Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)

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I’ve been missing in action since Jan – the year is flying by!  A lot has happened in that time, and some things have stayed the same.  I’m still working on my health and fitness goals.  I’ll never give up! 🙂   I’m not sure when I will be back on a regular basis, but I’m just popping on to let you know that I’m alive and kicking!




Whole30 made me feel beautiful

I’ve finished my second round of Whole 30. In fact, I finished a few days ago.  I have been wanting to write a post, but (and I’m being brutally honest here!) I had mixed feelings on the day I finished.  I was extremely proud of myself.  I still am.  I did 30 full days of sticking to the rules.  By the seventh day I noticed that my shirt was feeling loose around my tummy.  By the end of Whole30 my pants were falling off as I ran up the stairs for the train.  My energy was up; my skin was glowing; my system felt clean.  Result!  Why wasn’t I jumping up and down? (aside from the fact I did not want my trousers pants to fall off!)

I had to think long and hard about that question.  Like many of you, I have been struggling for years with my weight.  Even with Whole30 success it did not feel like enough.  I started Whole30 weighing in at 238lbs.  I finished 16lbs lighter at 222lbs.  Before you all go crazy and jump on me – I get it, 16lbs is a GREAT loss.  I’ll be honest – it was not enough for me.  I wanted to lose 100lbs yesterday.

I spent the last few days changing the way I think.  My brain needed to be retrained.  Success is measured in small steps, and not just one big step.  It’s all about the small steps we take on our journey that will turn into that big change we want to see.  That decision I made to not consume something off plan was a small step.  That decision I made to to exercise was a small step.  That decision I made to give 110% to Whole30 was a small step.  Small steps are enough.  Small steps lead to big changes.

My results are enough.  To me, the weight loss is a small step. It’s a small percentage of the long journey ahead of me.  However, it took a lifetime for me to get to where I am today and I cannot expect to lose 100lbs overnight. In addition, I now truly appreciate all the results.  I am on this journey to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be.  I have seen many positive changes while completing Whole30.  They are all small wins.  If I can continue the small wins I will reach my goal.

Whole30 did not just guide me to eating nutritious well-balanced meals. Whole30 challenged my mind.  It led me through a path of emotions that has truly changed my life.   It forced me to open my eyes and now I view my successes differently.  I am going to stop putting myself down and instead celebrate all my successes – big or small!

I looked in the mirror this morning and I felt beautiful.  Beautiful because my body is well-nourished; beautiful because I am taking small steps to improve my health; beautiful because I am true to myself; beautiful because when I smile I’m truly smiling.  My husband tells me all the time that I’m beautiful, but rarely in my life have I truly believed it. Today, I believe it.

I have no affiliation with Whole30 – I just think it’s an amazing FREE program.  Check it out here.  Also, I would strongly recommend reading It Starts With Food.  It’s a fantastic book!  


I was nominated for a Liebster Award!

I was having a really tough day at work and then I saw a notification on my phone.  It was from Nekaaar and she had nominated me for the Liebster award.  It made me smile and I was ready to hit my 9 to 5 again.  Thanks for brightening my day and for thinking of me!  I am humbled by your nomination.

As part of accepting the nomination I must provide 11 random facts about myself and answer 11 questions about myself provided to me by the person who nominated me.  Here goes …


11 random facts about me

  1. Die Hard is my favourite movie of all time.  I love a good action movie!
  2. I’m a short 5 foot 2 inches.  When I was in college that was average height.  Now it’s short.
  3. I’m very close to my mum.  I love her, I adore her and I admire her.  She’s a strong independant woman who followed her dreams.  She’s an amazing role model.
  4. My favorite colour is purple – any shade.  That explains my main blog color 🙂
  5. I love Thai food.  I coud eat it every day.
  6. I also love chocolate.  I could eat that daily too!
  7. I loved my wedding day and remember every single second.
  8. I love working out with weights.  I won’t lie – I love that I can go heavier than what people expect when they look at me.
  9. I was born in the UK and moved to Canada seven years ago.  I will always be British at heart (and plan to hold onto my accent forever!).
  10. I’m a huge Formula 1 fan.  Ferrari all the way!
  11. I was a back-up singer on one of my mum’s albums.  That was quite an experience!


Nekaaar’s question: Share eleven things in/about your life that you are absolutely grateful for

I’m of course grateful for family and friends that have stood through me through all my ups and downs.  I’m also grateful for opportunity.  I live in a country that provides me with all the opportunity that I could ever want to be as successful as I want to be.  I’m grateful that I have a wonderful husband.  I want my list of 11 to be about the things that I rarely think about.  Things that I generally take for granted.

  1. The internet.  I’ve met many wonderful people through my blog and I’ve learned so many things online.  I have access to experts that I would not have access to if it wasn’t for the internet.  I have found support in strangers.  When I suffered from a Pulmonary Embolism I was scared and didn’t know anyone who truly knew what I was going through, and what I still go through every single day.  I found friends online who know exactly what I’m going through.
  2. Fingers.  Fingers are awesome!  Have you ever thought about everything they do?  You eat with them, you write with them, you type with them, you hold things with them, you scratch with them, you can speak with them.
  3. Cameras. They capture moments in time.  I love photos.  I love looking back.  I love framing the photos of those that have passed, and it shining a light on all the wonderful moments we spent together.
  4. Well written TV shows.  Sometimes I just want to escape into another world.  A well written show keeps me focused and takes my mind of any worries that might be running around.
  5. Public transport.  We may all complain now and then, but it is how I get to work.  Could it be better?  Yes.  Would life for me be much harder without it?  Yes.
  6. Inventors.  There have been some awesome inventions in my lifetime.
  7. The fridge.  Talking of inventions this is one I love.  It means I don’t need to go to the grocery store every day or every other day.  It’s a big time saver!
  8. Hair dye.  I started turning grey in my late twenties (at the front on the sides).  I have dark brown hair (almost black) so it really stands out.  Hair dye makes me feel and look years younger.  Maybe one day I will be able (and will want to) carry off my grey hair, but I’m not ready for that yet!
  9. Dishwasher.  It took us 5 years to get a dishwasher.  5 years too long!
  10. Hair ties.  I have long hair and I go to the gym regularly.  I can’t imagine working out with my hair flying around and falling onto my face.  I would literally pull my hair out.
  11. Emotions.  I’m so grateful that I’m able to feel.  I love that feeling of joy when you just want to jump up and down.  I love the feeling of butterflies when my husband kisses me.  Feeling sad is not so great. I have felt sad to the point my heart physically hurts.  Those sad moments really help me appreciate the happy ones!


Rules of nomination

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which was provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 –11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have less than 1000 followers.
  6. Create a new list of eleven questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post
  8. Inform the people/blogs you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.


My nominations

In no particular order.  Acceptance is voluntary 🙂

  1. Waiting for a baby bird
  2. Cupid or Cats
  3. Missing Peace
  4. Finding Balance
  5. Brickhousechick


My eleven questions for you to answer, if you choose to accept your nomination!

  1. What makes you smile?
  2. If you could travel back in time, what year would you travel to and why?
  3. What is your favorite quote?
  4. What is your favorite place in the world?
  5. Ocean or space?
  6. What is your favorite post that you have written?  Provide a link!
  7. Describe yourself in three words.
  8. How did you pick your blog’s name?
  9. What is the one thing you do every day, without fail?
  10. Name a goal that you have not yet met, but are working to achieve.
  11. What is your favorite season, and why?

I can’t wait to read your answers!


30 Days of HIIT: DONE!

I’ve been quiet on the blog about 30 Days of HIIT, but I promise that I was completing the daily challenges and am now DONE!  I sweat, I burned, I pushed, I conquered – that’s right: I kicked butt!

A lot of my comments for 30 Days of Cardio Blast spill over into this so I will refrain from repeating myself 🙂

I mentioned the awesome general stopwatch in another post but what I didn’t mention was that each daily workout has its own stopwatch at the bottom of the daily page with beeps to let you know you need to switch exercise.  See here for an example.  This was really useful during 30 days of HIIT because the exercises were based on time, rather than a specific number of reps.  All I had to do was listen out for the beep to move to the next exercise.  On a (technical) side note: the beeps did not work on Firefox for me, but they did work on Chrome.

I enjoyed the HIIT challenge just as much as I enjoyed the Cardio Blast challenge.  Yes, that’s right, I enjoyed it!  When I found it really tough I reminded myself that there was only seconds remaining and that helped me to keep pushing and not give up.  It is a really well thought out 30 days and I did not get bored.  I love that Neila Rey takes away all the thinking!  All I have to do is just do it!  As with my last 30 day challenge I saw noticeable improvements in various exercises.  It is truly amazing what a few minutes of dedication a day can do!

I’m glad I had completed the Cardio Blast challenge before doing the HIIT challenge.  I was already familiar with some movements, and it gave me confidence to try exercises that I was not necessarily comfortable with.  Some of the exercises in the HIIT challenge definitely took me to another level.  I’m completing these challenges while also keeping up with my regular workouts.  I feel like I’m getting stronger at a faster rate because of these challenges.  I see the difference in my regular workouts.

Most importantly, I feel really good.  I set out to complete two 30 day challenges and I’ve done them both!  Did you get that?  I met two goals!  I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it and I know that my dedication will pay off in the long run.  I am feeling very positive about the future – it has been a long time coming.

I’m starting my next 30 day challenge (thank you voters!) this week!





Whole30: Day 1

As promised, my first day is done! Normally the first day is pretty easy right? I prepped on the weekend, and had all my food ready and planned.  I opened my fridge in the morning and it just made me smile.  I have a variety of freshly cut up and ready to eat vegetables which look so good.  I was ready to go!  I had my breakfast (eggs, a small salad, half a grapefruit).  That kept me going until lunch where I had some pork, a large salad and the rest of the grapefruit from the morning.  Then came the challenge.

Day 1 challenge

A few people at work went to get coffees.  Last week I told my colleagues that I was starting a 30 day clean eating challenge on Monday.  One colleague asked if I wanted something from Starbucks.  I said no, and that I was fine.  She came back with a coffee for me – one of the new ones for the season (caramel something?). She insisted I have it.  I reminded her that I just started a clean eating challenge.  She responded saying that I could just make it a ‘cheat day’ – everyone has them.  I’m not even going to get into ‘cheat days’ right now, and how I absolutely hate that term.  I’ll leave that for another post.  And a cheat day on day 1 – or any day for that matter?!  I don’t think so!

So, I thought, what do I do now?  How to I handle someone at work that is trying to sabotage my 30 days of clean eating?  It may be coming from a good place, but she is still trying to sabotage me.  I have real health issues, and may have even more serious health issues if I do not focus on clean eating.  I’ve been vocal about my 30 day challenge and I just wish that everyone respected that.  At the same time I did not want to offend her.  All to often ‘not offending someone’ has led me down a path that away from my health goals.

I decided I was not going to let the Starbucks coffee sabotage day 1.  I poured it down the sink.  I felt terrible because by taking the coffee and not drinking it I was not being honest with my colleague.  Maybe one day I will be able to just say no, and not worry about offending others.  However, when I evaluated my day I felt really good about the decision I had made to not break a promise to myself.

I will face more challenges over the next 29 days.  I hope I have the strength to make the right decision every single time.

Have you faced challenges like this?  How do you deal with it?  I would appreciate any tips!


Starting the Whole30 Program

I have spoken about the Whole30 program, and I’ve said how this changed my life. It truly changed the way I think about food. I think about all the diets in my life and this ‘diet’, this way of eating, is the one that makes the most sense to me. It is the one program that I know is filling my body with the goodness it deserves.

For those who don’t know, I completed my first Whole30 in early 2012 with amazing results. I have tried to do it again, but have never quite managed to finish 100%. Well, last night something clicked and I decided it was time. I’m officially starting Whole30 on Monday November 3 and I will finish it 100% this time. I plan to be successful.  I will follow the rules. I will give myself the best chance at success.

It will not be easy! I have lots of events over the month of November.  I could wait for a quieter 30 days, but that will never ever come.  There’s always something going on.  The time is now.

Planning is my friend. I need to plan my week in advance, and I must plan for the unexpected. A late night at work, impromptu drinks with colleagues, stressful moments.  I’ll be spending weekend making sure I’m ready!

It’s only 30 days, right? I can do this!


Which Neila Rey challenge should I do next? Please vote!

I am 15 days into my second Neila Rey challenge. I love having a daily mini challenge and I’m already thinking about what to do next. Please help me make up my mind by picking one of the options below!  Thank you 🙂

Here are the direct links to the 3 options.
1. 30 days of strength
2. 90 days of action
3. 30 random workouts