Why I get jealous of my boyfriend

Picture this… you’ve been marinating strips of beef for a day now in a mixture of soya sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, garlic and ginger. While you start sizzling the meat in the wok, your broccoli is being steamed in a nearby pot. Your pasta is just about ready too as all the delicious aromas waft around your kitchen.

The meal comes together harmoniously and you ready yourself to plate the dishes for you and your 6’7 boyfriend… then you immediately feel the surge of jealousy that has been plaguing you at every meal time. He gets SO MUCH MORE FOOD THAT YOU.

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I’m talking my all-time faves too – my mom’s curried chicken, scalloped potatoes, turkey dinners, lasagna…So much delicious, lovingly prepared, amazing food goes onto his plate while you get a measly ½ cup of pasta, 3 oz of meat… and the same amount of broccoli as him… but WHO CARES about that ruffage. * cue tantrum worthy of a 4-year-old trying to convince mom get fruit loops in aisle 3 of Super C *

Like most flabletes, I only care about what my taste buds want and that is all the savoury goodness of meat and carbs. They say that fear is one of the most (if not THE most) powerful motivator and adrenaline born from fear etches those memories into your brain forever. Honestly, the endorphins released from savoring a perfectly layered Skor trifle have given my fear hormones a run for their money. So, this led me to formulate my hypothesis that my taste buds were in control of my food intake, because of SCIENCE – and I am obviously a scientist since I used words like endorphins and adrenaline, so you can DEFINETELY trust everything I am spewing out here 🙄.

K – so what I do actually know, is that I formed some rather unhealthy eating patterns, not just because of what I ate but how much of it I would consume. Before our trip to the nutritionist, this was not a problem that was truly on my radar. Namely, because I would load up my plate with the same amount of food as on Taylor’s as pretended it was okay. I knew it was too much food at the time since my belly would be too full after every meal and I was lethargic. This poor portion control combined with the studying stress eating and rewarding weekend drinks were definite contributors to my 15 lbs weight gain.

Since the appointment, I’ve been more conscientious of portion sizes and I’ve recently redoubled my efforts since completing my MBA (so MUCH free time on my hands, man). I’m often eating on a smaller plate, measuring my portions when needed and silently dying inside as I watch Tay eat all the food I once did. I still trip up now and then (read: pudding is too good to avoid, or that roll of bread at a restaurant before a meal with melty butter…. drool), but forming a habit takes time and incremental changes. I’m going to celebrate my small victories for now and hope they snowball into bigger ones.  Happy for all advice you fellow flabletes might have to help me get that victory snowball clumpin’ or whatever they do to get bigger.

Bon apple-teeth folks

Dear Chin-ups,

From the moment
I stopped exhaling
And had to frog-kick my legs
to get one extra inch
Up over that bar
I knew one thing was real:

I fell in love(hate) with you.

Andddddddddd that’s about as much Black Mamba that I will plagiarize for now.

So, is it just me or do we all have that one effing exercise we just cannot master. And we think to ourselves…. Youuuuu B$TCH. I WILL BRING YOU TO YOUR KNEES AND YOU WILL BOW TO MY WILL. Then one day it just clicks and you wonder why you were yelling so much and now need a Fisherman’s friend.

For me, that exercise was chin-ups. Sure, rookie year in Uni, EVERYTHING (yelling again) was daunting. A bench-press bar that was donned with feather weights fell from my outstretched arms onto my chest for cripes sake. Hang-cleans sounded like something you did with a harness and a mop and a push-jerk was what you did when a boy was mean to your bestie. However, after a hard year of work, I was making gains on those exercises, bruh. Sick gains.

But not chin-ups. No sir-ee. Liz (if you don’t know who Liz is yet, please read this bad boy) – Liz had this annoying – read: worth while, amazing, smart – rule that you had to start your chin-ups from a hang. Like…full arm extension, feet hovering, dead hang.

At the end of year one, every fiber of my being would will me to lift myself out of said-hang… yet I would still just swing there. Frustrated. Sweaty. Sore from this frustrating isometric routine I had going.

Over the next few years, I had friends who would get a better biceps workout than my lats were getting as they hoisted me up during a ‘chin-up’. A chin-up assisting elastic band was helpful at first until one snapped straight up onto my rump and I had a welt for a week. I did negative chin-ups (jump up so your chin is over the bar and then gradually release back down to full arm extension over 10 seconds) til I was blue in the face and still… that initial lift off… URGH.

Then one day… poof. Like a 90s Pringles ad – once you pop, you can’t stop. I think I cranked out three that first day. Considering I was described by my coach as a ‘big bodied defenseman’, this was no small feat… and yet. CHIN UPS WERE MY BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH! YES.

By the end of year 5, I could do 8 of those suckers from a dead hang – though my last reps always did include a frog kick or two (woops).

So now you’re thinking… cool story Meghan. Well. It does not end there, flabletes.

5 years chin-up free and guess who is back where she started rookie year. She has 2 thumbs and weak lats – that’s right. This girl.

Not for much longer though. For the past couple of weeks now, myself and a few former Stingers have gotten together to workout in a park near our mutual place of employment. A park with a chin-up bar (or a jungle gym for little Billy. Whatever, the kid can wait).

So, Gabrielle can thank me advance for the great biceps workout she will get while I journey back to the land of chin-ups, but I am committed now more than ever to get back to where I was. Even if it means a bunch of negative chin-ups and the return of calloused palms.

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And we both know, no matter what I do next
I’ll always be that girl
With the frog kicks
Sweat on my brow
:05 seconds on the clock
Bar in my hands.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1

Love you always,
Kobe

(just kidding, still Meghan 🏀)

Nama-stay-on-my-couch and watch Netflix (no more)

enso

During my undergrad, I was enrolled in a course called ‘Yoga in history, thought and practice’ (1 class = I’m OBVIOUSLY an expert in all things yoga). There should have been a disclaimer in the course outline that there would be no actual yoga done in this religion class. BETRAYED.

It ended up being pretty effing hard for me since it was a 400-level class that greatly diverged from my normal Exercise Science classes – but still, I would take it again. To this day, I still remember the essence of Yoga Sutras and the Upanishads (collection of teachings that are pretty central to many South Asian traditions) and how versatile the interpretation of these were. The way I perceive this is that Yes, Yoga is for everyone and a great way to stay in shape – but it is humbling to be exposed to the teachings and roots behind our practices.  Especially since my solemn, deeply spiritual ‘practice’ historically entailed me sweating it up next to a lot of perfectly coiffed Westmount moms with Swarovski-encrusted S’well water bottles I could only afford by pawning my left kidney on the black market. #yogi

I digress. I’ve always done yoga, on and off – mostly off, judging by my current inability to touch my toes. Yoga is def one of those things that I keep promising myself to do more of (read: daily?) once I have the time. That, and a self-defense or krav maga class, a handy-woman class, a wilderness survival course, watercolor painting, weekend hikes… the list is long fellow flabletes, the list is long.

Serendipitously, my good friend Amanda (henceforth referred to as Pants), told me she had started to attend classes at Enso yoga on the reg since September and invited me to join her over the holidays. Challenge accepted, Pants.

In all honesty, I attended the first class alone, since I didn’t want Pants to see how deep into the flablete lifestyle I had fallen. Like, I didn’t even give her the heads up I was going. I wore all black, hid my face under a hat and hoped no one would recognize me walking in.

So yes, it was with much trepidation that I took to my mat that day – I very much expected that I would need to rest in child’s pose every 2 minutes or leave – BUT I DID IT! Got through with no breaks.

Did I do all the easiest variations? You bet your bottom-dollar I did.

Did I sweat like a moose in a muggy Montreal heat wave? Eff yes, friend.

But still – the feeling of accomplishment was invigorating and encouraging.  The instructor and staff at Enso were all very friendly and supportive too!

From January until mid-February, Pants and I were steadily attending 2 hot yoga classes per week (she got over my betrayal of attending without her… for the most part). Yoga classes were a nice change from watching ‘The Office’ on repeat from the comfort of my ass-groove in my couch. And let’s face it, it was great to end the day with a good workout in great company!

Then disaster struck in the form of midterms – deliverables due in all 3 classes in one very short week. I like to think that I manage my time fairly well – I haven’t had to pull an all-nighter during my entire MBA – but I do need to dedicate more hours of my weeknights/weekends to studying when examinations come around. So, despite loving how I was feeling, losing weight and enjoying the company of a good friend, when crunch-time came, exercise was the first thing I cut from my routine. The second was my meal-prepping time and third was my social life. Thankfully, Taylor picked up the slack on our food duties and I have very understanding and supportive friends/family.

Now we are 2 weeks removed from that hellish week; I’m helping out in the kitchen again and I’ve knocked back a few with my friends, but I still haven’t gone back to yoga. I tell myself I’m tired and I need a break, while I slowly watch my couch ass-groove deepen by the day. It’s just so hard to get going again…Why Jeebus, WHYYYYY!

According to Newton’s law of motion (NERD ALERT), an inertial force is a force that resists a change in velocity of an object. It is equal to—and in the opposite direction of—an applied force, as well as a resistive force. Basically, it is harder to get something to start moving than it is to keep it going once it has started. Same goes for my exercise regimen, so it would seem.

So, to get the ball (read: my ass) rolling again, I am committing to attend a Yoga class next week. Enso, Pants, I will see you there!

Namaste, flabletes 🧘

Catherine’s Story: A dance with Ronald

Hi flabletes – my friend and former workout buddy has written a new post for our enjoyment! She asks herself some pretty tough questions, discusses turning 30 in just a few short weeks and what is really important to her! Oh, and she dishes on her love for those golden arches. Check out her post here 🙂

Bryan’s story: motivation is key

A good friend of mine has graciously agreed to share his post-football flabletic story with us. Throughout our varsity years, Bryan could not only successfully recruit the entire complex for a karaoke night at the local watering hole, but he was also a strong competitor on the field – between grueling recoveries from two tough knee injuries.

Read his story here for insights on what motivates him now.

To carb, or not to carb, that is the question

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Photo by: Brodie Visser

Like me, I’m sure many of you have sought out the advice of Dr. Internet to lose weight in the past. Dr. Internet has ALL KINDS of solutions; from paleo regimes, to vegan lifestyles, to weight loss gummy bears and shake-weights.

Having a background in Exercise Science has definitely helped me navigate (read: effing avoid) the most fad-like and gimmicky recommendations out there – but I am by no means a certified nutritionist. I often find myself wondering things like: should I be reducing my carb consumption? How many eggs per day are good for you? Are the benefits of organic chicken titties really worth the 18$ needed to spend on 2 of those suckers?

So, I started thinking – when I need my car fixed, I see a mechanic; when I need my taxes done, I get an accountant (or Cath’s mom!) – why in the world am I trying to go at this weight-loss thing alone without professional input?

Therefore, in the spirit of decreasing the size of our barrels (aka tummies), and ensuring we live long and happy lives, Taylor and I decided to meet with a nutritionist. More like, I bullied Taylor into coming to an appointment with me…but I digress.

I found our nutritionist online at equipenutrition.ca. They have several convenient locations in Montreal and we chose to meet with one at l’UQAM (Université de Québec à Montréal). The cost was 115$ each, but luckily my benefits plan reimbursed me for a large chunk of that amount. If you are seeking the advice of a nutritionist and you’re on a tight budget, I implore you to check your benefits plan prior to booking in order to dodge any nasty surprises.

The appointment itself lasted 2 hours (1 hour each) and consisted of a myriad of questions about our backgrounds, habits, lifestyles, current eating patterns and our goals. We had to talk about the good, the bad and the downright embarrassing – that chocolate obsession I had? Yeah, Tay made sure to rat me out. I totally snitched about the copious amounts of butter he slathers on popcorn and his salty penchants. Post-interview, all of our cards were on the table and she knew our respective-kryptonites.

Next step in our meeting consisted of education and recommendations. Visual aids of bizzaro fake food were brought out to demonstrate appropriate portion sizes (to my hockey girls reading this – it reminded me of the mock-food in the Japan restaurant fronts). We discussed how many portions of starch, protein, milk products, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats were ideal for us each day. She made sure to let us know, in no uncertain terms, the pitfalls of drinking our calories. When we average 4-5 drinks per night out on the town, that’s an extra 600 calories to our day – never mind the nachos, nuggies and bar food we might consume alongside said-spirits. I obviously never thought my drinking habits were good for me; but eesh, it’s still a wake-up call.

Finally, we got to ask some questions – for instance, Taylor was reluctant to include carbs in his menu since he feels that he can slim down quicker without them. After ensuring that his aversion was not related to an intolerance, our nutritionist still insisted that healthy sources of starch be included in his regime – they represent a good source of fiber and help give that feeling of satiety – important for a big-cat like him.

I asked my all-important question – how much chocolate could I have? The answer was none for now, since I’m hoping to shed 1 to 2 lbs per week (a healthy rate to lose weight). In fact, refined sugars are not something I’m allowed to consume in my healthy eating pursuits at all. *Cue tantrum*

When we got home, we had already received an email outlining our personalized plans. We have appointments to check in soon – make sure we are on the straight and narrow waistline path and what not.

So that was our experience, in a nutshell. I really like the accountability and coaching aspects of this plan since it speaks to me and my days of Stingerhood-past – namely, how hard Liz would push us athletes to better ourselves. That magical woman, brought me from a 0 on the bench-press to a wonderful 14x95lbs  (if I could have had a negative starting score, I would have, she had to teach me what a bench-press was); 0 to 8 chin-ups and one of the fastest 40-yard dashes on my team. I always thank Liz when I see her for pushing me so hard and she humbly says it was ‘all you’ – but I know I could not have done it without her motivating guidance and high standards she set for me.

So here is to hoping that this new chapter, the nutritional challenge, proves just as fruitful (see what I did there…nutrition, FRUIT-ful… Haha); as my past athletic pursuits. Game on!

Your Stories!

I’m one of those people who does not shy away in social settings. While I know I can talk for days, I also love making new friends and listening to all they have to say – it’s how you learn and grow, right?!

I’m lucky to find myself surrounded by an array of people from all walks of life: lawyers, nurses, personal trainers, insurance workers, whiskey blenders, sports psychologists, teachers, full-time moms, students, consultants, film-makers, editors … the list is long! Each of these individuals have, at one point or another, taught me new concepts or offered new perspectives (and have made me laugh a LOT) – which I appreciate immensely.

These friends have also, to varying degrees, all fought the flablete fight – and what a good fight it is. We may have talked about our battles together, or not, but today I offer you a platform to voice your stories.

So, whether you are an old friend, new friend, or one that I have yet to make, I would love to hear from you. To this end, I’ve dedicated a whole section of my blog to YOU! Please visit my About You page for the first story from my dear Taylor. Not only does he put up with my lying to him about sneaky veggies (see my previous post below); but he now also agreed to lend his penmanship to my blog to inaugurate the new page.

Looking forward to hearing from you all too!

I lie to my boyfriend at least once a week

burger.JPGphoto source: https://www.veganricha.com/2016/03/lentil-walnut-rice-burgers.html 

Don’t get your panties in a bunch – I’m doing it for his (our) health.

My loving bf, Taylor, is quite the fan of meat and potatoes. I’m also mostly carnivorous, but try to incorporate veggies into most of our meals or even sprinkle some vegan/vegetarian dishes here and there within our menu too. One of my issues with the meatless dishes is that I have this huge aversion to mushrooms and I feel like a lot of recipes call for that slime-ball-fungus as a base/ source of protein. YUCK. Maybe I just don’t know how to cook them… but no. Gag.

Another less visceral issue is that during semester, I find myself being more prudent in the kitchen and sticking to recipes that I know. My busy schedule takes the brunt of the blame for my procrastination of learning the art of meatless cooking. However, this is a hurdle that I can overcome. I think that I am just intimidated by the fact that this cuisine is something new – because there ARE simple and fast vegan recipes available out there. Change can be so scary; but it shouldn’t stop you from trying new things (I am still talking about vegetables, right?).

So – in the spirit of adventure, at the end of a long day you will find me stalking Pinterest, googling recipes or watching YouTube videos of the Edgy Veg and her vegan creations. I’m actually pretty obsessed with the Edgy Veg for several reasons:

1- her meals look amazing and the ones that I have tried TURNED OUT WELL, which is a big deal.

2- she makes it look fun; but I can tell how much hard work she puts into this with her beau

3- she’s gorg and part of me probably just wants to be her.

I started small with her ginger turmeric shots in the morning and then moved on to her roasted sweet potato sandwiches.

I’ve started to toy with the idea of marinating tofu and putting together a vegetarian lasagna…but I don’t get much support for my stepping away from the meat+carb+side veg combo. Basically, when I suggest a meatless meal for dinner, Tay makes a face, stomps off, pouts, cries and throws a tantrum (for those who know my 6’7 broad-shouldered better half, this is a funny visual for you. You’re welcome).

So, for about the past 6 months, I have been sneaking meatless meals into our lives and just not telling him. LIES!!!!

Sometimes, he’s onto me. Other times I totally get away with it.

One of my favorite veggie-sneaks was these Mandarin Chick’n nuggets that he had nooooo idea weren’t chicken for a solid 4-5 months. And no, Gardein did not pay my unknown-ass for a sound bite.

Anyway, I was buying them about once or twice a month and we were loving these crispy yummy nugs. Then one day, we were shopping together, and he said: ‘Ou, let’s get some of those nuggies’ – as we were walking through the frozen MEAT section. Of course, we couldn’t find them there cause these puppies are housed in the frozen veggie aisle. When we found them with the vegetables, I lied horrendously that they were organic chicken, so they belong with natural food and, lord love him, Tay accepted this as the truth. To his defense, they really do taste like chicken and are super good.

Taylor recently discovered my subterfuge when I over-zealously bragged to one of our friends; who then proceeded to declare my deceit out loud in front of him (damn you Sabrina!😜). He was pretty devastated, but we’ve still eaten them a few times since I was found out. They’re that good.

I’ve also tried duping him with sweet potato quinoa tacos, vegetarian chili, a homemade vegetable burger (he was SO MAD about those burgers… poor guy wanted beef and bacon) and a few others – see my burgeoning recipes section for inspiration on how  you can lie to your significant other too.

What kinds of recipes do you like? Please share your experiences and favorite meals with me 😊

 

 

Melissa’s Story: Be kind to yourself

Happy FriYAY flabletes – I hope everyone had a great week.

So, if you read my last post ‘Nama-stay-on-my-couch and watch Netflix (no more)‘; you knew that I had set the goal for myself to attend a yoga class this week. Well guess what… I didn’t.

I had class on Monday, Thursday and tonight… Tuesday was impromptu bridesmaid dress shopping session and group work and Wednesday I stayed late in the office and needed a night off (dare I say deserved a night off?). Anyway, I was feeling like caca💩 about myself and confided in my friend and MBA cohort, Melissa. Lo and behold, she was familiar with the feeling too and had some very sound advice.  Be kind to yourself.

Smart lady, right? Read more about her story and approach here