7/28/2014

WANT: STUFF FOR FITNESS


You all know I've been on a mission to lose some weight and get fit and while I, like most people (most girls?), wanted to rush out and buy new workout gear right away I made myself wait until I was sure I was committed to going. I did some google searches and found a gym not too far from my house and after attending just one class I knew I found the gym for me. Now I go 3-4x a week and actually look forward to going - so I've decided now I can treat myself to some new gear. I'm glad I waited because now I know what I'm looking for...specifically the shoes. Had I rushed out and bought shoes in the beginning I would not have chosen the ones on this list. But since I waited I was able to research shoes that best fit the types of workouts I'm doing. I'm actually excited and can't wait to try them out. Who is this person that I'm becoming that is excited about gym shoes and looks forward to working out...this girl that creates a list of wants for the gym???

Anyways, here's a list of things I plan on getting in the near future to support me when I'm at the gym getting my behind kicked (in the best possible way):

01. Nike Free 1.0 Cross Bionic | So excited about these - they sound perfect for my needs
02. Tanks | This one that reads "beast mode" is fun
03. A Good Sports Bra | Working out in your regular bra = no good
04. Leggings | Regular going out leggings/tights for the gym also equals no good
05. Water Bottle | I've seen these glass ones at my local HomeSense at a good price 
06. Heart Rate Monitor | I'm kind of curious to know how much calories I'm burning at each workout

Do you have a list of "wants" for the gym?

7/27/2014

DROP THE FAT & GET FIT: WEEK #3


THE NUMBERS
+up/down: -1.4 lbs
+to date: -8.2 lbs
+to goal: 11.8 lbs

NOTES
+I'm continuing to track what I eat and portion sizes are starting to come a bit more natural to me. For example, all though I'm not a rice eater before I would have double what I have now that I know the nutritional value. I was at my mom's house this weekend and my cousin was over and asked me what diet I was on and my response was, "I'm about to go to Menchie's with my little brothers - I'm most definitely not on a diet." It's more about treating treats like treats. If I indulge a bit during the day, then for dinner I eat more veggies and no dessert (or a very small dessert). If I have iced tea for lunch then I have a glass of water with dinner...or vice versa. For me, it's about knowing where I'm trying to keep my calories and distributing it in a way that makes sense and leaves me feeling satisfied - not deprived.

+I've started preparing easy snacks and putting them in the fridge so in the evening when I feel for a snack or when I get home famished but have to take Howard out for his walk, I can grab something to tide me over that's not filled with empty calories. My snack of choice this week has been hard boiled eggs. I just boil a few then put them in the fridge and that's it. Easy peasy. I need to do more prep like this.

+It's not rocket science but I've cracked the code for making delicious smoothies so it's what I'll have as a snack during the week or for breakfast before going to gym class on the weekend. I much prefer smoothies to juicing - less clean up!

THOUGHTS
+This week has been....discouraging. Admittedly, I didn't get to the gym this week as often as I would have liked, but I feel like I've been really watching what I eat (and eating less junk) and the scale is not moving. I know that it's not all about the number on the scale and I'm trying to also focus on how I feel and how clothes fit and getting stronger; but that darn number is important to me too. A friend at work reminded me that I'm going to the gym and doing lots of calisthenics so perhaps I'm building muscle tone...and we've all heard that muscle weighs as much as fat but muscle is denser (meaning it takes up less space) so I'm trying to keep that in mind every time I step on the scale and I don't see the number going down as fast or as much as I'd like it to. Also, I really need to invest in some workout clothes. I wanted to make sure I was actually going to the gym first (before investing even more money by way of clothes) but now that I see that I'm actually going, I really need to get some clothes that are comfortable for the type of classes I'm taking. I don't need a lot - a good sports bra, comfy underwear, a loose fitting tank, and a pair of short leggings ought to do it. I wore non-gym leggings to class earlier this week and spent more time than I'd like pulling it up and tucking it into my ill-fitting t-shirt so that it wouldn't ride down and expose my behind. No. Fun.

7/26/2014

TORONTO LIKE A TOURIST


Although I've lived in Toronto for my entire life (except for that year I lived in India), I'll be the first to admit that I haven't really explored my hometown too much. I suppose it's one of those things where you just take for granted your surroundings and you end up doing the same things and going to the same places. Well, this summer I've been determined to get out more and to do some things I haven't done in my 30+ years here in the city; to explore Toronto like a tourist. Here are some things I want to do while it's still warm outside:

01. Spend a morning, or afternoon, at St. Lawrence Market
02. Attend at least two of the many food festivals
03. Attend AfroFest (It was a few weekends ago and I actually did attend with a friend :)
04. Try at least four restaurants I've never been to
05. Spend an afternoon at the Bluffs
06. Attend Aberfoyle's (technically just outside of Toronto)
07. Go for brunch with a friend or two
08. Visit the ROM (something I haven't done in years)
09. Attend TIFF

Maybe some of you have suggestions? Ever been to Toronto...or maybe you live in Toronto? What would you suggest me checking out while the weather is nice?

7/23/2014

SOMETIMES I LIKE FLOWERS TOO


While I'm most definitely a plant person, occasionally I treat myself to some flowers too. I think plants add life and interest to a space while flowers I think are just...pretty. And sometimes there's nothing wrong with "just pretty." When I do buy flowers, these are what I tend to go for:

+Peonies 
There's a reason everyone loves peonies. The large blooms, with their delicate petals, remind me of tissue paper and the fragrant smell is intoxicating in the best way. A simple bouquet is beautiful and a real treat but equally pretty (and a totally cost efficient way to enjoy these beauties) is a single large bloom in a simple glass vase with some water.

+Dahlias
Another one with an incredibly large head made up of tons of small petals that makes for such an interesting effect - kinda like a honeycomb! The repetitive pattern makes it really something special. Dahlias also look equally beautiful in a simple bouquet or as a single stem in water. A total statement.

+Eucalyptus Branches 
It was a very happy accident that I discovered these. I saw them in a local floral shop and fell for the small green petals and wildness of the branches. The shopkeeper told me what it was and I remembered all I had read about them. Incredibly affordable (a decent sized bunch can cost less than $5) I display it simply in a simple cylinder shaped vase with a bit of water and let the branches drop every which way to make a wild subtle statement. I also tie a small bunch around my shower head with a piece of twine - the steam from the shower causes the eucalyptus to occasionally release a subtle but noticeable smell.

+Split Leaf Philodendron 
Not really a flower but since it doesn't require dirt I've included it. With these I say the bigger, the better. You really only need 1-3 stems in a vase with some water for a simple statement.

+Carnations 
Carnations tend to get a bad rap and are seen as cheap-y flowers. I, however, think a bunch or two (with carnations there is power in numbers!) of a single colour make a really pretty, inexpensive, bouquet.

+Orchid 
For the past few years I've mostly avoided orchids as I found them kind of...cliche, overused, and a bit "pretentious." But I recently picked one up on sale and almost 3 months later it's still going strong with 10 beautiful flower heads. I tend to buy these when only one or two blooms are open so that I can enjoy it longer as each new bloom opens up. Because, to me, an orchid reads so "fancy" I tend to display it in settings that aren't too done. Like by my kitchen sink, which perpetually has dishes in it.

What are some of your favourite flowers?

7/21/2014

DROP THE FAT & GET FIT: WEEK #2


THE NUMBERS 
+up/down: -1.6 lbs
+to date: -6.8 lbs
+to goal: 13.2 lbs

THOUGHTS
+So I think I've found a gym that I'm really into. I have a post coming up on my new gym and why I think this one is working for me so all I'll say for now is what those people who are into fitness say is true: it's about finding a gym and a routine that works for you. Once you find one that clicks, you'll actually enjoy going to the gym. Yes, you'll enjoy it. Crazy, I know.

+A friend from work also joined the same gym after I told her about it and while our schedule has only lined up for us to go together once (so far), it's been really motivating and great having a friend also go to the same gym. We now talk about our classes, the trainers, and how sore our body is. I text her words of encouragement before her classes and she does the same for me...even checking in when I'm done with a "girl, you good?!" It's pretty great.

+Despite going to the gym four times this week and really pushing myself, the weight was slower to come off than week #1; the number didn't change until the end of the week. While at first it was disapointing, I had to remind myself that it was a long weekend and I had bbq twice and treated myself to a McFlurry - so the fact that the number remained the same was actually a win...and then to lose at the end of the week...not bad. I don't want to deprive myself of food I like so learning moderation is a good thing. I can still eat the foods and treats I like, in moderation, and lose weight. The difference was this week I treated these foods as treats and indulgences instead of a regular part of my diet.

*Note: This update is a few weeks behind as I'm currently starting Week 5. I'll continue to post updates over the next few days until it's caught up.