Weighing In

144. When I started, I was 148.

Just a note on body weight vs. body composition:

I’m not one of those numbers-obsessed people who get really focused on the number on the scale. I would much rather see my body fat percentage drop than my weight. Unfortunately, I don’t have calipers and I’m far too lazy to use a tape measurer to find out how big/small various body parts are.


Goals for May

With a new month just around the corner, I think I need to set some short-term goals to further my progress. I’ve made a lot of progress in a short time and have really been working hard to stay true to my long-term goals.

Goals for May:

1. 30 Mins of Cardio (3x/week)

2. Weight Training (5x/week)

3. BCAAs every workout

4. Fish oils at every meal

5. Daily Multivitamin

These are all things that I’m already doing, but need to do in a more regimented, consistent way.

If I do all 5 of these things, I will see amazing results by June. To celebrate my commitment to making these goals a part of my fit lifestyle, I will treat myself to a new summer dress. If I am unable to commit to making these goals happen, then I will donate $50 to the Whitby Rotary Club.

Abs Are Made in the Kitchen

Felicia Romero said it in a bodybuilding.com video “Abs are made in the kitchen.” That’s just some food for thought, but being a mindful eater and knowing that when you’re eating, it’s part of your training and you should let your goals guide your food choices. I’m going to make it a habit to ask myself, before I eat, “Will this bring me closer or further from my fitness goals?” I think this practice will be really useful for me.


Okay, so I’ve been back to the gym for two weeks. I’m recording what I’ve been eating and my diet has been improving drastically. I’m becoming a well-oiled machine. It’s time to get back into the habit of taking supplements.

1. Post-workout protein. I’ve always been pretty dilligent about taking a shake or having some chicken or fish at the ready, but I’m going to kick it into high gear and really be mindful of the importance of fast-digesting protein. I will be using a whey protein isolate, yogurt, milk/water, and berries or a banana for my homemade shakes. These are more cost-effective than pre-mixed.

2. Omega-3. 2 x 1000mg softgells with each meal. That’s all there is to it.

3. Multivitamin. Working out can be stressful on the body–to ensure I’m running with all cylinders, a multivitamin is important.

4. BCAAs. Branch chain amino acids have been recommended before, during, and after my workouts. I have 3 giant bottles, so that works out well. These are fast absorbing proteins that aid in recovery and muscle growth. I will admit to seeing better results with arms and abs when I was regularly taking BCAAs with my workouts.



Tuesday Inspiration: Leigh Brandt


Leigh Brandt doesn’t believe in a day of rest–she does some form of cardio 7 days/week and weight training 5 – 6 days per week. She’s got a bod that I think all men should see when they say “women shouldn’t do weight training, stick to cardio to get fit.”So wrong. Leigh was on the cover of Inside Fitness for the Hot & Fit 100 issue in 2011. On top of being one of my fitness inspirations, she’s a Canuck, hailing from Coquitlam, B.C.

A Word on Diet

When I started getting serious about working out and eating right was when I started seeing results–this was when I got combined eating wellwithexercise. I had the exercising down, but I wasn’t getting slimmer–stronger, sure, but not smaller. When I stopped buying diet books and trying to cook outrageous recipes, things got easier.

I had to take some time to recognize my strengths and weakness. Here is a list of things that I’ve picked up over the past few years that I try to keep in mind when I’m preparing or eating food:

1. Keep It Simple. Exotic ingredients and complex recipes can be fun, if you have the time and energy to prepare the meal. When cooking for myself, I stick to lean red meat (once a week), chicken, and fish (tuna, tilapia, and sole, mainly). I pick out a green vegetable, usually broccoli or spinach (I often buy fresh, but pre-cut and pre-washed produce, so I can just toss it on a plate or lightly steam). I then make 3 – 4 servings of brown rice or quinoa. I season the protein with salt, pepper, and maybe a bit of cayenne. I then make up 3 – 4 plates of the same dinner. Yes, it’s boring. Yes, I’ll put some hot sauce or soy sauce on there to mix it up. But once you start seeing food as fuel, not as fun, then it makes sense. Einstein wore the same outfit everyday so he wouldn’t have to put any energy into what he would wear–I’m applying the same principle to food.

2. Shop Smart. If you buy it, you’ll probably eat it. I don’t even go down the snack aisles of the grocery store anymore. I stick to the outter circle aisles–produce, meat, dairy, and bulk products only. It’s easy to tell yourself that you can have “just a handful,” but truthfully, I’m not that disciplined, so I need to remove the temptation by keeping processed, sugary, non-foods out of my cart.

3. Cheat. You aren’t a robot. You will have slices of pizza and burgers, that’s okay. The important thing is making better choices and eating for the size you want to be, not the size you are. Sure, I can eat a double burger, but ordering the single is just as satisfying and I probably don’t need the fries or the soft drink. I could order a whole pizza, but walking to the store to get a slice is the wiser idea (and the more economical). Before I cheat, I think of all the time I spend in the gym, sweating, grunting, and hurting, then I make my choice.

4. Why Do Tomorrow What You Can Do Today? Get to it! Stop telling yourself that you’ll start tomorrow or get back into it tomorrow–choose now, there’s no time like the present.

5. Be Prepared. If you are a busy person, you’re going to eat whatever’s handy. Always keep lots of ready-to-eat foods on-hand. I spend the extra cash to buy pre-made salads, pre-cut and pre-washed vegetables, and pre-mixed protein shakes so I don’t have the excuse of “Well, there was nothing that I could eat, so I got take out.” I like keeping shakes and protein bars in my car, so if I’m in transit, I still have no excuse for grabbing something from a fast food place.

6. It’s Okay to Say No. My family expresses their love for eachother by making and serving rich and delicious foods on special occasions. For my birthday, it was always “Tell your mom what you want to eat.” Well, if you’re family is like mine, you have to learn to be a firm no person. No need to be rude, but you don’t need to explain yourself to anyone–it’s your body. My family is slowly, but surely, learning that my eating habits have changed, but it’s a process. I still have to refuse seconds or say no to chips and pop during a movie, but they have been mostly supportive. The big change came when I was doing laundry at their house one day and my dad held up a pair of my pants and laughed “These look like kids’ pants!” and they all acknowledged how hard I’d been working. Even if you don’t get any sort of acknowledgement, be firm in your choice and know that it’s really not offensive to turn down foods that are detrimental to your health and fitness goals.

7. Keep a Journal. You can use a memo pad, smart phone, blog, whatever, but write down everything you eat–even that spoonful of Nutella you shoved in your mouth when you thought noone was watching. By analyzing what I eat, I’m better able to see where and how I can improve. For instance, I need to eat every 2 – 3 hours, if I go longer between meals, I tend to make some poor choices and I notice that my workouts suffer because of those choices. I am more cognisant of my diet, because I’m accountable to myself for every bite that goes into my mouth.

8. Calories Do Count. You cannot reasonably expect to get smaller if you do not reduce your caloric intake. I’m not talking about being crazy and limiting your calories to the point where you are starving and your body is not getting the nutrients it needs to build lean muscle and burn fat. When I’m working out, I need about 2,500 calories just to function, that means that eating 5 times per day, I should aim for my meals to be between 300 and 500 calories each. If you’re eating clean, you don’t need to stress, you’ll be fine. If you are a person who eats a lot of take out (even so-called healthy takeout), you might want to pay more attention to packaging and nutrition labels.

9. Take Supplements. Fish oils (6 per day), a good multivitamin, vitamin C, and branch chain aminos (before, during, and after a workout) are what I’m taking. Everyone is different and should consult a professional before starting this kind of regime, but I find I get better, faster results when I take my supplements. I put them in the days-of-the-week pill box, so I don’t forget.

10. Don’t Eat Low Fat Anything. I don’t eat anything that advertises that it’s fat free or calorie free. Food should have calories in it. Dairy should have fat in it. Meat should have fat in it. Fat Free and Calorie Free sound like foods that have been processed to the point of Frankenfoods. Scary!

This Morning’s Workout

I woke up at 6:30 this morning and did cardio and abs this morning. 15 minutes on the stairmaster (I was hoping to hit a spin class, but I had written down the wrong time in my calendar), 3 sets of plank (30 secs); 3 sets of side plank (30 secs); 3 sets of 15 full sit ups, using the ball; 3 sets of 10 woodchoppers with a 7lb medicine ball; 1 set of 20 oblique curls; back to the ellyptical for 10 minutes. Back to the gym tonight for arms. Post-workout meal of cottage cheese (I had some high fibre cereal before I left this morning).

I felt like my back was really tight this morning. I’m noticing a difference since cutting down smoking (yes, I’m a smoker right now, but that too will be a thing of the past).


Eating Clean, Sort Of

There’s no point in lying about how I chose to start my day today: Sausage McMuffin, hashbrown, and a half a small coffee with sugar. However, I normally get 3 hashbrowns, so that could be considered progress.

Lunchtime I did a little better and had a homemade roasted red pepper soup (made with olive oil, no dairy) and a steak sandwich on multigrain bread. The portion was reasonable and the meal was fantastic–I did wash it down with a 1 sugar capuccino…

My post-spin class meal was a protein shake.

Last meal of the day was some cottage cheese, pineapple, and strawberries.

Tomorrow is going to rock: I packed a half chicken breast, quinoa, raisins, and peppers; high protein, high fibre cereal; and greek yogurt for my shift at work. When I get home, I’ll have a salad with walnuts, spinach, dried cranberries, and chicken waiting for me.


Spin Class

I felt great at spin class today! I was able to keep up and I really pushed during the sprints; after an hour, I was drenched and feeling like a pro.

Tomorrow I’ll do a weight lifting session and then back to cardio on Friday.