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Archive for January, 2013

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I have a confession to make… I cheated.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

I did. I know I said that I was going to avoid alcohol all month long but I didn’t, I cheated. Yes it is true, I am human. Shhhhh……….. don’t tell anyone.

I will make my excuses to try to justify going back on my word, but in reality that is exactly what they are… excuses. It all started last Sunday night when my husband and I went into the city. We were both there for work, I was staying all week, he was staying only one night but we were there, alone together with no children and we went to a great new restaurant for dinner. It was an occasion that called for wine so I had a glass. The next day – and every other day after save for Saturday and Sunday, I was having dinner alone after bracing the tremendous cold and working in an un-friendly environment and yes I had a glass with dinner those nights too. I knew I was being weak and I just didn’t care. The only positive thing is that it was just a glass with dinner, but still that is far more than my original ‘none’.

Phew – feels good to get that off my chest, I hate letting myself and more importantly others done. I hate not following through on a goal but obviously I didn’t hate it quite enough to avoid the grape completely I guess! Oh well, it has been done and now here we are, almost at the end of January. It has been a crazy-fast month, I can’t believe how fast it has flown by! We leave for our Hawaiian vacation in 10 days and the end of the month is just a few sleeps away – 4 to be exact. Will I make my goal? Honestly, I am not sure. That week away threw me for a loop. It was mentally exhausting and soooo hard to drag my ass down to the gym let alone eat regularly and I definitely dehydrated myself as going to the bathroom where I was, was an ordeal.

What I do know is this… My goal was 3% body fat and 6″ between January 1 and 31st and as of January 26th, I was down 2% body fat and 3″…. so will the next 3 days be my saving grace? I am not sure but I do know this… I WILL meet my 3% reduction goal bringing my body fat down to 20% before I leave on holidays next week. You can take that to the bank.  Will my total inch loss reach 6? Perhaps, but I am going to keep going for a 4% and 8″ loss by the end of February – a spa day with some great girlfriends and clients is riding on it, so wine be damned it is time to FOCUS!

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2013 – Week #1

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Well, we are a full week into the new year and so far – so great! For those of you who know me or have attended any of my classes you will know that I swear by the blackjack rule which states that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. It’s true. If you do anything consistently for 21 days it’s a pretty safe bet that you will continue to do it after that. Consistency and repetitiveness is key to forming any new habit and remember – you don’t ever just stop a bad one – you have to replace it with a new one and that is why most ‘resolutions’ fail – people either just try to quit something cold or they don’t do anything new long enough. Try it. I bet the first week is easy peasy – you are motivated, you are determined, you are dedicated. The second week, it starts to get tougher, but you manage, maybe you slide a little, but you are still fairly focused. By the third week, you are getting tired You start telling yourself that it wouldn’t hurt to just take a day off or that you’ve been so good you need a reward and one leads to another and then BAM, You have to start all over again. Some will – most won’t and by February, the new year’s resolution has fallen by the wayside. That’s why I don’t like them – they never work.

Now focusing on short and long term goals with a step by step plan and motivation keys, now that is a system that has been proven to work but of course like anything, it on’y works if you work it so just making the plan isn’t enough – but it is one hell of a start! So to that end, here is a recap of my fitness goal for January – I want to drop 3% body fat and at least 6 inches between January 1st and 31st – obviously doing it in a safe, healthy and sustainable manner. And don’t worry – that 3% will only bring my body fat down to 19% – A very healthy level for a fitness instructor – it is at the high end of the athletic body composition scale actually – so even though I don’t usually recommend less than 20% for my average client, this is something different all together.

Well the first 7 days have gotten me off to a great start and I am right on track doing what I need to be doing. I am consuming between 2000-3000 calories a day with a low-fat, high protein diet consisting of 3 small meals and at least 3 snacks a day. Tons of water, fresh raw vegetables, lean meat, dairy and of course a minimum of 6 servings of whole grains a day for the energy I need to complete my fitness regime. I have been utilizing both pieces of our new fitness equipment, spending 30 minutes a day on each for a total of 1 hour of straight cardio , keeping my heart rate between 140 and 150bpm – optimum fat burning levels for at least 20 minutes out of each 30 or 40 minutes a day, burning a minimum of 500 calories each day and travelling over 10 virtual miles. Added to this of course will be the flexibility, toning and strength building fitness classes I teach (which started today) for another 5 hours of activity per week. Sundays are my day of rest (didn’t you know that I am a Goddess???). That is a total of 11 hours of exercise each week – lucky think I know how to balance all of that so I don’t over-train – you’d almost think I went to school or something!

This week – I did 6 hours and over 3000 fat-burning calories of exercise. I didn’t eat any ‘crap’ as I like to say – which is any food that doesn’t fit into the four food groups – and I had zero – YES ZERO alcohol!

So was it worth it????

Absolutely! This morning after my 7 days at my first official weigh and measure – I am already down 1% body fat and 1.5 inches – and for those of you who care about such things – 2lbs as well, although remember – as I build muscle, my weight may actually increase – it is body fat and inches we are focusing on losing! On top of the loss which is nice, I have achieved some other benefits that I wasn’t quite expecting so soon – I FEEL GREAT! I didn’t realize how limited I was in my cardio activity when I was relying only on my fitness classes. When I teach – my focus is on my students – I am watching their form, correcting them, talking, encouraging, counting… Hard to focus on maximizing your own output while doing all of these things at once so supplementing with the bike and the elliptical where I can zone out and focus on nothing but me is EXACTLY what I have been needing and obviously the results are speaking for themselves!

Now that classes have started again – I can’t wait to see what next week brings! Nothing motivates better than results!

So… how was your week?

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2013 the year for health and wealth

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

I know what you are thinking and let me start out by saying, no this is not a resolution blog. I don’t believe in resolutions, what I do believe in however is goal setting and every New Year’s we sit down as a family and look over the last year, discuss what worked, what didn’t, what we accomplished and what we wish we had. We then discuss and decide what we want to do in the new year and we set new goals for ourselves as individuals and of course as a family.

What Chris and I realized is that we didn’t quite get where we wanted to be on last year’s goals and there is a very good reason why – we lost focus and got distracted. Our goal last year was to finish the patio (which we did) and pay down our consumer debt which is sitting at about 1/2 of our annual net income – not unmanageable but definitely too much and for us to reach our ultimate retirement goal of retiring millionaires at the age of 60, we definitely need to get rid of it and start investing those payments within the next 2 years. That was our goal but in retrospect, we didn’t follow the right steps from the beginning – we didn’t post our goals like I suggest to clients, we didn’t revisit them weekly, we didn’t break them down into small steps and most importantly, we didn’t set an actual specific goal – we just said ‘pay down debt’ – no number and that was a big mistake because technically we did – but we didn’t get where we wanted because we never specifically said where that was. Have I lost you yet?

So this year, we won’t be making the same mistake – we have a goal, as specific goal and we will be reducing our consumer debt load by 1/2. A specific number, with a specific monthly goal attached to it. I am blogging about our goals because sharing them is a huge way of ensuring success, I have papered our place with the theme ‘Health and Wealth’ in order to keep it in front of us daily and we have made a few changes to our lifestyle that will accommodate these savings. our problem isn’t income, it is spending so by managing our expenses and sticking to our budget, we should have no problem doing this – especially if we avoid our impulse shopping, because we never do that small – last summer’s impromptu week long vacation to attend a concert in Quebec City with the kids was a prime example of how we go off track and we have promised each other that we will not be doing that this year. No summer vacation for us that isn’t already worked into the budget and in order to work it into our plans, we have to make significant savings before then – following me?

So that is the Wealth Part of our 2013 plan. The health part comes from focusing on becoming more active together. we have invested in some high-end equipment for the rec room – things we can use together in the evenings instead of watching TV with a bottle of wine after the kids go to bed (another huge savings), an elliptical and a bike, something to add to my regime and of course start Chris’. It’s a win win for us as our time alone together is scarce so sharing something like this over conversation is a great idea, so glad he thought of it! On top of that I have decided to kick start my new year with some re-focused muscle building and toning. After my weight and body fat loss last spring, I have pretty much plateaued and although I dropped to 159lbs and 21% BF in July, even after a very indulgent December, I am still at 160lb and 22%BF, so it is time to bust through and kick start my body in time for our Hawaiian vacation (yes it was pre-planned, pre-budgeted and even pre-paid), in February.

So how am I doing this you may ask? Well, putting in 30 minutes on each piece of equipment for a total of 1 hr cardio/strength each day is a great start. Once classes start next week, I will decide if I will take class-days off of the equipment but I think that it will depend on how hard I work in those classes, because as the instructor, I don’t always do much of anything personally. The other huge decision I have made is to quit drinking for the month of January. This isn’t for the calories, it is because in women, alcohol can actually inhibit muscle building and increase the stored belly fat – so a metabolism boost of alcohol restriction in a usually wine-rich lifestyle, will help me build and tone my total body. I am looking at dropping 2% body fat and losing 6-8 inches in 6 weeks – while maintaining a healthy 2000 calorie a day diet so this will be a huge challenge for me. Can I do it? Of course I can. Will it take focus and dedication – absolutely.

So if you see me picking up a post-holiday chocolate or a glass of wine or even see me in a hopping mall looking for anything but essentials – slap me hard. I will thank you for it – I promise!

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