31 Jan

Day 5: I got a piece last night.

A piece of cake, that is.

It was my cousin’s first birthday party and she had an enormous, two-tiered (yes, two-tiered) birthday cake. Check out this thing, it’s over-the-top!

I’ve been waiting all week for this cake, with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Birthday cake. There’s just something so charming about it’s simplicity. The ingredients are uncomplicated– sugar, eggs, milk, flour, and a bit of vanilla– but the resulting flavours and textures make (briefly) forgetting about the bikini worthwhile. This particular piece of cake was my dinner. I’ll admit that a meal of refined flour, refined sugar, and not a vegetable in sight wasn’t exactly the healthiest choice. I’ll also admit that I’m happy that I indulged and here’s why:

I didn’t eat the piece of cake after stuffing my face full of unhealthy snacks/appetizers,

I didn’t eat the piece of cake because I was trying to escape stress,

and I didn’t eat the piece of cake mindlessly.

I ate the cake as a reminder that, on occasion, I can satisfy my sweet tooth and not feel bad about it (emphasis on the “on occasion”). If I don’t let myself do this, then I can guarantee that this summer will be my only bikini birthday.

29 Jan

Day 3: Pt. 2

So, I did end up making the tuna pasta with a side of broccoli. I heated up a can of tuna in a sautee pan with a bit of oil. Tossed it with salt, pepper, thyme, and artichokes and then added the cooked pasta. In my haste, I overcooked the broccoli.

I would’ve tried to plate it a little nicer, but, like I said, I was pressed for time.

Cooking time (including prep): 15 min.
Cleaning up time: 5 minutes
Eating time: About 30 seconds

I made it to the theatre just in time. We saw The Blind Side. What a great movie! I left the theatre with that warm feeling in my heart and the yearning to adopt an 18 year old kid from the projects.

29 Jan

Day 3: Homemade Fast Food

Today has been a good day so far. I think the anticipation of the weekend is helping to keep me on the sane side. I have plans to go to the movies with my friends tonight. Between coming home from the gym and getting ready for the movie the brief period of time I’ll have to prepare a well-rounded meal is going to prove to be a challenge.

When I was living by myself and I didn’t feel like cooking, which was often (I much prefer to make food to share with other people, cooking for one person always seems uninspiring to me), I usually ate cereal. I’ll admit that a big bowl of bran flakes with a banana can, at times, be a dinner to look forward to. But tonight I’m hoping to make something that doesn’t scream “I-only-have-30-seconds-to-make-a-meal!”.

The cogs in my head are turning. As I write, I’m picturing all the food in my cupboards and my fridge. I’m thinking Tuna Pasta with a side of steamed broccoli. I’ll keep you all posted later and let you know if I ended up making this or if I took the easy way out and made breakfast for dinner.

What do you make when you’re pressed for time?
I could use some ideas!

28 Jan

Day 2: Stress, What Stress?

Last night:

Last night, as I mentioned, Sarah and I went to the “How to lose 20lb in 12 weeks” talk at Refine Fitness hosted by Mike Bates. That’s us:

We had to laugh when he said, “If you’re just trying to fit into a bikini then this might not be the plan for you. We’re talking about long term goals.” I’m going to say that I don’t fall into this category because I hope that this birthday is the 1st of many that I wear a bikini!

One key thing that I learned was that doing any more than 15 repetition of weight during a set targets muscular endurance rather than strength. Since strength is my goal I’m going to keep focusing on heavier weights with no more than 12 sets.
The talk was really informative and I think I’ll sign up for a few others that apply to my lifestyle change.

On to today:

I think I’ll add “Stop Stress Eating” to my list of things to do. It’s only day two and I already had a bit of a binge breakdown! After a long, shitty-for-no-specific-reason day I went for dinner at my dad and nonna’s house.

Stress + Pantry full of chocolate = Bad2

I’m not going to beat myself up over my binge though otherwise I’ll lose track of my goal. I know stress is why I raided the chocolate cupboard. I just need an action plan to stop it from happening again. … hmmm… action plan….
Anyone have any ideas for an action plan? Because I haven’t got a clue. I could use some help on this one.

27 Jan

Day 1: Pumped and Ready to Go

And so begins the official 6 month countdown to my 25th birthday, although I have been on the bikini birthday regimen for almost a week now.

I started today off with this substantial bowl of cream of wheat to which I added canned pumpkin and peanut butter, drizzled on some honey, and sprinkled it all with cinnamon, cloves, and flax meal. For anyone who ever uses canned pumpkin you know that it comes in a huge can. I opened this can sometime last week and I’m still working through it. I’m likely going to be eating canned pumpkin for breakfast for the next several days. I don’t mind though. Generally I’ll eat it with either cream of wheat, oatmeal, or yoghurt in the same fashion as I did this morning.  It’s delicious and I love the creamy texture! Also, it fits in with Canada’s Food Guide recommendation of one orange vegetable each day (which I can easily say I don’t normally get). In addition to a host of vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is loaded with beta carotene, an antioxidant that prevents cholesterol oxidation, and it is oxidized cholesterol that builds up in arteries. Beta carotene is also said to boost immunity, which I definitely need to prevent myself from catching Matt’s cold.

Lunch was a “green” smoothie with swiss chard, banana, lime juice, mint, and hemp seeds. Followed up by some prunes and almonds for an afternoon snack.

My car just couldn’t seem to drive me to the gym tonight. I couldn’t imagine running on a treadmill when it was finally sunny outside. I got in a half hour run in the -3deg temperature and felt great afterwards.

For dinner I had my go-to home alone meal since Matt was out tutoring. Poached Eggs. I tried to fancy it up a bit by serving them on a wilted spinach salad with homemade shallot & honey mustard dressing. Sounds impressive, n’est-ce pas?

Tonight, my friend Sarah and I are going to part one of a health and wellness speaker series at Refine Fitness in Old Walkerville. The lecture is called “How to lose 20lb in 12 weeks”. What a great way to kick off my bikini birthday!

26 Jan

Countdown to the beginning.

So tomorrow is January 27th. That makes it exactly 6 months to my 25th birthday and the beginning of my bikini birthday challenge. I’ve decided to make up a list of things that I will and won’t do during the course of this challenge but any tips I can get would be greatly appreciated.

What I will do:

  • Practice yoga at least once a week
  • Take my puppy out for a walk after dinner (at least on weeknights)
  • Drink one to two glasses of water before each meal
  • Cut back (and I mean waaay back) on refined carbs and sugar.
  • Up my vegetable intake probably through green smoothies (fruits are easy but I always seem to neglect my veggies)
  • Eat mindfully! This one is big; I am the world’s worst mindless eater.
  • Only eat cheese when I visit my dad’s house (I should have prefaced that by saying that I really love cheese)
  • Lift heavy weights – I push myself when I do cardio, but I’ve been lifting the same weights for about a year
  • Measure how much peanut butter I’m eating rather than eating straight out of the jar (sounds easy right? I took a picture of an actual tablespoon of peanut butter and a Samantha-sized tablespoon — huge difference)

TBSP Peanut Butter

Don’t worry, I put it all back in the jar and then let my dog lick the plate!

Bagigis and PB

What I won’t do:

  • Start denying myself things I really really want; if I want it I’ll hold out and if I still want it later then I’ll have a small portion.
  • Stop drinking — I drink rarely as it is. A couple of glasses of wine a week are acceptable.
  • Starve myself (this was less of a tip and more of a command from my older sister)
  • Binge eat. I often find myself binge eating when I’m bored, stressed, and alone.
  • Lose sleep over my goal. I’m really nervous about this and scared that I won’t look my best in the summer, but I’m going to try my very best not to let it stress me out.

I’m so excited to do this! I just hope I have lots of support!

26 Jan

The Reactions

So far I have told most of my close friends and family about my plan to get into bikini shape for my milestone 25th birthday. The most popular reaction I’ve gotten so far has been, “…but I think you could do it now”. That is, most people I’ve talked to think I would be able to pull off a bikini in my current rotund state.

Yes, I suppose I could.

I could also go topless on the beach, but that would neither be attractive for others nor a comfortable for myself. I feel the same way about exposing my belly.

My husband had the most constructive response to my new goal. He posed this question to me that forced me to put my goal into perspective: “If you’ve never worn a bikini before than how do you know how much weight you need to lose in order to feel comfortable wearing one?”

Okay Matt, good point.

I was able to spew off some bullshit about how it’s important for me to feel comfortable in my body and how self confidence can’t necessarily be tied to a number on a scale. …but, really. I’m a numbers person. I need a number goal. So what numbers do I use? Inches? BMI? Weight? Body Fat %?

Well at 24 years old and 166 cm let’s look at what the experts say my numbers should be:

Where I should be:

Waist:                            83 cm waist (=half my height)
Waist to Hip Ratio:  0.7
BMI:                              19 – 24
Weight:                        116 – 152 lb (based on BMI)
Body Fat %:                19%-30%

Where I am:

Waist:                           81 cm
Waist to Hip Ratio: 0.79
BMI:                              25.3
Weight:                        153.6lb
Body Fat %:               33%

I’ve decided to use my body fat percentage as my measure for fitness. I’d like to get my body fat percentage down to 24%. Luckily for me I went out this weekend and bought a body fat scale (I can’t describe to you how excited I was about this) so I’ll be able to track my progress at home on a weekly basis. These were my results from this morning:

33% body fat; 46% water; 153.6lb

week1_2

33% muscle; 10.7% bone; 2028 cal recommended per day

week1_1

I had contemplated posting a before picture of myself with my sports bra on (which I DID take)… but thought that goes against how I feel about wearing a bikini. The before picture may come with the after in 6 months time.

25 Jan

About the “Bikini Birthday”

I am a 24 year old woman who has never worn a bikini. Ever.

I have a mental list of things that I want to do in life before I die. I’ll admit that most of them are the standard “must-do’s”– see certain parts of the world, read certain books, do a headstand, etc. — but there is one that I always put on the bottom of my list as the least likely thing I’ll ever carry out (least likely, even, than climbing Kilimanjaro or becoming a household name). That is: to wear a bikini.

The problem is in the fact that I don’t just want to wear a bikini. I want to look good great in a bikini.

So, here I am an insecure, perpetually chubby blogger with a body image complex and a lofty goal: to don a bikini by my 25th birthday. I have 6 months to get in shape physically and to get myself mentally prepared (yes, I know how stupid that sounds). I intend to use this blog to track my progress, but primarily to inform people of what I’m doing so that when July 27th rolls around I absolutely can’t chicken out.