now browsing by category
November 6, 2013
Now that my 24 day Holiday Hustle challenge with Advocare is over, I wanted to share my results with you, but first…a major shout out to Janetha for hosting this challenge. Not only were her results amazing (seriously – when this girl does challenges she goes after it!), but she was an incredible coach. The Facebook group was full of encouragement, people checking in when they were struggling, motivational photos and words and recipes for healthy meals and snacks. This group totally helped keep me accountable because I knew that when I woke up, there would be many people who had already checked in and it made me not want to slip up! J’s a great coach and put so much effort into sending out videos and keeping everyone motivated with prizes that she bought with her own money to help keep us going.
I also want to thank my mom because she paid for it! Advocare doesn’t ship to Canada, so, as an early Christmas gift, my mom purchased the 24 day kit (with the extra Thermoplus supplement for me to try out) and it was sent to her and then she shipped it up to me. Just something for those north of the border to be aware of.
So that being said, here are my stats:
Weight: lost ~3 lbs (which honestly still fluctuates)
Inches: lost ~7 inches total (I had to measure myself when I got home as Mikey was away, so this could be more accurate…Obviously I am not the queen of paying attention to detail…)
Habits: Stuck! I’m still eating and enjoying other foods that include some processed sugar, but I feel keenly aware of what I eat and am more mindful and intentional with my choices (and that feels awesome!).
I’m continually reading and learning for myself that weight on the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. I *know* this in my brain, but I still find myself saying “good or bad” in my brain when it comes to how the weight on the scale. I’m no longer saying “good or bad” about my self-worth when it comes to my weight, but I find that I still rely on it more than I’d like. So…that’s where pictures come in! Here are my before, mid-challenge (day 11) and after pictures. Please note that I didn’t mean to take the photos from different angles or in different lights, but unfortunately Mikey was out of town for the mid-challenge photos so I self-timered it, and we were in a hotel in Boston when the challenge ended and the yellow light was the best we could find. I know this skews the photos a bit but that’s life!
I didn’t look “bad” in the before shots, but I didn’t feel great. I wasn’t comfortable in my clothes and all my pants were too tight. You can see the extra weight and puffiness in my face and my legs felt fuller. As I’ve said before, I really wanted something to help kick start mainly my eating habits and last for real, sustainable change.
I felt so good and different on day 11 (middle photo) as compared to 1! Even after finishing and going “off the plan” a bit in the last photo in Boston, I still felt tighter and less bloated then when I began.
These photos show some good change in my glutes, I think! My pose is (unfortunately) a bit different from photo to photo which makes it tougher to truly assess, but I think the T-Nation KB Challenge really changed my legs and glutes! My shoulders and delts feel more defined as well; definitely recommend that challenge to anyone.
I did my best to put the photos side by side in a fuller size; hopefully from day 1 until 24 this shows my change the best:
Not major, but a good kickstart to remind me that how I eat is the most crucial thing to maintaining (and losing) weight. A few things to note:
- I didn’t up my workouts at all during the challenge. I could have, sure, but I was busy with work and clients and simply just made time for my own workouts as I have been doing. I guess this shows the power of how you eat because I didn’t do anything that skyrocketed my metabolism or did any double days. It may not have gotten me ahead in those specific 24 days or with the challenge results, but this is life; it’s sustainable, real change that I can keep up and I love that!
- I will refer to the supplements that I took during the challenge in my first post and will also point you to the half-way post where I had to stop taking the Thermoplus because I experienced negative side effects.
- This is the first “formal” program I’ve ever tried, and I actually liked the plan and structure. It wasn’t too rigid, included real foods and wasn’t about fasting or starving yourself and was very balanced and easy to follow with different options for meals (save for the meal replacement shake for breakfast for days 11-24 which, after having a few extras, I ate because I WANTED to Wednesday for lunch!). It’s reasonable and not gimmicky (although I don’t think I would buy more supplements; I didn’t like what happened to me on the Thermoplus but the other supplements were “safer,” in my opinion, like calcium and a probiotic and multivitamin).
- For someone with not lots of extra cash lying around, this challenge is pricey. I’m not one to spend money on extras like this and find that, even post-challenge, I’m happy going back to real food and striving for that ever-popular “80/20″ split of 80% “clean” eating and 20% “as you like” eating. For me, this DOES involve sugar, some candy and a glass of wine here or there (although I still haven’t had one even though I’m now able to!) and part of that reason is the cost. I simply wouldn’t be able to keep it up on my own and if I’m thinking sustainable for life, I’m thinking real food and moving more in my daily life! Those are my two main rules I live by when it comes to my health and fitness.
I’m glad I did this challenge and it became easier and easier to say, “No thanks!” to options out and not feel deprived but rather empowered at the choices I was making. I loved the community and doing this with a team and for sure wouldn’t have stuck to this without that element. And although they weren’t drastic, I’m happy with my results! I feel jump started to keep getting after it and pursuing this lifestyle in as balanced way as possible. I think this challenge actually showed me that I’m not too far off from where I want to be, and to lighten up a bit when it comes to comparison with others but to also honestly keep in mind that I ALWAYS have control over what goes into my mouth and that those choices affect how I feel, sleep, workout and live! I want to keep these good feelings up and also enjoy the cake or wine or candy corn (only seasonally…that ship has sailed for another year!) without guilt and then move on.
Thanks for following along with my challenge and for allowing this to be a place where I can post pictures without worry of judgment; I am who I am and I appreciate that those who read this get that!
Have you ever tried a challenge similar to this before? Did you see change from it, have you kept that change up and would you try something like this challenge?
(yesterday’s post-workout shoot!)
Have a stellar Thursday friends! Live well & be well,
November 3, 2013
Hello from the Chicago Airport! Hard to believe that my time in Boston has already come to a close…it’s been an incredible trip. I thought that I would break up our experiences into 2 posts: one with the touring we did around this amazing city and one of the conference which was incredible! Wow…so much to share – it’s hard to know where to start!
After we arrived in Boston, so happy to have a break and be traveling together again, Mikey and I dropped our luggage off and went straight to the mall. The mall? Yeah – we were about 40 minutes on the T (their subway/train system) away from downtown Boston and there was nothing within walking distance of our hotel, so we hopped on the free shuttle to get a few supplies for the week from Target.
I loved seeing all the fun seasonal Halloween candies and things that are only in the great US of A – it was good to be home.
We headed back to the Marriott Quincy and read our books in the hot tub, which was right next to the gym and in full view of the weight room. I could only take it for about 10 minutes before I just HAD to go MOVE! So I did a great 20 minute workout, showered and gathered my pruny husband from the hot tub and we hit the hay.
The next day, we took the T downtown and bought a pass for the Duck Boat Tour – a chance to see all the history of Boston, to get out and walk and explore, with museum fees included sounded perfect to us. We started by seeing some famous statutes, loved hearing about history along the way and had fun getting off at our first stop: Fenway Park.
The Boston Strong and Red Sox fever was everywhere! …what a great time to be in this city.
Fenway Park was amazing…so much rich history and being in the first ballpark in the US made me really proud to be an American. We were there taking a tour on the afternoon before the Red Sox won the World Series – so we even got to hear DropKick Murphy’s warming up! Big time bonus.
After the tour and loving the excitement for the Red Sox that you could feel sweeping the city, we hopped back on the tour, explored by walking around a little more and stopped for an important visitor who zoomed by in his motorcade – President Obama! We didn’t see him, but we did see his car go by and the American flags on the side. So cool! We hoped we’d see him in speak at Fenuiel Hall in Quincy Market but, after waiting for about a half hour, we lef the area and gave up a shot for a glimpse at the President – but I don’t think he ended up surfacing there in view of where we were anyway. Still a neat, crowd experience!
Eventually, after another museum stop in the Old South Meeting House, we ended up eating our first “real” meal of the day in the oldest pub in Boston – the Bell in Hand. Mikey especially loves the architecture of the old buildings, which are older than the life of the city of Calgary! The Bell in Hand was wedge-shaped, and we took up residence at a high table in the skinny part of the wedge. When in Boston, eat fish, right? I had the Baja Tacos, which were delicious, and Mikey ate the fisherman’s platter which he couldn’t even finish! I had my first sip of alcohol since the 24 day Holiday Hustle, a half pint pumpkin beer with a tasty sugar and cinnamon rim but didn’t even drink half of it! That ended up being my only alcohol of the week; I chose to go with more candy options coming off my food challenge. Maybe some of these habits will actually stick!
We also helped each other with our presentations for the upcoming conference; it was fun brainstorming together on a napkin in the oldest pub in America.
We took a long walk after that, around Little Italy which was beautiful, safe and full of great looking Italian restaurants – wish we could have stayed for some gelato or a coffee! We were actively staying away from sweets after a “lightly battered,” as the menu said, meal of fish, so we passed, but we did walk by the Thinking Cup coffee shop that Janetha told me to go to – can’t believe we didn’t have room for a canoli!
We continued meandering down the Freedom Trail to Old North Church (where Paul Revere lit the lamps signalling the British were coming!) and Paul Revere’s house. Although I didn’t get a good picture of it in the darkness, I loved the statue of Paul Revere on a horse rearing up, proudly wearing a Red Sox jersey.
We finally got back on the T and rode home, walking back up to the hotel and flopping down, switching on the Red Sox game until the end, cheering them on even though we wouldn’t really call ourselves baseball fans. Being at Fenway Park earlier in the day made for an exciting game and we loved watching that game-winning strike-out and the thrill that was so obvious in the stadium! Boston needed this, and I was so happy that after the Boston Marathon bombing that this happened; it was an emotional and powerful week in this city.
Day 2 of our explorations began as day 1 ended for me: with a short workout!
I came back, woke the boy and we enjoyed with some oatmeal, a banana and some baby oranges in our hotel room bought from our Target trip. We also got some carrot pack, cherry tomatoes and raw nut trail mix to help with snacks during the day, some buns with individual peanut and almond butter packs for quick sandwiches so we never purchased lunch out and some mint tea for the evenings. A cheap and easy way to travel!
Back on the tour (we bought the multi-day pass), we started off with a stop at the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest wartime boat still afloat. We got there right in time before a big group and enjoyed a free 20 minute tour from one of the active-duty navy men and learned a lot about the fascinating history of the boat and the battles “Old Ironsides” engaged in against the British.
We were also able to pop over to the nearby museum and strolled around, reading more about the history of the boat and the era. It was a great start to the day!
After the boat tour, we hopped into the harbor on a different kind of boat – a Duck Boat! As with every tour guide we had, the drivers were hilarious, disarming and charming. I think I’d be intimidated by younger Boston men but I sure think the older ones are fun! I love the people out here…similar feel to San Francisco but a little brashness to the friendliness of Bostonians – cool city and cool people.
On the way to our first destination, I also had my first coffee in 24 days! It was simple, like I always have it – a short, dark roast with 1 shot, this time from Starbucks. It was perfect sipping a coffee with Mikey as we made our way to the next destination on the double decker bus.
The rest of the day was dedicated to being in Harvard Square, where we checked out some great exhibits at the Museum of Natural History (tough call between that and the MIT museum, but we only had time for one!) and then just strolled the campus.
It must be incredible studying in a place with so much history! Although the day was gray, it was warmer than the day before and we loved walking through the old brick buildings, steeped in history and so beautiful.
That evening was all about hockey – we made it to Boston Gardens and took in a hockey game! It wasn’t the greatest game (although former Flame Jerome Iginla won the game for the Bruins in a shoot out! That’s our boy!), but it was fun to be in a famous arena and the steep seats provided great views even from our place in the upper balcony.
This is also, to be noted, the night I had candy corn – on Halloween! YUM! I bought a bag, ate half and threw the rest away – that’s how I portion control and help myself with will power.
Friday brought a day to stick around the hotel, visit with a super amazing friend, Jaime, from our Grand Canyon trip this summer (who drove for 2 hours from Connecticut to have lunch with us tired folk! SO thankful to have seen her face to face) and a day of working on our presentations. Can’t believe we failed to snap a pic with Jaime, but we went into Quincy (which is actually about 25 years older than Boston!) for Mexican food and had a great time catching up and chatting.
And…for the rest of the trip, the full day conference on Saturday, you’ll have to tune in later this week! I’ll also pop back with a glimpse at my before and after photos of the Holiday Hustle challenge and my wrap up thoughts on the experience. I think for coming off such a challenge I did fairly well throughout the week away! I definitely allowed candy indulgences and did have 1 donut (pumpkin pie) from Dunkin Donuts (first time ever there!) on our first day of exploring Boston, but we hadn’t eaten much all day and I figure pumpkin’s already on it’s way out up in Canada, so I might as well enjoy it. More on that later, but I just wanted to share the fun time we had in Boston. We crammed a ton in (hence why we were so tired when we connected with Jaime on our “day off” to study and work!) but it was worth it. If you love history, friendly people and a beautiful area, take a trip to Boston! We had a blast.
Talk to you guys soon! I’m back for a full week of work while Mikey is in Rotterdam in the Netherlands for his first international conference – so proud of him. God has been so faithful to us in our story and I’m grateful for this trip to remind of that. Live well & be well, friends!
October 27, 2013
It occurred to me on Friday, October 25th, that Christmas is just 2 months away. WOW. That means that Halloween is just around the corner and right on it’s tails are (American) Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. And you know what that means: drinks, treats and missed workouts. Of course, it doesn’t have to mean this, but it often means indulging in festive foods and foregoing workouts here and there. I’m here today to be that voice that reminds you not to throw it all away in the next few months.
You might be one of those people who sticks to their workout plan and says no to all alcoholic drinks and sugar-laden treats, and if so, GOOD FOR YOU! Truly! …and this post might not be for you. But for those of us who either indulge more over these next few months or use it as an excuse to go way overboard, I’m speaking to you. As you know, I’ve been off all processed sugars and foods, including alcohol and coffee, for the past 22 days or so. I’m excited for once my Holiday Hustle officially ends and I’m “allowed” to have some extra goodies, but I certainly don’t want to undo the good I’ve done my body – both inside and out – over the past month! I’ve been deliberate with everything I’ve put in my mouth, been mindful about what I’ve chosen to eat and not eat and am ready to reintroduce some “fun foods” despite knowing how good my body feels without them right now. In other words, I WILL have some candy corn on Halloween,
some frozen yogurt once or twice
and a glass of wine to celebrate my cousin’s wedding in December! However, if you’ve been consistent with your workouts and eating mindfully, you don’t want to lose it all by “letting it go” and reassuring yourself that you’ll “start in January.” Sure, it may only be a few pounds, but I want to remind you of a few truths BEFORE Halloween and the onslaught of leftover candy, baked goods and spiced ciders start to hit you home:
- You can’t out-train a bad diet, period. Don’t believe me? Check out this video and be hit with the truth of how EASY it is to eat more than you burn off. We tend to overestimate how much we burn and underestimate how much we’re ingesting.
- Whatever you choose to do, remember that you are choosing to form habits. It may only be for 2 months before you get “back on track,” but either way you are creating habits during those 2 months of either being mindful about your choices or not thinking about them. You’re either choosing sleep or lazy days over squeezing movement in the midst of family- and fun-filled days or choosing to say yes to “one more drink” or another cookie rather than choosing moderation. What habits do you want to come out with 2 months later?
- Be 100% behind every decision you make. Don’t feel pressured to try your aunt’s cake or have another beer if you really don’t want it. If you’re going to have a piece of pumpkin pie, enjoy it! Let it hit your lips and savor every bite, and when you don’t want it anymore or you’ve ceased to enjoy the rest of it, let it go and be done. If you feel like working out or going for a fall run, get out and do it and enjoy the movement! If we focus on enjoying our food and not feeling guilty afterwards, we’re more likely to not overindulge.
- More mindfulness when it comes to situational eating by a woman who seems to have mastered the balance of enjoying life (and food!) while being so in control and aware of what she puts into her body, Jill Coleman.
These articles are great reminders for me as I prepare to go away to Boston on Tuesday (wahoo! Will post the whys and whats while we’re there!) and a.) won’t be weighing myself, b.) will be finishing my Holiday Hustle plan while there and c.) will for sure find myself in different situations where I could have a glass of wine or eat some chowder “just because I’m in Boston.” Great reminders on the eve of a trip.
I leave you with a shot from snowy Calgary today – I think winter’s finally here!
Grateful for a beautiful, warm fall (and a perfect fall solo run Friday evening) and maybe, just maybe, ready for a bit of skiing. Live well & be well, friends!