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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Back in the flow

I had a great workout this afternoon. All cardio, with a run and a swim. The best part was being able to run on an incline that I was never able to do before. I have decided to register for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon which is happening in October. I am not going to be doing the marathon, that's insane! But I am going to commit to the 5K. I've never done that before. I've never gotten past week 3 of couch to 5K, but it's definitely something I am capable of, and a goal that I really want to accomplish. I used to hate running. I struggled every single time I did it. However, since I've slowed my pace and started to build my endurance, I actually enjoy it.

Today I ran at 6.0 mph at a 2-2.5 incline. I am proud of that. It's not that fast, and the incline is not that big, but for me that is great, and I am happy with that. For the last two running segments, I did bump the speed up to 6.5 because I like the feel of my legs stretching, lengthening my stride, but I know that it's not a pace I can keep up with...yet anyway :)

As for my eating, I am tracking, no matter what, and I am working with my veggie thing. In response to a comment on my previous post, I will say that if I had the attitude that I hate vegetables and never ever tried to do anything about it, then yes, I would have a horrible attitude toward this whole thing. However, that is not the case. I work on integrating vegetables into my eating in various ways. I've stir fried, steamed, roasted, grilled, ate in salads, ate raw, ate in recipes and by themselves. There are ways that work better for me (raw, combined with other things (soups, stews etc.), and lightly stir fried), and ways that do not (salads, steamed/boiled). I work with my own tastes and preferences. I have recently tried asparagus (grilled), and in certain quantities, really enjoy it. But I cannot, and will not force myself. I am working with me and my body and my tastes, because I know that I will never be able to keep it up otherwise. I will never eat squash...the texture, smell, and taste turn my stomach. However, I am not afraid to try. Last week I roasted peppers and had them in a homemade pesto sauce with angel hair pasta. The texture was no good for me, but I will use them for flavour. I always try and then go from there.

With that being said, I had an amazing dinner last night of grilled marinated chicken, greek salad (one of the few salads I will eat) with fresh oregano and mint, and a light yogurt dill/cucumber sauce. No heavy starches...just some lean protein and veggies. And I was full and satisfied, and it had been done by working with what works for me.

In upcoming news, tomorrow is the start of Ramadan. Ramadan kareem to any followers out there. My Moroccan will be fasting from sun up to sun down, and there will be no contact between us during that time (even holding hands, or a peck on the cheek is considered no-no). It's a hard month and I'm not even fasting! I don't do well with the absence of affection because even if we're not fighting, it too closely resembles the times when we are fighting because of the lack of connection between us during the day...does that make sense? For him it's about spiritual awareness and devotion and he will be spending a lot of time at the mosque and with his Muslim friends. It's a world that I don't really understand (even after almost 4 years!) I am going to use the extra time that I have to keep working on my goals and to prepare for my upcoming teaching gig at Humber college :)

Thankful that tomorrow is a holiday. One more day of relaxation before heading back to the grind. Day 2 of week 1 of couch to 5K tomorrow! That I am excited is a good indication :)

Sunday, 24 July 2011


It's all about scheduling. Last week I had made a full meal plan to take into account the 3 nights a week that I am not home for dinner. The one flaw in my plan? I didn't go grocery shopping, so I didn't have the ingredients to make the yummy things I had planned, and I ABSOLUTELY refused to go the overpriced Sobey's in my building. Honestly, making healthy choices eating out is cheaper than that bloody store. I have been reading up on a lot of food plans, since it is very clear that I cannot do this on my own. I've read up on the 17 Day Diet which is far less gimmicky than it sounds, as well as the Dukan Diet (which is as gimmicky as it sounds). I don't like the sound of the Dukan Diet. I think it has fad written all over it. However, the 17 Day Diet is restrictive the way Herbal Magic is, but not as crazy as the Dukan Diet, and focuses on the healthy things our bodies need.

My major problem with these things is I get all gung ho, and then peter out. One major reason that I have identified is the obvious focus on vegetables and salads that these eating plans have and my complete abhorrance of salads and major dislike of vegetables. I cannot, and will not, eat a bloody salad for lunch or dinner. It is not satisfying, I end up only eating like 1/4 or 1/2 and then I am starving and I hit up like a McDonalds or something. Food, for me, has to be satisfying, in order to be filling. If I am not satisfied, no matter how much I eat, I will not be full. Now, with the 17 Day Diet, there is an emphasis on raw vegetables, which works for me...I like raw, and if I can pair that with tasty proteins, then maybe it will work.

How badly do I want this? Can I honestly give up the foods that are tasty, yes, but ultimately garbage for my body? I've gotten comfortable where I am. I can maintain my 145-ish weight with little to no difficulty. But I am still not within my healthy range. I have to make a conscious decision to stop making excuses. To change my mental attitude as I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm getting sick of my own whining, lol. I want to be able to post about my success on here, not just my re-starts!

My Meal Plan for the Week:

Sunday: Ok, this is not part of my healthy eating regime, but it looks like an awesome receipe :) Taglietelle with marscapone cheese and spinach with garlic bread (going out with a bang!)
         *Lunch - Egg salad sandwich on 1 slice pumpkernickel bread, veg
         *Dinner - Roasted pepper and basil angel hair pasta
         *Lunch - leftovers from dinner
         *Dinner - tuna casserole; greek salad
         *Lunch - margerite pizza, veg
         *Dinner - Sandwich

That's all I have as of now...but the first three days are the hardest because they're the ones where I work 2 jobs...Thursday I actually have time to prepare things :)

Groceries...check....plan...check...success...CHECK!  : )

Happy Sunday

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Diversification is Good :)

As I likely mentioned (somewhere), I'm an ESL teacher, and currently the director of a small language school in downtown Toronto. I love my line of work. Completely challenging, but also amazingly rewarding. When I was crafting my future, I originally planned on getting my PhD and becoming a university professor in English literature. My MA killed any inclination I ever had to do a PhD...hard and incredibly competitive in a very deep field. So after my MA I took my TESOL, reasoning that with this, and my MA, I could work almost anywhere, doing something I truly enjoyed. Fast forward a couple years and I have diversified into the administration side of things in my full time work, and kept my other toe in the water, so to speak, by doing freelance work teaching advanced students.

I am not sure what I want to do, but I am happy with the experience that I am getting. I am constantly searching for new challenges in my work (hence my stupid schedule), and today I just got a part time job with Humber College teaching academic English to either ESL or native speakers (my choice)'s an amazing opportunity. If this goes well, I could teach some of the general education courses in literature, which would be amazing. I may have to work 6 days a week, but I don't care.

So I am happy that I am taking on this new challenge (the money doesn't hurt either!) but I am worried about what it's going to do to my schedule. I know how time intensive an academic English class is. Marking and planning is brutal. I already work 2 jobs. Where does the time come from to take care of myself? That, I have to figure out. For now, I am going to appreciate this opportunity I've been given :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Lobster Red is Not my Colour

Had a fantastic weekend. Yesterday I relaxed, loafing around the apartment, and then bf and I went to a going away bbq for one of my amazing students who is going back to Korea in a few days :( This is the hard part about my line of students always end up going back home! I need to work with immigrants, at least they're sticking around for a while! Had a great time catching up with past students who I haven't seen since I left my last school. I miss them...they are great people :)

As for my food choices....welllll, still haven't learned how to navigate a bbq. Had too many tortilla chips, and a cupcake, but when it came down to dinner, I had a very small portion of potato salad, pasta salad, greek salad, and one hot dog. That and 2 cookies and half of a real coke. Not great...but trust me, it coulda been worse!

Today the bf and I made the 1.5 hour trek (holy crap btw) to Wild Water Kingdom just north of Toronto in Brampton. It was 40 degrees today, so we decided to fork over the $30 and spend the day at the water park...worth it? Not sure. I think they could have more rides, since by the time 1 or 2 pm rolled around (we got there at about 10:30), it was crazy busy and you're waiting 30 mins to go down one slide. They are touted as "Canada's largest water park"...not sure that's true...I'm from BC, any other BC'ers out there remember the water parks in Victoria and on the mainland? Swear they were bigger. But that could be childhood making it seem that way :) We still had a really good time (minus the fight at the beginning when we almost ended up going the wrong way on Brampton transit and being told that Google lied to us about the easiest way to get to the damn place!) Got burnt to a crisp. I am white like paper, no joke...5+ hours in 40 degree weather..there is not enough sunscreen in the world to protect me from that. But I will admit my own stupidity in only applying it once, right before we headed in, not remembering that the stuff is less effective with multiple plunges into water! But hey, in my defense, even my Moroccan got burnt...Mr. I-don't-need-sunscreen-I'm-from-Morocco...sheesh ;)

Ate water park food. I am going to track it...just as I am going to track yesterday's bbq. At least I had my regularly scheduled dinner, running out to the my bbq just in time before the frickin' cedar plank caught on fire! I'm in a condo in downtown Toronto...I'm not supposed to have a bbq in my I know why! lol

I also worked out yesterday morning. I woke up just before 10. Ate a banana and half of a herbal magic protein bar, laced up and did Couch to 5K week 1, day 3. Since I've had my running epiphany and I run a little bit slower now, I am going to try and actually finish the program. I am also going to TRY and get up tomorrow morning and do my next resistance workout for Tommy Europe's 10 lb Shred. Awesome workouts, but I HATE 6 am! lol. I need to change my mind set. I am going to try telling myself that I GET to wake up early and work out, not that I HAVE to get up early and work out. I have been avidly reading Amie's "Running on Healthy" blog and she is such a motivation. Amazing work ethic, and thus amazing results! It's all in the mindset :)

Have a great week!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Meals Planned and On Track

I actually have a free hour in my otherwise stupidly busy week, so I sat down and looked through my Eat Shrink & Be Merry cookbook and set up my dinners and lunches starting from Sunday to Friday. My schedule is a little crazy. I work full time until 4:30, and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I work again from usually 5:30 or 6 until 9, getting home between 9 and 9:30. So I am out of the house from 7:45am  until 9-ish. Makes it hard on the planning front because I am really bad at taking my WHOLE day's worth of food with me in the morning. I usually bring breakfast and lunch, and snacks, but I seem to have difficulty packing dinner as well.

So this week I made a concerted effort to plan meals that I could use as leftovers or were cold because my second job doesn't have a microwave. We'll see how it goes.

On the exercise front, I did work out this week, go me, lol :) The only way I can work out M-W is to do it in the morning, and that is proving incredibly difficult to do. Anybody else have extreme difficulty getting up at 6 am to work out??? I do. I used to do it...not sure how I managed. So, I need to work out at least 2 or three times from Thursday to Sunday. I hate working out on the weekends, but it's better than getting up at 6 am :)

So my meal plan next week is:

Sunday: Cedar plank salmon with corn and veg (trying to cut down on the starch, so no baked potato)
Monday: Lunch - Leftovers; Dinner - greek salad
Tuesday: Lunch - greek salad with some type of protein; Dinner - roasted red pepper and basil pesto angel hair pasta
Wednesday: Lunch - leftovers; Dinner - Subway roasted chicken sub
Thursday: Lunch - not 100% sure, as I won't be cooking the night before; Dinner - tuna casserole
Friday: Lunch - leftovers; Dinner - margherita pizza

Good thing I like leftovers, lol. With the right portion sizes and proper planning, I think it will work. Just need to buy the groceries for it. I always seem to run out of time on the weekend...*sigh* there never seems to be enough time, does there?

On the bf front, all is well :) Just waiting for him to come home so we can go out for our dinner and a movie date :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Reality is hard...

Really hard. I face reality for a lil bit, then I hide my head back in the sand and pretend it's all good. This last part of the week has sucked. My bf and I have hit a rocky's like we can't go three days without fighting. Case in point? The Saturday before last we fought...when did we speak again? Last Wednesday. Then we were good. The long weekend was awesome. Then Sunday...we fought. When did we speak again? Actually, I think later that night, but still. Then this Wednesday...we fought...when did we speak again? Will update when that actually takes place...*sigh* Now he's away for the whole weekend and I'm sad :(

Weight loss wise? Well, I'm down. I got sick a few weeks back and I am JUST getting over it. That and with working two jobs, it is HARD to stay on track. I don't seem to have the time to go grocery shopping, nevermind exercise, or plan meals. I need to take the time, but from M-W I leave my house at 745 and I get home at 9pm. That's hard to plan for. However...loads of people are busy. I am not so special that my busyness is busier than other people's. I think I'm just lazy. I work so hard during the week that come the weekend I don't want to work at anything that takes, well, work. Yet, if I don't have time during the early week, I must make things work later in the week. I want to be at goal!! Why am I wasting so much time and money on this frickin goal and then not following through??? If anyone has the answer, by all means, drop me a line.

Well, this post isn't that insightful...but I'm melancholy (such a great word) and all emo tonight with the bf situation and me home alone and just feeling sad :( Hopefully tomorrow brings better feelings