I did it!

For the last two weeks, I have been setting my alarm for 5:40am with the intention of getting up and working out. However, for the last two weeks I have continued to hit snooze until the last possible minute, then getting up late and rushing to get ready for work. Last night, I made the decision to either s**t or get off the pot (I love that expression sorry). Either get up when the alarm goes off the FIRST time and workout, or accept the fact you aren’t going to do it and stop setting the alarm for so darn early. Today was my last shot, if I wasn’t able to didn’t do it then I was just going to let it go and find another time to work out. But I got up! It wasn’t when the alarm went off the first time, more like the second, but I still got up and went and did a 20 minute workout.

I know a 20 minute workout doesn’t sound like a lot, but for it is a big step. I realized I need to set my standards a bit lower if I am going to actually do these things. That is something that I have had a hard time with in the past. I set these crazy goals, and then am not able to achieve them. This is almost inevitably followed by a good thrashing session on my ego, self-esteem and self-worth. So, I figured it would be easier to set smaller, more achievable goals and then celebrate myself for accomplishing them. Eventually, I can work up to the bigger ones.

Although the workout was short, it did nearly kill me. Damn, I am so out of shape! Here is what I did:

  • 1 minute – Lunges with Bicep curls (8lb weight)
  • 1 minute – Wall pushups
  • 1 minute – Squats with Kettlebell raises (8lb)
  • 1 minute – Plank (ok more like 30 seconds and 10 seconds)
  • 1 minute – Calf raises with 3lb weights
  • 1 minute – Burpees
  • Repeat series
  • 1 Sun Salutation with Downward facing dog, and Power Pigeon series
  • Stretch

Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a start.

In other news , yesterday wasn’t the greatest food day. It started out when my beloved immersion blender died while making my morning protein shake. Since I wasn’t able to make a shake (and I was running late because of that whole exercise avoidance thing) I decided to just grab breakfast at Starbucks. Unfortunately, this meant that I ate grains in the form of an english muffin. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but even this little bit of grain set off a carb craving in me for the whole day. I just couldn’t stop. In the end, I also ended up having a bun with my sandwich at lunch, and a giant chocolate bar. I tried to convince myself the chocolate bar was healthy (it was organic 85% dark chocolate) but really who am I kidding. Trust me though, I felt this at the end of the day. I was nauseous, bloated and just really tired (more so then usual).

Today will be better, though I will have to make do with other breakfast options until I can replace Immi (yes I name my inanimate objects…my computer is called Precious 4). I have also been making other changes to my life that don’t involve food or exercise, but more about that later. For now, I am going to celebrate the fact that I got up and exercised this morning!


A beautiful day in the neighbourhood…

Bloomin' Daffodils!

Bloomin’ Daffodils!

Oh my goodness! It was an absolutely glorious day here in Toronto. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and there was a nice breeze blowing. It was, in my opinion, the perfect day. Or maybe that’s just the lack of warmth and sunshine this spring talking. Either way, I loved it!

Today was also the first day of the David Suzuki 30×30 Challenge. What’s that you ask? Well the David Suzuki Foundation is challenging us to get outside and enjoy nature for 30 minutes for 30 days in May (if you’re doing the math that means you get 1 day off lol). Since this happened to coincide with the beginning my lifestyle changes, I thought it would be a perfect thing for me to add. The challenge doesn’t specifically say that you have to exercise, just that you have to spend 30 minutes outdoors enjoying the natural wonder that surrounds you. I have decided to try and spend my 30 minutes walking, biking, or doing some kind of physical activity.

This challenge will be a great way for me to make sure I get some kind of physical activity in every day. It will also be good for me to get Vitamin D from a source that doesn’t come from a bottle.

I am also going to use it as a time for me to get spiritually grounded again. As I have mentioned, I am not a religious person but I do try to live a life based on spiritual values. For me that means living a life which allows me to feel connected to the world around me, both nature and human, and that helps my spirit (inner essence) to grow and thrive. I don’t know if that makes much sense to anyone else, but it works for me.  For me, I have always found the most profound connection when I am in nature. Whether it be the local park, or a field in the middle of nowhere, nature is where I find my grounding.

This is why I love where I live. Not only do I live in a city that has so many amazing green spaces to choose from, I am also fortunate enough to live in a neighbourhood right on the water with a beautiful beach and boardwalk. Unfortunately, I haven’t been taking advantage of this the last couple of years, since I had to put my dog down. So, I will use the David Suzuki challenge as a way to get back to enjoying that.

Alright, time for me to get some studying done. Thanks to a crazy couple of weeks at work I am two weeks behind and need to get caught up before my quiz on friday. Enjoy the beautiful weather, and Happy May Day to all!

Day 1 – It’s all about baby steps

The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. – Ann Wigmore

So day 1 of actually putting my plan in action is in the bag. For the most part, things went according to plan although there were a few bumps in the road. Here are some of the highlights/lowlights:


My plan to get up early and have  a workout did not happen. When my alarm went off on my phone, I apparently picked up my phone, put it underneath me and went back to sleep. I know that I did this, because that is where I found it an hour later when I actually woke up. It was still early enough to do a short workout (6am), but instead I lay in bed for the next hour and played video games on my phone lol. Getting up early just wasn’t in the cards today apparently.

After work, I was feeling a little guilty about this though, so I decided to walk to my book club from work. Using google maps, I figured out it was a little over 2km. I also decided to time myself to see how long it took me (and so I could see how much exercise time I could log in my tracker). It took me a little over 1/2 hour, which means my normal walking pace is about 4km/hour. Is that fast?


For the most part I managed to eat “on plan” all day, and tracked every morsel of food that I put in my mouth. That included the two pieces I had of beef tenderloin I had at my book club. Even though I had already had dinner, they just looked too good to not try. They were small pieces though, and I still made sure I put them in my tracker on my phone.

I also had a Peanut Butter cookie from Starbucks this morning. I know, I know, I wasn’t suppose to have that…but they are so yummy. Oh well at least I put it in the tracker. Do you know those things have 480 calories?!?! YIKES! I won’t be doing that again. Once I found that out, I immediately started looking up flour-less peanut butter cookie recipes. I found a few that looked promising, so will keep you posted.


Apparently I did not pack enough food for work today. By mid-afternoon I found myself getting very hungry and I was out of snacks. Tomorrow I will be sure to pack some more veggies and fruit for afternoon snacking.

When walking to book club I stopped just before and picked up dinner. I decided to get a Greek Burger from GBK. This place is great because instead of a bun, you can get your burger  in lettuce wraps. Sounds weird, I know, but was really good and very filling. So filling in fact, I didn’t even eat my whole burger. I ate all the lettuce and toppings and 1/2 the beef patty and realized I was full. So I did the unthinkable  – I stopped eating! I know, crazy but true. I still couldn’t bring myself to throw it away though, so I dug out a lunch tupperware container from my purse and brought it home. I figure it will make a yummy snack or nice addition to breakfast tomorrow.

When I got home tonight, my new box of organic veggies from Mama Earth Organics had arrived YAY! I love fresh veggie day 🙂 I know, I’m weird…but sometimes it’s the little things in life right? I immediately cut up and put all the veggies away so they are all ready for eating. Tomorrow I think I will add Kale to my lunch plan!

So, all in all not a perfect day, but not a bad day. I know it’s only day 1, but I am proud of myself . This journey is not about perfection, it is about making progress. I have demanded perfection from myself for far too long, and only disappointed myself. Today, I will acknowledge the things I did right and learn from the things I did not do so well (notice I did not say wrong.) Especially that peanut butter cookie…480 calories, seriously?!

Less talk, more action

So far I have done a lot of talking on this blog, but have been struggling with implementing my changes. I realized the other day that, despite telling myself I wasn’t setting a start date, I had done exactly that. It was May 1st (Wednesday). However, after a couple of off plan days, I have decided that I am just going to start tomorrow.

So, tonight I took the night off from work and school work and spent the night cooking. I have been a busy little beaver. My fridge is now full of prepared and semi-prepared meals for the week ahead. I have cooked golden beets, peeled carrots, cut peppers and some raw and pre-cooked spinach. I also cooked some chicken and some turkey sausages that I can either pop in the microwave and have with veggies, or can just cut up and put on salad.

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

Individual Crustless Mini Quiche

I have always a been a big believer of having breakfast in the morning. However, either because I am running late or am too tired, I haven’t been bothered to make it myself. So, I have been picking up an egg white & turkey bacon sandwhich at Starbucks, and just taking the egg and bacon off the english muffin. I know that for me this is not a well-balanced breakfast. First of all it is processed food. I have really begun to hate processed food, I can difference in the taste. Secondly, I am not getting any fruit or veggies with that meal, and end up hungry an hour or so later. So tonight I also made a 1/2 dozen mini crustless quiches, packed full of feta cheese, asparagus, leeks and peppers that I can just grab in the morning. They will be perfect either cold or heated up, with some spinach and a few berries.

And finally, the piece-de-resistance, Quinoa Mac & Cheese. I got the recipe from a website called Moni Meals. I took one of the commenters suggestion, and used plain greek yogurt instead of milk and added a little feta cheese. I also used red peppers and tomatoes in the mix, as well as put a few tomatoes on top. Finally, I sprinkled the whole thing with some chili peppers. I have only had a few bites, but OMG it was super tasty! This will be perfect for lunch, but also for those nights I get home late from work and don’t feel like making anything. I can just heat this up with some steamed asparagus and I am good to go.

Quinoa Mac 'n Cheese

Quinoa Mac ‘n Cheese

Tonight, I am going to bed early. I have a mountain of work to do, but like I said I am taking the night off. I will go to bed, get lots of rest and then get up early so that I have plenty of time for yoga and a quick workout.

So, I am all set for the week. Friday I am off to a bed and breakfast for the weekend with DBF. I have already told the owners that I am grain and sugar free, and they have promised to have meals that I can eat. The B&B is overlooking Rice Lake, with a huge wrap around porch. So, I am going to bring my yoga mat and get up and do some yoga before anyone else is up. Plus we have plans to be out all day exploring, so I will get plenty of exercise. The only thing I need to do is make sure I pack all my supplements and bring a long some healthy snacks just in case.

Finally, I began journaling my negative thoughts today. Wow am I mean to myself! It’s hard to keep doing it, because I would just rather not know. Sometimes keeping your head in the sand is less painful, but you just don’t get anywhere that way. So, I will keep doing it no matter how hard it is.

Actually putting things into action makes me feel a lot better about where I am at. Tomorrow is the first day in a few months that I plan on keeping to the program. It will be hard, but I have done it before and I know I can do it again!


The beginning of the plan…

Wow, what an emotional couple of days, but also a productive couple of days.

9781587610233I have been reading this great book that my specialist suggested to me, called The PCOS Diet Plan: A Natural Approach to Health for women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have to admit, I spent much of the first chapter in tears. The relief that was flowing through me was almost too much to bear. The stories of the other women, the symptoms that I have had for years (some of which I haven’t shared because I never realized they were relevant), it was so amazing to know that I am not alone. To know that other women have suffered from what I have suffered and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That there is a solution.

I have also been busy getting organized, starting to lay the groundwork for my plan. and cleaning and organizing my personal space. You know that saying a chaotic space is the sign of a chaotic mind? Well, I have a chaotic space…and I guess that means a chaotic mind lol. So I have been spending some time lately getting organized and purging some things. I set up a dedicated “office” for the first time ever. I was in design school for 4 years and have been working/freelancing for 5 years and have never had a dedicated space to work in. I always just worked on my laptop wherever. It’s still a work in progress, but at least the desk and computer are set up. And I finally set up an area in my basement where I can work out at home. Again, I always just had all my equipment scattered all over the house. I also finally threw out some garbage that has been sitting piled up around my house, the woman who cleans my house won’t know what hit her next time she comes lol.

The beginning of an office

The beginning of an office

Throwing out some garbage, that sounds like a metaphor for my life actually. I am physically purging my space, and hopefully as a result I am purging some of my emotional “garbage” as well. Actually, not hopefully, I know I am.

I have also started my health plan. Some of it is stuff I have already trying to incorporate, and some of it is more specific. This is what I have so far:


  • Continue to eliminate wheat and sugar from my diet. The book I have been reading suggests applying an 80/20 rule. Eating “clean” 80% of the time and allowing yourself treats the other 20% of the time. I like this idea, because it gives me room to occaisionally eat pasta, or a pint from Ed’s Ice Cream (the BEST ice cream) and not have to play that mental game where I beat myself up for days. You know the one. Where you are really good at sticking to your diet for days/weeks and then eat something that is not considered on “plan”. This then leads to an emotional boxing match, where you call yourself weak, a loser and say things like “you can’t do this, why not just give up” and then you often do just that. Well, if this is going to be a lifestyle change, and not just a diet, I need to leave room for the idea that I will occasionally want to eat ice cream and just allow myself that ahead of time.
  • Eating regular meals at roughly same time every day. I am learning that when I eat is just as important as what I eat. One of the main issues with PCOS is Insulin Resistance. Therefore, it is important that I try to keep my blood sugar levels as even as possible. This not only means not eating foods that will spike my blood sugar, but also making sure to eat regularly throughout the day so that they don’t plummet either. It’s similar to how a diabetic has to manage their insulin and blood sugar levels, which is why Diabetes is often a secondary condition of PCOS.


  • Dedicate myself to practising yoga 2-3 times a week. This is the first stop on my exercise regime because yoga has so many more benefits then just getting me physically active. It also helps with my neck and muscle issues, as well as helping me get and stay emotionally grounded. I can’t afford to go back to class right now, but I have enough knowledge and the equipment that I can do it at home.
  • Start working out with a personal trainer. My sister is a certified personal trainer, though it’s not her full-time job anymore. She has agreed to work with me once a week to start developing a workout plan I can do at home using my new home gym.

    My new home "gym"

    My new home “gym”

  • Walking 20-30 minutes a day. Every morning on my way to work, I get off the streetcar several stops early to pick up my coffee at the closest Starbucks. It is about a 20 minute walk from my office, though I usually just hop back on the streetcar. Now that the weather is nice, I will start leaving home a little earlier so that I can walk the rest of the way to the office. If, for some reason, that is not possible, on those days I will get off the streetcar early on my way home and walk the rest of the way.


  • Begin taking hormone therapy. My doctor prescribed me progesterone to help to begin regulating my hormone levels. It is not bio-identical, which I am not happy about, but I will begin taking the hormones while I continue to look for ways to get myself on a more natural regimen.
  • Continue to explore/research alternative remedies. I am continuing to read the book I mentioned above. I am also going to speak to my Naturopath at our next appointment about supplements or other homeopathic options that I might be able to add. I am already taking Vitamin D, Vitamin B Complex and EstroSmart. But will see if there is anything else I can do.
  • Be kind and loving to myself. This is the most important one I think. Without it, none of the others are going to be possible. If I can’t treat myself with love and respect, then I won’t be able to keep this up long-term, and it has to be that long. I just need to keep reminding myself to be patient. Be patient with my body, and be patient with me. It’s taken years to get my in this condition, and it’s not going to go away over night.

So that is the plan, so far. I am looking at this plan as a living organism, in that it will continue to grow and flourish and that it is something I need to tend and nurture. I thought about setting a start date for all this, but I realized that I just need to start it now. It doesn’t have to be perfection at first, it just needs to be incorporated into my life. The only goal I am setting is that within the next month, I need to be doing something that works on each of these items. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and I need to pace myself so that I don’t burn out doing everything all at once and then give up entirely. Because giving up just can’t be an option.