Ally: Not unlike the other 45,907,84 people around entry into 2015, I decided to embark on a “personal awakening” of sorts. For those who know me personally, or who are friends with me on Facebook where I lay out my entire life, 2014 was both a challenging and inspiring year – but it was also one where I didn’t focus a lot of myself or my health needs. As a result, I was about to entire 2015 feeling lethargic, unmotivated and basically like a freshly steamed bag of shit.
I decided to make some drastic changes. First step: Join the gym.
Ally joins the Gym
So insufferable are gym people, I know, and I vow to try really hard to not be that jerk. I joined with the masses right around January 1st, so I was on the receiving end of a lot of social media scorn for being a “newbie”, the term insufferable gym people use for their fellow humans who have the audacity to get up the courage to walk their out of shape molds into a facility with unflattering lights and supermodels wearing lululemon.
In addition to being a newbie who was ruthlessly and remorselessly stealing “regulars'” parking spots and “favourite machines (Seriously? SERIOUSLY? ), I decided to go the distance and hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to mind me how to like, do stuff at the gym. This, in my opinion, was well worth the money. If any of you go to the Goodlife at Larry Uteck, and are interested in a personal trainer, I highly recommend Richard Hope. He’s a lovely guy who knows his stuff and who manages to not make you feel massively out-of-shape despite the fact that he takes the 25 pound weight you were using for your squat and holds it like it is a kleenex. He also calls you “young lady” in a totally non-misogynostic way even though you both know that you’re on the wrong side of 35.
Seeing the trainer for those sessions made me commit to a routine. I was hooked, and I plan to be by next year for all the “regulars” who are reading. Plus I bought two pairs of lululemon tights so that I too can weld the stepper machine feeling like a supermodel.
In addition to the strengh training exercises that I worked on with Richard, I also wanted to step up my cardio game. Instead of just going for boring runs on the treadmill, I’ve been using the stepper and making the treadmill interesting by doing some different intervals.
Also, this thing?
Ally uses the Kitchen
Again, if you know me, you know that I am not the chef in our family. That’s my husband, El Jeffe, and he’s great at the job. With an interest in focusing on nutrition, and making sure I was properly fueling my body (omg I am becoming insufferable, aren’t I?), I started to prep food for the work week to make sure I wasn’t resorting to snacks that were not doing anything for me, or carb-loading which was making me flat-out exhausted. I turned to Pinterest and I have not looked back.
These are so delicious, I keep them in the fridge for the week, and take two out each morning heating for 30 seconds. Add a bit of hot sauce and voila!
Baking off Chicken and Salmon
I work from home, but I keep a pretty rigid schedule breaking for lunch around 11:30am. I don’t want to take a lot of time preparing a meal. So on the weekends, I’ve started to bake off a bunch of chicken breasts and salmon to keep in the freezer and pull out throughout the week.
So far, so good. I’m really trying to get to the gym at least four times during the week and I take the weekends off since it’s really busy with two small kids. I’m finding the exercise combined with the better focus on nutrition has made a dramatic difference for my energy levels, mental clarity and my issues with anxiety. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, which is tough to manage on the best days, not to mention when I’m sleep deprived and am not getting enough physical activity.
I’m proud of myself, and I want to keep it up, which is why I’m documenting it here in the hopes that come January 2016 I’ll be rolling my eyes at the newbies who dared to look at my favourite stepper machine.