Friday, March 28, 2014

One Year

It has been one year. 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months.... 525,600 minutes.

One year ago today, I wrote this post and decided that I needed to do something about my weight. Last year when I wrote that post, I knew I was ready to make a change... but I honestly didn't think that I would fully commit and be able to look at myself one year later and be proud of how much I changed. Since March 28th, 2013 I have lost between 85-90lbs. However, I'm down 115lbs from my heaviest weight. This is my heaviest weight (left) and current weight (right):

I have learned many things over the past year. I’ve learned that this is a journey, losing all the weight won’t happen overnight – and funny enough, I’m okay with this. I have learned to LOVE this journey, thoroughly. Eating clean, and exercising (especially running) have helped me to feel so great – inside and out.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to slip-up/fall/cheat.. but just get back on track. Just because you eat bad things for lunch, or for an entire day... or even an entire weekend, it doesn’t mean you have to stop everything all together and just quit. Just get back up, dust yourself off, and get back to living as healthy as you can.

I’ve learned that there are going to be people who don’t fully support you – sometimes people will mock your food choices, or opting not to drink alcohol, or go out partying – who cares. Let them. Something I’ve learned over the past year is that I can’t make choices based on how other people will react or treat me because of it, I have to make the best choices for me (this was a really hard concept for me to grasp, and sometimes I still struggle with it).

This journey is far from easy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because it has tested me in all aspects of my life: mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. It’s easy to only show people on the outside (colleagues, instagram posts, facebook updates, tweets, etc) the fun or easy side of losing this weight, but let me tell you - there are struggles. For anyone who thinks that losing weight, staying committed, and making the decisions to eat clean and exercise daily are easy things to do, please come talk to me.. cause I’d like to know your secret. ‘Cause as far as I’m concerned... this shit is HARD.

This is from January (I can't believe I'm posting this online). This was the size my waist used to be.

I’ve always done my best to be open on honest about my weight-loss journey on all social media platforms, but I’ll admit... I’ve pulled back from posting anything because I’ve been in a rut. Ever since the beginning of February I’ve been hit with sickness, after sickness, after injury, after sickness, and sickness once again... not kidding. Strep throat, wisdom teeth extraction, strained hamstring, food poisoning/flu bug, and then a cold. It has been an interesting 6 or 7 weeks... and I basically haven’t been working out. I’m trying to eat as clean as I can, but honestly... I’m not impressed with myself. I’ve only gone for about 15 runs since February 1st, and this is so frustrating to me. My body just physically cannot handle running right now because my hamstring is still so sore. I’m supposed to be running a 10k on April 27th, and as it stands right now.. I may need to cancel that. My training is at a complete stand still, and I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to actually get back to running.

These are from Christmas 2011 - my heaviest weight.

The struggles of weight-loss are real. I’m disappointed that I’ve lost a lot of my strength and endurance because of these set-backs, but I’m determined to get back up. If I dwell on the things that have come my way since the start of 2014, I fear that I’ll revert back to old habits and go back to the dark place that I swore I would never go. My weight isn’t going up, it’s still going down – which is great, but I’m not making choices that will benefit my health, and that’s not okay. When I realized that today marked 1 year from the time I decided to change my life, I realized this was the push I needed to get myself back in the game. I’m recommitting myself to getting back to doing whatever I can (injury permitting) to be physically active on a daily basis, and not allow myself to have multiple cheat meals a week – just one. Here we are friends, my re-committment to this lifestyle that I worked so hard to achieve last year. I’ve still got about 40lbs to go until I hit my initial ‘goal’ weight. Who knows, I may be done at that time, or I may re-assess and set new goals for myself, we’ll see. But for now.. this is me, this is my journey, and I won’t ever stop.

Left - March 2013 | Right - December 2013

Ms. New Booty (feat. Ying Yang Twins & Mr. Collipark) by Bubba Sparxxx on Grooveshark

Linking up with my favourite unicorn advocate today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The One Where She's No Longer Single

Warning: I might get mushy. Sorry, not sorry.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been the single friend. Also, for as long as I can remember, I have been happy about it. This recently changed.

I was always the girl who was happy being single, and never really longed for a 'relationship' like most of my friends. Sure, I thought chick flicks were cute - and I hoped that I would one day find someone that I'd have those cute and happy moments with - but I never really longed for it. Mainly because I think I was so comfortable being single.

Over the past couple of years I've been on plenty of dates - but they never really went anywhere. Either I was just not interested in the guy enough to make it 'official' or it was basically a chapter straight out of 'He's just not that into you'. Sometimes it sucked, but at the end of the day - I thoroughly enjoyed my space and having my status remain as 'single'. Obviously since I'm writing this post, you know I'm no longer single.

I started talking to him at the beginning of February - which was around the time that I was trying to heal from strep throat and having my wisdom teeth extracted. Because of my health complications, I wasn't able to hang out or go on dates - so we spent a lot of time just talking and getting to know each other... which I think know is what made me like him more. Our personalities clicked really well, and he knew exactly how to make me laugh... just by typing a few simple words.

By the time we finally had our first official date, we were already pretty into each other. Our first date lasted 9-10 hours, because neither of us were ready to say goodnight and go home. From there, it just kind of snowballed into us wanting to see each other and hangout all the time (ahhh gotta love the honeymoon phase). After a couple weeks of dating we both knew that we wanted to be official/exclusive/whatever you want to call it.. so we made it official, and here we are.

I could probably say a lot of mushy things, and be a complete girl for 5 minutes and share the cute details, but I'll spare you that - for now. I'll just leave you with this: he makes me very happy, he accepts me for who I am and doesn't try to change me, he can make me laugh (a lot), and he's probably the nicest guy I've ever dated.

This is Justin. You're going to be seeing a lot more of him around here.

For the record, we are not naked.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I miss weekend shenanigans

I'm getting around to posting this at noon.. better late than never, right?

I miss having my 'weekend shenanigans' post to link up with my love, Sami every Monday. It's been a while since I've done a weekend update of sorts, but I'm going to kinda do a Shenanigans type post today. Leeeggo (Yeah, I just said that...)

Friday was spent at a pub, drinking with colleagues friends (and my boyfriend) until the early hours of Saturday morning. It's always fun to spend some time outside of the office with your colleagues (the good ones) to let loose, have some drinks, and share inappropriate stories.

Saturday was spent binge watching Revenge - if you haven't watched this show, or if you're not currently watching it please start watching it RIGHT NOW. It is SUCH a good show. Seriously.
Anyway, after the hours little bit of time that I spent laying in bed watching Revenge, I actually got my butt in gear and food prepped for the week. My lunches for the first few days of the week are these heavenly little gems:

I spent Saturday night and all day Sunday looking after this little guy, and just being lazy. Apart from taking him for a few walks, going to the grocery store, and cooking a few meals - Sunday was prettttty low maintenance, and all about the movies and cuddling.

I was the only one who could stay awake...

Annnnnd that's about it for my weekend.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why I Love Cheat Meals

Cheat meals, ohhhh cheat meals.

When you're working on losing weight - whether it be through clean eating, or exercise, or a combination of both - one thing is true in my mind: cheat meals are key.

Last year, I made huge changes in my life and dropped a large amount of weight. Throughout the year, I continued to challenge myself in different ways possible. I cut out alcohol completely for a few months, I ate clean (pretty strictly), and switched up work-outs to "shock" my body into not knowing what was coming so that I could drop weight and not hit a plateau immediately.

Throughout the different challenges that I gave myself, one thing that I learned about my body (and apparently everyone's body... which I learned through research) is that I benefit drastically from cheat meals. My body and weight-loss respond best when I eat clean and allow myself one cheat meal per week. That's the one thing that I'm disappointed that I didn't learn earlier in the year (in 2013)... I challenged myself to be so strict with no cheat meals for close to 3 months. I didn't see the results that I would've expected to see. Since changing my eating style to eating clean and having one cheat meal a week, I've dropped a lot more weight than when I was strictly eating clean.

Whether you're just starting your weight-loss journey, or you're a 'seasoned' professional with yo-yo dieting, or you're fit and a hardcore clean eater... I still believe that having a cheat meal every week will help you. Let's face it - we're all human. We all crave bad foods from time to time, and if you're one of the 0.1% of the worlds population who doesn't crave bad foods, please don't tell me about it. I believe that if you don't give into these cravings every so often, you're more likely to 'fall off the bandwagon' all together, or sneaking foods, or binge eating.

If you're like me, you may eye food a little something like this:

I'm going to break it down a little... Because really, I swear, it's not all in my head - cheat meals really do work well for your body.

Implementing a cheat meal into your regime is a great way to ensure that your metabolism is "up" and running on full blast. This cheat meal can reboot/kick-start your metabolism. The key to all of this is a hormone called Leptin. This plays a key role in regulating energy intake/energy expenditure. Leptin is also an anti-starvation hormone... aka you can use it to your advantage.

With that being said, if you don’t have a cheat every so often (my suggestion is per week, but you can do it bi-weekly, or monthly if you prefer), then your leptin levels will continue to rise. This is more than likely going to cause you to go on a huge binge anyway.

In my opinion, you should try and follow a few simple guidelines when deciding to have a cheat meal:

  • Plan your cheat meals in advance - don't just randomly eat ALL THE THINGS whenever you see them. Try and 'plan' something in advance, or have an idea of what you want to eat.. I promise it'll make your life easier, and keep your cheat meals from becoming cheat days or cheat weekends.

  • *IF YOU CAN*... Eat your cheat meal after you work-out. This is when your body is going to benefit from the 'cheat meal' the best. Your leptin levels will be lower, and your body will be in it's 'high fat, high calorie burning mode'.

  • Don't over indulge. You get another cheat meal next week... don't make yourself sick. Don't eat 5 slices of pizza, a bag of M&M's, and a bag of popcorn. No. This will make you sick - GUARANTEED. Also, it'll undo all the good that you've been doing for your body.

  • If you want a big-ass bowl of ice cream as your cheat meal, go for it. Have at it... But, I strongly suggest having a high protein and high carb cheat meal.

Realistically, I probably could've gotten a lot more scientific with this explanation or maybe explained it a little better.. but I hope that maybe it'll help one (or some) of you to understand cheat meals a little better and not be scared or intimidated by them. If you have questions about this, or your opinion is different - please leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. I'll leave it at this for now.

Linking up with these fine ladies today:

Tales Of A Twenty Something

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kiss Me, I'm Not Even Irish

Happy Happy Happy Monday blog land.
and Happy St. Patrick's Day to those of you who are Irish to everyone who enjoys green beer.

Now unfortunately, this lovely little drinking holiday falls on a Monday this year, so most likely none of you are out getting drunk... and I'm kind of sorry for that. Only a little sorry because I know that everyone (besides me) still partied hard this past weekend.

I had some big plans to drink with 50 of my closest colleagues at a Pub Trivia Night with my office people on Friday night and an old school Kegger with some friends on Saturday night... and while I'd like to report that I did these magnificent things, and that the reason that I'm absolutely exhausted today is because of it... I can't. My weekend was spent huddled up in my apartment, because of two little words: food poisoning.

I'm not going to be a little Debbie Downer in blogland today and tell you all how my weekend was spent forcing myself to drink water and eat saltine crackers, and having my boyfriend rub my back and snuggle me was the only way I was able to fall asleep on Saturday. Wait, I did just play the Debbie Downer card and tell you that.. oops. Anyway, the point is that there's absolutely no point to this post, but it's St Patty's Day, I'm back to blogging, and I'm hopefully back to being healthy again.

I hope you kids all had a wild weekend - I got a ton of snap chats proving that a few of you sure had some fun this weekend and I'm looking forward to some of these posts today. So happy Monday! If you're not stuck in the office today - please drink a pint of green beer for me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I accidentally quit blogging

Oh hi there, little blog of mine.

Every time I sit down to write on here lately it quickly turns into an apology post because I've gone a long period of time without posting anything - which if you're new/old to these parts... I haven't written anything in about 2.5 weeks. Ahhh. I swear I have excuses, which I'm sure mean nothing to any of you, so I won't even go there... but they are legit.

Anyway. Juliette and Allie-Boo have both been hounding me to get my booty in gear and post something... and since I FINALLY have internet back in my life, I thought I should do just that. So here I am. And this is officially the longest start to a post about nothing, ever.
Ramble, ramble, ramble, ramble, ramble, yeah...

So I accidentally quit blogging for a little bit, and a few momentous things occurred so I'm just going to go ahead and fill you in on some of these things.

My roommate (Amanda) and I moved on March 1st. This was super random, and not planned, and happened VERY quickly. Just less than two weeks from the time we look at the place, to applying, signing the lease, giving notice at our old place, and actually moving out. This was one of my main reasons for abandoning my little blog. Our new place is downtown, it's got hardwood floors throughout the entire apartment, exposed brick in every room, and it's in an heritage building and it just makes my heart SO happy.

First photo-booth selfie in my new bedroom, about an hour after moving the last of our stuff into the place.
...and then took another selfie once I started unpacking... and drinking.

As of yesterday, we FINALLY have internet in our new humble abode, and I cannot even tell you how amazing this is. I thought that being without internet for a day (or NINE in our case) wouldn't be so bad, but let me just tell you.. it's awful. We're not huge TV watchers, so we weren't super rushed about getting our cable set-up, but then we realized that we didn't have internet either... so no cable, and no internet left us with a week of sheer boredom a lot of working out.

Speaking of working out, and the new apartment... my new running route is absolutely breathtaking. If you follow me on instagram then you may have seen a few of my posts throughout the past few days. I have finally (somewhat) gotten over my fear of running in public/around people, and I've started training and doing intervals along the seawall through Stanley Park and along the waterfront in Coal Harbour. My opinion may be bias, but I truly think I have the most beautiful running route in all of Canada:

Soooo, I'll do a whole separate blog post on this soon, I promise... but another thing that has been keeping me busy lately is dating. Lots of dates actually. With one specific boy. Who may or may not be considered my boyfriend... it's facebook official and everything, so that makes it legit - right? I'm so vague, I know. But I promise that he's cute, he's nice, and MOST IMPORTANTLY he's definitely NOT a douchebag.

Annnd you're all basically caught up on the important details of my life for now - and I'll try and keep up this whole posting thing.
"try" being the key word here.