A Fish Called Wanda

Blog #12 ~ The Jane Experiment

I’ve never much liked fish. Well, not eating them anyway. Not because I had a cute gold fish growing up who died in a dramatic fashion or even because I really love the movie Finding Nemo. I just wasn’t one for that fishy taste, growing up.
I occasionally didn’t mind fish if it was battered and deep fried, but even then I preferred the chips served on the side.

I have been a vegetarian for the last year and a bit, (something else that started as an experiment) but under Chad’s advice and the advice of many others I have been really questioning why I’m a vegetarian and why I might want to, or not want to eat meat.

There are obviously arguments for all sides here, and I don’t really want to play a ‘who’s opinion is right’ game but I will share some of my honest personal reasons for being veggie.

I do think it is better for the environment, the way animals are treated is horrible, and personally, it does feel weird to eat something that was once living. Maybe it had a family and a name? (that is if you’re unrealistic like me and Disney.)

Before I became a vegetarian I was actually a far pickier eater than I am now, it completely changed my taste buds. But it’s also a very good excuse to eat junk, but feel healthy because you eat vegetarian. Potato chips were a major part of the beginning of my veggie diet, as was Thai food with tofu. But over the past few months as I’ve become more consistent with my healthy choices and learned more and more about myself and food from working on this ‘Experiment.’ So, I have decided to start pushing in more new and uncomfortable ways.

Also, it’s September, so that’s pretty much January to most people. Time for new goals, new dreams, new clothes, new workouts and therefore new tactics!

Chad and I met yesterday to discuss where I’m going, how I’m doing and perhaps a new approach to the fitness side of things. We have been very ‘food’ focused, and that has been great, but I also want to build consistency and self esteem in exercise.

First plan: don’t imagine the workouts to be way harder than they actually are. Just try. Fail. And try again.
Second plan: Do it little by little. We are starting with a daily practise of a max plank hold, measuring and tracking results.

So I figured with this new time of year and new season, since I’m experimenting and pushing my limits; why not try fish? I’ve had it a few times in the last week and it actually is kind of yummy, without the batter. Who knows what it’s name was or how it was treated, but figuring out those parameters and conditions of satisfaction for myself will be part of the journey of fish eating.

I’m off to plank now, and I will report back next week with my results!

xoxo
Jane

Wanted.

Blog #11 ~ The Jane Experiment

Sometimes I really wonder if I actually want to be thinner. Or fitter, or faster or healthier. I mean, if I really, truly wanted it, wouldn’t I do everything in my power to get it?

Funny, how that is not always so. How in fact, sometimes we push away from what we want. Or hide, or ‘change our minds.’

Not quite sure who or what the culprit could be here, but I have a sneaky suspicion it could be fear.

All my life I’ve been on a roller coaster with my health. Which I assumed I would one day just hop off of. But as time goes by, I have come to see that it actually has just become more of a temperate roller coaster. And slowly, but surely I’m learning to navigate the ups and downs and take some control over my trolly.

In the past two months or so that I have been an Experiment I have not fixed all my problems, or changed all my ways, but I have become increasingly knowledgeable about myself and my patterns. In doing so, I am much more capable of making the healthy choices I want to make.

Whenever I feel like quitting on myself, or eating ice cream, or just fearful, I now really know how to weigh the options for myself; with my own wants and values in mind.

As we move into the season of Fall, I feel myself caring less about a ‘hot bikini body’ and more about a healthy immune system so I don’t get sick. This is also a part of an evolution in me, caring really for menot just about how I look. That was a major goal when I started working with Chad. It’s amazing how I have become truly loving towards myself, more energized and more aware.

This past week, I was on set filming again and Chad was out of town for an Evernote Ambassador conference so we didn’t get a chance to have our regular check-in pow wow. At first I thought nothing of it, oh well, we’re busy, blah blah. But a few days into the week, I realized how encouraging it is to have someone who wants your goals for you too. Who cheers you on, and holds you accountable. It’s invaluable how helpful a little chat can be to spur you on, or remind you what you want. That is what is great about a personal trainer, and also what’s great about this blog!

I encourage anyone who is planning on, or thinking of going through some personal or health related transitions, to really look at where you start, where you want to go and all the little steps and tumbles you take along the way. Journal, blog, or just check in with a friend or measurement notes. Trust me, it really builds a sense of accomplishment in Self.

Have an amazing long weekend!

xoxo
Jane

 

 

My Evernote Story

Two weeks ago, Evernote blogged a video of me telling my story of how I use the App. I was excited to see it go live since it had been filmed a few months before. I really enjoy using the program and being an Ambassador for others to get value from it as well. Here is the video:

It’s seen over 3000 views already which is pretty exciting! Let me know what you think in the comments below or if you have any questions about how I use Evernote.

Basic Instinct

Blog #5 ~ The Jane Experiment

Why do we do the things that we do?

Whoa, heavy topic for a health and fitness blog!
It’s something that I often wonder. I used to assume we do things; such as eat, sleep, cry, laugh because of instinct. Born that way, no control, or we don’t know any other way. What if our instinct, or mine at least, is just to feel good, ALL THE TIME? Because thats what it occasionally feels like.

I’ve been asking myself; ‘How do I know if I’m hungry or sleepy?’ Really how do we know? It kind of goes back to the listening and translating idea I explored a few weeks ago. I’m just starting to give myself the time to recognize these feelings even. Before, I would just hop into bed and have a nap, or dash down to the store and eat as fast as possible.

If it’s a Basic Instinct to want to feel good and take care of ourselves, why do we self sabotage? Do you ever say you want one thing but do another? Look good in a bikini – eat a whole pie? Want a loving relationship – fall for a guy who’s a jerk? What instinct are we embracing then?

And then there’s all the worrying and complaining and weighing of options. Such a time-consuming practise! I may be projecting, but I think we fear choosing the wrong instinct, or answer or path. I know I do.
But I can’t help but think there has got to be a better way to look at it.

As I was getting ready to work out the other day, I was moping and moaning to myself. All like ‘Ugh I have to work out!’
Then I stopped myself, in my tracks, and asked ‘Do I Have to?’ Like, who says I do? Who cares?
Then it hit me, I GET to. I get to work out. I have a body. I can feel, I can express, I can change, I can grow, and alter, and improve, I can chose.

It’s actually kind of awesome, awesome-sauce! I know we may be told as children, and as adults, that we are all special and to be grateful! But hearing that didn’t necessarily make it sink in for me.

Even when I was writing this blog this week, I was mulling to myself ‘What do I talk about? I HAVE to find something interesting to say!’ But the beauty is; I GET to. I get to talk to you. I get to share with you.
Human connection is one of my highest values, but I’m so comfortable with wallowing and putting things off, and not pushing myself that I limit myself, and put a negative spin on things that could be positive.
I do this with people, at the gym, at my job. I forget that I do actually get to choose what I do, and how I do it. Boy, is that inspiring! We are human and we can do more than just follow instinct.

One month ago, Chad started an Evernote Fitness Challenge: Get outside and move for 15 minutes a day. Well I didn’t quite do 30 days consistently, but it’s been in the back of my mind, urging me to go outside. And outside my comfort zone, away from my instinct that I need more sleep and to stay in bed.

I almost feel like I’ve been pushed into a war zone; with scary, healthy looking foods, running, listening to my body and treating it with love and care.

As I’ve been trying to treat myself with compassion I sometimes want to indulge in things like chocolate bars, or day dreaming. But when I really think about it, what is it that I want in that moment I think I want candy. Maybe I just want to feel better, feel loved, asap, by eating or fixing.
On some level I want to be super skinny, but also indulge the ‘instinct’ to eat gluten-free cake or potato chips whenever I want, and not have to run them off! Realistic, I know.

I’m starting to feel like I’m getting to a very settled place, where I ask myself if that’s really what Healthy Jane wants, in that moment and in the future. Maybe it is; I had an amazing glass of wine a few nights ago and a great nap yesterday afternoon. I’m not nay-saying doing nice, indulgent things, I’m just proposing the idea that perhaps we can monitor our ‘instincts’ a little more and discern the difference between needing something and enjoying something.

As a bonus I lost 5lbs! And I’ve been on as little artificial, processed sugar as possible over the last week! Listening pays off.
How’s the listening going for you? Do you feel like we have instincts we can’t ignore? What runs us, the body or the mind?

If you’ve been doing the Evernote Fitness Challenge, don’t forget the Twitter Party on Tuesday. Details will be on the Facebook page.

Have a great weekend!

Jane
xoxo

The Value of Water

While about leave my apartment the other day, I went to fill my bottle up with water. Sure enough, the Brita jug was nearly empty. Then came the slew of thoughts:

Do I have time to wait for the filter or do I just go straight for the tap water?

When was the last time I actually changed that filter?

Is it supposed to be changed every 3 months or 6?

Will there be a difference in my water quality after 3 months vs. 6?

How much are the filters anyway?

I bet it’s cheaper than bottled water!

Crap water is expensive!

Why?

Since then I’ve been thinking about the value of water. On one side, it’s the second most valuable thing in the world. As in, only air is more immediately needed than water to survive. Without either, we’d die pretty quickly. But, why don’t we pay for air then… It’s polluted too… Will there be a Brita Air filter? How much with that be? Uh oh, here we go again…

In north america, we pay more for bottled water than we do gas in our cars! Is it really that valuable? I mean, I know we’d literally die without it, but is the quality we’re buying truly worth that much? Is the quality we think we’re buying actually the quality we’re getting? Does that quality really matter?

I know plenty of people that mainly drink filtered water. I know plenty that mainly drink tap water. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of people that don’t even have tap water. Can we measure our health differences between bottled vs. tap? To what degree does the filtered water win out over regular tap water?

Crap. So many questions!

As you can see, I have many questions around this subject and I wanted to put them out there to stimulate some though and discussion. What is your view on the value of water? What do you choose to drink and why do you make that choice? Is it because it’s available and marketed to us or are there health benefits you can measure? Please post your thoughts in the comments and see if you can do it ‘un-googled’.

 

Lost in Translation…

Blog Number 3 ~The Jane Experiment

When I first started this project, I was so gung ho! So ready to give-er and make waves and changes in my life. I’d recently recognized that I was the perfect example of the definition of insanity and I needed to switch things up if I actually wanted to change.

One of the main reasons I was so keen, was because I’d just been sick with a bad infection, and had a root canal and I was tired of healing and resting. I really wanted to get going with my health and weight loss goals!!

Guess what happened this week? I got sick again.

And though it was an inconvenience and I didn’t accomplish my mini goals or plans for all my workouts, I did have a few interesting discoveries about myself.

Mostly when I’ve been sick in the past I usually take 1 of 2 routes:
A: Push through, pretend I’m ok, take some meds and try to ignore being sick, or
B: Wallow in my sickness untill it goes away. Also ignoring how I really feel.
Both are equally not so effective. And in neither one do I really take care of myself and listen to my body.

I find when I’m sick, I really just don’t want to be, I feel week, puffy, sore, tired, angry and not ‘perfect’ (a major complex of mine.) I just want to feel healthy and energized so I can have fun and keep functioning.

But all that energizer bunny-ing persistence, which is great for making things happen and working hard, can also be detrimental.

So much of my time and energy goes to ‘being ok’ ALL THE TIME. Not showing weakness, pretending a lot, and not caring for myself in a loving way. I often opperate in a ‘do more, be better’ way.  I’ve become pretty good at ignoring my body or my feelings, when that serves me. Which is helpful when my feet hurt but I need to push through the last two hours of a serving shift, or when I have a headache or cramps but I have an audition. I drive though the discomfort, but without listening, without reading the road signs saying; ‘Remember to feed me nutrients’, or ‘Please give me 8 hours of sleep tonight!’

Listening. An exercise I could use more practice in.
(Granted I’m pretty good at listening to my body when it’s telling me it wants chocolate…)

I’ve discovered it’s more about translating rather than listening. If I took constant care for my body and listened to it, how it felt, what it needed and wanted, how certain foods feel or how much sleep is required to function, then I might not get sick so often!

This week I was reminded of what I’ve always believed, but forget in the moment; we don’t get sick for no reason.  Either we learn something, have time slow down or take a new approach to our health.

How do you function when you’re sick? Do you listen to your own body’s feelings, wants and needs? The balance is doing that, while still being operational and successful.
I think it takes baby steps, check ins with one’s self, and perhaps treating ourselves a little bit like we are kids again.

A few months ago, I read a Women’s Health Magazine article about Heather Morris and she said ate like a kid. She aimed to diet like she would feed her six or ten year old self.

Food for thought:
Would you constantly give a six year old food filled with chemicals? Would you starve them or eat at random, unpredictable times? Would you deny them the enjoyment of a few treats here and there? Would you give them all the sleep and vitamins they needed?

This sounds like a lovely way to live, with love, and care for ourselves and enjoyment for life. It’s going to be my new approach to how I eat, and treat myself; with love and joy! Of course I like a lot more foods and flavours now than I did when I was six, so I’ll be adding a little spice to that mix but still translating how that feels for me.

I would love to hear your thoughts about how you care for yourself with love, good food and fun exercise. It can be applied to exercise too; I jumped skip rope with my nieces yesterday and it was so much fun!

Also, if you have any topics you would like me to cover and rant about, suggestions and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

Hug your six year old self for me, and have a great weekend in the sun!

Xox
Jane

Working with Physio

I’ve been training people for many years now and I’ve dealt with a lot of injury rehabilitation. Working in partnership with Physiotherapists is common when it comes to injuries and the two together can be very beneficial. I currently have a client in this boat trying to fix an old injury. She is doing her training with me but also seeing a physiotherapist a couple of days a month.

If you’ve ever been in this situation, it’s important to make sure your trainer and physio communicate so they can work together. In a very general sense, trainers will work on the bigger muscles and larger movement patterns while physio’s will work on the smaller muscles and movements. Yes, it’s all in the same body, but if you don’t get the two working together, they can actually cause more harm than good.

Constantly working larger movement patterns without concern for the finner ones can lead to further problems and compensation. Instead of fixing the issue, you end up just working around it or building over it. It’s the short cut way to dealing with injuries and never works out in the end. Communication between the physiotherapist and trainer is the key to a successful recovery.

Working together allows everyone to be on the same page and have the sessions compliment rather than oppose each other. It also allows you to fix the problem and build up new strength at the same time. Bottom line, if you’re in a rehabilitation phase, make sure your trainer is working with your Physio to optimize your success.

I can’t help the extremes

I was having a great meeting with a company the other day and a question came up about how I help certain individuals. They recognized that there was a limitation to online coaching and that it doesn’t provide enough motivation that some people need. Some people need a trainer with them while they work out to really push them to work hard. This is very true, but it leads to what I call a dependancy relationship.

Beyond the relationship that personal training creates with most of it’s clients, there are certain people in this world that I just can’t help. They are the extremes, and they’ll be in any industry. The key is to recognize them, and not waste your efforts on thinking you can help them. Also, the good news is that they usually know for themselves if they are an extreme case. This can actually be a great quality to have, because then you know who you are and who you’re not.

On one end of the fitness spectrum is the fully dedicated. This is the person that gets up at 5 or 6am every day and does something active. They’ll go to a gym, yoga, personal training, crossfit, the pool or a run. It doesn’t really matter what they do, but they’re gonna do something. Even if their workout partner or trainer doesn’t show up, they’ll just do some push ups on a park bench or go for a run. Rain or shine, nothing stops this extremem case!

The other end of the spectrum is the fully content. This is the person that is totally cool with their body, their health, their activity level and the fact that they aren’t interested in doing much about it. They love life, eat what they wan’t, and just don’t like any type of exercise. It just doesn’t make a difference to them one way or another. They may try a class here or there or even hire a trainer, but in the long run, it’s just not something they’re interested in.

The reality is, these people are what they are and they will continue to be that way no matter what. As mentioned above, they may hire a trainer here and there, and in those cases I can help them short-term, but I’m not going to put efforts into chasing them down and showing them ‘the way’. When it comes to the extremes, I just can’t help.

Do you know where you are an extreme? What areas of your life are you 100% rain or shine and what areas are you just not interested?

Nutritional Inflammation

I read a great article the other day written by a heart surgeon about chronic inflammation in our bodies. Dr. Lundell states that chronic inflammation comes from “the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.”

It appears that the low fat diet we’ve been pushed all these years is actually harming us rather than helping us.

What I like most in the article is his descriptive terms for visualizing the damage created by inflammatory foods. He writes “Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding and you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury.” This is what these foods do inside our body.

I always try and inform my clients that it’s not only the ‘fattening’ effect of food that matters, but that many of the foods we eat are physically damaging to the lining of our digestive track. This leads to inflammation in our body and eventually autoimmune diseases if we continue to consume these damaging foods. However, sometimes we need to hear it from our doctor before we do anything, so here is what Dr. Lundell suggests:

“What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.”

What’s your experience with nutritional inflammation? Post thoughts in comments.