Eva’s Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge…

…To Be Beautiful!

Eva Redpath’s 21 Day New Years Challenge helps you start making the right choices towards living a healthy lifestyle

If there were a time to make a change, the time is NOW! You owe it to yourself to make your health and well being a priority. Things worth doing seldom come easy, this will require some effort.

You will have good days, and you will have days when you ask yourself why? Those are the days where by answering the question will turn the focus back to you. For this is a lifestyle change, that will have a great effect on YOU.

With motivation, determination and the right tools change will come. Trust, and believe in the incredible power of positive thoughts and your mind.

The start of something new brings the hope of something great! You have the power to make a change…I challenge you!

For more information and to join the challenge email me at eva@evaredpath.com

Taking part in the challenge? Leave your comments, feedback and results here:



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58 Responses to “Eva’s Real Women’s Lifestyle Challenge…”

  1. Shelly Says:

    Good morning!
    I’m starting the challenge today!
    I just had some grapes for a snack and I’m heading to lunch time yoga at noon!!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Thank you for excepting the Challenge Shelly. A little Inspiration for you:
      “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch-what make you go beyond the norm.”

      Eva

  2. Julianna Says:

    Yesterday, was my first day of the challenge. Today, I fought the urge to take a nap and did 21 sit-ups instead. haha Now, I’m wide awake, ready to tackle the laundry pile!

  3. shabreen Says:

    hey eva!
    so, i officially started this challenge last saturday, but after you raised the stakes in monday’s class, i decided to post it on here starting this week.
    some days have been harder than others, but one thing that i’m really proud of is that i’ve worked out for at least an hour everyday, sometimes twice a day if it was a day that i also had your classes, or had my boot camp sessions. i’ve also introduced running into my routine every other day, which was a big deal for me since i’m more of the “speed walk on the treadmill” type, lol. i’ve been walking more too, and taking the stairs at work instead of the elevators.
    i’ve been watching what i eat more and using portion control, but one thing that i’ve found is that since i’ve been working out more, i’m a lot hungrier than usual. any tips? i have been having snacks like yogert or fruit between meals and make sure that i eat breakfast everyday, but i still feel famished most of the time.
    anyways, thats enough for now, but i’ll email you my entries for the past week once i have them all typed out.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Shabreen, awesome start!

      Try to eat 5-6 small meals a day. (Breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks)
      Also, eat on a consistent schedule.

      Build each meal with a lean protein and 1-2 natural carbs.
      Your snacks sound great – Fruits, yogourt, nuts, shakes. ONLY NATURAL FOODS for snacks. Snacks wrapped in plastic are a NO NO!

      Lots of water…being hungry is ok…its your body adjusting to its new portion sizes.

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  4. Serah Says:

    Challenge: To be able to run 10K for my company’s annual fundraiser run this coming April. For the sake of this challenge, my goal is to be able to run 8K without at the end of 21 days.

    Strengths: When I’m passionate about something, it’s easy for me to stay committed.

    Weaknesses: Procrastination, Portion control, urge to sleep on a full stomach… not to mention dark chocolate and Ice cream (someone gave me a box of Godiva for Christmas and that stuff you just can’t throw away!!

    A little background…
    Before Eva’s classes I could not imagine being able to run without quitting after the first 15 minutes (I’d give up once I felt cramps and shortness of breath). Since puberty I struggled with my weight, well into high school… During university I decided to take action and tried my share of fad diets (weight loss herbal teas, low carb celebrity-assured diets), took a few pilates classes, and join several gyms; hoping for fast, easy results. I did lose weight, but sure enough, slowly gained it back and then some (guess that’s why they call it yoyo diets!). I started Eva’s in Sept. 2008, alongside my good friend, and honestly after the first class I was thinking to myself in disbelief, “what did I just commit myself to for 8 weeks?!”… My mind and body were not used to being pushed to these new limits and out of fear I believed that this was the kind of class only “FIT” people were capable of. I can’t remember what made me come back for more pain (hehe), but after a few classes I had a “Ah-Ha” moment at the end of class during John Legend’s Ordinary People… when I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “hey, I’m really doing this!”. It then occurred to me that if it took a few classes for me to finally “get” something like a ponche or a plank, this whole getting fit thing was not going to be as easy and fast as I thought. But as challenging as it was, it was something I was capable of. My first two sessions were the toughest, both physically and mentally; but were also the most rewarding.

    It wasn’t easy but I ran my very first 5K that April, longest I had ever run in my life. It’s been a little more than a year since I’ve been doing Eva’s but throughout this journey I have learned to make different choices about what was going into my body and what I was doing for myself. Funny thing is, the more I took care of my health and well-being, the less I was concerned about numbers, like my weight and calories and stuff. I haven’t stepped on a scale in a long time, something I did almost every day. I actually eat more than I used to—just differently. It is now easier for me to run 5K and am amazed of my body’s capacity to achieve many small yet meaningful accomplishments… I thought this 10 K challenge would be a great way to take it up a notch.

    I know there are countless weight loss inspirational stories out there, but this experience for me was more than just about losing weight and learning about the futility of fad diets… I have learned and am still learning from Eva’s classes that it’s about living beautifully and boldly every day and making an effort to take care of your body… a struggle that takes good old fashion hard work and determination (anything asking for less–be skeptical).

    All the best with your challenges! My challenge officially started yesterday… ran for about 30 minutes, 2.7 miles.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Serah,

      Thank you so much for sharing. I’m speechless.
      I feel a lot of emotions reading this…first of all I’m proud of you and inspired by you!

      I think what stands out for me the most is how your beliefs have shifted, I truly think that is what has brought you the positive results.
      Successful people choose positive attitudes, you have just share with us the most amazing proof.

      Continue to focus on the things that you do want and they will keep coming to you.

      Thank you for your motivating thoughts.

      Eva

  5. Ayeesha Says:

    I am starting my 21-day challenge as of Friday, January 22, 2009. I’ve barely slept because I have so much on my mind, and in the process of not sleeping I made a decision, that I’m starting the challenge this Friday. I can do it, or else nobody will do it for me. Thanks.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Excellent Ayeesha,

      A little inspiration for you.

      “Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself.”

  6. Ayeesha Says:

    Thanks Eva. I did an hour yesterday on the elliptical. Not sure what I’m doing today, but it’ll be something. I’m having a bowl of blueberries and hot water w/lemon juice and aloe vera juice. Am now rushing to the bank and then maybe the hospital, I’m going to measure myself tomorrow and post that when I do, in the morning. Thanks again.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Yummm, I had blueberries and honey in my cottage cheese yesterday. Blueberries are literally bursting with nutrients and flavor, yet very low in calories. Recently, researchers at Tufts University analyzed 60 fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capability. Blueberries came out on top, rating highest in their capacity to destroy free radicals.

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  7. Ayeesha Says:

    Thanks- hopefully I’ll be seeing my nutritionist soon, and wanted to ask you, is it better to stick to fruits low in sugar and limit fruits high in sugar? I had a light lunch- dry chicken curry with whole wheat bread and now mineral water, I’m logging my journal now too before I forget. Thanks.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Try to eat two fruits a day – avoid dried fruits because of the sugar content. Try Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pears, peaches, cantaloups, grapes, pineapple, papayas, Bananas (hight in calories) grapefruits, nectarines, oranges, apples.

  8. Ayeesha Says:

    Okay I measured myself- 40-34-40…………..my goal is to make my waist line 30, however the other two might go down or not is fine, but I’m concerned more with the middle measurement out of all of them. My chest and hips have always measured out as the same, and I like that.

  9. Julianna Says:

    I can’t believe I’m almost done, I am entering my last week of the challenge. Don’t get me wrong, these two weeks haven’t exactly flown by – it’s been nothing short of challenging! There are many long nights after work when I just want to buy take out and pass out on the couch. Instead, I exercise, make or reheat my dinner, and journal.
    I’ve also been on an elimination diet which I’ve posted about called “The Hypoallergenic diet”: http://juliannayu.tumblr.com/.

  10. Julianna Says:

    For those of you that are new to Eva’s or just looking for an inspiration, I thought I’d share two stories (an iron woman’s story and my own). I always feel inspired when I hear other people’s stories. Last spring, I had the pleasure of meeting runners at the running room and hearing their “how I became an runner” stories. The one story that stood out the most was Paula Van Nostrand story about how she went from being non-athletic person to an iron woman. Please see the toronto star article about her:
    http://www.thestar.com/living/article/274099

    Here’s my story:
    When I was in high school, my family had less home cooked meals and more take out & fast food since we were always running around between school and extra-curriculars (which included ballet – It seems like I should know a thing or two about eating right since ballet involves wearing tights and a leotard, but I didn’t. I felt ashamed sometimes having eaten McDonald’s and gone to class).

    Even when I would go to the gym, I always spend more time talking with my friends, then working out. I always hated working out since everyone else seemed to know what they were doing (Oh, I was always so envious of people that had a routine), machines intimidated me, and I felt really out of place.

    I turned to classes (I needed structure) and started trying out classes: boxfit, taebox, hip-hop, and pilates. But I could never commit myself to going regularly to a class, it was too easy to skip when it was drop-in. I needed something I could stick to. I also wanted a class that motivated and challenged me.

    I joined Eva’s classes b/c I felt unmotivated by the gym and constantly tired and I didn’t enjoy shopping as much as I used to as I since everything felt so tight. So, I googled online for women’s fitness classes and Eva’s name popped up.

    It sounded like a great place to try but I was a little anxious since I knew by joining it was going to be an eight week commitment. So, I asked my friend to join with me and we were both really excited about adding a new activity to our routines. I knew I would be in an environment where I would work out on a weekly basis and I liked that it was a group atmosphere.

    I remember how I felt during the first five minutes of cardio – I wanted to leave, I was panicking – I was pretty sure my organs had moved into my throat (I still get that feeling after taking anytime off). I also remember thinking to myself: What the heck did I just commit myself to?

    I’ve come a long way, since the scary beginning. Sure, I still feel a little anxious whenever we take a break and especially when I came back from vacation. I always feel like I have to make up for lost time.

    Although most of my physical changes (lost lbs and inches) happened within the first few months, I gained more out of Eva’s then I had set out for. By committing to her classes, it made me want to be healthier. I started making my own meals on a regular basis, drinking more liquids, and eating dinner before 7pm every weeknight. In the past few months however, I’ve been having trouble with my fluid intake and eating early dinners because of work so I’ve included it as part of my challenge goals.

    Good luck with your challenges! I hope you enjoyed the read.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Julianna,

      Thank you for your inspiring thoughts.
      Progress always involves risk – thank you so much for taking a chance on me and my classes, your progress is something you should feel so proud of.

      Great job with the challenge so far. Remember, this is the key to creating a new lifestyle, let the experience of the 21 days and the things you’ve learnt continue on as habits.

      Thanks you for sharing.

      Eva

  11. Shelly Says:

    Since i’ve started the challenge I’ve been concentrating on eating very healthy during the week and allowing my cheat days to be on the weekends. I’ve noticed that it’s easier to eat well all week knowing I can have that cookie on the weekend! I don’t feel as if I’m starving myself at all and sometimes I don’t even want it on the weekend! I make sure not to go crazy to ruin the week long work, but I will have a cookie insteat of a fruit for dessert. I’ve also found that always having a good breakfast is a great start to the day and keeps me motivated to stay healthy throughout the day! Looking forward to class tonight!!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Shelly,

      Great work – I wish I didn’t call it a cheat day. Its a treat day – and since you’ve worked hard you deserve it.
      “Cheating” is a negative term, and what you have chosen to do is very positive, so start calling it a treat and keep up the great work.

      Eva

  12. Sabrina Says:

    Hi Eva! It’s been officially 1 week since I started the challenge. Biggest surprise – there’s enough time in the day to exercise, do physical activity, be good to yourself/others, and prepare to eat well! I used to complain there was not enough hours in the day, but there really are. Secondly, it was great to say, if I had an off day ie not eating well, tomorrow’s a new day and not be hard on myself. I felt more committed in succeeding the day after. It’s great the kind of momentum we’re all building in just a few days! Eva, thanks for proposing the challenge (really enjoying it) and great new class!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Great work Sabrina,

      Its about making the time – good for you to figure that out.

      Remember, getting off track in terms of eating is nothing to hold against yourself, its not that serious; it’s human. The choices that you make following the experience are what counts.

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  13. serah Says:

    Hello again,

    I just read my post over and realized that I missed a crucial word in my “commitment” section. It was to be able run 8K in 21 days without giving up!

    Today I ran for 30 mins (2.69 miles) on the treadmill and around the track for about 7 or 8 mins (don’t know the distance because my Nike+ on my iPod decided not to work… going to Apple tmr to find out why!)

    My run today was definitely a lot better than last week’s run. After last week’s run I was really sore the day after in my back and legs, maybe because I didn’t stretch before?. My biggest challenge while running is the first 15 mins, when my legs start burning, my sides painfully cramp up and my breathing isn’t very regulated (panic?). After that though, running is a lot smoother (possibly because my legs get numb after a while? haha).

    Since I ran more or less 5K today, my goal next run is 6K… thank goodness for Black Eyed Peas. I find pumpin’ music a great motivator. 8K here I come!

    Any advice as to stretching before or after running? for how long and which stretches may help ease my back pain?

    Thanks! And keep up the good work everyone 🙂

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Hey Serah,

      Remember in class I’ve used the analogy of your muscles being like rubber bands – well, think about stretching a cold rubber band, its not as malleable and may snap.
      Your muscles are the same, its not best to stretch them when the body hasn’t warmed up.

      Try a 10 minute warm up run and then some light stretches.
      Then when your run is over you can get into your deeper stretches.

      As for back stretches, do a few nice slow controlled role downs.

      Also, the cat stretch on your knees, and only if you are very warm the Plow (Lie down on your back and slowly bring your knees into your chest. Then roll backwards so that your weight is resting on your upper back and shoulders. Put your arms out on the mat so that they are are parallel to your body and your palms are lying on the ground face up. When you come out of the stretch be VERY slow and twist your knees from side to side)

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  14. Marlee Says:

    I am on Day 12 of my 21 Day Challenge and so far things are going really well! My challenge is all about my diet and exercise, trying to have specific rules and guidelines for myself that I actually follow. Food has always been my worst weakness because I loooove to eat so I’m trying to find a way to keep enjoying food but just make healthier choices and smaller portions. Carbs are my main problem, I’m a bread/pasta fiend, so I cut them way down and am trying to get them only from things other than wheat since I’ve been told it’s not very good for me anyway. I’ve been keeping a journal every day of everything that I eat and all of the exercise and activity I do. I’ve been scoring myself out of 10 every day and am mostly getting eights and nines. It seems that every day I give in to at least one tiny craving(especially on days when I work at the restaurant and there is food EVERYwhere!!). Or when I don’t give in to cravings, I don’t get around to doing as much working out as I would like. It’s definitely been difficult so far, I find it incredibly hard to say no to food that I want. I’m hoping for today to be a perfect 10 and so far, so good! Started off with Eva’s class in the morning which is always an excellent way to start any day! After class had a protein shake and then a super healthy(and delicious!) lunch. Good day so far! My final goal for this challenge is to be able to maintain the healthy habits that I am starting here after the 21 days are over. I’m really glad to be doing this and I feel good about myself because I know I’m being good to my body. Best of luck to everyone who is doing the challenge!! Thanks Eva!! 🙂

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Marlee,

      Well done so far, thank you for your honesty and sharing.

      Here’s some helpful info…
      Good carbs have these healthy characteristics:
      high in fiber: helps you stay full longer (and avoid overeating), provides sustained energy, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to remove toxins from the body
      low glycemic index: stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin production
      high in nutrients: natural vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients promote health and help to prevent chronic disease
      low ‘energy-density’ (except nuts & seeds): provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight maintenance
      greater ‘thermic effect’: naturally stimulates metabolism and promotes fat loss

      To sum it up, the following food types are generally considered to be good carbs and should make up most or all of your carb intake:

      whole vegetables
      whole fruits
      beans
      legumes
      nuts
      seeds
      whole cereal grains

      Simple tips for incorporating good carbs into your diet…

      1)Try to cut out as much ‘junk food’ from your diet as possible. This includes pretty much all chips, candy, soft drinks, etc.
      2)Avoid – or at least limit – your intake of refined-flour baked goods, including non-whole-grain breads, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes, brownies, cakes, etc. Also, throw out the processed, high-sugar breakfast cereals – stick to whole-grain cereals and oatmeal.
      3)Buy a variety of fresh fruits and veggies and begin to include at least 1 or 2 servings with each meal. Also, avoid getting hungry (and overeating) by snacking on fruit or cut-up veggies throughout the day – a single large apple can easily curb hunger.
      4)Try to eat a serving of leafy green vegetables at least twice a day. Also, eat a variety of other colorful vegetables as often as possible.
      5)Use nuts and seeds as healthy, portable snacks you can carry anywhere. Also, they can be used to add flavor and ‘texture’ to many different foods (especially salads).
      6)Eat a serving of beans or legumes at least 1-2 times per day. The dozens of different types of beans and peas can be used in hundreds of healthy recipes. Also, consider buying or making bean sprouts – they are considered to be some of the most nutritionally ‘powerful’ foods available!
      7)If you buy grain products – including breads, cereals, crackers, pastas, etc. – always choose whole-grain options. Just make sure that ‘whole-grain’ is the first word in the ingredients list and you’ll be fine.
      8)When possible, always choose organic foods.

  15. SG Says:

    Hey Eva,

    I started the 21 day challenge last Thursday to help me get back into the routine of eating well and working out, so I am on day 5 today!!! I had a few fitness and nutrition goals that I started in early January but I lost my motivation mid Jan… and just got back into it. So I thought it would be a great time to start your 21 day challenge to keep me motivated through the month.

    I am working with a trainer as well who helps me with my nutrition and fitness in addition to your body conditioning class! I have a goal of losing an inch in my waist and I am determined to keep up the good habits and make it a lifestyle change rather than a short term goal.

    I am finally getting back into the body conditioning class this evening, which will be my daily fitness for today.

    Looking forward to class and continuing the challenge!!

  16. Ayeesha Says:

    Tomorrow is Day 14 of the challenge for me. I am able to fit comfortably into a pair of pants after a long time, and have felt a difference overall in the way my clothes feel and how I feel. My new definition of being busy is not just work, errands, dealing with drama, household chores or work on the computer. I’m busy taking care of my health, and how I feel mentally, physically and spiritually, that is how I want to be busy. I feel great. I have two questions. Is there a such thing as drinking too much water? How do you know your getting enough based on how active you can be for the day since the time you devote each day can change? Second question. the day before yesterday I did a level 4 of the pre-set fat burn program on the stairmaster for 30 minutes. Today I did level 1 of the same but for 45 minutes on the stairmaster. What works better- higher level, less time, or smaller level, longer time? I know you promote sweating, but on a cardio machine is it the sweat that counts, or the longer physical motion of your body?

    Thank you for creating this challeng, it’s helped me so much!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Great work!

      Water. Don’t consume more than 31 (3 cups) ounces of water per hour. When working out for extended periods of time, you may want to drink a sports drink that contains electrolytes.
      Guzzling a ton of water in a short amount of time can overload your kidneys and cause a drop in blood sodium levels. Sodium is important to your body because it’s an electrolyte.
      Here’s a great water calculator http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm

      Workout Intensity Higher intensity cardio workouts burn more calories per unit of time AND increase metabolism more after the workout than low intensity workouts.

  17. serah Says:

    Hi!

    My challenge officially ends this Sunday and I still have a lot of work to do. Right after work today, I really didn’t feel like running… was feeling a little bummed out, tired and lazy! However, I counted down the days and realized that this Sunday would the end of my challenge. I’m glad I did get my butt to the gym because after my run, I feel amazing and energized! 🙂

    So I took Eva’s advice and did a warm-up of 2.01 km around the track, and then stretched. Then did 30 mins (4.26km) on the treadmill, for a total of 6.27 km. Yay! My next run I’m trying for 7km and Sundays run will be my final goal of 8km! So far no soreness, but we’ll see tmr.

    Good news is I didn’t feel any cramping in my sides which I usually feel during the beginning of my runs. What I did notice though is that when my body gets tired I hold my breath…and then gasp for air… and then I feel a bit light-headed… when I looked in the mirror after I ran, I had a tomato-face! Any advice on regulating breathing?

    Thanks!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Great work Serah,

      Think about what I talk about in class – Oxygen should come from the diaphragm and not the chest. If done correctly you should feel your stomach contract in and out.
      Breathing Ratio:A breathing ratio of 3:2 can help keep a healthy supply of oxygen circulating in the body. Keeping the 3:2 ratio means that for the first three steps you’re inhaling, meanwhile exhaling for the next two, alternating between steps.

      What type of music are you listening to?

  18. Julianna Says:

    I finished the challenge last Sunday and I’m still a little bit surprised how quickly the 3 weeks passed by. It hasn’t been an easy one. Keeping myself motivated was probably the biggest hurdle in the first week. But after a while, my new routine kinda stuck with me and the old one is a distant memory.
    I’ve written a pretty detailed post on my blog about the my experience. Please check it out. 🙂
    I wasn’t really expecting any physical changes to happen during this time but I’ve lost 5 lbs and 2.2 inches. Hurray!
    Thanks for proposing this challenge Eva. And I hope everyone is having a great time. It’ll be over before you know it.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Excellent work!

      I LOVE your blog post http://juliannayu.tumblr.com

      This was my favourite part:
      Eva suggested a mantra to use whenever we need to be reminded of why we’re doing this: Mine is “I need this, I want this, I’m doing this for a healthier, stronger new me, and I’m worth it.”

      Now that the challenge is over, continue living as much of it as you can – I believe you’ve decided to take a new approach to seeing this as a way of life…a Healthier, happier you!
      You should be proud.

      Thank you for everything that you have shared….keep blogging and journaling. I will always be here for support and encouragement.
      Eva

  19. Shelly Says:

    Hi Everyone!
    Julianna, great blog!! I love reading about other people’s motivations!! I think this challenge was such a great idea Eva! Sometimes I look around, and although most of my friends are pretty healthy, alot of them eat out alot or don’t exercise as much as I do. It’s great to have a group of ladies that are going through the same thing as I am! I have been experimenting more with new recipes and different fruits and veggies too! For those who don’t know, my fiance is chinese, it’s been interesting getting to know different recipes and veggies through him!! My favorite is now bok choy! Something I would never have tried before!! Eva, I do have one question…after dinner I’m always looking for a little something sweet…any thoughts on what I could have that’s not junk? I thought of sufar free J.E.L.L.O..is that a bad idea?

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Surrounding yourself with a support network is KEY Shelly! This blog will always be here for inspiration. I encourage everyone to keep writing I will always respond.

      Here are some treat ideas for you…
      Fruity Greek Yogurt when chilled, is not unlike soft serve ice cream.
      Sugar Free Pudding. Several leading brands of pudding makers have come out with sugar free puddings that are pre-made and can usually be found in the dairy aisle. Beware of the Jello brand, however, in which the sugar has been replaced with high-glycemic index sugar alcohols like Maltitol and Sorbitol.
      Dark Chocolate You could have a little Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate if you buy a bar, make sure it lasts the week. (only a square or two per serving)
      Fruit and Honey You could dip apple in honey, or drizzle a little honey over berries
      Cocoa-Nut” Bananas Place cocoa and coconut on separate plates. Roll each banana slice in the cocoa, shake off the excess, then dip in the coconut.
      Organic Hot Cocoa With cinnamon sticks. On a special evening you could add a little Kahlua

      Alright, now thats making me hungry…Everything in moderation!

      Eva

    • Julianna Says:

      Thanks for reading the blog Shelly. Posting here and getting notifications that people have posted make me feel like we’re all going through it together. I love bok choy! Which reminds me…after eating at Fresh, I wanted to recreate a meal that I had there – I steamed bak choy, swiss chard, sweet potato, broccoli and had it on brown rice with a bit of sea salt. Simple, quick and delicious!

  20. SG Says:

    Hey everyone!

    I am on day 8 of the challenge and it’s extremely motivating to read all your blog entries. I woke up this morning and first thing i did was check my email from my bed, and i had about 5 emails of notifications on all your entries. it was a great start to my day, i got out of bed feeling motivated to be healthy and active! so thank you to all the women who are posting!

    I’d like to share an after dinner snack and i recently discovered and satisfies my sweet tooth… (i have quite the sweet tooth let me tell u)
    I bought an organic all natural almond butter, (no sugar or salt or preservatives added) and I eat it with either and apple or a pear. It’s tasty and it contains protein and carbs which is great and still a balanced snack! yum…

    so far the challenge is going great! a friend of mine bought me a cook book for my birthday of all “smart” and light cooking recipes… i’m very excited to experiment with different things in the kitchen!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Oh my goodness, I didn’t know that you all are emailed when someone posts – THAT IS AWESOME.
      I assume you all know when I’ve responded as well. I’m so proud of everyones honesty, I’m thankful for your questions, and I’m inspired to answer all of them.

      GREAT after dinner snack SG. I’ve just shared more:

      Fruity Greek Yogurt when chilled, is not unlike soft serve ice cream.
      Sugar Free Pudding Several leading brands of pudding makers have come out with sugar free puddings that are pre-made and can usually be found in the dairy aisle. Beware of the Jello brand, however, in which the sugar has been replaced with high-glycemic index sugar alcohols like Maltitol and Sorbitol.
      Dark Chocolate You could have a little Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate if you buy a bar, make sure it lasts the week. (only a square or two per serving)
      Fruit and Honey You could dip apple in honey, or drizzle a little honey over berries
      Cocoa-Nut” Bananas Place cocoa and coconut on separate plates. Roll each banana slice in the cocoa, shake off the excess, then dip in the coconut.
      Organic Hot Cocoa With cinnamon sticks. On a special evening you could add a little Kahlua

      Keep up the great work.
      Eva

  21. SG Says:

    Those snacks sound good. I have been trying to find cocoa powder to keep at home… Where can I buy some? How does it come packaged??
    Are their certain types I should look out for, or stay away from?

    I clicked the box that says Notify me of follow-up comments, and it started to mail me when someone posted!

  22. serah Says:

    Hello everyone,

    It’s great to be a part of a community where we can share ways to live a healthier life and where talking about healthy choices doesn’t make you feel “odd”. Sometimes I feel like there’s such a negative stigma from others about trying to be healthy (such as in the workplace). People often associate exercise and eating healthy with trying to lose weight and dieting, so I hear things like “you don’t need to lose anymore weight” or “wow, I can’t believe you’re eating that”… when I bring foods like spinach, hummus, yogurt etc. basically food not in packages… or when I’m leaving with my gym bag… In fact, my lunch bag weighs like 10lbs because I brings loads of food to keep me going throughout the day especially since I have been running a lot lately…so no dieting here!

    I ran yesterday evening, 3KM around the track and 4KM on the treadmill (for 45mins altogether)… can’t wait until it gets warmer as I prefer parks and sidewalks much better! My breathing has definitely improved… I understand better what you mean by breathing from the diaphragm and not the chest… deeper breathing really helps with not feeling dizzy, but is really hard to keep up! Sometimes I just to start to pant and breathe quickly, but start feeling light headed. I’m listening to the E.N.D album by BEPs 🙂 My runs are definitely improving in terms of endurance… only weird thing was my right butt cheek was sore while I ran, maybe from class the night before…

    Tomorrow marks the end of my challenge and I’m looking forward to running my 8KM… I was thinking about running in the park but then looked at the forecast and changed my mind (-11 in the morning).
    Can’t wait to share my results.

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Serah,

      People around you questioning what you are doing, and poking fun can be toxic. Do not let them sabotage your good efforts. Unconsciously they may not like change and or could be jealous of your efforts.

      The best thing you can do around your office is to share your knowledge, present a challenge of your own to your friends/family/co workers and keep leading by example!
      Don’t blame them, thank them for they may present challenges or make offers to you that you will have to refuse. Saying NO! will make you stronger.

      As for your running this week – well done, and great choice of music and your butt cheek – I think thats the effects of class. Something must have clicked in that track for you.

      Thanks for sharing as always Serah.

      Eva

  23. SG Says:

    Hey everyone! I’m on day 11 of the challenge! Hit the half way mark!
    My fitness goals of trying to live a more active lifestyle are to get in at least 4 work outs per week, 5 on a really good week. And making sure they are HARD work so that I am not wasting time!

    Twice a week I am taking the class, body conditioning. Then either once or twice a week, I am doing an interval work out at home. It consists of high speed running, squats, pushups, and lat pull downs – repeatedly – followed by skipping! It’s a tiring workout and really pushes me hard, yet it’s short and do-able on a week night when I don’t have a lot of time! Then once a week, I get into the gym, and I do an hour long resistance work out of high weight-low rep training. It’s a great way to change it up from the go-go-go work outs I do all week…

    I’m feeling good about getting these 4-5 days in per week – I am able to schedule the days in advance, which allows me to spend my days off out doing something fun with friends!

    The challenge is going great so far!

  24. Shelly Says:

    Good morning Ladies!
    Serah, I completely agree…I bring a ton of healthy food to work too and I say no to go out and eat the fast food at lunch since i’ve packed my healthy lunch! I tell people I work out, and they always say…”why you are so skinny, you don’t have to watch what you eat or exercise!!”…Keep in mind, these are usually the people that don’t eat healthy at all!! haha I always tell them that it’s not always about the outside and I want to be healthy on the inside too!! Just because some people eat 2 burgers a day and they are thin doesn’t make them healthy! That seems to keep them quiet!!!

  25. Marlee Says:

    Hi ladies!

    Today was the last day of my challenge. I have been giving myself a score out of 10 every day so tonight I added them all up to find my percentage and give myself a grade. I scored an 86% which is an A! I’m really happy with everything I’ve done and proud of myself for being so committed, even though there were a few slip-ups here and there(and I wish I’d gotten an A+). This is the first time that I’ve ever done something like this and really followed through with it and it feels great. It’s nice to know that I have the capability to be disciplined, I don’t think I ever completely believed that I did. I was very much in need of some kind of structure in my life when it came to health and nutrition and this challenge came along at exactly the perfect time. Big thanks to Eva for coming up with the idea and especially for giving us all such positive encouragement!!!! I’m definitely going to continue with the majority of things I’ve been doing for the past 21 days. I’ve had a few people tell me that they can see changes in me which is such a wonderful feeling and has really helped to keep me motivated. I’m hoping to continue these healthy new habits as a regular lifestyle and it definitely helps to know that there are lots of other people trying to make healthy, positive changes in their lives as well. All in all this has a been a very positive experience and I feel proud of myself for seeing it through. I will feel even more proud if I can keep it up!! Good luck with your challenges ladies and great job so far!! I’ll see you in class:)

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Marlee Congratulation,

      I am so proud of you! You were one of my first BCBD participants. You have truly been a part of the growth process that has brought me to where I am today. And I am so pleased to be a part of your lifestyle change.

      After everything you have been through, the challenge that you had to face, you should be so proud of yourself for fighting through it. I’m so happy to have you back in class.
      Thank you for your inspiration and the example you set in finding deep personal strength and overcoming unexpected life challenges.

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  26. Sabrina Says:

    I finished my challenge 2 days ago and you’re right Eva, the habit has stuck! The big thing for me is that I can proudly say I’ve committed to something and maintained that commitment. It’s not a chore to get up to work out early in the morning or punishment to eat healthily b/c I feel better throughout the day if I’m active and I have my treat days (which believe it or not, I don’t even feel like wrecking myself on by overdoing it b/c of how I’ll feel 1 hr later!).

    Thanks for uping the ante this session by adding this challenge Eva! It was inspiring and motivating. I definitely want to keep this up.
    And the small things feels good too – being generous/thoughtful of others and kind to yourself too!

    Food for thought – I noticed that focusing on enjoying my food more (more often than not) and eating slower rather than scarfing my food down on the run, I don’t overeat. I read somewhere that this concept is based on the fact that your brain actually gets time to communicate with your stomach to say you’re full. When you’re rushing to eat, you only notice when you’ve overdone it.

    PS Loving the new class and its challenges too!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Well done Sabrina,

      Thank you for taking part in the challenge! You have been with me literally since the beginning. I am so thankful you have stuck by me and grown along with me. You have accomplished so much toward living a healthy lifestyle over the past 3 years. Its not easy. Perseverance has gotten us this far!

      Thank you for sharing. Continue to use all of us for inspiration!

      I’m an open book…ask.

      Eva

  27. Ayeesha Says:

    I just measured myself, 40-33-40, my 21 day challenge was actually over Feb 11, the day after my dad arrived. I am happy to say that within the 21days, that the one inch I lost on my waist that big of a difference in how my clothes I felt on me and how my attitude changed as well. Within the 21 days I’ve decided and also changed a few things about myself:

    1) I’ve decided to cut down on my alcohol intake
    2) I’ve changed my attitude towards taking care of myself
    3) My definition of being busy is taking care of myself, not work, errands and my daily stresses
    4) I’m starting my own health journal, and basing it on the journal you gave us as my source of inspiration
    5) The only bad day I allow myself not to do any physical actvity is when I feel nauseous, migraines or kramps, yesterday was a bad day for me, but I was allowed with how I was feeling
    6) Lastly eating mini-meals every 4-5 hours and not big, heavy meals and making sure I drink enough water

    Thank you so much for the challenge as it has given me the inspiration to change my mind, body and spirit. 🙂 Can’t wait to see the girlicious video!

    • torontowomensfitness Says:

      Well done Ayeesha, the most progress was in you way of thinking. The mind is a powerful thing.
      When you focus the power of your mind on the goal you seek, you will begin to influence the events that will produce the desired results.

      Keep up the great work.

      Eva

  28. Ayeesha Says:

    My dad just stepped out for a smoke, ewwwwww!!!!!!!!!!! 😦

  29. SG Says:

    Hi Everyone!

    I just finished Day 18 of the challenge, it’s going great so far! I had to give myself a bit of a break today for Valentines and i had some chocolate and dessert! yum!

    It’s great to hear everyone’s posts about changing their lifestyle’s and how it is affecting them! It is interesting to hear that you all go through the same thing, with others judging what you do and why, so its nice to know that we are all in this together!

    Marlee I like the idea of taking a percentage of your score! i think i will do that after I’m done as well!!

    I hope everyone had a great V-day!

  30. SG Says:

    Hey Everyone!

    I finished the challenge a few days ago and I can already feel a change in my lifestyle. I am eating much better and I am always aware of what goes into my body and how to stay active.

    Filling out the diary for the 21 days also helped me think about keeping those 4 goals in mind even now that the challenge is over.

    Thanks Eva for coming up with this idea! I think it was a really good check point for all of us to actually stop and think about whether we are living an active lifestyle or not. It is very motivating to hear about all your stories as well! thanks everyone!!

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