Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sticking to your resolution

So you made a new years resolution to get healthy right? You said January 1, 2011, i'm going to get healthy and stay healthy and now its almost the end of January - have you stuck to it?

Now, is when most people give up on those resolutions, they haven't been perfect in their food or their workouts so they give up. They have that all or nothing attitude that since they've fallen off the wagon then they can't get back on. If you are that person and you have already given up or decided that it's just not possible to lose weight and be healthy - listen up because it is not all or nothing. Being healthy is a life long journey and it will never end, it doesn't start and stop with a new years resolution, it is about making consistent good choices and picking yourself up when you fall down.

So how are you going to ensure that you stick to your plan and your commitment that you made almost a month ago? Here are a few things that have worked for me for the last three years as I have continued on this journey and not stopped.

#1: Adjust my goals...basically if my new years resolution/goal was I want to lose 60 lbs in 2011 then im going to adjust that into more attainable goals. So instead of I want to lose 60 lbs I would say I want to lose 15 lbs by March 31, 2011, and that will put me on track to get to 60 by the end of the year. To say to yourself that you want to lose 15 lbs is much more realistic than 60, you can actually envision yourself achieving that.
#2: Announce your resolution/goal...tell as many people as you can what you want to achieve, the more people that know, the more you are going to be forced to be accountable for your actions and also be rewarded with positive words from your friends.
#3: Reward's been a month and you've stuck to it, reward yourself - spa day? day off work? whatever works for you but be proud that you've stuck to it for a month

Remember it is not all or nothing, you do not have to start on Monday, you do not have to start the next day, you can start right NOW! Set backs happen, we will all fall off track at some point in our journey but don't allow one set back to stop you from achieving your goal. You control your destiny!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kitchen creations

I have been very good these past few weeks with prepping all my meals for the week on Sunday so that i'm not rushed for dinner or lunches. I had made so much food last week and had some stuff my Mom gave me to try that I really didn't even need to do anything this Sunday, in fact that was my plan. My plan was I was going to work out this morning, go to Re-Bar for my weekly breakfast, come home and do NOTHING. But as I sat on my couch catching up on my PVR and relaxing I was reading all these yummy meals that my fellow Biggest Winner participants were prepping for their week. Inspiration came to me!

I knew I had some veggies in the fridge that were going to go bad in a few days so I chopped them all up, chopped enough for lunches for John and me for Monday and Tuesday and then the rest I was going to cook a big pot of something. Pretty much this is a "whatever I have in my fridge" meal. I had some whole wheat beef tortellini, the veggies and some falafels. I also threw in the rest of a bag of frozen veggies, 6 bean medley, kidney beans and tomato sauce. This was the result...

The tortellini package was 6 servings but the result is about 12 servings of food.

Then I wanted to try this recipe for Flax Bread, mostly again because I actually had all the ingredients.

2 cups ground/milled flax seed
5 egg whites
2 whole eggs
5 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1 tbsp stevia
Optional: Add 1 tbsp of flavor (vanilla or any other flavor/cocoa powder/whatever you like, or just keep plain)
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all dry ingredients together, then slowly add wet ingredients. Whisk everything together well.
Bake for about 30 minutes. May take longer, will come out looking 'not done', but let cool and it will come together. Make sure to keep the remaining bread in fridge, keeps better this way.

Can't say at this point how it tastes, it's still cooling, but it looks yummy and would be good with maybe some hummus on it.

And the third creation....

Fruit Muffins, by Tosca


1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup plain rice or almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1 teaspoon each baking powder and soda
1/2 teaspoon each cloves, cinnamon and allspice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch sea salt
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 egg whites beaten until foamy but not stiff
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 large apple cut into pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line muffin tin with parchment paper liners
3. Place oats in medium prep bowl and pour milk over. Mix and let stand while you make the rest of the recipe.
4. In another medium prep bowl combine flour, ground flax seed, spices, baking powder and soda, lemon zest and salt. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.
5. Put egg whites in mixing bowl and beat until fluffy but not stiff.
6. In small prep bowl mash bananas and add chopped apple. Mix well.
7. In large prep bowl combine flour, soaked oats, egg whites and banana mixture. Add blueberries. Fold until all ingredients are just blended.
8. Spoon into prepared muffin tin.
9. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

The recipe says it makes 12 muffins but I was able to get 16 out of it and I already tried one, SOOOOO Good - this is a repeat for sure and it will be my breaky for the rest of the week, a muffin and some fat free greek yogurt.

So now my freezer is going to be stuffed full, but good, that allows me to focus on what's important - my workouts.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gaining some perspective

Like I said in my last post, i've been having a hard time finding my motivation again, had been feeling pretty down. This morning I was talking myself out of going for a hike up Mt. Doug. What did I have better to do besides sit there and watch my PVR? Nothing! Well as I was sitting here watching a show I had PVR'd last week I got some serious perspective. There is a new show on A&E called Heavy, it is on Mondays at 7PM. They take morbidly obese individuals and teach them how to take back control of their lives. As I watched Jodi who started at 367 lbs 5'6, I saw myself, all these memories came back about what it was like to be that weight. I was just watching this show crying because that was ME!!! I was that girl, I was unhappy and out of control. In Jodi's comments at the end she mentioned that sure she still had hard times, and still struggled, but she was continuing on. Just hearing that and having that connection I reminded myself I WILL NOT GO BACK. I will struggle, I will have off weeks, but I know and believe fully that I will never ever go back. I will never stop trying and I will stay committed and determined.

After watching the show I got myself ready for my walk up Mt. Doug. We had done a Mt. Doug hike in my first Biggest Winner session and I remember it felt impossible. This time we didn't do the trail the whole way up because it was too muddy but we did the trail for the first bit and then the road. I huffed it up that hill with my Mom and didn't even feel like I had to stop. That just shows me how far i've come. And just like every workout I do, I may not have wanted to go but I ALWAYS ALWAYS am glad I went. I huffed it up that hill and we all went back down to meet Aidan who was walking this hill for the first time. I was so proud to see him get to the top. That's the power of motivation and determination, that's the power of our Biggest Winner group. Looking forward to an epic Sunday workout tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What is your story?

Last week I had an individual meeting with Michele, we talked about goals, wants, achievements, but we also talked about "where did your issue come from" and "what is your story". I think this is so important to recognize, I didn't just become unhealthy overnight, this was a process and a result of some painful childhood events. Food was my friend, and my best friend alot of the time. But I haven't really talked about this in a long time so it was deffinitly an emotional conversation. One thing that Michele asked was "what is your story?" So basically, what is that constant in your life that you always go back to when you are struggling. Is it "i'm not good enough" or "i'm stupid" or "i'm ugly"? Each of us have our own "story" which is unique to us and very personal.

I've been thinking alot about my conversation with Michele and reflecting on things that were said. For me I have to say my story is "i'm not good enough". In high school I was definitely not a popular girl, I felt like an outsider. I was trapped in a over 200 lb body with no fashion or style. I had friends, but it felt daily like I was a burden on them or an imposition, like I wasn't truly in the group. Let's just say I was glad to get out of high school and into the real world, but those feelings of always being the odd man out have carried forward in my every day life. Even though I know logically I am smart, driven, pasionate, committed and can do anything I set my mind to, sometimes that voice in my head pops up telling me that i'm not good enough. I know I've gotten alot better at realizing when this is happening and avoiding it, but sometimes it still happens.

I know now that I honestly don't care anymore if someone doesn't like me or doesn't want to be my friend, sure it still hurts, but I don't allow it to consume me like I used to. This comes from feeling confident in who I am, which I definitely wasn't in high school. Slowly but shurly I am working on crushing that "i'm not good enough" story and replace it with a "I can do anything I set my mind to" story.

Think about what your story is, what is that nagging voice saying to you? Now how are you going to change that? Maybe it means writing some key words down to post on your fridge, or an inspirational picture. Find something that will bring you back to your positive side. For me it is writing this blog, it is talking to others about my journey and hoping that they will find inspiration and confidence that they can also do it.

I have been feeling pretty down the last few days and frustrated with my work situation but everyone has reminded me that I can find positivity in my perseverance to continue and inspire others. For now my focus is to be 100% engaged in this Biggest Winners program, to put my career on the backburner and try not to worry about what is going on in that area. It will all come together eventually, for now I just have to be patient.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rewarding Achievement

Wow what a week! Week 2 of the new session and everyone seems so dedicated and determined, it's a whole new vibe and it feels great. Down another 3 pounds this week which means 7 total in the last two weeks, that's almost as much as I lost in the last session. It feels so good that the number is going down and I am so so so so close to seeing that #1 on the scale.

This week my goal was completely non-gym related. I am meeting my fitness, health and food goals every week so why make a goal I am already achieving? My goal this week was to use one of my Groupons/gift certificates, to do something for myself. So me being an all or nothing kinda gal went to triple my goal. First I got my hair cut, well "fixed", as the last person that cut it pretty much butchered it and I just never went back to fix it. Second, I used my Le Spa Siren gift certificate and got a facial today. Third, John and I went out for dinner to Nautical Nellies. It was nice to get my hair fixed, and not have to feel so self conscious about it. The facial was relaxing and lovely.

For everyone on a health journey I think it's important to recognized your little achievements and milestones and reward yourself. But it doesn't mean that they have to all be monetary. Here are some ideas:

-allow yourself to sit back and relax, read a book or go for a walk and pretend the dishes, laundry and cleaning is not there
-give yourself a manicure/pedicure at home or out at the salon
-have a nice hot bath with candles and your favorite bath products
-set aside time to fulfill your hobby, maybe it's scrap-booking or baking or drawing, just set aside the time
-have a game night
-have a milestone party - maybe you hit a big milestone, like 100 lbs, HAVE A PARTY!!
-consign your old clothes that don't fit you and pick out some new ones
-plan a trip
-take an afternoon off work for no reason at all
-compliment yourself. Write down what you would say to anyone else who accomplished what you did.
-pay someone to do the yardwork or house cleaning this week.

Ultimately you have to find what makes you feel good about yourself, what makes you feel like you are rewarding yourself? Remember not to feel guilty about rewarding yourself, you deserve it if you are putting all the effort in to get healthy, allow yourself some breathing room to live your life as well.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

H2O Happiness

If you saw someone put time and effort into creating a beautiful piece of art and then crumpled it up right in front of you and threw it away what would you think? You'd probably think that they were insane, why did they just spend all that time and effort on creating a masterpiece and then throw it away? This is no different then spending an hour or two sweating and hurting in the gym and then not respect your body enough to re-fuel it with H2O.

I've heard every excuse under the sun, heck I've given them, but I realized a long time ago that in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle water is vital. We hear 8 glasses of water a day, and really that's not that much if you think about how much time you have in the day. But realistically you need more than 8 glasses, especially if you are working out or are overweight. I went from drinking literally 1 glass of water a day to now drinking 3-4 liters every day. I truly believe the fact that I am consistent with drinking water has helped me with being so successful in my weight loss.

Excuse - I don't like the taste of water
Why don't you like it? Is it that you don't like it luke warm or you don't like it too cold? For me I cannot drink room temperature water, unless i'm dying of thirst, but I love the taste of cold water. If temperature isn't a concern try adding a lemon wedge to your water, or some mint leaves, or frozen fruit, whatever you prefer. You can also try herbal tea, cold or hot. But make a commitment to have at good portion of your water consumption be plain water. You may find you start to enjoy it.

Excuse - I'm always on the go, I don't have time
Try keeping a bottle of water in every room of your house, or in your entry way so you remember to grab it when you are leaving. You can also make a plan to have at least 2 glasses of water with every meal so that it is incorporated into your eating plan for the day. You may be on the go, but you are eating.

If I haven't convinced you yet that drinking water is important maybe these will. There are several benefits associated with drinking sufficient water.

#1 - It promotes weight loss - water flushes out the byproducts of fat breakdown
#2 - You will have more energy - water regulates your body temperature and will allow you to be more productive in your workouts
#3 - You will be more productive at work - your brain is made up mostly of water so by drinking sufficient water you will allow your brain to work to its full potential
#4 - You will improve the quality of your skin - water assists in replenishing skin tissues, increase skin elasticity and moisturized your skin.
#5 - It helps in digestion - Water raises your metabolism and assists in digestion.
#6 - Less likely to injure yourself - Water helps keep your muscles and joints lubricated so you will be less likely to get sprains and cramps.
#7 - You will feel GOOD - drinking water will help fight against flu, kidney stones, heart attack and other ailments. Your body feels good and your mood improves. Water = HAPPY
#8 - Reduces your risk of cancer - certain studies show that drinking water may reduce the risks of bladder cancer and colon cancer. Water has been shown to dilute the concentration of cancer-causing agents in the urine.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Revisiting My Goals

This session of Biggest Winner's I've refocused myself. Not that I wasn't focused last session, but I think part of me was getting frustrated with not seeing the scale move. I've accepted that that really doesn't matter anymore, as long as i'm following the plan and moving forward not backwards. This week I lost 4 lbs, and it felt amazing, knowing that I got past that hump and am oh so close to seeing that #1 on the scale.

Something I like that has been incorporated into this session is workshops. BDHQ is putting on different workshops for the Biggest Winner group every Saturday from 1-3. This week was Goal Setting. In my blog post on August 31, 2010, I had listed my goals, I just went back and re-read them to see if they have evolved and they have to an extent. I've kinda added to them. We looked at it from a perspective of what do we want and how are we going to get there.

I want...
1-to be under 200 lbs
2-to organize my food
3-to run the TC10K in 1:20
4-to organize my finances
5-to have a family
6-to run a 1/2 marathon in 2011
7-to be satisfied in my job

How will I get there...
1-I will be under 200 lbs by going to at least 6 classes a week and eating clean every day
2-I will pre-make food every week so that I am not rushing to figure out what i'm going to bring to work
3-I will run at least twice a week to prepare for the TC10K
4-I will create an organized system at home to maintain the books and records
5-I will follow up with the doctor and not be afraid to ask questions
6-I will run a 10K every weekend once the weather gets warmer
7-I will strive to be positive about my career situation but continue to be aware of other opportunities

We all created a vision of what we think our life will look like in 10 years. Mine was "I am 37. I'm a healthy, happy, married woman of three children. I am active and teach respectful, healthy, habits to my kids. We go on family holidays. Food does not control my life. I am in a job I love and have completed a degree in school."

Michele also asked us to list what our core values are. Mine are: integrity, respect, honesty, tolerance,and acceptance. Personally I had a pretty tough 2010 due to some accusations that were made about me and some pretty mean words. I had a tough time moving past what happened and took a lot of things personally but it is now done and those individuals are no longer a part of my life. What got me through it was my core values. I maintained my integrity throughout the whole process and did not sling words back at those individuals, I maintained respect of myself and other people by not allowing their accusations and comments to stop my momentum. I was honest and never lied or made up things about other people. I was tolerant of the individuals who were cruel to me and did not speak badly of them like they did of me. I was acceptant of their point of view even though they weren't of mine. What did I learn? That I am strong, that just because someone else thinks i'm not deserving of their friendship that doesn't make me a bad person. My values got me there though and will continue to make me a stronger person.

The final thing we did was to create our "hedgehog", essentially this is combining what you are good at, what you are passionate about and how you make money to create a place in your life where you are doing something every day that you are both good and passionate about but also making a living at. This was very hard to do, try it. So I said "I am best i the world at persevering; My biggest passion is health; I can make money by giving good customer service". Now i'm not sure how that equates into a new career, but it does equate into my continues perseverance to become healthy.

I'm excited for another dedicated week of workouts and healthy food. I'm going to be doing my weekly cooking later this afternoon and be all prepared for some new yummy meals!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

10 lessons of 2010

Well 2010 is officially over. 2011 is here - the year that I reach my final goal and find a new person who never existed. What did I learn through all of this? Well alot, there's so much but here are my top 10.

10 - Never underestimate the power of friendship... Remember you are not alone, you are never alone, weather you are starting out with 10 lbs to lose or 200 lbs to lose. You always have a friend who is there and always willing to support you. You have to take control of your life and that might mean losing some friends in the process who aren't fully supportive of you. It may mean taking a step back and re-evaluating. But most important it is about finding that support network. Who are you going to reach out to when you think about eating that chocolate bar or that loaf of bread staring at you? Find your support network and grab on. It's important to rely on people who aren't going to sabotage you because those people exist, they are your friends sometimes and sometimes they just aren't ready for you to make that change or go on that journey with you. Take charge and create your support network.

9 - Stay focused on the end game...Remind yourself daily why you are doing this, you must do this because you want to do it not because someone is telling you to do it. Keep your focus on the results that will ensue by being determined. Maybe this means having a picture on your fridge or creating a vision board, for me it was having that LuLu Lemon Mantra poster in my bedroom and reading it every day. Especially those days I really didn't want to get up.

8 - Do something you love...This is super super important, you will never stick to a weight loss goal if you don't enjoy what you're doing! Sure some days I don't want to work out, but often I actually look forward to my workouts. If I didn't like working out at BDHQ I wouldn't keep going. Find what you love, running? dancing? swimming? For me I had to just try it all to see what worked. Now I look forward to going to spin class and leaving drenched in sweat.

7 - Eat what you enjoy...I used to belive that I would never be able to eat certain foods again, now I know that's not true. I can really eat anything I want to, but with modifications. I can have fudge, I just made it myself and it was clean. I can have burgers and fries, I just don't have the bun and I make home made baked yam fries. Everything is about moderation and modification, you just have to be creative.

6 - Celebrate the milestones...Even if they are small, celebrate! This is still a challenge for me, but I make a point to celebrate and be happy for myself. Now don't go out and celebrate losing 10 lbs by eating a 12 pack of tim hortons donuts, but maybe treat yourself to a new workout shirt or a manicure or pedicure. I just treated myself to a brand new wardrobe over Christmas for my hard work this year.

5 - Be proud of yourself...We all have a tendency to beat ourselves up, but we all have a reason to be proud, weather that is making the choice to drink an extra glass of water or make that extra class at the gym. Be proud of your accomplishments and celebrate!

4 - Own up to your mistakes...We all slip up, it's not about starting on Monday and being perfect the whole week. It's about starting and continuing. I've slipped up, i've "cheated" and ate something I shouldn't have, but I own up to it and move on. I've skipped my workout and thought "that was stupid" but I owned up to it and made up for it the next day.

3 - Know when to ask for help...This is a tough one, I know it's hard for me to ask for help or admit that I've screwed up - but I "own up" and ask for help. Rely on your support system that you created, open up and be honest. Admit when you've slipped up and you need help getting back on your feet. We're all human and no one will fault you for slipping up, as long as you are committed and get back on your feet.

2 - Take ownership of your issue(s)...For those of us with a weight issue there is always a reason why that issue is there. No one gets heavy overnight, maybe you just let yourself go after having a baby, or you stopped moving or you use to comfort yourself. Whatever it is, take ownership of the reason/reasons why you are the way you are. Once you are able to admit and accept the fact that you have a problem you can then work to resolve it.

1 - Remember YOU ARE #1... This is the most important of all my lessons. Always remember that you are the #1 priority.. Learn to say no. This was hard for me - for those that know me personally you know that i'm a "yes" woman, it's very hard for me to say no, but in order to prioritize my health I had to say no. I had to say that I am #1 and that I am going to do what is important to me and to my health. I was surprised how much people tried to sabotage me, especially surrounding food, being at a party or a dinner out I would be pressured often to eat things outside of my plan but I kept telling myself that I am the priority and that I am making this choice not them. I ended up having to say no to going out with friends sometimes because my workouts are a priority. But look at me now!!!