I’m still alive!

I know it has been a while since I posted last. I’ve been pretty much hibernating during the colder months 🙂 I ended up getting pretty bad SAD this winter and didn’t have much of an interest in anything.

Now that it is spring and the clocks have gone ahead, I have started feeling a little better.

My son has finally had his autism clinic. He managed to get in a few months early due to a cancellation. Results were not what we expected. He meets the criteria for diagnosis but they are holding off a diagnosis because they noticed odd behaviours during the assessment and want him to see a neuropsychologist and a neurologist to rule out other factors that may be mimicking autism before they make the diagnosis. Understandable…but without the diagnosis, we get no help at school. Without help it is a full time job of having to make sure he doesn’t fall behind.  It will be many months before he will get refferals and see specialists.

BUT…the school counselor understands our concerns and has a meeting set up to see if she can get him the help without the diagnosis.  He is now starting to get occupational therapy and is back on the waiting list for counselling. So things are starting to come together.

As for myself, I’ve been back to working out consistently for the last 8 weeks. I just finished Fitness Blender’s 8 week FBFit and will be starting FBBooty and FBAbs on Monday. I’m excited. I’ve gained weight over the winter. More than I am comfortable with. I am looking forward to dropping that and getting more active this summer.

So that is about all for now. Just thought I would make a post with a quick update.

 

 

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Life & Food’s Pure Garcinia Cambogia Premium Extract with 80% HCA Review

Garcinia Cambogia has been a pretty popular supplement since a certain doctor praised it on his television show as being a miracle weight loss pill. You see it EVERYWHERE! Online stores, web banners, popups, YouTube etc. Despite it being so popular, does it really work?

First, let’s talk about what Garcinia Cambogia is. It is a tropical fruit which also goes by the name Malabar tamarind. The rind of the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which studies show helps burn fat and decrease appetite.

I admit, I was once sucked into the hype and purchased a few bottles on Amazon.com. They were really cheap, and I couldn’t wait to try them.  Sad to say, after taking a 3-month supply of them, I had been disappointed. I did not have any loss of appetite or weight…just loss of money.

So as a result of my failed experience with using Garcinia Cambogia, I of course blew it off as being a scam.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I was invited by the company Life & Food to apply to review their Garcinia Cambogia Premium Extract 1400mg with 80% HCA for free and provide my honest opinion. Due to my past experience with taking Garcinia Cambogia, I was skeptical but since I needed to lose a few pounds, I decided to give it a try.  The company claims that their product is safe and effective and has no artificial ingredients, soy, wheat, shellfish, peanuts or dairy.

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I followed the direction on the bottle and was taking it a half an hour before my lunch and dinner every day. I noticed a major change in my appetite from day 1.  I am the type of person that thinks about my next meal while eating my current one. I am obsessed with food. Several times I had found myself looking at the clock and realizing that it was past meal time. I would normally be checking every few minutes to see if it was time to eat yet.

After a few days, I stepped on the scale and was down about a half of a pound. Nothing major, but since I have less than 15 pounds to lose, the weight doesn’t come off in large amounts. I was pretty excited.

About a week after taking it, I had come down with a cold that rendered me useless for about a week. My workouts were pretty short and low impact, and I ate a few more comfort foods. I really expected to gain weight, but I was surprised to see that I maintained the weight I was at.

So now, after taking it a few weeks, I feel like my clothes are fitting better. I have less desire to eat every waking minute like I had in the past. I am still at the half a pound weight loss, but I am happy with that. I started a new strength training routine and started taking creatine which causes water retention, so I do think that I have lost weight and fat off my body despite the lack of change on the scale.

What I learned was that Garcinia Cambogia can indeed work if you purchase it from a reputable company. Avoid buying cheap bottles from Amazon, deal websites, eBay, etc because you never know what may be in them or if they work. You’re just wasting your money. I would highly recommend Life & Food’s Garcinia Cambogia. It is available for purchase on Amazon.ca here.

Disclaimer: This product was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions posted are that of my own.

On the Hunt for the Perfect Fitness Band

I like wearing fitness bands. I like how they tell me approximately how many calories I am burning each day, how much I am moving, how much I am sleeping, etc.

For my first fitness band, I put a lot of effort into finding the band that would be the best fit for me. After months of looking, I settled on the BodyMedia Fit Link. I loved it. It had more sensors than other bands on the market and the studies showed that it was the most accurate tracker on the market. It did have some downfalls, like having to wear it on your upper left arm at all times (which left a dent in my bicep that is still there months later!) and it had some issues with syncing. It also had a monthly subscription fee of $, which I’d rather not pay. My band is currently on its last legs, it almost lasted 2 years though. I am looking for a replacement that has the same features and sensors.

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My BodyMedia Fit Link during its last days

So far I have found only two bands that have the same sensors that I want my new band to have (Galvanic Skin Response, and the Skin Temperature). A band with a heartrate monitor and accelerometer only like a FitBit won’t cut it for me.

One of the ones I found was the Microsoft Band, which I did purchase and resold because the smallest size was still way too big for me. Without it fitting snug, the accuracy was way off. It was a pretty nice band though that had many features. I just wish the wrist band was more adjustable. The Band 2 is in the works though, so maybe that will fix that issue.

The other band that I am currently looking at is the Jawbone UP 3, which is now available in Canada. Jawbone is the same company that now owns the BodyMedia Fit Link, so I assume it would be the closest match to what I want since it has the same sensors. The only problem is that reviews for the product and their customer service are for the most part, horrible.

So now the hunt is on for a new fitness band. Do you have any suggestions, recommendations? Anyone have any experience with the Jawbone UP 3? Please let me know in the comments 🙂

I’m Getting My Own Room + Other Updates

No, not my own bedroom, but my own workout room! My own gym so to speak. I’m pretty excited about this!

We’ve decided to build a new garage this summer and originally I was going to have my own loft space for workouts but due to spacing and the weight amount, it was decided that instead of putting in a loft, we’d add length to make my own room. It won’t be overly big at 10 x 16, but big enough for me! In that space I will also be getting a homemade power rack built, so I will be able to do so much more. Right now I have a squat rack with safety pegs but I don’t feel safe with it.

It won’t be started or finished for a few months though.

Other than that, I have been taking it somewhat easy for the past week or two. I’ve started a new 4 day split routine and have been evaluating my macros. I’ve been adding in more fat to my diet and have been feeling more satiated as a result, but now I’m just waiting to see if that gives me an increase on the scale. Although Keto makes me feel so much better, I find it hard to get in a deficit with it to lose. I’ve been contemplating switching to a If it Fits Your Macros style of eating (IIFYM). We’ll see. Trial and error for now.

Since my kids have been out of school, I’ve had a pretty empty house. My boys are visiting their grandparents which is over 4 hours away. My oldest son comes home tomorrow and will be leaving again the day after for Army Cadet camp for three weeks. My youngest son decided to stay longer with his grandparents. So it is just me and the cats.

So that is about it. Nothing too exciting. Until next time…

Slowly but surely

I originally started out with Stronglifts 5 x 5 at the beginning of April with the intention to gain strength and burn fat.  I quickly realized that this isn’t a program I can maintain for safety reasons.  I do my workouts at home and the catches on my squat rack are a little too short for me to feel safe squatting. I plan on getting a power rack built in the future. I do my bench presses without collars so I can tilt if needed.

For now I am lifting at challenging weights so I can improve myself but not going for PRs.  I am now looking into different workout routines that can be used at home. I’d like to try a 3 day split or even a 5 day routine.  If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.  Slowly but surely…

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Still use this great app though! If you are doing StrongLifts 5×5, I highly recommend getting it and paying to unlock the warmup and the plate math features. Makes it so much easier!

Maintaining and Improving

Back in May of 2011, I had felt worst than I have ever had in my life. Along with having anxiety and depression, I was overweight and unhealthy. I was smoking more than a pack of cigarettes a day, and eating non-stop.

One day, out of the blue, I decided that all had to change. Right then and there.

I had previously read the book ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’ by Allen Carr and it prepared me to quit, but I was just scared of trying. This time I was ready. I figured if I was going to quit smoking, I should quit eating unhealthy, too. So I did. I was pretty surprised that I did not crave cigarettes at all. Not a bit, and I still don’t. The only thing I missed was the habit of it.

As for eating healthy, that was pretty easy, too. I originally followed ‘The 17 Day Diet’, which I found pretty simple to follow. I owe a lot of the simplicity to motivation because I felt a lot of it at the time. I was determined to reach my goal…

…and I did. I went from 228lbs (I am sure it is more than this, it is the number I had in MyFitnessPal on my first attempt to lose weight. I gained more after) to 116lb in a year.

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Before and After (now at 135)

Up until May of 2014, I pretty much ate what I wanted but watched my calorie amounts and continued to stay active. I was healthier but felt I needed to do more. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and my symptoms started worsening. I did a lot of research about the issue and in the end, I decided to follow a Ketogenic diet. It is a high fat, low carb (HFLC) way of eating. I still follow to this day, a year later. It has helped a lot of my PCOS symptoms and has given me a lot more energy.  I am still learning about this way of eating. I’ve gained some weight back in the process of determining which macros were best for me, along with some weight gain from a strength training regime that I started.

As of right now, I am looking to drop a few pounds and build strength. I am lifting heavy 3 days a week and still do cardio exercise. I love learning and trying new types of workouts, supplements, and products related to health and fitness, so I will probably start adding reviews on products I have tried or will try in the future.

I’d love to hear from my readers about their experiences with weight loss, experience with a keto diet, recommendations for products/workouts, etc.  Let me know your tips and thoughts below. Thanks!