this is a page for

Monthly Archives: May 2017

Need some inspiration? It’s closer than you think.

In need of some inspiration? Some days we feel like we can conquer anything we put our mind to, and other days it takes everything we’ve got just to keep our heads above water.  When you’re in the middle of trying to lose weight or make healthy changes those tough days are the ones that can really test your resolve and push you to your limits, and it’s also those tough days when a little inspiration can go a long way. Sometimes inspiration can come from a famous athlete, or an Instagram personality, or even something you see on TV, but sometimes you can find inspiration from the people closest to you when you weren’t even looking for it.

My daughter Audrey has a very stubborn nature and if you tell her she can’t do something she will turn the world upside down trying to prove you wrong. While most of the time this can be extremely frustrating when managing the day-to-day, last Sunday I was remained of an important lesson, that when you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.

After watching her older brother master his roller blades a couple of years ago (he is a hockey player so this came pretty easy for him) Audrey was determined to get an older pair of his roller blades on and learn how to skate on wheels. I was discouraging her because I really wasn’t sure she had the patience to learn, she can skate but roller blades are a whole different animal. She started slow and fumbled around and I was sure she would get discouraged and give up, then she took a few good wipe outs and after wiping the tears and putting some band aids on her newly scraped legs, I was sure those roller blades were coming off.  I was wrong.  She turned the garage over looking for old hockey equipment to put on to save her knees and elbows and hands. When she was ready for battle she started practicing again, and was doing really well, until she took too much speed going down the driveway and actually caught air and fell, hard, on her hip/side. I was sure that was going to be it, at least for the day. I was wrong again.

Now I will admit, I’m not one to coddle my kids, when you have three, you get pretty good at being able to decipher which falls/cuts/scrapes are being blown out of proportion and which need actual attention. But when I saw her take the fall down the driveway and catch flight I knew that must have hurt. I almost wanted her to take the blades off, and told her maybe to take a break.  She looked square at me and said, “Mom, I’ve spent too much time practicing to give up now”. Wow…I was in awe of her, BOOM…right there, inspiration where I had not been looking for it.

I told her to go for it, (maybe just side step down the driveway until she felt more comfortable with going down full tilt).

She spent hours on those roller blades on Sunday…then again on Monday and by Tuesday she was going around the neighbourhood on her blades while we rode our bikes. That unwillingness to let fear stop her, and to keep going when she was a little bruised and shaken, made me so proud of her.  I was inspired by her tenacity and perseverance to master this new skill and her “can do” spirit. I thought it was a good lesson to start the week with, as I myself have been feeling a little beat up by my own training for my upcoming triathlons.

So I started Monday with her “no quitting” mantra in my mind, and started to tackle the day knowing that inspiration can come from anywhere, but sometimes when you least expect it, you can find it from the most wonderful of places, like your children.

Be well everyone.

 

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

This is such a great saying, and its so true. We often have to go through the struggle of losing weight, or getting healthy by ourselves and while we might have support along the way it is often the small struggles or battles that we face alone daily that make the journey so tough.  There will be no applause when we decide to pass on the desert and just have a coffee, or when we push out that last rep at the gym (even though it was really hard), or when we run just a little further than we did yesterday.

All the daily struggles we face when making big life changes add up to big successes eventually, we just have to be willing to give it time to see the results.

Nothing can be more challenging than facing a long weekend full of busy events, family time, BBQ’s, eating out, drinking, and trying to stay on track. One of the best things you can do is plan out your weekend of eating, and activities so you can anticipate where you will need to have a bit more resolve to stick with your healthy diet plan, or have alternatives available so you don’t fall off your plan. Also just because you are going to be busy, don’t forget about your workout routine, shoehorn it in or do body weight exercises/or go for a brisk walk or run if you will be travelling. Ask anyone who exercises regularly and they will be the first to admit that they feel awful after not moving for a couple of days, so get out there and do something to get your heart rate up or break some sort of sweat. That light beer will taste better later on when you know that at least you did something to be active.

If you are in situations with little control over food choices, do what you can to stay on track. Try burgers with lettuce buns, or half the bun, load up on grilled veggies and salads with oil and vinegar, stay away from any kind of salad with made with mayonnaise, eat lots of fresh fruit, skip the appetizers (except the veggie tray…there is always a veggie tray = lifesaver) and keep your calories for your meal. Choose lighter aperitif’s like vodka soda’s with lemon, light beer/low carb beer or sugar reduced wines. It’s so easy to lose track of calories when you drink them that before you know it you have had two or three drinks and drank half your suggested calorie intake for the day. Skip the frappacino’s, mochacino’s, iced cappacino’s….these drinks are nothing but sugar and do NOTHING for you.  Best you can do, ask for coffee over ice with a splash of milk/light cream/almond milk or coconut milk.

No one said it was going to be easy to get healthy, lose weight or reach fitness goals, but ask anyone who has come out the other side and survived long weekends without ruining their healthy living plans, and they will tell you it can be done, and it’s TOTALLY worth it.

Have a great long weekend everyone…stay safe and stay on track!

Be well everyone.

Never give up, never quit – get up and try again.

 

This quote jumped out at me because it’s the air bubble I imagine floating above my head as I keep falling off my new road bike (I bought for my triathlons) in front of my house, more importantly,  in front of my neighbours houses on the court where I live. I have been tirelessly trying to practice clipping in and out of my road bike pedals only to fall mercilessly to the ground because I can’t unclip in time to catch myself. I am bruised, a bit battered and scrapped up and unlike the childhood freedom I first felt from cycling again (with my mountain bike), I now feel the childhood frustration of being unable to master what should be (so I’m told) a fairly easy task. I have had the pedal tension adjusted and the cleats (clip in part of the shoe) tightened, I have practiced in between doorways in the house and on the grass…but I still find myself crashing to the ground…like a tree.

All of the struggles I am having with trying to learn this new skill remind me that changing your life and making the decision to eat healthy and exercise is EXACTLY like trying to ride a bike with clip in shoes….your going to struggle, you are going to fall down and you are going to think of quitting but if you keep trying and you don’t give up, you will do it (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). I struggled with my weight for so many years, going up and down, never really mastering the partnership between diet and exercise. If I counted all the times I successfully lost weight only to gain it back it, it would easily be between 5-7 times…until four years ago when I finally made that magic connection between food/fuel/exercise/and healthy living. So in comparison I am hoping if I keep trying to ride using clip in shoes, it will become like second nature, something I don’t even have to give much thought to, something that comes naturally, the way healthy living does now.

It might take someone 5 tries, 10 tries or 20 tries to lose weight or get healthy and maintain that lifestyle, but it can be done and it will be worth every second of the struggle. Quitting would be easier, going back to eating poorly and not moving (or back to simple pedals) would seem less daunting, but I’m not going to give up and I hope you won’t either. If you fall off your plan, get up, dust yourself off, (in my case maybe grab a band aid…or two) get back on and try, try again. It will happen.

Be well everyone! (and if you have any riding advice for clip in shoes I would love to hear from you!)

When you step out of your comfort zone…something incredible happens.

I thought this quote was very fitting for the message I wanted to share today, seeing as it has the bicycle in the photo.

I have to admit that I have questioned my sanity a few times on this new endeavour of mine to complete (and hopefully do well) two sprint triathlon’s this summer. It’s funny that I would choose a sport with a component (racing a bike) that sincerely terrifies me and I’d like to think that I’m pretty willing to try anything that will put me out of my comfort zone. I mean seriously, I’ve done a 1/2 Marathon, I’m a Tough Mudder Legionnaire, and I got on stage in almost nothing and competed in a fitness/bodybuilding competition. Ever since I lost weight and changed my life, I made the decision to never let the fear of failure stop me from trying something I wanted to do, and I’ve been rolling the idea of completing a triathlon in my head for a long time. It was the road racing element of sport that always deterred me.

I’m pretty sure it’s being vulnerable without any protection on the road that scares me to death. When I was a kid riding around the neighbourhood it was fine, but when I moved to a much bigger city I was too intimidated so I stopped all together. While my kids all ride bikes, it’s never been something that I’ve been eager to make a family affair….I have on many occasions ran behind the kids while they ride…that has been a great compromise.   I’ve heard too many stories and know too many people who are cyclists that have been the victims of accidents because of careless drivers, so while the goal of completing a triathlon has been there, its been overshadowed because of my fear of racing on the bike, or at least training on the roads. So when I was done with the fitness show and I was trying to decide what I was going to do next, training for a triathlon was the clear choice and diving into my fear, facing it head on was what I was going to do.

So here I am, knee-deep in training and I have had to make the transition from the stationary bike to the road. I’ve been out twice now for long rides and I want to share this….something inredible has happened. The fear I had of being on the bike and riding on the street has been replaced with the feeling of pure joy…a feeling I had forgotten that came from when you were a kid riding around with the sun on your face, chasing your friends, not being afraid of going too fast, like you can race the wind…its an exhilarating feeling. Now I will say that in order to ease back into cycling, I’ve had to combine riding on the trails (which I prefer) and less busy roads, but I’m absolutely hooked. I’m super excited to get back out for my next ride and I’m in the process of looking for a new bike that is better suited for road racing and triathlon’s. The bike allows you to see the world around you in a whole other perspective while providing a great workout. I’m not sure if I’ll ever try to navigate my way around the streets of downtown (Toronto) on my bike, I might stick to the trails, paths and less busy streets around the city for training and leisure riding, but no matter what I have found joy in something that I was afraid of. I think that’s pretty amazing, and I hope you will be open to allowing yourself a chance to do the same, whatever fear it might be that’s holding you back from accomplishig  something you want.

Be well everyone.

Crock Pot Chicken – Super Easy and Super Versatile!

I’ve posted this recipe on my food for fuel page, but was recently asked about it and happened to be making it last night so I thought I’d share it again on my daily blog.

(Originally From FOOD FOR FUEL PAGE)

So I’m not sure if this actually qualifies as a recipe, more of a time saver, however the quality of the chicken is amazing and the taste is so versatile, plus we use so much chicken in our house that I usually make it a couple times a week.

Take 5-6 Chicken breasts, cut them into halves (I cut them into thirds so that I can get more flavour on them), place them in the crock pot. Add 1-2 table spoons of EVOO and whatever seasoning suits your fancy, mix it up and turn the crock pot on high for 4 hours.

 

When its done, you can shred it, cube it, dice it…use for taco’s, wraps, pasta dishes, salads….whatever, just keep in fridge and I wouldn’t worry too much about it going bad beaucse it won’t last that long.