Blog Archives

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

Sooo…yeah… I’m still at my mom’s place. I swear, the Universe is trying to tell me something :P It’s been snow storm-y here all day and I didn’t want to worsen my mother’s ulcer by hitting the highway. Had to rearrange a couple shifts at Starbucks to do it. Pretty sure they hate me there now because I also gave my notice today!

To jog your memory, I got offered a full-time contract doing communications work until May at my old university. I got confirmation today that I start next Monday at 8:30 am! I’ve been working at Starbucks since the beginning of December to make ends meet after leaving my full-time reporting gig at a radio station. The plan is to become a personal trainer eventually and this new job will basically last the duration of my course. How convenient! And it came totally out of the blue – they just called me up! :D

Phew. When did my life get so complicated? :P

Aaaaanyways, I was up and at ‘em early this morning for a visit to the new Nubodys women’s-only gym downtown. Fuelled up with half a banana, PB and a handful of cheerios before I left.

Warm-up:
shovelling my car out 5 minutes walking/jogging on treadmill

Treadmill:
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 – Dumbbell shoulder press:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

B1 – Barbell bicep curl:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

B2 – Skull crusher:
3 sets @ 20 lbs x 12

C1 – Seated cable row:
3 sets @ 75 lbs x 10

C2 – Chest fly:
3 sets @ 15 lbs ea x 8

Treadmill:
0:00-1:00 – 5.5 mph @ 0% incline
1:00-2:00 – 6.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
2:00-3:00 – 6.5 mph @ 0.5% incline
3:00-4:00 – 7.0 mph @ 0.5% incline
4:00-5:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1% incline
5:00-6:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1% incline
6:00-7:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1% incline
7:00-8:00 – 6.0 mph @ 1.5% incline
8:00-9:00 – 6.5 mph @ 1.5% incline
9:00-10:00 – 7.0 mph @ 1.5% incline

Plank: 2 sets @ 60 sec
Side plank: 2 sets @ 30 sec

Treadmill:
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

Anyone else feel like a crazy person when they run sprints on a treadmill? There were only four of us in the gym, and I had a feeling they were getting ready to rush to my side in case I fell off…

I had plans to meet the fam at my Nana’s after, so I stopped by the grocery store next door to pick up breakfast.

101_1709 
Boiled eggs, cinnamon oatmeal packet, vanilla yogurt, crappy coffee.

Added half a chopped pink lady apple to the oatmeal and topped it with the yogurt.

101_1710
Yum!!! I love my Nana’s dishes too. I’m such an old lady. 

Lunch was more leftovers. Sick of looking at these yet?

IMG_2045
Well I’m not sick of eating them yet ;) The last of the Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese & Parmesan Galette, mom’s meat pie and homemade Chunky Apple Cranberry Sauce.

Today has been a lazy snow day at my mom’s. We’ve been reading, playing video games and watching movies. A perfectly relaxing day!

I broke into my bar stash when my afternoon snack attack hit.

IMG_2051

A Jordan’s Luxury Absolute Nut from the UK, sent my way by the lovely Deb.

 IMG_2053

IMG_2056

Love the foreign food label ;)

IMG_2058

I usually buy Jordan’s muesli, so I was excited to try one of his bars! (yes, the company is a person in my head). It was a little on the crunchy side, but I loved how it was plain tasting. Yes, I like that taste! I could pick out every ingredient and flavour in the bar – and all were tasty :)

Dinner was, erm, more leftovers. We are making good progress on my mother’s fridge. I think I saw an open space in there the last time I opened it…

IMG_2075 
Mom’s turkey casserole (with biscuits) and steamed broccoli, carrots and brussel sprouts on the side. The extra veggies were a good call – I’ve been craving them!

 

Don’t Weigh Your Self-Esteem

As I was running my last sprints on the treadmill at the gym today, I noticed the inverted outline of a poster the gym has on display in one of their windows. All their windows are plastered with pictures of happy, fit looking women with words like “enthusiasm” and other stupid things. But this particular poster really got my blood boiling…

101_1708 
A woman’s feet standing on a scale that says “HAPPY” where the weight is usually displayed, and then “Success” written next to the image.

Aofnefusefsblj!!!! Whhyyyy do we let women think that a number on a scale should dictate their happiness??

It’s as if it’s saying getting to your goal weight will give you instant happiness. As if it’s perfectly okay to let your mood be influenced by how much you weigh. Or, that all thin people are happy because they’re not fat.

Right.

Let me tell you from experience that I have all the same emotional issues at my goal weight than I did when I was heavier. In fact, I was downright miserable a few months ago, whilst being the most fit I’ve ever been. Being thin doesn’t make your job easier or relationships any better.

Even worse is that this line of thinking is coming from a women’s-only gym. Women’s gyms are supposed to be safe havens for women who are self-conscious, or need a good community to get motivated. But at the same time, this poster only perpetuates the negative feelings that so many women associate with their own body-image. I really wish women would stop letting ideas like this continue to circulate. It’s like we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

As my mother just eloquently put it – “Don’t weigh your self-esteem.” Don’t give the scale more power than it deserves. There is only one thing that can make you happy and that’s you. It really does come from within. Any happiness found from an outside source is just fleeting and temporary.

So I beg you to not let your happiness be swayed by what the scale says – especially this week! I can tell you up front that I’ve gained 3 lbs in the past month, my pants are getting a little snug, and I don’t give a shit. I’ll soon be returning to my cookie-free apartment, and leaving the temptations at Starbucks. My weight is in a constant state of flux, and it will return to normal eventually. But right now I’m still happy as a clam cuddled up in my peejays with my family :D Oh, and did you see? I did three HIIT sessions today. Yeah, take that scale.

 

Question of the Day: What are your feelings on the poster?

 

P.S. Check out my guest post on Maria’s blog, Chasing the Now, on some of the 101 things I want to do in 1001 days :)

Ups and Downs

Before I even begin to delve into this post, I just want to say how awesome it is that you guys didn’t yell at me for liking soggy cereal! I thought for sure everyone would be on the crunchy bandwagon. Glad to see I’m not alone :) I do however have an aversion to cow’s milk and cream, so I can only do soy or almond milk in cereal. I love dairy, but straight up milk makes me think of the purpose of an animal’s milk in the first place, and gives me the heebie-jeebies. Did you know humans are the only mammal that drink another mammal’s milk? Ew. We’re gross.

Another fun fact: apparently my body only wants six hours sleep a night now. Ugh. Really? Only two years ago I could seriously sleep for 10 hours every single night. Oddly, I feel energetic and awake, I just hope it doesn’t catch up with me!

Maybe my body just gets too excited for breakfast. It’s my own fault for feeding it so well :P

100_9013

PB&J oats!!!

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • dash pumpkin spice
  • peanut butter
  • blueberry jam

100_9008

I layered half the PB&J in the center of the bowl, so it’s like an “oatmeal sandwich.” :) Usually I crank the stove up in the morning so my oats cook as quickly as possible (I’m hangry!). But today I let them cook slowly on a lower heat and they turned out soooo creamy. Almost like gelatin.

Today was my day off, and a very laid-back one at that. Did lots of housework, and made a big dent in New Moon (getting ready for the movie!). I then mustered up all my courage and went to a zumba class.

If you’re curious about zumba, you should check out this video from the Today Show.

I have to preface this by saying I am uncoordinated, clumsy, and possibly the whitest girl you will ever meet. The only booty shaking I do is shivering during the winter months.

I wish I could say I found my inner Latina diva, but alas, she may not exist :P The class was full, a good mix of ages and fitness levels. But I really didn’t get much of a workout from it. Maybe I would have if I was a better dancer and knew the steps, but even then, I don’t think it would be comparable to my regular workouts. It’s definitely fun to let loose once in a while, but I have to say it just wasn’t my thang. I still would not discourage any one else from giving it a try though!

Oh, but the dance steps kinda hurt my sensitive runner’s muscles :\

BodyPump was immediately after zumba, and I was feeling good and energized from the class, so I stuck around and did a two-fer! Body pump was much better the second time around. It’s a fine art trying to find the right weights for that class. After the two classes, I left the gym happy, and very hungry!

I did even more kitchen clearing by attacking a box of noodles. I added garlic tomato sauce to my dip from yesterday. Then added half a serving of whole wheat rotini.

100_9018

I have maybe half a dozen boxes of noodles that I never eat, because I don’t really like noodles! Something about their tasteless and slimy texture. I do like them as an “addition” to things though. So this was really a bowl of sauce with a few noodles :)

Emily expressed interest in hearing about my experience with weight maintenance after talking about my weight loss yesterday. Honestly, I could ramble on about weight maintenance for a while! As I said yesterday, losing weight was very easy for me. Once I cut back on all the unnecessary calories I was consuming (ahem! beer! and lots of it!), the pounds immediately started creeping off.

I don’t want to give the impression that losing weight is a walk in the park. I went a very long time without eating nut butter because it took up a large chunk of my daily calorie allowance. That’s not fun. But at least weight loss has a time limit. I knew I wouldn’t be in a calorie deficit forever, so my eating habits were doable for the short term.

Weight maintenance however, is forever. Now that my friends, is scary. I think the biggest thing you need to learn in maintenance is to accept the fluctuations. And I’m not talking a couple pounds of water weight here and there. Sometimes, you will feel 5-10 lbs heavier. The key is to not freak out. Understand that it’s part of the natural ups and downs of life. Losing it doesn’t mean drastically slashing your calories, or adding an extra hour at the gym every day. It just means maybe eliminating those things that you’ve let creep into your life. Maybe it’s that extra glass of wine in the evening, or giving in to the donuts in the break room at work.

My weight has fluctuated a lot since I lost those final pounds. I gained a little over Christmas last year, and again during a trip to Jamaica. There will be many other times in the future where I expect to go up a little. But I know what eating and exercise habits will allow me to fall back to my “happy weight.” It’s just a matter of getting back into those habits. To me, the heart of maintenance is in those fluctuations. Being able to nip any weight gain in the bud, and get yourself back on track.

Embracing those fluctuations has helped me not freak out over having to maintain this weight for the rest of my life. Right now for example, I feel just a smidge bigger than I like to be. But my fridge is stocked with healthy food and I’ve got stellar workouts planned for the coming week, so I know I’ll be back to that comfortable size very soon.

And for the record, I did gain weight when I went from a calorie deficit to maintenance calories. It was at that time that I threw away my scale! :P Instead, I just started eating what felt natural to me, and the next time I stepped on a scale, I was actually 5 lbs under my goal weight! Just goes to show that your body will never steer you wrong :)

Okay that’s enough rambling for one night! You know what’s next…

Question time!

Are you a good dancer? I did highland dancing as a child. I think jumping up and down on one leg will be the only dance move I’ll ever master :P

A Year of Maintenance

Thank you for the bee-day wishes for my mommy! She appreciates them all :) Sounds like we all have some pretty stellar moms!

I was up at 6am today starving. I contemplated just getting up and eating, but forced myself back to sleep to get over the 7-hour hump. I woke up again at 7:30 am ready to eat my arm off. I was weak with hunger! Isn’t that crazy? I blame doing an evening spin class. It revved up my metabolism too much before bed (which doesn’t quiet down at night much to begin with).

I wanted something quick and big, which led to a giant bowl of PB&J oats.

100_8085

  • 3/4 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
  • peanut butter
  • blueberry jam

As per usual, I put half of the PB&J in the centre of the bowl, then the rest on top. I’m really digging oats sans banana these days. Instead, I add more oats and it keeps me fuller longer!

Of course, Waffle Wednesday didn’t go unnoticed! I had a couple plain maple cinnamon waffles as a snack.

100_8086

Just a little earth balance and fake syrup on there. Butter + syrup is how I ate my toaster waffles growing up, and this took me back! Sometimes I get so caught up in dressing my food up, that I forget how wonderful it is plain.

After this digested, I went out for this week’s long run – 80 minutes. I figured I could get away with waiting until later in the day since it was only 18 C (64F) and overcast out. But that changed within five minutes of being out there. It got hot and sunny! I checked when I came home, and it had gone up to 23 C (73F) just in that short period. Too hot for me. Especially with the sun beating down on my skin. I got a sunburn! It’s almost October!

Anyways, needless to say, this was not my best run. I’m okay with this. I mean, I work out 5-6 days a week, it’s expected to have a few bad ones in there. My heart rate was up in the 170s for the last half of the run, which is just too high for too long for me. I did my usual 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking. But had to throw in an extra walk break towards the end. I’m sure plowing through bad runs are character building…or something…

At the 50 minute mark, I tried out some GU energy gel in chocolate outrage.

100_8092100_8093

100_8096

It was really tasty. I was surprised! It went down easy too. However, I did temporarily cramp up immediately after. And it wasn’t quite the energy hit I was hoping for. Although, I was feeling pretty drained by this point, so I’m sure it at least helped me get home! :P

The stats:

Distance: 8.07 miles
Duration: 80 minutes
Avg Pace: 9:54 min/mi

I could not stomach the idea of eating right away when I got home, so I had a handful of craisins for a little immediate nutrition.

100_8097

By the time I’d foam rolled, stretched, (cold) showered and put my face on, my tummy had come back to life. I went for my version of “comfort food” – eggs!

100_8102

Or you can call this my “third breakfast.” Hey, September is breakfast month after all! A breakfast sandwich with marble cheese, egg, veggie sausage patty, ketchup and a verrrry ripe pear on the side.

I was still feeling very “off” from my run, but I had appointments and errands to attend to this afternoon. I decided to treat myself for supper and make a real hamburger on my new George Foreman :)

100_8107

Seriously, there is nothing like a real beef burger sometimes!! I think I may have overcooked it a little though. Red meat sketches me out, I’m scared of getting salmonella :P

Now I am feeling muuuuch better. I realized during my run today, that I have been eating in maintenance for almost a year now. It was last October that I hit my goal weight and stopped eating in a calorie deficit.

Back then, I was weighing myself once a week, and had watched the scale consistently go down for three months. But when I started increasing my calories, the scale started nudging up a little. And I started to freak out. I did not want to gain my weight back.

So, instead of retreating back into a calorie deficit, I got rid of my scale. I knew a couldn’t eat a low-calorie diet for the rest of my life, and I didn’t want the scale scaring me into that.

I think I may have gained a little that first month, but shortly after that, I lost an additional 5 lbs without even trying. I was eating a comfortable amount of food, and exercising no more than regularly.

Last April, I gave up calorie counting altogether. Again, I was scared I would lose control and gain the weight back. And again, I stuck with it, because I knew logging my calories was not something I could do for the rest of my life.

I fell into a natural eating pattern, eating the things I craved, when I craved them. I have the calorie counts of foods ingrained in my brain now, so I still find it easy to make good choices, without having to see the numbers in front of me. To my amazement, I lost an additional 5 lbs after giving up calorie counting.

So here I am, a year after going into maintenance, and officially at a 30 lb weight loss. I think the key for me has been learning how to see the bigger picture. Before, it was all about hitting all the numbers on a daily basis. Whereas now I know if I eat a lot today, I can just eat less (or normally) tomorrow. If I have a carb-filled meal for breakfast, I can just make sure I get some protein in at lunch.

It’s been an interesting year, and I am fully confident I’ll be able to maintain my weight loss for years to come. I will embrace my body’s ups and downs, and continue to treat and listen to my body the best I can. Hopefully that includes forcing myself through a hot and tiring 8 miles! :P

P.S. I accidentally hit “publish” before I was done, sorry if you got two versions of this in your readers!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers