All week this is what I’ve wanted to do.
BUT.. I haven’t. I’ve written two twelve – fifteen page reports, I have six midterms next week, and I’m still trying to maintain a relationship, a clean house, and work out. Oh, and work work. I’ve just tried to remember that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. I’m channeling my inner determined corporate CEO this week, and just gettin’ ‘er done.
In just over a week, I will be skiing in beautiful Banff, Alberta. That’s enough to make ANYBODY happy (assuming they like skiing and snow….). All I have to do is look at how far I’ve come just since making the decision to start at square zero last week! It’s been one week of working out and I’ve already lost an inch on my waist! Considering that is where I have the most to lose, I’m really excited. Can’t wait to see what happens next!
What do you do when the going gets tough?
I was having a discussion with someone very important to me this week, and something she said struck a chord. I was saying how school was starting to be less of a motivation and more of a frustration, and this bothered me. As somebody who has always taken great pride in her work, being frustrated and just not wanting to put the effort in makes me feel discombobulated.
She asked me if I was still doing well in school or if this lack of motivation was affecting my results. To be honest, I’m still doing pretty darn well by most standards (very well… if I’m actually being honest). Her next question was the one that really got me thinking.
“So who says you have to spend extra time doing school if you’re still accomplishing what you set out to do?”
I’m rarely speechless, so clearly she knew she had struck a chord. As a much more patient person than me, she waited as I thought this through. The answers that ran across my brain ranged from “everyone, my conscious, my family, my friends, people expect things of me…” but settled on one answer.
One simple truth.
And therein lies the lesson.
I have spent so long trying to meet ridiculous (and probably mostly perceived) expectations that have been set by people who are. not. me. Not only have I tried to reach them, but I have been riddled with guilt when I choose something different.
Moving to Vancouver instead of going to law school = guilt.
Choosing to go back to school instead of pursue a career = guilt.
Quitting a job so that I had more time for myself = guilt.
Do you know what those three events have in common? They are some of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Guilt takes up room in our soul and in our mind. We only have so many moments in our lifetime and only so much room for ideas, and growth and hope.
Holding on to guilt is not a good thing.
All week I’ve been investing at least forty five minutes a day into my yoga practice and meditation. Grounding my thoughts on the mat, connecting with myself, forgetting the world around me and acknowledging what I need.
I spend a lot of time thinking about what I should do with my life and what would make those around me happy. I flip flop back and forth between career options all the time, and I think I never really settle because I am making choices for the wrong reason. The perceived (family and friends) and sometimes very real (social and organizational) pressures of the world around me have influenced so many decisions I’ve made and then stopped pursuing either at the last minute, or after I’ve already invested time and money. I get told by teachers that I would be excellent in this career or that career — but they are things that make me cringe! I don’t want to be a salesperson for the rest of my life, the idea of selling printers bores me (most sales is business to business, not retail sales).
I’ve seen an improvement in myself since I made this mental shift. I can’t remember the last time I worked out four days in a row. Now I think it’s simply because I made the decision to do it myself. For me. Not for the benefit of anybody else. It wasn’t for my boyfriend or for the fact that I “think I should be skinnier” or any of that. Plain and simple it is something I WANT to do.
The bottom line is that choices I make now are going to be for one reason and one reason only, after all, I am the one who has to live with the implications and results.
Do I consider it selfish? Only if I make decisions at the expense of others. Instead, I think its more about turning my thoughts inward and simply acknowledging what I need to be happy.
In conclusion, make decisions for yourself. Acknowledge the guilt and make space for it, but then move forward. Do it for you.
Did you see it!? Did you see the title of the post!? I CAN POST A FITNESS FRIDAY BECAUSE IVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK OUT (sorry about the CAPS. As one of my favourite professors said once, when I use CAPS I’m not YELLING at you, I’m just EXCITED).
Since last weekend and my post discussing accountability, something has clicked. Where there was no time for exercise previously, there is now. Where I was too tired, now it doesn’t matter. It’s weird the switch that has happened in my brain, but this week I’ve worked out a total of 4.5 hours so far. When before it wasn’t possible because I can’t afford a yoga studio or a gym, now I’ll search for a while to find exercises that are alternatives to machines at the gym. I even get home at 6pm Monday and Tuesdays and then worked out after!
WHAT!? Is happening. Here’s a short recap about what I have done so far! All the weights I used were 5 lbs because I don’t want to kill myself too soon. I still felt the workouts (the legs more so than the arms, so next week I may try 8 lbs for the arm workouts)!
A short 2km run
Arms and Back
20 minutes of Yoga
20 minutes of Yoga
Rest! (I’m soooo good at rest days)
Arms and Shoulders
20 minutes of yoga
Isn’t that crazy! So much working out. I obviously haven’t noticed anything major after only four days, other than I feel really good working out! I have also noticed more energy and less napping. I haven’t been completely perfect though as I indulged in wine and a few meals that probably weren’t completely balanced but hey, I’m human! Progress is progress!
I won’t be weighing/measuring until 4 weeks in, and then I will share!! I will also share a few of my favourite things that have helped me stay on track so far.
may have definitely pre-emptively went shopping splurging at lululemon and got myself a gorgeous new sea foam coloured day to day sweater. In. Love.
Other notable things from this week include I hired a running coach, I’m running my first 8km in a while on May 4th, and I’ve officially signed up to attend BlogFest 2014 in Anaheim, California!
This year is looking up, people! Also, GO CANADA GO!
I would love to hear about how your workouts have gone this week and how you keep yourself accountable in the long term!?
Hey there. How are you? How’s the weather?
I’ve been toying with this post for a while because I don’t like to fixate on weight or weight loss as indicators of overall fitness. I truly believe that the point of being healthy for people is different and unique depending on who you are.
Weight isn’t all that defines us!
However, I’ve fallen off the fitness wagon lately, and I think it’s time for a confession. I don’t think I’m at my “healthy” anymore. When I was training for the WDW half and even last summer I was still pretty healthy. I was between 148-153 pounds which was the lowest I had been since first year University and I was working out three or four times a week. I wasn’t a lean mean fighting machine, but I was active and I was eating well. That’s really all I ask of myself.
Having mono took a toll on my body, as it basically wasted away for a while, and then when I got my appetite back I didn’t go back to exercising. First off, I wasn’t allowed. Second, I didn’t really feel like it. Third, my school is an intensive two year program and I’m at it forty hours a week, plus homework and regular work at my job. Finding time to workout is a struggle.
But it’s time to make time. All hope is not lost as I seem to have gotten back on the wagon this week. I entered Labrada’s Lean Body for Her Challenge (which means I’m strength training!), and I also got back out and running. I am also looking at hiring a running coach, someone who is going to help me tackle the 8km I’ve registered for in May.
However, in order to keep on track, I want to share these things and this journey with you all! I have a confession. This is a start point, and I’m not saying that this weight or body fat percentage or anything is wrong to have — if you are just like me maybe you’re completely happy and healthy where you are. I just know that I feel sluggish, and I feel blah, and I know that I can feel better than this.
I took before photos on Saturday and I’ve never been more… motivated… to make changes.
The official competition started on Saturday for me (making this Day 3). At that time my stats were as follows.
Body Fat Percentage: 27.10
Although the weight isn’t really visible on my body, it’s still the second highest its ever been (I weighed more when I returned from vacation in January). It’s the body fat percentage that worries me. Over 30% is considered obese, and I’m kind of close to that mark! I want to start reversing the trend.
I’m really excited to just workout and live healthy and see where twelve weeks of that gets me. I’m not following an exact plan, although I do have guidelines, and because I don’t have a gym membership it’s harder to use the weight machines, but I am going to do my best. Put more time into being with myself.
How Am I Going To Do This? Here are my 5 Goals for the next 12 Weeks.
1) Eat healthier. Lots of veggies, a few fruits, more protein and healthy fats. You would think this is self explanatory, but without a lot of planning, healthy eating is quite hard! I will share some of my favourite recipes I find along the way. I’m also getting creative – I made a breakfast skillet with eggs, spinach, mushrooms, onion and chicken for dinner last night. It was delicious. I’m aiming for less sugar and less unhealthy fats.
2) Sleep. Last night was the first time I got eight hours of sleep in over a week. Sleep is when the body recovers and builds muscle. It’s good for you, and I’m not getting enough of it.
3) Strength Training I already have the cardio thing down, I love to run when its not pouring rain outside! I’m looking to do some basic strength training (I did my first arms workout last night and honestly felt amazing) to my cardio routine.
4) Yoga Oh how I love Yoga and how I underutilize it! I have some favourite yoga videos that I will be sharing with you later this week. In Vancouver its over 100.00 a month to belong to some good studios, and I don’t have that money. However, Youtube is a great resource. I will be doing Yoga for stress relief and calming effects, usually post strength workouts or before bed. The added flexibility and really time for self love will help immensely with destressing and my fitness efforts.
5) Be Compassionate. Being compassionate is one of the core words I try to live my life by. I try to be compassionate to others needs on a daily basis, I find it makes me more patient and less exasperated over little things when life gets stressful. I think we all struggle with being kind to ourselves though! So I’m going to compassionately be understanding of my own needs.
So there you have it. I’m actually really excited to see where these 12 weeks (and hopefully beyond) take me, and I’m glad you’re here to hang out and join me.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you may remember the following couple of posts from a year or so ago.
I had to make some tough decisions regarding the WDW Marathon. I gave up on my opportunity to run it in order to spend time with a family member who was close to leaving us.
February 16th, she said goodbye to us for good. Now a year has passed. I pledged to live my most wonderful life in her memory, and encouraged all of you to do it too. So far I think I’ve done a good job.
It’s hard when someone you love leaves you, but its even harder when someone who truly believes in you is gone. Thankfully I have my family, my boyfriend, and a few close good friends who make up a team of people who believe in me, a team of people who are on my side. But losing somebody from that team is always difficult, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel her absence.
I’m the chubby baby on the left :)
I think of her regularly, not just on anniversaries or holidays, and I really wanted to do something to commemorate our relationship and the years that she spent in my life, so I’ve decided to do 24 random acts of kindness to commemorate the 24 years that I was lucky enough to have around. I will keep you updated on the things I decide to do!
I remember some little things every now and again. Like how she interrupted me making out with my first boyfriend when she was over babysitting me and my brother and tossed him out of the house (I’m not sure my parents know that one..). And how I’d steal tomatoes off the vine, and she wouldn’t care and just join me and eat them too. How she loved roses, and her garden, and how strong she was. Always making things with her hands, busy doing. The smell of her cooking and all the baking. Hungarian Goulash and Langos and Chicken Paprikas and Cabbage Rolls and Chicken Noodle Soup. I’d take all the noodles and basically have chicken stock and noodles, and she’d laugh at how I wouldn’t eat the carrots or the parsnips, because hey, they were vegetables. But there would be no noodles left for anyone else. Oops
I will be spending today with my boyfriend doing things we love. I will make Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. I will cry and laugh and live and love and eat all the noodles and none of the vegetables.
So today I implore you to remember the value of having a group of people who believe in you, because they are the reasons that at the end of the day, when we no longer have the strength to believe in ourselves, that we carry on.
Happy belated Valentine’s Day. It’s honestly one of my favourite days of the whole year. Last year, it was surrounded by a bit of sadness, so I didn’t feel like celebrating the way I normally do. This year however, I went all out.
Most of my snapshots from this week are from Valentine’s Day, but I had a pretty good variety of things happen. I love taking pictures, so I’m excited to share them with you. I hope your week was just as wonderful as mine was.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of going to watch my boyfriend play hockey at the local rink. I was the only spectator, so my yelling was really hard to not attribute to me. He’s a star.
I love love love love love love Wednesdays.
I don’t go anywhere until 12pm. It’s a glorious three – four hour morning filled with coffee, reading blogs, eating good food I can make in my own kitchen, and either watching the rain or sun from the skylight.
Nothing really makes me happier than being in my silky pjs and drinking that good cup of coffee. Even if it could be so much better (I’m on a budget, President’s Choice beans and I are tight).
A few things on my mind this week.
1) I’m in love with the idea of Valentine’s day crafting! Do you normally craft for holidays? I’ve been trying to find the time, but with two exams this week (Statistics and Economics, two topics that rattle the inner workings of my brain) its been difficult. Martha Stewart has provided a lot of inspiration for me lately and hopefully I will have something concrete to show you guys (even if its a little belated).
2) I really love this post from Carla Birnberg over at Unapologetically Myself. What does BRAZEN mean? The other day someone said that I was a bold person, and in a good way. Reading Carla’s post helped me identify with some of the feelings I had surrounding that. Bold? Me? Brave!? Me? Carla captured the essence of what I was feeling so perfectly.
3) Looking for a good recipe? I made FOUR from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe last week and ALL were a hit with the man. Our favourites? Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Sweet and Sour Chicken.
4) I have loved these Olympics! Just watching people go for their dreams. As I wrote about earlier this week – they make me way less productive. That’s okay though – I do a lot of planking and jumping jacks while watching people chase their dreams. My favourite moment from this week so far? The Swiss man Iouri Podladtchikov (I-Pod) who won the halfpipe. I love that he is here hugging Shaun White(who came fourth), and I love Shaun’s attitude despite being off the podium. A good moment.
5) Finally, I’ve been doing some market research for school. I would LOVE if you were able to take less than a minute (literally) to fill out this survey! I am researching blood donation trends among certain age groups. No identifying information is collected apart from gender, age and country – and even that you can skip if you like. It will only be used for my school project! Click here to help me out.
Until next week! Enjoy your coffee!
There was a brief period of time where I made little or no appearances on the blog. I know some people assumed it was school, or work, or life. A few of my fellow bloggers reached out to make sure I was okay, which was appreciated more than you know. Now that I am (finally) feeling better, and wake up each day with energy that I am SO grateful for, I finally have the opportunity to reflect on what happened, and what having mononucleosis both gave to me and took away from me over the course of the three months I have spent with its effects.
Little tiny microscopic jerks.
It’s amazing to me that people can have it worse than I did! My story is by no means the be all end all of mono situations. I was talking to a girl at work who had it for over a year, and at one point burst into a giant cold sore on her own (her face, neck, arms, were covered in cold sores). Her immune system was so bad she had to be hospitalized. Thankfully I was never hospitalized, and my glands never seemed to swell to the point where drinking water was hard. However, having mono put a few things into some serious perspective for me.
Quickly, what is mono? Well, from Wikipedia – the be all end all on all things medical -
“Infectious mononucleosis (IM; also known as mono, glandular fever, Pfeiffer’s disease, and sometimes colloquially as the kissing disease from its oral transmission) is an infectious, widespread viral disease caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), one type of herpes virus. The disease is characterized by fever, sore throat and fatigue.”
So that is the common description from about every website on the topic. However, it doesn’t even come close to describing my experience. I started with strep throat and a cold sore in October, progressed to being unable to do much of anything, then progressing to not being able to work or go to school for over a month. I fell asleep in weird places, walking from the bed to the bathroom (10 paces, I just checked) was impossible, and going down to get the mail was effort (so much so that one day I forgot to wear pants while doing it. You’re welcome world).
So what did mono take from me? Well, the ability to move! The stamina that I had built up. Any muscle mass that I had built up. Energy. Time with friends. Time at school (although somehow I managed to pull awesome exam marks from somewhere) and a lot of weight, although when I got my appetite back it gave me that back in spades because I still wasn’t moving a lot, but I was eating, and my body was storing.
One of my many mono selfies
But who likes to focus on the negative? Not me, especially not when I’m lying in bed day after day.
What did mono give me? Perspective, and reasons to be grateful. A lot of them. Sleep, a lot of that too. Some good stories. Extra time hanging out with my Mom. Appreciation for energy. Amazing dreams. And lessons on patience.
You see, I’m not a patient person (I can hear people who know me laughing at that understatement). I love instantaneous results. I think its why I’ve never been quite as successful as I would like at long training programs, or attempts to save money long term or lose weight or get healthy. I want INSTANT. In today’s society, wanting instant is even more of a thing because instant is given to us everywhere. Thanks, Google. Of course, being impatient has been beneficial to me at times, especially working under pressure. I’m better than almost anyone in a high pressure situation, because I’m good with instant. I could, however, have used a lesson in patience – one that was provided to me by mono.
It’s impossible to be anything but patient with mono. It would take me 20 – 30 minutes to take a five minute walk down the street. Making my bed was a marathon effort. However, I’m grateful. Now, when I sit down to do something and it doesn’t happen right away, I’m calmer. I’ve had more patience with myself in 2014 than ever before. I’ve learned about saving, I have only been to Starbucks 5 times in 2014, and I’m gentler with myself when things aren’t instantaneous.
So yes, having mono sucked. There are days I still feel its effects, when I’m fatigued for no good reason. Getting back into workouts has been really hard. My immune system is also still recovering, as my recent bout with a cold has proven.
However, mono gave me a lot that I never could have expected. So I’m grateful for the silver lining.
Have you ever had mono? When? How did you deal with it? Are you patient? Did you know 90% of the adult population is exposed to mono by the time they are 40? When you’re younger, its not as severe. Tell me stories!
I love the Olympics. I love everything about them. They are so detrimental to my focus and my lifestyle because for two weeks I am glued to coverage of the Olympic Games. I’m not completely unaware of the environmental and social impact that these particular Olympics have had on the people of Russia, I have done my fair share of research on these matters.
But no matter how you boil it down, these athletes, from all countries of the world, have trained for their entire lives. This is the moment they get to really shine. This is the moment that the world pays attention to them and all the hard work they have put in. And its moments like this (the Canadian Dufour-Lapointe sisters winning Gold-Silver) that make me tear up.
It’s tough in the world of professional sports, I would imagine. Especially if you aren’t a male basketball, hockey, soccer or baseball star. Sure, sexist. But true! I can name so many of the men’s hockey team for Canada, and maybe one on the women’s hockey team.
This was the first year that female ski jumping was allowed in the Olympics, yet women have been competing in this sport for years.
Yes, Russia does not have the best human rights record. Yes, they have destroyed precious environmental zones to build the “best Olympics ever.” However, letting these events prevent you from watching these athletes I think would be a mistake. I read this article the other day that summarizes it better than I ever could. In case you don’t want to read the whole thing, here is the excerpt that really caught my attention.
“To have boycotted would have indeed sent a message from one political body to another — but at the expense of all the athletes and coaches who deserve to compete, wherever the Olympics takes them.”
I don’t know about you, but I will be glued to the television for the next two weeks along with M. I find these athletes inspiring, their dedication and focus unrivalled. I love learning about new sports. By watching every podium finish, every fall, every tear, every success, and standing by our athletes we send a message to our countries that this matters. That maybe sports and funding for our athletes should be more important.
Every child that is inspired by the success of an athlete is an aspiring Olympian.
I’m cheering for every athlete! (but especially the Canadian and Hungarian hopefuls)
I hope you are all inspired as much as I am and enjoy the coverage.
One of my goals this year is to talk about functional and fun home fitness. As already mentioned, I don’t have a large budget, so having a gym membership or buying anything expensive to work out at home with is plain out of the question.
However, as I’ve learned, working out at home isn’t really all that hard! Now that I’m finally allowed to work out again (a post coming on that debacle soon), I’m looking for fun ways to work out that don’t take too much time away from what is fun. As a student who is in class or doing homework over 40 hours a week, as well as working 16 hours a week, taking away from my fun or relaxation time is NOT something I want basic fitness to do.
So, without further ado, here is my Superbowl TV Commercial Workout!
This nice mix of exercises will keep you moving but also let you watch the superbowl ads. As a marketing student and an NFL fan, that’s almost my favourite part!
Enjoy the big game!
Who are you cheering for? Do you watch the superbowl for the football or the ads? I’ve been an NFL fan since I was a little girl courtesy of my Dad, so I don’t miss a Superbowl ever!