain. And you can’t beat the protein content. But it’s also five bucks a pop, and I don’t rely on yogurt for protein. So it’s nice as a treat!

All these hot lunches had me craving a cold supper! It’s been almost a week since I had a pita! That had to be remedied at once.

IMG_3945

  • smoked mackerel
  • laughing cow cheese
  • mustard 
  • pickles
  • red onion
  • tomato
  • spinach

IMG_3948

Can you see the mackerel poking out from behind the spinach?? Wikipedia tells me that Atlantic mackerel is extremely high in vitamin B12 and has almost twice the Omega 3 of salmon. Suh-weet!!

This evening I “attended” a webinar on the Can-Fit-Pro conference being held in Moncton next month. Still debating whether or not to go. The timing and price aren’t that great, but it will be a great learning opportunity for me as a future personal trainer, and maybe I could make some contacts?

While webinar-ing, I snacked on a carrot protein cake. 

IMG_3959

  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • 2 tbsp carrot puree (ahem, baby food)
  • 2 tbsp egg whites

All mixed up in a mug then popped in the microwave for 90 seconds. Turns into a HUGE cake. I topped mine with a peanut butter/almond milk mix to make the nut butter go farther ;) Yumyum!

 

So I contemplated doing the anonymous questionnaire on formspring that many bloggers have been doing lately. But I’m one of those losers who doesn’t appreciate anonymity on the internet. Maybe it’s the journalist in me. Aaaanyways, I would really like to do another round of Q&A, it’s been a while since the last time and I lot has changed in my life since then! So I’m opening the floor for questions, silly or serious, don’t be shy! You can leave them in the comments, or e-mail them to me personally at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com If you don’t want your name attached, just let me know. I’m pretty open about most things, so go nuts! :D

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 485 other followers