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


Sprint to May Challenge update

Sprint To May Challenge

Sprint To May Challenge

The STMC ended on May 1.  I have been meaning to provide you all with an update and thought I better get to it before May is over!  You will find the orignal post here, and below I’ve copied my goals and provided an update on how I did.  If you also took part in the STMC then please link to your update posts in the comments section, or simply update me.  I would love to hear how you all did!

  • Consistency at the gym (4 times per week: 3 weight sessions, 1 spin class)

I managed to get consistency at the gym (with a couple of bumps in the middle).  I’ve been going 3 times a week at least.  Unfortunately, with my change of job I’ve not been able to make it to my spinning class recently.  I really miss it and need to figure out a spin class time that I can attend.  My new job means I walk an extra 30 minutes a day which adds to my activities.

  • Clean eating – following Paleo guidelines

This has been going suprisingly well.  I’ve been keeping a food diary and have had 14 meals that did not meet the guidelines I set for myself.  Not suprisingly, at least 50% of those meals were when I was going through a slump.

  • Start to practice yoga again to lower my stress levels (work my way up to at least 10 minutes a day)

I’m doing 20 minutes a day and it feels great!  I’m not doing anything too strenuous, but I feel like my body is responding well.  I generally feel more relaxed, and less ‘tight’ all over.

  • Leg press: 585lbs – set of 8 (currently leg press 495lbs – set of 12)

I managed to beat my goal in the middle of the STMC.  I’m able to do a set of 12 at 585lbs!

  • Push-ups: 20 full push-ups in one go (currently at 6)

I didn’t make 20, but I’m at my all time high of 12.

  • Bench press: A set of 5 at 95lbs (currently can do a set of 12 at 75lbs)

I haven’t tried 95lbs yet, but I know I’m able to do a set of 12 at 90lbs.  Next step will take me to 95lbs so I haven’t got far to go!

  • Lose 20lbs from my “weight start date”

I try not to focus on numbers on the scale to much because this is what brings me down and makes me feel really disheartened.  While doing the STMC I have clearly got stronger.  However, my weight is still in the range of my starting weight.  I start to lose motivation when I start to think about this.  So, I’m not going to think about it.    I will switch my focus from number on the scale to inches on my body.  I hope I will see movement there!  I’m also going to continue to focus on staying active.

On a side note I got a back injury about 5 weeks ago.  I’m still nursing it better.  For anyone that has had a back injury I know you feel my pain!  It was so bad that 5 minutes of gentle walking made my body shake from the pain.  If nothing else it gave me a very strong reminder how important it is that I aim to keep my body in top shape, for as long as possible.  I want to be healthy so I can continue to keep doing all of the things I enjoy  – and, in a nutshell, have a better quality of life.

Just because the STMC has ended, my personal challenge has not.  It will never ended.  I will keep pushing to be the best version of myself for as long as I’m breathing.


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Feeling better!


It’s been a crazy few weeks. I really haven’t felt like myself. Today is the first day that’s gone well in what feels like a long time. I’m not feeling sick anymore, and I ate really well. I made it to the gym and had a kick-ass workout! To top it off, I had a call from a head-hunter this morning and met with him in the afternoon. I’m being put forward for a new job! It feels like it’s out of my reach, but just having the meeting with him put an extra spring in my step.

It’s amazing how things can quickly turn around.  There 49 days until the STMC is over.  I still have time to make a difference and I’m going to do just that!  I might not hit all my goals, but I’m definitely getting focused again and I’m going to reach for my goals – because that’s what matters!  Hope the rest of the STMC team are doing well!  I’m still cheering you on from my corner 🙂


What happened to February?

Being sick is no fun

I can’t believe it’s already March. I feel like Febraury has been a bust for me. I was sick a couple of weekends ago. I thought I got over it, but it came back with a vengence (or it’s something new). I have a fever, shivers, aches and a cough – one of those coughs that comes from deep within and it takes all your energy to cough (and you feel like you’re hacking up your lungs). No one likes to be sick. It’s bumps in the road that we all face. I’m focusing on getting better and hopefully March will be a better month.

I’ve put up a couple of posts in the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t been on much to read or comment so I hope the rest of the STMC challengers are doing better than me! There’s 61 days left for the challenge – we still have time to challenge ourselves and make a difference.


Time to weigh in! #2


I’m taking part in the STMC challenge. It is helping me stay accountable and focused. However, the last 2 weeks have been difficult personally on a number of levels that I won’t go into. My food has been on plan but my exercise levels have dropped. There was no change in my weight from my last weigh in 2 weeks ago. I’m actually relieved as I thought for sure I had gone up. I’ll take it!

Today is a new day. There is a pizza lunch at work for the hockey game. I’m prepared – I have my own (yummy) lunch. In addition, my gym bag is packed and ready for this evening. Tomorrow the office will be overflowing with chocolates. I will need my motivation list to stay on track, but I WILL keep to plan!


Time to weigh-in! #1

As part of the STMC there are periodic weigh-ins (and an opportunity to submit progress photos on the same dates). I’m trying not be all about the numbers, but at the same time it’s important to me to understand my progress overall. Even if my weight goes up, I will try to remember all the positive things my healthy lifestyle is bringing me. At the same time, I’ll try to figure out what I need to change to keep trying to reach my goals.

Having said that, my weight this morning was 230.5lbs! I’m very happy. That’s a loss of 6lbs since I did my first official weigh-in for the STMC on January 10.  The next weigh-in is February 13 so I’ll check-in again then.  I’m not sure when I’ll do my progress photo update, but I’m sure it will be at some point during the STMC.

My weight January 30, 2014

My weight January 30, 2014


100 days!

I woke up this morning and spotted the countdown timer on my phone. It told me that there were 100 days left until May 1 which marks the end of the STMC.

Countdown to STMC

Countdown to STMC

100 days! That’s a great number I thought. It’s not too long that it feels like it’s going to go on forever, but it’s a great amount of time to make some real changes in my life. I can accomplish so much in 100 days. With a team of people I built a home in 2 days. 100 days is 50 times that! I’m excited. I haven’t been this excited in a long time. I have goals, I have a plan, I have 100 days and, most importantly, I have a team of really encouraging people… big hugs to my fellow participants!

Don’t get me wrong – my health journey won’t end in 100 days, but the challenge has definitely given me the push I needed.  It goes without saying – but thank you Carolina and Rob 🙂


3lbs closer to my goal!

So I just had to take my weight today because I wanted to see the impact of my week away – and I was happy to see that I’m down 3lbs from my last weigh in!  Woo hoo! 😀

My weight - January 19, 2014

My weight – January 19, 2014

While I was away I was pretty much a slave to whatever I was given. There were healthy choices so I tried to pick them. However, as you may have read in my last post, I did have a lot of (very yummy) tacos.  On top of that, I took a few flights and did lots of travelling in a bus.  That leads me to ask myself – how come I lost weight?  Well, I was very relaxed and I was out working in the sun most days.  I’m sure that no stress and sunshine had a positive impact on my health overall.

The challenge for me is to incorporate less stress (and sunshine when possible!) into my daily life.  As part of the STMC challenge I’m starting yoga on a daily basis.  This will help with my stress levels.  I’m also sure that working out regularly again will help my stress (and of course being active is great!).  I feel so good after and sleep much better.  Sleep is so important for me!  I find that if I don’t get regular sleep it throws me completely.

On that note, I’m off to start my yoga challenge!