“Debulking The Bulk”

In celebration of working hard throughout December and most of January (there was a little falling off the wagon over the holidays, but we all need treats now and then), I decided to hit up my favourite shops to see what’s coming for spring. Yes, I know thinking about spring now seem a little premature but February will fly by and then it’s March, which equals SPRING to me!

Adding even more to my springtime optimism is the realization that I have lost weight!

How? By eating right and exercising regularly, even though there were days I didn’t want to leave the couch. I know this is logical, but it’s just so very, very, very nice to start seeing the results of all the hard work I have put into getting back into shape. Since I often don’t pay attention to the scale, I generally go by how I feel, the changes in my appearance, and how my clothes fit.

There is absolutely nothing more satisfying then trying on a pair of jeans and needing to ask the sales clerk to get you a smaller size.  So feeling totally inspired when I got home, I decided to get rid of all the clothes that didn’t fit me anymore, that were too BIG or I hadn’t worn in over a year.

Being the clotheshorse that I am, I had to contend with the two storage containers under my bed, a dresser and two closets filled to the brim with clothes.  By the end of the night and after a mini fashion show of grievous fashion trend no-no’s (that all seemed so right at the time), I was left with three very large shopping bags filled with jeans, sweaters, shirts, scarves, shoes and a jacket. What’s better still is that in the process of getting rid of the clothes that didn’t fit, I was able to de-clutter and reorganize everything else.

Eventually, I walked all three bags to my Salvation Army drop box feeling great. Not to mention that I now have room for some new spring clothes!

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Now Qualified to Run Away with the Circus

Struggling to stay committed to your fitness program? If you’re anything like the femMED team, you’re likely starting to get a little bored with your usual routine and find it more difficult by the day to get motivated to work off those extra pounds. That’s why we decided it was time to add a bit more fun to our workout by joining the circus…well, sort of!

Last Friday some of the femMED staffers attended the Toronto School of Circus Arts Drop-In Trapeze class. The gloomy winter weather is a big fitness turn-off, so we knew we needed to do something that would help pump-up our motivation and keep us engaged in getting healthy.

After some initial research, we discovered that the benefits of a trapeze workout are enormous. Generally, most workout routines (such as Zumba, cycling or running) focus primarily on your lower body. Trapeze focuses on the exact opposite, it’s all about developing your arms, back and core. It’s excellent for increasing strength, improving flexibility, posture and toning muscles. Over the course of our first trapeze lesson, which flew by (pun intended), we burned approximately 300-400 calories in just one hour. And, if calories burned aren’t indication enough of a quality workout, the next day we could really feel the impact on our biceps, triceps, upper back and core.

Another perk afforded by this workout is that there are elements you can take home with you. For example, find an outdoor pull bar that you can hang from (most playgrounds have them) and practice your knee hang (it’s exactly as it sounds). Lift you knees up, swing them through your arms and under the bar and then rest them over the bar. When complete, the bar should be nestled under your knees. If you feel confident enough you can let go and hang there or, add a couple of upside down crunches.

Trapeze class was not only a great physical workout; it was also a mental workout. You really had to push yourself to overcome the initial fear of climbing and swinging from a two story platform. Once conquered, we just couldn’t wait to get back up, go again and learn new tricks.

By making exercise a social and fun experience that you can do with friends, we found sticking to our healthy living goals to be a less daunting process.  We’re refreshed and ready to try new things, meet new people and have less fear holding us back.

 

 

 

 

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“Reshape Your Body” Seminar with Dr. Pearlman

On Wednesday night, the ladies from femMED attended Dr. Jennifer Pearlman’s “Reshape Your Body” seminar.  It was the first in a series of speaking events that Dr. Pearlman and her staff have begun to host for clients and those interested in learning about the different ways to improve their overall well-being as they age.

When we arrived, we were greeted by staff, and invited to mingle before being shown to an intimate seating area for the presentation.  There were lots of delicious, nutritious gluten free treats for guests to snack on throughout the evening. We particularly LOVED the caramel popcorn. So yummy! We also loved the gift bag featuring samples from the PearlRejuvenation product line – we just couldn’t wait to try them when we got home.

Dr. Pearlman and her staff covered topics including the affects of different foods on your gut and digestion, the importance of melatonin and better skincare, sleep practices and the impact of fluctuating hormones during major life milestones such menopause.

Our big takeaway from the evening is that it’s never too early to start making long term health decisions about how you will care for your body, and it’s never too late to start making better life style choices.  As well, women need to learn that it’s  alright to start spending time and money on themselves!

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Eat it!

Developing smart eating habits is an important part of losing the weight and keeping it off. These don’t have to have to be dramatic changes especially if you’re just starting out.

Start substituting different foods in for your usual favourites. Switch your regular pasta for a whole wheat version and find a simple recipe for a great sauce.  Reach for the milk and honey instead of the cream and sugar for your coffee.  Read up on your favourite flavours and find out some of the health and weight loss benefits that they might have!

There are tonnes of great cookbooks, websites and weight loss programs available that focus on healthy recipes for weight loss. They often have the serving portions broken down by calories so you know how large each meal is and how much is appropriate to eat in a sitting. If cooking is a foreign experience for you, try a health focused cooking class. Bring some friends along and make a night out of it.

Another really simple tip to eating healthy is to bring your meals with you, even if it’s just a small container of granola at your desk or a piece of fruit that lives in your purse. When you start feeling those hunger pains you already have your healthy snack on hand.

Start bringing your lunch to work. Just make sure you give your lunches enough thought ahead of time or you’ll just end up buying something unhealthy on the go.  The trick is to make meals in bulk and keep them divided in containers in calorie appropriate portions in your fridge or cupboards. That way you can just grab and go in the mornings.

If you need some motivation to switch over to homemade healthy meals just do math and see how much money and how many calories you’ll be saving each month. Just think of the cute shoes you’ll be able to buy with your lunch time savings!

 

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Stretch it off? Run it off? Dance if off? How do you lose weight the best?

So it’s been a week and you’re still motivated to losing the weight and making healthy lifestyle decisions. The big question is how are you going to do this and not get bored doing it? How are you going to make being active a part of your lifestyle and not a chore that just helps with losing weight.

If the thought of going to the gym makes you uncomfortable then maybe the gym isn’t the right place for you right now. Find an exercise class/activity that looks like fun and ask if there is trial period or intro class that you can try before committing to it long term. If it’s not the right fit at least you can say you tried something, it didn’t work, but you still got a great work out in. Look for something that you’ve always wanted to try, karate or ballet, maybe? There are adult beginner classes for almost anything these days so it might be fun to revive an old childhood dream.

Go online and look at what’s close to home. Is there a yoga studio around the corner? Is there a neighbourhood boot camp running? If there is something happening close to home that works with your schedule it can’t hurt to give it a try. Classes are often scheduled to allow people time to get there right after work so it’s easy to fit into your regular weekly routine.

Get App happy – there are lots of free or affordable fitness and nutrition apps out there that can help you with your goals and have the convenience of being right at your finger tips. Food diaries on your phone are a great way of keeping track of what you’re eating, when you’re eating, if you took your supplement or multivitamin and how many calories you’re consuming a day.  Find an app that does all the math for you so you just have decide what’s good to eat.

Hit the books – We know it sounds like the opposite of getting exercise but there are useful training and weight loss tips you can read up on and practice at home by yourself. Finding a fun workout DVD is also a great thing to have in your work out arsenal. If you’re someone who needs to switch things up on a regular basis or you’ve missed your regular exercise activity (because – let’s face it – life happens and sometimes you just can’t go) put on a DVD and sweat it out at home.  It’s also handy to have with you if you travel frequently and the hotel gym facilities are less then desired.

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