We found a waterfall that we haven’t visited within travelling distance in Ontario. Its called Balls Falls in Lincoln Ontario. It’s our first official hike of the year. I joined a challenge called “January Hiking Challenge” to get out at least five times in January for an Ontario Hike.
I normally pick my best photo from the bunch, or my most beloved, and post to instagram. But I always think all the photos are so pretty, so instead I’ll be writing a blog post about each of these hiking trails with lots of beautiful imagery.
Balls Falls is actually a pretty easy hike. There are multiple trails with the longest at a max of 1.7km.
The trails were pretty mucky… so very slippery, especially without proper shoe attire. But I wanted there to be at least a light snow fall for our first hike of the year. Even if it followed days on rain.
The conservatory was so pretty with a lot of historical buildings. We definitely want to come back when the park has all facilities open. As you can see below, we took a sneak peak inside the buildings!
There are actually two waterfalls at this location. A lower one that is a short walk from parking….near all the historical buildings. Another is at the end of the loop of the longest trail.
I didn’t capture the upper waterfall unfortunately! My phone died right as we got to the lookout point. I normally plug in my phone in the car since the navigation kills my phone. Ah! Lessons learned.
I hope you enjoyed coming along with me on this hike. Let me know you enjoyed this type of blog post by liking or commenting below!!
Most people agree that 2020 has been a sh*t show of a year. Like most, my goals for 2020 were wildly thrown off track; but there are three things I’ve learned in 2020 that I want to bring with me into the New Year.
I had so many goals for 2020. I had my beautiful new agenda (that went to waste) to keep track of my progress and everything I wanted to get done. My goals were mostly towards getting sh*t done that I have been sitting on for awhile and health goals. Consistently 2020 threw me for a loop in terms of what I had planned for myself.
1. Ability to fail with grace and forgiveness
I have always picked myself up after my failures… its just a minor set back until I succeed. I am a very goal oriented person, and I will always pick myself up after a failure and try again. BUT, I can be very hard on myself.
2020 gave me a reason to fail with grace and forgiveness. No one was expecting that everyone keep succeeding at the same pace they were before, we were all stressed out by the current world we live in.
So when I consistently fell off, tried again, fell off, decided to make baby (I mean BABY) steps… until i saw progress in ONE thing at a time. I always fell back to forgiving myself and trying again. I want to keep this grace moving into the New Year. Leave obsession behind and lead with grace.
2. Early Morning Intentions
A major factor that helped me keep trying last year was waking up early (I mean 5am, and I don’t have to log into work at home until 9am). Each morning I would wake up when my little family was still sleeping, make myself a coffee, reflect, listen to the news, and workout.
This had an amazing effect on my moods. I have never been a morning person. In fact, I would be the coworker that would ask why you were smiling in the morning (obviously only to people that “got me” and would just laugh like “oh, tash.”) Until I had my coffee, work and pleasantries had to wait.
When I had a morning to reflect and workout prior to speaking with anyone or starting work. I was smiling, I was extremely up beat and a ‘Morning Person’.
This took a tremendous amount of effort on my part, as it goes against my natural rhythm. If I went to bed when my body told me… I would go to bed around 2 and wake up at 10am.
But as a early riser, I was happier and more productive as I already got my workout in as the sun came up.
I started reading again. I found books on our book shelf that didn’t have a cracked spine, and blew threw them. I purchased a number of indigenous novels about the Indian Act and feminism. With all the racial tension that happened throughout 2020, I had a awakening inside to connect with my heritage. And I did this through reading, learned alot of history and had lots of discussions with my man on our shared experiences.
Since I started reading, a member of my team at work offered up a meditation novel to borrow. Previously, I might have passed but so many people of suggested that I would love meditation… so I gave it a shot. Although the language (based in love and religion) doesn’t suit me, I learned to read underneath the language to the principles of what was being taught. I realized that alot of the meditation techniques, I practiced myself in keeping up with my mental health.. naturally. I took what I hadn’t been practicing and added to my repertoire.
My reading this year definitely lead to an enlightenment of my spirit and mind and I want to continue this growth into the new year.
Thanks for reading, I hope that what 2020 has taught you will stay with you into the New Year!
So I’ve been sitting on this blog post for awhile. I have been noticing changes to my body composition, as I was putting on muscle but the scale wasn’t moving. Let’s talk about that!
Since I have been sharing my fitness journey online, mostly instagram stories, people started to mention that they are noticing changes to my body as well. That told me that people may be ready for this post.
This is my second fitness journey, the first was quite awhile ago and my goal was to lose weight. I broke down weight loss to its bare basics that caloric deficit = weight loss… no matter the nutrition or the loss of muscle along the way. I just wanted to see the scale shrink.
I didn’t want to land in that obsessive behavior again this time on my fitness journey, so I did a lot more research on nutrition and started incorporating small healthy changes to my diet [more on this later]. My goal this time was to be toned, and gain muscle mass.
I started this journey midst the pandemic, because like I alot of people I gained a pandemic 15 pounds. The road wasn’t easy, and I fell off a lot of times. I am an emotional eatter and being stuck at home during a tumultuous time just meant that I was a couch potatoe and ate a bunch of junk . So instead of getting upset that I couldn’t get that under control, I decided to make my goal consistent workouts. So the first few months, I just focused on getting my workout in and working on bettering my form and getting stronger. I would celebrate every day I got up and moved even if I ate bad.
My nutrition was maybe like 50/50 for eating healthy and then days of Mcdonalds/pizza/chips etc. But I built myself consistently to become quite active, even working out twice a day. The extra calories actually became effective for building muscle.
Once I started seeing changes in my body and abilities in my workouts, I stepped on the scale. Absolutely no change….nothing. that was very disheartening but I was perplexed and decided to check my measurements. There it was…my body was changing, inches were being lost but the scale wasn’t moving. I was turning my fat to muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.
Just take a peak at these two photos. The left is 162 at the beginning of the year pre-pandemic weight gain. The right is 171 after turning fat into muscle. This was absolutely shocking to me, my measurements were close to before my weight gain but I was ten pounds heavier!! If I just focused on the scale, I would have took a deep dive into depression because I wasn’t seeing results.
But my experience with tracking my weight via scale only and tracking without has taught me the scale is pure fuckery… for the following reasons.
1. Muscle Mass – muscle weighs more than fat. And just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean you are not showing results as per the photo above.
2. Natural fluctuations – your body naturally varies weight during the day and month. This would throw me for a loop when I was obsessively tracking it daily. You weigh more at night. After a salty or bad meal you’ll see weight gain that will be gone in a day or two. And for women, we gain during our time of the month. I gain two pounds and two inches of bloat around my waist. If I didn’t know this, I could see it being very disheartening for someone tracking their weight only by scale.
3. Mental Health- as I have been demonstrating above…the scale can have negative effects on your mental health and it can become an obsession or even throw your whole day off. Don’t step on the scale. Keep moving towards your goals daily. Its much better to track your results once you start to notice change, as a mood booster that your hard work is paying off. If you dont see results on the scale – check some things i mentioned: are your clothes fitting better? Your measurements better? Have you had a bad meal? Are you carrying bloat? This ALL matters and factors into how you should respond to that number.
With all that being said, some of you have come for the result comparison photos. So here they are!!
Weight loss: 178 to 171 [7 pounds]
Arms: from 13 inches to 12
Chest: no change
Waist: 35 inches to 34
Hips: 44.5 inches to 45 [gained some booty muscle]
Thighs: 26 inches to 24
I’m so proud of how far I’ve come..especially since I didn’t take it all on at once. I just focused on being active even if I couldn’t get my eating under control during a stressful time. The workouts helped with my moods as well. Win win!!
Now that I have my workouts down, I have decided to start my “cut.” Meaning that I will be shedding off the fat around the muscle I have built. This means that my next two months will be focusing on my nutrition. Nutritious meals at least 5/7 days of week. And I will be changing up my workouts as well. No more two a days with weights and cardio, instead it will be a single HIT insanity workout.
Check back in a couple months with me. See if I have been able to stick to nutritious meals, which admittedly will be hard for me. See if I am able to stick to the Insanity Workout program, because historically I haven’t been able to. This will be a true test for me…these next few months.
I would really appreciate any support and encouragement!
Last blog post we talked about the breaking point to starting back on a healthy lifestyle to lose weight. I stated that I would keep you updated so you can watch my progress, instead of just seeing my results at the end. So today’s post is journal-ling the ups and downs of the first month of 2020 and how it’s going!!
I have been keeping myself accountable with a two different methods:
Tracking my workouts and my food within Samsung Health
This has helped tremendously to ensure I am getting enough nutrition at a caloric deficit. I do not adhere to any specific weight loss diets… I eat carbs, I eat fat, and I eat meat although I have definitely cut down on my consumption of specific types of meat.
It has also helped me to ensure I am burning enough calories throughout the day. I have a goal of an additional 750 calories a day to be burned by physical activity. I track my heart rate to ensure I am within my optimal calorie burning range for my age.
2. Tracking my daily and monthly goals within an agenda
Each morning and before bed I track what I need to get done tomorrow: which workouts, which errands etc. Then at the end of the day, I review again to see what I have accomplished. It helps to feel proud to cross off those daily small goals each day. To see your week fill up with goals made – it is definitely a continuous motivator for me.
I also set monthly goals for myself. In January my goals were: workout 6 days a week, cut back on alcohol consumption [non-nutritional calories that you just don’t need], blog/insta my fitness journey. Having monthly goals helps keep my eye set for the future, so if i have a bad day and I dont make my daily goals….it’s ok because I am still working towards a monthly goal. One day cannot break me.
So that begs the question: HOW IS IT GOING?!
I have hit 2 of the three goals. I have definitely cut back on my alcohol consumption. Switching a night cap to a wind down routine to help me get to sleep. I worked out 14/31 days – with an allotted 4 days of rest that means I made about 52% of my goal. Not exactly the greatest…. but what is funny is my mind set was SO MUCH better. I felt good, I felt I was making progress; hitting goals! That has ultimately stopped my inevitable falling off and giving up!
I will say that I got the flu in January and as I have asthma, I tend to go done down for a minimum of two weeks. There was a week where I couldn’t even get out of bed… the weakness and the fever had me faint as soon as I stood up. And because I didn’t have the energy to cook – I was also ordering in Junk Food [haha oops]. That being sad, when I started to feel better I craved healthy meals and gym time. GREAT news – my body was starting to ask for my healthy changes rather than craving for chips and an exhausted lay down on the couch.
Lastly, i have definitely been keeping accountable through my insta/blogging. Everyday I make sure to story my daily fitness journey on instagram, and it’s helped keep my daily routine fun!
My new goal for February is CONSISTENCY.
Workout more days than January [ I didn’t want to put a number on it… because I knew myself and I would over stress about not hitting it. SO what’s the next best thing, compete with yourself. Just do better than January]
Less alcohol consumption than January [Keeping with the same motif and competing with my previous self. I previously had goals to cut out alcohol consumption entirely, and as soon as a weekend came around or I had a hard day at work and fell off. I immediately failed. This time, I’m setting small goals that lead to a larger goal]
More Blog Posts I have more fitness presence on instagram as it’s a quick and easy method. But I want to be consistent here on the blog as well!
Overall thoughts? I haven’t fallen off my 2020 new years resolutions, to the contrary I feel MORE motivated then I did when I started. Working out is like a drug…honestly… it has such an addictive positive effect on your life. Next Month is going to be even better – LET’S GET IT!!!!