Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Conclusion of "Diets Don't Work..."

I think I’ve pretty much covered off why diets don’t work for me, but let’s recap: I hate the feeling of being restricted. I hate having to say “no” to certain foods if I really want them. I hate the feeling of deprivation.

Given the fact that I (almost certainly) wouldn’t have success on any new diet plan, it seems obvious to me that the only natural conclusion for me would be to simply NEVER (ever, ever) attempt one again. Phewww! That's a relief. The response is not to now indulge in anything and everything I want, but rather to just eat normally!
1)      Eat when hungry
2)      Stop when full
3)      Give in to cravings and desired food, but don’t go crazy
4)      Eat whole foods that are good for your most of the time
5)      Listen to your body
6)      Rest well
7)      Exercise well
8)      Don’t be a slave to the numbers (scale, jean size, or anything else)
9)      Don’t compare! Everyone is different, and so are our asses! ;)
Were you hoping for something more?

Truthfully, this is more or less what I have been doing for a couple of years anyway. I just need to work on my own #3 and #8.

For some people, having “off-limit” food in the house is a big no-no because it's a recipe for disasters which lead to binging on "forsaken" foods. I find it's worse though, not to give in to cravings. If I am craving something that I don’t have (or is “off limits” because of a diet I’ve been on or something like that), I will try to eat other foods in substitution. However, this never works...I just end up eating a whole bunch of other foods and still wanting what I originally wanted. End result: a whole lot of calories in, and still the craving.
There is no miracle diet or miracle pill. It's common sense. There is a reason why the diet industry is a  a $55 billion-a-year industry globally. It's like we don't trust ourselves enough; we don't trust our bodies. And we don't just accept ourselves and the bodies we have. Our bodies are pretty F*&^ing amazing, people. It's time to give them more appreciation ;)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Granola!

Hi everyone! I'm still working on finishing my post from the other day about "diets" but today I'd like to share a great recipe with you all.

This yummy granola recipe was adapted from My Baking Addiction. I added a few more ingredients for an ever healthier “punch”. Enjoy this granola on it's own with milk; sprinkled on top of yogurt; or in a home-made berry parfait.

Directions

Mix together in a very large bowl:

4 cups of oats
½ cup ground almonds
1 tbsp wheat germ
¼ cup ground flax seed
½ cup chopped pecans
½ cup coconut
2 tsp cinnamon

Combine the following in a saucepan:

¼ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Place to the side:

1/3 cup dried blueberries
1/3 cup craisins

Heat the brown sugar mixture on medium until it slowly bubbles up to the surface.

Working quickly (and with a spatula) pour wet ingredients over your oat mixture.

Spread as evenly as possible in a rimmed cookie sheet. Place in a preheated 350 oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally throughout.

Once you’ve taken the granola out of the oven, add the dried fruit to the granola and mix! You now have a yummy bunch of granola to eat and share!



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Diets Don't Work. For me.


I couldn’t stick to a diet plan if my life depended upon it. I can’t count the number of times I have tried one. (But of course only half-heartedly, because I couldn't stick to any one of them). When I think back to all the time, effort, and money I have spent on these silly things, it makes me cringe. Especially since there's no looming medical reason why I need to lose the 5-10lbs I (must have) thought would have such a postitive effect in my life. Really? (As if losing 5-10lbs would just be the best thing ever. Everyone knows that winning the lottery is the best thing ever) ;)

Let me tell you some expensive facts about my shady diet past. (And honey, if you are reading this post today, I would suggest stopping now).

So I found out about a juice cleanse in Toronto. I think I had heard about some celebrities doing the same one in the states to lose weight, and Toronto was the only place that had the same thing offered in Canada. (Come on, who doesn't want to do what the "stars" are doing?) It was only three days, and I figured that I could handle three days. I mean, who can’t follow something for only three days? Well, apparently me. After spending just over $300 for this juice cleanse, (yes that's right) I think I drank about half of them. I soon got bored. I love food and the thought of not being able to do such things like drinking my morning coffee made me sad. I love coffee people. A lot. I mean what were my options? Finish the cleanse and be depressed (as if a day or two of depression would have amounted to anything) or ditch the cleanse, eat real food and be happy with my extra couple pounds? I clearly chose option 2.

Well this acceptance of my body and desire to eat real food was apparently short lived since that didn’t stop me from ordering a new Calgary version of the same thing basically months later. I was so excited upon hearing that Premasai, a great little wholistic clinic here in Calgary, was offering the same cleanse. (Also, for about $300). Now at least this time, after I finished not quite one day (if I can remember correctly) and knowing that I wasn’t going to follow through, I was able to give the cleanse to a friend who (obviously more disciplined than I) was able to successfully complete it AND lost some weight. Damn! I should have done it!

Okay, so moving on. (Are you calculating costs yet? If you just put together the two cleanses, and a shit-load of diet books I've purhcased over the years...as well as the special "food" that I bought for the said diets, we are easily looking at a minimum of $2,000 in lost money. And that's not where it ends).
The most recent purchase was a diet plan service. You meet with these lovely people at Simply For Life on a weekly basis, and they come up with a meal plan for you based upon your likes and dislikes. This I really thought would work for me. And that is why I paid the $800 or so for it. However, (I am still actually on it) I could never seem to follow the damn plans. I hate the feeling of being restricted. I hate the having to say “no” to certain foods if I really want them. I hate the feeling of deprivation. I also hate having to meet every.single.week. It’s too much for my busy schedule. And then there’s the food preparation which takes a long time. Many times the dinner called for items like salmon, roasted chicken, etc. You know – low fat proteins with veggies (makes sense). But part of the problem for me was that I needed something really fast after I came home from work. And more times than not, I ended up just eating the food I had prepared for my husband and daughter instead of creating two meals. Who wants to do that?

So the next (and last) solution I had was a meal delivery service. There was a groupon out for a 6-day meal service and I wanted to try it. The idea here is that you receive all your food (6 “meals” a day for 6 days) in one bag (delivered twice – every three days). There is no cooking, no measuring, no guesswork. Guess what? I’ve got meals still sitting in my fridge that I was supposed to have eaten two days ago. Why you ask? Well because life got in the way, or I didn't like one of the items, or I just felt more like peanut butter toast. What was I supposed to do? Apparently, the answer to these questions is “Just Eat It”.

I am pretty sure you can see the pattern here now quite clearly. I am also pretty sure that my husband can see a spending pattern here too, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get knocked off our joint account, and instead receive a monthly allowance to curb spending. Well, that wouldn’t work well for me either since I can’t follow a budget either. LOL….

Now that I have aired this dirty little secret, and since this post is already far too long, I will save my conclusions for the next post. On that post, I will tell you about my new plan for eating in my life, (which won’t cost you any more money, honey) since I do believe I have hit “rock bottom” in terms of wasting money on dieting/meal planning. You’ll have to check back soon to see what I mean.

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Relaxation

I think we could all use a little advice from our husbands sometimes. Yes. You read that right. Now I realize that I may be stereotyping here (which is usually always a mistake) but I do this lightly and with some humour so I can simply get my point across.

Generally speaking, men know how to relax so much better than us women. I'll give you an example. Yesterday I took my daughter out around 9am and returned around 2pm. Knowing that my husband had the day off and that there was not too much he had to do but relax and watch some sports programs that had been PDR'd, I (incorrectly) assumed that the very few dishes in the sink would naturally be washed; that the very few jackets and miscellaneous clothes lying around would have returned to their appropriate places; and that the cereal box, dish, and spoon from his breakfast in the living room (which occurred hours prior) would have somehow found their way to the dishwasher to eventually be washed by the time I returned home.

However, upon returning (and you can imagine where I am going with this) I found that actually none of this had been done. Now in all honesty, this should not have surprised me one bit since this had played out similarly before. But in my mind, I had been taking care of our child and assumed that this "housework" should have been done in my absence, Instead, it turned out that my husband was truly taking this time off to relax.

This is an interesting situation. The guy works very hard all week and more often than not, he also works a day on the weekend. He really doesn't get much down time at all, so I cannot really blame him one bit for not wanting to take on any one of these tasks. BUT, if that were me (given the same amount of time to "relax"), the house would have looked very different. In addition to the above mentioned chores being completed, the laundry would likely have been at least started, dinner plans would be in progress, and perhaps the fridge cleaned out. But who is the smart one here? Not me. It's my husband.

I also work very hard all week, and (like all mothers) if you include "mothering"into the mix, we don't ever get time off. And if there is a period of time where we are not "working" or "mothering" we are likely found doing one of a hundred other chores. I am writing this not so that we can all jointly agree that we are overworked and that we should feel sorry for ourselves, but rather as a reminder that when we feel the need for a true break, that it is ok to take one.

I feel the frustrations of a messy house, of laundry piling up, of responsibilities to be taken care of, but I also think that we can take a lesson from our men, and simply learn to relax when we need to. What good are we to anyone if we are burnt out and overwhelmed from simply having too much to do?  Maybe our idea of "relaxation"is to simply read a book or magazine, get out for a run, or call a friend. The point here is that sometimes we need to do what might seem lazy or irresponsible. Sometimes, we just need to recharge the batteries.

So thank you honey for your reminder yesterday that a clean house isn't as important as a well rested mind and body :) I'm leaving for a run right now.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wanted: New Washer and Dryer

Friends, I am here to tell you about an unfortunate machine breakdown in my house that happened recently. It feels like we’ve needed to repair a few things in our house in the last few months and this last concern (the greatest thus far) has been our washer and dryer: I am quite convinced that it is shrinking my clothes. Specifically, I think it’s shrinking my pants. Weird, I know (especially since everyone else’s clothes seem fine!)

Alright, I know my washer and dryer aren’t at fault here….at least not completely. I do realize that it MAY have something to do with the amount of food I have been putting into my mouth.

It’s a funny thing…..when you haven’t worked out consistently for a while and then start up on a new exercise program; you can kid yourself about the amount of food that you eat. For example; you feel like a million bucks after burning 250 calories while running, but eat about 500 more later that day. rationalizing that you are now “working out” and therefore need those extra calories. Been there? Done that?

Which leads me to today’s topic about habits: Good and Bad. We have so many daily habits…some we are aware of, some not so much. My recent “bad habit” consists of watching reality TV (read: Real Housewives and Bachelor) after my daughter goes to bad, and snacking. Nothing too crazy or unhealthy, but enough for me to notice my malfunctioning washer and dryer ;) Also, watching crappy TV until later than necessary also then leads to another bad habit, which is “snoozing” my alarm clock in the morning. This results in me not having enough time to do the length of workout I want to do, and a lot of needless rushing around.

I believe that one of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful people are the habits that they keep. And I am here to remind both myself and you, that creating a new habit is something that may feel very uncomfortable at first, but as time goes on, it simply becomes another thing you get used to, or learn to effortlessly incorporate into your life.

The secret really, is changing these bad habits to good one – replacing them if you will.

The three good habits that I want to start with are:

1) Waking up earlier (on time – immediately after my alarm goes off)
  • When the alarm goes off, shut it off and walk into the bathroom. Just the act of removing yourself from the bed helps. Once you are up, it’s easier to convince yourself to take the next step.
  • Start gradually. Don’t try to get up an hour or half an hour to start. Begin with 10 minutes and work your way up.
2) No snacking after 7pm.
  • If I am hungry, I have allowed myself to make a small protein shake to enjoy in the evening. Again, new habits take time to adjust to, and this is my way of making the transition easier. No one said it had to be cold turkey.
3) Stopping biting my lip! (Horrible, I know)
  • This is a dreadful habit I have had for so many years. It’s my go-to response for many emotions: boredom, anxiety, apprehension, stress. For this one, all I plan to do is to recognize I am doing it and stop. In that moment. If I notice myself doing it again, I will simply repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
So my dear friends, what are some habits you would like to change? Or, what are some good habits that have been serving you well?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heeelllloooo!

I’m still here! Just coming out of a really busy couple of weeks. I hope to officially resurface in the next few days. I’ve got more to share with you.

At the moment, my focus is on my half-marathon running schedule, and getting life organized. I am a pretty organized person to begin with actually, but there have been some things tossed to the wayside during the last few months, and I need to change that. It’s driving me nuts. Unfortunately, I AM the type of person who can’t really relax until the proverbial ‘house is clean’. (As you can probably imagine, I was not one of those moms who was able to “sleep while the baby sleeps”, although I do highly recommend that). I have of course, had to let this personality trait slip a little. To survive. lol. Life truly does change when you have a child, and they do have an amazing way to help you see what is really important in life.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, and I will be back soon.

For now, I leave you with this.




Try this Tuesday: The Good Year Jar

  As the end of the year approaches, I wanted to share this amazing idea that I came across on FB recently. In January, you simply ...