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A change is gonna come

8 Jul

There are some big changes coming. I got the news yesterday that I got a new job! That’s right, my hard work paid off. I will be working for a company that is located near my house, about a 5 minute drive! What could be better than that!? I am looking forward to starting fresh in a new company, having new challenges and responsibilities. There are some pros and cons to this new job….this is what I have come up with:

Pros Cons
   
Close to home Longer hours (8:30-5:30)
Gym on site, open 7 days/week! Less “me” time
More challenging Less time to surf the net & blog
Start of a new career, new work identity Miss my friends
English work environment Not downtown
Possibilities of advancement Taking a risk (what if I don’t like it?)
Make new friends  
Less temptation to shop during lunch  
Can run errands during lunch  
Can visit my son during lunch  
Can work out during lunch (hopefully)  
3 weeks vacation, plus 5 personal days  
I won’t be “bored”  
Less stressful travel (no running to catch the train)  
   
   

 

Clearly, it’s an easy decision to make. But why am I so hesitant? I have a few theories.

Theory 1: I am afraid I will be unhappy.

Theory 2: It’s hard to leave something comfortable

Theory 3: I am afraid of hard work

Theory 4: I am worried about making a “bad” decision

Now let’s analyze each one.

Theory 1 is a plausible and justified concern. We all want to be happy. But, I should ask myself this: am I happy now? And the answer is no. I am not happy. I am bored, feel “stuck” with no possibilities of advancement, lack motivation and feel lazy. So, worse case scenario things don’t get better at the new job. Ultimately, my long term goal is to work as a Holistic Nutritionist and work in the field of health and fitness. This job is a stepping stone. As I described in this post, I am looking for a job that allows me to achieve some immediate and short term goals. Working for this new company fits within my criteria somewhat. I am not looking to be happy forever. I have a backup plan!

Theory 2 also makes sense. But, I think in order to grow and develop you need to be uncomfortable. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be called a “challenge”. Being challenged, progressing in your life and achieving your goals brings great rewards. Breaking free from your comfort zone and trying new things has the possibility to enrich your life.

Theory 3 is truly a pathetic theory and excuse. But, it may be true. I have waaaaay too much time on my hands and I have gotten really lazy at work. I am able to do my day at work doing the bare minimum. I work on average probably about 2 hours per day. Working a full 8 hours will feel like a lot at first. But I have to remind myself, this is normal. What I do now is abnormal! So it’s not fear, it’s laziness.

Theory 4 is justified. As I look back on my life, I often see only mistakes and bad decisions. Of course, this is ridiculous. Yes, I have made some bad decisions, like everyone, but I also have made some really good decisions. I like to remind myself that when in the heat of the moment, you make your decision based on the information you have at the time. You can’t predict the future. What I do wrong, is by thinking too far ahead and exaggerating the “benefits”. I downplay or disregard the negatives. Am I doing this now? I find that I often think that this decision will transform my life, I will finally be happy and that I will somehow be a better person. I believe that this way of thinking is actually harming me. Yes, making decisions can change your life, make you happier and perhaps even a better person. But it’s not the decision itself. It’s what you do after making this decision. It can get the ball rolling, be a motivator and inspiration. But, ultimately I have to learn to be happy no matter where I am working or how much money I make. Just because I am starting a new job, doesn’t mean I can drastically change my habits and the way I live, one week to the next. I can take this opportunity to begin creating new habits, but it won’t be instantaneous. It will take time and as I have said before, baby steps is what works best!

Day 4 & career update

17 Jun

Day 4- Wednesday June 16

Breakfast

2 scrambled eggs

Bowl of oatmeal – most probably contaminated. Please see comments for explanation.

Snack

½ cup cottage cheese

Peach

Lunch

Leftover homemade soup- yummy!

Celery and a couple of radishes

Plum

½ Jocalat Chocolate Coffee Larabar

Afternoon snack

Handful trail mix

Dinner

Steak with mashed sweet and regular potatoes

Brocoli

Dessert

Heavenly hash ice cream

Comments:

When it comes to eating oats on a gluten-free diet, there is much controversy. This is what I read:

Position Statement on Oats

Revised August 20, 2007 Professional Advisory Board of Canadian Celiac Association

The safety of oats in individuals with celiac disease has been extensively investigated. Clinical evidence confirms that consumption of pure, uncontaminated oats is safe in the amount of 50 to 70 grams per day (1/2 – 3/4 cup dry rolled oats) by adults and 20 to 25 grams per day (1/4 cup dry rolled oats) by children with celiac disease. Studies looking at the consumption of oats over five years have confirmed their safety. However, the studies looking at safety of oats in celiac disease have involved a small number of subjects, the oats used were pure, free of gluten contamination and the amount allowed per day was also limited.

In Canada, pure and uncontaminated* oats are now being produced. Individuals with celiac disease who wish to add oats or oat products to their diet must ensure that the oats they are eating are free from gluten contamination.
A small number of individuals with celiac disease may not tolerate even pure, uncontaminated oats. To ensure that persons with celiac disease are not intolerant to pure and uncontaminated oats, proper clinical follow up with the physician is advised when introducing oats to a gluten-free diet.
The Canadian Celiac Association will continue to monitor the scientific developments in the area of oats in celiac disease and will keep its members updated.

 

Now, where do you find these famous uncontaminated oats? Well, I found a source right around the corner! Cream Hill Estates located in Montreal! I will definitely add this to my grocery for this week.

Now, I am sure you are dying to hear what that little spark of hope is, aren’t you? Well, if you have been reading my posts from the beginning or read the side bar about my current life focus, you will see that I am currently studying Holistic Nutrition. Well, I have actually been on hiatus for a couple of months now, trying to focus on other areas of my life. My studies have been nagging me lately. I have been having little success in the job hunt and it has gotten me quite down. It hit me suddenly yesterday afternoon that I needed to get my butt into gear and create the job that I want! I have decided to get back on track with my studies. I have thought a little about what my dream job would be and this is what I came up with.

“My dream job would be dedicated to health, fitness and nutrition. I would like to act as a nutritional/life coach to individuals looking to achieve wellness.”

Here’s a brief but concise career plan:

Step 1– continue blogging and writing about health, fitness and nutrition

Step 2– finish CSNN RHN program

Step 3– start my own business (nutritional coaching, writing, speaking/teaching, cooking classes, etc)

I will definitely have to do some better planning, but you get the point.

June 2010- September 2010

Look for a job that allows me more time to blog, write, study and participate in activities that are important to me. Ideally in the health, wellness or fitness industry.

September 2010-February 2012

Work at said job. In my spare time, blog, write, study, etc. Oh, and maybe have another baby 😉

February 2012

Complete my RHN degree and be certified. Start practice “on the side”. If needed, reduce hours at work in order to allow for more time to see clients and get business going.

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!


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.

I should be studying

16 Mar

I have taken a little mini vacation for my studies. I really need to get back into it. The CSNN recommends on average 10 hrs/week of studying in order to be able to get through the material within 2 years.

Goal (2)

Complete the Holistic Nutrition Program by February 15 2011.
specific- yes
measurable- yes
achievable- yes
realistic- yes
time- yes

In order to achieve the larger goal, I have set some mini goals. From what I have heard, it’s best to set small goals for yourself. My first course, Fundamentals, I have a deadline of April 11th. Then for my second course, Symptomatology I, May 9th. Now that I have these goals set, hopefully my motivation will increase.