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Feeling oh so crappy

14 Jul

Things haven’t been so good for me lately. I feel as though I am spiralling down once again into a depression. Not the best place to be. Nothing seems to be right or good enough. My self-talk has been so negative lately….I treat my enemies better! When I see myself in the mirror or look down at my body, I am so disgusted with myself. My energy is really low, it takes a lot for me to smile and I am having more bad days than good. I think a lot of it has to do with my self-esteem and my self-confidence. It is definitely different than my post-partum depression. These are feelings you are supposed to deal with in your 20’s not your 30’s! Pathetic I tell you! I need a major intervention or else I will reach the point where only medication will help. And I don’t want to go there again. I have few a ideas how to stop it and think I need to set myself some goals.

Now that my eating habits are under control and I feel in control at home, perhaps it is time to incorporate a little bit of physical activity. Exercise helps in a multitude if ways!
1) exercise helps to lift your mood because it releases endorphins.
2) exercise increases your energy level.
3) exercise makes the body fit!

In the past, I have setup up unrealistic goals and piled way too much on my plate. What happens? I get completely discouraged because it’s just too much! I am NOT making that mistake again! No way! Only baby steps from now on. I think setting a goal of 4x/ week sounds reasonable. But I need to look realistically at my schedule and make sure it’s doable.

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ACTION PLAN IV

5 Jun

ACTION PLAN IV

Problem: Not as organized as I would like to be
Solution: Organize my life!
When I say organize my life, I am not talking about organizing my closet. I am talking about organizing my head. A clear head and mind will automatically result in a happier you! Ok, this is a big one and I have been thinking about it for some time. My life is notworking! My life is NOT what I want it to be. Ok, this is not entirely true.
Let’s look at what is working and what I am happy with.

a) My son

b) Where I live (ie. Neighborhood) and my house (in general. Note: please see ACTION PLAN II)

c) My husband (well, most of the time)

d) Our financial situation

Now let’s look at what I am not happy with (some topics already covered with action plans will not be repeated)

.a) Our inactive lifestyle

b) My job

c) I don’t spend time on things that are important to me

d) I am in a constant battle between what I really want to do and be and what I actually do and am.

TIME TO REVIEW MY LIFE!!

Inactive lifestyle


This problem is related to ACTION PLAN III, lacking motivation. It is also related to point d); I feel as though I have no drive or willpower. I feel as though I am lazy. In my fantasy world, I workout 6 times a week, I try to incorporate exerciseand fitness into my life as much as possible, and I have tons of energy. This isn’t the case. This is not how I am currently living my life and I hate it! I admit it; I am disappointed with myself on a daily basis. I don’t do what I say I will, I never follow through…and I don’t practice what I preach. The truth is, I don’t know how to change. I need a life coach, someone to guide me on the way to my dreams. Any volunteers? I read blogs, magazines, recipes, webpages…you name it. But I can’t seem to figure out WHY!? I need to have a breakthrough. Some sort of breakdown. ButI already had my breakdown; I am just recovering from post-partum depression! I just weaned myself off my depression meds….all I have left to do is to stop my sleeping pills. All the issues I had about being a new mom, loving my son, etc…. have been dealt with. Is it possible there are more issues? I truly think there are. While I was in the midst of suffering from post-partum depression, I remember the first moment that I saw a spark of hope. We were on our way out the door, going somewhere. I really can’t remember where we were going but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that at the last minute I had to go to the washroom, so Frank waited with Sasha in the car while I went. As I sat there, I remember smiling. At this point in my life, it was very rare for me to smile sincerely. There Iwas, sitting on the toilet, smiling all by myself and thinking “I love my life”. What a great feeling it was! This realization made me smile even more! Now this is not to say I don’t smile anymore, because I do. I also laugh and have fun. I am nowhere near where I was back then, but perhaps I am on my way there. I have to nip it in the bud and get back on track to create the life I love and want. I just might need a little professional help. So my problem of my inactive lifestyle is a little more complicated than just lack of motivation.

My Job


It’s no secret that I don’t really like my job. My entire life plan prior to having my son was to get pregnant, go on maternity leave and never go back to my job. I was to change careers, find another job and live happily ever after. Everything was going according to plan. I got pregnant, went on mat leave and lined up a job working in a daycare after my mat leave ended. Well, after the short stint working in a daycare, my old boss called me and asked me to come back. I was unhappy at the daycare, so I gave in. Now, 6 months later, I am back to where Iwas before my mat leave, unhappy and bored! So, a few weeks ago, I began looking for a new job. Well, I quickly discovered that it wasn’t as easy as said and done. Currently, I work in the finance industry and I don’t like it. But when I started looking at jobs in other domains, I realized I don’t have any experience or training. Since I love writing, I decided applying for jobs in communications would be a natural progression. We will see how this pans out. This still leaves me with another dilemma, what about Holistic Nutrition!? If you read the small blurb about me, you probably noticed that I mentioned that I am working towards my degree in Holistic Nutrition. Well, I started but haven’t continued. It wasn’t because I didn’t enjoy it, it is because I lost track of my priorities (and perhaps I was also trying to juggle too many things at a time!) This is classic Bianca. I get really intense about something, be-it nutrition, scrapbooking, photography or working out….I go 130% and then all of a sudden stop! I am not good at balance. Maybe this is where Susan and Tina can help me out? This brings me to the next thing that is not working…..

I don’t spend time on things that are important to me

I spend way toooo much time on things that are meaningless and not enough time on things that are truly important to me. I am going to commit to spending more time (or shall I say, finding time) on the following things.


I deem the following things worthy of my time:


-spending time with my family

-exercising & eating well

-studying Holistic Nutrition

-blogging


After all that, it’s really not as complicated as it seemed.

Finally……


I am in a constant battle between what I really want to do and be and what I actually do and am

So it’s pretty simple. I want to be and do lots of things. But the reality is, I am not superwoman. I can’t DO everything. I have to pick a few key things to focus on and actually focus on them.
Simple concept….is that all it takes to turn your life around?
I have learned from previous experience that trying to change everything all at once doesn’t work. You need to take baby steps, small changes. Build on one new habit at a time. And, at a one point or another, you just need to get off your butt and JUST DO IT!
So that is exactly what I am going to do right now. Get off my butt, and JUST DO IT! Well, starting tomorrow that is.





Action Plans continued….

2 Jun

A few posts ago, I began writing about “fixing what’s not working”. Here’s the breakdown of what is (was) not working.

1) I am late for work 2 out of 5 days

2) Our house is always messy

3) I have been lacking motivation to exercise

4) I am not as organized as I would like to be

I only wrote up 2 of my action plans. In general ACTION PLANS I & II have been working successfully. I have NOT been late once since changing my morning routine and our house is looking pretty good. We never did hire that cleaning lady (hubby was not into the idea), but we are definitely working more as a team to keep our house tidy. I think a clean house is a work in progress and I just have to accept the fact that my house will not look perfect, especially with 2 working parents and a messy toddler!

It’s time to now tackle the next 2 issues; lacking motivation to exercise and lacking organization.

ACTION PLAN III

I call this issue “lacking motivation” and not “lacking time” to exercise because if someone is truly motivated, they will find the time. And right now, I am in serious need of motivation! A few strategies to find motivation to exercise and be healthy are:

1)     Define your goals

2)     Find a role model

3)     Read blogs & success stories

4)     Give yourself a reward for workouts

5)     Think of it as time for yourself

6)     Think of how you are going to look & feel

GOALS

So, I have defined my goals. If you haven’t read them yet, here they are

ROLE MODEL

I have a few….there’s a picture of a chick that I have on my cell phone and desktop at work. There’s also tons of amazing women that blog!  I follow some of them on a regular basis.  See my blogroll!  (That takes care of point 3). I read them morning, noon and night hoping that it will inspire me. Speaking of inspiration, there was also that woman at the grocery store.

REWARD

Is it too soon for a reward? The answer is, yes, you actually have to get off your butt to EARN IT! Ok, reward is to get my nails done. Actually, I have set this as a reward awhile ago…but I never followed through long enough to earn itL. So, on second thought, maybe this isn’t a motivator after all?

TIME FOR MYSELF

As a working mom, this is totally true. From the minute I wake up to the minute I go to bed, I am busy, busy, and busy. When I get a workout in, I get to focus all of my attention on ME! It is time for self-improvement, time to meditate and time to think about no one but me!

THE LOOK AND FEEL OF A FIT BODY

I don’t think I can say that I have truly ever had a fit body. The closest I think I ever came to it was 2 years ago when I was running regularly. I have to admit, I felt really good, I looked good and I wasn’t self-conscious about my body.  (Not that I am now….but I have been in the past!)

I fantasize about how it would feel to know that you can run 5 kilometers on a whim, that you have enough energy to get you through the day and then some and how it would feel to have a body that you are proud of. I never wanted to be an athlete or have the body of an athlete, but I changed my mind. I WANT IT. The question is, do I want it enough to work for it?

Nope, not for me.

26 May

I need to get back on track. Things aren’t working. I had a feeling and my feeling was confirmed this morning when I stepped in the scale. I gained 2 lbs! Ok, realistically, it’s only 2 lbs…but I gained it in a mere couple of weeks. Clearly not counting calories is not working for me. I always do best when I count, measure and journal my foods. I somehow get out of hand when I just “eat healthy”. Does this mean I will have to count calories, measure my food and journal my meals for the rest of my life?! Lets not look too far ahead just yet. Focus, Bianca, focus on the present.

Time to get back on track. And how do I plan to do this, you may be asking yourself?

FOOD RULES

  1. Log foods using www.livestrong.com
  2. Reduce fat intake
    • Low-fat cheeses, dairy & meats
    • Eat less egg yolks
  3. Focus on healthy fats to get my “fix” (nut butters, avocado, etc)
  4. No more desserts! Ok, realistically, allow myself 1 dessert/ week
  5. Use chocolate as a treat, not on a daily basis.
  6. Aim for a macronutrient ratio of 40-40-20 (40% carbohydrates, 40% protein, 20% fat)
  7. Plan meals on a weekly basis
  8. Be creative to reduce boredom
  9. Focus on natural, organic, fresh foods= eat clean!

FITNESS RULES

  1. Be active as much as possible
  2. Be realistic and focus on effort (and don’t beat myself up)
  3. Run minimum 3X/week
  4. Reintroduce weight lifting when possible

I have to be strict with myself if I want to achieve my goals. Which reminds me, what are my goals?

Starting now!


A new look!

14 May

Hello everyone! Sheeesh! It’s been a really long time since I have posted anything….boy, do I have lots to tell!

First, let me begin by saying that I got my haircut short! It’s the shortest I have ever had and I loooooove it! I feel lighter, sexier and more energetic! It’s amazing what a good haircut can do for one’s self-image. I am also happy because now I get to donate my ponytail to make a wig for someone who is battling cancer J That reminds me, I have to mail my hair!

It’s not the greatest pic, but you get the idea.

Since I last blogged, I have experience many ups and downs.  I am currently experiencing lots of emotional changes (and not to mention hormonal changes)….I have to re-learn how to control my emotions, almost like a child or teenager just learning to control themselves!  Due to this, my hubby and I have been fighting a lot. He actually told me Sunday that he finds that I am “different”. Not sure if this is good or bad, but I told him to be patient with me. Weaning myself off of my meds will allow me to experience more out of life. This includes I feeling the highs from joy and passion but, with that, comes the lows of frustration, anger and sadness.  I wonder if I have changed.

I have been eating pretty well. I stopped counting my calories and macronutrients and have opted to focus on eating a balanced diet. I have successfully incorporated a smoothie into my morning routine. I am trying to eat a big breakfast everyday…and gradually eat less and less throughout the day. It’s been almost 4 weeks that I haven’t weighed myself and put my faith into eating “healthy” in order to maintain my weight. I have to say, I think I have actually gained weight the past 4 weeks. Sure, I didn’t exercise everyday like I was supposed to, but I have been eating exactly how my nutrition coach suggested. I emailed her earlier this week and mentioned that I have been craving sweets. Her recommendation was to eat more protein in the early part of the day. I am already ingesting quite a bit…and according to her I should eat more. I plan to weigh myself tomorrow morning and see how it’s going. I do like some of her tips and advice, but I think her recommendations will not cause weight loss. Sure, we may be eating better in some ways, but I think overall, I am eating too many calories. I like her focus on natural, whole foods. Go back to the basics, you know? Focus on being active everyday and getting enough rest. I think I have to go back to what works; a stricter eating plan. I don’t do well on a loose plan. I need to count everything, whether it be grams, calories or percentages!

update

27 Apr

Life has been very hectic since last Friday. My father-in-law had a stroke. To top it off, I got a cold. And now, Sasha has my cold!

To summarize, my father-in-law has quickly recovered (well, mostly) from his stroke. He has movement on both sides of his body, he is able to talk very well, swallow and walk. I spent Friday with him but due to my cold, I had to avoid visiting him the rest of the weekend. I am told that he is getting frustrated with sitting in a hospital bed and wants to get back to his life ASAP! We are very thankful that it seems to have been a “minor” stroke.

As for my cold, I am much better. I still have a bit of burning in my lungs, but that is more likely due to sprinting to catch my train (what I do on a regular basis). I need to get back to regular exercise and proper eating immediately. It will help me deal with the stress of my father-in-law’s recovery and other daily stressors such as weaning myself off my anti-depressants. I visited my doctor last week and I am happy to say I have begun to wean myself off of my meds. I am beginning to reduce the amount I take of my morning anti-depressant first, until I take nothing at all. It is a process that takes 6 weeks. It’s better to go slowly in order to minimalize the side effects. After, completely stopping that med, I will reduce the amount I take for my sleep aid. The side effects aren’t as severe, but it will still take 2 weeks. I am excited to see if I am able to handle being off them. I also had my IUD removed. Okay, maybe that’s a little too much info for everyone reading this…sorry. But I am sure it will contribute to some emotional ups and downs, so I think it’s better if you fully informed. So far, the only side effects I have been feeling from all these changes are a little dizziness. Not too bad!

Last week I managed to jog only twice. We were quite busy and worked on just keeping our heads above water. Even after factoring in a weekend, we are still drowning! Ahhhhh, there’s always something to do!

Well, I have a few things planned for this week.

  1. Buy a watch
  2. Buy a Nike+ sport kit
  3. Attend my first meeting for the “challenge” with the Naturopath tonight
  4. Run 3 X
  5. Do weights 2 X
  6. Visit my father-in-law Tuesday evening
  7. Find a cleaning lady

 

Monday

  •   buy watch during lunch
  •   meeting after work

 

Tuesday

  • Run before work
  • Buy Nike+ sport kit during lunch
  • Visit father-in-law after work

 

Wednesday

  • Do weights in the evening
  • Find cleaning lady

 

Thursday

  • Run before work
  • Visit father-in-law

 

Friday

  • Do weights in the evening

Goals, revisited

13 Apr

Welcome to another week! I have quite a bit I want to write about, so get ready for a long post. 

First, I want to write about how excited I am that my parents returned from their 2-week vacation. My son and I missed them both so much. Remember how I mentioned that my son was misbehaving? Well, I think it’s because he missed his grandma! My mother takes care of him during the day when we go to work. He sometimes stays with my mother in-law, but 98% of the time he is with my mom. So, for 2 weeks, he didn’t see my mom and I think he acted out! Seems like a logical conclusion…I also missed my mom terribly. I would catch myself several times a day thinking that I needed to call her and tell her something. I guess this is what happens when you are very close to your parents and they go on vacation without you. I just have to convince my parents to take both of us next time!

On the exercise front, I had a pretty relaxed weekend. Friday night I worked out. I did a great 1 hour weight session! I had to kick myself in the butt to start, but once I did, I was really into it. By the end of my routine, I was trying to come up with extra exercises I could do. I wanted to go for a jog sometime this weekend, but it didn’t happen. The weather really hasn’t been nice, it’s still pretty cold. This morning the alarm went off at 5:30 am. I checked the temperature outside…it was 2 degrees Celsius! A little too cold for me! Especially when it’s still dark outside and you don’t have the warmth of the sun.

Even though I think I made the right decision about not going for a jog, I feel guilty and disappointed. I have been watching the scale and it hasn’t gone down. It’s kind of doing this up and down thing…. I know you aren’t supposed to judge your success based on what the scale says, but I can’t help it. I do some results though. I feel stronger and more “tight”. And, can I really expect to see results after 3 weeks? I think this is a crucial moment for me. I need to stick with it and not get discouraged. I need to focus on my big and small goals and push forward.

In a previous post, I wrote about goal setting. You can read more about it here. This is how I described my fitness/health goal:

Goal (1)

My goal is to make my body strong, lean and fit by June 15th. (specific enough?)
Measurable? Lean ie. fit into a size 4-6
Achievable, definitely!
Realistic, I think so.
Time specific, I have 3 months!
I’d better get to it!

Ok, I have my goal. What do I need to do to accomplish it?

1) Run 3x/week
2) Do free weights 2x/week (minimum)
3) Eat a low calorie, high fiber and balanced diet.

Since my motivation is waning, I think it needs to be reviewed. Last night a scoured the internet for a picture of a woman whose body represents my goal. I wanted a picture of a strong, fit, and toned woman. Not simply a thin woman. Oh, and not too muscular and bulky. Once I found this picture, I knew this was the one. Perhaps it is unachievable, I am not sure, but either way, I can certainly work towards this goal.

Here’s the picture

Doesn’t she have a great body?! I love how her arms are strong and her abs are defined. This is the ultimate representation of a good looking body! Well, at least that’s what I think!  

So now that I have a picture that represents my goal, I plan to look at it often and visualize myself working towards this goal. I will visualize myself succeeding and imagine how I would feel achieving my goal.

I also think I have to tweak my plan. What am I willing to do to achieve this goal?

  1. Do weight lifting 3x/week for 1 hr (super sets) increased from 2 x/week
  2. Eat a healthy diet, aim for a ratio of carbs/protein/fat 40/40/20 more specific, requires more planning and attention
  3. Cardio workout 3x/week 30 mins (mainly running but may include some group fitness)
  4. Attend a 6-week workshop with Julie– “feel good in my skin challenge” new!
  5. Reduce intake of sweets (chocolate especially) new!
  6. Learn to deal with cravings and build willpower
  7. Blog about my feelings in order to relieve stress and vent difficulties

Part of learning to deal with cravings is understanding why you are having cravings. I have noticed that I crave sweets more when I have them regularly, almost like and addiction. They become part of my routine. I also crave sweets when I am tired. I am searching for that small boost of energy. But there are times that I crave sweets for a different reason….and so far, I have not found the reason. I am beginning to think that I also crave sweets when I am discouraged, almost as if I am trying to create a justification as to why I am not achieving my goals. I sabotage myself. I eat the junk food so that I can say, “this is why I am not achieving my goals”. Somehow it is better than doing everything right and not succeeding. I need to find a way to push past the hurdle, hang on long enough to see results.