Getting Fit

Leggings are the Devil – My Weight Gain Story

Up until a year ago, I had a 9-5 job that required me in the office every day wearing office appropriate attire.   Something about having to fit into a skirt or dress pants on a daily basis somewhat worked with me as part of a weight management program.  If they still fit, I was doing ok.  If they started to feel tight, time to get to the gym more often and cutting back on what I was eating.  And then leggings came into my life.

Last year my job changed and although, I was still working from 9-5 for the same company, I was relocated to my home office.  I am not going to lie, it’s been a pretty sweet gig.  No more having to figure out what outfit to wear to the office, no commuting hassles and no office politics to deal with.  However, up until that point, I was not a leggings wearer, it was almost always jeans during my personal time.

Having always had larger thighs, I never felt comfortable in leggings.  Then a friend somehow convinced me that because they were most almost always black, they were slimming and any shape could get away with wearing them.  After getting up the courage to start wearing them, I was hooked and never looked back.  I was wearing them pretty much on a daily basis now, but sadly I think this is one relationship that I must sever in 2018.

leggings

As much as leggings are comfy and easy to wear, they are really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  They don’t feel restricted, you can eat as much as you want and you never feel like you are stuffed into them and as a result gaining wait without too much notice.  And stupidly, I didn’t pay any attention to what these leggings were hiding until recently.

Let me go back a bit in time.  After I had my son, I was at my highest weight in my adult life.  I was sluggish, completely out of shape, and it was playing havoc on my health and my self esteem but having a newborn, I didn’t have the time to focus on myself.  Then my husband left me.  And although I would never recommend it to anyone, it definitely was the easiest weight loss I had ever had.  I didn’t have to think about it at all.  My life was consumed with 2 things, taking care of my son and dealing with a nasty, horrible divorce.  Food was no longer a “live to eat”, it was only “eat to live”.  I had no appetite and nothing in me to actually make myself meals.  It wasn’t healthy, I won’t even dare to say it was but in the end, I had lost over 50lbs and was now at my lowest adult weight.

At that point, I swore up and down that I would never EVER get back to my previous weight.  And for a few years, I kept that promise to myself.  But then when life started to settle down, the weight was slowing coming back.  A few lbs each year hear and there.  I would step on the scale and be up a few lbs but then tell myself that my clothes still fit, so I was ok.  But that is probably the worst mentality I could use….it was NOT okay.  A few lbs turns into 10lbs which eventually turned into too many lbs.

And then last year, when I started working from home and leggings came into my life.  And even though I was trying to stay fit and was even posting on the blog about it, the weight still seemed to be adding on.  No longer was my clothing holding me accountable to my eating and lifestyle sins. By the time fall came around, I was unmotivated, no longer tracking my calories and barely making it  to the gym.  And now here was are, starting 2018 and I am pretty much back to my pre-divorce weight.  I feel constantly sluggish and miserable and completely disappointed in myself.

leggings
Completely disappointed in myself!

I got to that place that I swore I would never get back to.  And yes, leggings are somewhat to blame.  Really I have no one to blame but myself but they sure didn’t help my situation. There was nothing restricting me and giving me that extra push to say “Put down the donut”.   So I told myself that starting January 1st, there were no more excuses.  This was not the life I wanted to leave and not the example I wanted to set for my son.  I have started tracking everything I put in my mouth and even though I was completely exhausted after New Years eve, I hit the gym.  I can’t keep saying I will “do it tomorrow” because tomorrow will never come.  I need to do it today.   And as for the leggings, they will no longer be an every day occurrence.  if that means I feel like a stuff sausage in jeans, well that will be a bit of motivation.

leggings back at gym

It’s not going to be easy, it won’t happen over night, but if I want to be the best version of me, I have to do the work to make it happen.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

How Aquamermaid let me be a Mermaid for a day

I am a mermaid

I was already 17 when Disney released The Little Mermaid, but there was just something about that movie that I loved and still love today.  I even remember buying the soundtrack on cassette (totally aging myself here) and listening to it non-stop in my car at the time.  It really doesn’t matter what age you are, there is just something about wanting to be a mermaid.

That is why when I asked to participate in a class with Aquamermaid, I jumped at the chance.  Even if just for a morning, getting to swim like a mermaid was definitely something I wanted to try.  I have seen the mermaid tails on social media but being able to actually learn how to swim and use the tail was quite intriguing to me.

Upon arrival at the class, the first thing they asked us to do was a swimming test to ensure we could participate in the class.  I feel like I am a fairly proficient swimmer but it was comforting that they ensured our ability before giving us a tail.  After the test, we were given our tails to put on.  The flipper portion is basically like 2 scuba style flippers fused together and the remainder of the “tail” was a spandex type swimsuit material.  It is made to fit quite tight so that your legs aren’t prone to splitting.

Mermaid poolside

After getting our tails on and now in full mermaid mode, we shuffled over to the pool and started our mermaid adventure.  The class started with us being taught the basics of how to swim with the tail on using a flutter kick and getting comfortable in the water.  The class continued with some activities we were able to do alone and then with the others in the class.  It was quite enjoyable but definitely a good workout for both the arms and the legs.   At the end of the class, we had to show off our skills that we had learned with a little routine to perform in front of the others.  It was fun to see each others creativity.

Mermaid in the pool

While our class was on,  there was another group there for a mermaid party.  It was basically a private class for their group.  I would love to get a group of friends together and do another class together.  Aquamermaid offers classes, parties as well as free swim times at their locations across Canada and the US and they seem to be adding more locations all the time.  If you are looking for something different or have always wanted to be a mermaid, if even for one day, I would definitely suggest Aquamermaid.

Although this class was provided to me, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

 

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Motivation Monday – Making life better

The other day I saw a quote that really resonated with me, “It’s not about being the best, it’s about being better than you were yesterday.”   I think it makes a very valid point.  You should never reach your “best”, you should always be striving to be just a little bit better.  And besides, what is really the best version of you?

By no means, do I mean that if you reach a weight loss goal, you should keep trying to lose more weight.  I refer to the best version of yourself as a whole, definitely not just one aspect of yourself.   And you don’t need to be focusing on ALL aspects at once, break it down and focus on a few at a time.  Even with a single aspect, for example, my weight loss/fitness goals, have been broken up into smaller areas that I want to make better.

Right now, I have 3 areas that I am focusing on.

Being accountable to someone

Recently one of my besties indicated that she wanted to step up her fitness and weight loss game.  We decided that we would try and make “gym dates” as often as we could with each other.  I don’t know about you, but I find that having someone to talk to and workout with pushes me to workout a bit harder and longer.  As well, if we are feeling weak and wanting to totally indulge and throw the good eating habits totally off the rails, we told each other we could text each other for some words of support.  Knowing that there is someone else out there with the same struggles that I can rely on for support makes things a whole lot easier for me.  It is also a lot more motivating for me.

Make my goal visible.

I have always been a visual person.  I do much better when I can see things and the results.  This past weekend as I was cleaning out my pantry, I came across a bowl containing some little colored rocks.  At one point, I think they sat at the bottom of the fish tank we had.  Not sure how they ended up in the pantry though.  When I saw them, I remembered something I had seen on Pinterest when looking at some other fitness/weightloss ideas.  I went to my local Dollarama and picked up 2 small glass jars.  In one jar I would put a stone in for each pound I want to lose and in the other jar, I would transfer over a stone each week for each pound I have lost. This would make my goal a much more quantitative number.  If I could see where I have to get, it seems more real to me, instead of just a number on a scale.  Now I just need to make up some nice labels to make the jars a little prettier.

Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan

I have always said that I could not follow any sort of diet plan that told me what I had to eat and when I had to eat it.  My life just doesn’t work that way.  And although I still somewhat believe this about myself, I know that I need to meal plan in some shape or form in order to keep myself on track.  What works more for me, is to make a list of meals for the week and then plot them into place as the week falls.  Basically crossing them off the list as we eat them.  This allows me to have some flexibility in our eating schedule but ensures I have the ingredients on hand to make the meals.  I find if I don’t have the ingredients on hand, it’s a lot easier to turn to other less healthy meals.  This is all great in theory, I just need to be much better at actually making the meal lists.  One of my favorite Mom bloggers, Mrs.Bishop has just started a Meal Plan Monday segment on her blog that I am SO excited about.  I really struggle with coming up with new and exciting meal plan ideas.  It seems like I recycle the same old meals over and over again.  Having a new meal plan to reference each week is going to give me a bunch of new ideas to add to my meal plan.  I have looked at her first post and there are a bunch of great ideas that I will be trying out in the next few weeks.

So hopefully starting with these 3 items to focus on will push me ahead in my journey.  Small steps add up to a better over all result.  Good luck in your journey and we will catch up next time.  If you don’t want to miss a post, be sure to subscribe to my blog!

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Monday Motivation – It’s a whole new year

I decided that with a new year starting, it was time to change things up a bit here on the blog.  Instead of my Friday Fitness posts, I felt that Motivation Mondays were the new year to do things around here.  As much as my fitness and healthy eating are a big priority still, I felt that my journey was more a reflection of my motivation to be a better “me” overall.

I also decided that this will not be a weekly post, but bi-weekly.  I found that trying to post a weekly Fitness Friday a little bit stressful.  I didn’t want to just post for the sake of posting and not have any real, worthy content.  Every other week is probably a little more manageable to get decent, readable content out there.

2017 is a biggie for me, as I will be turning 45.  Eeeks!!!  It’s about time I really focus on what I want in life and how I can achieve it, as I am not getting any younger and it won’t get any easier.  I want to make 45 my best year yet and this is giving me the motivation to eat better, continue my fitness routine (or even step it up a bit) and see what else there is out there for me to improve.

Like 90% of the population, I started 2017 with my “got to eat better and workout more” resolution.  I have been doing okay so far.  Not the best, but not completely horrible.  But today, with the boy back to school and I am starting to get into the groove of working from home full time, I can really move forward and get things going.

I am a creature of habit and when my day to day routine goes off track, so do I.  So hopefully this week with routine returning, my motivation and success will return as well.  One of the biggest ways for me to keep on track is to put my workout clothes on as early as possible in the day so that when the time comes for me to workout, there is no excuses, I am ready to go!   I also need to ensure I am wearing my Fitbit.  I have been really, really bad about getting my steps in since way before the holidays, so I need step it up.  Pun intended.

 

I talk about my Fitbit a lot, and if you don’t have an activity tracker, I totally suggest you look into getting one.  They are so motivating and it really shows you how active or inactive you are each day.  If you don’t know much about trackers, you can check out this article that compares and rates some of the more well know trackers out there.  They can be a bit of an investment, but again, totally worth it you are looking to get moving and motivated.

There is that age old saying “you are what you eat”.   As much as one exercises, if you are eating way more calories then you are exerting, there is no way you are going to ever lose any weight.  I decided to try following the 21 Day fix program.  I started following it loosely last week and this week I am really trying to really stick to it.  It has been a total eye opener in that I truly do not have a well balance diet.  I am way to carb heavy and never get enough protein. I am really trying to change this and hoping it will be a huge help in my weight loss journey.

I know that eating well and exercising rank highly on a lot of peoples New Years Resolution list, and I hope that if you are one of those people, that you are staying on track and keeping motivated.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday – How Exercise Helps My Mood

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Yesterday I woke up pissed off.  And as the day progressed my mood worsened.  Blame it on the insensitivity of people in this world, blame it on my lack of sleep, blame it on the fact the holidays sometimes get me down, blame it on the fact I haven’t been getting to exercise as much as I have wanted to lately.  Regardless, the tone of my day was set as soon as I woke up.

I felt like no matter what the day brought me, nothing was going to make my mood any better.  Sadly, on days like this, I often wish my day away so that I can wake up hopefully in a better mood the next day.  Life is too damn short to be wishing it away.  I need to do something about it but being stuck at the office all day, I knew there wasn’t much I could really do to improve my situation while there.

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My son was going to be with me that evening and the last thing I wanted to do was subject him to my grumpiness.  I needed to come up with a solution before I got home.  I had to look at some of the reasons I was initially blaming for this bad mood.  I can’t really change the fact that I have had to deal with insensitive people in this world.  Although, I could just choose to ignore them.  I can’t take a nap at work, so sleep would have to fix itself that night.  The holidays aren’t going anywhere fast, so again, just ignore that as much as I can.  So the only fix that seemed to be viable was the exercise.

After a few minutes of pondering, I knew that if I really put my mind into it, I could fit in some time to exercise that evening while my son was playing a game on his tablet.  I could throw in an exercise dvd that I had and sweat away the grump.  I know in the past, exercise has always lifted my spirits when down in the dumps, so I knew it would probably help in this case.   Even just planning the exercise time made me feel slightly better.

Being overly tired when I got home, I was almost happy to wallow in my grumpiness instead of working out but that wasn’t the example I wanted to set for my son.  So I got him set up to play and I got the dvd player going.  My mood started to lift almost instantly.  That, and the fact my son was laughing at me made me laugh too.

By the end I was in a completely different frame of mind for the rest of our evening together.  I need to remind myself that as much as some days I really hate the thought of working out, I need it.  My body needs it and my mental health needs it.  When something as simple as a short workout can greatly improve my mood, there is no need to go thru life grumpy.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday – The body is talking to me

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I will be honest, I don’t have much to talk about today as my body has been telling me to take it easy this past week.   Between being a Mom, working, blogging and trying to have a social life, I have over programmed myself these past few weeks.  Things were starting to catch up with me and the body was complaining.

This past week, I still made it to the gym twice and was eating mostly healthy so it wasn’t a complete loss.  However, it was pretty evident that I needed to slow things down by Wednesday.  I woke up with an ear infection and upset stomach.  When my body needs a break, there is no subtle hints, it tells me loud and clear.

Making sure I stay on track and getting my exercise in, drinking lots of water to stay hydrated, making wise food choices and getting quality sleep are key.  Sure this all sounds good in theory but I need to make sure I actually do it.

I know with the holidays quickly approaching, I need to listen to my body and get the rest that I need now so that I am not sick then.  It doesn’t mean that I am going to live like a hermit and not do anything, I am just going to make sure that I am being much more cognizant of what my body needs and wants.  It’s always so hard to stay on track during this time of year and I know that I won’t even be remotely perfect, but I am going to really make an effort this year.

The New Year is always a fresh start for a lot of people.  And this year it will be for me as well.  There are a few changes I already know that are coming my way and I am looking forward to them!

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Getting Fit · Uncategorized

FItness Friday – two steps forward

new-fitness-friday-logo

Well I can definitely say that I am feeling much better about my fitness journey this week than I did last week.  I wasn’t even remotely perfect this week but it was at least a step forward in the right direction.  Did I get my 10k steps in every day – NO, did I eat well everyday – NO, but did I do better – YES!!!

It’s all about moving forward and not dwelling on past mistakes.  It’s ensuring that each day I try to do a little bit better or at least get up and dust myself off if I’ve had a bad day.  No need to dwell on what I did wrong, it’s focusing on what I can do better moving forward.

What did I do better this week?  I made it to the gym twice and was able to get out and enjoy and nice long walk and enjoy the fresh fall air.  I did my best to follow the meal plan that I had planned out earlier in the week.  And when I got groceries, I only got what I needed and I definitely didn’t need any candy, chips or chocolate.

steps-forward

I decided that if  I didn’t get my steps in that day that I wasn’t going to get all upset about it, I just tried to do better the next day.  Some days it is just impossible to get the steps in due to what life throws at us.  And when I took my son out for a pancake breakfast date this morning before school, I let myself enjoy my meal with him and knew I would have to adjust my eating for the rest of the day.  What I am realizing is that I can’t always be perfect and beating myself up about it isn’t going to help me move forward.  I know I am not perfect and never will be.  Ensuring that I am moving forward is the key.  Always forward and not regressing completely back and ignoring it.

So again, another busy week ahead of me but I will keep pushing forward.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday – I am feeling like a fraud

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Not going to lie, I am feeling like a bit of a fraud these days.  Not only to myself, but whomever actually reads these posts.  The past 2 weeks have been so far removed from being “Fit”,  it isn’t even funny.

The gym and I have been complete and utter strangers.  It’s like we have never met or we’ve had a bad break up.  We don’t see each other at all anymore it seems.  And I almost feel like I was the one who got dumped, because I have no idea why we aren’t seeing each other.

Maybe it’s the change in the weather or life has been just a bit more busy than usual, but my motivation to get to the gym is gone.  My motivation to do anything is gone.  I think the fact it get dark so much earlier now makes me just want to hibernate.  With it Daylight Savings time this weekend and the clocks going back isn’t going to help either.

All the things I have been telling myself and you that I would keep doing no matter what, have gone out the window.  I used to be almost obsessed with getting my 10k steps in each day.  Realistically, I don’t think I have gotten the full 10k steps done in the past 2 weeks.  One day I didn’t even bother to even wear my Fitbit.

I stepped on the scale this morning and it hasn’t moved.  No loss, no gain.  So in retrospect, this is a good thing.  I was not expecting good things to come from me stepping on that scale.  Any sort of gain would have probably made things even worse.  My only saving grace these past few weeks is I have been sticking to my #FitMamaPlanner.  The past 2 Sunday nights, I have sat down and planned out my whole week’s worth of meals.  It helped a lot with my grocery shopping.  I didn’t buy things I didn’t need.  Although most importantly, I think most nights when my motivation was at it’s lowest point, it gave me the guidance to cook what I had planned and not hit the drive thru.

So what does this actually mean?  Why I am I even bothering to write this down?  I told myself that if I was going to write a “Fitness Friday” segment, I was going to keep myself accountable to myself and to whomever is reading this.  I am feeling like a fraud and I don’t want to.  I don’t want to write some sort of garbage to make it look like I am this wonderful Mom who is keeping fit ALL the time, keeping on track and not having a bad time.  Let’s get real, I am having a bad time.

BUT, this morning when I stepped on that scale, it gave me a bit of a wake up call.  I hadn’t fallen too far off that wagon.  It was still in sight.  And although I have been feeling sluggish and my body has been reminding me that I am not treating it well, I can recover from this set back.  I can do this.  Never give up!

So to everyone reading this rambling, first off thanks for listening.  I guess it’s ok to fail once in a while.  Recognizing the issues and doing something about it is the key.  So time to rekindle the romance with the gym and feeling better about this journey.

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Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday – it’s all in the planning

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So I think I finally have gotten the exercise portion of my fitness journey on track, now I REALLY need to tackle the eating portion.  This isn’t my first rodeo, I know that it doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you are eating way more calories than you are burning.  And not planning what I am eating is my biggest downfall.

I am forever seeing posts about people meal planning.  And when I see them, I know I should be doing more.  Previously, I would semi meal plan for the days my son is with me.  I use this plan to help me buy groceries and that is about it.  When my son is with his Dad, it’s game over and that  is where the problems begin.  Without a game plan in place, the drive thru window becomes an easy substitute for a good, healthy meal.

So last week, I received this amazing #FitMamaPlanner from Acorn & Coco and I decided that I would give meal planning a go this week.  OK, so it has been less than a week but so far it seems to be helping out a lot.  On Sunday afternoon, I sat down and filled out each day with a menu for the entire week.  The planner has a section for a grocery list which is very handy.  I made sure I accounted for all meals, even my son’s school lunches.

planning

Having everything planned ahead of time and ensuring I used the accompanying grocery list to ensure I had everything available has been a real help.  I am trying to make sure I stick to my guns and follow along.  Every Friday, my office mate and I buy our lunch for making it thru the week alive (LOL) and I even planned for that.  We don’t decide until the day of on where we will eat but I planned the rest of the meals that day around to keep on track.

My goal this week is to not eat out or hit the drive thru unless I have specifically planned it and stick to my meal plan for the week.  For example, we have an event next week and dinner will be eaten out.  Put it the planner and work around it.  I can really understand how this works for people in the long run both in a weight loss/maintenance kind of way but also in a financial way.  Hopefully I will see a not only a difference on the scale but in my bank account as well.

This week has been somewhat slack exercise wise just due to other commitments but hoping to step it up this next week as well.  Still using my #everydamn day motto and at least getting my steps in.    Wish me luck!

getting-my-sweat-on

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to me, all opinions, comments and photos are strictly mine.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Fitness Friday (sort of) – Disappointed in myself

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I was doing so well, regardless of how tired I was or how busy I was, I was making sure that every single day I was getting my 10K steps in. I kept telling myself that even if life was getting in the way of me getting to the gym as much as I would like to, that if I got at least my 10K steps in, I was more active than I normally would have been in the past.

Regardless of what I was doing over the summer, I was determined and got my steps in.  Every single day since July 3 — 99 days consecutively, and then Monday, I totally blew it!  It was Thanksgiving day here in Canada.  I had already had my dinner with family, I had enjoyed a great day with my son going to a local hockey game, there were no excuses not to do as did every day to get in my steps in.  It was bedtime and I still had almost 4k steps to get in.  The sitting at the arena for over 2 hours didn’t help the situation but I was tired, bone dead tired. I had nothing in me.  I just wanted to crawl into bed.

I had to decide whether suffering thru a good half hour or more of stepping in place was more important than the guilt I knew I would feel the next day.  I gave in and crawled into bed.  And now, days later I am still feeling guilty and kicking myself in the proverbial ass for not sticking to it.  I was so close to getting over 100 days in a row, and I let pure laziness get the better of me.

I think the biggest regret is knowing that giving in to the laziness once, I set myself for failure again and again.  When I have only been on track for a couple of days, it’s easier to say “I will start again tomorrow.”  I  have been saying that for years and tomorrow never comes.  That is why I really was pushing myself this time to stay on track.

At the beginning of my journey I stasted using the #NeverMissAMonday mantra, but let’s be honest life sometimes gets in the way and missing a Monday happens and it set me up for disappointment yet again.  But don’t get me wrong, I try to start my week out on a good note and to never miss a Monday. I even made motivational hangings for my bathroom with my “You Can Do This” and “Never Give Up” to help me along the way.  never-give-up

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But Sunday just got the better of me and I shouldn’t have.

And I know I can do this and I don’t want to give up.  So I have given myself a kick in the pants and will do this and won’t give up.  I take a look at my son and I remember that I am doing this so that I am healthy and around for him as long as I can be.  I don’t care if I am a size 2, I just want to be healthy and happy with myself.

I have decided that I need a new mantra….and it is #everydamnday !  Too bad if I am tired, too bad if I just don’t feel like it.  I need to and will take that extra 15, 20 or how many minutes it takes to get those steps in.   Yes, I can do this!

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