Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pausing the Goal

I didn't post yesterday. I didn't do my Day 10 of the 10-Pound Shred yesterday either. Well, food-wise was good, but the exercise part didn't get done.

Why not?

I have a tendency to wake up between 4-5 am to then go sleep downstairs on the couch. Sounds like a strange habit, doesn't it? But, you see, my husband's alarm goes off at 5:45 am (even if he doesn't actually get up until 6:30-6:45) and I like to sleep later than that. (Until starting the 10-Pound Shred, I was sleeping until 6:30-7am.) Once the alarm goes off, the chances of me sleeping after that are slim to none. Add to that the earlier and earlier sunrise right now and there is a lot of light in our bedroom after 5am. If I wake up even a bit, that's it, I'm done. Downstairs in the family room, the thick blinds are shut, creating a nice dark space, there aren't any windows open, so I don't hear the traffic (although I do sometimes hear the hermit crabs moving around and making noise). And I usually fall back asleep, waking up with my alarm or shortly before.

Yesterday, I woke up as usual around 4:30 and I could just feel that I was exhausted. Not just tired and would like to sleep more, but that I needed to sleep more and would probably sleep past 6:15--the time my cell phone alarm was set for to try to fit in the workout. So, I turned my alarm off, went downstairs and fell asleep. And slept until nearly 7am.

I woke up thinking, "Well, I can always do the workout this evening since I'm home this evening." Followed by the thought, "It's not the end of the world if it gets done tomorrow."

Went through the day and felt a little off the whole day, but still fairly good. Started really getting tired late afternoon. After supper, my son and I took a 20-30-minute walk, we got home, I was feeling so tired I decided to have a short nap, even though it was nearly 7pm. I woke up around 7:30, rather out of it, and just knew I would not do the cardio workout scheduled. I was fine with that. And feeling even better about it as I fully woke up from my nap and could just feel my body's need for rest. I went to bed later on guilt-free (although with some difficulty falling asleep!).

What am I getting at? Sometimes it's okay to pause the goal. Sometimes we need to take a break. It's not failure, it's not a lack of sticking to something. Had it been a case of yesterday morning me feeling lazy and unmotivated and saying, "Ugh, I don't want to workout this morning!", that'd be one thing. But my body was telling me I needed to pause. I had feared that if I paused, I wouldn't get back with it today, but that fear was groundless: I had only about 5.5-6 hours of sleep last night, got myself up and did that cardio workout without any internal complaints.

There are a lot of people out there saying, "Stick with it! If you're going to do this, you have to go all out! Etc.!" regardless of the goal. Self-recrimination and guilt can build up when we don't do as we think we ought. But I really do believe we all need to listen to our authentic inner nudgings. That voice, that wisdom is so much more important than an external goal we have chosen. Sometimes the voice will tell us to work harder. Sometimes it will tell us to pause. And that's okay.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 7 and Day 8 combined!

I didn't blog about Day 7 yesterday! It was an "active rest" day for the program, so do something mildly active. I didn't do anything first thing in the morning, did some ballet pliés and relevés while getting ready for the day (still feeling my calf muscles on those) and did some yoga/stretching in the evening. Food-wise... Hm. Trying to remember.  Oh, yes, green smoothie in the morning and leftover coconut breakfast cakes and... hm... lol. I can't remember. What did I eat for lunch? No clue. Had spaghetti with sauce for supper. And munched on watermelon throughout the afternoon and as a small snack after supper.

Today is Day 8 of my 10-Pound Shred book: resistance day. I guess because the first week is over, he stepped it up. Oh boy, did he step it up! I couldn't do all of the exercises as much as he said to. My shoulders, in particular, just aren't strong enough to do some of the stuff he focused on today. But, I pushed myself and that's what counts. (And I do mean I pushed myself: on one of the exercises, it was the last round and I still had 10 seconds to go but I knew if I bent my arms at all, I was simply going to collapse to the floor!)

Food-wise... Well, I have a confession to make: I made cookies. With white flour, white sugar, margarine and  eggs. The cookie dough was amazing, but... After a few minutes, I had my usual "sugar headache". Drank some water, kept going and it went away. But then I had two cookies. But now I feel done. I've got a sugar headache again and I'm just done. The craving was satisfied and I will just move forward. Other than that naughtiness on my part, I had oats and almond milk for breakfast and a largish salad (red leaf lettuce, some parsley, chopped up cauliflower, salad dressing and hemp seeds) and leftover pork chop for lunch. I like to avoid meat at lunchtime, but nobody was eating it and it had already been in the fridge since Sunday. If the pig had to lose its life, I figure the least we can do is not waste it.

I now have to figure out supper. :P

I'll leave you today with a video from the Raw Food Family/Ka Sundance (nothing related to my post, I just liked it!):

Sunday, May 27, 2012

First week almost done!

I'm working on Day 6 of the program today. It was strength/resistance day. Boy, was it HARD. lol. Definitely got me sweating and wondering how sore I will be tomorrow. Food-wise, I probably didn't have the best supper last night and other than that, just had the grapes and the coconut breakfast cakes I mentioned yesterday. Very unusual for me.

This morning, Tommy's food plan said two pieces of whole grain toast and although I was going to try to avoid wheat today, I decided I really, really wanted toast, so I had sprouted grain toast (no margarine! I've had far less margarine this week than usual, so that's good) with peanut butter (with sugar; still haven't gone to the grocery store to replace the natural stuff) and a little bit of honey. As a snack, I had some of my leftover coconut breakfast cakes. For lunch, I had a HUGE salad. After I'd already eaten more than half of it, I thought about taking a picture to show:

(Oops: didn't mean to get my hand and my reflection in there. lol)

Super simple to make! I just sort of invented it based on things I've been eating lately:

*6? red leaf lettuce leaves (I didn't really count, I just took as much as I thought I would eat)
*small amount of parsley
*6 or so large red grapes, cut into quarters
*sprinkle of raw sunflower seeds
*sprinkle of raw pumpkin seeds
*splash of lemon juice
*small splash of extra virgin olive oil

Tossed it all together and sprinkled on some hemp seeds (why afterwards? because I remembered I had them). It was delicious! I feel so proud: I created something without following someone else's recipe. lol. I may make a similar salad to accompany supper tonight. (Mmm, corn on the cob as part of supper tonight. I'll try to remember to avoid the margarine!)

I have to say that I'm finding my eating habits this week a little odd. I thought with more exercise, I'd have more of an appetite, but I actually have less of an appetite. It makes me wonder so many things:

  • Does cutting things out of my diet this week leave my body better able to process the good stuff? 
  • Have I been eating more good stuff so my body needs less food? 
  • Have I had more energy due to the exercise and/or cutting out lots of bad food, so I'm less likely to do the eating-cuz-I'm-tired thing? 
  • Have I been better at just ignoring little hints of boredom eating?

The program doesn't have you weigh yourself until Day 15, which is another 9 days away. I'd love to see if there's been any change yet weight-wise, but I'll "obey" and wait. Hard to say if my clothes are fitting any different because I bought new jeans last week and have been wearing mostly them. :P I haven't really noticed anything with any of my shirts. I'm not at a point of having a doctor say I'm overweight, so not much weight might come off me (if I lost even 20 lbs, I'd probably be too skinny), but I sure am feeling fitter! If I can stick with this healthier eating, and even improve on it, I know the small amount of excess weight will eventually come off although perhaps not within the 31 days. I'm just starting to feel excited. :D Before, it was kind of an, "I really want to do this," but then I didn't really do it. And now I can say, "I am doing it! I'm working out harder than I have in ages, my diet is getting better, I'm feeling stronger and healthier..." Feels good. :D

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 5 and feeling fine

(I'm lol'ing myself: As I went to type "fine" for the subject, I wrote "five"--Day 5 and feeling five? lol)

It is Day 5 on my 3rd or 4th attempt at following Tommy Europe's 10-Pound Shred Book. Another 26 days to go! I guess I should recap yesterday's food, but it's blurry, except for the horrible-for-me takeout I had last night. (Tommy would make me do a "butt kick" if I were on his show and he found out I had strayed from eating well.) On the flip side, I could tell this morning my body wasn't super happy with having eaten it. I don't regret having had it, but I am paying attention and am less likely to eat that again. Not only that, but I usually want breakfast by 8am; I ate for the first time after 10am this morning. I probably had enough calories and a bogged down digestive system that I simply didn't need to eat. The book says to make sure you're fuelled and don't skip meals and snacks and I usually don't/can't (start feeling faint), but I really had enough "fuel" from last night to keep me going this morning. And actually, even though it's after 3pm and I've usually had quite a bit to eat by now (well, by my standards), all I've had today were Ani Phyo's Coconut Breakfast Cakes and a small bowl of green grapes. I think my body still wants to clear out last night's food.

I did my workout a little later than usual this morning. I felt no need to get myself up at 6am to fit it all in by 7am when it's Saturday and I don't have kids showing up at 8am. (I run a home daycare.) Today was a cardio day. Tommy says he doesn't like cardio and most people don't, but I have to say that I do! I love the feeling, but I just have to watch how much I push myself. I felt like I was going too hard at one point and did a pulse check and yes, I was pushing too hard so eased up. This all means that I'm really not following his cardio plan as I'm not nearly fit enough (yet!) but he says we should modify it to make sure it works for us, so that's all good.

It's really amazing what just 5 days can do! I already feel stronger, I can tell my leg muscles are getting firmer... Why did I wait so long?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 4--TGIF!

I'm only at day 4? lol. This week seems to have dragged on so long, I was sure I had done more than that, but I guess not. TGIF!!!

I still did not manage to set my alarm early enough to fit in all of today's workout. I wonder if it's actually set up to gradually add more time each day! lol. Today was resistance day: treadmill warm up, then a sequence of 8 resistance exercises done all the way through 3 times, followed up by a treadmill cool down. I had to cut back on some of the rest times and even on the cool down. I'll get this figured out eventually.

Food-wise yesterday: Um... Not sure. Yesterday was "one of those days". I did not give into sweets or anything and didn't go crazy with horrible food, I just can't remember clearly enough what I ate. It was decent though. It hit me, though, that I'm going to have to work at eliminating certain foods, like bread. *sob* Unless I can find some that doesn't have chemicals and white sugar added to it. Even my soy yogurt will have to go: I had a look at the ingredients yesterday and was not impressed. Dextrose is one of the ingredients that comes to mind. :( *sigh* At some point, I'm going to have to accept all the signs pointing me to a natural foods diet and stop resisting!

I do know what I'm having for lunch today: leftover Monkey Minestrone!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 3 and another 28 to go

I'm now on Day 3 of Tommy Europe's 10-Pound Shred book. My muscles aren't as sore as they were yesterday, so that's good, although I had a hard time after the session on the treadmill to get myself to the floor to stretch.

Today was a cardio day (he alternates between cardio days and "resistance" days). I could not do the level of intensity he suggested, so I had to cut it back a bit. It's still so much better than I did last year when I tried to follow the program. Like yesterday, despite getting up earlier, I didn't have the time to complete it exactly as indicated, so I'm going to have to get myself up quicker after my alarm goes off or set my alarm for even earlier. Ugh. I'm going to have to start getting to bed earlier, but that might be hard since my 14yo, husband and I have a routine of watching an episode of X-Files on Netflix every evening, starting at 9:30, when our 11yo is in bed. Maybe the trick will be to be completely ready for bed when it starts, then I will just have to pop myself into bed when it's done. (Although, let's be honest here: how often is one's mind going to be calm and ready to sleep right after watching X-Files??)

Like I've said before, I'm not following his food plan, but I think I still did well yesterday. Here's what I ate (dairy-free as usual and yesterday turned out to be vegetarian:

*1/2 cup of oats with almond milk
*1 whole grain piece of toast with dairy-free margarine (I should probably learn to cut that out) and peanut butter (unfortunately, not the "just peanuts" kind--I should get some more of the just peanuts kind) and honey
*watermelon slices (not sure how many)
*Monkey Minestrone (see yesterday's post!) for lunch--lots of veggies, only some noodles
*a banana
*some hummus and baby carrots (didn't count how many, but it wasn't many)
*Monkey Minestrone for supper with a slice of white (eek) toast with margarine (ach) and garlic on it
*some dairy-free yogurt with some Nature's Path granola

I'm probably still low on the fruit and veggie consumption, but the above has so much fewer grains than what I normally consume, so that's good! And there aren't any chocolate chips, tortilla chips with Daiya cheese, Ritz crackers or anything like that in there. :D

I thought I might go crazy not giving into little junk items, but I didn't even crave them yesterday.

With the workout done, I just have to stay on track with the food! I'd really like to go for a nap though! lol

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 2 of the 31 Days

It is now the morning of Day 2 of my 31 days on Tommy Europe's 10-Pound Shred book. I have so far done the exercise portion (and thinking I need more stretching than he prescribes, but that's me!) and am trying to be super conscious about what I'm fuelling my body with today. I know I tend to overdo the grains, so I'm really tracking them and focusing on getting fresh fruits and veggies as much as possible. I also bought stuff last night to make a minestrone soup (from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan by Dreena Burton) and I think I just might make that for lunch. A dreary, rainy day here so soup sounds good.

My muscles are a bit sore from Day 1's fitness test. I'm kind of scared how they'll be later on now that I've done even more strength work. Yikes. I guess I'll live. lol. My knees are doing okay, which was my biggest concern, but I did many days of yoga in a row at the end of 2011 and know it helped with my IT band issues a lot.

Lessons learned today:

1) I need to give myself more time to do the full workout. I skimped on rest breaks and did not complete the cool down as indicated (but my heart rate wasn't high at that point, so "whatever" is kind of my attitude) because I was running out of time. I'm going to have to set my alarm even earlier. *sigh*

2) My core strength is abominable. You know what they say: If you don't use it, you lose it. Tommy's making me use it!


It's not too late to join in some sort of challenge with me! It doesn't have to be Tommy's 10-Pound Shred: it can be any exercise goal. I'd love to have some company!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 1 Tommy Europe's 10-Pound Shred

I've been trying to get into my summer clothes lately. They're not very flattering--and some don't fit at all. *gulp* As I am wont to do, I have been making progress and regressing and making progress again lately with food choices, but the inconsistency isn't helping me any and I'm not getting any exercise in. I really don't like how low my fitness level is.

For the next 31 days (including today), I will blog about my experience with Tommy Europe's 10-Pound Shred: From Flab to Fit in 4 Weeks, which I started today. (If you have this book and are reading and have been procrastinating doing it, or maybe you have some other program you are procrastinating, please join me!) Tommy is a Canadian fitness trainer and former pro football player. I learned about him when I was watching The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp on TV. I saw his book last year in the store and picked it up, started it and... I'm not sure what. lol. I do remember starting the program and then realizing about a week in that I was not repeating the daily sequences as indicated. Oops. I restarted a few times, but don't think I ever made it to the end. I can't remember if I just found it too challenging or what.

I am sooooo out of shape that I know I will have to modify the program, but that's okay: I can do it all again afterwards at a higher level. Today was just the "get yourself oriented" day. I took my measurements (gulp) and did the fitness test. I had to modify it and still had a time score of beginner. Ah well. I knew my fitness level was low. Modifications were in part because I could feel my knees telling me no more (squats and lunges) and there was just no possible way I was going to do as many sit-ups and push-ups as he said. It was simply not possible. Not unless I was going to be working at what is supposed to be about a 5-minute (okay, in my case it was closer to 10-minute) test for 30+ minutes. I wrote down the modifications so that I have something to compare to next time.

As part of the program, I'm not allowed to weigh myself again for 2 weeks. And I'm supposed to follow his meal plan, which I can't do due to food allergies and there are some foods I simply don't like. :P And I have a family to feed and they definitely won't eat some of the supper options (salmon? curry chicken? nope). I'm going to have to fiddle around with it.

So, here's to day 1 of my flab-free life. lol. Please send positive thoughts my way because I'm going to need all the help I can get!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dairy-Free Ice Cream

I've had the following book for a few years now:


I have stuck mainly with but a few classic recipes and have so far loved them! The book is completely vegan, using soy creamer in almost all recipes, so not soy-free, but you could use something other than soy for the "milk" part of the recipe. I'm thinking I'd like to see how to replace the soy creamer with something non-soy, but I'm not sure I'm that culinarily creative.

Today I am making the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe and have faced my constant problem with this recipe: the cookie dough instructions (delicious, absolutely delicious) leave a rather soupy consistency. And this is before adding any of the water he says to add. You're supposed to add a tablespoon at a time after you have the initial ingredients in place. If I did that, I really would have soup. As it is, the consistency is always too runny and I have to add more flour (almost twice as much) before I can start making anything that looks like cookie dough balls. I would suggest you try the same if you have this book. Despite this problem, this is my favourite recipe from the book!

I have been thinking to get in touch with Wheeler del Torro to find out if there is a mistake in the printing or what else he might suggest! But it just hit me today that by having nearly twice as much flour, I have much more cookie dough and it may be what makes the final product so darn yummy. :D