MAIDAMONTREAL's SparkPeople Blog MAIDAMONTREAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ideas for exercise For most of my life I have had memberships at various gyms around the city. I am currently a member of a gym down the street from me. The problem I have with this is that in the beginning I go but then eventually I stop going for months on end and there goes my money down the drain. Sometimes I pick myself up and go again only to stop going again. I figured with the gym down the street from me I would have no excuses but I still managed to find some. I did go back in March once only to g... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 17:02:40 EST Dealing with age issues and being older than work colleagues I know I have been inactive for several months and I just cannot seem to get my act together but I am doing the best I can for myself. Bit by bit everything will come into place no matter how long it takes. <BR> <BR> An issue I am facing these days is my age and comparisons to others, especially those younger than me. I would rather blog about this here rather than on facebook since people know me personally there. <BR> <BR> The best news is that I started a maternity replacement contract... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 13:11:40 EST Manifestations and changes and challenges to overcome This is the year of big changes for me. I am in the process of making changes in my life and 2014 will be the best year ever. <BR> <BR> I have returned to the gym after an absence of several months and am feeling super happy and good that I am back and I am enjoying the classes and workouts. I have also lost 3 lbs this week which I am extremely happy about since I had gained 5 lbs over the holidays. So I am on my way and back on track. <BR> <BR> I have been with my boyfriend for over 4 y... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 09:36:40 EST An update on my situation in Spain and my boyfriend This past long weekend I spent with my boyfriend at his place in Vermont. He came up to Montreal to get me on Thursday and then brought me back to his place on Friday. We had a wonderful weekend together but not without a few difficulties and a roller coaster of emotions on my part. <BR> <BR> It was the first time we were getting together since I had returned from Spain. Before he came up I was looking forward to seeing him and getting together but I was also concerned about how things wo... Tue, 15 Oct 2013 13:16:03 EST A situation I experienced while in Spain Yesterday I wrote a blog about my trip to Spain which I enjoyed immensely and was a great experience that I will truly remember. Today I would like to write about an experience I had while on the language program and see what your interpretations are for me. <BR> <BR> I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years now and things are going well with ups and downs like most relationships. He lives in the US and I live in Canada so we are 2 hours away from each other by car and so we commute to se... Tue, 8 Oct 2013 13:22:01 EST My wonderful trip to Spain I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Spain that I will never forget and will always be in the forefront of my mind. It was a great experience for me where I learned about myself and about other people. I was there for 15 days where I participated in a language program called Diverbo for one week and then spent a few days in Madrid and went on two day trips. <BR> <BR> For the first week of my stay I participated in this program where I was helping Spaniards to improve their English... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 16:52:33 EST Need to connect with myself and go really deep inside It is coming up to my second year on Sparkpeople and I have still not been able to lose the weight. I am realizing that just being on this site alone is not helping me to deal with my emotional eating. In order for me to start losing weight and keep it off I need to deal with my emotions first and change my thought patterns. <BR> <BR> My problem is my self worth and not feeling good enough or worthy of anything and that is why I am not moving forward in my life. All these thoughts are run... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 08:55:41 EST My Non Scale Victories of 2012 Although I did not lose weight in 2012 or resolve my binge and mindless eating habits I did have some non scale victories during the year. <BR> <BR> I was able to get myself back to the gym and do my workouts even though there were periods when I did not go such as in the summer time when it got too hot. However, I have always been able to eventually pick myself up and get back to it. What has helped me is working with a coach who tests me on my fitness and gives me exercises and workouts ... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:31:45 EST My difficult ski day and being too hard on myself. Yesterday I went cross country skiing up north in The Laurentian mountains to Mont Tremblant where I have been many times over the past 25 years. I have skied on all the trails there from easy to difficult and they have always been tracked. We were told to be back on the bus at 3:45pm and that the bus would be leaving at 4pm. <BR> <BR> I had decided that I was going to do an intermediate trail which I have been doing the last several times I was there. I had asked some people that I norma... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:35:30 EST Was 2012 a good or bad year for me In reflecting back on 2012 I thought about the positives and the negatives and realized that there was a bit of both. So 2012 was not a terrible year but it was not a wonderful year either. I would sum it up as saying it was an okay year. <BR> <BR> Not so great stuff that happened in 2012: <BR> <BR> The wintertime was difficult emotionally because I was unhappy at my job, my relationship with my boyfriend was frayed because of this and my self esteem went totally down the drain. At least... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 15:23:18 EST My journey thus far As part of my spark coach assignment I will be writing about my journey thus far on Sparkpeople and how it has been both painful and joyous. I have been a sparkpeople member since May of 2011 and there have been both ups and downs along the way up until now. <BR> <BR> Here are some of the joys I have experienced: <BR> <BR> Making new sparkfriends and being able to cheer them on or encourage them in their journeys. <BR> <BR> Getting together with my sparkfriends here in Montreal and being ... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 14:03:15 EST What I learned from my "mistakes" Today in my session with sparkcoach I learned that we all makes "mistakes" on our quest to being healthy. When we are trying to lose weight we expect ourselves to be perfect. We expect perfection in eating exactly the right foods and creating the perfect workout program and schedule. <BR> <BR> If we eat the "wrong" kind of foods or have missed a workout we consider those "mistakes" and end up being flustered, frustrated, and getting down on ourselves. What one should do is pick themselves... Tue, 6 Nov 2012 19:36:21 EST Experiences with stress and anxiety As a spark coach assignment I will write about any experiences I have had with stress and anxiety while trying to lose weight. To date I do not believe I have had any major stresses or anxieties but there is still a bit of stress that I deal with. <BR> <BR> Despite being on SP for a year and a half I have lost weight only to gain it back the next week and so on and so forth and have ended up being back to where I started. This is causing me some anxiety but not enough to stop myself from c... Thu, 1 Nov 2012 19:52:08 EST Why I want to lose weight As a user of Sparkcoach I am starting stage 3 of the spark diet. I have been asked to write my reasons and motivations for wanting to lose weight and what will happen once I do. I have many reasons for wanting to lose weight. <BR> <BR> As I am now 51 years old I want to become healthy and avoid developing any serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or high blood pressure. My cholesterol can be a bit high at times but fortunately I have not developed any other diseases. O... Tue, 16 Oct 2012 21:01:43 EST Excuses I use when I don't want to exercise I have been following the Spark coach program and today's assignment is to blog about the excuses I use not to exercise and then to find a way to counteract them. Here goes: <BR> <BR> It's too hot and humid outside to go out anywhere. <BR> <BR> There is air conditioning at the gym that will help keep me cooler while I exercise. Also bringing a water bottle filled with water will help keep me cooler too. I can suffer for 15 minutes outside in the heat to get to the gym where I will be mor... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 21:22:08 EST I am not quitting Tuesday, September 12, 2012 - Fitting pledge for today! <BR> <BR> "Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations. <BR> <BR> I pledge to treat myself as I would m... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 22:25:31 EST Summer difficulties update At the beginning of July I wrote a blog regarding my difficulties in dealing with loneliness during the summertime. I was concerned about not being able to get together with my boyfriend who was working weekends and thus not staying on track and gaining weight as a result. We were going to try to get together during the week as we were both not working at that time. I would like to let you know how all that went and if my worst nightmare did come true. <BR> <BR> What happened shortly afte... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 14:35:39 EST My difficulties with summer When I am embarking on a weight loss journey the summer is the toughest time for me. I tend to gain quite a bit of weight. <BR> <BR> Here is why. I tend to sometimes get really down and lonely during the summertime, especially mid July to mid August. I believe this stems from when I was a university student and my friends and I all believed that if you still lived at home or did not have a boyfriend your summer was screwed. It was actually true for me for many years until my 40's. Whe... Mon, 2 Jul 2012 11:17:24 EST Goals for July 2012 Here are my goals for July 2012: <BR> <BR> I am setting my exercise minute goal at 1000 minutes for July. I am staying at the same goal as I did for June as I am not sure that I will be able to do more than that at this time. I have been feeling a bit run down this past week so was not up to going to the gym. Still not 100% but I will return to the gym as soon as I feel ready. Also I am hoping to go with my boyfriend up to Mount Washington in Vermont but even though I will not get to the... Sun, 1 Jul 2012 13:42:04 EST How I did on my June 2012 goals Here is my report for how I did on my goals for the month of June. I still had a tough time achieving most of them but I tried to do the best I could and I still had some accomplishments. <BR> <BR> I reached my goal of exercising for 1000 minutes or more. I went on two 3 hour hikes and I went to the gym for my workouts. I also walked almost every day for at least 30 minutes or more. This past week, however, I did not go to the gym nor walk much. I was feeling run down with low energy so... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 11:12:06 EST My triggers When we are working on our weight loss journeys I am sure that we all have triggers in the way of food, people, and places that may cause us roadblocks in our efforts to attain success. <BR> <BR> Here are my triggers. <BR> <BR> The foods I love to eat and find myself difficult to control are cheese, muffins, chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream and nuts. My trigger times are from 2:30 until I go to sleep at around 11pm. My trigger places are when I am at home between said hours of 2:30 to... Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:51:49 EST Why I want to lose weight I want to lose weight for various reasons and I want to keep it off permanently. <BR> <BR> The reasons are as follows: <BR> <BR> 1. I want to look attractive which in turn will make me feel good about myself. I want to be able to fit into my clothes which are hanging in my closet some of which I have never worn. I know I will feel accomplished once I see my clothes sizes going down. There is nothing like feeling a sense of accomplishment when your pants are big at the waist, tummy, or ... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 16:21:43 EST Hiking in the Adirondak Mountains, NY Yesterday I went on a hike in the Adirondak Mountains in NY with an outdoor club called Randonnee Aventure based in Montreal, QC. It was a two hour drive to get there and we had to wait at the border for about half and hour until we got through but everything went smoothly and we reached our destination at about 10:30 am. <BR> <BR> We had a number of options to choose from and I decided to go with a lower level option since I was not too sure of my capabilities and did not want to hold anyo... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 11:10:49 EST June 2012 goals As promised in yesterday's blog here are my goals for June 2012: <BR> <BR> Exercise for 1000 minutes or more by going to the gym three times a week for 60 minute workouts, taking 30+ minute walks around the neighbourhood or to and from destinations, and possibly going on a hike or two for 2 to 3 hours. This will be 200 minutes more than my May exercise goal. <BR> <BR> Cook two healthy recipes each week for lunches and dinners whether I am off work or starting a new job. This can be done on... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 09:59:38 EST How I did with my goals for May 2012 At the beginning of May I reported on how I had done with my April goals and then I set new goals for May. I would like to report on how I did during the month of May despite the fact that my situation had changed and that there were a couple of obstacles. <BR> <BR> My change in situation was that my job contract ended on April 27th and I have not been working since then so I have had more time on my hands. The obstacles were my birthday and my boyfriend's birthday 6 days apart. That bein... Fri, 1 Jun 2012 14:05:13 EST My one year Sparkversary On April 30th was my one year Sparkversary. Hard to believe that one year has passed already. When I gave myself a one year trophy one of my Sparkfriends gave me a Sparkgoodie and suggested I do a blog on how Sparkpeople has changed my life in this one year. <BR> <BR> It has been a tough journey of ups and downs but it has been well worth it. The first month and a half I lost about 5 lbs and was going to classes at the YMCA. I also joined some Sparkteams but had not engaged in any of the... Sat, 5 May 2012 10:03:13 EST Update on my April goals and new goals for May At the beginning of April I wrote a blog on my goals for the month (see April Goals blog). I said that I would do my best to accomplish them but would not beat myself up if I did not. <BR> <BR> Here is how I did: <BR> <BR> I was supposed to exercise for a total of 800 minutes or more. I ended up exercising for 570 minutes which is 230 minutes short of my goal. There were a couple of reasons. I had fallen and sprained my ankle so I could not do anything aerobic or anything where I had... Tue, 1 May 2012 15:34:41 EST How I save money on groceries while eating healthy Once again I am writing this blog as an assignment for a live spark class I attended on saving money on groceries. I am doing this to help you all and to give you some tips. <BR> <BR> When I am grocery shopping I buy only what I need as ingredients for recipes for that week and also only what I eat regularly during the week. When I am selecting my ingredients or other items I will check to see what is on sale for that week and buy it. If I see something that I eat regularly like cereal, c... Sun, 22 Apr 2012 19:08:07 EST My favourite SparkRecipe Last week I took a Live Spark class on tips for staying fuller longer. As part of the assignment I have been asked to spread the spark by sharing a SparkRecipe that I enjoy. <BR> <BR> One of my favourite recipes is the Turkey and Black Bean Sloppy Joes. It contains lean ground turkey, black beans, various types of tomatoes and a variety of spices. The spices give it a tangy flavour similar to a Mexican type of dish. It is a lighter version of the typical sloppy joes which uses ground bee... Wed, 4 Apr 2012 20:13:19 EST April goals Here are my goals for the month of April: <BR> <BR> Exercise for a total of 800 minutes or more. This will be achieved by exercising 3 days a week for 60 minutes at a time. I will do this by taking classes at the YMCA or if there is a hike being organized I will attend. Each hike is about 3 hours or so. I will also take walks with my boyfriend or alone around the area and each walk will be 30-60 minutes. I will also take the stairs at home when I have no parcels to carry. I have been ... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 19:51:03 EST Did I accomplish my goals? (see previous blog) On March 17th I wrote a blog on goal setting in which I set up 4 goals for myself as part of a Sparkpeople live class. I would like to report on how I did on those goals and whether or not I accomplished them. <BR> <BR> I took my fitness class on Saturday and Monday and was going to take one on Thursday as I was out on Wednesday. Unfortunately it was my time of the month and I had it heavily on both Wednesday and Thursday which left me with little energy. So I went two times instead of th... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 17:14:20 EST 4 goals for this week starting tomorrow, March 17th As part of the Live Sparkpeople class on the dos and don'ts of goal setting one of the assignments is to write down 4 goals for this week which will start tomorrow on March 17th. <BR> <BR> The first one is fitness related. I will take an exercise class at the YMCA 3 times this week. My workout days will be tomorrow (Saturday), Monday, and Thursday as Wednesday I will be unavailable to go. On the other days I will take a walk around the area as the weather is supposed to be warm and beauti... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 21:14:48 EST 5 things I love about myself As part of the assignment for the Sparkpeople live class on 5 ways to love yourself I have to write about 5 things that I love about myself. Here they are in no particular order: <BR> <BR> I love my hands and nails. My hands are slim with long slim fingers and my nails are long and hard which means that I do not have to add a nail lengthener. <BR> <BR> I love that I have done some travelling and enjoyed it. I have been to 12 countries including Canada (where I am from) and the United St... Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:35:44 EST Blog #6 - Looking forward to the weekend Again this will be general since I still have run out of habits to change. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with the nurse at the Healthy Heart Institute at the hospital. This is a program for women between 45-65 years of age who want to become or stay healthy by losing the weight or keeping it off. As I have lost weight since my last appointment hopefully it should show up on her scale too. I am sure my blood pressure and heart will still be okay too. The only thing I have not bee... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 21:12:01 EST Blog #5 - general I cannot think of anymore habits to change at this time so this will be more of a general blog. I have been finding it hard to stay on track this week for some reason. I think it is because of the fact that I was recuperating from my cold over the weekend and did not go out shopping like I normally would have in order to get the ingredients for a recipe to cook for lunches. I ended up buying pasta in a container at a convenience store which is really unhealthy due to fats and lots of sodiu... Wed, 18 Jan 2012 20:11:38 EST Blog #4 - Exercise I really need to get back to exercising. It has been proving to be quite the challenge over the past 6 months for many reasons. I started a new job in the summertime which I never was really thrilled about and I get SAD in the summer when I am alone too much. Due to these issues it was hard for me to get to the YMCA. Once you stop going it is hard to get back. After the summer when I was ready to get back to the YMCA it seemed that everytime I was planning to go I either had to work late... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:31:16 EST Blog #3 - emotional and mindless eating One of my worst habits I would like to change is eating mindlessly for emotional reasons. I will eat when I am down or depressed, when I am at home all afternoon or all day, for anger, or boredom. I am slowly trying to change this habit which is no easy feat. I am currently seeing a counsellor once a week to help me with my issues and I find that I have seen some improvement in this habit but it still needs work. It is quite frustrating to have this habit. It is similar to being addicted... Mon, 16 Jan 2012 20:45:34 EST Blog #2 for weekly challenge #7 - drinking more water For today's blog I would like to focus on drinking more water. From what I have read and heard drinking 8 glasses a day of water or drinking half of your body weight in water is what we all need to be doing. This is something which I find hard to do. I can drink more water when I am exercising and sweating or when I am thirsty. <BR> <BR> Here are some challenges though when it comes to getting my 8 cups of water. Whenever I drink water I have to run to the washroom every 15 minutes or ha... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 11:44:57 EST Challenge #7 of the December 5% winter challenge I have been partaking in the December 5% Winter challenge and am on the Cats team. The challenge runs for 8 weeks and consists of a different assignment or challenge each week. <BR> <BR> Our assignment/challenge for this week which is week #7 is to write a daily blog about what habits we would like to change, how we will go about doing that, and how we are doing and what could change. We earn 5 points for each daily blog and also 1 point for feedback on teammates' blogs. <BR> <BR> Today w... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 17:41:53 EST 2 articles about optimism and positivity Yesterday I took another Live Spark class on being optimistic and positive instead of pessimistic and negative. It was fun and very informative. Our assignment was to read two specific articles and to blog or journal about how they impacted us. <BR> <BR> The first one was Turn Every Negative into a Positive. It was about body image and the negative things one might say about a part of their body they do not like. It was suggested to stop the thought in its tracks and turn it around into ... Sun, 20 Nov 2011 16:44:58 EST Homemade lunches Last week I followed a live meeting through SparkPeople Live and it was about brown bagging your own lunch. Part of the take home assignment was to pack at least 4 lunches out of the next 7 days. Another part was to write a blog about my lunches. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately I was not able to make it to 4 lunches. My excuse is that my boyfriend was here in Montreal last weekend and that I did not have time to plan my lunches. Most weeks I do bring 4 out of 5 meals to work but unfortunately i... Thu, 17 Nov 2011 19:40:58 EST Back to after an absence I am back after not having done a blog since July. It has been a difficult emotional couple of months but am feeling better now although not 100%. Although I had a wonderful trip to Alaska, since then things got a bit tough. I started a new job in July which I am not too thrilled with however at least I am getting paid and it is close to home. Also my boyfriend had a courrier job that tired him out when he was doing double shifts and then he had a terrible car accident when he fell asleep... Sat, 17 Sep 2011 11:43:27 EST Successful week I lost 2 lbs this week. I am really happy with this result as I was careful with my eating although not as much with my exercise. I will again do the best that I can and I hope to keep having similar results each week. I am not feeling a hundred percent right now. I seem to have an upset stomach and am thirsty alot. Could be onset of menopause. So I will not go to the gym tonight but I hope to feel better by Wednesday so I can go then. <BR> <BR> Hope you all have a successful week. <B... Mon, 25 Jul 2011 17:02:37 EST Still being the best I can be I have had a somewhat successful week. In terms of my eating I tried as best as possible to stay on track. I made some sparkpeople recipes of rice and beans and sloppy joes with turkey meat and ate those throughout the week. I also tried to eat as many fruits and veggies as I could and generally ate an average of 4-5 a day. Since I had been taken out for lunch on Monday I stuck to my plan of bringing a lunch and snacks to work for the rest of the week. So I am pleased about that. On Th... Sun, 24 Jul 2011 11:49:37 EST Being the best that I can be I got through this past week with a few obstacles but I did the best that I could do. I was careful during the week and tracked my food. On Thursday night I went to listen to some music at a cafe and had a hamburger but with no cheese. It was a smaller size and I left part of the bun over. It also came with salad that already was dressed but it appeared to be balsamic dressing. I tracked as best I could. <BR> <BR> Yesterday my boyfriend and I received a last minute invitation to my frie... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 17:47:17 EST Having a good week Up till now I have finally been able to stay on track. I shopped on Tuesday for healthy foods and also for one of the Sparkpeople recipes. Yesterday I cooked the recipe which is the third one that I have tried from Sparkpeople and gotten sparkpoints for. It is a black bean and brown rice dish that has been made over by Chef Meg. I will try it today for lunch. I also went to another toning class at the YMCA as I had mentioned that I would in my last blog and I have walked 40 min to an hou... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 09:19:08 EST Getting my focus back Well, so far I am doing better. Saturday was a good day for me except I did have half a cup of ice cream but otherwise I tracked my meals and ate better the rest of the day. Sunday was the barbecue at night but I ate well during the day having muesli for breakfast with fruit and then having a turkey sandwich with baby carrots for lunch. At the BBQ however, I did go a little overboard with too many crackers, 1 1/2 hamburger patties but only 1 bun, a piece of cheese and some chips but I als... Mon, 11 Jul 2011 20:27:42 EST Difficulty staying on track In my last blog I promised you all that I was getting back on track and that I would have a good week. I was fine Monday and Tuesday but I started to waiver on Wednesday afternoon after work. Perhaps it was because I did not bring my lunch to work and ate a spaghetti meal at the cafeteria with green beans and jello and did not track it on the site when I got home. I then continued to eat mindlessly and was quite dissapointed with myself. That night I told myself that I would pick myself u... Sat, 9 Jul 2011 11:44:11 EST Back on track As mentioned in my previous blog (back from my cruise to Alaska) I have taken the time this past week to slowly get back on track. Unfortunately I gained another 3 lbs and am over my starting weight by 2 lbs but yesterday and today I shopped for proper healthy foods. For the first time I cooked a Sparkpeople recipe. It was Chef Meg's Herbed bulgar and lentil salad and it came out delicious. I will bring it for lunch this week. I also plan to try a chicken recipe in a couple days time tha... Sun, 3 Jul 2011 19:16:14 EST Back from my cruise to Alaska I have just returned from a wonderful cruise with my family and had a great time. I spent a couple of days in Seattle beforehand and then went on the cruise. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway in Alaska and took a side trip to British Columbia and the Yukon. We also spent a couple of hours in Victoria, BC. The scenery was spectacular with mountains, lakes, icebergs, and glaciers. I also saw a black bear, lots of whales, and bald eagles. <BR> <BR> There was a lot of food on the... Mon, 27 Jun 2011 21:27:06 EST