Tag Archives: nutrition

Clean kitchens, dirty laundry and accountability

I recently got a new roommate. At first glance this may not seem like any breakthrough or large victory, but any of you who have attempted to share close quarters with a complete stranger may well sympathize with my excitement at finding a good fit!

When embarking on the search for a new roomie there are always fears. Fears that you may someday wake up to the sight of this new roommate standing over your bed, breathing loudly and staring intently at your slumbering silhouette. Fears that you may end up with a reckless party animal or sex addict. Fears that this new flat-mate may leave their fetish magazines, dirty underwear or retainer on the kitchen counter. Fears that your new addition may insist on playing Miley Cyrus at full volume, hanging autographed Justin Bieber paraphernalia throughout your home or hogging the television watching endless re-runs of  Little House on the Prairie.

Luckily, my new roommate  has turned out to be quite socially competent, easy-going and is seemingly in control of all her physical, mental and emotional faculties. In addition to providing me with a sane house-mate and bearing a chunk of the mortgage, my roomie has also reminded me of a key factor to success in losing weight…accountability.

Here’s the thing…when left alone, I am a failure in the cleanliness category. I tend to leave the toilet seat up, my dishes in the sink and I occasionally neglect a head of broccoli in the fridge until it starts sprouting tentacles. With a roommate however, I am like a new man. I see things in a different light. I know that if I leave my sweaty gym socks out on the kitchen floor, it’s not just offending MY olfactory…someone else has to suffer due to my nostril-singing disregard for hygiene.

The key once again is accountability. In the same way accountability forces me to take the time to wipe down the microwave, it can also help you shed some major pounds and keep them off.

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? If you “forget” your healthy bagged lunch and sneak out for a Big Mac combo, does anyone notice? If you skip your workout to watch a re-run of Jersey Shore, does it make a difference? If you have an accountability partner, the answer is yes!

So how do you harness the awesome power of accountability? You need to find someone  who cares about you and ask them to hold you accountable. This can be a friend, family member or coworker, but it should be someone you trust and someone who you see on a regular basis. This is your accountability partner.

There are two options when it comes to finding someone to hold you to your goals. The first option is to find someone who also wants to lose weight and get healthier. In this case the accountability becomes a two-way street. This is someone you meet up to work out with, go to yoga with, play sports with, etc. You make a commitment to meet up several times a week to stay active. It’s so much harder to hit the snooze button and stay in bed if you know you’ll be letting someone down who is counting on you. The same goes with eating. You agree to follow a healthy eating regimen and make a pact to be honest with one another and to check in daily to see how things are going. This person should become a rock…someone you can lean on and confide in. Someone you can call when you feel like giving in to your cravings and who can give you support, remind you of your commitment and talk you off that ledge. Success is so much richer when you have someone to share the journey with so I think this is the ideal accountability scenario!

The second option is to have a more passive accountability partner. This is someone who agrees to check in with you daily or weekly and see how you are doing. In this case you make the agreement to be 100% honest with this person and provide truthful reports of your progress. This can be as simple as making a phone date once a week to report how your fitness and nutrition programs are going. Again it becomes much harder to eat that cupcake if you know you’re going to have to fess up to your accountability partner about it later. You should set goals and share those goals with that person. If your goal is to fit into your favorite pair of jeans that don’t fit any more, that person should be calling you weekly and asking how your butt is looking in those pants!

Here’s the thing…having an accountability partner does NOT change the fact that you are 100% responsible for your success. In the end it’s all on you. No excuses. No bullshit. Sharing your journey can be hard. It require you to throw out your ego and to be honest, open and vulnerable. It can be tough to share your goals, challenges and fear, but in the end accountability can make all the difference.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off your butt and find your “weight loss roommate”. Remember…whether it’s keeping your dirty underwear off the kitchen table or losing 50 pounds accountability can make all the difference.




Day 14…Choice

Life is a series of choices. Whether we are aware of it or not, as human beings we command our destiny through the choices we make every day. Choice can be a beautiful thing or a dangerous thing. It can set us free or enslave us. Choice is power. We make the choice to be happy or sad. To reach for our dreams or sink into the shadows. To be vulnerable and take risks, or to play it safe.  

In the end we are the sum of the choices we make. Those small decisions that may seem insignificant mold us. They shape our character, our relationships, our personality and our happiness. The beauty of choice is that it is constant. We are not bound to the decisions of yesterday. If you’re not happy with your life, make a change. After all, outside of our opposable thumbs (which I will admit are quite handy), choice is what separates man from animals. Choice is an amazing gift, so embrace it. Own it. Live it. Choose strength, joy, calm, peace, contentment, courage, confidence, giving…these are the choices that will set you free.

Below is a re-post from my Vine Arts blog. I thought it was fitting given the topic and there may be some readers of this blog that haven’t yet seen it. I hope you enjoy!

I am constantly asked for advice on losing weight, getting bigger, getting stronger and eating healthy. The problem is that too often when people find out I don’t have a simple or easy answer, they almost always lose interest. Everyone is hoping I can suggest a pill, diet, machine or exercise that will solve their problems. When I can’t give that to them, people then assume I must just have good genetics or that I am using some supplement or steroids that are the source of my results. People don’t want the truth…because the truth is work.

The problem is that you’re not with me. You don’t see me at 6 am in the gym. You’re not there when my lungs are burning, my legs are shaking, my hands are raw, when the bile is rising in my throat. You’re not there when every fiber in my body is screaming at me, a symphony of sweat, pain and lactic acid rising to a thunderous crescendo. This is the moment I live for. There is no mortgage, no job, no deadlines. I live for the peak of that crescendo. That moment when time slows and I am completely in my head and there is nothing but a choice. A choice to give in to the voices that tell me to stop. The voices that tell me I’m not strong enough, not fit enough, not good enough… that I should just quit and give up and get out. In this moment I am alone and my only obstacles are fear and doubt. This is gut check. Choice.

There is me…I am in my mind and there is a mirror. There is sweat and pain and fatigue, and as I look myself in the eye I nod. I smile. I feel a sense calm rising from the base of my being and as it spreads that calm drowns the fear and doubt. I have made the choice. As time quickens I am drawn back to my task. Fear, doubt and fatigue are replaced by calm, focus and energy. My legs are still shaking, my hands are still raw, I can still taste the bile… but I am at peace. I have succeeded in the face of my only true opposition, the barriers I impose on myself. I have prevailed. That is the source of true contentment.

The more I look in the mirror and nod and make those choices the more I feel free. The more I make that choice in the gym, the easier it is to make that choice in the face of the other challenges in my life.

Find your own challenge. Find those mirror moments. Find choice…that choice will set you free.



My Day


8 am – Protein Pancake

– 10 am – Pork chop, apple

– 1 pm – 2 scoops whey protein

– 6 pm – Chicken breast, spinach, quinoa

– 8 pm – Pizza, 1 glass wine = P

Workout – Rest Day

14 days down…10 to go


Day 7…Be thankful for the hard days

“There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Ken Blanchard

It’s not the easy days that make the difference. It’s the hard days.

The days when energy flows freely, when rest has been plentiful, when motivation is abundant, when you are on top of the world and can achieve anything…these are not the days that build success. True, lasting success is built on the back of the hard days.

It’s the days when from the moment you wake up all you want to do is go back to bed. The days when it feels like the weight of the world is on your back and you just want to collapse. The days when the obstacles in your life seem insurmountable. These are the hard days.

Only in the face of challenge and adversity can we grow. Through struggle we become stronger. Through weakness we build strength. Vulnerability breeds confidence. Failure creates wisdom. Courage is found in the face of fear.

Today was a hard day and I am thankful for it, because I know the hard days make me stronger.

My Day


– 9:30 am: 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg

-11 am: Protein shake, 1 apple

-2 pm: Lentil Curry, small portion of rice, 1 roti (like a whole wheat wrap…)

-6 pm: 5 oz pork tenderloin, spinach w/olive oil and vinegar, 1 apple

-10 pm: Coconut curry soup (see Day 6 for details)


Crossfit Ramsay

Push Jerk: 7 sets, 1 rep each. 135 lb, 145 lb, 155 lb, 165 lb, 175 lb, 185 lb, 205 lb

Tabata Workout: The Tabata Protocol, named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, Ph. D. is an intense form of interval training. It involves performing 8 consecutive sets of a given exercise, with 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. The goal is to maintain consistant performance throughout all 8 sets. It is fairly advanced and hard as hell…but effective.

Todays workout was: Tabata pull-ups , Tabata ring-dips, Tabata Squats (holding a 45 lb plate), Tabata dead-lifts (165lb bar). 1 minutes rest between exercises. It wasn’t pretty…but I finished!

7 days down, 17 to go…


Day 6…Delicious Screw-Ups

Today I decided to get a little exotic and attempt a coconut prawn curry. In order to achieve this I first had to create the curry. In doing so I learned 2 valuable lessons. #1. Garlic burns…easily. #2. Stock and broth are not the same thing. Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsay!

So instead of a nice, lush curry I was left with what was essentially coconut soup…vegetable stock would have given me curry, the vegetable broth I used gave me soup. This sucks.

Having already dropped $10 worth of saffron into the damn thing, I decided to try to make it work anyway. By the way, why the hell is saffron so expensive? Is it picked on treacherous slopes by B list celebrities doing community service? What gives?

I believe that when life kicks you in the balls, you need to smile, say thank you and kick it right back. As such I brought my “soup” back to a simmer, threw in some cooked, diced chicken breast, prawns and chickpeas and made myself a little soup. And you know what? It isn’t half bad.

The moral of the story? When life gives you lemons, say f$*# these lemons and make it work anyway. You slept in and now you only have 10 minutes to work out? Hit the push-ups, suck it up and make it work. You’re stuck with a co-worker you don’t really like? Suck it up and make it work. You agreed to let your friend shave your head while you were drunk and now you look like a mental patient? Suck it up and make it work.

My Day


11 am – Protein Pancake (I wasn’t lying when I said I love these things!)

– 1 pm – Mixed Berry Protein Smoothie (Frozen mixed berries blended with water and chocolate whey protein isolate…yum!)

– 3 pm – 1 apple, 10 almonds

-6 pm – A meal cooked by my Mom…does it get better? Roast lamb. Orange and almond spinach salad. Asparagus, beet and goat cheese salad. Roasted sweet potato. And no dessert to tempt me…thanks Mom!

-11 pm – Accidental coconut curry soup!


1. Crossfit Ramsay – 3 rounds for time of 30 wall ball shots (20 lb ball), 30 box jumps (24 inch box), run 400 metres. Completed 3 rounds in 14 minutes and 14 seconds. Almost puked. Good times.

2. Hot Yoga – At Hot Yoga on 17th here in town. I apologize to the young ladies next to me who had to witness the sweaty, inflexible, uncoordinated mess that is Jesse at hot yoga.

Great day. Feelin’ good. Going to bed now.

6 days down, 18 to go…