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“Write a 28-page manual,” they said. Infusing a beloved hobby into a daunting task consumes less effort and warms the heart.
Transforming a large blob of word dough into a bite-size cupcake.
When instructions are not naturally beautiful, less is more!
Snippets of a style guide created by yours truly.
…or sometimes 40-45 minutes. For 30 days straight, no days off. That’s what it took to get these results. In this post, I’d like to share with you how in greater detail.
Note: No exercise/nutrition plan is a one-size-fits-all solution and I am not a health professional, just an average Jane sharing my tips on my way to figuring things out 🙂
Where to begin.. as a mom of 2, I find that my 30s has been a yo-yo of gains and losses, triumphs and disappointments. I’ve had all the excuses in the world, given into my sweet tooth way too often, and tried the latest diet fads just like everybody else, often finding that nothing consistently kept the weight off.
In the above left photo, taken November 2019, I was lackadaisical in my exercise routine and food choices. My workout plan consisted of commuting by bus and Go train to downtown Toronto for work, taking the stairs two-by-two whenever possible, and squeezing in a 30-minute gym workout at lunch 0-3 times a week (which I detested because I had to leave early and head back on time). Having access to all the dessert and fast food places was definitely not a setup for success (also the pizza & cake lunches for office birthdays, breakfast pastries and other snacks/sweets brought in by clients).
Then on March 12th, I started working from home due to the Covid-19 crisis. I reminded myself, hey, I’ve got all the time in the world. After that weekend (and my period) ended, I started doing free YouTube workouts every day for a month. Here is a summary of the important factors leading to my (positive!) results.
Lenten Sugar Fast
At the start of Lent in early March, I committed to cutting out sweets (all desserts, chocolates/candies, bubble tea, etc.) for the entire 40-day period. I suspect the lack of sugar was definitely a catalyst for my waistline reduction.
For a year and a half, working full-time in-office, it was very simple to commit to intermittent fasting. I would not eat breakfast until 11:00 a.m. and had my last meal no later than 6:00 p.m. after arriving home. Since WFH began, I no longer adhere to a structured fast. I had gotten up each morning, had my cup of Skinny Mint tea* (see below), a cup of yogurt, and whatever was in the kitchen for eating the rest of the day. We are in lockdown and cannot afford to be choosy, after all 🙂 I often snacked with the hubby late at night, but felt less guilty because they weren’t sweets!
Skinny Mint Tea
About a year ago I had ordered a double 28-day supply of Skinny Mint Tea, forgot about it, found the 2nd batch and started drinking it along with my Lenten fast and daily workout routine. Now, it barely curbed my appetite nor did I lose any pounds, but it did make me explode like an MF! There’s a “calming” loose leaf tea you drink every morning, and every other night before bed you drink a bag of the “strong” stuff. I highly recommend teatoxing only when you’re quarantined at home and NOT before commuting 1+ hours to the office, because the risk of explosion is high indeed! I did feel “refreshed,” however, in dumping that waste down the drain (literally).
As noted earlier, I did the majority of my workouts for an hour, sometimes 40-45 minutes only when PMSing, heavily menstruating or feeling otherwise broken down and tired (about 6 of 30 workouts). I simply YouTubed “1 hour workouts” and chose from HIIT (high intensity interval training), Tabata, GoodLife Les Mills (Body Combat, Zumba) and anything else that looked interesting, never doing the same workout twice per week.
I alternated a HIIT cardio workout one day with a routine involving dumbbells another day — I own a pair of 5- and 8-lb weights — for at least 3 days of weight training per week. When feeling “ick” I would do yoga (there are even workouts for PMS!), Pilates and light dance workouts. The important thing is if I was tired one day, I wouldn’t skip a workout; I’d just choose something light and fitting of my current mood and bodily state.
I visually associate fat loss to a microwave and a stick of butter: you can place the butter in there and stare at it all you want, but it won’t melt until you turn on the power and blast it 🙂 And it’s the same with our bodies: we need to turn up the heat and discomfort and pain and SWEAT!
Here are some of my YouTube favourites:
- POPSUGAR Fitness
- Sydney Cummings
- Yoga with Adriene
- Michelle Vo Fitness
Best of luck, thanks for reading, and do please share your own tips!
— DI 😉
Missing the sunrise and peeking over the balcony as early workers stroll by, conversing in native tongues over the rooster’s crow. Stretching out my legs and feeling the heat on my skin before daylight has fully broken.
Stirring the perfect cappuccino —
— under the latticed patio roof, flanked by lush vegetation and pretty florals. We pretend it’s all ours. There’s nowhere to be and nothing to accomplish. No one to appease but each other.
Heading oceanward to plunk down our bodies, laze about and brown deliciously all over. Dunking full selves into the surf when it gets a little too toasty. Hearing the wind, the waves and very little else.
The sun’s gone.
A peaceful respite though the bugs are biting, but we’ve learned not to notice. Sharing a tasty meal, not skimping on dessert, then heading out to where…
…they dance into the night.
Perfectly en pointe, in tune, attuned. Mesmerizing and seemingly without effort, commanding attention and deserving adoration.
It’s over almost as soon as it began, when the realization hits that you’re caught up and will do
To feel that way again.
— the love of travel
— by dianne c.
A colourful look through a technical communicator’s lens.