Posts filed under ‘goals’

Personal Spring Health Challenge 2010

As you know I’ve had this little unofficial “lose weight, get in shape before December” sort of a challenge going for myself, but it’s been pretty difficult to keep it together and so I’ve decided to make it a little different. However, I do not want to put too much pressure on myself in case I struggle with it but basically this is how it’s going to work:

I’ve a had a particularly bad Winter in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it’s not something you can just snap out of overnight, after all- old habits die hard. Instead, I’m going to make a list of goals and steps to achieve them. They’ll consist of smaller steps to reach the bigger picture because I’m really struggling to get my eating habits in shape. Everyday I’m going to set a mini-goal like “go one day without any junk food whatsoever” and just aim to achieve that particular goal, as opposed to setting a MASSIVE goal like “no more junk food at ALL” because that’s simply unattainable for me. I set these enormous goals and then fail because they’re unrealistic and feel really stink and my self-esteem and self-confidence just plummets… It’s not helpful at all.
Here’s a list of some of the goal I’m setting myself for day to day use:

  • (As above) Go one full day without any junk food, such as ice cream, chocolate, confectionary etc.
  • Be active for at least 30 minutes
  • Do something nice for myself such as a muscle soak bubble bath
  • Get at least 30 minutes of fresh air
  • (For weekends and holidays) Learn how to garden and do it for 1 hour
  • Learn how to cook a new, healthy recipe
  • Try a new form of exercise
  • Take the dog for a 1 hour walk
  • Teach a friend a new form of exercise
  • Attend a yoga class (although they are hard to come by in this small town)
  • Do 1 hour of strength training
  • Go one full day without any beverages other than water (although aside from water the only thing I drink is cranberry juice or Inka [a caffeine free coffee substitute])
  • Implement a proper skin care routine
  • Go one full day without bread (not because I’m against carbs, but because it presents the opportunity to be more creative with my food choices)
  • Try a new healthy breakfast that I’ve never had before

Those are a few of the ideas I’ve come up with and I’ll add to my own personal list when I think of something else. I think these are far more attainable goals that I’ll be able to achieve and as I succeed in these, the bigger picture and the bigger goals will become far more attainable. I’ll also have rewards for success which aren’t food related, things like treating myself to a new bikini or a movie etc.

Oh! Something else I wanted to add to this post is a little nutrition/health tip which was pretty much my FUEL last year/beginning of this year when I was at my fittest and healthiest… GREEN TEA!!! I’m serious, that stuff is like liquid GOLD! It might not taste that great but you honestly get used to it and even start to enjoy it after a while. I love it and usually drink it like it’s crack but lately we haven’t had any and tonight we just bought some new tea bags. I’ve already had two cups in the space of like an hour. It’s so good for you, it’s antioxidant rich, it boosts your energy levels, I found it helped me maintain my weight and I truly believes it even helps with sugar cravings. I’ve also bought White Tea to try and I had a cup and I can’t even tell the difference between it and green tea, but I’ll chug it back until it’s all gone.

Anyways, that’s all from me for tonight folks! Tomorrow I’m spending the day GARDENING and getting our vege garden up to scratch 😀 Very exciting.

September 10, 2010 at 8:41 am 4 comments

What I Learnt from “Winning By Losing”

As some of you may know, I’ve been reading Jillian Michaels’ book “Winning By Losing”. I just finished it yesterday and I flicked through once more when I was done to review and make notes on things I needed to remember. I thought I’d post my list on here for you guys to see as it might be helpful in some way. It was an excellent book and really really does help you to gain a positive frame of mind and the desire to make positive change. I like the way Jillian doesn’t make you feel bad about any of your past habits. She gives you the chance to start over completely new and forget the past as the past does not define you. I wasn’t made to feel guilty and self-ashamed about myself, I was just optimistic about the future and the person I’ve made the commitment to become.

auckland 2010 108

  • Shop the perimeter of the supermarket. This means fruit, vegetables, skim milk and lean meats.
  • Become familiar with the way my body feels and responds to particular foods.
  • Keep a food and exercise journal to plan meals, record what I eat and plan workouts according to Jillian’s recommendations.
  • Keep up with my goals. Put them somewhere I can see and be reminded of them.
  • Learn to make healthy food substitutions.
  • Aim for 60 minute workouts
  • Speak to people to help improve my support network so they’re aware of what I’m aiming to achieve
  • Focus on behaviour modification, e.g. Don’t bring money to school so I won’t be tempted to buy junk food
  • Rearrange my bedroom and life to suit the changes and help me get in and stay in the right headspace
  • Perfect organisational skills to be able to fit everything into my life
  • Count calories for the first 4 weeks or so to help me develop good habits
  • “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind”, I can’t eat junk food if it’s not there
  • Focus on strong women in society as role models. There’s a strong woman in every area
  • Remember to reward myself
  • Make checklists to prioritise
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of exercise and different foods
  • If I slip up or fall off the bandwagon, don’t throw in the towel completely, get straight back into my usual habits and routine
  • If I feel like snacking mindlessly, as myself if I’m truly hungry and do I actually NEED food?
  • Make decisions about things in my life that may or may not be conducive to success
  • Put in the work now and reap the rewards later
  • Learn to cook for myself and how to shop for the right food
  • Get up earlier to fit more into my day
  • Refer back to book if I’m lacking motivation
  • Make time for myself, so matter what it takes
  • Cut back on computer and internet time

So there you have it! It’s a long list but it’s helpful to me. I wrote up my goals on a big piece of A3 paper and put them on my bedroom wall where I can see them everyday to help keep me motivated. I also totally cleaned my room and downgraded my bed from a king to a single!! I’ve been sleeping in a queen or a king for two years, so it’s a big of an odd transition, but I’m really happy and I achieved my aim of helping to feel like my mind is less cluttered. I also feel more independent now… oddly enough. It’s like it’s symbolic that there’s only room for myself in my goals.


This morning I went to the gym to do my first ever Jillian Michaels style workout. I worked my lower body and IT KILLED ME!! (In a good way ;] ) I was achin’ afterwards! My legs still feel like jelly and I’m so tired that I’ll go have an afternoon nap after this, but I can definitely see how her clients and the biggest loser contestants have such incredible results. Tomorrow I’ll focus on my upper body and then Sunday will be a cardio session.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday afternoon!


July 16, 2010 at 1:57 am Leave a comment

A Letter To Myself

You need to stop being so hard on yourself, you know you have the ability to change and make a difference in your lifestyle for the better.
You CAN resist those temptations, you’ve proven it to yourself already! You CAN make a change, you’ve done it before.

You need to remember that true change and results takes time. It’s a slow process, all compiling of little baby steps. You’ve taken the first step by admitting there’s a problem. You’ve taken the second step by experimenting with different foods and plans to help improve your lifestyle.

The key is to know your limits. Know when you’re full and don’t push it from there, don’t eat just coz you are bored or want the taste of food in your mouth. Just stop, relax, breath and ask yourself if you really need that food.

Start looking to your family in particular for support and strength to help you make this change. Even though you’re not fat and your family tells you that, make sure they understand that it’s the psychological aspect that is most important. Maybe let them see that blog post you wrote the other day? Just get them to understand.

You CAN do this, You ARE strong enough and you ARE beautiful.

You’re taking steps to caring properly for your body which shows you’re already halfway there.

June 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

30 Day Challenge + A solution to my problem

Right now I’m sitting at home in front of the fire watching Julie and Julia by myself and it’s brilliant 🙂


It sparked my mind about my own blog and I wondered how I could create some fun, new and exciting posts to keep things fresh… Then I discovered this" “30 Day Challenge” which I felt was the perrrrfect way to achieve all that.

Here’s how it works/what it is:

Day 01 — Your favourite song
Day 02 — Your favourite movie
Day 03 — Your favourite television program
Day 04 — Your favourite book
Day 05 — Your favourite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Day 15 — A fanfic
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

So this challenge is actually for tumblr using short posts, but I thought I could also use this as a way to further my skills in article writing and analysis, and in turn, make them more interesting for you to read 🙂
I’m really excited about this challenge and I MUST finish it! I seem to have a terrible habit of starting “challenges” on my blog and never finishing them… Consider this a challenge within a challenge, a challenge to finish.

Of course I’ll also post these days in conjunction with my regular writing on fitness and health, it may even add up to two to three posts a day which I would prefer 🙂

Let me know your thoughts on this!

In other news…

Remember this morning’s post on my motivation issues for exercise during Winter? (which actually officially starts in 2 days). Well I think I’ve found my solution… Trail walking!! Today my family and I went on a trip to the beach to search for Moko the dolphin, and instead ended up walking half of the Toi’s track. (I completed the Toi’s Challenge last year, an 18.5 Kilometre trail run/walk. I walked it with Mum) In our travels I expressed my issue to Mum and she suggested that I start Bush walking instead because I love nature, I love being outside all day and it’s low-impact which would lower my chances of gaining injuries since we all know how injury prone I am. I welcomed the suggestion with MORE than open arms as you can imagine. It’s perfect! It’s makes absolute sense and I’m definitely going to give it a go. I no longer enjoy running because of the pain and I’ve grown sick and tired of exercising at the gym in an enclosed, confined space. I’ve begun to feel as though exercising at the gym almost defeats the purpose of exercise. Now when I think of exercise I consider it to be something you do as a means of getting closer to nature and sucking fresh air into your lungs. Working out in a gym is boring and restricting, making it impossible to get any of that.

I considered today my first trial day for bush walking. I had an absolute BLAST! I felt happier and livelier than I have in weeks, it was refreshing and rejuvenating.

beach 015 beach 034 beach 033

Some of you may know that I haven’t been feeling very happy lately, but I’ve come to realize that you sort of have to make your own happiness. FIND your own happiness. You can’t just sit and wait for good things to happen to you, you have to be proactive and help them happen. I’ve taken a new and improved approach to things and have been productive with myself, which has, in turn, boosted my happiness 🙂

I hope you all enjoyed your Saturday as much as I did. I’ll now resume to being engrossed in this film and mentally plan my post for Day One of my 30 day challenge which you can expect to see tomorrow morning.



May 29, 2010 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

Army Careers Experience 2010 Recap!!!




Wow… Wow, wow, wow. ACE 2010, where do I even find the words to begin to describe that experience!??? It was probably the most mentally, physically and emotionally challenging thing I have ever been through, but the most satisfying and life changing.

Unfortunately, the three photos you see above, plus a couple of others of scenery which you’ll see later on, are the only photos I have. We weren’t allowed to take any photos of any of the activities because if they were posted onto the internet, they may cause serious issues. We will be receiving a disk each with over 100 certified photos that we can post anywhere we like, so until that little bad boy arrives in the post, you’ll have to wait for photos.

I’ll recap it day by day and in instalments because otherwise this will be the longest blog post ever.

Day 1.

The previous night on Easter Sunday, my family and I drove to Tauranga and stayed with Grandma Penny to prepare to depart from the Tauranga Army Hall the next morning. I slept surprisingly well that night, considering I was really nervous about what was to come the next day.
I woke up at 6am to my alarm. I showered, made sure I was all packed and ready to go and then attempted to eat something but my stomach wasn’t having it. I was too nervous to eat anything, I had a few bites of cereal and half a toasted hot cross bun before tossing it out.

I read my book for a little bit to attempt to calm my nerves a little bit. At 9am we left to head to the Army Hall. When we got there, there were only a few others and NO girls… I felt slightly intimidated. Luckily enough, 1 other girl who I would later become friends with, showed up and I felt slightly better. My family and I spoke to Staff Sergeant Lewis about what to expect, etc. And then it was time to say our goodbyes and depart from our Whanau.

I got a mean front seat so I could watch the view the whole way there. It was pretty cool because the bus said “N.Z Army” on the front 🙂 Representttt! The trip was long, I slept quite a lot on the way. The first stop was Rotorua to pick up some students, we got to have a toilet break and stretch our legs before hopping back on for the leg to Taupo. I slept a little bit more on the way to Taupo, once we got there we met up with the other 2 buses from way up north. We were given our cut lunches which were tasty!! They had 2 different sandwiches, a bottle of water, a big fat muesli bar, a piece of fruit and some pick n’ mix (the healthy kind). Nom nom nom!!

We sat around eating, talking and getting to know one another until about 2pm when we carried on towards Waiouru. I found it hard to sleep on the way to Waiouru because I was so anxious and excited to get there. The closer we got, the more anxious the people around us became and the bus was buzzing with excitement.

When we arrived we began to take in the sights around us.  I was shocked to find that the Military base was more like a small town or large suburb, in my head I saw it as being contained within barbed wire fencing or something, but it was nothing like that.

As soon that the bus was parked we were greeted by Sergeant Major. One thing you should know about the Army straight away is that right from the get go, whether you’re a new recruit or students like us embarking on a careers experience, the begin to install Discipline and a Sense of Urgency as soon as possible. So we were given instructions straight away and we had to run EVERYWHERE. Another thing about the Army is that there’s no time to be comfortable. There’s no time to kick back and relax. When you’re going somewhere, you’re either Marching or running like hell. You don’t walk, because as I said, everything is done with a sense of urgency. Also, you can’t have your hands in your pockets, your arms folded or your hands on your hips. 9 times out of 10 there are punishments for that.

Punishments in the Army are a whole new world of pain… The most common? Diamond press-ups.

horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE.

(Leave a comment if you don’t know what it is and I’ll video a demonstration.)

But, I’ll get to the worst of the punishments later 😉

We were assigned our rooms in the Barracks, ladies on the top floor, males on the next 2 floors down. Our instructions were to run upstairs, identify which room was ours, run back down, grab our luggage, run back up to our rooms, get changed into our Number Ones (formal wear) and run back down stairs and be ready to head to the Powhiri. We had about 5 minutes to get all of that done.

Firstly, it took about 10 minutes just for us to understand was “number ones” were, but after that it was all go.

Once everyone was sorted, we hopped back on the bus and drove to the Marae to go to the Powhiri. It was to welcome us onto the Military base, welcome our passed ancestors and lift any Tapu’s that may be hanging over us.

The Powhiri was great and afterwards we briefly had beverages and biscuits before we headed back to Base as quickly as possible to go to the Mess for dinner. We’d already had a taste for the discipline just by the attitudes of the Staff, so we were on our toes the whole time.

Dinner at the mess was a whole new experience. The food was awesome! It was laid out in a buffet fashion and everyone was to line up in an orderly fashion and go through the buffet. Then we could go sit at various tables around the dining area.

There was pudding too! But I didn’t have any. I hardly touched my dinner too because I was still nervous (as we all were for the first 2 days) and terrified to do anything wrong in case I got thrashed for it.

After dinner we were to wait outside to be sorted into Platoons. One very important thing to note about Waiouru in the colder months is that it gets COLD!!!!!! We’re talking SNOW sort of freezing, and here we were, standing outside in nothing but a short-sleeved, button up blouse with a summer skirt and ballet flats. Not a wise dress move on my behalf. I was so cold, I was shivering so fiercely I could barely function.

I wound up in 2 Platoon. There were about 40 students in each Platoon and there were 3 Platoons. Our Platoons would be the groups we travelled in for the rest of the week. From here, we learnt how to March. We sucked so bad at first, we also got our first taste of Drill. We “marched” to the Conference Hall where all the main Staff were there to deliver the Opening Ceremony. They gave us a brief of how the rest of the evening was going to go and just to take away from it what we will. We had an Army Firefighter come and brief us on what to do if there was a fire, then we Marched to the assembly point for if there was a fire so we’d know where to go in the event of one. After that we ran back up to the Barracks where we were instructed by our floor commanders on what to do next.

Sergeant Te Kani briefed us on what the week would hold, how things would run, basic rules of the Barracks, how fatigues work and what we would need to do that night before going to bed. She told us that food was strictly prohibited in the Barracks and that if anyone had any food, now was there opportunity to bring it out, either share it round and eat it, or dispose of it. We were given 5 minutes to do so. I hadn’t brought any food with me, and there wouldn’t have been much point as I had no appetite at that point anyway, but the other girls brought out huge stashes of chocolate and easter eggs from Easter the previous day. There was a mad rush to eat it all and scoff back lollies before Sergeant walked down the corridor with a rubbish bag and told everyone to place there food in the bin. After that, Sergeant Major came through and told us all about how much Fat and sugar was in all that food, how bad it was for us and how we were going to be feeling it on Wednesday during the assault course…

Once all the food was gone we had to unpack our bags, be taught how to make our beds properly and then get straight into fatigues. It was all go, go, go. My room and one other were on Ablutions, so we had to mop the bathroom floors, clean the toilets, the showers and the sinks. It’s ok though because the ablutions get cleaned twice a day so they’re always really clean when you come to clean them again anyway.

Once all our jobs were complete, we had to hand our phones in. We would be allowed them for 10 minutes at the end of each day only. That was fine with me, I enjoyed the break from it.

We had to be in bed by 10pm and lights out was at 10.15pm. I stayed up a little bit to write the blog for the Army that they asked me to. But I was exhausted and wanted to turn the lights out as soon as possible.

Unfortunately I did not sleep well. I had so much swimming in my head from the day, my brain would not shut down.

However, that was day one!

Stay tuned for Day 2 🙂


April 10, 2010 at 9:10 am Leave a comment

The “Back On Track” challenge.

I haven’t really said anything about this, but my “healthy” lifestyle habits are severely lacking at the moment and I’m starting to notice the consequences both physically and mentally.

It’s really getting me down and I’m making excuses for myself like “oh, I can’t, I don’t have time to exercise today, I’m too busy” and “It doesn’t matter if I eat 3 pieces of cake, I do enough exercise to compensate (which currently I do NOT!)“.

My mind-frame is terrible at the moment and it is TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!

So from now on, March 14th until further notice, I am declaring this the “Back On Track” challenge for myself.

I can’t stand the way things are right now and so I’m going to make a few changes…

Current Habits:

  • Severe lack of exercise.
  • Excessive amounts of high fat/high sugar, foods.
  • Not enough water
  • Not enough sleep
  • Excuse making

Tangible Goals:

  • Substitute ice cream/chocolate/baking etc, for fruit or Green Tea
  • Aim for a minimum of 6 hours exercise each week
  • Exercise in the evenings to help aid sleep
  • Cut out any foods/beverages/habits that may be encouraging sleep loss.

Other things I plan to do are to work on my time management skills so I can find the time to exercise for at least 1 hour each day.

Now that daylight savings are very fast approaching, it’s dark until late in the morning and dark very early on in the evenings and it will only get worse.

The only positive thing about winter is that it is cool enough to exercise later on in the day, so my plan is to continue getting up at 6am but instead of exercising (I hate running in the dark), I’ll complete whatever homework there is to do, as opposed to doing it in the evenings like I’ve been doing at the moment.

If I can get homework out of the way in the mornings then that will leave the evenings free for exercise! 🙂

My self-discipline has been terrible recently too… Secretly, I think it may have to do with stress. Eating chocolate takes me to my “happy place”, which in the long run is the polar opposite…

I’m going to try and exercise a different mind set to help me eat better. It’s not like me to binge on junk food everyday… :S

Anyway, I shall keep you well updated with my progress. I’ll try to do a report at the end of each week to reflect on how I’ve done.

I’m also going to start keeping a food diary. I’ve heard that this has helped many many others in the quest to eat better, I’ve never really kept a food diary before so I’m open to trying it!

Feel free to join me in this mission! 😀

In other news…

I’m just going to talk about this here and now. Last night Dallas and I made a mutual decision to end our relationship.

It wasn’t messy or dramatic, we just agreed that right now we’re both so committed in other areas that we can’t give each other 100%.

We’ve agreed to stay the best of friends which I am delighted about 🙂 He’s a stellar guy.

Anyway, it’s been a huge weekend and I still have so much work to get done…

Hope you’ve all had a fabulous Sunday.

Goodnight, xoxo

March 14, 2010 at 5:02 am 4 comments

Happy New Year! 2010 Resolutions.

Good Morning! Happy New Year to each and every single one of you. I hope you had a fantastic night and that you’re continuing to enjoy yourself today on the 1st of January 2010 😀

Yesterday I got some funky as new clothes! Check out these super cute earrings.

I also got two new tops and a denim mini skirt:

I love it 😀

Anyway, moving on to my 2010 New Years Resolutions.

Since writing this list, I’ve added a few more things:

– Quit my morning coffee habit, drink Green Tea instead.

– Learn something interesting.

– Maintain and control my weight/weight loss.

– Learn to Scuba Dive.

I’m making it my goal to maintain healthy living as best I can 🙂 I don’t want it to be something that some would consider to be just a “phase”.

Great news is that my knees and hip are feeling great! I’m looking for a new physiotherapist in Whakatane to continue on with my treatment and I won’t start running again until I can get my proper shoes.

Those are my New Years Resolutions, what are yours? 🙂



January 1, 2010 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

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Hey there, my name's Jenny. I have a huge passion for cooking/baking, writing, yoga and photography. I love nature and my favourite thing to do is spend an entire day outside, breathing in crisp, fresh air. Even better if I have a pen and paper with me. I started out running in March 2009 but sustained an injury in October 2009 which has unfortunately prevented me from running. I've been experimenting with other kinds of exercise to find another one that clicks. Follow me on my journey to maintaining good health + surviving high school and pursuing a career in Journalism. I Hope you enjoy reading my blog!

Questions? Comments? Email me at

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