There’s No Tomorrow

One of the biggest problems I had as a healthy eater was the idea that I could do better tomorrow. If I slipped up and splurged early in the day I would think to myself, today is already ruined what’s the point of having a healthy dinner later on? I would find peace of mind in the fact that I could eat well “tomorrow”. When tomorrow came generally the cycle would start over.

There is no tomorrow. You have to take it meal by meal and snack by snack. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you’re going to slip up but the faster you learn to hit the reset button the better. Don’t take it day by day because that’s too big of a window to begin with, too much wiggle room. I’m at my healthiest and happiest with this mindset. I don’t wake up every morning thinking I’m not going to eat any chocolate today. I wake up thinking I’m going to do my best to make good choices in the kitchen. I don’t punish myself if I get ice cream. I enjoy myself, hit the reset button and I’m back to making good choices.

As soon as we stop punishing ourselves for indulging the sooner we can improve our relationship with food. There doesn’t need to be cravings or binging. If you fuel your body with the nutrients it’s truly craving the dangerous cravings won’t sneak up on you. Allow yourself your treats, don’t cut out food groups and try to stay a happy, healthy human…right now!

HM

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Why Your Base Tan is Bullsh*t

I spend a lot of time in the sun, canoeing is a water sport. We race during the summer but seeing as we live in the great white north we migrate down south to train during the winter. This means I lather on the SPF a couple times a day before I hit the water, but I didn’t always. I love a good tan, I could lay in the sun all afternoon. I love the sun but it doesn’t love me back.

As a teen I always wanted to be tan. My dad is a redhead so I am pretty sensitive to the sun. I would lay in the sun all afternoon and nurse my sunburn all evening. I took comfort in the fact that my burn would turn into a golden tan. I didn’t stop to think about what a tan really is. It’s all sun damage. As I head into my 20’s I’m more aware of what sun damage really means. I stay out of the sun as much as possible and I spend a large amount of my morning applying sunscreen. I want to avoid premature aging and of course the always terrifying cancer. Most of my fellow athletes are aware of the dangers of the sun and have a well executed plan to avoid the harmful rays. It’s my friends who head to the sunny south for vacation each year that worry me.

The spring breakers who decide they need a base tan before they hit the beach are the people I’m worried about. Base tans are total bull. Using sun damage to prevent sun damage is like using a lighter to put out a fire. A base tan is when you roast in a tanning bed before you hit the beach. The idea is that once you’re tan you don’t need sunscreen anymore. The only way to completely avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun! If you must leave the safety of your house lather on the SPF.  Rethink your your tanning appointment and get a spray tan, or better yet embrace your pale skin!

The reason for this little rant is to remind myself of the importance of protecting my skin! I’m at a two month training camp in Florida and I can sometimes get caught up in the desire to darken my complexion. I hope this will keep me in check and keep me sun safe!

HM

Lose Weight Fast

Now that I have your attention, SPOILER ALERT : There is no such thing as losing weight fast. We see the Kardashians and their waist trainers and diet pills and everything from losing weight while eating candy or the latest starvation cleanse. There is always going to be a trendy way to lose weight and while you might lose 10lbs I would put money on you gaining it back within days of completing your cheese cleanse. What I’m going to provide here are some tips for feeling your best quickly. Sorry for the misleading title but I promise if you try some of these strategies you’ll feel better and the idea of losing weight will seem smaller.

Ditch the scale

Nothing is less motivating than a number. Weighing yourself every morning is a bummer especially if you’re a human being and thus are not able to lose 15lbs in your sleep. Weighing yourself is important in tracking progress so try to only use the scale at the gym  and weigh yourself once a week at the same time. Its crucial to remember that on your journey to health, not a size 0 that you will also be putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat. So while you drop your waist size there is a good chance your weight will go up. Don’t let this discourage you. Celebrate your new strength. My hope is you will only weigh yourself once a month and instead worry about  increasing your numbers in the gym and not about lowering your number in the locker room. Remember, strong looks better naked.

Drink water

This one sounds easy but staying hydrated can be a full time job. Try buying a cute water bottle and refilling it through the day. I find I drink double the amount of water if I have a bottle. After just two days of drinking 3L a day you’ll feel more awake, your skin will feel softer and you won’t feel bloated. Your body loves water and it craves it through the day. Sometimes these cravings get confused and you feel hungry. The 3:00pm slump may just be dehydration. By drinking water you will be more in tune with what your body needs and less likely to reach for something sugary. Look at a raisin and look at a grape, which one looks healthier and more hydrated?

EAT

This one is fun. By starving your body you may in fact be putting on weight. If you’re restricting calories and skipping meals your body thinks its on a deserted island and needs to hold on to every calorie you give it. This throws your hormones and metabolism all out of whack. Try eating three meals a day as usual but add a small, healthy snack every two hours. This keeps your metabolism running at all times and you’ll burn more calories by eating! How fun is that.

Get an accounta-buddy

This could be someone you go to the gym with, someone who shares the same goals, or just someone who will consistently ask if you did everything you could to achieve your goal each day. An accounta-buddy is someone who can hold you accountable to going to the gym and eating well. They have to be someone you can be honest with. A perfect example is a workout partner who needs a ride to the gym each day, they rely on you so you feel obligated to go to the gym! Finding a good buddy is not only helpful in motivating you but it makes the workouts themselves more fun. It will give you someone who shares the same desire for donuts so you can share a treat together or find a healthy alternative. It will make you feel less alone on your journey to success.

A healthy lifestyle is not black and white

I’m sure you’ve heard a million times that one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy and the same goes for unhealthy meals. People so often fall victim to how easy it is to fall out of habit. If you slip up and have a piece of cake it very quickly becomes “oh I already messed up I might as well eat the whole cake” it’s not that simple. It takes 21 days to build a new habit. Even then it’s not always easy to stay on track. Each day you’re not only training your muscles you’re also training your mind. It’s a process to get to a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this provided some useful tips to aid on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. While there is no way to lose weight fast, there are ways to lose it faster and stay sane doing it.

HM

 

Food: A Love Story

I’ve been a high energy non-stop athlete since I could walk. I’m always on the go and subsequently, always hungry. I also suffer from something called: HANGER. I become wildly unpleasant if I don’t eat every few hours. The sum of this has left me a girl who is not afraid to eat.

In the past year I have begun to work with a nutritionist. Prior to this I fell for what society engrains in our brain, lose weight, eat less, be a size 0. This of course is impossible. I am a 5’10 athlete. I am a large individual. I spend my days in the gym and on the water trying to get stronger and fast. I then come home and go on Instagram and I want to look like a model. This combination is impossible. Perhaps if I couldn’t bench press my weight I would be slimmer but that is something I’ve worked very hard on. I love how strong I’ve become. Sometimes my mirror works against me. I can’t be as strong as I need to and look like Karlie Kloss. The years I was my skinniest were also the years I went the slowest. I would restrict calories to 1200 and continue to workout up to three times a day. I was obsessed with losing weight. Fun fact about being obsessed, you’re never satisfied. The worst part about this was I wasn’t losing as much weight as I’d hoped. By restricting my calories my body was going into starvation mode. It would cling to everything I fed it as it was unsure of when it would get more food. So at this point I was hangery, tired, and not even seeing results.

My nutritionists now has me eating up to 3000 calories. I’m more energized, I have less cravings for sugar (a big problem I have) and my weight is dropping. The key for me has been eating every two hours. This boosts metabolism and keeps me from binging on whatever I can get my hands on later on. By not withholding calories I am making more mindful choices in the kitchen. When I was restricting and it came time to eat aka I was starving and ravenous, I would eat way more and make horrible choices in the kitchen. While it can fell like a full time job eating this much I can see such a difference in my mood.

My relationship with food has improved exponentially. I don’t feel restricted. If I have a persistent craving I’ll allow myself to have a treat but I don’t find myself needing chocolate nearly as much. My love affair with donuts continues but the ball is in my court.

HM

Goal Digging – Goal Crushing

I’ve always been a goal setter. From a young age I’ve had a box above my bed that’s full of cut up paper each with a goal on it. Some of these goals I’ve achieved, some I never will and some are still in the works. Some would argue I should remove the completely unrealistic goals to make room for easier more attainable ones but I’m a believer in

“Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”

These imposible goals remind me that I once thought I could go to the moon or be on the Ellen Show. They remind me to never dull down my goals to make them more achievable. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more satisfying than setting your goal  to bench press 75kg by the end of the year and doing 80kg by the end of the month. It felt great but also reminded me to be more ambitious.

It’s scary to publish your goals. It’s safe to keep them to yourself so nobody will know you failed. Just imagine if you didn’t fail, all those people you were afraid to tell would be there to cheer you on! Time to set out of your comfort zone and talk about your goals! Maybe that’s goal #1 just tell someone your goal.

With all that said, here are my 16 goals for 2016!

  1. Bench Press 90kg – January 2017
  2. Read 10 books – December 2016
  3. Make this blog public – March 2016
  4. Get GosSUP girls up and running – March 2016
  5. Gratitude journal daily
  6. Reunite with my love of luon – September 2016
  7. Compete at the 2016 U23 World Championships – July 2016
  8. Love my weight
  9. Go back to school – September 2016
  10. 2 hour Half marathon – October 2016
  11. Move in with my fav. human
  12. write
  13. Yoga 5 times a week
  14. 5.30 1500m run – October 2016
  15. Be a plant-mom to a succulent – August 2016
  16. Buy my first car – December 2016

I find value in giving my goals a timeline. If I beat it, great! If I’m a month off, thats ok too. I just need something to light a fire under my butt so I’m not sitting on my computer on New Years Day with a champagne hangover reading this post and wondering why I didm’t achieve any of my goals. Some of my goals are action oriented while some are a frame of mind.

As I achieve or adjust my goals I will update this page. I will also be posting goal setting exercise that I have found helpful. Goal setting can happen any time of year, not just on January 1st. It’s not all about “new year, new me” sometimes it’s just about taking a leap.

HM

When you Have a Bad Year

2015 was not my year. That sounds negative and untrue but if you look at the timeline of my year you’ll agree. I’m not saying it was the worst year of all time or anything close to it. It just was not a great year for me.

I began 2015 with illness. I was bed ridden for two weeks, following that I left for a training camp. I didn’t have time to fully recover. After that things didn’t go my way, I got an infection from a freak waffle accident, tears in my shins, and I rounded out the perfect year with a severe back injury. To say I was ready for 2016 would be an understatement. This is part of the reason I began my attitude shift, you can read about my quest for bliss here. What triggered this was my frustration with the assumption that as soon as I was healthy I needed to brace myself for my next injury or illness. I needed to adjust my thought process and enter 2016 without a jaded outlook on life. I not only needed to improve my relationship with myself but my relationship with those around me. I needed to make time for my boyfriend, best friend and my mom. It’s important to me to maintain these relationships while also taking time to better myself.

With a month of 2016 almost under my belt I am extremely optimistic about what my 21st year will hold. I’ve seen what I can do sick and injured. I ran my first half marathon, I placed 4th in the world in canoeing, I worked two jobs and I’ve stayed in love. There’s no telling what my best me is capable of.

Only time will tell.

HM

 

Attitude vs. Gratitude

“It is not happy people who are grateful but it is grateful people who are happy”

I didn’t make resolutions this year aside from, meditate more… which is vague. I have however been working with a professional in the Sports Psychology field. He has me getting to know myself on a deeper level as I take a closer look at the small things in my life each day that make me happy. So as the first month of 2016 comes to an end, a new resolution has formed. Each night in my adorable Kate Spade notebook I write three things I’m thankful for, I read them in the morning and I’m off to a great start to the day.

This sounds easy but I have challenged myself to have no repeats for as long as possible. I am currently on day eleven and I have noticed it is more difficult to think of amazing things to be grateful for. Of course the first few days were, my family, my amazing boyfriend, my cats, a warm bed etc. Now I find I’m reaching because I jus
t want to go to sleep. For example, day ten consisted of,

  1. Mornings with Shaun
  2. Pizza
  3. Crepes

Mornings with Shaun is a great one because we had a few
extra minutes in our warm flannel bed to cuddle and it was lovely. That leaves us with pizza and crepes, which admittedly I am thankful for. It just doesn’t make for a well rounded list. I went to bed on day ten feeling like I had failed at finding in depth reasons to be happy. It wasn’t until at 6:00am the next morning when I rolled out of bed in desperate need for an IV of coffee that I read them and laughed. This brought to life the whole reason for the exercise. It isn’t to become a robot who is thankful for cookie-cutter things. It is to find what makes you happy and celebrate it each day.

On the quest to find my bliss writing “crepes” as something I’m thankful for might just be the key to happiness. Maybe I need to make more time for crepes.

Only time will tell.
HM