Hello and Goodbye

I am thrilled to start The Lifestyle Curve.  The timing is perfect as this blog is a new beginning right before the start of a new year.

As 2013 comes to an end, I have to reflect on the things I’ve learned and the challenges I’ve encountered that have shaped my lifestyle curve.

Everyone wants to do a top ten list when the year ends, and I am no different.  Here is my top ten list of what I’ve learned in 2013 when it comes to my healthy lifestyle journey:

  1. This lifestyle is forever – I started this journey about 3 years ago, but it has is no end.  Eating well is forever, working out is forever.  This way of thinking is so important for weight loss maintenance.
  2. The body forgives – If I fall off the wagon, I will not be afraid to get on the horse again.
  3. Have a variety of exercise options – I’ve made a workout area at home with free weights, a mat and stability ball for when I can’t get to the gym.  My Goodlife Fitness membership gives me access to all gyms in the Greater Toronto Area, so I can always schedule a workout no matter where I am.
  4. Diversify my workout –  My fitness routines must include a lot of cardiovascular exercise and be complimented with strength training and stretching/yoga.
  5. Selfish Fitness – While exercising with a friend is always fun, I prefer to work out alone.  I am more accountable to my workout when it is done on my terms and on my time.
  6. Take advantage of the support around me – I see a dietician monthly, log and track my eating and exercise on My Fitness Pal.
  7. Curb the over indulging – I have come to terms with the fact that I love to overindulge.  I have cheat weekends (Friday to Sunday) and have learned that if I am going to cheat, I have to keep it to a minimum and increase my physical activity on weekends.
  8. Take out the frustrations out at the gym not on food – I use exercise to beat up the stress and frustration instead of looking to food for comfort.
  9. The grocery store is my go-to for ‘fast food’ – If I don’t have a prepared lunch, I find a grocery store for healthy snacks and meals.
  10. Knowledge is Power – I enjoy learning about nutrition and exercise.  Following healthy living websites provides continuous flow of health information.

Looking forward to 2014:

  • Food shopping and preparation – Create weekly shopping lists and prepare meals for the entire week.
  • Organization – Creating schedules for work, exercise, school, home, music practice, and social life so all the hours of each day are used effectively.
  • Improving my sleep schedule – Get to bed on time and ensure that I get at least six hours of sleep each night.  I also want to push myself to get up earlier so that I can workout before work.
  • Focusing on healthy bones –  I will be more diligent about consuming foods that help build and maintain strong bones.  My goal is to add more fish, milk, broccoli, cheese, regular yogurt to my diet.
  • Positive workouts – I will challenge myself more and have an ‘I can’ attitude when working out (especially when doing lunges *shakes fist*).
  • New fitness outlets – In 2014 I would like to participate in more team sports, try a dance class and do another summer session of outdoor boot-camp.
  • Get back to Yoga – I’ll be back on the yogi train for more flexibility, relaxation and meditation.
  • Bringing the workout to work – My current job involves a lot of sitting.  To counteract the inactivity,  I will incorporate working with free weights, sitting on a stability ball, standing and lunging.

As 2014 approaches, I look forward to documenting this never ending journey towards healthier living. Three years ago I decided to take better care of my health.  That decision brought on so many experiences, feelings and struggles that I didn’t imagine would happen.  With that, I realise that I am now I different person.

My journal is not just about burning calories and eating rice cakes, it is also about creating a new Clare, building confidence, and taking control of my future.

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