Ladies and gentlemen, I think I got my mojo back!

I am happy to report that training has been going really well so far this week! Here's my mid week recap:

Sunday: 14k run-It was humid and I hit a bit of a wall around kilometre 9 but I pushed through it and made it to the end of the intended route which, in case you were wondering, happens to be all the way to my mom's house. Convenient huh?

Monday: 50 minute intense spinning class/45 minute strength training circuit-The spin class was great (the teacher is an Iron Man, how could it not be right?) and the circuit was something I put together to get a combo of upper and lower body plus core.

Tuesday:9k run-The weather was terrific for running. 20C with a breeze..couldn't ask for better conditions in June! The course was mostly flat although there were a few steep hills. It felt good to get out and run it with a group of people who push me to push myself.

I feel really good about all my wholesome food choices today too:

Breakfast was a multigrain bagel (plain) and a fruit salad (so fresh and yummy!)

Lunch was a tasty salad from a salad bar near my office (you get to add 6 fresh toppings...how fantastic!)

And the last of the leftover homemade vegetarian, dairy free enchiladas from earlier in the week

Dinner was actually a late afternoon  lemon coconut The Simply Bar (vegan,organic and 16g of protein..whoo hoooo!) and a later evening bowl of multigrain Cheerios with Vanilla soy milk. Nothing too exciting and hence, no photo.

All and all its been a really great day folks but now its time for yet another part of a healthy lifestyle...sleep!
G'night and sweet dreams everyone!

So tell me, what was the highlight(s) of your day?


New Camera and Some Inspiring Words from Friends....

In my mind I am a photographer. I imagine scenes and portraits. I dream in vivid colour. I envy everyone in blog land who takes beautifully crisp photos with their wonderfully high-tech cameras. And today I decided it was time to join the ranks.

A photo of the camera on the box taken with the actual camera

Meet my new camera. Ok, in truth its "potentially" my new camera. Its going to be put on trial for the next 7 days to see if it can stand up to my lofty expectations. There is no one I know that will scrutinze photo quality more than me. But for now I am snap happy with what is supposed to be DSLR quality with the relative ease of a point and shoot.

On another unrelated note I have been feeling like I am in a bit of a funk lately. I haven't been overly motivated to train and my eating hasn't been anywhere near as clean as I want it to be. It started to really catch up to me when I started to feel (imagine?) my clothes getting a little tighter and I felt less and less compelled to lace up my sneakers for anything.

Then it hit me like a truck! While I was sitting here worrying over the calories in a cookie that I probably could have done without, people out there (3 to be exact!) where looking to me as a source of inspiration.

It started with an email I received a couple of weeks ago after running into an acquaintance on a night out. She sent me a note to thank me for organizing the evening and felt the need to write:

"I haven't seen you in a while and I just wanted to let you know that you look beautiful and fit and I was so inspired by seeing you on Saturday! You are gorgeous"

How sweet huh?

Then another friend proceed to inform me that "Dude, you are an inspiration" when she found out I was participating in a 24 hour relay to help children with disabilities.

And then, as if this wasn't great enough, a third friend remarked that "Your (my) legs make me want to eat egg yolks!"

It makes me smile just to think that these fantastic people have such nice things to say about me. And to know that other people notice my efforts, even on the days where I fail to, is enough to pull me through this little slump of mine.


So tell me have you heard anything good, bad or ugly about the Olympus Pen series? What type of camera do you use? And what compliments are you storing as little pick-me-ups for the tougher days?


Bulging Bridesmaid-4 Week Countdown

I realize that the title of this post suggests a number of things, one being that perhaps I believe that  in some way I can (and should) safely be referred to as bulging. This is not true. I am not "bulging" and frankly, I don't really adore the adjective when used to describe anyone. The reason that I use it, for all you Canadians out there, is that it is a spin off the television show "Bulging Brides". If you haven't seen it the show features soon-to-be-brides who need to drop some pounds and tone up to get into their dress and look fabulous on their big day which is 4 (or is it 6??) weeks away. The show is hit and miss (the food restriction is a little too severe for long term success in my opinion but I guess thats not really the point of it) but the premise has inspired me, as you will see.

One of my good friends B is getting married in a few weeks (4 to be exact) and I have the honor of standing up for her as a bridesmaid. The dress (a size 6...can you freakin' believe it!!) is hanging in my closet and as of my last dress rehersal it still fits, phew! But with four weeks to go and a less than stellar 2 weeks of nutrition and exercise behind me I have decided to use the wedding as another motivator to get back on the fitness and wholesome food bangwagon.

This is the dress. Forgive the poor quality photo but I am in the market for a new camera..yay!

Truthfully, I have been slipping a little (ok, a little more than a little). My food choices haven't been great and I haven't been sticking to my training schedule as much as I had intended. I have the 10 Miler in a few weeks (and by a few I mean 2..holy sh*t!!!) and I just don't feel prepared yet. I need to shake this off and I am hoping that the combo of a looming race day and the upcoming nuptials will kick my butt into full gear again.

The plan is to resume my training schedule (see Look What I Did!) and really get clean about my eating. My goal is 2000 calories most days (the more intense days will be a little more, my rest days a little less) focusing on whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes. Most of my eats in the last few weeks have been vegetarian anyway so I plan to keep that up too!

B and I at her stagette (don't you think we look like we could be related??)

Here we go! 4 weeks to get back on track and stay there. B I love you and while I know I won't look quite as good as you on your big day (at 5'11 with ballerina legs this woman is absolutely stunning!) I hope to to look and feel beautiful and confident!!

So tell me, do you have a dress to fit into this summer? Does an event like a wedding motivate you to keep active?


Confessions of an over-eater part three

I am such a deliquent blogger these days! I suck, I know. I just haven't had a lot of time or motivation when I do find time and my friends that is a terrible combination when it comes to be updating more than once a week. But I do sincerly apologize and hope that you will stick with me through this little slump.

As promised I do want to chat a little about some of those pesky reasons that I over eat and some of the healthy alternatives that I can explore in lieu of piggin' out.

This is a tough one but I can attack it from two angles. One, I can reduce my stress levels where possible. I can learn that it is absolutely, 100% okay to say no sometimes. I can take a break from one thing and not try to fill the void with something else. I can learn from my new favorite quote which says "You can do anything but you can't do everything" (I am not sure who the author is but I saw it on OSG).
The other way I can combat stress it to work it out. There really is nothing like a good sweat session to eleviate some frustration right? And if I can't go for a run everytime stress creeps in (my boss may not approve of me leaving my desk for 30 minutes every hour) I can go for a little walk, climb a flight of stairs, or, and please don't think I am completely crazy for this, I can hide in a washroom stall and do a 30 second little dance. Yes, I said dance in the washroom ladies and gentleman but don't you knock it until you've tried it!

This one requires forming new habits to replace the old. Instead of eating in front of the tv perhaps I implement the rule that no food gets consumed while watching tv. That would almost completely eliminate mindless snacking for me as thats the time I do it most. It will be tough but hey, what part of this journey isn't?

It's time to eat:
Get over the idea that there is a fixed time for meals. If you're hungry, eat. If you're not, don't. And if you do make it something wholesome.

I want to smoke:
Stop smoking once and for all. The cravings will go away, but only if I stop. End of story.

I already blew it today:
This is a huge mindset change for me but one that makes total sense. Say if I give in to a craving and munch a donut for breakfast. Thats what 300 calories? Now say I let that propel me into a downward binge spiral. I add in some french fries at lunch and candy in the afternoon. Then I eat a huge whopping plate of pasta at dinner and more candy and chips after dinner. Where will that leave me? Hundreds, upon hundreds of calories over my daily goal and feeling pretty crappy that's where! Not a good idea at all.

The further I get on this little journey the more that I begin to realize that attitude is 70% of it all. If you don't want it and believe in yourself and your ability to get there you won't, plain and simple. And if you don't change the way that you think about exercise (FUN! REWARDING!) and food (FUEL! TICKET TO LONGEVITY!) you won't stay on the journey long enough to reap all the benefits. Because as they say, life is a marathon not a sprint and you should enjoy every step of the 26.2 miles.

And I will leave you with that folks. Happy Friday!!

So tell me, what have you done to change your mindset for the positive? What words of wisdom do you live by?


Confessions of an over-eater...part two

It has taken me much longer then I expected to write this post. I have started it half a dozen times only to stop because nothing seems quite right and I don't know why. I am self-aware. I know that I have an issue. So whats the big deal right?

Truthfully I think the hardest part of all of this is admitting to the problem, identifying why I have it and then actually having to do something about it! Eeek!

I like to eat. I think most people do. But I think that there is a part of me that really, really likes to eat. That part enjoys the "face-stuffing" and is a little nervous that once this is all said and done that little habit will be no more. Ah well, sucks to be her! I am moving past this whether she likes it or not.

Why do I overeat/binge?

*Boredom. Nothin' to do so I eat

*I'm stressed and I deserve it. These aren't mutually exclusive events. Sometimes I find my way to the bottom of a box of crackers right in the middle of a stressful afternoon but other times, after a rough day I justify eating everything in sight by telling myself that I earned it. Its a cycle though because once the binge is over I feel worse and more stressed then I did before it started.

*It's habitual. Watching TV or a movie means snack time to me. They go together like peanut butter and jelly (although thats not the best comparison seeing as I hate that combo but you get my drift)

*Its time to eat. Whether I am hungry or not I find that I must eat dinner. Even if it's 10 o'clock at night and I should be heading to bed soon I still feel compelled to make soemthing for dinner.

*I want to smoke. I have smoked cigarettes on and off for years and now that I am off them again (for the most part) I find myself snacking whenever the craving hits me.

*I already blew it today. Similar to not starting a diet until Monday I will often allow a binge to continue for a whole day, telling myself that it only makes sense to start fresh tomorrow. The worst part is sometimes tomorrow doesn't come the next day.

Snack foods (cookies, chips, candy, popcorn, pretzels, crackers) are definitely my weakness. I should avoid them by keeping them out of the house but I also know that I need to be able to avoid them even if they are staring me in the face. I need to get to the point where if I do choose to indulge (because let's get real..am I never going to eat popcorn again? I don't think so!) I treat myself to a reasonable portion and get back on track. Everything in moderation, as they say.

Stay tuned for the installment of Confessions where I begin to find healthy alternatives to my triggers and start to treat food as the fuel I need to accomplish all of my goals.

So tell me, do any of these "whys" look familiar to you? If they do, how do you overcome them?


Confessions of an Over-Eater..part one

As I mentioned in my last post I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about my eating habits, in relation to my weight, my health and my 1/2 marathon training. Food thinking gives me a little bit of anxiety because its a variable that I should be able to control (more then say the weather or if, heaven forbid, I get injured *gasp*) Yet, despite everything that I know after years of research and trial and error, and all of the best laid plans I still feel like I am dropping the ol' proverbial ball. And it's making me a little C-R-A-Z-Y!!

Here's the thing. I know, for the most part, what food I should eat and what food I shouldn't. Spinach salad with grilled chicken? Yes. Half a dozen donuts? No. Veggie and tofu stir fry? Uh, huh! Entire bad of Spicy Doritos? Oh hell no! Put the darn bag down right now!!! So really, I don't believe its an issue of misinformation or a lack of knowledge. Really and truly, its that I, Samantha, Miss Going to Run 21 K in September, Miss Lost 35 lbs and Wants to Keep it that Way, am a compulsive over-eater. *Sigh of relief* There I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest

My biggest issue both pre-weight loss and now is that I eat (and eat and eat and eat)  because I can. Because I like to. Because the food is there. Because I am stressed. Because its dinner time and I should eat something. Because, because, because...

I, by definition, am living proof that Hotess-Frito Lay got it right. "Betch ya can't eat just one?" You are darn right I can't! I find myself at the bottom of a bag of pretzels/Goldfish crackers (a new weakness)/tortilla chips all too often and when I look back I didn't even start the bag hungry! I just ate 'em (all of 'em!) because they were there and because I didn't know when to stop.

You know, maybe thats not even true either. I probably did know when to stop. Like before even opening the bag perhaps? Or a handful in, when I realized I wasn't hungry but just bored or stressed? But I didn't because I stopped listening to the "cues" (eat when hungry, stop when satisfied) a long time ago. Instead I just eat because I don't want to stop. Its a compulsion of sorts. Eat, eat, EAT! Ahhhh!!

If any of you have dealt with this I am sure you know how difficult it is. I'm embarassed to keep eating when even my boyfriend (who has a huge appetite!) has stopped. I'm embarrassed to crinkle yet another empty bag of chips and discreetly try to throw it away, hoping no one will ask if we still have any. I'm embarrassed because I feel like I should have more control and I just don't

And the thing is I so want to be healthy and happy. I also want to lose another 10-15 lbs. And I know that this little habit (its so much more then a habit but let's run with that for now..) is standing in the way of these things. I need to get it under control. And I plan to start by asking myself a few questions: Why and when to I overeat? (stress, sadness, boredom...I list these because I believe it is tied to emotion in some way) What are my trigger foods? What can I do to better avoid these situations? (and or the foods that trigger them) I know I have the power to stop these binges. I know that I can take back the control. Everything I have accomplished is way too important to me to sacrifice to this problem. I won't let that happen!

Stay tuned for Confessions Part Two where I take a closer look at the answers to those questions and how I can overcome over-eating (binging) once and for all.

So tell me, whats the number one thing standing (or that used to stand)in the way of your goals and how are you dealing with it (or how did you)?


Look what I did!!

That's right folks! Little Miss Can't Run One Mile Last October just signed her self up for 10 big ones this July! Exciting isn't it?

In preparation for what will be the longest official race of my entire freakin' life I have come up with a training schedule/ list of things I need to work on before the big day (30 days and counting!)

-Running 4 days a week for a total of 35K. Broken down thats a long run of 15K and three shorter ones (8, 7,5 or something to that effect)

-Cardio cross training 1 day a week. In most cases this will be a 45 minute high intensity spinning class.

-Strength training/total body conditioning 2 or 3 days a week. This will include my kick boxing class twice a week, which is a total ass kick these days...yowza!

If you are following along with the math on this you have probably concluded that this means at least one or two days are going to be doubled up. Ding! Ding! Ding! In an effort to maximize my training for running plus get everything else in (which will, in my firm belief, make me a better runner in the long run) AND have at least one rest day I am going to commit 2 days a week to double workouts. I will most likely run in the morning if the temperature spikes again which means I can dedicate a lunch session to strength training. Otherwise on my spinning day I will hit the weights after work. No biggie! This girl loves to sweat (see how happy I am??)

On top of planning all the activity I have been focusing a lot on how my nutrition is going to play a role in my training, both for this race and the 1/2 marathon I am running in September. I have made some dietary changes recently to support my running but I think its time that I take a closer look and really get "clean" about my food choices. I know that there is definitely some room for improvement and its time I get my butt in gear and do it! But that my friends is food for thought (haha! pun intended) for another day...

So tell me, what fitness goal are you working towards right now? Have you signed up for any runs/bike tours/triathalons/boot camp classes that you are training for?


No one keeps their "fat" photos...

"Let me see a photo!!"

Its an all too common response to the statement "I lost over 35 lbs last year". People are astounded at the very idea that the you that stands before them used to be, well, bigger.

My response nearly every time is the same, and that is, "I don't have any."

I guess its not entirely true. I am the lightest I have been in probably 8 years, so I definitely have pictures of the heavier version of me. But pictures of the me who stood dangerously close to the line that divides the 100's with the 200's? That girl doesn't seem to be captured from the neck down in one single photo. I am guessing that that was deliberate

In truth I was completely miserable then. My personal life was spiraling out of control and my weight was climbing and climbing. None of my clothes fit, I felt sluggish and tired and unmotivated. I wanted to hide under baggy track pants and a winter coat that was literally busting at the zipper. It was a bad, BAD time for me. And rarely does anyone take the time to capture the unhappy moments.

What I can offer you, as far as before and after is concerned, is this:

These were taken a few years (and probably 15-20+pounds) ago. As you can see I carried the extra weight in my face, arms and waist. I didn't even realize it then but I just kept gaining, despite several attempts at one diet or another. I was on a slow ride to 196lbs and I didn't have a clue!!

And this is now (or a few months ago to be exact) on a trip to the Dominican Republic:

Its funny how easily I find pictures of me now. I even have bikini photos *gasp*! And I feel friggin' great about it. Call me vain but I like looking at some of these pictures because they remind me of how far I have come. But even more then that, these ones, the ones that weren't deleted three seconds after they were snapped keep me motivated when sleeping in and a stack of pancakes seem much more appealing then an 6am run around the neighbourhood.

So tell me, do you use your before to keep you motivated towards your after?


Looking for a Few Good Blogs....

I love reading health and fitness blogs! (random exclaimation I know but hear me out)What I realized lately is that the more I read the more I want to read. I just can't get enough! So as a result of this little obsession I really want to add some new blogs to my list of "must reads" but I need your help!!

If you know of or are the creator of a great blog that focuses on healthy living, fitness or running please leave me a link in the comment section and I will head on over and check you out (if you're already on my blog roll then rest assured that I check ya out all the time *wink*). I plan to feature some of my favorite blogs here and yours could be next!

Speaking of which, the Featured Blog that I would like to highlight this week is:

Check out Angela's adventures in running, healthy and creative cooking and business
 (she's the owner of Glo Bakery)
Her story is truly inspiring (and her recipes are delicious and wholesome) and if you haven't seen her site yet you are definitely missing out!