30-Day Plan: Day Ten

Wow, Day 10 is finally here and I am officially one-third of the way through my 30-day plan!   I really can’t tell you guys how excited I am by that!  I’m headed out on my weekend camping trip pretty soon but we’re still waiting on my husband to get home from work so I figured I’d write a quick update about how today has gone so far!

Breakfast:  I returned to my typical breakfast today – 1 fried egg and 3 slices of turkey bacon.  I also pre-cooked another package of turkey bacon which I am bringing camping with me this weekend!  Pre-cooking makes breakfasts so quick and easy because I often wake up pretty hungry (especially since I’m snacking a lot less at night!) I also had a coffee with 5 tablespoons of French-Vanilla cream (don’t judge me, I counted the points!)

Workout:  Okay, so this heading really shouldn’t be here because I did not work out today. I had planned to do my Jillian Micahels DVD this morning but when I got up, I just wasn’t feeling it.  I made the excuse that I had a lot to do but really that’s all it was, an excuse, because I actually had more than enough time to workout today and do the tasks that needed to be done.  That’s okay though because I’ve worked out every day this week and I definitely believe in rest days.  I will make up for it by trying to do a lot of walking and swimming this weekend!

Lunch: Turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed veggies followed by a huge slice of watermelon – keeping things simple! 🙂

Dinner: Since we are headed out right after dinner, I decided to do something quick and easy, and grabbed a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store for dinner.  I had one of the breasts (no skin!) and paired it with a few sweet potatoes (grilled with diced red onions) and my typical sautéed vegetables.  It made for a pretty easy yet satisfying dinner although I am not going to lie, I was super craving pizza for dinner tonight (I even scoped out the frozen pizza aisle in the grocery store!)  It wasn’t that tough to make the right choice though, after reminding myself that there will be lots of opportunity for treats this weekend.  I skipped out on the pizza and grabbed the chicken instead.

Tonight's dinner.

Tonight’s dinner.

So I am currently sitting at 22 points for the day with 8 remaining which should work out good for snacks around the campfire tonight!  Time to go load up the car and get moving – the great outdoors is waiting!   Have a great weekend everybody – you’ll hear from me soon!

10 days down, 20 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Nine

 


Ok guys, I can not believe that I am almost a third of the way into my 30-day commitment!  Nine days and still going strong. Truthfully writing daily updates here is part of what’s kept me going.  I guess in a way it’s a form of accountability.  Plus I’ve got a few people who comment regularly and are giving me suggestions and encouragement which is really appreciated!  (Thanks guys!)

As I was walking the other day, I started to consider if I should change the format of my posts about my 30-Day Plan.  I thought about whether or not I should put more or less photos, whether I should make my posts shorter and less detailed, and even whether I should post a question asking what people would like to see more (or less) of.  But then, I quickly realized that pleasing other people is not the reason for this blog.  Sure, I want people to read it, and comment and share their support and suggestions.  But if they don’t that’s okay too.  Because the purpose of writing about my weight loss journey is partly to inspire others, but more importantly, to keep myself accountable.  With that being said, here’s Day 9.

Breakfast: Surprise!  I tried something different for breakfast today!  Instead of my usual turkey bacon and fried egg, I was really craving toast so I made one slice of multigrain toast and had 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on it.  I had 1/3 cup of vanilla yogurt on the side. I was a little surprised to find that this breakfast actually held me over for about four hours before I started feeling hungry for lunch.  Looks like I may have another safe option on the days when I don’t feel like bacon and eggs.

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Workout 1:  I only did one workout today which was a Zumba class at my gym.  It was pretty cardio intensive and I had a very good sweat going by the time it was done!  What I enjoy about Zumba though is the great music and the fact that you get to dance!  The routines are fairly easy to pick up because the choreography is simple and repetitive.  If you’ve never tried Zumba and enjoy dancing, I highly recommend It! This 50-minute workout earned me 7 WW activity points!

Lunch: When I got home from the gym, I was actually craving my typical lunch of turkey burger, feta cheese, and sautéed veggies.  I still can not get over how delicious this simple and healthy meal is!  I followed it with another giant piece of juicy and sweet watermelon, and some more water.

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It was a rainy afternoon so I spent most of it on the couch reading (FYI: The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis is a truly enjoyable and entertaining fictional read about life in Canadian politics!) While I read, I enjoyed a coffee with 5 tablespoons of French-vanilla cream.  Yes I know, 5 tablespoons is a lot of cream but I figured since I was only at 9 points after lunch, I could spare five more for the simple pleasure of a deliciously sweet coffee.

In between all the rain, I noticed these darlings blooming in the backyard!

In between all the rain, I noticed these darlings blooming in the backyard!

Dinner: I finally used up the last of my chicken tonight and made another Chicken Taco Salad (same as before: mixed greens, romaine, peppers, onions, chicken, shredded cheddar, a few flavoured tortilla chips, and a bit of light Italian dressing).  It was a bigger portion than usual tonight so it came in at about 10 points instead of 7.  That still put me at 24 points so I decided to indulge my chocolate craving after dinner with 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

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It’s now nearly 9 p.m and I’ve still got 2 WW points left to reach my target for the day.  I am not sure yet what I will have for a snack – I am thinking maybe a few almonds.  In the meantime, I am still continuing to prepare for this weekend’s camping trip (I head out tomorrow night).  I’m planning on bringing my usual foods:  eggs, turkey bacon, coffee, loads of water, turkey burgers, chicken, diced vegetables, mixed greens and lettuce, watermelon and am going to throw in some treats like Quaker Mini Crisspie rice cakes and Breton BBQ cracker chips (I’m hoping the latter two will help me overcome the temptation to eat chips which I know will be on hand!) I’ve also saved all my bonus points so I might be able to indulge in a cheat meal or two, like pancakes or a hotdog cooked on the fire!  I also plan to bring my food journal with me – writing everything down not only helps to keep track of my daily points but also helps me to make better decisions about what I am eating.   Finally, I hope to be a little more active this weekend than I normally am when I go camping.  The park I am going to has lots of interesting hiking trails and a great beach so I’ll make efforts to get some activity in as well.  Finally, I’m most looking forward to being with my family and enjoying the great outdoors! (I will update the blog when I get home to let you know how it all went!)

9 days down, 21 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Eight

Well the first day of the second week of my plan is here and I am not going to lie, it was a bit tough.  I finally woke up a bit earlier than usual (I’ve been sleeping in way too much lately!) and woke up feeling hungry right away.  It was a sign for the rest of the day because I’ve kind of felt hungry all day.  I’ve been very tempted several times to eat something unhealthy and have had to very consciously tell myself no.  The biggest reason I didn’t allow myself to indulge too much today is because I’ve got a camping trip planned for the weekend and I know I will need all of my bonus points to make it through the weekend successfully.  Anyway, all this being said, here’s what today has been like:

Breakfast:  As I already mentioned, I felt hungry as soon as I woke up this morning.  I made my typical fried egg and turkey bacon (3 slices).  I’ve still yet to try anything else for breakfast although I’ve got a recipe for homemade granola and a few other suggestions to try!  I’m also struggling with trying to figure out how to incorporate some healthy carbs into my breakfast (especially seeing as I don’t like most fruits).  In fact, I’m not really sure what constituents healthy carbs at all so that is something I am going to look into.  Suggestions welcome!

Breakfast. Need some ideas for healthy carbs.

Breakfast. Need some ideas for healthy carbs.

 

Workout 1: Today was another one of my favourite classes at my local gym – power yoga.  This class is similar to the gentle yoga class I do but it’s a little tougher and involves more flow through the movements.  The nice thing about today’s class was that there were only two of us in attendance so the instructor took the opportunity to make corrections on our poses (I really had no idea my shoulders were that hunched in my downward dog!) I left the class feeling strong, as well as deeply relaxed and energized all at the same!

After the lunch, I went to a very fun place – the public library!  I absolutely love strolling through the rows and rows of books searching for titles that catch my attention.  I only made it through half the stacks today and already had four books piled in my arms so I figured that would keep me busy for a while.  Plus, my parking meter was running out and I was pretty hungry, so I checked out my books and left.  As I got into my vehicle, I remembered that Pita Pit was close by.  I suddenly started to crave a pita (I haven’t had one in forever!) I seriously considered grabbing a chicken pita for lunch but decided to quickly use the WW app first, to check the points.  Although I couldn’t find the exact pita on the app, I was able to estimate that the pita would be at least 12 points (or more).  I decided to skip on the pita and headed home to make a healthier (and cheaper!) lunch instead.

Can't wait to read these!

Can’t wait to read these!

Lunch:  To keep things simple I decided to repeat yesterday’s chicken taco salad.  The only thing I did different today was I didn’t heat up the chicken and peppers (the chicken was cooked and leftover from dinner the other night).  Yesterday, I found that the warm chicken made my lettuce warm so I opted to keep it cold today.  In case you missed it yesterday, here’s my version of the taco salad:  In a salad bowl, I combined mixed greens, diced red/green/yellow peppers, diced red onions, a tablespoon of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of flavoured tortilla strips, and some diced chicken.  I added a dash of light Italian dressing for flavour and the salad was so yummy that I ate the whole thing today (WW points value = 7).  After lunch, I was still feeling hungry, so I indulged in 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

Delicious chicken taco salad

Delicious chicken taco salad

Dinner:  I hadn’t planned dinner tonight but seeing as I still had some leftovers and veggies in the fridge and I was only cooking for myself, I figured I would just throw something together.  But by the time dinner rolled around, I really had to spend some time contemplating what to have.  For some reason, I was really craving carbs tonight – bread, tortillas, pasta – anything.   Seeing as I haven’t had any of those in over a week now I decided it’d be fair game to whip up some pasta as long as I watched my portion.  One of my favourite summer meals is pasta salad so I decided to make one of these.  I cooked some bow tie pasta and then added my peppers, red onions, a bit of feta cheese, and some light Italian dressing (normally, I would have added cucumber too but I didn’t have any on hand).  Seeing as 1 1/4 cup of the pasta came out to 9 points, I figured if I had only 3/4 cup that would equal about 5 points.  I carefully measured out the right portion (with the feta and dressing my portion of salad came in at 7 WW points). Since I wanted to add some protein to my meal, I grilled up a turkey burger and ate it plain on the side.  After, for dessert, I enjoyed a big piece of juicy watermelon.

I love pasta salad.

I love pasta salad.

 

Sadly, this is the only fruit I enjoy. But it's in season and delicious right now!

Sadly, this is the only fruit I enjoy. But it’s in season and delicious right now!

Workout 2: We had another softball game tonight.  Sometimes softball can be pretty inactive (if you strike out or if no balls get hit to you) but tonight I had to run the bases a few times (once even all the way from first to third – that may not sound like much but when you’re sprinting as fast you can, it sure gets the heart rate up fast!). So fortunately, our game tonight was a little more of a workout than it sometimes can be.  The best part about playing softball?  It’s always fun to get out, see friends, and socialize.

Snack:  By the time I got home from playing ball, I was getting quite hungry again (even though I had drank a lot of water during the ball game).  After my pasta salad at dinner, I was already at my targeted 30 points for the day.  The whole drive home I pondered about what I could have for a low-points snack that would keep me as close to 30 as possible.  To be honest, when I got home, I really just wanted to rip open the fridge or cupboards and eat just about anything.  I considered crackers and guacamole, whole-grain toast and peanut butter, cereal and milk, and a range of other snacks.  And I’ll admit, while I considered what to have, I mindlessly shoved a few multigrain crackers down my hatch!   Finally I decided to have 1/3 cup of Source vanilla yogurt and some almonds.  Ahhh, almonds.  Here’s where I need to rant for a minute.  Okay, I get that almonds are high in calories and fat.  But they are full of healthy fats, protein, and have no sugar.  Here’s my question than: Why are they so bloody high in WW points?  (1/3 cup = 10 points!)  As I mentioned in a previous post, I believe that every “diet” program has its flaws and I would like to argue that this is one for Weight Watchers (that, and the fact that a diet pop is 0 points, but that’s a rant for another day).  It really frustrates me that almonds are so high in points despite their health benefits.  Then again, unless I was eating mindlessly, I really don’t see myself eating 1/3 cup of almonds in one sitting.  I did some simple math and figured out that I could have about 12 almonds for 3 points.  Not bad at all.  Okay, rant over.  So tonight’s snack was vanilla yogurt with almonds for a total of 5 WW points.

This tasty snack kept me within my points

This tasty snack kept me within my points

So now that the day is said and done, I am pretty happy with how it turned out considering I found today pretty tough from the beginning. I am so happy I did not act on a whim and eat mindlessly but instead thought consciously and carefully about my food decisions!  I still think that is so key in my success.  Taking those few minutes to consider options carefully makes all the difference when it comes to eating better.  And although I did finish the day 5 points over my daily target, I don’t really feel guilty because I’ve been earning activity points each day that I haven’t been using (on WW, physical activity earns you points, just like eating uses points.  Some people choose to “eat” their activity points but, until today, I haven’t done so).  Today I earned 11 activity points and only “ate” 5 of them, so altogether I still consider today to be another success!

8 days down, 22 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Seven

Well, it’s officially been one week!   I am so happy with my progress and, more importantly, with how I am feeling.  It’s truly amazing how after just one week of being “on-plan” your whole mindset can change. Just a week ago, I thought the new Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale program was impossible for me.  I thought I’d never be able to eat within my points target.  I believed that I had too far too go and would never get to the so-called “finish line” or my goal weight.  But now, not only have I proved to myself that it is possible to eat within my points, but more importantly, I feel like I can (and will) get to where I want to be.  Before I truly got started, it all seemed so overwhelming (for those of you who don’t know,  in the past I lost 65 lbs and then gained it all back.) For far too long, I beat myself about “failing” and ending up back at square one. I was consumed with how to get back to where I was when I was 65 lbs lighter.  I wanted answers to how and why I failed so I would not let it happen again.  Most importantly, I wanted to be 130 lbs again, now.

But now that I feel like I’ve truly got the ball rolling on healthy habits again, I can honestly say that my mindset is becoming so positive, that I am not focussing so much on the end result.  My primary focus right now is my commitment to myself to follow this plan for 30 days.  I’m taking it day by day until I get there and then will decide what I will do (I’m hoping by then that I’ll have a lot of new healthy habits that will stick).  So yes, I am saying things to myself like “No, I can’t have that” and “That’s not on my plan” but because I know it’s only for 30 days, it doesn’t feel like such a deprivation. If I were saying that to myself about certain foods and the timeline was that I could never eat that again, I’d become overwhelmed and resentful and want to quit.  So all in all, I’m focussing on this 30-day commitment to jump start some healthy habits, to “train” my brain to crave healthier foods, and to develop a positive and confident mindset that will stick around for the long haul.

Here’s what Day 7 has looked like.

Breakfast:  I have truly mastered the cooking of fried eggs now!  This morning’s egg was so delicious.  I paired it with my usual 3 slices of turkey bacon.  I really can’t believe how much I don’t miss milk in the morning.  For my entire life, I’ve had a glass of milk with breakfast every day.  Now in an entire week, I think I’ve had one glass of milk. I still crave sugary cereals some mornings but, like the milk, I’ve only had Cheerios once this week!  I consider that a success 🙂

Tried and true :)

Tried and true 🙂

 

Workout 1: Despite a heat warning, there was a really strong breeze, so I took my fur-baby and we headed out for our usual 2.5 km around the lake.  That breeze certainly helped because the humidity was insane!  I had to stop several times to give Tucker some water.  It’s safe to say I had a decent sweat on by the time we were done.  Eventually once the heat passes a bit, I hope to start doing two laps around the lake for a total of 5km.

Love walking here

Love walking here

Lunch: I finally decided to try something different for lunch today since I wasn’t really feeling like my typical turkey burger and veggies.  I had some leftover BBQ chicken in the fridge so I sliced some of that up and threw it in a pan with red/green/yellow peppers, a bit of olive oil, and some light taco seasoning.  In a salad bowl, I combined mixed greens, a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons of flavoured tortilla strips, and then the chicken and peppers mixture.  I poured a tiny bit of Kraft light Italian dressing on it, and voila!  A pretty yummy chicken taco salad for lunch (for a total of 7 WW points).  I also had a huge piece of watermelon to cool off from the humidity, and of course, drank tons more water.

Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Taco Salad

This pizza has been in my fridge for a few days and I've managed to avoid it by hiding it behind the spinach! 😂

This pizza has been in my fridge for a few days and I’ve managed to avoid it by hiding it behind the spinach! 😂

Workout 2:  I love Tuesdays because there’s an awesome gentle yoga class at my gym that I love.  This class is so peaceful, quiet, and relaxing.  We do a lot of basic yoga poses (downward dog, tree, Warriors), but the flow is really slow, and well, gentle.  Today there was some really calming and beautiful music playing with birds singing in the background that made me feel like I was doing yoga in the rainforest.  Although gentle yoga is not a super strenuous workout, there is definitely some strength training involved, but more importantly, it feels so good on my body and my mind.

I love yoga

I love yoga

After the gym, I made a quick stop at our local market to pick up some more fresh vegetables and fruits.  This place has the best produce and just being in there makes me want to eat healthy!  I considered picking up something new to try but in the end stuck with my personal favourites: mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, romaine lettuce, baby spinach, mixed greens, and watermelon (I’ve been buying the small ones, they tend to be a lot sweeter!)

Dinner:  I only had to cook for myself tonight so to keep things easy I resorted back to my turkey burger, feta cheese and veggies.  Before making dinner though, I pre-chopped all the veggies so they’d make cooking this week easier and simpler.  Tonight, for a little treat after dinner, I had 1/2 cup chocolate frozen yogurt.

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Later on tonight, I decided to head to Wal-mart to pick up a few things (including some grocery items).  Have you ever made the mistake of going to the grocery store while being hungry?  Let me tell you, it is not easy to avoid temptations!  I can’t tell you how many different things I actually had in my hand before I decided to play it safe and put it back!   It was definitely pretty tough but I am proud to say, I only bought what was on my list!  That being said, I did pick up a few “treats” for the camping trip I am going on this weekend.  I am already starting to worry about this trip because for me, camping is always associated with eating junk food (hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, pancakes – you name it!)  I know that the temptation to indulge is going to be huge this weekend so I picked up some Quaker Mini rice cakes (dill pickle flavour) and some BBQ cracker chips.  I am hoping these alternatives will satisfy me while everyone else around me is eating chips!

Snack: When I finally got home, I was able to have a snack.  I still had 7 WW points remaining to meet my daily target and still had 21 bonus points left over for the week (Weight Watchers allots 49 “bonus” points per week for special occasions and for “treat” meals).  Even though Quaker Harvest Crunch is 9 points for only 2/3 cup it is really good in yogurt.  Since I found this Source vanilla yogurt which is only 1 point for 1/3 cup, I decided to treat myself for a total of 1o points!  This put me over my daily points by 3, but as I mentioned I still had “bonus” points left so I can officially say I stayed within all my points now for an entire week!   That’s something worth celebrating!

This cereal is high in points so I consider it s "treat".

This cereal is high in points so I consider it a “treat”.

 

 

 

7 days down, 23 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Six

Today is weigh-in day and I am feeling pretty excited!  I am definitely expecting to see some results on the scale tonight.  I am still shocked that I have been able to stick to my plan for six straight days now.  I have struggled for months to get back on track, and I am not sure what happened last week, but something just clicked.  Admittedly, not working right now makes it a lot easier.  I basically have no schedule so lots of time to plan, prep, cook, and work out.  I am already a little nervous about how this lifestyle will jive once I start working full-time again but for now I am just trying to focus on the present and work on instilling good habits. Before I go off on a tangent though, I do want to say that I know the number on the scale isn’t everything.  I will not be disappointed tonight if the loss isn’t as big as I am expecting because I feel incredible in so many other ways.  I have done this journey before and I know that the internal transformation often comes before the external.  The pride, excitement, and confidence I have felt this week are exactly the reasons I need to be doing this – the slimmer, trimmer body will come in time.  That being said, here’s how today went down:

Breakfast:  1 fried egg, 3 slices turkey bacon, water ~ followed shortly after by coffee with French-Vanilla-flavoured cream.  I’m still working on cutting back the cream in my coffee (mostly due to its high sugar content) but for now I’m just being sure to measure the cream carefully so I don’t overdo it.  I really see this simple cup of joe as a special treat to get my day started but with time I do hope that I can wean myself off the sweet cream.

This is quickly becoming my typical breakfast

This is quickly becoming my typical breakfast

Workout:  I really wasn’t feeling like working out today.  I procrastinated forever on the couch scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and watching HGTV for as long as I possibly could.   I knew I would regret it though if I didn’t workout and I reminded myself that this is only a 30-Day commitment (for now).  Plus, the DVD I had planned on doing is only 25 minutes long so I knew that I could get through that.  I hauled myself off the couch, laced up my Nikes and headed down to the basement where I completed Week 1 of Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30 DVD. This is the same workout I did last week but I love that it’s short but intense.  In just 25 minutes, the DVD guides you through a variety of exercises that works multiple muscle groups at once for maximum fat burn.  Trust me, this workout is not easy (at least, not for me).  I still have to make a few modifications to some of the moves (even though Jillian says not to) but it feels so good to be getting back into these kind of workouts!

Level 1 kicked my butt today!

Level 1 kicked my butt today!

This guy was disappointed we didn't go walking today but the humidity was crazy!

This guy was disappointed we didn’t go walking today but the humidity was crazy!

Lunch:  Grilled turkey burger, 1 tablespoon of feta cheese, and grilled veggies with 1/2 cup of Chapman’s chocolate frozen yogurt for dessert.

My typical lunch.

My typical lunch.

Dinner:  1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast grilled on the barbecue with a bit of Montreal Chicken spice, my version of Greek salad (mixed greens, red/green/yellow peppers, red onions, feta cheese, and Kraft Greek dressing, and a large slice of watermelon for dessert.

I finally learned how to grill a perfect piece of chicken!

I finally learned how to grill a perfect piece of chicken!

Workout 2:  1 hour, 15 minutes softball game

Snack: When I got home from my ball game I was feeling quite hungry and still had 5 WW points left so I decided to have a snack.  After some consideration, I decided to have some Greek yogurt and granola (or cereal in this case, since I didn’t have any granola on hand).  I was surprised that Greek yogurt is pretty high in points (5 points for 3/4 cup) so I carefully measured out just 1/4 cup (I used a small Tupperware dish to make it appear that the quantity was more than it actually was).  I used Harvest Crunch cereal which is also very high in points (9 points for 2/3 cup) but measured out 1/3 of a cup and added it to my yogurt for a total of 6 points!  All in all, it was a very tasty snack.

A somewhat healthy, yet yummy, snack.

A somewhat healthy, yet yummy, snack.

And, of course, since I started writing this post this morning, I’ve attended my Weight Watchers weigh-in and meeting.  I am going to be honest and say that I was slightly disappointed that I was only down 3 lbs.  I had been hoping for closer to five but then again I know the number on the scale is not the end all, be all.  There are so many factors that play into how much you weigh, on any given day, at any given time.  It could be water retention, hormones, the weather… Anything!  All that being said, losing these 3 lbs did bring me to a total of 10 lbs down (since I first started back at WW way back in March!)  I was thrilled about that and even received a snazzy ribbon as a reward from my Weight Watchers leader.

Feeling proud and ready to keep going!

Feeling proud and ready to keep going!

All in all, I am still feeling positive and encouraged.  I know that if I continue with these good habits I am developing that I will see more results!   As I mentioned above, the internal transformation is already taking place.  I feel so happy with my success in staying on plan and can’t believe that it will already be one week tomorrow!

6 days down, 24 to go!

 

30-Day Plan: Day Five

What a beauty of a day!  It was 26 degrees today with no humidity and lots of sun.  It really feels like summer today.  Having the summer off makes it even more amazing.  This morning I slept in, lounged in bed checking Facebook, and then got up and took the rest of the day pretty slowly. Isn’t that what Sunday’s are for?  Here’s how Day 5 has shaped up.

Breakfast:  It was my tried-and-true turkey bacon and fried egg for breakfast this morning (with a little ketchup for dipping). I’m still exploring other options for breakfasts but thanks to some wonderful comments I’ve got a few ideas to try (thank you!) I did cook my egg to perfection this morning though, which made it that much more enjoyable!  As always, I had it with water to drink and then made my coffee (with 2 tbsp of French-Vanilla cream) and lounged around some more.  A nice, easy morning!

My go-to breakfast lately: turkey bacon, egg, water, and coffee

My go-to breakfast lately: turkey bacon, egg, water, and coffee

Workout 1: Shortly after breakfast (which was really more like brunch), I decided to head out to take my dog for a walk.  There’s a pretty lake just a 5-min drive from my house so I’ve been going there lately.  One lap around the lake is about 2.5 km so it’s a quick, easy walk with lots of picturesque scenery and a cute, little beach.  As we were finishing up our walk, the local triathlon was just wrapping up so there were a lot of people out and about and a festive atmosphere close to the beach.  This being said, as I passed the chip hut, I couldn’t help but start to think about burgers and fries.  Then I was thinking of ice cream, and ice cream sandwiches, and iced cappuccinos…. Sometimes even just thinking about these foods make me suddenly start craving them really bad, so I turned my mind to something else and avoided that hurdle!

Beauty day for a walk at the beach!

Beauty day for a walk at the beach!

Lunch/Dinner: Since breakfast had been so late today, my lunch was more like dinner. Can you guess what I had?  Yep, another turkey burger with feta and grilled veggies.  So easy and so delicious and only 3 WW points.  I may never eat a different lunch again!  This time, however, I did have a huge piece of watermelon to go along with it.

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Workout 2: After watching the ball game and having a nice, little visit with a friend, I decided to head back to the lake for another walk with my dog.  We did the 2.5 km lap and then sat on a bench under a tree to relax for a little while.  I just love being outside in the summer!

One of the signs I saw on my walk today - placed there for this morning's triathletes but encouraging nonetheless!

One of the signs I saw on my walk today – placed there for this morning’s triathletes but encouraging nonetheless!

Dinner/Snack:  When I got home from my second walk, I was feeling pretty hungry and craving something sweet so I decided to have 1/2 cup Chapman’s chocolate frozen yogurt.  Yum!  So creamy and delicious and only 4 WW points!  After, I was still feeling hungry.  I was only at 16 points for the day (out of my allotted 30) and it was nearing 7 p.m so I decided to “treat” myself again and had some Multigrain Wheat Thin crackers and guacamole (Holy Guacamole individual-sized packages).  I counted two portions of the crackers which, combined with the guac, added up 9 WW points.  This was probably not the “healthiest” of snacks but I do love some crackers and guacamole (and at least the guacamole has healthy fats, right?)

Eating right out of the measuring cup so I know my exact portion size.

Eating right out of the measuring cup so I know my exact portion size.

This used to be one of my regular not-so-healthy snacks. Now, I consider it a treat due to its higher fat and calorie content.

This used to be one of my regular not-so-healthy snacks. Now, I consider it a treat due to its higher fat and calorie content.

It is now just after 8 p.m and I currently still have 5 WW points left to meet my daily total.  I still can’t believe that just under a week ago I thought it was impossible to meet my points target and now there are days where I have to find something else to eat in order to make it to the target.   After only five days, I already feel like better habits are forming and that I miss some of my favourite junk foods less.  For me, so far, it’s all about waking up each day determined to stay on program and to do my best.  It’s about planning ahead and consciously thinking about my choices before making them.

5 days down, 25 to go!

 

 

30-Day Plan: Day Three

Wahoo!  Day three and I am still on track!  Today, I said no to homemade brownies and avoided the food court while out shopping even though the thought of burgers and fries sounded ah-mazing!  It’s all about the small successes, right?   Here’s how day three has looked:

Veggie and spinach omelette

Veggie and spinach omeletteBreakfast:  In effort to mix in some healthy carbs, I decided to make an omelette for breakfast this morning.  I used 1 whole egg and 1 egg omelette and sprinkled it with salt, pepper, spinach, red onions, peppers and a bit of feta cheese (I’ve been using feta cheese in everything lately because you need very little of it for a lot of flavour!) On the side, I had 3 slices of turkey bacon.  Surprisingly, I didn’t find this omelette near as satisfying as just regular fried eggs so I am going to have to find a few other breakfast alternatives before I get sick of eating a fried egg and turkey bacon every day for breakfast.  I am not a fan of oatmeal and am extremely picky when it comes to fruit so this is going to be a challenge!   I would gladly take any suggestions!  Some ideas I am planning on trying:  whole-grain toast with natural peanut butter and banana slices,  a slice of whole-grain toast topped with guacamole, fried egg, and tomato….  That’s pretty much all I have for ideas and I’m not even sure I’m really going to like either of those so please help me with healthy breakfast ideas!  (And again, please don’t say oatmeal!). Also, as usual, I started chugging my first big bottle of water at breakfast.

 

Breakfast and the first bottle of water for the day

Breakfast and the first bottle of water for the day

Lunch:  My husband and I had errands to run at the mall today.  By the time we were nearly done I was starting to get hungry for lunch. As we strolled past the food court I was so tempted to have a burger and fries but I just kept on walking!  Then as we headed out to our car, Montana’s restaurant loomed across the parking lot and the thought of nachos and fajitas crossed my mind… Yum!  But instead of caving, I hurried home and whipped up a much healthier lunch.  Today I grilled a beef burger and then topped it with a sprinkle of feta cheese and my usual grilled veggies.  After, I had a huge piece of watermelon.

Lunch was so tasty that I ate half of it before I remembered to snap a photo!

Lunch was so tasty that I ate half of it before I remembered to snap a photo!

My husband and I continued to run our errands  after lunch.   At this point, I could feel a bit of a headache coming on (which I am still attributing to my slight caffeine addiction!) so I made a coffee, carefully measured out some French-Vanilla cream, and took my coffee to go while we finished running errands.

Dinner: After all our running around today, by 5 p.m I was feeling pretty hungry!  Luckily, I had put a whole chicken in the crockpot this morning (just a little bit of chicken broth and cook on low for the day – super easy!) I made my version of a Greek salad and ate it with the chicken breast (after removing the skin).  In my salad I included, mixed greens, romaine lettuce, red onions, peppers, feta cheese and light Greek dressing.

My version of a Greek salad.

My version of a Greek salad.

Dessert: I am a huge chocolate lover and haven’t treated myself to chocolate in a few days (and after eating it every day, that’s saying something!) So today after I had cleaned up dinner, I treated myself to 1/2 cup of chocolate frozen yogurt.  I even ate it straight out of the measuring cup so I knew exactly the portion I was eating!  It was cold, creamy, and absolutely delicious!  It definitely satisfied my chocolate craving and for only 4 Weight Watchers points!

Workout 1:  Since it was such a busy day, I only had time for one short workout today but it was definitely an intense one!  I swear by any of Jillian Michaels DVDs and own about ten of them! Tonight I did the week 1 workout of the Ripped in 30 DVD and this workout is no joke!  It consists of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minutes of abs and in total there are three different sets.  It’s only a 20-minute workout but I was dripping with sweat and could barely breathe when I was done!   Definitely a great workout!

This workout is short but intense!

This workout is short but intense!

Snack: I’m still in the habit of having a snack in the evening although I am trying to make healthier choices.  Tonight I decided to try a smoothie (I really hate the texture of most fruits so I am trying different ways to consume fruit).  In my blender, I combined 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt,  frozen pineapples, mangoe, and strawberries, and 1/2 a banana. It turned out okay but I still wasn’t really feeling it.  I passed on the smoothie and instead tried 1 slice of whole-grain toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter and a few slices of banana.  Although I wasn’t too crazy about the banana (again with the texture thing), I was able to finish it and the toast and the peanut butter were very satisfying (I am a huge fan of peanut butter and jam, but sadly most store-bought jams have way too much added sugar!)

Last night but not least, another small victory today was that after searching forever for a pair of denim walking shorts, I finally found some today!  The best part?  I bought a size smaller than I would have needed last summer.  Great feeling, am I right ladies?!  It’s all about the baby steps and celebrating small successes along the way!

3 days down, 27 to go!

30-Day Plan: Day Two

First of all, let me say that I am so proud of myself for the success I had yesterday.  I actually came in 3 points under my allotted target for the day and worked out.  Before yesterday, I definitely thought staying within 30 Weight Watchers points was impossible, but now I’ve proved to myself that with some creativity and determination, I can do it!

That being said, I woke up today craving a giant bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (my typical breakfast).  I knew right away that today would be slightly more challenging than yesterday.  And although it has been, I am happy to say that so far so good.   Here’s how today has shaped up.

Breakfast:  Although I was craving sugary cereal, I knew if I started my day off “wrong”, that it would set my whole day off on the wrong foot.  I’m a big creature of habit and when it comes to cooking, I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I repeated yesterday’s breakfast – 1 fried egg, 4 slices of turkey bacon, and a huge bottle of water.  (Normally, I’d drink milk with breakfast but I am trying to drink more water so I’ve been starting as soon as I get up!)

I've been trying to drink three of these bottles a day for a total of 96 oz. of water per day.

I’ve been trying to drink three of these bottles a day for a total of 96 oz. of water per day.

Workout 1:  One of the luxuries of having the summer off is that I can fit in my workout whenever it works for me.  This morning, not long after breakfast I was lounging on the couch and all I could think about was eating.  That, and taking a nap.  But I had planned to check out a noon-hour Zumba class at my gym today and although I still felt really tired, I decided that a workout might actually wake me up and it would distract me from wanting to eat.  So I got up off the couch (not always easy to do), and got my butt to the gym!  And I was pleasantly surprised by this class!  The music was fantastic, the instructor was good, and it definitely elevated my heart rate!  I am not going to lie though.  When I left nearly an hour later, my legs were aching, I was hungry, and I felt really tired. (I thought cardio sessions were supposed to increase energy?)  Oh well, at least I didn’t stay home where I just would have ate and laid on the couch!

Lunch:  By the time I got home from the gym, I was pretty hungry. I used the last leftover turkey burger from yesterday and repeated the same meal again.  I sautéed some peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and red onions in olive oil and put it on top of the burger along with a bit of feta cheese and salt and pepper.  Yum!  Since I was so hungry from my workout, I devoured a huge piece of watermelon while I waited for my veggies to cook, and then because it was so delicious, I ate another huge piece after my burger.  And of course, I drank more water.

My new favourite and so low in WW points!

My new favourite and so low in WW points!

This afternoon, I was still feeling really sleepy.  I realize that after only one day of eating healthy, my energy levels likely won’t be affected, but I also think this is due to the fact that I have been over-sleeping. Last night I went to bed around 11 p.m hoping that it would force my body to wake up early (I hate to have to set an alarm in the summer!) but I still dozed until about 10:30 this morning!  I guess I am going to have to resort to setting an alarm after all, to keep my body on track with its 8-hour-a-night sleep that I typically get.   Anyway, I lounged and dozed a little on the couch this afternoon, but it really only made me feel lazy so I got up and decided to take care of a few of the tasks on my to-do list.  I made a quick coffee and carefully measured out my favourite cream so as not to use too much.  (Side note:  When I am starting to feel hungry, I’ve noticed that if I keep myself busy and distract myself for a little while, I don’t really notice it as much).

Dinner:  Tonight I grilled some pork chops and used just a tiny bit of BBQ sauce for flavour.  I sautéed some more of my favourite veggies (sprinkled with a bit of feta) and this time added a side of sweet potatoes for some healthy carbs (I buy the frozen ones that are sliced into small chips – sautée them in a bit of olive oil and salt and they are delicious!)  I was very surprised at how full I felt after dinner!

This meal was surprisingly filling.

This meal was surprisingly filling.

Workout 2: After dinner tonight, I had a baseball game.  We play in a mixed, softball fun league.  Although there are some pretty good players, it’s pretty casual and mostly everyone is just out to have some fun.  That being said, running those bases can sure give you a quick cardio blast!  And let’s be honest, any form of activity is better than sitting at home on the couch!

Snack:  By 8:30 pm, I still had 8 Weight Watchers points left ( I still can’t believe I have been able to stay under my points!)  Although it wasn’t a healthy snack, I decided to go a bit easy on myself and enjoyed a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (carefully measured so as not to go over proper portion size) and some low-fat milk.   This came to a total of 8 points, which put me exactly at my allotted 30 WW points for the day!

So, all in all, although the morning started off tough, I am very proud that Day 2 was just as successful as the first.  It’s definitely taking a lot of conscious effort on my part.  I have to carefully think about each food and drink before I decide what I am going to have. If I don’t take the time to think about my choices, I end up eating mindlessly and definitely not healthfully.  I’m hoping that eventually I’ll have to think about these things less as they become my new habits.  For now, I am still feeling determined to stay on my new program.  One day at a time 🙂

 

 

 

My 30-Day Plan: Day One

Day One

After last night’s Weight Watchers meeting, I am feeling really motivated to try cleaning up my diet again.  As much as I hate to admit it, there’s no denying that the only way to lose weight and feel better, is to eat more healthfully.

I truly believe that I am a sugar addict.  (I recently read a post online that said sugar is not addictive, I don’t believe that for one second).  I know I am not the only one that can say that once I’ve eaten sugar my body just craves more.  It’s constant, up and down spikes, that literally sometimes make my head spin (in a dizzy, headache-y kind of way) and make me feel lethargic and unmotivated.  Yet, I can’t quit.  The food and drinks I consume that are loaded with sugar are just so…. Delicious.

But that being said, I am so sick and tired of how these unhealthy foods make me feel – low energy, tired, sluggish, and overweight.   As I get older and have fallen back into old habits, I have noticed a significant decrease in my energy levels.  I used to be go-go-go all the time.  Others actually remarked on my high energy levels and asked how I managed to do it.  Deep within me, I know the answer to that question:  I was eating healthfully and was very active. 

Me - healthy and energetic

Me – healthy and energetic

Fitting in activity has never been too much of a problem for me.  Admittedly, I am nowhere near where I used to be activity-wise (high-intensity aerobics, running, weight lifting, playing soccer) but I do enjoy different types of physical activity (walking, playing baseball, yoga, hiking, workout DVDs).  The problem for me has always been eating properly – nourishing my body and giving it what it needs to function to its maximum potential instead of just satisfying my taste buds, emotions, and habits.

Recently, I’ve been feeling quite frustrated over the changes that need to be made in my diet.  I know that I have to just accept that changes need to be made and that if I can stick with it for a few weeks, those changes will become easier and eventually become habits.  But as always, it’s getting started that’s the hardest part.  I dread the thought of eating fruit (I know, it’s weird, but I am totally not a fan!),  of eating salads (I have yet to find one that’s healthy and that I truly enjoy), of eating less carbs (I loooove bread, crackers, cereal, etc.), and of giving up sugary treats (especially the French Vanilla flavoured cream I dump in crazy amounts into my coffee).

But as I said, last night’s meeting, was a bit of a wake up call.  It’s time to accept that the only way to look and feel the way I want to, is to clean up my diet and slowly train myself to eat better.  I am proud to say I woke up today with determination to eat better and to start to learn ways that I can do this.   Here’s how today has shaped up so far:

Breakfast: Rather than start my day with a bowl of sugary cereal as usual, I focussed on incorporating more protein and healthy fats.  I cooked up a fried egg and 4 slices of turkey bacon and started drinking my first huge bottle of water for the day.

Workout 1: I’m totally loving yoga lately (although I’m still definitely a beginner) so I tried a new class at the gym today – power yoga.  My intention for today’s class was to accept my body where it is today.  I’m not going to lie, every day my Instagram is flooded with professional yogis and their incredibly beautiful yoga poses that I can only some day dream of achieving.  But I know my body is just beginning it’s journey so rather than being too hard to on myself I focussed on challenging my body but also accepting it’s limitations.  It turned out to be a great workout!

Lunch: After yoga, I went grocery shopping and stocked up on fruits, vegetables, and other healthy items.   It was one of those rare occurrences where my cart is full of healthy-only items and I’m secretly hoping other people look at its contents with admiration (Am I the only one?)  Some of the things I bought:  salmon, shrimp, Greek yogurt, eggs, unsweetened almond milk, natural peanut butter, and tons of fruit and vegetables.

When I got home, I grilled a turkey burger for lunch.  I sprinkled it with a tablespoon of feta cheese and then covered it in sautéed vegetables.  I was skeptical, but it was seriously delicious!  I continued to drink my water like crazy.

Turkey burger with feta cheese and sautéed veggies.

Turkey burger with feta cheese and sautéed veggies.

After lunch, I decided to try a recipe I saw on television this morning for a homemade “skinny” chocolate shake.  In my blender, I mixed 3/4 cup of chocolate frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 banana, and 1 teaspoon of cocoa.  The texture was creamy and smooth and it tasted pretty good.  However, I am not really a fan of bananas and while I know it added to the creaminess and the sweetness of this drink, the smell and taste of the banana was slightly off-putting.  Still, it is certainly a healthy alternative and something I think I could get used to, to fill that chocolate fix!

I drank half of it before I remembered to take a photo!

I drank half of it before I remembered to take a photo!

Late afternoon:  an hour or so after lunch, I felt the headache start to set in.  I’ve yet to determine if this headache is caused by lack of caffeine or lack of sugar (although I’m leaning towards a bit of a caffeine addiction as I’d just had the healthy shake).  My biggest pitfall with coffee is that I use about 4 tablespoons of French Vanilla cream per 14 oz. of coffee (which essentially makes it one of the sweetest cofees ever!)  I know this is a huge area I need to improve on, so today I made about half the amount of coffee and half the amount of cream.  It was a little less sweet than normal but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I liked that I could taste the actual coffee a little more!

Workout 2:  Late this afternoon, I was feeling pretty tired (it’s a gloomy day today).  I really wanted to curl up with a blanket and take a nap.  But seeing as I had to pick up my daughter close to my regular walking route, I decided to see if taking a walk would actually boost my energy.  Tucker (my dog) and I finished a 2.5 km walk and I am happy to say that I don’t feel nearly as tired now (well, maybe a little bit).  Either way, I am really glad I got in that extra workout as I have promised myself that each day this week, I would go for a walk and incorporate some other kind of workout.

One of my favourite walking routes lately.

One of my favourite walking routes lately.

Dinner:  I know a huge part of eating right is planning ahead, but I totally flaked on planning a healthy dinner today.  So after my walk, I swung by the grocery store and picked up a rotisserie chicken.  I knew I wanted to incorporate veggies into dinner, so I whipped up one of the only salads I actually enjoy – Greek (with a twist – I had forgotten to get cucumbers and don’t really like tomatoes or olives, so I added yellow and red peppers, and red onions to mine with a little feta and low-calorie Greek dressing).  This, paired with the chicken, turned out to be more enjoyable than I had anticipated, although it’s only been just under an hour since I ate it and I am still feeling a little hungry.  Luckily, I still have room for a little snack later on (and I’m still chugging water).

All in all, I am thrilled with how well I did today!  In fact, since joining Weight Watchers about four months ago, this is the first day that I have actually stayed within my allotted 30 points for the day (normally I range anywhere between 40 and up!)  I know every day won’t be this easy but I hope that I can continue to incorporate small, healthy changes each day because small, steady changes always lead to bigger ones! What will be key for me will be to continue trying different things, searching for recipes, and finding healthy alternatives for some of my favourites.

All this being said, while I was walking this afternoon, I realized that it is exactly 30 days until my husband and I leave on our much-anticipated summer vacation (to a friend’s cottage for the weekend, 4 days in Toronto, and then a family camping weekend).  I would love to drop a few pounds  and feel more energetic by the time our vacation rolls around (and I love nice, round numbers like 30), so I have decided to commit to my own 30-day plan.

Here’s my plan…. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

What I Will Do:

– set small goals to focus on each day (as I said before, small changes lead to big ones)   Which could be any / all of the following….

-find ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my daily diet

-find ways to cut back drastically on sugar

-focus on protein, carbs, and healthy fats at each meal/snack

-eat mostly whole foods – fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fat-free dairy, whole grains

-find healthy alternatives for “treats” to make the transition easier

-be mentally prepared to accept that changing my diet will be challenging but that I am up for the challenge!

-be prepared that it will take a significant amount of time to “train my brain” into truly enjoying and craving new, healthier foods

-lean on my loved ones for support

-check out the Weight Watchers online community for ideas and additional support

-continue to walk regularly and incorporate other workouts like yoga, Jillian Micahels DVDS, and baseball

-make time to prep and plan meals

-drink water, water, and more water!

-keep a food journal and track Weight Watchers points

-regularly attend Weight Watchers meetings for accountability, ideas, and support

-accept my body where it is today but also push it to be better

Phew.  Long blog post!  If you actually made it to the end of this, please take a minute and leave a comment to let me know that I have your support!  Positive affirmations are so helpful and greatly appreciated.  I really want to do this.  Day 1 down, 29 to go!

 

 

 

Hot and Miserable: Why Being Overweight in the Summer Sucks

Well it’s been a rough couple of weeks in the “back on track” department.  I haven’t exactly been eating on plan and have been slacking big-time with my workouts.  But today, something happened that has me re-motivated and ready to get back on track, again.

Before I tell you what happened today, let me take you back to a day last summer when I experienced a pretty big wake-up call.  My husband and I were on our annual trip to Toronto to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  Our hotel was located about a 20-30- minute walk from the Rogers Centre where we were going to see our favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays.  Upon arrival at the hotel, we were notified that the elevators were broken and we’d have to carry our luggage up several flights of steep stairs.  This task was so difficult for me (because I had allowed myself to get so incredibly out of shape) that my husband ended up having to carry all of our luggage, while I still struggled to make it up the stairs.  After that fiasco, we set out on foot to head to the Blue Jays game.  Well it was a 40-degree day admist the concrete jungle of Toronto where the humidity rises to well above the actual temperature.  In the air-conditioned comfort of our hotel room, I had foolishly chosen to wear dark denim capris, sandals, and my Jays jersey (made from extremely heavy, non-breathable material!) Let me get to the point, and say that that walk was torture.  I started sweating immediately upon stepping foot outside.  I could feel sweat dripping from everywhere – making my hairline wet, rolling down my back, and soaking my clothes.  I felt terrible.  I hate being hot and throughout that entire walk I was so miserable.  Once we arrived, I made my husband force his way through the packed Jays shop in hopes of finding a lightweight tank I could fit into.  Unfortunately the crowds inside made my condition even more unbearable and we finally opted to just find our seats, which thankfully, were in the shade.

image

All smiles even after I sweated my way to the stadium!

The whole point of this is to say that this experience was a major wake-up call for me.  Summers are hard when you are overweight and out of shape.  Sweating from everywhere makes you feel gross (and you’re probably already struggling with self-acceptance, as I was) and the heat caused by excess body fat, simply makes you miserable. I realized then that had I not let myself get so out of shape both climbing the stairs at the hotel, and walking on a hot summer day, would not have been such miserable tasks.  This revelation, of course, just made me feel more miserable as I began wallowing in frustration and disappointment.

So what does all this have to do with today?  So far it’s been a decent spring.  We’ve had plenty of 20-degree days where it feels amazing to be outside and it makes me feel excited for summer.  But what day did my husband and I choose to leave all of our outside jobs to?  The hottest day of the spring so far.  Today it was 30-degrees and just doing the simplest job (ie. Washing patio furniture) was completely exhausting.  The heat felt unbearable and I wanted nothing more to escape it.  This was frustrating because I had intended to get a whole lot of work done outside today (our yard always needs it badly after a long winter) but I just couldn’t take the heat.  Once again, I came to realize that if I wasn’t so overweight and was eating better and working out more regularly, these sort of tasks probably wouldn’t be so arduous.

But instead of being angry with myself this time (which I am trying hard not to do – although it isn’t easy), I am trying to take this reminder of that terrible day last summer and let it be my motivation.  I am tired of being so miserably hot and out of shape in the summer.  I am tired of not having enough energy and suffering headaches due to bad eating habits.

As of today, our annual Toronto trip is about 10 weeks away. That’s 10 weeks to change my diet and get back to working out.  It’s only been three weeks since I fell off track of my latest attempt and I am determined not to let these three weeks off the wagon become three months.  I understand that I won’t always be “perfect”, but I also have to realize when something needs  to be done, and do something about it.

So, I’m starting with soccer practice tonight.  It’s still extremely hot out and I haven’t played in several years, so I am fully expecting this practice to be brutal.  But I am going to honour where my body is at today, and I am going to push it just a little past where it comfortably wants to go.  That, and I am going to drink lots, and lots, and lots of water.  Wish me luck, I am certainly going to need it!