Sticking to an exercise routine

Will walk for a double espresso with 3 brown sugars.

How many times have you tried to encourage or enforce a certain behaviour simply with fear of punishment?

In my case, plenty of times. In fact me think self-flagellation may be my default-mode😫. You can read all about my torture chamber here and I can’t even promise I won’t be back Workout that delivers: 30 min hit

The carrot and stick method

According to Wikipedia The phrase “carrot and stick” is a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behaviour.

An example of “stick” I’d try to beat myself with in order to exercise regularly:

Me to myself: “Do you want thighs that look like Swiss cheese?”😛

The vision of a future me with “Swiss cheese thighs” kept me motivated for like 5 seconds after which I ate an enormous piece of french toast.  Plus it’s not like I walk around with my thighs around my neck where everybody can see them, so that wasn’t motivation enough.

“With the proper carrot, there’s absolutely no need for a stick of any kind. It’s a simple case of something to look forward to VS something to be afraid of.”

Instead of a “stick” (punishment), I decided to use the “carrot” (reward)

Lately, I’ve been averaging 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day…effortlessly…no matter the weather.

My secret? There’s a little coffee shop located in the bus station nearby our house so to motivate myself to walk for 45 minutes every morning, I decided that instead of taking my morning coffee at home, I’d walk 20 minutes back and forth (total 45 minutes) to go and get my coffee at the said coffee shop.

Since I am addicted to my morning coffee anyways I might as well couple it with something  healthy and beneficial, like walking.

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Will walk for a double-espresso with 3 brown sugars. I feel so accomplished I could cry😎!

Doesn’t matter if it’s windy, slippery, rainy, cold, humid, I’ve got to get my coffee so I’ve got to walk. Period. I am not even doing it for my health, as sad as this sounds, I am doing it for a double espresso with three brown sugar. Yes I know sugar! the shame of it all! BUT it gets me walking.

I forbid myself to take my first cup of coffee at home.  At first it was a bit difficult since I usually take my morning coffee with dear husband. So I’d leave the house before dear husband wakes up so I am not tempted by seeing him drinking his coffee.

It’s been working pretty well so far and I intend to keep going. I suppose you have to know what motivates you and try a few things before settling on anything particular.

Anyways, I hope I was able to motivate you even if briefly to try and stay active any way you can during those quarantine times.

If you have something that’s been working for you, please do share. I’d love to hear it! Bisoux!😘🐍

What to do when you’ve blown your diet

The goal is not to beat yourself up but to find out what went wrong and prevent it from happening too often.

“Forgive yourself and resist the urge to stick to plain water for the next 100 years.”

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Surprisingly, the day we ate two pizzas, one entree and 16 wings started well enough. As usual I woke up, showered, got dressed, pat down a cocktail of serum on my face until it became numb and put on some bright lipstick. I also went for a 45 min walk. I know I should be awarded a medal😎. On top of that, I made some quinoa and black beans for lunch. Had I just ran a marathon, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have been any prouder.

But then it started to go downhill from that point on…We’re in the kitchen getting dinner ready. We’ve prepared a chicken dish and it’s in the oven and getting crispy. But somehow a little demon started whispering “pizza” in my ears😈. First, I tried to ignore it. That lasted about 5 seconds, then I heard myself saying “Well, if it wasn’t such a bad idea, we could order pizza”. Dear husband didn’t answer at first. I took that as a chance to get back to my senses. Just when I thought I’d successfully crossed that bridge with minimum damage to my waistline, I heard him say: “what kind?”

Me: “What do you mean what kind?”

Dear husband: “What kind of pizza?”

While I am a woman of my words, dear husband is certainly a man of his actions. He’ll only discuss something while doing it or once it’s done. So we had pizza while our healthy dinner was practically done!

FOR HAVING BEING THERE DONE THAT, HERE’S WHAT I DO WHEN I’VE BLOWN IT:

  1. Forgive yourself and resist the urge to stick to plain water for the next hundreds years.
  2. Rewind and look at the whole sequence of events leading to that point when you went hog wild:
    • I was in the basement which is very comfortable – I had been hungry for more than 2 hours – I wasn’t particularly hungry for what I was going to eat for super
  3. By the time we got down to cooking dinner we were already too hungry. Don’t wait till you’re hungry to make make something to eat. Prep all food in advance and get them ready before you get hungry so that by the time you’re hungry you have something ready made. As a matter of fact, plan all of your meals for that day as soon as you wake up.
  4. Watch out for those moments when you’re particularly vulnerable and plan for them. Sometimes it’s not always between good and bad. It’s between bad and worst.
  5. Make it easy to do the right thing. Make sure your environment support the healthy habit you want to promote. I know if I am watching TV late at night, there will be some serious damage done to my diet.
  6. Make a food journal

For me personally, I feel like it’s important to try and maintain some kind of discipline (After 2 pizzas and 16 wings that is😏), specially during this quarantine. Yes, we’re inside now for the most part but at some point we’re gonna have go out and I don’t have money to buy a new wardrobe to accommodate quarantine weight gain so I got to deal😛.

Quarantine: The weight gain is real!

“If this quarantine doesn’t end soon, I may need a second quarantine to sort out my weight.”

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To all the people who knew me pre-quarantine, don’t be surprised if you fail to recognize me post-quarantine.🤦‍♀️

Last week, knowing I was probably gonna be working mostly from home, I made a very serious eating plan for quarantine life. The kind of plan you make when you have no intention of sticking to any plan: Drastic and vague (No point writing a book about it since we’re not gonna do it, right?).  

Like I said: Drastic like “I vow to stay away from all carb from now on and eat extremely healthy however long this quarantine may last”🙄. Of course no precision was given on what I was going to eat to achieve this lofty goal of mine. Why? Because a clear list of food would have made me realized the real cost of my outsized ambition so instead I decided to feed my delusions. 

In fact, right after I made that wonderful plan I came home to this: 

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Turns out dear husband went grocery shopping and brought home three packs of bagels (shown in the pic above) plus a boatload of croissants (not pictured here since we ate it so fast that by the time this article was written, there was none left!).

“It’s clear dear husband did not get the memo of us munching on celery sticks while sipping lemon water. He’s on a different program. The carb overdose program.”

Imagine starting your quarantine with a boatload of croissants and bagels? It literally felt like a set-up. The croissants only lasted three days. The logic being the sooner we ate it all the sooner we’ll get to go back to our diet. I am not proud of us people, I am definitely not proud of us. To tell you the truth, I feel like I am in the backseat of a speeding car with a dead driver at the wheel.

If this quarantine doesn’t end soon, how am I going to explain all the weight gain? Well, if it’s any consolation most people are going to gain weight. I suppose I could become the only person who refuse to leave quarantine due to weight gain.

As proof, an excerpt of a recent convo with dear husband:

Me: “Oh my God! Look at that pic I just took of myself. I feel like I doubled in size!”

Dear husband: “Yeah…you definitely gained…”

At this point, my eyes are like daggers pointed directly at him. Only a person with foot in mouth syndrome like dear husband would ignore the silent warnings…

Me: “My belly is determined to go North while my butt insist on going South.”

Dear husband: “Yeah, you’re sticking out in all directions..”

The double-headed snake!🐍🐍🐍

The nerve of that man! He’s the one who went grocery shopping for “healthy stuff” and came back with a boatload of croissants and 3 packs of bagels. The thing is though, he’s close to 6 ft tall and I am only 5’2 so the risk of me looking like a can of tuna is getting very real. But then again with this quarantine stuff, the low mood and lack of motivation is real…

Bisoux and keep your social distancing!

 

 

Workout that delivers: 30 min hit

I remember the first time I set foot into a 30 min hit location. Let’s just say it was rather under special circumstances….

“I had two choices: Lose a dress size or remove a rib cage…naturally considering my low pain tolerance, I went with the first option.”

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I had to lose a dress size in order to fit into an already bought and paid for wedding dress to be more precise. The ladies at the dress shop were actually nice enough not to say anything when the zip threatened to break as they try to zip me up into my soon to be wedding dress. I kept my eyes glued to the ceiling for fear of having to meet their embarrassed glares. I wasn’t breathing but still it wouldn’t do.

Luckily for me some alterations could successfully be performed.  I could come back in 4 weeks for one last fitting once alterations were made but that was it. Which meant if I came back even half a pound fatter I’d need to get married in a potato sack. Naturally, it didn’t help that every single bride to be who came in that day looked like broom sticks.

So with images of myself busting out of said dress flooding my mind, I went on a frantic google search to find some form of training that would allow me to lose a dress size in 4 weeks with normal good nutrition (no severe portion control and sleeping on a treadmill involved). That’s when I discovered 30 min hit.

“With proper diet, it’ll whip your belly fat into muscle in no time. Allow for 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll be amazed. Which explains why I am willingly putting myself through torture by going there 3 times a week.”

How does 30 minute hit work? Well, it’s a high intensity interval training made out of 13 stations that lasts about 2 minutes each with 15 seconds break between stations. Each 2 minutes is broken into  8 x (15 seconds) time increment where you alternate between 15 seconds high intensity and 15 seconds normal pace. The entire circuit takes around 30 minutes.

Now you may be thinking to yourself “2 minutes and you’re complaining? Fabienne, you’re a wimp” Well, this isn’t just two minutes. This is 2 minutes with a trainer on your tail pushing encouraging you to go harder and harder. At any given time there are usually two trainers circling the floor like hungry sharks smelling blood. It’s like they have sensors that can pick up on signs of muscle failure and tiredness. Plus, they don’t just pass by and yell “go harder”. No Sir. They stay by your side for a good 15 seconds (which under the circumstance feels more like a quarter of a century) and watch you go harder and harder all the while matching your every kick and punch with words of encouragement. I personally didn’t know two minutes could be that long. Talking myself into doing this three times a week is a workout in itself.

“The only workout that makes 2 minutes feels like a quarter of a century”

At the beginning of  the circuit I usually try to have some dignity and look a bit graceful (jumping rope) so that when I look like a whale with heart failure people can at least remember I started out a bit more gracefully. But then again I shouldn’t be worrying about that since everybody is kind of busy trying not to drop dead on the floor. By the time I reach the 11th station all sense of dignity and grace has left me  and I usually look like a ballerina with hip problem. At that point my legs are so weak I am usually crawling.

My favorite part is when I find myself at the last station and I know I only have two more minutes to go before I can go crash one the cool down mat and I promise myself not to come back. I now understand why women keep having children despite the pain of childbirth. The pain outweighs the joy in the end. Nothing makes me feel as good and spent as this workout. With proper diet, it’ll whip your belly fat into muscle in no time. Allow for 4 to 6 weeks and you’ll be amazed. Which explains why I am willingly putting myself through torture by going there 3 times a week.

FINAL VERDICT: I highly recommend. And in case you’re wondering: yes, I am a masochist. Albeit a very vain one who prizes looking good and feeling good above all 🙂