Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Low Carb Starbucks Drinks

Being an officeless entrepreneur, I often hop around to different coffee shops to get work done for a few hours. 4 hours is usually my max before the staff starts glancing my way and I start feeling obligated to buy something else, but i digress. Not wanting to consume my carb allowance for the day in one drink, I usually go to Starbucks since they are one of the only coffee shops in my area that provide nutritional information.

Here's how many carbs some of the most mouthwatering Starbucks drinks contain:

based on grande sized drinks. source: starbucks nutrition guide app

Those perfect swirls, artful squirts of sugary syrup, and angelic sprinkles of the most perfect amount of topping. *drool* but then I snap back to reality once I realize one drink is pretty much half of what I should be consuming for the day. I'd rather have something more filling like rice, pasta, or dessert. 

Instead, here is a list of my favorite low carb drinks from Starbucks. Each is based on grande sized cups and are all under 20g of carbs each: 

I love having this especially now that it's starting to get cold! It's not overly sweet and has a nice cinnamon flavor. It tastes like something sinful but it's not! 

CAFFE LATTE (19g carbs) 
Nice to have for early mornings when you need a low carb cup of awakeness. 

CAPPUCCINO (12g carbs)
Same as above. 

Iced black tea with 4 pumps of sugar free vanilla, light ice. Boom. 

This is my ultimate favorite especially closer to Christmas! Unfortunately, they don't carry sugar free peppermint syrup until closer to red-cup season.

I know, i know - the sugar free stuff they use isn't the healthiest so don't be having multiple cups of this each day. It's painful on your health and painful on your wallet. 

What's your favorite low carb Starbucks drink?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey Guys, I'm Fat Again.

With my last post being from 5 months ago, it's probably no surprise to you that this post is titled the way it is. I've been struggling for a long time trying to figure out how I'm going to write this post. My husband told me to simply be honest. To which i responded with "how? just say... 'hey guys! i'm fat again!'?" ... and that's how the title came to be.

Before you jump to conclusions and think that i'm just another one of those annoying skinny people who thinks she's fat, let me explain. Yes, i gained weight but more than that, the honesty in this post comes from a place much deeper than just weight loss or weight gain. Let's start from the beginning.

In 2013, At the peak of my fitness and my career, i was down 4 jean sizes and making more money in a weekend than I ever did in a month in the corporate world. I was on top of my game and I felt on top of the world.

no excuses... ha!

In August of the same year, I felt I had plateaued and wanted a change in my diet and my routine. I'd been hearing a lot of buzz at that time about "reverse dieting" and knew a lot of friends who found success with it so i didn't hesitate to give it a shot. For those of you who are unfamiliar with reverse dieting, it's a method of steadily adding more calories back to your diet while still remaining around the same weight. Sounds magical right? You're supposed to keep up with your workout routine if not add more intensity but what happened with me is that..... life happened. 

Excuse: I got too busy. 
The truth was, i was busy trying to think and justify that i was busy. The truth was, I got too comfortable in my career. The truth was, I got lazy. My workouts started becoming less intense while the excuses started to become more intense. 

Sure enough, the 300g of carbs I was ingesting per day started to catch up with me fast. Because of the weight gain, I got in to the mindset of "well, i'm gaining weight anyway, what's another whole pizza going to do" *nom nom nom* At the peak of my weight gain, i was heavier than when I started my journey back in 2012. The instagram posting slowed down, the before and after shots became non-existent, and blogging became a thing of the past. I was ashamed.

I welcomed 2014 as a fresh start but it was not the fresh start i was expecting. 

In all honesty, 2014 has been the darkest year of my life

The weight gain took a shot at my confidence and while I had hit rock bottom weight wise, I was hitting an even deeper rock bottom emotionally and mentally. Remember all the success I spoke about with my career in 2013? It was the complete opposite in 2014. The things I expected and assumed would happen, did not happen. The goals I set out to hit? I missed. This resulted in changes on the inside. It was when my husband said one line that I knew.... something serious was going on with me. He said "you're not yourself anymore." 

I did not want to go out. I did not want to socialize. I did not want to catch up with old friends because what would they think of me? I thought and saw myself as a big. fat. failure. Those thoughts really got engraved in my heart and my mind because I started to believe it and I started to live it. And when you start to think it, live it and believe it, it starts to manifest itself in other areas of your life. First i injured my thumb and felt helpless. Then i injured my knee. Then, at the peak of rock bottom, I got into a car accident. My car was totalled. Now both my knees and my lower back feel constant pain and discomfort. I was so angry at God and blamed him for why everything wrong in my life was happening all in the same year.

Days would pass where I didn't leave the house. I found myself breaking down and crying while doing simple things like washing the dishes.... if I even got to the dishes because I preferred to just stay curled up in a ball on the couch and think about how much I had failed in life. Much of my weekend would be spent trying to make my eyes look less puffy from all the crying I had done all week so that I could pretend I was happy and ok in front of every one else. I was depressed. And I was in denial about being depressed. And I was embarrassed about being depressed. I come from a happy family and a supportive circle of friends, i'm not supposed to be depressed! But i was and it was getting harder and harder to mask. 

"The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem..."

The start of my healing began when I decided to open up about my situation to one of the people i consider a mentor... My dad. On this night, with my tear and snot stained t-shirt on, I knocked on my parents door and with 5 words, i fell apart. "Pa, i think i'm depressed."

After talking things through, I came to understand that failure happens but failure is not WHO i am. I guess that's why i struggled so much because I thought my weight gain defined me, what other people thought of me defined me, my career success and failure defined me. 

Today, i still have bad days, i'm still struggling and i've only just recently started to get serious about working out again. But it feels like a weight being lifted off my shoulders to finally stop hiding and just be able to admit that hey guys, i fell down and i fell down HARD but i'm picking myself up again. They say it's not your obstacles that define you but how you deal with those obstacles. 

I'm not sure what you believe but I believe that God rocks your world in a crazy way to get rid of the old and make way for the new. This year has been a year of major change, lots of learning, and lots of growth. Just as gold goes through fire to get rid of the junk, perhaps this year was my year of getting rid of the junk in life. Pride, anger, jealousy. I'm not going to wait for another new year for a fresh start, i'm starting now.

If you are going through or have gone through similar situations or thoughts, talk to someone about it. Most of all, don't let the negative situations in your life define you. CHOOSE to see the negative as an opportunity that can be turned into something positive. It's not over yet.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Surviving My First 10km Race

Ever since I can remember, my friends have been asking me to join the Vancouver Sun Run each year and each year I have laughed and said "No." Why would I pay to run when i can run outside for free on my own? This year was different though, as I wanted to run to support my father-in-law's health and fitness goals. I didn't train like crazy ahead of time (I think I only trained twice) but I also knew I wanted to at least try to run the whole 10km straight to see how I do.

The morning started off in a big crazy crowd in the heart of downtown. People of all ages, all races, and all fitness levels came together for this community event. The energy level was high with live bands playing on almost every street corner before the start line… some people were dancing, others were singing along, and everyone looked excited to be there. 

I started to get butterflies in my stomach the closer we got to the starting line. Could i really do this? Will i make it to the finish line without stopping? The first few km's were a breeze although a few km's in, the race route became narrow which meant that there was less space for runners to run. I must've ran a total of 11-12km just trying to weave through people who were walking, sightseeing, and taking selfies. 

Just before the 5km mark, there was a hill. I was warned about this hill before the race but I decided that I would not stop to walk or take it easy up the hill, so i sprinted. That was the first time I really felt tired and started to worry about making it to the finish line. I guess the organizers knew that at around this point is when runners may start to get tired or discouraged so this was when I started to see encouraging and funny signs:

"your feet hurt from kicking so much ass"
"run faster, i just farted"
"remember, you paid for this"

My toes were starting to hurt at this point and I really wanted to drink a ton of water but I also didn't want to have any "accidents" so i pushed on,  my smile getting bigger each time I passed a km marker. 

After the 9km mark, I distracted myself by planning what my "crossing the finish line" pose would be. Should I jump? Should I have an intense face? happy face? It ended up being a fail because I was expecting a balloon arch or something grand at the finish line but there was only a banner... so I didn't really know if that was the finish line or not, thus, i didn't have time to prepare my pose! This will do. 

I clocked in at 1 hour and 12 minutes! Not amazing, but not bad for my first time and I'm proud to say that I didn't stop at all for the whole 10 km. It's true what they say about it being a mental game. I hope nobody noticed me pep talking myself because there was lots of that going on especially between the 7km to 10km mark.

"You can do it, Kym" 
"Don't stop, Kym"
"One step closer to lunch, Kym"

The race ended at BC Place with a live band and tons of food vendors set-up, giving away free food like chocolate milk, fruit juices, power bars, bagels, and fruits. 

Would I do it again? Probably. As much as running is not my activity of choice, I want to see how much better I can do next year. And maybe next year, they'll still have bananas left at the finish line.