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Week 6: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or follow the participants progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

This was the last week and it has probably been the worst week yet.  I had a good sunday but I was eating out more often (lots of white carbs) this week and so I’m feeling the nasty effects of it.  What made matters worse was I also found myself eating my dinners very far apart from my lunch and not snacking or drinking enough.  All in all, a bad week.  The upside is, at least I’m aware of these bad decisions and will try to change them this coming up week.  Yes, even though the challenge is over, I will still continue to work on my goals.

I can’t believe how quickly these past six weeks have gone by.  I wish I could say that I accomplished all the goals that I set out for but I haven’t, and that’s okay.  However, I have gotten a lot further than had I not taken part in this challenge.  By participating, it has enabled me to change and develop some good habits.

One of my end visions for this challenge was to be able to put on my work pants and have them feel roomy instead of snug.  Three weeks in I was a little upset that I didn’t see any changes, but then I thought, it probably took a while for me to gain that extra weight around my waist, so I’m going to think more long term and continue with this routine beyond the challenge.

I probably wouldn’t have been motivated to exercise at home if I wasn’t part of the challenge.  But I have felt like it has paid off in class because I am not struggling as much as I was before in the AB track and also in the push up track.

As a result of this six week challenge, I am more conscious and mindful of my eating, lifestyle and exercise habits and would like to continue with setting goals for myself in these areas and in other areas of my life.

Thank you participants for journaling about your experiences throughout.  Reading about your challenges, your accomplishments, your good days and bad, made me feel like we were all in this together.

Thank you experts for sharing your knowledge.

A BIG Thank you to Eva for putting this challenge together and for the regular inspirational quotes and encouragement.

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Week 5: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or follow the participants progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

This week did not go well in terms of reaching my new goals. After a good fourth week I was all ambitious and enthusiastic… but that didn’t last.

My energy was low and my days felt long. On Sunday, I made a batch of brown rice and pan fried tilapia, mushrooms, peppers in coconut oil and steamed broccoli. It was my first time using coconut oil, and I was rather generous… I didn’t know how generous until I had a pile of tilapia sitting in a puddle of oil… yuck… Ah, I’ll know for next time. I bought the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil from Noah’s – it’s something I’ve wanted to try since I read about coconut oil’s amazing healing powers last year. The two benefits that piqued my interest were coconut oil’s ability to aid in digestion and boost your metabolism (sounds good to me!).

I’ve listed by new goals for this week below and how I did on them.

Increasing Veggies
I don’t usually have a problem with this when I make my own meals, but for much of this week I was eating on the go. I did manage to put together some warm and colourful combinations this week at the salad bar. My favourite dishes would probably be the stewed okra and tomatoes and the cauliflower/broccoli/pepper salad.

Incorporating tricep pushups and pushups
Fitness was okay this week – I am doing my situps/crunches/leg ups still but this week I wanted to work on my tricep pushups and regular pushups at home since I am finding it challenging in class. I found that I can do tricep pushups – it just takes some adjusting to get myself in the correct position. As for pushups at home, I think since my body is a lot more warmed up in class, it’s easier to do. I find it a lot more challenging doing them on my own but I will continue to work at this.

Decreasing white carbs
Sunday was the only day I was cooking in the kitchen, the rest of the week I was grabbing things on the go – healthy for the most part but they I also included some white carbs..white pita, white potatoes, and white rice – of course not all at the same meal. I’m starting to feel like it’s harder to steer clear of these when I’m eating on the go, all the more reason to prepare things at home (save time, money and temptation).

I’m hoping to turn this around this weekend for next week by doing most of my prepping and cutting on Sunday/Monday. I find if I don’t get it done on Sunday, it’s really easy to resort to take out when I’ve had a long day and dinner just becomes one more thing I need to do before I can get some sleep…

Protein
This week I managed to have protein at every meal. I’ve also been having protein shakes after Eva’s (just almond milk with whey chocolate protein powder). I’ve found it’s helped with the morning after BCBD – I’m usually an achey wreck. However, I don’t believe I’m having enough protein in the morning. I’ve read on Women’s health magazine website that we need approximately 30 grams of protein at every meal. And I’ve only been having 2 Tbl of Ruth’s Hemp Chia Goodness cereal along with brown rice crisps and almond milk in the morning. Some days that’s enough for me but lately, I’ve been feeling pretty hungry by the time 9:30am rolls around.
I’m hoping to find some easy way to do this other than smoothies (no blender).

Does anyone have any protein breakfast ideas they would like to share? (other than cottage cheese and eggs)


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Week 4: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or to follow our progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

This weekend, I had my first cupcake since before the challenge started. I picked a couple up from Bunners (vegan/gluten-free cupcake shop in The Junction ). Red Velvet and Vanilla! Although gluten-free, they didn’t taste any different to me then regular wheat cupcakes. They didn’t have the “beany” taste and I enjoyed every bite. Thinking back, the last time I had one was four weeks ago in Kensington Market at Miss Cora’s. At that time, I remember feeling a little sad that I wouldn’t be able to have them (for those days when I need a pick me up). This was a personal choice of mine to avoid the things I was craving and indulging in the most (cakes, chips, chocolate). As for chocolate and chips, I haven’t touched them. I do see them when I go to the grocery store or at work but I’m not missing them. So I’m happy to report that I am not using food to deal with stressful moments.

This past week, I am feeling a lot better than in the prior two weeks because for most of it I managed to hit most of my goals (weekly meditation, supplements, lemon water before breakfast, preparing most of my meals and having breakfast at home). I believe that I was more successful with my goals this week because I reviewed them regularly (at least daily) and was journaling more often.
I will be adding a few more goals for the final two weeks just to make things a little more challenging for myself.

Adding pushups and tricep push up’s to my daily exercise routine.
Increasing my veggie intake.
Having protein at every meal.
Decreasing white carbs.
The last one will be the most challenging for me but as long as I have enough variety in my meals I don’t think I should be missing anything.


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Week 3: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or to follow our progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

This week was a tough one.

I started off with a lot of enthusiasm but kind of lost my steam. It’s hard to pinpoint why I was feeling so drained but I think I had a busy weekend that I didn’t quite recover from which left me feeling like I was really behind on things.

Due to Lunar New Year Celebrations on Thursday night with my family. I changed this week’s Thursday night class to Tuesday night so I ended up having class two nights in a row (Monday and Tuesday) and I felt really good to have gotten two good workouts in right at the start of the week. Since Tuesday, I couldn’t get myself out of bed in the mornings in time to eat breakfast at home (a ritual, I’ve realized, really does set the mood for the rest of the day for me). For most of the week, I was eating breakfast at my desk at work. So instead, of the quiet, comfortable mornings where I review my goals for the day and eat at a relaxed pace, I was instead eating at my desk at work. 😦

I remember on Wednesday, thinking to myself, I needed to stop giving reasons to feel bad for myself – 3 days in and I could feel myself wonder whether I’d get out of this funk.  The only regimen I’ve been able to keep up with on most days is having lemon water throughout the day (haven’t yet gotten up early enough to have this before eating breakfast – adding this to next week’s goals).

This evening, I decided to turn around this past week and finish off with a positive note.

One of the keys to my success in my first two weeks was that I got up early and reviewed my goals in the morning and periodically throughout the day. I would do this to kind of just check in on my progress and remind myself of what my goals were and whether I was doing everything I could to achieve them for the day. (I have a agenda with me that I write my goals for the week in). This past week, I didn’t write my goals in my agenda because I forgot about this new habit altogether until tonight.


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Week 2: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or to follow our progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

Looking back at Week 1, the hardest part was probably the first day – knowing that it marks the end to my chocolate feasting. I kept seeing this one chocolate bar on the first day and decided to finally hide it until I could give it away (which I did, the next day). Since then, it’s been pretty good. At the end of my first week, my spirits were high, I was feeling really proud that the first week flew by and I managed to eat and make most of my meals (I made cabbage rolls last sunday!) and kept up with the healthy snacking.

I don’t feel like I’m craving anything anymore. I attribute this to eating breakfast in the morning (not at work but at home) and regular snacking (nut bars, apples, oranges, blueberries) between my meals. Instead, I’m either hungry, very hungry or full. And I try to avoid the very hungry. One day this week, I had a training session in another building then the one I work in and I had left my snacks at my desk. The training room only had pastries so I didn’t touch any. When I got back to my building, I was lightheaded (5 hours had passed since breakfast) and had my snacks right away. I felt better after but will try to make sure I always have some snacks on me for times like that.

I’m really loving lemon water. At the start of the week I slice up a lemon and just grab a slice everytime I fill up my mug with water. I started having it last week but this week I’ve been trying to have it first thing in the morning before breakfast. It’s been hard for me to do this because I usually don’t get up early enough to do both. I’m going to try to get up earlier next week so I can have lemon water and my breakfast at home.

Meditation has been mixed for me, I kept procrastinating with it and finally decided one night that I was going to go to bed early to do it. When I started picturing the light by my body, I was having a hard time focusing because the image in my mind of myself didn’t look like me and I started to get distracted by that instead of focusing on what was being said. Finally I managed to focus on her words and then before I knew it, the recording was done and I was dozing off. haha

Since I’m not snacking on chocolate, chips or cake, I’ve been eating nut bars. One of my favourite snacks are Taste of Nature bars. My favourites are Quebec Cranberry Festival, Brazillian Nut fiesta and California Almond Valley. They are (sweetened with agave nectar and brown rice syrup. You can find them at grocery stores and health food stores.

My biggest hurdles right now are journalling and meditation, it’s really easy to procrastinate on both of these but I’d like to break that habit. I’m hoping to see some progress in this area this coming up week.


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Week 1: Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge

This post is part of a series “2011 Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge” which focuses on sharing my experiences during the six weeks of this event. To read about the challenge, or to follow our progress click on the 21 Day Challenge Website.

This year, I’m participating in the Body Conditioning by Dancers 21 Day Challenge. During this challenge we can work on as many goals as we wanted to. The challenge kicked off sunday of this week and I’ve been working hard at it. This event will last 6 weeks and we will be posting and video blogging on the 21 Day Challenge Blog about our experiences once a week for the next 6 weeks.

This past fall, I fell out of my routine of having supplements, having breakfast at home and bringing bagged lunches to work.  I felt exhausted all the time (even though I had just come back from vacation) and indulged in treats (chips, chocolate, cake) regularly. I’d like to take this opportunity to get back on track and develop some new habits.

My main goals will be:
Nutrition:
1) Get back to eating breakfast at home and having snacks so that I avoid the dizzy spells, over eating and sugar cravings.
2) Having enough water during the day and making sure to spread it throughout the day
3) Cooking most of my own meals and packing my lunch and snacks
4) Making note if I’m gravitating towards a certain food because of an emotional reason.

Fitness:
1) Incorporate daily abdominal exercises into my routine.  I’m starting off with 3 sets of 12 reps of an activity and hope to increase it as I progress throughout the challenge.

Mind:
1) Incorporating meditation as part of the challenge, it is something I’ve always wanted to try but didn’t really know how to begin.
2) Working on discovering and confronting my limiting beliefs.

Wish me luck as I embark on this exciting adventure.

To read more about the challenge and our experiences, please click here.