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My friend Nicolas, the inspiration

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yesterday I rushed home from work, prepared supper, changed clothes, and left. I drove to my friend Nicolas' house on the south shore (and barely got any traffic - yay!) where we'd be leaving for a little moto ride and eat together somewhere pretty.

I met Nicolas two years ago when I started my job as a tech support for an accounting software. He was a level 2 tech and he'd been working there 6 or 7 years. He knew his stuff. We didn't get along very well first (seems like most of my friendships start this way!) but at some point we got hooked to each other and became great friends.

We used to see each other daily, then he found a better job and left, and finally I left too in September last year. We'd still see each other but as time went by it'd be less and less frequent. Life gets in the way, as usual, and I used to live closer to his place.

He's the only person I've been on a motorcycle with, and he got me hooked on it (I REALLY want my own someday). From May to September we like to sometimes get on his bike and just ride and go places. Sometimes his friends/girlfriend will join us, but most of the time it's just the two of us, because he knows I prefer that.

We hadn't seen each other all Summer; I think last time was either in May or early June, we went running together (which was disastrous for me). Because around the time we met, Nicolas started attending the gym, getting in shape and losing weight.

His starting weight was 230 pounds, and as of yesterday he's down to 183 pounds. He's back to his 20 years old pant size (he's 34), and he ran a half-marathon last weekend.

Nicolas is a huge inspiration for me. Seeing him yesterday gave me a shock. What, he lost weight AGAIN?! He looked fantastic. And hearing him talk about that half-marathon... made me want to run again. And to try myself.
I'm a little proud to say I'm the one who first talked to him about running. ;P

He has a Fitbit with which he tracks his food and calories out; but he's not too severe with himself. He trains reaaaaaally hard, constantly and regularly, either by going to the gym or running outside. He can easily run a 5k when I'm still struggling with it, 4 years after my first run. (Ouch!) He feels more energized, hasn't had a migraine in a year, and is only frustrated by the fact he had to get his pants downsized three times. ("Paid a hundred bucks for these, no way I'm getting rid of them!")

Yesterday gave me a boost of energy and motivation for the upcoming work I have. But I got home very late (10:30) because after the moto ride we went in his spa a little (mmm relaxation made easy). And once I got home I realized I hadn't done my daily 10 minutes of exercise. I thought, no way I'm breaking my streak after just a week... in fact, no way I'm breaking my streak, EVER! I was supposed to get up earlier yesterday just to do this, but I snoozed, so I had it coming. So once I got home, I changed and did 10 minutes of yoga. It's not intense, but it's still 10 minutes more than what I'd normally have done.

By the time I hit the sheets it was a little past 11, so I didn't get a ton of sleep because I needed to wash my hair (usually I do this in the evening but I obviously lacked time so I did it this morning). Now I'm ready for the last two days of work before my mini vacation. I hope I'll be able to do everything that needs to be done today. If not, well, what can I do. There's a customer visit I can always report to next week if I'm too busy, so I'm trying to relax and not stress over my schedule.

I CAN'T wait for the weekend. Can't wait to be in my parents' home! We (my sister, her boyfriend and I) are leaving Thursday night right after eating, and it's a 5,5 hours drive there; but we're only leaving to the camp Friday late afternoon, so I've got the whole day to myself. I'll probably go in the city, visit my favorite places (like this crazy good bakery I visit each time I go to my hometown) and maybe buy some more food depending on what my mom will have for me XD

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYJEANSL 8/28/2014 10:45AM

  It's always helpful to have good friends who can inspire you. What a great guy!

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MYRMEN 8/28/2014 8:45AM

    C'est bien d'avoir un petit boost de la sorte surtout quand on s'y attend le moins! C'est une vraie source de motivation ton ami. Fait bon voyage et soyez prudents!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 8/28/2014 6:08AM

    Wjhat a nice story about your friend. Amazing what we can do when we set our minds to it. Congrats at keeping your streak alive.

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VALIENDRA 8/27/2014 10:53AM

    Do you know it took me a good 20 minutes to go over your last 3 posts? (Because really, they're so looong!) héhé =)
I'm really glad you're back on SP - I love reading you. You can do whatever you put your mind to, you know that, right? We used to play tennis with my bf and we started again because of you. I say "play" but we don't know how to or how to keep score! But it's a lotta fun.
Keep pushing ☼

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My whole body aches...

Monday, August 25, 2014

But it aches in a good way! (I hope. Lol)

Yesterday was an AWESOME day. I was feeling very energized and ready to do anything! I got up around 8:30 in the morning to make breakfast for my boyfriend and I (chocolate pancakes, maple beans and coffee). Then we sat around a little but around 11 we took our bikes out of the locker, pumped up the tires (they deflate so quickly...) and went for a ride.

Very close to our apartment there's a bike path that used to be a railway, so even though it crosses a street from time to time, mostly it goes in-between a row of (distant) houses and buildings, with a lot of trees and plants surrounding it. It's beautiful, but we'd only taken one side so far (going from Charlesbourg, where we live, to the Old Quebec City); the other side (going all the way up to Val-Bélair) was closed because they were rebuilding the bridge above the Henri IV Highway.

But I guessed that they were now done (since the last time we checked it was end of June) and they indeed were. The first half an hour or so was pretty tough for me - I was also the one carrying the backpack with our water, pump and keys, the sun was shining burning hot, and, well, I'm out of shape. Also, the path goes slightly up the WHOLE time. So guess who had an easy-breezy time coming back? XD

Back at home we were pretty hungry, hot and dehydrated. We ate pasta, washed a little and relaxed. Then we packed our tennis rackets, balls and some more water, and walked to the Maria-Goretti park (about 20 minutes of walking - that's where my zumba and bellydancing classes will be held, inside a building of course). We checked online and for this weekend and next weekend it's free for everyone on Sunday afternoons.

We got there there was only 1 court taken (so 3 free), so we made sure with the girl that we could go, and we played tennis for an hour. Well, I should say "played", since the longest exchange we did was maybe 5 hits, and most of them weren't legal (ball bouncing twice before we hit, etc.); but we still had fun. I haven't played tennis since the Spring of 2011, aka my last year of college, where I first played the sport, and really enjoyed it; my boyfriend hasn't played in about the same time, but he never practiced as much as I did.

It slowly came back to me, and I found myself doing the same mistakes I used to do - either hitting the ball too strong, too high, or not using the right angle with my racket, and completely missing the court. At least I never managed to throw a ball OUT of the field (outside of the fences), while my boyfriend did 3 or 4 times XD but we were about on the same level.

So that wasn't a TON of cardio since we didn't really make a lot of exchanges - it was mostly practicing our services and throws; but running around to pick up the lost balls did make up for it I think, hahaha. My heart went racing a couple of times.

We walked back home under the scorching sun - it was a really hot day. (My nose got a little sunburned :( ) after a well-deserved shower we relaxed for the rest of the night.

The salad we made was DELICIOUS. I love Oh She Glows' roasted chickpea recipe, and I used her avocado-tahini dressing recipe. We threw a bunch of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomato, green pepper, green onions, red onions together (I think all the veggies we had to pass), topped it with the roasted chickpeas, some dressing, and YUM. Sooo refreshing.

After supper we walked to Videotron to rent a movie, I wanted to see Django again (and he never saw it), and I bought a small bag of chips on the way home. We don't watch movies very often, so when we do, I like treating myself to a movie snack like popcorn or chips; but I didn't want to indulge; so I bought a small bag, which I found some time ago was the perfect amount for me to indulge, feel totally satisfied, and yet it's not a lot (and when the bag's done, well, it's done!). My boyfriend wanted bacon chips, which only come in big bags, so we made a deal; he only ate a bowl of it, and he'd have to wait until next weekend to eat the rest.
I don't like bacon chips, so that's not a trigger for me if it's just sitting in my pantry. Yay!

Today I am SORE. My right arm and wrist mostly, because of the tennis, but also my butt hurts a little (I have a very uncomfortable bike seat), and my ankles from running and walking; but it's nothing too bad. The wrist is annoying as I'm typing this, but I think tomorrow I'll be okay. I remember how sore I used to be when I first played tennis in college.

On a less positive note, I came down with a cold..! In August, I know, so weird. Every Wednesday morning I go to the same customer's for the morning and last week one of their employees had a nasty cold. I chatted a while with her and I guess she's the one who gave it to me, since I know nobody else who's got one right now. My throat hurts a little and I cough a little too. Ah well. I just hope it'll be gone by next weekend so I can fully enjoy my trip to my hometown.

Talking about that I really can't wait to go!!!!!! I haven't seen my parents since Easter, and I haven't been to my hometown since January. Not that I really love it there (it's small, remote, and I don't know anybody anymore), but we're not staying there next weekend - we're going in the woods, to my dad's hunting camp, as they do every year on Labor Day, for some kind of family reunion. Mind you, not a lot of family members do actually come - most of them live even more far away from there than I do (and it's a 5 and a half hours drive to my hometown, plus another 2 hours to the camp). But still, it's fun to get together there. The scenery is always spectacular (best time to go is late September, when all the leaves are exploding with rich Autumn colors), it's very peaceful - no electronics, no satellite connection... also I get to see the family dog, Chanel, whom I really love. :)

Like I mentioned yesterday I'll have to plan food-wise. Exercise-wise I know I'll do a lot of walking so I'm not worried about that (I'd do more but there's no shower there and I'd feel a little icky sticky!) but there's obviously not any grocery store nearby so I'll have to bring some food with me. I don't feel comfortable asking my mom for a lot of foods she never buys. Tomorrow I'll know if I'm leaving Thursday night or Friday at lunch time, so I'll let her know what I'd like then.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVTOBOWL 8/26/2014 9:52PM

    First of all I hope you soaked your body for a while which always feels good. I just had to do this after getting my home gym together.

I know you are so excited to see your parents. It's so good to be with family. I hope you have a blast!


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GRANDEFILLE 8/26/2014 8:35AM

    bonne journée d'exercices! c'est bien... un p'tit tour au camp c'est pas mal non plus.

Bon voyage!

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DOODLES1013 8/25/2014 9:22AM

  Sounds like you've been pretty busy. I know what you mean about walking in the hot burning sun!!!
Enjoy your trip, I can picture the Autumn colors emoticon

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Week 1 recap

Sunday, August 24, 2014

So this was my first week of... well, going it again.
I feel GREAT.
I decided that each Sunday I'd do a recap of the week (from the previous Sunday to the day before, aka Saturday) using this little form I put together.
Yay me.

Week 1: August 17th-August 23rd 2014

Starting weight: none
Ending weight: none

10 minutes a day streak: 5 days
Total exercise time: 127 minutes
Exercises done: walking, pushups and situps, yoga

Nutrition: starting Tuesday I did pretty well. Last Sunday I can not remember (not tracked in my journal) and Monday, well, I binged on roasted cashews to which I added a bit of sea salt. Been craving salty stuff a lot lately, but I did good this week. Very balanced meals, had dessert Thursday night, and then again Friday night at the vegan potluck. I did have alcohol Saturday as well as (homemade) double chocolate cookies, but nothing too much.

Mood: pretty good. Stressful week at work, and some stress at home, but the end of the week went well, and Saturday I had a blast, plenty of time to myself, and awesome night with my sister, her boyfriend and my boyfriend, playing board games.

Last week goal + was it met: I didn't really officially set a goal for last week, but I guess that just doing better in life overall was it, and I guess it was achieved, since I feel like this week was a big victory if you compare it to the last 3 months.

This week's goal: planning properly for my trip of next weekend, especially nutrition-wise. I have to give my mom some ideas of what I'd like to eat, but I feel uncomfortable with that, being vegan; I feel it's going to be hard for her, so I'll try to maybe bring half of my food, and let her use my ideas for the other half. Whenever I go to my hometown and my mom makes the food I always end up not eating very balanced meal - lacking mostly veggies.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVTOBOWL 8/24/2014 9:07PM

    I hate you had a stressful week at work, but all in all it looks like your good times outweighed that emoticon .

I know you can do a good job at planning for the week, I'm doing the same thing. Let's make sure we get those veggies in too.

Hugs and kisses...

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Rediscovering SP and making new plans

Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm trying to take things super slow right now so ever since I started coming back more to SP (aka not just to spin the wheel and read blogs) I slowly built my mind to do stuff again. Just... do something.

Yesterday I had a very long day at work - worked over 9 hours nonstop - and I got home really exhausted, and also ANGRY at one of my customers for an email he sent me that was really belittling my competences and my work. Lots of traffic even though it was almost 6 PM, and as soon as I got home my boyfriend was there feeling panicky for no reason. (I think he's prone to random panic attacks and yesterday was a weird one that nothing triggered.) I had to drop everything right away and help him cook supper because he felt like he couldn't do it by himself. (Should I mention that he ended up sitting on the couch while I did everything without even hanging my purse first?)

After eating (and calming him down) I decided I wanted dessert. Usually, when I want dessert, I do one of these: either I completely repress the crave and it gets worse with days; either I eat too much of whatever sweet we have home (which is rare because we never buy any dessert or the like); either we go to the grocery store or a corner store or whatever and we get a dessert.
Now yesterday I really wanted something sweet so instead I decided to take an idea from one of my new vegan cookbooks. I took a frozen banana (bought a bunch and froze them for smoothies last Monday), let it thaw on the counter for 10 minutes while we did the dishes, then I mashed it and added dairy-free mini chocolate chips on top. IT WAS SO GOOD!!! It was really simple (obviously) and even though it's still a dessert (the chocolate chips only have 3 ingredients, but the first one is brown sugar), it totally satisfied my craving, and I don't think I completely ruined my nutrition balance for the day. Hey, banana's a fruit, even when it's frozen and mashed!

There was stuff I wanted to buy at the dollar store so we walked (WIN!) there after washing the dishes and we bought a lot of stuff. Kitchen stuff mostly, because ever since I started cooking more, I also started freezing more stuff (LOVE IT), but I didn't have many airtight containers. I also wanted new glass containers for my dry legumes, flour, nuts, etc. because there are too many plastic bags laying around in the pantry and it annoys me.

After we got home I sat down in front of my computer and started making a plan. I updated my SP profile, completely erased my motivation board and redid it (and wow did my goals change!), then I created an Excel spreadsheet that's gonna be my journal. For now I'm just journaling about the fitness minutes I do everyday (aiming for a minimum of 10), what I do, my nutrition for the day, and my mood. I made it start last Monday which is my first day of min. 10 minutes of fitness. It may sound stupid, but just filling this up made me realize that Monday, when I binged on cashews (not something I really like), it was because I had a fight with my boyfriend and he left the apartment and I was left alone with my thoughts. When I binged on cashews that night I just didn't understand what happened and why I'd done it. But writing about what I ate that day in my Excel spreadsheet, and then writing next to it, how I felt that day, made me realize how I only binge when I'm having negative emotions. I guess it's the same for most people, and I kinda knew it, but it just appeared so clear to me it was almost a revelation.

I also subscribed to No Meat Athlete's guide for being a better athlete (and runner) as a vegan. So far he's sent two emails which I hadn't had the time to read yet (doing that this weekend), but it immediatly made me feel like running again. I used to love this activity - so why am I not running anymore? It's really something I enjoyed, and now there's not even two months left for outdoor running here, and I've barely ran since April. Ugh.

Did I mention I made some hummus Wednesday night? I bought a bag of dry chickpeas (I usually buy cans) because apparently it's better tasting for hummus, and also it'S way cheaper. I didn't realize that the $1,79 bag of chickpeas would give me... 11 cups of cooked chickpeas. I MEAN WHAT?! XD I cooked them all (needing two big pots) and I froze them in 2-cups portions. Also my hummus is DELICIOUS. Suggestion in my cookbook was to remove the skins from the chickpeas before blending them. Well, it was time-consuming (even though I had help from my boyfriend (it was a condition if he wanted hummus LOL)) but it was SOOOO WORTH IT. It's so smooth and delicious. I'd honestly eat it by the spoonful.

So tonight it's VEGAN POTLUCK!!! Hope people will be nice. But why wouldn't they be? I mean, I'm bringing cookies. Hahaha I'm a little nervous! But the weather is so nice, and it's held outside in a park, what's not to love?

On a final note, I talked to my boyfriend about keeping a couple streak for a minimum of 10 minutes of fitness a day. He sounded really positive and excited about it, especially when I mentioned we could reward ourselves every 25th day. He already found the first reward (a bottle of wine to share with a delicious meal). Yay :)


You're too fat to bellydance

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

For a very, very, very long time I deemed myself too fat to wear a bikini.
Even though I agree that sometimes it's better to show less than more, I was still jealous of 50+ years old women wearing a bikini at the beach, no matter their size. They wanted to wear one and they did. I was in my early 20's and I couldn't wear one. Bummer.

Then in 2012 I bought my first bikini top ever. Hot pink with white polka dots. And I wore it often. I still have it, but it's getting a little large now.

I don't think there have been any other times I've stopped myself from doing something because I thought I was "too fat" for it, or at least I can't recall any time; maybe it happened very often, so often that I just can't remember since it became so natural to me. That kinda feels like reality.

This morning I was in my car going to a customer's place. This morning I put on a tank top that was just a little teeny weeny bit tight when I bought it in Spring - a simple dark turquoise spaghetti strap top I'd wear under other stuff. Well I wore it today under a shirt I bought at the beginning of Summer, a t-shirt that is supposed to be somewhat loose.

But this morning everything was tight and I only realized I was uncomfortable when I sat down in my office. Something didn't feel right. And I realized that the clothes I was wearing were too small.

So back to when I was in my car. I was thinking about the fact that I hadn't yet subscribed to any activity like I wanted to do for Fall (I really didn't have the time yesterday night) when suddenly a thought entered my mind:
You're too fat to bellydance.

I was just picturing myself in a class with other women, doing the moves, and then suddenly on a stage, with my midsection showing, and my fat belly hanging out and grossly shaking around as I shimmied. And I thought I was too fat to subscribe. I thought: I'll wait until I lose 10 pounds, and then I'll subscribe.

But I've really wanted to take bellydancing lessons again, and I'm not my old self anymore. I won't "wait just a little longer". I've waited long enough.

I was at my customer's place for almost 3 hours, and right when I came back to the office, I subscribed to bellydancing, and zumba classes.

They start mid-September and end in December, and it only cost me 125 bucks total. Bellydancing is on Monday night from 8:30 to 10 (ouch late!), and zumba on Thursday nights from 7:15 to 8:15.

When I paid and had my confirmation I became really excited and felt like telling everyone. I texted my mom and she got really excited and said right away she wanted to come see my show. Mom, please let me start the class first... lol

I also worked on my personal budget yesterday night and that totally reminded me that I'm still paying for gym. Oops. Haven't set foot there for a week now (or more??? I really can't remember) and even though I'm 95% sure I won't renew my subscription in November, I think I should still go a little since I'm paying (big money) for that.

For now I'm just taking baby steps. Today was awesome. Yesterday night I bought some more food since I had to hit the grocery store (after taking a look at my receipt I realized they charged me some juice I never bought and never drink for FIFTEEN BUCKS! Turns out it was a code error - the cashier typed in 180 (code for this juice) instead of 1080 (code for the aspargus I actually bought) lol.) and so while I was there I decided to take a look at the bio-gluten-free-hippy section. I bought some Herbamare since I've heard so much about it (and after using it, yes, it is one of the best things in life) and also dairy-free chocolate chips (been searching for that FOREVER) since I'm baking cookies Friday for a vegan potluck. We actually walked to the grocery store and back, yay :) then I cooked some non-traditional jam using only maple syrup, blueberries, vanilla and chia seeds to thicken it up. IT'S SO GOOD. My morning started out AWESOME with just a piece of bread with this jam on it. I couldn't believe how good it is. I never really liked store-bought jam and the only person I knew who actually made jam was my grandmother. But she passed away in 2001 and for some reason I was afraid to make my own jam (it seemed complicated). But once I found this recipe on Oh She Glows I couldn't wait to try it and it turns out to be crazy good.

So yeah, today was nice. I have a LOT to do at the office, but that's nice because I can bank a few hours since I want to take Friday off next week (going to my hometown). Also it keeps my busy. VERY positive things this week is that I never forgot to eat my snacks - or when I did, I remembered maybe an hour late when I started to get hungry, and I ate it right away instead of waiting!!! I'm also having plenty of water, and I haven't binged or even wanted to eat unhealthy stuff since Monday night. Okay, I know it's only two days later, but that's still a victory considering the state I've been in for a few weeks now.

I started looking around in a new sparkteam I joined, which is the 10 fitness minutes a day team (by SparkGuy), and I think it's a really good motivator. 10 minutes is 0.0069444 of a day (or 1/144 of a day)! Almost nothing. It's doable. And it'll probably lead to more and more minutes. And on days I really don't feel like doing anything - I'll still do at least 10 minutes. It's not gonna kill me.

So I haven't done anything yet today, but I might either take a walk or do some yoga to relax. Chickpeas are cooking and I'm making hummus. I'm on a cooking spree!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARTHESTAR 8/21/2014 8:09PM

    congratulations on the classes!

I love to dance but I don't like the music they play at zumba classes to have it for a class long. last time I was at the gym a zumba class started and I left.

Good for you- you are so not even close to being to fat to do these. WTG overcoming that feeling and going out there and enjoying life!

Comment edited on: 8/21/2014 8:09:59 PM

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EBIELOU 8/21/2014 10:02AM

    You are not too fat to do anything! You can do anything that you set your mind to. I weigh 240 pounds, and I'm a fitness instructor! Don't let your mind tell you these things about yourself! You are beautiful now, and you will still be beautiful when you reach your goal! I hope you have a great week!

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GUNNSGIRL91303 8/20/2014 8:22PM

    That is so great that you went ahead and signed up for your classes. You have the right attitude and I vow now to try to be more like you! If we wait until we are just the right weight we may never do anything. Who wants to look back on a life of doing nothing because we were a little overweight, or a lot...doesn't matter. We need to do things that we want now, not later because later may never come. We may never be the "perfect" weight so its now or never!

Kudos to you and your great week so far! I hope it continues!

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