THE_JENCH's SparkPeople Blog THE_JENCH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My motivation Dear Sparkfriends, I took this photo almost two weeks ago after a home yoga practice when I was feeling really good about the shape I am / was getting my abs into. I post it now more as a reminder to myself to keep doing what I have been doing in terms of food and exercise. The past two weeks got a bit ridiculous with Canadian Thanksgiving, my pms, I'm house /cat sitting at my mom's where all foods are plentiful, and it's the middle of the semester so I feel like I am tied to my desk. Tonig... Tue, 20 Oct 2015 23:03:05 EST grocery shopping. <img src=""> I hope the photo rights itself when I post this blog, but right now it is sideways. Despite the orientation, perhaps you can tell that the photo is of a mostly empty fridge, my mostly empty fridge. I meant to go yesterday but I didn't and so my dinner consisted of seedy crackers, cheese, and avocado. Today's breakfast, more like brunch, was my last 3 eggs scrambled up and two pieces of toast with almon... Sun, 13 Sep 2015 14:25:33 EST keeping on <img src=""> Dear Sparkfriends, I'm laying here on the evening of a hot day lazily enjoying my balcony and ruminating on my sparking progress. I'm at a consistent 141, 1-2 pounds above my original goal and 4 pounds above my new goal. I haven't budged on the scale for a while and I'm afraid I'm caught in that mental game of breaking a 10-pound marker. How do I feel, though? I feel good. Some of my pants that inspir... Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:29:58 EST beautiful night <img src=""> I love the view from my balcony these summer evenings. I still haven't bought patio furniture and I am thinking I just want cushions and a low table, l love lying down and looking up. University classes start in 4 weeks so I have 4 weeks of freedom... But not quite, I'm a prof and not a student so I've already been working on my courses for the fall. At least it's still summer and I can still enjoy t... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 23:56:23 EST Sunday ramblings. I woke up with tom this morning, and of course I am not referring to any sweet mystery man! Although I had some spotting yesterday I really wasn't expecting it for another few days. Last week I was super hungry and had a few low blood sugar spells (at least that's what I've always thought they are), and perhaps this is all related? I've been to the doctor for cycle-related issues many times, and he doesn't seem too concerned because I almost never am shorter than 3 weeks and I guess my blood ... Sun, 9 Aug 2015 16:01:41 EST reckless hunger <img src=""> Today I was hungry. It is a combination of having been active the past few days while staying in my normal calorie range (sparkpeople warns us of this but I didn't listen) exacerbated by just that time in my cycle. I was hungry today. Maybe if I had brought a smart snack I could have saved myself but I did not so around 3pm left the office in search of a little something. Maybe I should have gone for ... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 23:22:39 EST Goal (date) just two days away! Successes and revised goals. & camping photos. My goal was to reach 139 by August 1. This morning I was sitting at 141.2... just 2.2 pounds away! I don't expect to shed that in two days but I am still thrilled!!! I don't think I've ever stuck with it this long and gotten this close. Even the last two weeks as I was sitting around 144 and I was feeling so good in my skin, I started making excuses about why I didn't have to continue trying to change the 'number'. It's too easy to just give up though, and so I've kept going... and I'm going ... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:28:37 EST Long story short, so on Sunday... I just went over my suggested daily calories. On purpose. I made a salad. <BR> <BR> Ok, so. What does Sunday have to do with making a salad today? Sunday I was cleaning my apartment and I should have gone grocery shopping but convinced myself that for dinner I could make the frozen pizza I had (there was a $6 special for the pizza, 500mL hagen daaz, and 1L milk) and grocery shop on Monday after work... You think you know where this is going? Sunday night I only had 1/4 of the pizza and wrap... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:14:46 EST a rainy Sunday My last day in Canmore was lovely and finished off with TWO yoga classes... not intense ones, a yin and a restorative. It's Sunday and I haven't done any yoga since Thursday night. This morning I intended to go to a 105-minute power yoga class BUT it was pouring rain and thundering and my apartment is a disaster so I've stayed in to clean, tidy, and organize... so far I've only had breakfast. The mess will be gone today! <BR> <BR> Getting back from Canmore, I did step on the scale. I am up m... Sun, 12 Jul 2015 14:15:32 EST mindful of my mini-binge <img src=""> The walk back from yoga today; third class in three days. Because it was a nice day out only four of us were there and each of us received proper adjustments... I learned how to reform a few of my bad habits! The twists though, feeling like I have too much around my core. Obviously working in that! Upon returning my grandma made a positive comment about my figure, I'll take that over any of my silly fr... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 00:35:58 EST more mountains, yoga... & lakes and lightning <img src=""> Today: Another yoga class and a few hours spent at Lake Louise with my grandma and uncle. My grandma sat and admired the lake while my uncle and I walked with the dog... There is a cute tea house a decent hike up the mountain but that was not in the cards for today. Getting back to Canmore I enjoyed another yoga class while it rained and thundered (just a little) outside. I'm feeling a bit... Blah. Ye... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 01:59:10 EST ommm & mountains <img src=""> No excuses today! Or maybe Monday began with an excuse as I got out of bed at 9am and was not going to rush to a yoga class at 9:30. I went to the 5:30 class and it was wonderful! A more traditional ashtanga class, my favourite style. So definitely I will be making a class per day while I'm here until (&including) Thursday, I will also go to a class at home on Friday morning (before getting my hair don... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 01:12:46 EST breaking lazy I am in the mountains until Thursday. With wireless, you wonder? I'm in a town, staying at my aunt's house with my grandma because my aunt has meetings in the city this week and my grandma would rather stay in the mountains but doesn't want to stay alone. It was easy enough to rearrange my office-work schedule and bring my academic-work with me here. I have a problem though, exercise! The past few days I have felt lazy. Friday I didn't go to yoga because I went to a parade (preceded by brunch... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 01:34:09 EST A few Saturday night thoughts It is HOT in Calgary, for Calgary. I have lived in southern California and Mexico when it has been consistently hotter than this and I've been absolutely fine but here I'm not used to it and I just sweat it out a bit uncomfortably. How hot, you ask? Well, the forecast was for 30C/86F but it may have gotten higher than that, I just can't find a daily recorded high. Tomorrow the forecast is for 33C/91F. In Riverside, CA I remember the temperature getting to 110F/43C and I remember an evening fe... Sun, 28 Jun 2015 00:41:40 EST Getting organized. I mostly stuck to the food I planned to eat today... I was hungry this afternoon so I let myself get a white hot chocolate, skim milk and no whip (it fit in to the days calories). Sometimes I figure that milk-based beverages, when made with skim milk, should be ideal snacks but maybe only lattes because anything else (like a mocha or hot chocolate) has so much added sugar! I just finished my dinner, I tried making my favourite sweet potatoes with coconut oil instead of butter and they turned ... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 22:11:34 EST weekend gluttony, repeated (I did it again) So, next weekend I will definitely be planning ahead to avoid round three of weekend gluttony! I did not go to zumba at all this weekend, but I engaged other activities... <BR> <BR> Friday I went to a morning ashtanga class I used to like and it was wonderful and got into my upper back and hamstrings in a way that I haven't been able to recently. It was an intense class and though I intended to make a smoothie when I got home (less than half an hour from the yoga studio) but my muscles were ... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 00:00:22 EST weekend gluttony Despite three zumba classes. Or in spite of three zumba classes? In any case, I feel kind of gross right now and Tuesday will be a cleaner eating day! <BR> <BR> My gluttonous episodes: <BR> <BR> Saturday night dinner before going to see the local orchestra perform Sinatra, featuring Tony DeSare and Montego Glover. AMAZING. One of my favourite songs, Fly Me to the Moon, was not covered but I just found a quick youtube video of Tony DeSare singing it... watch it here: <link>https://youtu.b... Mon, 15 Jun 2015 23:05:26 EST Question (regarding eating prior to exercise) and my current favourite song. I begin with a question, does anyone else find that if they don't eat within a window of a few hours before working out that they end up feeling nauseated? I've been getting that uncomfortable feeling the past maybe two weeks during most zumba classes. Generally I try not to eat for 3 hours before zumba because I have felt the same from eating too close to zumba, usually within two hours before zumba. For some of these classes, particularly the master classes, I have gone hard and attributed ... Wed, 10 Jun 2015 00:04:11 EST moved & sweating I haven't tracked my food for the past few days as I was moving to my new apartment, but I have my internet set up as of today so I'll get back on it (and maybe track a bit retroactively). I've kept myself honest and mostly healthy and I only missed one class of zumba... but I was moving stuff so was still active. <BR> <BR> I like my new place. It's centrally located so I can get to work downtown and to the university easily, walking downtown but probably not to the university. A regular gr... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 21:06:24 EST a busy Friday The main goal for today is to finish painting my dresser, but up until now I had only primed it and with 4 hours required between coats (I have another hour or so to wait to do the second coat on the first side), it will be tomorrow. The edges will also be done this afternoon. If I had two paint pans I could start in on the second colour, but I only bought one pan so the second colour will have to wait until tomorrow. I also still need to cut out my stencil for the drawers so I could do that ... Fri, 29 May 2015 16:46:25 EST moving: my lazy accomplishment (that facilitates my zumba schedule) I have prepared for my move by hiring a moving company to do it for me. In many respects, I feel lazy, it's not like I have much furniture to move (I'll have my couch and bed delivered separately). What frustrates me is just organizing some friends and renting the truck and then doing it. Now, all I have to do is make sure everything is boxed and ready and ride along. Chatting with someone on the phone, I learned that movers even have RAMPS to put going UP stairs so they can just put ALL THE ... Thu, 28 May 2015 20:38:56 EST 1 week in! Tonight after zumba I wanted something sweet. There are still mini-magnum bars in the freezer and I found myself thinking, 'why not, I just did zumba...' and I stopped right there! I navigated around the refilled nut bowls (well, one of the three are sunflower seeds so technically not nuts... and there are also almonds and pistachios), to the fridge, and grabbed the berries. I'm fine now and will make some herbal tea to sip on. I remain on guard for the return of the sweet craving though, it ... Wed, 27 May 2015 00:27:22 EST healthy (or not nutritionally bankrupt) rice krispy squares? Yesterday I found this article: <BR> <link><BR>-eating-habits-that-mak_n_7343532.html<BR>?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063 </link> <BR> 15 Habits That Make You Live Longer. <BR> Nuts and red wine are on the list!!! Yes, of course they are and of course they are to be enjoyed in moderation and not to excess. <BR> <BR> No wine for me this week, however! And I'm cutting out peanuts (dry roasted, not the best nut anyway) and opting for almonds (and almond butte... Mon, 25 May 2015 21:20:48 EST Sunday. I believe today is day 5 of my return. I am feeling positive. <BR> <BR> My accomplishments: <BR> ~6 hours of zumba this week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday (regular class, step&tone, and a master class last night... this could be why I'm so positive right now). <BR> Pretty clean eating. My weakness this week has been a (self-refilling) bowl of dry roasted peanuts. I also drank more alcohol than I had intended. I had one treat this week, a mini-magnum ice cream bar. Berries and app... Sun, 24 May 2015 14:13:29 EST Day 2. Yesterday I started feeling down about my body and I'm wondering if my reaction has something to do with being on here so having a goal to make a change to my body and from that a resulting dissatisfaction with my body as it is. Something along those lines. Anyhow, so to counter that, I was thinking of three positive aspects of my body to focus on and that is all I can do right now. <BR> <BR> These three body parts/ aspects are: <BR> 1. strong thighs and butt (not just from sitting on them!... Thu, 21 May 2015 15:08:37 EST Back. I first joined Sparkpeople in I think 2008 and though I wandering off with confidence about my eating habits, I keep coming back for reinforcement and reminders. My goal right now is to trim up one pound per week over the next 10-12 weeks. In this blog, I'm going to outline my reasons for being here, both what brought me here and why I came back, and what I plan to do over the next three months (and beyond). <BR> <BR> As it seemed for many others, 2015 started off with a bang for me. The ban... Wed, 20 May 2015 11:49:42 EST busy busy spring bees Things have been BUSY lately. I haven't tracked for about two weeks and I don't know if I have too much time to track right now. What I am going to do is see how I'm doing without tracking food and if I can't intuit then I'll have to get back to food tracking. <BR> <BR> I moved. I moved in with my boyfriend. I had many reservations but it's been good. Even my cat, who had previously run away from him, is seeming to like this arrangement. I'm now living about a 40-minute walk from work and, a... Mon, 12 May 2014 11:45:59 EST food bloating Last week I planned my food and was feeling good. Until Thursday night. I moved. Of course, I didn't move into an apartment stocked with healthy food. My boyfriend and I went to a pub where I had two beers and a chicken taco salad. The salad was not the best taco salad I've had, there was too much dressing and not enough beans. Next time I'll definitely get the dressing on the side with a side of salsa, will also likely request extra beans. Almost immediately I started feeling gassy. Friday m... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 16:05:23 EST today I'm like a chili pepper Perhaps not in shape, but I felt much better. Maybe in shape, a little... <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> I ate mindfully today, including mid-afternoon when I needed something sweet so I unwrapped a bar of dark chocolate with orange and ginger, took 2 squares, and put the rest in the kitchen for others in the office to enjoy (they did!). <BR> <BR> My body was tired from barre class yesterday and I did debate skipping zumba... but I went. I know I always feel better after working out and usuall... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:47:21 EST apple-bodied me Not to be confused with apple-bottomed. I had thought of myself on the hourglass side of things, not a full hourglass, I guess a bit towards the brick since I have a short waist. Nonetheless, when I measure my waist and hips there is a substantial enough difference that when I use an online body calculator (I might have to look for it again, a friend and I had a night a while ago of measuring ourselves and seeing what we were classified as) that I'm somewhere in the hourglass spectrum. BUT! T... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:37:15 EST Getting over a mini-egg binge. I binged on mini eggs on Monday... though I wouldn't call it a binge. I mindlessly ate a few handfuls and though I enjoyed the first few, the pleasure of the mini egg disappears after the first few. I kept going though, as drawn in my a mysterious force. However, we know it's not so mysterious! It also happened throughout the day, even though I wasn't at home much... I came home after yoga and had a handful or two. I went out for a few hours and enjoyed another handful or two when I came back... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:46:38 EST need for a change Not just in my eating habits, though there too. I am not feeling comfortable in my own skin right now and even though I'm going to zumba three times per week and yoga at least once, I'm not eating right... maybe more on that later. <BR> <BR> The long story short is that I have been living with my mom for nearly 5 years (or really just 4.5 when I stop to count). For about 3.5 of those years I was working on my dissertation and of that time I spent nearly a year in Mexico doing my research. I'... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 01:59:55 EST weight markers ... and sort of odd markers. <BR> <BR> Two years ago when my Dad was ill, I was weighing around 146. I had at that time lost about 12 pounds in the previous few months, though I'd had two bad colds. When he passed away at the end of April 2012, I weighed around 143 and managed to maintain that weight, or a few pounds lower, for about a year. Last June when I finished my PhD I was weighing around 145 again. Since then I have been on a slow and steady incline. The most recent marker is my Gra... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 15:00:27 EST this weekend This weekend started out wonderfully (and overall it was a good weekend, but keep reading). I got to the gym for zumba (my boyfriend also came but I had him drop me off at the door because the parking lot was busy and I only had 10 minutes until class started), enjoyed that. After working out we were leaving, I checked my phone and the first thing I saw was a text of a friend of mine and her newborn baby. I squealed in delight. Then I noticed I had two missed calls, the first from my Aunt and... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 23:48:05 EST today's thoughts, March 31 Lots has been going on in the past two or so weeks, and most of it has been good. <BR> <BR> I went to New Mexico for a conference two weeks ago, that was great. I went to some great sessions but, unfortunately, my paper seemed to be placed in the wrong session. Not only were none of the people who were at most of the other sessions I attended there, but I received no feedback at all from the people who were in my session. All in all, it was a good experience... and I went up to Santa Fe for ... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:52:31 EST ups and the downs of this week Alright tomorrow is Friday! It's been a week of ups and downs. <BR> <BR> First, the ups. I made it to zumba on Tuesday and Wednesday. <BR> Monday I had a job meeting (not as formal as an interview and not for a job that currently exists) that has left me with a stronger job possibility. <BR> Tonight I met a wonderful friend after work for some wine. It was lovely. <BR> <BR> The downs. My period hit hard this week, both pms and the full event. Monday I felt pms creeping in so even in my job... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:22:29 EST good weekend First thing I did this weekend was get some fitness time in! Zumba (and about 15 minutes on a stationary bike with the attached screen that 'shows' you where you are riding and adjusts tension accordingly) first thing on Saturday morning. But it killed my body. After class I sat in the locker room for a few minutes, chatting, though I could have been doing something like putting on my jacket and getting ready to leave... and later on it felt like my arms were going to fall off. I guess that i... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:52:59 EST craving some sweat! This week has ended up being a sick week for me and so I've not gone to the gym. I did take a walk outside yesterday and today and that's at least something! I will go to zumba on Saturday morning though, that is a given! I'll get back to a more normal schedule next week. At least this sickness, it seemed to be a really minor flu, didn't last very long. <BR> <BR> I was debating going to the gym in the morning tomorrow but I don't think I have time... or if I do have time to go I'd have to ca... Fri, 7 Mar 2014 00:25:20 EST fitbit dreaming - opinions? I kind of want a fitbit. Will that help to motivate me? Probably not. Would it help me stay on track? Possibly. What colour wristband would I chose? Bright pink. <BR> I will think about this a little longer... and seeing as I have a trip coming up and need to get my hair done, it will likely not be an immediate purchase. <BR> <BR> Today I stayed home sick. I woke up and my lungs were heavier and drier, I was slightly stuffed up but not too badly... but I think my body was happy to have the d... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 23:56:41 EST thinking too much about how to be healthy I'm continuing along on my unmotivated-but-trying-to-get-it-together-<BR>anyways spiral. At least I'm trying. Sometimes I think I am thinking too much about it. <BR> <BR> First, I just saw this TED talk this morning. <BR> <link><BR>dieting_doesn_t_usually_work.html?utm_<BR><BR>=on.ted.com_f04gA&utm_campaign=&utm_so<BR> </link> <BR> It is by a neuroscientist talking ab... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 23:51:26 EST where is my motivation? I have not been disciplined, mindful, or 'good' in my eating habits lately. I'm not sure what my problem is... but I need to figure that out! I cheated on my cleanse, and since then I haven't felt like eating meat but I have not been balancing my intake, most of my calories are fat and carbs... and I've been going over my ideal ranges. I know what I could be doing to remedy this, but I just don't feel I have the energy to put in the effort. Even now, I find myself making excuses as to why I c... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:53:39 EST my chocolate 'safe' spot Yesterday evening I went to a chocolate store to get a few truffles for my boyfriend. They have bagged truffles OR the bulk, help-yourself baskets. I just wanted a few, the bags weren't what I wanted so I scooped my few and went to pay for it BUT my 350grams (more or less) would have been $18. They had a sale on the bulk chocolate so that 1.2kg was only $30. Doesn't it just make more sense to spend that extra $10 for 3x the amount of chocolate? Yes. What, you may ask, have I done with the ext... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 21:22:04 EST a cookie tale A week ago I made cookies. Because I was going on a detox, I packaged two to save until I was done and gave the rest away. Today, after lunch, I ate the cookies. In some ways, it's amazing that I had the cookies sitting on my counter for a week! I'm not too worried that I ate them, however, on this detox I have some supplements that somehow react with sugar in my stomach and I know I will end up feeling bloated and crampy in a little while... or maybe all the veggies and rice I had for lunch ... Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:48:03 EST goal set... now go! I did make a goal. I will trim up/down to 135 by (around) Thursday April 10. <BR> <BR> That is 11 pounds in 9 weeks. <BR> It will take some effort but I can do it! <BR> <BR> How: <BR> In terms of my eating, I need to focus on the veggies and limit (not at all eliminate) carbs. The past few months, my go-to has been pasta, I am going to replace that with veggies (I have a favourite, soy-ginger veggies that I make), rice (or quinoa), and chicken breast. Easy! Of course I'll have other good m... Fri, 7 Feb 2014 12:52:30 EST REAL (&realistic) goals In the past few days I realized that I've never really made a concrete goal. My goals have been more flimsy, like, I'd like to lose 10 pounds before the summer. By not setting a date and at least defining an acceptable range of progress, I've let myself keep putting it off. When I'm not meeting my target line (and it's been diverging for weeks), I'll just reset my goals and essentially start over again. And then I repeat. Why? I guess by never really committing I can never fail... and instea... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 22:18:16 EST February detox It's that time again! My body has been feeling sluggish and I've been putting it off for a few months. The past few months, too, I haven't been as healthy as I would have liked to be... so this detox/ cleanse will get me back on the right path. It's not a crazy, juice and cabbage tea only type cleanse, it's just a few supplements to help my gut clean out and an eating plan that eliminates sugars and other foods I don't need. I have a sugar addiction SO this type of cleanse helps me break that... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 22:04:08 EST getting back on track Looking at my last blog in November, I'm tempted to list my reasons for not succeeding as I had hoped BUT instead I'll just get into this moment and focus on what I'm doing NOW. <BR> <BR> This past week I've gotten back to tracking my food. I'm doing alright and I'll keep trying to do alright or better! I am starting a detox cleanse either Sunday or Monday (pretty much cuts down on sugars in all forms, not too hard) and I'm hoping that helps my body just FEEL better. For the past few months.... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 13:49:47 EST mid-November, time to re-balance Dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> It's been a while. Or, not that long really, two months. <BR> <BR> I've been teaching a class at the university, just one class on Monday Wednesday and Friday afternoons, while still working as a glorified administrative assistant on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with house and pet sitting jobs on the side as they come up). I feel robbed of time! I barely get to yoga, MAYBE once a week or up to three times per month. I've been a little better with zumba, going up to ... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 14:53:03 EST crazy busy fall days September has start with a bang! No, a bang ends. I haven't been able to stop for the past 10 days. I haven't been able to track my food (but stepped on the scale on Saturday to see that it was down 2 pounds), I haven't exercised... I'm just on the go go GO! When all I want to do is rest and relax and maybe read a book that I'd like to read. I'm not balanced... but hoping that in this next week I'll be able to catch up and the rest of the semester will be more sustainable - I definitely canno... Mon, 16 Sep 2013 00:06:03 EST twists of life this September 2013 Why does it seem that September is so good at ushering in the feeling of something *new* all through our lives? This is the first September in almost all my life that I am not a student. This September I will be entering the University as a sessional instructor. I have my PhD so I will be Dr. Jench but it hasn't quite sunk in yet... I've been a TA (teaching assistant with my own discussion sections) numerous times and I've taught two university level courses in the summer session... This time... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 17:44:36 EST