healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Smile

I clearly don't do it enough.

:)
Amie, 4 Years Old and as Serious as ever

My 1st Vegetarian Anniversary

1 year ago tomorrow I made a huge change in my life. I had lost about 30 pounds, but was no where near where I wanted to be in terms of weight loss and my life. I still binge-ate at McDonalds at least once a week and I had no idea what I could do to stop this. I felt out of control.

I decided to become a vegetarian for the wrong reasons. You should never make a huge dietary change or remove a food group for weight loss reasons and I realize this now. I don't maintain my current lifestyle for the same reasons that I started with. I have done lots of research since cutting meat and most dairy from my diet and for me, it will be a lifelong thing.

Not eating meat has increased my energy, regulated my digestive system, and has changed my food pallet. I was never really a fan of vegetables prior to my decision to become a vegetarian. This is changed completely. I love almost all vegetables and all fruits and they are staples in my diet.

I don't push my lifestyle on anyone, but I encourage people to do research for themselves and make decisions based on that. If you aren't ready to cut meat out of your life entirely try taking a small step like "Meatless Monday".

Have you made any huge changes in your diet that you have loved or hated? Tell me about them :)

Thank you for all the kind words of support about my personal struggles at this time. Your emails and comments have been very helpful and insightful. I will give you an update on what is happening soon.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Let me tell you a story...

Thank you so much for the words of support. They truly mean more to me than I can express.

There once was a girl, a fourteen year old girl, who had never been in love before. This girl had told her best friend that she thought she would one day marry her highschool sweetheart, even though she didn't know him just yet.

One Saturday in May she was invited by her cousin to an 18th birthday party, the birthday boy, she had never met. This was the night they met. Not drinking, but surrounded by drunk people, the shy 14 year old girl stepped out of her comfort zone. She started talking to the birthday boy, only to discover he was German. Feeling courageous she told the boy to talk dirty to her in German (haha). The boy fumbled with his words but eventually spurted something out that the girl didn't understand. The girl asked him to translate, to which he responded "Well, in German, it means 'your hot' but directly translated to English, it means 'your horny'." That was the first laugh they shared.

The next day he was added to her MSN, but she had a crush on a different boy and didn't think much of the German. She started dating the other boy a few weeks later, but he quickly presented himself in the form of emotional abuse, to which the girl did not enjoy. This boy had 2 sisters, large and in charge sisters, that had threatened to "beat her up" for hurting their brother. That night, at a rural community dance, they showed up, and the girl spent the night hiding by cuddling with another (yes, another) boy. That night, she saw the German again for a second time, and he was not in a good mood. She said 'hello' to him and he brushed her off. This didn't phase the girl too much, but she remembers him walking past her in the dark to this day, and the look of anger on his face.

Slowly, the girl started talking to the German boy more and more, when she realized that it was not going to work out with the boy she had cuddled that night. They stayed up late, MSN'ing, learning about each other, laughing, and enjoying each others company. She set her desktop background as his picture, her favorite picture of him, and sheepishly showed her mom that this was the boy she liked.

They had their first date on July 1st, 2005. The girl was 14, the boy 18. They went to a movie, War of the Worlds, and the girl hated the idea of aliens so much that half way through she held the boys hand... and then his other hand. They only spoke a maximum of 5 words between each other that night. After the movie, the boy and his friend quickly shot up and left the theater, leaving the girl and her cousin sitting in the chairs still. Puzzled and slightly hurt they followed them out, and silently waited until her mom picked her and her cousin up. She hugged the German boy when she left, and she felt like it had been a successful first date.

They continued talking on MSN, even though the girl went to Red Deer to visit her dad. She stayed up until the sun was rising, quickly falling for this boy and everything about him.

July 6th, 2005 he asked her to be his girlfriend. The girl was so happy.

She went home from Red Deer early that year, because she didn't want to be away from the boy any longer. They went to her parents cabin together on the weekend of her return, along with her cousin and her boyfriend (which just so happened to be the German's friend). They had lots of fun, and on a night when a cooler or 2 was consumed the girl and the boy had their first kiss. That kiss was photographed. The girl still has that photo to this day. They spent that night kissing and their teeth crashed together on more than one occasion, to which they laughed and continued on. He slept on the ground, she on the couch, and he held her hand the entire night, even though his wrist was in an awkward angle.

The girl quickly identified that this was her first love. By September the boy and his mother were not getting a long, and the girls mother offered that the boy stay with them. At 15, the girl and the boy lived together.

Conventional? No. But the girl wouldn't change it for anything.

They laughed, they joked, they had so much fun together. The girl remembers all the silly moments, like when he told her not to go still when he picked her up, and she did, just to bug him, and he farted (the first time in front of her) as he collapsed, unable to hold her up, he was so embarrassed. She remembers the time he put his arms around her tummy and squeezed, and she farted from the pressure (the first time in front of him), she was so embarrassed.

In April of 2006, when the girl was almost 16, the mother and the girl were no longer getting along, and the girl and the boy moved out.

Conventional? No. But the girl wouldn't change it for anything.

They built a raggedy house together, too poor to buy anything nice. When their roommate moved, they periodically returned to the girls home, until they found another room mate to live with. They got a cat, miss Olivia.

Although they were always happy together, bad eating habits and being lazy quickly took over day to day routines, and their weights escalated. They still loved each other despite this, but it led to self hate.

When the girl graduated, they moved to Red Deer together, as that is where she wanted to go to school. He willingly followed her, leaving all of his friends and family behind, and the girl took this for granted.

The boy had trouble making friends in this new city as all of the people he worked with were older, but he still had her and she still had him.

They got another cat, Mr. Oliver, and then a dog. Tucker brought more happiness to them than they expected and they eagerly read up on how to raise a dog before getting him. He was their baby, their child, and he was spoiled rotten.

Stuck in a rut.

Self hate.

Unhappiness consumed the now woman. Not related to the boy, but related to the fact that the woman couldn't change her life. In a drastic attempt to change, she moved out and home with her dad.

She wrecked the German. His poor coping skills led to her distress, and the guilt of causing another person so much pain haunted her. She still had to see him, because she shared custody of Tucker, and this was difficult on both of them.

The woman met Jake.

Jake left.

The woman became a Vegetarian.

The woman met Andrew.

Simply put, Andrew was a douche.

Andrew (thankfully) left.

The woman swore off boys and took up running.

The woman reached her goal weight, and then surpassed it.

The woman and the boy became friends again, and the woman knew she missed him, although she would never admit it to anyone else. The boy started to date another girl. A prettier girl. And the woman started to feel alone.

The woman met Paul.

The woman ran a 10km run.

The woman struggled with Sciatica.

The woman struggled with not seeing Paul regularly, but for the most part, kept it to herself.

The woman ran a half marathon.

The German and the Pretty Girl broke up. The German's friend, a girl who had just had a baby, moved in.

The German said he would never date the friend, even though she liked him, A Lot.

The German and the woman remained friends, even though she was dating Paul.

The woman got sick of not seeing Paul. The woman realized that maybe the German was right when he told her that no one could love her like he did.

The stubborn woman admitted defeat. She ended it with Paul, because she could not see things working out. This made the woman sad.

The woman realized that it was through her own self sabotage that she attempted to take control of the situations she was in. To maintain control, she had to be the one to end relationships because lets face it, she thought, they will leave her eventually anyways.

At 4 in the morning, the woman called Paul. No answer. The woman called Matthias. A groggy German listened to her cry and vent for an hour. The woman realized that every decision she had made up until now had been the right one at the time. Ending it with the German. Being hurt by Jake. Dating Paul. They were not regrets.

The woman recognized now that she had no control over the repercussions of these decisions now. And that she clearly was in no emotional state to be in a relationship.

The German man listened the sheepish girl in a woman's body. The woman felt relief, and tried to sleep the rest of the night.

The next morning, the woman found out that the German was dating the friend with the baby.

Today was one of the hardest days of my life. The emotions were like nothing I have ever felt before. I reflected. I cried. A lot. And I realize that these emotions have nothing to do with Paul. And everything to do with the fact that I am late.

The one who is always fashionably early, is one month late.

So now, not only is their guilt for hurting him once, I unknowingly dumped all of my feelings on him while he is with someone else.

Granted, that girl will not make him happy, and he is too good for her, but it still sits on my conscience that I may have accidently hindered the course of their relationship. Had I known, I would have kept my thoughts to myself.

Did I mention that I have too much insight?

He supported me when I needed to date other people. I now will attempt to do the same.

Please, live your life with no regrets. I don't regret anything that has happened to me, or any of the decisions I have made, because they have shaped who I will be tomorrow. I believe in Soul Mates. I believe in Fate.

Lost

Searching for a sign of what to do next.
Emotionally worse off than I have ever been.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Alone

Wouldn't it be nice if we could look in a crystal ball and just see 40 years from now? How will the decisions I make now affect my future?


Who will I be with? Where will I be working? Will I have children? What will the people I love be doing? What will the people I used to love be doing?


Did I make the right decision?

Right now, I am struggling with this. How can you ever know what repercussions your decisions have? Will the hurt I have caused lead to a greater love for those who I intended to better? Will it in turn leave me alone, to waste, by myself, because I attempted to be selfless?

I don't think of myself as a selfish person. I try to do things for others to make them happy. I think this is  weakness for me. I do put others before my own needs. I try to see down the road and do what is best for them.

How is this affecting where I will end up?

I ended my relationship today. Ultimately we hardly saw each other. Once a week is not enough for me, and in this case I decided I needed to be selfish. I want to be with someone who can offer me a little more time than that. I don't ask for the world, but I do ask to feel like I am in a relationship, and although I don't doubt that Paul loves (or.. loved) me, I do doubt that he realistically understood what I wanted. Maybe he did know. But right now, there is no way to change this and make it work.

I also see this as being slightly self-less because I was bringing this issue up every 3 or so weeks. This was about the 6th time it has come up. Each time I let him convince me that one day it would change. How long can one "wait it out" and "wait for it to get easier"? I have waited 5 months. I don't want to continue waiting for god knows how long. I would rather be alone.

It wasn't fair for me to be bringing this issue up every 3 weeks and put him through that. He deserves a girl who will be okay with his crazy schedule. Not one who starts to feel like a needy girlfriend (which is something I don't want to be).

Part of the problem? He didn't think there was one. That right there shows our difference in expectations. If this was continually coming up as an issue for me and he wasn't seeing it, then how are we to ever move past it? There was just no compromise.

How do I feel? I hurt. I am sad. I am disappointed in myself for falling and ultimately setting myself up for hurt... again. I knew from the start that we both had busy schedules and I tried to tell myself that we could make it work. I was wrong. I feel alone. I question love. I don't know what is real. I don't know what to feel.

I know that I don't want to turn to food to comfort myself. I think this is good and shows the growth that I have accomplished.

So here I sit, with my tears, wondering how long I will be alone this time, and maybe, just maybe, I made a huge mistake when I ended it with Matthias.

Who knows what the future holds. You can't change the past, and you can only learn from your mistakes.


If that means I will be alone, then so be it.

Supplements

I find that when I am at my highest level of motivation (which comes and goes!) I am most prudent with my supplements. Here is a list of what I take and what I hope it does for me.
  • Multivitamin - to top off any missing vitamins not found in the everyday diet
  • Vitamin B12 - needed as I am a vegetarian, needed for regeneration of RBC's, manufacturing DNA and RNA, boosting immune system and lowering homocysteine levels
  • Calcium - maintenance of bone health, neurotransmition, and blood clotting, essential for dental health, and muscle contraction
  • Vitamin D - lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol), reduces inflammation, helps with muscle maintenance and ensures absorption of all calcium. I strongly believe everyone (but especially seniors) should be on 1000 IU/day.
  • Glucosamine - helps to rebuild cartilage, reduce inflammation, and reduce joint pain.
  • Omega 3 - lowers cholesterol and risk of heart disease, reduces inflammation, reduces risk of Alzheimer's Dementia and Depression, helps to reduce the risk of certain forms of cancer as well as constipation
  • Iron - to treat iron deficiency anemia, which increases the amount of hemoglobin available to red blood cells, leading to increased oxygenation of the body
What supplements do you take?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Something to Do

Here is a great workout that can be done within an hour! Do it at the gym, at your home, with a partner, without a partner, however you want! Just get out and do it :)

Danielle created this workout and we did it in a tabata-style circuit, 20sec activity, 10sec rest, switching the circuit exercise for a total for 4 minutes. We both agreed something a little longer would be nice, so try kicking it up to 45sec activity and 15sec rest!
  • Warm up; 10-15min Cardio of your choice
  • Circuit 1; Cardio: Step, Strength: Bicep Curls
  • Circuit 2: Cardio: Tick-Tock with rubber ankle band (leaping back and forth kicking your legs out), Strength: Triceps (dips, kick backs, extensions)
  • Circuit 3: Cardio: Mountain Climber (try this on an upside-down BOSU - Killer!), Strength: Squats on BOSU
  • Circuit 4: Cardio: Jumping Jacks, Strength: Lat Pulldown
  • Circuit 5: Cardio: Step, Strength: Lumberjack (See Here, at 1min, 45sec, called "Twist")
  • Circuit 6: Cardio: High Knees, Stength: Assisted Pull-ups or Free Pull-ups
  • Circuit 7: Cardio: Skipping, Strength: Side Lunges with Bar
  • Circuit 8: Cardio: Your Choice, Strength: Dead Lifts with Body Bar and Shoulder Press
  • Abs: 5 min, your choice, plank, walking plank, side plank, side plank raises, bicycle crunch, plank twists
  • Cardio: 15min, your choice
  • Cool Down & Stretch
Let me know what you think of it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Workout Buddy

I have, up until recently, always been a "loner" when working out. I never had anyone consistent that I could turn to, to come work out with me, join me on a run, ext... I trained for my half marathon alone, I ran all my long runs by myself, with only me as motivation.

This has only stopped me from going to the gym/doing a workout a handful of times this last year. I am good about getting my physical activity in. It is not a struggle any more to just get up and go, it has become a habit and it is hard for me to take a day of "rest".

A few weeks ago during Sunday Super Circuit (HELLO favorite class, EVER!) we were asked to partner up while going through the circuits. I was partnered up with a young woman and we proceeded to work through the stations. We would offer each other little snippets of motivation like "Almost done!" and "Push through it girl." It was pretty awesome. About half way through we started chatting about running and weight loss. Turns out we had quite a lot in common. At the end of our workout we exchanged emails and agreed that we would see each other at next weeks class.

For the last 4 classes we have pushed each other, encouraged each other and become gym-friends. YAY :) It is nice to finally know someone who is looking for the same motivation as you! We have done back to back classes, talked about running together and training for next years Woody's Half Marathon together, and it turns out she is in indoor soccer too (mind you she is in tier 1, the "good" tier). Pretty cool huh?

I am really enjoying getting to know what it is like to work out with someone else, and it has been a lot of fun so far!

Danielle, if you are reading this, Hi! You Rock! :)

I was a skeptic before, but I now appreciate having someone else working and sweating through it beside you.

Also feeling pretty motivated to try and lose the teeny amount of weight I have gained back (2-3lb since my lowest of 121.5lb). Trackin all my food, pushin hard at the gym, and trying to cut back on the chocolate. My goal is to get to 120. I am not sure how maintainable that will be, or even if it is possible, but I will try.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Busy Days

My apologies for the lack of postage recently. I am in my second last clinical (!!!) and have been busy managing school work, exercise, and a personal life.

Last year when I started running I made a consistent effort to add exercise in to my life. I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to form a habit, and for 6 weeks I woke up for clinical at 5:30am, had a full 8hr day, and then went to the gym for 30-90min from Monday to Friday. It was exhausting. At this time, I was also managing a dog, and being the president of the nursing society. I did not have any extra time for dating, and I spent a lot of time reflecting on what it was I wanted out of life.

I fell in love with physical activity.

Nowadays, I workout 6 days a week, and it isn't hard to do. Yes. I am a full time student. With 2 dogs. A job. And Yes. I schedule time to work out. I have made it a part of my day and I consider it to be "me" time.

Here are a few tips on how to start out with a conscious effort to exercise:
  1. Plan your days; I plan my workouts by the month. I get my gym's class schedule, pick out the fun sounding ones, that fit my school schedule, and write them in my day planner in red pen. Sometimes I write down more than one, just so that I can be flexible.
  2. Try new things; My new love = spin class. You don't have to love everything you try, but get out there are try it! You will never know if you don't apply yourself.
  3. Set fitness goals; Eventually I would like to do an unassisted pull up. I am mustering up the courage to "officially" announce this as a goal so that I will make sure I reach it. Other goals could be a 5km, 10km, or half marathon run, a push up challenge, ext... Make sure these are FITNESS related, not weight related.
  4. Just move; Seriously, even walking a bit more each day is beneficial to your help. Do what you love and love what you do.
  5. Start small; That way you won't be overwhelmed.
  6. Have a backup; My back up is my elliptical, or my Jillian Michaels DVD's. By having a back up I am able to always be accountable to staying fit.
Hope you have a great long weekend. If the weather is nice wherever you are, get out and enjoy it! If the weather is chilly wherever you are, do something active inside!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guest Post: Anna @ Diary of a Former Food Addict

A lovely guest post from a lovely girl :) Enjoy!

Hi I’m Anna and can be found over at Diary of a Former Food Addict. The short version of my story would be I lost a lot of weight. I mean a whole real lot, over 100 pounds. I did this with a nutritionist, and working out. I have struggled with disordered eating and self esteem issues for pretty much my whole life. Amie and I decided to guest blog on each other’s sites. I thought I would write a little about body image and it’s impact on practicing healthy behaviors.

I decided to admit defeat and get help in April of 2008 and started seeing a nutritionist. My behavior was out of control and I was beyond miserable. I was finally at that point of saying something has to change I am never going to just wake up and get it. I had to have my brain reset. I do not think everyone needs to see a nutritionist to be successful in their goals but I know for me I needed that guidance. The weight loss has of course been great, and what I initially wanted. What I have grown to value more though is the help I have been given in resetting my value system for my body and body image.

I was so disconnected from my body it took me about a year of work to be able to connect in any way shape or form. In learning to really dial into my hunger and fullness, to be able to pick up signs and clues as to what was going on with me took a lot of work and accepting just how disconnected I was. I also learned how to change my dialogue. I quit being self deprecating. I quit hiding my insecurities with humor and started to treat myself with respect. I also started working on my feelings of self loathing towards my body. I found some of the positive body image dialogues did not appeal to me. I did not want to just say I love myself, and I am perfect. That felt like a different sort of disconnect and denial. I wanted to be able to love and accept myself, flaws and all. Not just whitewash it with positive affirmations. Deciding what I wanted my dialogue to be helped me start changing my conversation with myself and reclaiming the discussion in general. My weight and body had always been a topic up for discussion. I took it off the table. It is my business and my business only.

Reclaiming my body image and redirecting the conversation internally and externally lead me to something I think is huge in changing your lifestyle. I was able to start practicing more self protective behaviors. I was better at being discerning of what is and is not a healthy choice for me beyond food choices and work outs. I also felt less like I had to apologize, defend, or explain my choices. I became more confident in making decisions for myself regarding my mental and physical health. I had some serious self doubt after ending up at over 300 pounds. You just do not really trust your judgment at that point or at least I did not. I began to rebuild my trust with myself and the behaviors I had been coaching myself about became more second nature. It has applied to multiple aspects of my life and I continue to learn better ways to protect myself and do what is right for me.

Every day is an exercise in doing the best I can. I allow for mistakes, and allow for positive actions. I still struggle with body image but I remain focused on making it better and not admitting defeat. I better understand now the links between body image, self esteem, and self protection and how all of them need to be nurtured to help you really believe you deserve the life that you want and do deserve. We all deserve success in whatever we want to achieve and we only have one body to do it in makes a lot of sense to do right by it and give it some respect. One of my few regrets is I did not understand this earlier. It would have spared me a lot of chocolate eating, bad boyfriends, and wasted time, but I also would not be who I am today so I suppose it is a wash because I can say honestly I am great with who that person is.



If you don't already read DFFA, I definitely recommend you start! Have a healthy week friends,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sciatica Update

I thought it would be a good idea to update everyone on how my sciatica has been over the past few months.

Quick overview for new readers: I first developed sciatica in March of 2011, but dismissed it as TOM cramping as I used to have severe back pain whenever it was TOM. The sciatica went on for about 3 weeks and then healed shortly after I started running. I had another flare up in June at the Biennial CFNU conference in Winnipeg, which was extremely debilitating in that I was in so much pain I was nauseous every morning from the stiffness. Once I got moving I was okay but I definitely did way too much sitting and the conference chairs where horrid.

After coming home I was sitting in my dad's massage chair and I couldn't raise the legs to 90 degrees to get a proper massage, I started crying from the pain and my dad said enough was enough and he would pay for me to go to the chiropractor. I started seeing the chiropractor (no longer reluctantly at this time because I was in so so so much pain that my quality of life was decreasing rapidly) and quickly began improving. The chiropractor told me that my hips were not aligned and this is what had led to the pinched nerve. He also said that it was probably from years of dancing as an overweight teenager and that although it was unfortunate that I was injured at such a young age, it was also reversible and better to find now as to not result in a degenerative arthritis in later decades.

There were times when I was unsure if I would be able to drive the 10 mins to my mom's house without having to stop. There were times I had to muster all of the energy I had to move my legs out of the bed to sit up in a fluid motion as to not aggravate the pain. There were times I questioned how I would live the rest of my life like this.

I am now seeing the chiropractor once every 2 1/2 weeks. I would say that my sciatica is about 97-98% healed, in that I only get twinges of back pain if I cross my legs for too long or am sitting in the wrong positon.

What I am trying to get across with this post is .... People, please do not take your back for granted.

I am grateful every day for the ability to sit with my legs straight out in front of me, for me to be able to drive my car long distances and not have to shift my weight every minute, for my ability to get up and walk without having to shuffle along like an old person until the stiffness dissipates.

I am not saying that I will never have a flare up again, in fact I am sure that I will. In the mean time I work on strengthening my back and core, as well as maintaining my activity level and proper posture.

Back health is not something to joke about ... you only have one, and it has to carry you through your whole life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Guest Post!

Check out Diary of a Former Food Addict for a guest post that I wrote!