Just Do It: Doing the Work Even When I Don’t Feel Like It

Ok guys, after months and months of being in a “slump” and feeling like I will never successfully get back on my weight loss journey, I finally feel like I’m about to make a comeback!   It’s all thanks to my Beachbody coach Melanie Watson who reached out to me and introduced me to author/ motivational speaker/ media personality Mel Robbins.  But before I get into that, let me tell the story from the beginning.

Back in early January, like so many others I made the resolution to get back on track with my weight loss journey.  After years of doing Weight Watchers, I decided to shake things up and signed up with Beachbody.  I started using the containers of the 21 Day Fix program and purchased Beachbody On Demand so I could workout whenever I wanted in my basement.  I easily found the Beachbody community online – literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other people trying to do the exact same thing I was trying to do.  It was online that I found and “met” my coach Melanie Watson.  Melanie seemed to “get” my struggles right away and had experienced many of them herself!  At the time, I was struggling with the winter blues, mild depression, and a major lack of motivation to do anything.   Despite being a complete stranger, Melanie seemed to know me so well and understood all my goals – plus she had the tools to get me there.   I signed up to her Facebook groups and followed her on Instragram eager to be successful. But after about the first month, things started sliding and I lost my motivation.  The winter blues were overwhelming and nights on the coach won over working out in my basement.  Carb-heavy, comfort food beat out nutritious and heart-healthy meals.  I started to tell myself that all the hard work and sacrifices it took to lose weight weren’t worth it.  Life was too short not to eat sweets. I should just learn to love myself the way I am.  Maybe for the first time in my adult life I could not be on a diet program and actually just learn to accept myself. But something deep inside me, an inner voice (or as Mel Robbins’ would call my inner wisdom) was still there.  No matter how much I tried to convince myself that I could feel satisfied, fulfilled and confident without losing weight, my inner wisdom was telling me differently. But still, nothing changed.  I still consumed calorie-rich foods all day long and snuggled into the couch as soon as humanly possible after work.  Every day I thought about working out but talked myself out of it within seconds.  I knew what I had to do to lose weight (and had all the programs and supports imaginable) but I still wasn’t doing it.

But the inner voice continued to talk.  I considered emailing Melanie.  By this point, I had completely turned my back on the Beachbody program.  I had unfollowed some of the groups online and began to feel resentful towards the cheery messages of success others were sharing in the groups.  I even contemplated unfollowing Melanie’s profile.  I was feeling so overwhelmed by all the messages about what I knew I had to do, but still, did not feel like doing. Then, last week, Melanie reached out to me.  I was shocked but so pleasantly surprised.  Although she had been so good to me previously, I had assumed I was just another “customer” helping to grow her business.  But by reaching out to me after weeks of not hearing from me or seeing my posts in group, Melanie proved that she actually wants me to be successful I immediately responded, openly expressing to her the struggle I had been experiencing.  I wrote about not being in the right “mindset” to get started and how I’d been struggling for months to get there. This is when Melanie gifted me with the invitation to check out Mel Robbins’ work.  As I mentioned earlier, Robbins is a media personality, motivational speaker, and author.  She wrote The Five Second Rule which I am currently devouring and taking copious notes from.  The minute I read Melanie’s email, I started obsessively watching Robbins’ videos on YouTube and spent my two-hour drive yesterday listening to her podcasts. It is like Mel Robbin’s was living inside my head.  So much of what she has to say is exactly what I have been struggling with for months!  And the fact that Melanie knew to suggest her work to me blows my mind even more.  How can a complete stranger know just what I needed?!

So what is this Five-Second Rule and why am I so excited about it?  As I mentioned, I just started reading the book to fully understand the concept but I am so excited by it that I felt I had to write a blog post right now.   Here are some of the main principles I’ve taken from Robbins’ work so far including how they relate to my life.

1. You will never feel like doing it, you have to do it anyway. Robbins speaks about the notion that we all know what we should do.  And we know how to do it.  For example, the Weight Watchers program (which I have been a member of for years), or the Beachbody program tell you exactly how to lose weight.  But yet I don’t do it.  Why not?  Because I don’t feel like it.   Robbins’ says that we’ll never feel like it but that we have to just start doing it anyway.  That’s why she says motivation is garbage.  Because we will never truly feel like doing things in the  moment that we should.

2. The Five Second Rule In a nutshell, the five second rule is a theory that you can train your brain to listen to your inner wisdom and do what you know you have to do, rather than hold yourself back from doing it.  It’s kind of like the Nike slogan Just Do It (which Robbins also refers to in the book).  Robbin’s tells of her personal struggles and how she discovered that by simply counting down 5-4-3-2-1 you can distract your brain and refocus on doing what you need to do.

3. Get out of your own head. Robbins says that our inner wisdom is constantly telling us what we should do to lead a healthier, happier, fulfilled, and satisfying life but that we have the habit of talking ourselves out of following through on these ideas.  As soon as we start thinking about the idea too much, we easily and effortlessly talk ourselves out of it.  The magic of the Five Second Rule is that we can change that!

4. Your have to parent yourself. I love where Robbins talks about how no one tells us when we become an adult that now we are going to have to parent ourselves.  When we are kids, our parents are there to tell us no.  They are there to make sure we do the things we are supposed to do.  As adults, there is no one to do that, so we have to do it ourselves.  We have to learn to tell ourselves no and to do the work even when we don’t want to.

All this being said, I want to recognize that I probably just did a terrible job of summarizing some of Robbins’ main ideas.  Also, please take into consideration my other disclaimer – I just started reading the book.  I know I have just scraped the surface of some of this woman’s amazing ideas!  I can’t wait to learn more.

But more importantly, I feel like I have been given a tool that is finally going to get me out of this slump that I’ve been in.  I’ve spent all winter making excuses for myself, talking myself out of doing the work, holding myself back, trying to convince myself that I could be happy without losing weight. Now I see that I need to get out of my own head.  I always overthink everything and I’ve been overthinking my weight loss journey for years.  What I am starting to see now is that I will never truly be ready so why am I still waiting?  Just last week, I wrote to Melanie that I needed to be in the right “mindset” before I could get started!  What I see now is that by just doing it, by just getting started, the actions I need to take will put me in the right mindset! Most importantly, what I see now is that making change is hard work and our brain is pre-wired to protect ourselves from hard work.  Our brain doesn’t want us to be uncomfortable.  Therefore, it will try to talk me out of everything that I need to do in order to lose weight successfully.  Also, I am never going to feel like doing the things I know I should do (eat healthfully, plan meals, go for a run, workout) but I just have to put on my big girl panties and do it anyway.  After all without hard work, there is no reward. So instead of thinking about things, I have to just start doing.  And the best way to do that (according to both Robbins’ and coach Melanie), is to do it one day at a time.  Every time my instinct kicks in to do something healthy, I have to get my ass in gear and do it before my mind takes over and talks me out of it!  I have to parent myself, tell myself no, and just do what needs to be done. The best part of all this is if I do the actions that I need to do, the positive, happy, self-loving mindset that I thought I needed to get started, will develop all on it’s own!  Wow!

One last thing about all this.  I couldn’t help but think of a Weight Watchers leader I had years ago.  At the time, I knew I loved her approach, I just didn’t understand why.  Every week at our regular meeting, she would tell us what we had to do.  “Eat your fruit and vegetables.” “Drink your water”.  “Move every day”.  Now I realize that her no-nonsense approach is what helped me to be so successful.  She didn’t give us a choice. She didn’t give us time to think about things, she simply told us to Just Do It.  

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A Lesson Learned Again….

Well, guys, it’s been seven days since I’ve been eating healthier and working out regularly again and up until today everything has been going pretty great!  I’m sort of following the 21 Day Fix program – basically using the containers as guidelines for proper portions and to limit certain things like my carb intake and increase certain things like fruits and veggies.  I’ve also been doing the 21 Day Fix workouts which, until today, have been totally awesome!  I love that the workouts are only thirty minutes and that I can do them in my own basement.

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But today, I learned a lesson.  I’d been having a so-so day nutrition-wise to begin with because we’d stay at my parents’ place overnight and there are alot of temptations there.  I’d made the best of the situation but had already over-eatenmy carb intake (and it had been white bread to boot!). Plus, I’d drank quite a bit of coffee with french-vanilla flavoured cream which has a pretty high sugar content (it is so damn delicious that I’m just not ready to give it up yet!) Anyway, after getting back into town, due to some unforeseen circumstances, my family and I ended up grabbing dinner on the go tonight.  (I had planned to have roast chicken and salad for dinner but like I said, unforeseen circumstances…). We went to a little diner that is attached to the arena where my son was playing hockey.  Guys, this place has the best poutine I’ve ever eaten in my life.  So I convinced myself that since I’d done so well nutritionally for seven days that I deserved to splurge, so I went ahead and ordered a small poutine and ate almost all of it.

So where’s the lesson?  Again, you’d think I would have learned this one by now but I guess I’m still learning.  I think each time it happens it becomes more and more obvious to me: crappy food really does make me feel crappy!  Within an hour after eating that poutine, my stomach began rumbling and I started having cramps similar to what I get with my ulcerative colitis.  I was uncomfortable for the entire hockey game and the whole ride home.  In an effort to make myself feel better physically when we got home, I decided to do the 21 Day Fix Pilates work. Guys, I hate Pilates.  I’ve taken classes before and just hate it.  I find the moves so difficult and feel clumsy and uncoordinated when I do it.  But I was in my basement, and it was the next workout on the 21 Day Fix DVD that I’v been following, so I decided to give it a try.  Well, even though I was alone, I felt like a total fool trying to do this workout!   Next thing I knew, tears were streaming down my cheeks.  I was crying!  Now, I am proud to say that I did finish the workout, but I hated every minute of it!  I felt overweight, weak, and uncoordinated.  I was angry and disappointed with myself. Even when it was done, I still felt like total crap.  I was suddenly cranky, moody, and feeling down on myself.

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So there’s another thing I learned tonight.  Not only does unhealthy food make me feel terrible physically but it really does make me feel terrible emotionally too!  Between all the sugar I had consumed today (which had already been making my head feel fuzzy) and the poutine, I suddenly felt so down-in-the-dumps, frustrated and sad. Crazy!

The part that frustrated me most about all of this, though, is that I feel like I should have known better.  Even though I just got back to eating healthier a week ago, within days I’d been feeling the positive effects!  Not only had my mood improved, but more importantly, almost all of my UC symptoms had disappeared.  It had improved so quickly, in fact, that when my prescription ran out a couple of days ago, I decided to go without it for now since I’d been doing so well.  But after just one day of eating badly, the symptoms were back!  There is no way this is just a coincidence!

Anyway, as frustrating and disappointing as it all is, tomorrow is a new day!  I am grateful that I learned this lesson today (even if it was a tough one to learn) and I only hope that I will remember how terrible I felt today, next time I am craving junk food!

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Wish me luck!

 

My Intentions for 2017

Happy New Year!

Like many, I love the fresh start of a new year.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting over the last little while to try to decide what my resolutions will be this year.  I love exploring different sources for creativity and inspiration, and a theme that keeps coming up over and over again, and one I am really latching on to, is the notion of self-care.

img_1011Self-care is unique to the individual so it really means figuring out what is right for you.  Here’s what I’ve discovered so far about the components of my own self-care practice that I hope to implement this year.

PHYSICAL HEALTH

Exercise

This year, I’ve decided to cancel my gym membership and find different kinds of exercise that I truly enjoy.  Some things I plan on doing are:  walking my dog, cross-country skiing, hiking, at-home basement workouts (cardio, strength training, weights). I’ve also finally registered for my first yoga series at a local yoga studio that I can’t wait for.

Nutrition

I’ve decided to commit to cleaning up my diet for a few reasons.  One, I’ve continued to struggle with ulcerative colitis and am hoping that by making changes to my diet, it will improve my symptoms and eventually put me back into remission.  Secondly, I want to be in the best physical shape of my life and I know a huge part of that is eating properly.  I’ve decided to try something different and have recently started the 21 Day Fix in hopes that a new program will give me the motivation I’ve been lacking.  Finally, I know that eating healthy foods (and cutting back on the unhealthy ones) will give me more energy and help alleviate a lot of the fatigue I have been feeling.

Water

As part of my new nutrition program, I am trying to consume more water on a daily basis.  I find drinking out of a reusable water bottle helps me to get my daily water intake and also helps me to easily keep track of how much I’ve consumed.

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MENTAL / EMOTIONAL

Yoga

Besides its physical benefits, yoga positively benefits our minds helping us to become more mindful, release negative thoughts, and open our hearts to love, light, and peace.  Yoga helps me to feel relaxed and helps me to slow down the rush of day-to-day life.  I am really excited to get started on my yoga journey!

Journaling

The main reason I started this blog was to have an outlet for creativity.  While others may paint, dance, sing, or scrapbook, my creative outlet is writing.  I think a lot and sometimes my brain feels overloaded with too many things.  Journaling helps me to release some of the things I am thinking about which eases my mind.  Furthermore, it allows me to express myself and reach out to others in a positive way.

Slowing Down

As I get older, I find I crave a more simple and quietwe life.  The drama, chaos, and negativity that thrive in the world, make me upset and make me desire a slower, simpler pace. This year, I intend to slow down my daily activities whether it’s my morning routine, driving, reacting to the choices of others, teaching, or just day-to-day tasks.

Being Outdoors

Until recently, I never truly understood the benefits of spending time in nature.  Lately though, I’ve realized that being outside makes me feel overall more positive, calmer, happier, and more at peace.  I’ve even found a new appreciation for our Northern Ontario winters.  I’ve finally realized that fresh, outdoor air and quality Vitamin D is essential to my mental health.  This year, I intend to spend more time outdoors by doing things like: walking (with friends, my hubby and my dog), hiking, cross-country skiing, skating on outdoor rinks, camping, and exploring the woods.  When summer rolls around, I may even try canoeing or kayaking!

Home

One of the places I love being the most is at home.  Our house is small but it is cozy and it’s one place where I can (usually) fully relax.  Most of the time, this happens in my favourite arm-chair, with a cuddly blanket.  Nearby, you’ll find my water bottle, sometimes a coffee, the latest book I am reading, my Chapstick, my hand cream, my iPhone, and my iPad.  Next to me, my husband is watching TV from the couch with our fur baby curled up beside him.  Another favourite place in my home is my bedroom. I love the cozy weight of our duvet, the coolness of our pillows, the light pouring in from behind our white, gauzy curtains.  On my nighttable, I have a simple statue of Buddha that helps me to feel peaceful before bed.  I love long, slow mornings lounging in bed on the weekend with my husband and our dog, scrolling through social media, reading, or making plans for the day.

Of course, there is always room for improvement in our home.  While I have some projects I’d like to see happen this year, there are a few simple things I can do to help make my home even more cozy.  I’ve started listening to acoustic music when doing household tasks.  I love lighting candles around my home.  I love the greenery of dispersing plants throughout our house. I love having cuddly blankets and pillows.  I am also considering putting up some white twinkly lights in my bedroom to help create a cozy, romantic, warm space.

Relationships

There is nothing in life more important to me than the relationships I have.  I am very blessed to be surrounded by so many special family members and friends.  This year, I hope to cultivate those relationships even more by paying more attention to my loved ones’ needs and showing more kindness and appreciation where I can.  I hope to stay in better contact with friends that live far away and to visit my three, precious nieces more often.  There’s nothing that makes my heart feel fuller than time spent with those I love.

Parenting

Parenting is a tough job, and I would argue that step-parenting is even harder, especially to two teenagers.  That being said, this year I intend to practice more patience when it comes to parenting.  I am a highly sensitive and emotional person that tends to react too quickly to feelings of stress, frustration, hurt, or anger.  This year, I will pause and think before reacting to these kinds of situations.  I will listen, not half-heartedly, but really listen to their needs and interests when they talk so that they feel the love and attention they deserve.  In essence, I will be kinder and more loving to my children.

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SPIRITUAL

Mindfulness

This year, I hope to practice being more mindful and fully present in the moments of my life.  By slowing down my day-to-day routines, I hope to notice the small things that make life so pleasurable (example: the beauty of the snow-covered evergreens that line my route to work).  Practicing mindfulness will also fill my heart with gratitude, faith, and love.

Yoga / Meditation

I am excited to learn more about yoga and meditation this year and hope to discover more about myself through the practice of both.  I plan to explore some guided meditations and perhaps even create a yoga space in my basement surrounded by things that inspire and motivate me.

Light

For me, light is both figurative and literal.  Especially in the long, dark days of winter, spending as much time in daylight is crucial.  It’s one of the reasons I always open the blinds in my home and in my classroom, and switched all my indoor supervision duties for outdoor ones.  But light can also be figurative. For me the notion of bringing light into my life means to bring positivity and happiness ~ something I definitely intend to do this year!

Morning Intentions

At school each morning, our principal asks us to take a moment of silence to reflect on our day.  Each day, I use that time to set some intentions for myself, for my students and co-workers, and for my loved ones.  Recently, I have starting sharing my morning intentions via Facebook as a means of sending hope and light into the world. Also, by writing down my intentions, it allows me to reflect on them and express them more clearly.

Gratitude

Similar to my morning intentions, I sometimes share daily expressions of gratitude on my Facebook account.  Again, writing these thoughts helps me to see them and feel them more clearly.  But it’s also my intention to help others recognize the small, simple things in life that we have and to realize how very blessed we are.

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What are your goals / resolutions / intentions for the New Year?  Whatever it may be, I hope your year is filled with love, light, peace, and positivity!  💕

My Newest (and most Important) Reason to Get Healthy!

I feel like I’ve made a revelation of sorts recently.  In fact, it’s one that’s so huge, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out.  It seems like something I should have realized years ago, but somehow I missed the boat.  It’s taken me almost twenty years to realize this:

Nutrition and exercise are directly related to mental health.

As I said, it seems so obvious that I can’t believe I never really saw or understood that before.  I mean, sure I’ve read it and heard it, but it’s never hit home for me until now.

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For me, losing weight was always about looking good.  It was about trying to meet some kind of ideal of “healthy” and “thin” which I always, always linked with beautiful, sexy, successful.  For years the desire to be those things was enough to make me want to lose weight.  But something has shifted in my life and although I still want to be beautiful, sexy, and successful, those things in themselves don’t seem to be enough to motivate me to put in the hard work that it takes to lose weight and maintain it.

So I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been able to find the inspiration and the motivation to get back on the wagon.  Terrible eating habits and nights on the couch in my PJs are my daily routine again.

Also part of my daily routine, especially at this time of year, are a major lack of motivation, incredible feelings of laziness, always, always feeling exhausted, and some feelings of anxiety, overwhelmness, and hopelessness.  Not to mention headaches, bloating, gas and a multitude of digestive problems.  Ugh.

Why did it take me so long to link the two?

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For the first time, in my decades-long journey of weight loss, I have finally found a source of inspiration that I believe could be a real turning point in my life.   It’s like a giant, golden light bulb has gone off and what I have been looking for for years, is suddenly here, loud and clear.

I have a new, and significant, reason to want to eat better and exercise. Because now I know that doing those two things will impact my life in ways I may have experienced but never really understood before.  Fueling my body with healthy foods and exercising won’t just make me “skinny” and “self-confident”, it will directly impact my mental health and in essence, my overall life.

It will give me energy again.  It will give me the fuel I need to make it through the day.  It will alleviate my headaches and prevent me from feeling so tired by 4 p.m that I don’t want to do anything but bury myself under a blanket and never come out or cry. It will help to heal my digestive issues, build physical strength to prevent achy legs and hips, and take away the bloating and gas I so often deal with.  It will improve my self-confidence and drive me to want to improve other areas of my life.  It will fill me with positive self-talk and help me to be kinder, more gentle, and more patient with others – all things I want so desperately in my life but often don’t have the energy for.

I still can’t believe I never understood this before! 

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Many times my husband has told me that he thought I was “happier” during the few years in my life when I had met my goal weight, was working out like crazy, and eating on plan.  For so long, I disagreed with him.  I even wrongly perceived his comment. I took it as his way of saying that he prefers me to be skinny rather than overweight. I would shrug off his comment with the argument that I am just as happy now as I was back then.

But now I finally realize what he meant.  It doesn’t mean that I am unhappy now.  It’s just that the habits I had established then had such a direct impact on all aspects of my life.  It’s that eating well and working out regularly affects you in so many ways that I didn’t even realize it.  Yes, it’s possible to be happy without diet and exercise in your life, but it’s so much easier to be happy with those things.

For the last several months I have wallowed in self-pity and guilt. I have felt discouraged and was searching desperately for reasons to justify my lack of healthy eating and working out.  And now I can so clearly see that all that was doing was bringing more negativity into my life.

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So finally, finally, finally I feel like I have found my motivation again.  I have always known that eating healthy foods and exercising is important but I just couldn’t find the inspiration to do it.  Now that it is so obvious to me the direct impact they have on my mental health (and overall well-being) it doesn’t seem so daunting.  And although a new year is just around the corner, and it’d be so easy to say I’ll just start then, this new reason to want to get healthy doesn’t seem like something that can wait.   It needs to happen now.  And I can’t wait to get started!

 

30-Day Plan: Day Twenty-Three

Well, we are on the road again!  We’re staying briefly at my Mom and Dad’s tonight and then headed on our weekend trip with our kids (ages 12 and 17) tomorrow!   There are definitely going to be some food challenges this weekend but I’ve planned ahead and hopefully I am prepared for most of them!  I can’t believe I am one week away from reaching my 30 days!   Here’s what today looked like:

Breakfast:  I stuck with what works again this morning so had my usual fried egg and 3 slices of turkey bacon (I keep forgetting to mention, I always drink water with breakfast).  After, I sipped my coffee (and cream) while watching morning talk shows and reading.   Normally, I like to move pretty slow in the morning but today I had lots to do so it wasn’t long before I was up and getting in the shower to get ready to start my day!

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After dropping off my daughter, I zipped out to Walmart to grab some groceries and a few other things for the weekend.  I had contemplated whether or not I’d pack food this weekend and finally decided that I may as well.  Not only will it help me to stay on track with my 30-day plan, but it will save us some money too!  Here’s some of the things I picked up at Walmart: turkey bacon, turkey burgers, mini rice cakes (my alternative to chips), eggs, some Diet Coke (a little treat for me), Pepsi (treat for my hubby and kids), and some small tinfoil containers with lids to pack my veggies in.  When I got home, I pre-cooked the turkey bacon and burgers so it’d be easy to heat up while on the road.  Then I prepared three of the tin-foil bowls with my diced veggies so they’d also be ready to go.  In my cooler, I packed these things along with a few eggs, coffee creamer, yogurt, lettuce, and feta cheese.  I also brought along my rice cakes, tortilla strips (in case I want a salad – they add the perfect crunch!), and some almonds to snack on.

Food prep underway!

Food prep underway!

I pre-portioned all my diced veggies for a quick and easy meal

I pre-portioned all my diced veggies for a quick and easy meal

Lunch: I had to grab lunch on the fly today so I quickly grabbed the leftover sweet potatoes and chicken from my fridge.  Admittedly, I kind of over-cooked the potatoes so they weren’t as good as usual and even the chicken wasn’t hitting the spot but I ate it anyway so I wouldn’t be hungry.  I had one last piece of watermelon in my fridge so I figured I’d eat it up so it didn’t go bad while we were away but unfortunately it was already losing it’s ripeness.  I ate about half of it and tossed the other half.  I grabbed a bottle of water and raced out the door to a couple of appointments I had scheduled for this afternoon.


Pretty unsatisfying lunch but it held me over until dinner.

Pretty unsatisfying lunch but it held me over until dinner.

After a very busy afternoon of errands, appointments, and packing we were just about ready to hit the road.  Since I wanted something quick for dinner and had pretty much already cleaned out the fridge, I decided to grab something on the road.  Before doing this though, I spent some time (while sitting at the hairdresser’s this afternoon!) to scroll through my Weight Watchers app so that I could make an informed choice.  I had considered Subway (pretty safe bet for eating healthy if you are careful not to add to many sauces and cheeses), but then decided I wanted something hot, so went to Wendy’s instead.  There, I ordered an Ultimate Grilled Chicken sandwich (8 points), a kids’ order of fries (6 points) and a small Diet Coke (0 points) for a total of 14 points.  Yes, that’s pretty high for dinner but compared to a lot of things I could have had at a fast-food restaurant it was actually pretty decent!  Some of the sandwiches alone are over 20 points!  Plus, the burger was a significant size so I knew it’d keep me full long enough.

After our quick dinner, we hit the road and arrived at Mom & Dad’s about 8 p.m tonight.  As soon as we got inside, I could smell something baking!  It turns out, Mom had just taken fresh banana bread out of the oven!  Not that I need to say any more than that, but I don’t ever bake at home so having fresh-baked anything from the oven is a real treat!  I had one piece and estimated it to be about 6 points, putting me at a total of 37 points for the day.

Workouts:  Unfortunately, I didn’t do any workouts today.  I had planned to go to Zumba but then slept in too late and wouldn’t have had time to get all my other errands done.  I’m a bit disappointed in myself for not making time for it but also realize that these things happen so not really dwelling on it.

Okay, it’s off to bed I go so that I can be well rested for the weekend’s adventures!  I will try to update while we’re gone but if I don’t get a chance then you’ll hear from me on Monday when we get back (including everything we did and everything I ate!)  Happy Long Weekend, everyone!

23 days down, 7 days to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Twenty

First of all, let me say that I can’t believe I only have ten days left to complete my 30-day program!  When I started I wasn’t really sure if I’d be able to stick with it, but now twenty days in, I know with confidence that I will have no problem finishing!  For those of you who have been following you know the last few weeks haven’t been “perfect” but I have made a lot of changes to my diet, have tracked every single day in my food journal, and most importantly, have made conscious and mindful decisions about what I am going to eat (rather than just eating mindlessly as I did for so long!)

All that being said, I have to be honest and admit that I had another slip-up last night.  After I finished my blog entry for the day, I was feeling hungry and wanted a snack.  When I looked in the cupboard to see what I could have, I spotted the nearly-empty bag of Miss Vickies Salt and Vinegar chips my daughter had left there over the weekend.  I couldn’t resist, I ate them.  I just wanted to eat something junky so badly! I felt slightly guilty afterwards but man, those chips were good.  I estimated the chips to be about 7 points (there really weren’t a lot left) which put me at 40 total for the day.  Ugh.

Out for a walk today

Out for a walk today

Anyway, in addition to that, today is one of those days where I am feeling a little resentful and bitter that it takes so much work on my part to lose weight.  This a feeling I experience often when I’m trying to eat healthy and stay committed to my workouts.  I normally try not to compare myself to others but at times I just can’t help but wish I could be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and still maintain a healthy weight.  I know, I know, just because some of these people are thin does not necessarily mean they are “healthy”, but I still really wish I could eat a little less healthfully and stay thin.  I wish I could eat things like pizza, bread, desserts, and chips and not get fat.  But my unfortunate reality is that I can have those things – it just has to be in really, really limited ways.  Sigh.  I have to accept that my genetic makeup is prone to carrying extra fat and that if I don’t want to be overweight, it will require hard work (at least  until I get some healthy habits established, then hopefully it will at least get slightly easier!)  But that doesn’t mean I won’t have days where I just resent that fact.  A day like today for instance.

Anyway, that little rant is over (although if you can relate it’d be great to hear from you in the comments!  I am sure I am not the only person who has ever wished they could eat anything and stay skinny!). Here’s how Day 20 (wow!) has gone so far:

Breakfast:  I slept in this morning and didn’t feel that hungry when I woke up so I lounged around for about an hour before I made my fried egg, turkey bacon, and sweet potatoes for breakfast.  The weird part is that I actually felt more hungry after I ate (really have no idea why this would be!)  Since I was already at 9 points (which is pretty high for breakfast), I decided to just drink some water and see if I could wait it out a bit before eating anything else.

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Workout 1:  To distract myself from wanting to eat, I decided to head out for a walk with my dog before the rain rolled in.  We went to our favourite walking route – a 2.5 km trail around a little lake just a five -minute drive from my house.  On the drive over, I was feeling really sluggish and cranky.  Despite having protein and carbs at breakfast, I will still feeling a little hangry (hungry + angry = hangry).  I didn’t want to go for a walk and only went because I knew it would be good for me.  Thankfully, by the time I made it to the lake and got going I felt quite a bit better. Although it was pretty humid there was a nice breeze and getting out to walk felt good again after not having done it for a few days.

Pretty scenes from today's walk

Pretty scenes from today’s walk

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Snack:  When I got home about 40 minutes later, I was craving watermelon really bad (probably a tad dehydrated after my walk) so I ate 2 huge chunks of it and then chugged some cold water.  I am super picky when it comes to watermelon (it has to be sweet enough, crisp enough, and cold enough!) but I have discovered recently that the mini watermelons are usually much sweeter and juicier than the large ones! I usually buy one a week and cut it into 4-5 chunks.  It’s such a great snack because all fruits are 0 points on Weight Watchers!

My one and only favourite fruit!

My one and only favourite fruit!

Lunch:  After having the watermelon, I didn’t feel hungry anymore so I was able to get a few things done around the house before lunch.  I even started planning and prepping for school! (Mostly just organizing my computer files, updating my class lists, and working on my timetable but still, I’m a geek, and it was loads of fun!) After driving my daughter to work, I was getting pretty hungry so I warmed up a leftover grilled turkey burger, sautéed my usual vegetables and sprinkled them with feta cheese for an easy, 3-point lunch!    Not too long after I ate lunch, I was craving something cold and chocolate so I had 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

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After lunch, I continued working on my school stuff.  By late afternoon, I had a slight headache so I decided to make a coffee since I hadn’t had one yet today.  I used my usual 4 tbsp of French-Vanilla cream and sipped my coffee while I finished organizing my files.

Dinner:  At lunch time, I had put a whole chicken in the crockpot (I buy the small ones at Walmart – they can feed about 3-4 people). I put about an inch of chicken broth in the bottom of the pot and cooked it on low all day for a nice, juicy chicken for dinner!  Before removing it, I sprinkled it with some Montreal Chicken Spice (which I had forgotten to do earlier).  On the side, I made my version of a Taco salad – mixed greens, romaine lettuce, green onions, red/yellow/green peppers, a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, light Italian dressing, and broken up Southwestern tortilla strips (I found them near the salad dressing with other “salad toppers” and they add the perfect crunch and flavour to my salad!)  My son loves chicken legs and wings so it works out perfectly since I prefer the breast (also I remove the skin before eating it).  I estimated my dinner to be about 7 WW points.

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It’s now late evening and I am starting to get pretty hungry again.  I am thinking I will have some almonds and vanilla yogurt for a snack.  I don’t have much planned for the rest of my evening except watching the Jays game, checking out social media, and reading (currently: Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis).  After my snack, I will be at a total of 31 points, with 3 earned activity points, which leaves me at 28 total for the day.  Tomorrow is my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh-in!  Fingers crossed!

20 days down, 10 to go!

 

 

30-Day Plan: Day Nineteen

Last night while scrolling through Instragram, I came across this post from a fitness blogger I follow:

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I couldn’t have identified more with what she had to say after the kind of week I’ve had.  I especially liked the part where she commented about not killing her workouts, but still doing them and about not eating the best every day but still giving it an effort.  That’s definitely how my week went and although I was a little bummed about it, I am certainly not feeling guilty or angry with myself either.  As I mentioned in a previous post, had it not been for my 30-day commitment to myself my week likely would have been a lot worse than it was.  Sure, I didn’t eat as well as I would have liked and I went above my points several days, but I was still conscious of everything I ate and made efforts to do as well as I possibly could given the circumstances.  I think this will be key in my weight loss journey, especially as I struggle to find balance between eating right and treating myself.  I have to accept that there will be days where there will be a wrench thrown into my plans and that once in awhile, it’s okay if I just go with it.  But then I also have to remember that once I’ve indulged, I have to get right back on track as soon as possible.  I have to stay conscious of my choices and make sure I am making mostly right ones.  For me, it’s all too easy to slip right back into old, unhealthy habits.  Either way, what @mysweatlife had to say really resonated with me and it helps a lot to know that there are others out there leading fit, healthy lifestyles but still struggling with the same challenges as me.  Here’s today:

 Breakfast:  I know I am supposed to have healthy fat, protein, and carbs at every meal so today I added some leftover sweet potato hash to my usual fried egg and turkey bacon (2 slices).  The only mistake I made at breakfast was that I forgot to drink my water so after when I headed out to run some errands, I started to get a headache which I am pretty sure was caused by not hydrating.

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After breakfast, I went to our local market and picked up some fresh produce – watermelon, peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, scallions.  I also grabbed a whole chicken (to cook tomorrow in the crock pot) and some more turkey bacon.  When I got home, I made a coffee with 4 tbsp of French-Vanilla cream (I really have to start cutting back on the cream!) and sat down to enjoy the Blue Jays game.

Snack:  Towards the end of the game, I was feeling like a snack so I munched on Quakers Mini Crispies dill pickle rice cakes for a total of 4 points and drank some more water.

Workout:  Although I didn’t have an actual workout today, I did clean my entire house and all that scrubbing, polishing, and mopping did get my heart rate up and a bit of sweat going!  Even Weight Watchers acknowledges housework as activity points and my hour or so of cleaning today earned me about 6 of them.

Dinner:  After cleaning, my husband grilled up some delicious strip loin steaks for dinner.  Although he made me a pretty big one, I only had half and gave the other half to my son.  With the steak, we had Caesar salad (made from a kit purchased at Walmart) and I sautéed some mushroom, zucchinis and onions.  A very delicious dinner for about 9 WW points.

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This evening my husband is watching The Revenant and I’m half-watching (this movie is intense!) while also checking out social media. I just enjoyed 3/4 cup chocolate frozen yogurt and am now at a total of 33 points for the day.  With the 6 activity points I earned, that puts me at a total of 27.

This frozen yogurt is a great alternative to ice cream!

This frozen yogurt is a great alternative to ice cream!

Tomorrow I am two-thirds of the way through my 30-day plan!  It’s hard to believe I have come this far already.   It hasn’t been as “perfect” as I had hoped it would be but it also hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be either.  In fact, I am still feeling very proud and excited about the changes I have made since the beginning of this month!  Weigh-in was cancelled last week, but I go again on Tuesday and although I know the number on the scale isn’t everything, I am still hoping to see some results!

19 days down, 11 to go!