Monday, 10 September 2012

Worked For Me #3 - Finding Time

A friend recently asked me how I find the time to fit everything in.  I'll let you in on a little secret; I don't.

This brings up something that has bothered me for quite some time.  Why do we as humans always feel the need to hide our humanity?  I'd love to be able to post on this blog that I'm always perfect.  My home is always clean, the baby always goes to the sitter properly dressed and without food in her hair, my job never suffers, I shower and style my hair every morning, I always manage to get that workout in, and I do it all with a smile on my face.  But it would be a big, fat lie.

Give yourselves a pat on the back.  You ARE good enough. It's human nature to want to show the world our best selves, that's why we manage to clean our houses more in the 20 minutes before someone arrives for a visit than in the last 2 weeks.  But don't expect to look at someone else's "perfect life" and see an accurate representation.

This is what my kitchen looked like this morning when I went to work:

Not exactly a "perfect homemaker", hey?

That being said, there are ways to get things done.  First, don't think about ALL the things you need to get done, think about what you need to get done right now.  Prioritize.  I didn't do the dishes today until I had finished work for the day and gone to the gym.  Actually, since I'm being honest, I still haven't finished all of them.  Because, for me, the gym is a bigger priority than dishes (unless someone is coming over).

Another thing that has made a huge difference in what I can get done in a day is my level of physical activity and nutrition.  Honestly, if I hadn't been to the gym today and eaten properly, I probably wouldn't have finished any of the dishes, made dinner, or packed my husband's lunch.  I actually find that when I get some exercise and fuel my body with what it needs, I wind up getting a lot more done in a lot less time.  I just have more energy.

What I'm trying to say is that if you make proper eating and exercise a priority, the rest will come.  Just don't beat yourself up if you're not quite living up to this myth of the "perfect woman".  Because none of us are.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Worked For Me #2 - Breakfast

Most people have heard the saying "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", but is it really true?

I'm not sure I believe it's the MOST important meal of the day; each and every meal you eat has a huge bearing on how you feel and whether your body is nourished and burning fat or just storing it.  But breakfast has definitely played a huge role in my weight loss journey.

Typically I will eat breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up.  My usual breakfast consists of oatmeal with ground flax and cinnamon in it, and a scoop of protein powder mixed with water.  And coffee, of course.

I've experimented with a number of different oatmeals that I like, from pumpkin pie oatmeal (add a spoon of pureed pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves), to cinnamon apple oatmeal (add chopped apple and cinnamon).  Some things always stay the same for me, though.  I prefer the large rolled oats rather than the instant kind (and I can get a HUGE bag that lasts me about 6 months worth of breakfasts for $15 on sale!), and I cook it on the stovetop with 2 parts water to 1 part oats.  I usually throw some raisins in with the oats to cook, but occasionally I'll use blueberries or other fruit.

The protein powder I'm using at the moment is a whey protein isolate/concentrate blend that I get from the health food store.  I'm relatively paranoid about artificial sweeteners so I always look for a kind that is sweetened with stevia rather than sucralose.    The difference between isolate and concentrate is mostly the rate of absorption from what I've heard.  When you've just got up in the morning and haven't eaten all night, or you've just had a strenuous workout, isolate is generally preferred because it is absorbed quicker to aid in muscle building/recovery.  I'm being a bit less picky about that at the moment being as I'm not going to be competing any time soon.

As much as oatmeal is my breakfast of choice, there are certainly other options that would have the same effect!  Any kind of whole grain, such as quinoa, whole wheat, rice cakes, etc. would do the trick.  Just be sure to include some kind of fruit, whole grains and healthy fats.

A good, nourishing breakfast can set the pace for the entire day.  Definitely not something to be skipped or taken lightly!


I've made it to the gym 3 times in the last 1.5 weeks and feel so much better! I was right; the second I started eating better and exercising, my "pregnancy symptoms" all but disappeared.

Although it's been tough to get back in the swing of things (my last "cheat day" turned into a "cheat long weekend"), I finally feel like I'm turning things around. As much as I don't like to admit it, I hit 200lbs with my last pregnancy and had to work my butt off to get rid of that extra weight. But I refuse to let that happen again!

Yesterday I went to the local farmer's market and bought some beautiful produce. I had forgotten how good homegrown really is! There is a local hutterite colony near town which sells local chicken, eggs, and produce. I'm feeling inspired to eat lots of fresh produce and will probably go for a run today. Then it's back to the gym tomorrow!