The time has come to take this up a notch, so to speak. I'm really pleased that I've managed to kick some of the worst diet habits I'd acquired in the several weeks when my back was at its worst. But, the weight isn't really shifting. The reason: my rules need to be tweaked and I need to add some physical activity to my day-to-day life.

In a previous post, I had indicated that all my rules were up for being revised should any of them start to feel too easy. For that reason, the following changes are being made to my existing rules:

Rule #1: No more poutine french fries until Christmas

Rule #2: No more tuck shop goodies 

Rule #3: Pack a lunch every day

Rule #4: Eat out a maximum of twice once per week

That should help. And I've also decided that from this point forward, two new rules will be introduced weekly (I announce them in my blog on Thursdays, but they come into effect on Sunday). One rule will continue to address improvements I want to make to my diet, and the second rule will touch on physical activity.

The newest rules are:

Rule #5: Have at least 4 servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day (you'd think that would be a no-brainer, right? WRONG!)

Rule #6: Get back into the Fitbit habit and log at least 25,000 steps for the week (Sunday to Saturday)

I'm looking forward to seeing what impact these revised and new rules will have in the coming week!

I also have been looking into a new initiative. There's a new start up that launched in my city a few months ago and they run a business that facilitates the purchase of homemade meals by people living in my community looking for a good quality meal. I am considering becoming one of these home-based 'chefs' who offer limited servings of a few dishes a few nights per week. I won't go into the details on how it works - I only mention it because it clearly necessitates that I make certain types of food that I wouldn't necessarily be eating myself. My focus will be on French Canadian dishes so this would include hearty pea soup with smoked turkey, meatballs stew (ragoût de boulettes de porc - pictured), ham and cheese stuffed crêpes, and the like. These are things that can be made ahead at least in part, have some appeal to potential customers and can be packed reasonably well for delivery. None of these goes against my rules for the time being, but I certainly wouldn't want to indulge in them too often - though I guess the pea soup would be okay. Anyway, all that to say that I'm a bit nervous about heading in a direction that would in essence create a need to be cooking much more often that I normally do. I've been trying to keep out of the kitchen to keep myself from snacking. I've been doing great with these rules, and haven't slipped up once - but am I pushing temptation just a bit too much here? I guess time will tell. We'll see if I finally do decide to take this one. Stay tuned.

I'm also back to working Fridays after a summer of compressed work weeks and Fridays off. I'll be trying to fit my weekly physio appointments on weeknights. It's just a new routine for a new season, just like every family that is transitioning into their back-to school-routines with the kids.

I've got to go drink some water. My stomach is begging for some of the chocolate treats I bought at my office's all chocolate bake sale today. Gold star for me: the goodies on my desk are for my hubby who has been working day and night lately and deserves a sweet reward. That being said, it's getting late and dinner should have been nearly 2 hours ago. My stomach isn't growling for no reason...