Getting Fit

Making the Buddy System Work

So with January coming to a close, this is usually the time that I start slacking on my fitness goals and it becomes a downward spiral until it’s a complete fail.  This year, it has been different.  I am feeling more on track and focused than I have been in quite a long time.  And I am pretty sure it’s due to the fact that I have a buddy system in place.

One of my besties decided to start her own journey at the same time as I did and conveniently joined the same gym that I go to, so we have been able to motivate each other to try and stay on track.   I don’t know about her but I know that the buddy system is definitely something that I need.  I need someone to be accountable to and give me the motivation to keep going.

Buddy System 1

Having someone else on a similar path as yourself, in my opinion, is something that everyone needs.  Someone that can relate to your struggles and your successes. This person should also be someone local to you, if at all possible.  Sure, I have followed some other very motivating people on their own weight loss journey, but it’s not the same as having someone right there with you.

It’s having someone with you, that you can sit down with face to face and discuss your journey,  someone who can bring out that little bit of competitive side of you in a class,   someone to literally slap that piece of cheesecake out of your hand when you really need it.  The buddy system has really helped me this time and I am hoping it will continue through the dreary, cold month of February that often finds me wanting hibernate more than getting out to the gym.

I am not saying if you don’t have a ‘buddy” you won’t be successful, I am the furthest thing from any sort of “diet expert” but I just know what seems to be working for me.

Buddy System April

My “buddy” April and I have started an Instagram account @MomsFromTheBurbs that will be documenting our journey and also using as a place for others to share their tips, tricks and struggles on their own journey.  So please feel free to follow along with us!  There will be no judgement and will be keeping it real!

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Getting Fit

My 30 Day Challenge for a Happy Stomach

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

I was doing some updates on my blog recently and I realized it has been quite a while since I posted anything in my Getting Fit section. Then I took a step on the scale and realized that not only was I neglecting that section of the blog, I was also neglecting myself.

No wonder I had been feeling so sluggish and just generally low lately. And my stomach, l can’t even begin to say how much my stomach had been bothering me lately. I have always had stomach issues (IBS) but recently things had been getting much worse.  And let’s be honest, when your stomach is off, everything seems to be off.

I know from the past that when I am neglecting my diet and not exercising my stomach issues flare up and it reminds me to get back on track. This time with the gluttony of the holiday season upon us, I knew I needed to really focus on getting my stomach back on track, so I could actually enjoy the holidays.   Most people wait until the New Year to start fitness and eating right again, but I knew that I needed to start now.  There was no need to wait.

I decided to start a 30 day challenge to get back to a happy stomach by incorporating Renew Life Flora Ultimate Critical Care 50 Billion daily probiotic into my daily routine.   I’ve always heard about how probiotics are a beneficial bacteria in your stomach and aid in a healthy digestive system but truth be told, I had never really tried it.  Having IBS, I know that I should have really been focusing more on aiding my stomach, but up until now I just focused more on avoiding trigger foods and trying (and not very well) about staying active., as that seemed to keep things at bay.

Stomach probiotic

Skeptical at first, I didn’t expect to see much improvement but after a week, I was already noticing some subtle changes above and beyond those I see when I am eating better and exercising more.  I felt less bloated, was more regular (sorry for TMI) and the achy feeling I often get in my stomach wasn’t appearing as often.  I have been taking the probiotic daily, trying my best (and it’s been hard) to eat better, and trying to be active each day.  Using an activity tracker is key with me, as it keeps me accountable.

Stomach needs

Now that I almost completed the full 30 days, I have a much happier stomach and it has given me that boost to keep going to improve my eating and exercising habits.  And with the holiday season in full swing, I feel like I will be able to enjoy the festivities and not be gaining even more weight thru the season.  I will be happy just to stay the same and once the New Year hits, I will focus more on the weight loss side of things.

Of course taking a Renew Life probiotic is extremely helpful for stomach health but I also need to ensure I am drinking lots of water and trying to cut down on my caffiene (aka copious amounts of coffee) intake and reducing the sugar in my diet as all of these can contribute to an unhappy stomach.  Priobiotics are the beneficial bacteria in your stomach and aid in digestion but has also been linked to our immune systems.  If you are taking antibiotics, for example, they can deplete the “good” bacteria, so taking a probiotic can help get things back on track.

In addition to my stomach feeling much happier these days, I am noticing my overall self just feeling better.  As I mentioned, starting in the New Year, my fitness will be a major focus for me and will be posting about my progress if you wish to follow along.  If you want to join me and stay accountable to each other, please drop me a line.

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

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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!

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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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