My oldest sister is so cute.
She and I are very alike in some ways. We both laugh the same way at the same things, we share a mop of unruly hair, and a love for cinnamon rolls.
However, she is also very different from me. More motivated, driven, passionate. And apparently requires less sleep than I. This is why I thought she was a madwoman when close to midnight last night, she suggested we set the alarm for 6am to go run before she left for work.
I am a princess and require my 7-8 hours every evening otherwise I get cranky and anxious and all around miserable. Sara however lives off 6 hours every single night. She says it’s the only way she has time to work out in the morning. When I suggested going to bed at 11pm instead of midnight every night, she claimed “I’d never thought of that before.”
Ahhh, to be ambitious.
The tables definitely turned this morning when it was her getting my lazy butt out of bed to run (I’m usually that annoying person saying working out at an ungodly hour “will be funnnn!”)
She took me on her usual loop, full of steep hills I would normally avoid, but beautiful sights I would also normally miss. And while I didn’t really wake up until my heart maxed out at 178bpm somewhere around mile 3, I should probably thank her for getting me up. But next time, we’re going to bed earlier ;)
Post run breakfast is the same thing I have every day. It’s what I craaaave.
A fruit salad made up of plum, banana, pear, cherries, honey and cinnamon.
And those runny egg yolks. Get me every time.
Because I was up and running first thing this morning, I waited until I was alone after breakfast to do my 20 minutes of meditation per my Challenge of Silence. I was actually nervous for my first day of meditation, not knowing what to expect. I set my cellphone alarm to go off after 20 minutes, and promised myself I wouldn’t open my eyes to look at the time. I perched on the sofa and sat in dead silence the whole time.
What did I do? A body scan. One of the main reasons why I’m so excited to start this is to get in touch with what my body is feeling. I’m keeping a journal of my meditation experience each day… and here are some things I noted on my first day:
- I have a tickle in my throat that I didn’t notice up until this point
- My hands feel very warm
- My lumbar spine is under stress
Not bad, eh? Surprisingly the 20 minutes flew by and suddenly I could hear the distant noise of my cellphone alarm. As a side note, I am also really hoping this experiment in meditation will help me cope with my social anxiety, seeing as now is a time when I need to manage it the most.
I also hit up a Hatha Yoga class at noon to get in a few sun salutations for summer solstice ;) I am loving this 2-week pass I have!!
Lunch featured something I found in my sister’s freezer…
I ate it on a bagel with hummus. Verrry interesting! More like “fish chips.” The only seasoning on them is salt, and you couldn’t really taste it. Odd, because I’m so used to dried meat being so salty!!
Milk chocolate hazelnut Lindt?? Yesplease.
Today I also played tourist.
Canada’s Parliament!! For those you who may not know, Ottawa is Canada’s capital, and this is where all the governmental happenings…err… happen.
That would be a stage they are building on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. Thank goodness I am leaving here on June 30th. That is a mess I do not want to be a part of (aka thousands of dudes drunk off Molson).
Parliament has three main buildings – the East Block, Center Block and the West Block. I took a free tour of the Center Block. It was pretty lame, but I did get to see some notable spots.
Don Newman fans may recognize this location. It’s often where reporters gather to pounce on members of Parliament as they exit the House.
As we approached the House of Commons, a young girl beside me said “Hey! It’s the green room on TV!”
Not surprisingly, it was way smaller than expected. And the chairs looked really uncomfortable. No wonder they get so cranky by the time Question Period rolls around…
Back in the day when Ontario and Quebec were known as the “province of Canada” and before the Western provinces were part of it at all.
Up top there was a beautiful view of Ottawa!!
All this tourist work stirred up my appetite.
A High Protein Banana Maple Bar. Pretty dense, and surprisingly filling!
However, it was late by the time my sister got home and we were simply staaarving. The gorgeous day called for one thing: drinks on a patio.
Sangria – the only way I like to drink wine.
I ordered the Gringo Chicken: A grilled, marinated chicken breast. Served with Mexican rice, black beans, salad, avocado slices, and a side of tomatillo sauce.
Of course, I dumped the green salsa all over everything and mixed it all up to create a big messy plate (minus the avocado – I’m “allergic”). Delicious!
Sara got the vegetarian enchiladas which were also very good. Although I still think the sangria was my favourite part ;)
After dinner we went out to another pub patio for drinks with Sara’s friends. Their excuse for drinking on a Monday night was that it’s summer solstice – good enough for me!! :)
Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing to order at a Mexican restaurant? I actually lovelovelove taco salads.
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.
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.
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.
I broke into my lunch at 11:30am. No point in waiting till noon if I already have a growling belly!
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.
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…
Dinner had more eggs – a smoked mackerel egg white scramble.
- sweet peppers
- chopped chipotle
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- smoked mackerel
- old cheddar cheese
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!
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”)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!