Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 30 - A Month Already!

Monday dawns bright and beautiful.  Drew is up north and I have plans to finish that front garden today.  But first, TEAM Weight Loss.  Today we move through an endurance day.  We start off with treadmill as usual and go through various exercises including slamming the heavy ball, rolling it from side to side, squatting and thrusting it.  Then there are lunges and walking quickly at different inclines.  As always it is a good workout.   Maria reminds us that tomorrow is fitness test and metabolic age.  Oh great, I bet I am metabolically about 102!  I sure feel that way some days.

Since I do not work Mondays and my leg is aching somewhat and I have already done a pretty intense cardio workout I decide to check out the outside pool as it is such a warm and beautiful day.  It is very nice and in the large pool there is only myself and one other lady (who recently had hip replacement).  There are a few people in the lap pool and a few sitting around the pool catching some much needed vitamin D rays. I am just swimming around in an easy way when I see another lady enter our part of the pool.  I am alarmed to see - even though the pool is not deep - that she obviously cannot swim and is trying to do something that looks like swimming.  She is thrashing about and stands up sputtering. I watch her for a few minutes and realize that maybe she is trying to do a front crawl but is not doing anything really.  I can't stand it so I approach her friendly like. I say Hi and ask her if she speaks english (she is asian).  She giggles and says yes.  I ask her if she is having problems with swimming.  She says yes she doesn't know how to swim and is trying to teach herself to swim.  I tell her that is awesome but if she didn't mind I would like to show her a simple stroke that may be easier for her to do since what she is doing is not swimming but more like controlled drowning.  Seriously that is what it looked like.  She says please I want to learn so I spend the next 40 minutes teaching this lovely lady May how to do the breaststroke.  I try many ways of showing her.  We sit at the side of the pool and she learns how to do the kick (frog kick) and we go over the breaststroke but as soon as she tries to swim she starts panicking and stroking 2 x for every one kick and her timing is way off.  As well she can't seem to get keeping her head up so she has to stop and catch her breath.  It is funny but not really since she really wants to learn.  I know that the gym has lessons but she feels she would just be so far behind everyone else.  After awhile she sorta gets the idea and at one point swims about 1/2 way across the pool.  She is thrilled to have done that and I tell her that was awesome.  She goes off to tell her husband and promises that she will practice and that the next time I see her she will be really awesome.  I feel good that I helped her.   It has been an awfully long time since I taught someone to swim.  Maybe it was presumptuous of me but I just felt I had to do something as it was really the worse swimming I have ever seen in my life.

I see that there is an outside hottub/spa so I check that out.  This is definitely a nice way to spend some time in the middle of the day.  There are some hawks flying overhead and it seems that they are nesting on the roof of the gym.  One seems to be scaring off crows while the other one is watching over the area.  Very cool indeed.

That was a relaxing after workout morning and I hit the showers.  I head home to get lunch and to work on that front garden to finish up planting etc.  Nick is going to come over after work and clean up the backyard so I can start doing the gardens back there.  I decide to cook us dinner and google a shish kabob recipe for pork that looks tantalizing and I have all the ingredients.  While the meat is marinating I work on the front garden.  By the time I finish that Nick arrives and he cleans the garden and mows the back lawn.

Have you tried to find a substitute for rice?  I have tried quinoa but I am not a fan.  So I googled it and found that someone suggests grating cauliflower and then microwaving it for 4 or 5 minutes.  I have cauliflower so I tried it.  Along with a simple green salad it makes a complete and delicious low cal/low carb dinner.  On the skewers I also put fresh pineapple, red onion, portobello mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.  There is a basting sauce of soy sauce, beef broth, garlic and a bit of raw sugar and some minced ginger.   That is boiled until thickened.  I grilled the kabobs and Nick and I sit down to enjoy the meal.  He loves the whole thing and it is very filling.  The cauliflower is really good and I will make that again.

It was a treat having Nick stay for dinner and he was a great help getting things done.  By 8:30 he is gone and one his way to his home and I spend an hour or so on the front porch watching tv.  All in all it was a pretty good day but tomorrow is looming.  What will this test tell me...

Tomorrow - Fitness/Metabolic testing


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 29 - Sunday and Its a Beautiful Day

Seems like some days it is very hard to get my rump out of bed.  I make myself cause you know you have to or you will never accomplish anything.  I have plans to work on the garden and hopefully my youngest son makes it over to help me clean the backyard up.  First up (after Corrie of course) is some gym time.  After perusing the class list I decide I'm going to do the Kris routine.

I arrive at the gym just after 11 and see that the outside pool is open and busy.  It is already over 20 degrees (celsius) and I can see that the pool is very popular.

Upstairs I hit the treadmill for a 10 minute warmup.  I walk fast for 6 minutes then run at 4.3 mph for 4 minutes.  That gets my heart going and I head over to the weight area.  Well hello, the 40 lb bar is not being used so I grab it and head over to a discreet area to do my squat and lifts.  Dang 40 is heavy and not having Kris there pushing me is obvious.  I do 5 reps of 10 and think 50 is pretty good.  Next is the chin ups.  I put the weight at 120 and start. This time I do 5 reps of 11.  The last 2 or 3 of each set is so hard but I push (or pull) through it.  Thats 55 total chin ups.  Next time I will either up the reps or change the weight to 110.  See how I feel.  Next up is the chest machine (now that I'm losing weight there I better work on it) and do another 5 reps of 11 at 50 lbs (which is the lowest setting).  I am sweaty but not breathing too hard.  All that took me around 45 minutes. I find it funny to think I am lifting weights - but with the squats Kris says that works the entire body.  Oh fart I just this second realized I didn't do the 1 minute planks.  Maybe I should write this down somewhere.  I did roll my quads on the hard foam roller since I have still quite a bit of discomfort or stiffness in that area.  I hope that passes sooner than later.  I am stretching out, when my muscles are warm not cold, but in the back of my head I am saying "no pain no gain". Its not a bad pain just really stiff.

Breakfast today was a poached egg on whole grain toast with cheese and tomato slices.
Lunch I grabbed a regular size very berry with almond milk.
Dinner I caved and had Swiss Chalet with sweet potato fries.  I ate maybe 1/3 of the fries.  I know that's carbs but I worked for 5 hours in the garden and sun and felt I could have a bit of a cheat.  I won't beat myself up about it as tomorrow I will be continuing on as normal.

All in all a good days work, gym and gardening keeping the activity level up.

Tomorrow - TEAM Weight Loss - and start of week 5


Day 28 - Just keep on Spinning....and Updated pictures

I made some homemade/natural gatorade last night - if you want the recipe ask and I will post it - in anticipation of my second and hopefully more successful attempt at spin class.  I've read up on it, asked questions and I think I am ready to try  do it.  It was not funny what happened last week and I am just a bit nervous.

To start with more than 1 hour before I make an omelette with spinach, tomato, red pepper and a touch of basil with one slice of whole grain bread.   I start hydrating with water.  Also last night I had a few carbs to try and fuel myself as well.  I had chicken fajitas so the wraps count as my carb. I took a sip of the gatorade and that stuff is pretty strong.  Cat recommends a 50/50 with water so that's what I do in a separate water bottle.  I fill 2 bottle with plain water as well.  One to drink on the way to the gym.

This time I'm going to save my buttocks (which are still a tad sore from the dog incident) and wear my bike shorts - which fit comfortably now since they are not stretched within a mm of their life - and bring my gel bike seat. I can't possibly be anymore prepared - I hope.

I get there 15 minutes before class begins and grab a banana as Sara has advised me to eat a whole banana before spinning. Before heading upstairs I stop at the fitness desk to see if Maria is going to be in the class today.  She tells me to take it easy and that she already did the earlier class.  She high fives me when I tell her my bit of news (I will share that later - with the picture). When I tear up a bit she says "you should be happy you have worked hard for that" I am happy those are happy tears - my eyes leak that way all the time.

Upstairs in the Spin Studio I say hello to Joseph and he is glad to see me and tells me again to just go at my own pace.  Karen is also there (the lady that was beside me last week) and when I set up my bike she looks over and says I still need a bit of adjustment on the height of the bars and the distance between the bars and the seat.  That made a huge difference!  Warming up it feels ok you know where.  Joseph tells us today we are going to do the Tour de France but there will not be any french wine or cheese (OKA??).

If you have done a spin class then you know the way it goes.  Warm up, increase RPM's and increase resistance and then the push and runs (running is standing up in the bike not an easy task) in 30 second to 1 minute intervals.  I do everything but can't manage the full minute run as my legs start to burn and shake.  So I do it in 30 second intervals and push as hard as I can.  25 minutes in I start to feel a bit shakier and nauseous even though I am drinking a lot of water and I am soaking wet.  I open the gatorade/water mix and start sipping that down.  Even though there is only 1/2 tsp of sea salt in 2 litres of water I can taste it.  There is also a lot of ginger and it helps to settle my stomach right away.  I feel better and do the push and runs again but after about 5 or 10 minutes I decide no more runs.  I look at the clock and hang in for the full 45 minutes by pushing and not running.  I cool down for 5 minutes while he goes through the last push and run with the class.  While they cool down I stretch my quads, hamstrings and calves.  I am soaked but I am also elated.  I did it.  I did not let it beat me.  And maybe I like it.  Seems I learn something new everyday.  A new class and also something new about me.  As Brenda said and I quoted before - your mind will hold your body back but your body is capable of anything.  Joseph and Karen both congratulate me on getting through it and Joseph tells me that by the time I do that bike ride in the not too distant future, it will seem like a mini baguette.  I agreed after all I have done the Tour De France, anything else will be a piece of gateaux.

This journey is definitely interesting and challenging.  BUT I am happy, I feel great for the most part (soreness aside) and I want to keep going.

So here is the awaited picture.  I have to preface this with a short story.  I went to Joe Fresh to see if I could find some tshirt or light blouse to wear with 2 of my summer skirts which I tried on and I can wear now.  I saw so many good prices on things that I tried some stuff on.  I picked out a dress in size large and thought - gee that looks big - so I grabbed a medium.  And it FIT.  And the sleeves were not too tight.  I have had so many issues over the years with sleeves being way too tight.  I realize you can totally see my belly button and my belly but what the heck - it FIT.  Did I totally skip a size?

Geezus - why am I never smiling?? I should be beaming.

Then just for fun I thought I would try a pair of shorts and jeans - in SIZE 14.  I haven't worn a 14 in probably 2 or 3 years maybe more.  I bought both.  Here is a picture of me in the jeans.

So even though I have lost 11 pounds and I thought that I would need to lose 10 more to fit into a medium, the inches I have lost on my waist, hips, thighs, bust and upper arms has made more of a difference.  I only bought a couple of things (2 dresses, the shorts & jeans and a silk blouse - all on super reduced prices) and I also treated myself to a new pair of shoes which I am wearing in the jean photo.  Those were from Winners also greatly reduced.  I think after 28 days of hard work I deserve something, after all, I don't think those XL size 18 jeans I have from Reitmans are gonna fit me much longer... if they even do now - should I try them?  Nah.

I have things in my closet I cannot wait to wear again.  Nothing from the 80's I promise.

Tomorrow is Sunday...what shall I do?


Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 27 - why did I think it was 30 .....

Friday, another TEAM Weight Loss day.  My right knee is still uncomfortable so I am not sure if I will run.  Maria has said today would be a fun day...sure it's always fun Maria!  Exercise is FUN...ok maybe not ALL the time but when you find you are able to do something yes it does feel like fun.  The class is full to capacity.  New guy is back and there are 2 more new faces. Marchesse and her mom have decided to try it this morning.  We chat for a minute and then I look at the clock and run over to my treadmill before Maria joins us.

Today is circuit day and being there are so many we will split up and some do circuit 1 on the treadmill and the others do 2 and 3 on floor where equipment has been set up for us.

This is our circuit today:


  • walk/run 400m at 3% incline 
  • 20 pushups
  • walk/run 400m at 3% incline
  • 20 pushups
  • walk/run 600m at 5% incline
  • 25 jumping jacks
  • Run 30 seconds at 7% incline

  • row 200m 
  • TRX pullups 1 minute
  • Battling rope 1 minute
  • repeat 2x

  • ski 200m
  • TRX squat jumps 1 minute
  • ab roller 1 minute
  • run on BOCE ball 1 minute
  • abs on BOCE ball 1 minute
  • repeat 2x
Then back to the treadmill to cool down.

Typed out it may not seem like a lot but the idea is to get up to zone 2 or 3 and maintain that for the entire time and not wander into zone 4 for more than 30 seconds.  The only thing I didn't do were the jumps on the squat jump but I did squat.  Trust me when you are running through this you are sweating and it is hard.  That battling rope is long and heavy and your arms start to ache quite quickly.

I see that Marchesse is working along pretty good but her mom stays on the treadmill and I think that is fine for the very first day.  After class they chat with Maria and sign up for the program.  I will see them Monday morning.  I am happy that they are joining us.

Since I didn't do the special scale yesterday I decide to check it out today.  I see Sara and we catch up, she is a bit hoarse today and she's injured herself kickboxing.  Girl after my own heart.  She comes over to the scale to see what's what as well.  I get on and hold the wands/hands and watch the lines etc.  Weight wise it says 180. I'm still ok with that since 10 or 11 pounds in 27 days is awesome.  What I am really interested in is the BF %.  Sara punches in my ID number and we watch the screen.  Apparently the lines that indicate each individual body part look good - not so much in the fat zone ie percentage of that body part that is fat.  Overall ...drum roll please.... my BF% is now 38.3.  Yes 38.3 down from 47.8.  That is huge and soon I hope to be on the chart that is posted above the scale.  That number is 30.  Doesn't seem impossible now.

I know that it isn't all about the scale.  But, it is an indicator of progress.  And I am making progress.  Sara say's that being down 10 or 11 pounds in less than a month is crazy since she hopes for most people to do 1 pound per week which is a very healthy weight loss pattern.  I am very very happy :)  Sara is such a lovely girl, we talk for 15 minutes or so about non gym related stuff and I think we have the beginning of a great relationship that goes beyond client/dietitian.

Check out this jibjab I made....

Lunch today is greens with small bits of ham and sliced almonds, toasted whole wheat english muffin with 2 oz of cheddar cheese and 2 small slices of ham and mustard. FYI mustard has 0 calories, 0.2 sugar - 0 carbs so you can add that yellow stuff to anything.

Dinner I am not sure as yet.  Drew is back up to the cottage to finish what he's working on (hot tub) and to feed the black flies.

Tomorrow - I am going to attempt Spin Class again wish me luck!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 26 - Thursday is Stat Day

I'm going to go right to the stats.

Start                      Day 19          Day 26
Weight - 190         181.9             179
BF% - 47.8            39 - 41          not sure didn't hold hands with my friend - will tomorrow
Waist - 40.5"         38"                 36" - yes omg 
Bust - 44"               42.5"              42"
Hip - 46"                44"                 43"
Upper Arm - 15"     12.5"             12"
Calf - 18"                 16.5"             15.5"
Thigh - 25 or 26"      23.5"             22.5"

Well look at that again.  While the weight is not falling off me the inches certainly are!  Here is the to date loss tally:
Weight 11 lbs
Waist 4.5 INCHES
Bust 2"
Hip 3"
Upper Arm 3"
Calf 2.5"
Thigh 3.5"
and that thigh is now smaller than a 24" waist  - woohoo!!  Total inches lost so far is 15.5" .

My shorts I put on this morning are very loose and I tried these on when changing seasonal and they were TIGHT almostnotbeingabletodothemupsosuckitin tight.  And they are loose all over.  BUT no new clothes til I hit MEDIUM and that is still at least 10 lbs away.  I know I cannot get discouraged over the weight loss since the inches tell me that things are changing. Maybe I've put 10 pounds in muscle on...ok who believes me raise your hand. No?  Maybe?

Drew makes us a smoothie this morning and I deliberate on whether I should do a yoga or pilates class or swim.  Swimming is going to be the winner since we are lollygagging over breakfast and it is past the time for those classes.  (and it is lollygagging not galleylagging look it up).  As I am leaving I see my neighbour has returned from their cottage and I chat with him for a few minutes, suddenly his daughter opens the front door and their stupid little rescue dog (they've had since Christmas) charges out of the house and lunges at me biting me 3 times all on the buttocks and upper thigh.  I am in shock and so ANGRY.  MY BUTT is the same height as MY GRANDKIDS FACES.  I don't hold back and tell them what I think about an older rescue dog that obviously cannot be rehabilitated and there is a reason it was there.  They are very apologetic but that isn't enough when you have the prospect of small children being vulnerable to that kind of attack.  I call Drew on my way to the gym and he says he is going to talk with them when he gets home.

Now I am not sure if I can swim since I do not know if I am wounded.  There doesn't appear to be any blood so I am hopeful it is just a bruising bite.  I have a good look in the mirror and ask another lady to check that nothing is open.  There are red marks and it definitely hurts so I know that it will be black and blue but at least no punctures.  The weather is glorious but I don't think the outside pool is open even though I see a couple of staff walking around out there.  No swimmers in the pool though.

I slip into the lap pool and start my laps.  Goal today is 20 laps.  For some reason it is a bit harder today - probably due to the fact that I was shocked!! I do the 20 laps - 2 warm up and 2 cool down included.  I'm happy I made that goal.  Then the lifeguard comes over and after the usual niceties about the temperature of the water etc. he tells me the outside pool is indeed open.  Poop - he coulda told me that before I hopped in the pool and I don't see any signs.  Next time laps are OUTSIDE!

Lunch today is kale salad with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds with 1 tbsp of poppyseed dressing and a very small bit of leftover tuna salad from the other day.

Not sure as yet what dinner will be as Drew has hockey tonight and will grab something to eat before.  These are the days that it is hard to do dinner.  Also tonight is movie night at the Mississauga Celebration Square - might just check that out.  I'll fill you in tomorrow briefly.  I think this is the first blog posting I have done on the day of!!  Now that I am caught up I will attempt to keep it that way.  Unless life or a mad dog gets in the way.  I'll post a pic tomorrow as well.

Tomorrow - Friday TEAM Weight Loss & a Picture


Day 25 - 25 or 6 to 4....

Wednesday I wake up feeling tired today.  Our dog (maddog Georgia) is having some issues and tonight is one of those nights where she is up a lot.  Tired or not - it is TEAM Weight Loss and I make sure I have a decent breakfast (Granola, almond milk and blueberries) along with my daily vitamin, calcium and extra D.  The weather is quite nice today - finally things are looking up.

I grab the weights (I've moved up to 5 lbs lol), a towel and a rubber band. Then I see that there is also one much larger weight sitting by some of the treadmills so I grab one for myself.  Most of the usual suspects are here, the new guy is not but there are 2 new women.  It must be hard to try and design a workout based on all the different levels that are at every class.  But Maria is good and makes sure to help the new clients and tells them what at their level.  Its going to be an endurance day and lots of quick rotation through the exercises, on and off the treadmill.  I mentioned the tightness in my right knee so through the class she gives me options to prevent hurting it.  I still get a great workout and note that now my heart rate averages 112 - 117.  Even when I am breathing hard and my chest feels like it is jumping.  That is a big difference from that first week with Keith and I wonder if I am working hard enough.  Not knowing what my fat burning heart rate is does make me wonder.  Class is a good workout and I have worked up a good sweat.  This time Maria tells us to stretch when we are done working out and that feels good.  I also decide that I am going to use the foam roller to try and loosen that leg up a bit more.

Over in that area is Liz who has been getting private training with Kris and was the appointment before mine.  She is younger than I and has 3 young children (twins 6 and another age 10) and we chat as we do the foam roller thingie that Kris has obviously shown both of us.  We talk about being a mom and finding time for ourselves especially when we have sick children at home.  That finding time to fold laundry let alone cook good healthy meals is increasingly difficult to do.  I tell her some of my experiences over the years and what I used to make my life easier and more organized - so to speak.  She asks me if I would mind giving her some crock pot recipes so I tell her I'll write a couple down for her but to just try anything really.  I haven't had many meals that didn't translate well to that type of cooking.  I can empathize with her and I am glad that she is doing this for herself now.  Not in 20 years like I did.  It will be a lot easier for her now.

I head back to the fitness desk to chat with Maria for a moment about maybe doing the Metabolic Testing that will give me my "zones" and other information to use in continuing to develop my fitness regimen. There is a special on til the end of May but since I am already paying for the group and Sara on top of my monthly fee I tell her I will think about it.  She fills out a form and dates it for May 31st and tells me to just let her know either way by then and she will put it through or not at that point.

I suddenly realize I had someone coming in today for a sewing lesson (sorry Victoria) and rush through my shower routine.  I hear from the shop that she has been and will call me when I get in.  We work it out and when she returns I help her learn to cut and sew a bonnet for her wee baby girl.  Its a nice way to spend a few hours in the afternoon.  Look at that sweet little face and cute bonnet - Success!

Lunch today is a Longo salad bar lunch with greens, grilled chicken, berries and I add 1/2 a small avocado.

Dinner is not good tonight.  I've decided to work late to get a job done for a client as I am ready for this season to be over.  Since Drew has returned from the cottage and is also working late, although at home, I take the opportunity to have him pick up the dog and leave me to work in peace.  Since I ate lunch well after 3 (after Victoria left) I am not that hungry and have 2 rice cakes with almond butter. Not a nutritious choice I am sure but it fills the spot.  Along with some fresh water with lemon I feel reenergized and finish everything up.  Home by 11:30 and in bed by 11:44.  Drew works until 2am though and we are both going to be tired tomorrow when the alarm goes off.

Tomorrow - Thursday Swim Day??? And a stat update.


Day 24 - Massage Day

Since I have worked out ALL weekend and not to mention gardening for 4 hours yesterday, I do not feel the least bit guilty about having a massage.  It is 50.00 for an "express" massage and I am looking forward to it.

I go into the spa area and they ask if I have a preference for a male or female massage therapist.  Since I've never done this before I simply say no and the girl says that is good as the female therapist is not feeling very well today.  She gives me a form to fill out and I sit down in the waiting area to do that. There is a lot of things to fill out including my current state of health, previous health issues and any current concerns I have.  I think I filled it out correctly.  After a few minutes Ken arrives and introduces himself to me.  He is a pretty big guy I hope he is gentle.

He leads me into the spa itself and into a room.  The massage bed is heated and comfy looking with a sheet and blanket covering.  We talk for a few minutes about this being my first massage and what I am looking to have addressed.  Since I just started working out (24 days ago) and did all that gardening yesterday I have a few spots that are sore/tender.  Today my right leg just above the knee feels especially tight. However, since I have booked only 30 minutes he suggests concentrating on my back and neck.  He also tells me that with some work and manipulation he should be able to help alleviate my lower back pain but that would have to be at another appointment. He also tells me something that I have not realized or done.  I should stretch before gardening!  Who knew!  I mention that I've been advised to only stretch warm muscles he says that using a heating pad on my leg muscles briefly then stretching or going for a little walk before would be the thing to do.  Now he asks me to select an essential oil fragrance from their large collection and I choose eucalyptus.  He leaves the room so I can remove my shirt and sports bra and I lay face down on the bed with the sheet and blanket over me.  When he knocks I say come in and pray I do not embarrass myself or act awkward.  He discreetly pulls the sheet down to my hip area tucking it into the top of my pants - which I have left on.  He then proceeds to spend 30 minutes kneading, pushing, pulling and massaging my upper and lower back, my shoulders and my neck.  At times it is quite painful  but I can feel things loosening up and also where I have tension or muscle tightness.  He talks about what he is doing and why and what it will help.  Not once do I feel uncomfortable other than that caused by his very deft and strong hands.  He jokes that he is only using about 30% of his pressure ability, well that is MORE than enough for me...ouch.

When he finishes he advises me to take my time getting up and that sometimes people feel a bit dizzy.  Thank you for telling me that.  I wish more people told you stuff like that..."spin class"...

I dress quickly and as I leave the room I shake his hand and thank him for a nice massage experience.  He asks if I will be a return customer and I think I will be.

I don't have to shower today but I hit the Lifecafe to grab something for lunch.  The tuna salad looks inviting and add a green salad as well.  Since I had to drop the dog off at the shop before my appointment I didn't leave myself enough time to grab lunch from my fridge.  I really need to put some groceries into the fridge at work but since Drew and I are on the same diet I feel that would be doubling up on groceries so I am concentrating on bringing lunch and mid afternoon snack with me everyday.  I do have yogurt and granola there too. Once at work I feel pretty relaxed and I can definitely feel what Ken concentrated on.  I think I will give that a 10 out of 10 on the experience chart.

Drew is up north til tomorrow morning sometime so I make plans to meet a friend at our local pub for a light dinner and a card game after tap class tonight.  Yes you heard right I am also taking tap on Tuesday nights. That is going ok.  It is fun and I have learned lots but my brain and my feet are definitely on two different wavelengths.  Our regular teacher is not available so the studio owner subs in.  I enjoy her class and her method of teaching.  We learn the first half of the shim sham shimmy - you know it - you just don't know you know it - and I am happy when I actually get it in the slower version.  At least I end up at the same spot at the same time as everyone else.  That's good right???

Tomorrow is Wednesday - and you know what that is....TEAM Fitness bring it on Maria!


Day 23 - Holiday Monday but not for Me

Maria has said that she will hold class for those who are interested even though it is Victoria Day here in Canada.  I think 5 people including myself said they would be there.  I head in and arrive 5 minutes early for a change.  There is nobody on the roads and the gym itself is the emptiest I have seen it.  Weather is better today but not sure the outdoor pool is open as yet.

Being a holiday means not much as we get down to business. There is pretty much a full class I think maybe 4 or 5 people didn't come in.  Maria decides to start us off on a hockey themed competition reflecting current teams in the Playoffs.  My side is New York Rangers  - the other Montreal Habs (booooo).  She outlines what we will be doing and we are paired up with the person directly across from us. Great I get the new guy.  Each exercise is done in 20's and we are encouraged to count out loud and the object is to see which team finishes first.  It is a fun way to motivate us and we are all "game".  We go through push ups, jumping jacks, ball throw downs, to name a few.  We are fairly evenly matched.  On the push up round the new guy is also counting out loud and skips 2 numbers to screw me up.  He easily beats me but I get him back on the jumping jack round and we end up finishing first.  Hurrah for New York!!

Maria makes a few comments that resonate with me.  She asks how many of us are stuck at a plateau (maybe I am??) and how much we move or are active after our workout.  Well, I am guilty of this for sure.  After I leave the gym I'm at the shop behind the sewing machine or the computer.  She says to get up and move around, go for a walk and even if we only get up to zone 1 in our heart rate then that is better than being sedentary and perhaps that is why we aren't losing more weight.  I thought that since I was working out for a solid hour or so every single day then something should be happening.  Now I know that I need to initiate more active time into my day.  OK, this I can and should do!!

Seems it is Maria's birthday today and at the end of the hour we sing Happy Birthday to her.  She is miffed (sorta) as she didn't want it to be common knowledge.  Oh well, sorry Maria :)

It is a warm sunny day so I am going to attack the front garden today.  That will surely make for a more activity filled day for me.  I spend 4 hours digging, trimming, clawing, mowing and raking and then I have my 2nd shower of the day so I can join my sister in law and brother in law at their house for dinner.  Should be a nice end to the day. And it is.  Dinner is wonderful, I am careful what I eat but I do indulge in a few glasses of white wine. Siobhan has made an effort to serve food that I can eat.  She is so supportive and that is very special to me.  Overall this holiday weekend has been pretty good with what I have eaten and my exercise level.  Hopefully I won't have any set back like I did last week.  Hopefully......

Tomorrow is Tuesday and I have my first Massage (ever) booked at the LifeSpa.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 22 - Sunday not Necessarily a Day of Rest

Since Drew is up north I decide I should go to the gym - I know original thought!  I'm still feeling the aftermath of the spin class so I think I will just do a few things I know I can do.  I am a corrie (Coronation Street) fan so I like to watch that on Sunday am for a few hours.  Laundry and other household chores get done during the commercial breaks.  And at 11 I head out.

It's not as busy at the gym as I would have thought but it is a long weekend and since the outdoor pool isn't open I guess families have made other plans.  I bump into my friend as she is coming into the locker and she tells me her mom has made the decision to also join.  I am so happy for her as she was very concerned about her parents level of activity.  I head up the stairs and find a treadmill and begin.

Today my plan is to do 30 mins of cardio on the treadmill and then some weight training for the last 30 mins.  I have read up on building your run time on the treadmill and start with the first day's advice.  Warmup for 5 mins at a slow to brisk walk, then run for 3 mins and walk for 2 for a total of 15 minutes running.  It seems fairly easy but the last 3 mins are a bit harder.  I also put the incline at 1% as that is supposed to help make it feel like running outside - wind resistance.  I have the cottage walk/run to look forward to so I am trying to get ready for that.

This is the first time I am going to attempt the routine that Kris has planned out for me.  Unfortunately first up is the 40 lbs of bar lifting and some man is monopolizing that weight bar.  Really?  Isn't that kind of a girly weight (teehee).  So after looking around to see if there is any others I head over to the chin ups.  I set it at 120 and manage to do 35 total (10, 15,10).  It's amazing how much harder it is without someone standing there saying "comeon 4 more, 3 more" etc.  I know I have to push myself but maybe doing 30 mins of cardio first wasn't the right choice.  Live and learn.  I move over to the chest machine - I honestly do not know the correct name for that one - and manage 5 sets of 11 at 50lbs.  I figure that is my feat for today and head back down to the change room.  I bump into Marchesse again and we talk briefly about the studio's end of year show and she tells me she will see me during the week.  She also asks my advice on what she should eat after working out!  Me?  I tell her protein is a must and that the Very Berry Smoothie is a good choice.  She asks about eggs and of course that is a good selection but to add some vegies.  Oh my now I am giving people dietary advice...what is that about.  I guess my progress is more visible than I thought.  I leave with a light step and a smile.  Maybe I will make a difference.

I have made plans to join my son's family for brunch after the gym.  Tess makes me some poached eggs on 1 slice of rye and there is a small bowl of delicious mixed fresh fruit.  Perfect!   Tess is being so supportive and her mom even made me some power bars - which are delicious!!  Maybe I can get them to share the recipe.  I also plan on picking up some flowers to begin the planting process, if not today then definitely will be doing the garden tomorrow.  It is a bit cool and overcast/grey today.

For dinner I have the leftover grilled steak to which I am going to add spinach salad with blueberry roasted walnut dressing.  A recipe Sara has suggested to me and it looks delicious.  And it IS delicious.  I treat myself to a glass of Prosecco which apparently is the lowest in carbs and calories of all the wines. In the picture below you can see the pretty sugar dish (without sugar) my son gave me at the Antique Show on Mother's Day weekend.

Tomorrow even though it is a Holiday Monday Maria has said she will hold the class as there were a few of us interested.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 21 - Saturday and I think I'll Spin

Today I thought being Saturday and all I would try a class as the schedule is short on Saturday and Sunday.  I was hoping the outdoor pool would be open but the weather is not cooperating as it needs to be 21C to open.

I have never taken a spin class, I am intrigued by it as I do love to ride my bike.  I was told that I could do it at my own pace, beginner advanced no dif.  And I am determined to try most of everything that LifeTime has to offer as these classes are included with my membership.  I started off fairly slow this morning as it IS Saturday, however, I do want to be at the gym mid morning. The spin class starts at 11 so that's perfect.  I have an egg over easy fried in coconut oil which does not add any flavour to the egg.  On top of a piece of bavarian whole grain with a few paper thin slices of cheddar it is a good way to start the day.  I think.  After a few small chores I head over.

As I am going up the stairs I see that some people are coming out of the class with gel seats, cycling shoes and shorts.  This looks hardcore.  Of course I have not brought my seat or my shorts.  Now I'm worried.

I enter the studio and pick a bike near the back and at the end of the row.  I try to figure out how this bike works.  How to turn it on, how to adjust the seat etc.  It has cages on the pedals, which I have never used on a real bike.  The instructor is helping a couple customize their bikes so I eavesdrop and do what he is showing them.  He comes over and introduces himself to me and welcomes me as a newbie.  Joseph then goes over the fitting of the bike and how he will be leading the class and advises me to please do it at my own pace and that what he says is just a guideline.  If I need to sit back on the bike and slow down then he says do so.  I always listen to this kind of guidance.  I am not a hot shot or competitive but I want to give it the best try I can. Another lady comes in and Joseph introduces me to her and says I'm lucky as she is a pro at this class and she will guide me.

I start warming up getting the feel of the bike and damn it I already wish I had my shorts or gel seat.  Definitely won't forget that next time.  Joseph jumps on the instructor bike at the front and starts the warmup.  This is not bad until he says OK let's run.  That means stand and pedal hard.  Everytime he says that we have to put up the resistance and then put it down again when we sit back on the saddle.  He amps up the RPM's and the resistance.  The timing is one minute in saddle, 20 - 30 seconds running.  It doesn't sound difficult but by the 15 minute mark I am not feeling well.  I drink some water and slow down a bit but my body is not liking this at all. After about another 10 minute I have to leave and I have to leave now.  I struggle getting my feet out of the cages and get off the bike.  I am feeling so bad I don't see the step down and almost fall.  Quickly I leave the room and get to the bathroom.  I sit in the cubby and try to pull myself together.  I am so angry with myself but there is nothing I can do about it.  After 5 minutes or so I go back to the room and climb back on the bike.  The lady next to me asks if I'm ok and tells me to drink more water.  I start the bike back up and it is still not going well. Deep breath deep breath slow down, I keep that mantra going in my mind.  She tells me that its another 15 mins to go but I do not think I can do it so after another 5 minutes - and seeing a few other people leave early - I grab my water and towel and exit the room. There is a nice little lounge area just outside and I decided to wait there so I can go back in after the class is over and clean my bike and apologize to Joseph for leaving so abruptly.

Class ends and Maria comes out!  I didn't even see her there.  She comes over and asks me if I am ok and why I was doing that class as it is extremely difficult.  I can see that as she - who is in such awesome shape - is soaking wet and flushed.  I tell her I am ok, I was embarrassed that I was not well and just wanted to try it.  Maria tells me a few stories of other people - some younger than me - who did not do well in the class, actually passing out!  Thank god I didn't pass out.  She then tells me that the fact that I did 25 minutes was unbelievable and that I came back in feeling sick and rejoined the class was also amazing.  Here I was thinking how I had more or less failed at this class and here she is telling me that I did a great job.  I actually teared up.  

I go in and grab some wipes and wipe down the bike.  I tell the lady next to me that I will come back and try it again next week.  Better prepared.  She smiles and says she will save me the bike next to her.  Joseph comes over to me and I apologize and he tells me not to worry that I was doing amazing and he was also surprised and glad that I came back in and tried again.  I tell him I will be back next week!

Overall, the class was way more intense than I had anticipated and I wish I had been better prepared.  I guess I am not ready for some things yet.  I was disappointed in myself and my body at first but after speaking to Maria and Joseph I felt a lot better.

Since I feel that there was something I did wrong in what I ate or the timing I head down to Sara's office to ask her opinion.  This is not something I have had happen to me yet in this gym experience so I need her to give me some guidance.  She totally tells me that I what I ate was alright but perhaps the timing was not right and that I should eat a whole banana before I do that intense a class again - about 15 minutes before.  She has not told me to eat a whole banana before as they are a high carb fruit.  However, she says that since it is so intense my body needs something to feed off of during that kind of workout.  I take her advice to heart and I will make sure I don't do that again.  We chatted for a few minutes and she told me that my blog post with my stats was great and funny especially about the thigh measurement.  I laugh along with her and then she says something that makes me catch my breath and cry.  She has been showing her GM my blog and tells me that I am her success story.  How can that be??? It has only be 21 days and I have not lost a huge amount of weight or inches.  But because of my attitude and my perseverance and this blog she feels that she has made a difference in my life and you know what?  She has.  This whole place has.  I love it here.

I give her a hug and we laugh as I say I will see you tomorrow...I don't really think I will as she must have a day off sometime.  I leave her office standing just a little taller than when I went in.

I bump into someone I know on one of the machines.  She is a mom from one of the studios I sew for which is in this area.  Apparently she has just recently come back to the gym even though her and her husband have been members since it opened.  I tell her what a life change I am going through here and we talk about what this place has to offer.  Next thing I know I am giving her advice on classes and coming every day.  Where did that come from?  Why would I think I could do that?  But she asks me and says that she can see the difference in me.  She promises that she is going to come and will see me Tuesday.  This is great, she is a nice lady and I would like to have someone I know here.  She also says that she is trying to get her mom to come as she lives quite close by and could use the exercise and cardio.  I point out some other ladies that are older and tell her I see some of them every day.  I also told her to show her mom my blog and she laughs at the name.  It is kinda funny I guess - a bit punny actually.

For lunch I grab a Very Berry Smoothie from the LifeCafe. They substitute the juice with almond milk and it's very good.  I also grabbed a Mahi Mahi on greens for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow - Not sure but I think I'll be at the Gym


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 20 - Friday is always a Hard Day

Friday is T.E.A.M. Weight Loss, I just got that that is the correct name for the group, however, I will still probably call it Weight Loss Group or WLG :)

Drew is up at the cottage with his dad so I am on my own for breakfast.  I start off with some Kashi granola with plain almond milk and a handful of raspberries.  Hopefully this will sustain me through the grueling workout that Maria has planned for us today.

I want to say that perhaps I portray Maria as being tough, and she is, but under there is a big heart and she is doing this for OUR good.  She knows as she is a mom of 3 and remembers how hard it is to find the time to care about our own selves.  She would work out in her kitchen, running on the spot.  She is a motivator and a force to be reckoned with and all done with the love she has for fitness and for us.  I have no idea what her age is but she is in awesome condition.  She is in a word, awesome.  Saying all that I am still worried about what awaits me on the treadmill and if I can do it.  I HAVE to do it but can I make my body do it.

Words of wisdom from one of my closest friends:

"your mind will give up long before your body ever does. We are built as humans to move, not sit, not stand, but to move, run and walk" your mind will tell you many things-that you can't do it...and guess what you can. You just did! Keep going....just keep going! 

So I am doing just that - keep going keep going.  Trust my body, listen to it when it says that hurts but keep pushing it.  In 19 days I have come remarkably far - at least from where I am sitting it is far.

Maria starts us off doing warmup using the visual track setting on the treadmill.  First 880m (2x around a regular field track) as fast as you can go. I have just walked and warmed up to a run/jog already as a warm up so I (yes I do) hike the speed up to 4.3 mph and I RUN around that track 2x.  I don't think I did that in high school - ok maybe I did but I don't think it was easy.  Then there are 20 pushups then back on the track for 1 loop at 3%.  I do it at 4.2 mph all the way.  Then 25 pushups and back to the track for one more loop at 5%.  That is getting hard but I manage to make it around the track. I look at the completed mileage and I have run 1.75 miles.  WHAT????  Thank you Keith for getting me to do this :)   We are finished with the treadmill and head over to the stretching area where she has set up a circuit for us.

We have sheets to follow and there are 2 different circuits that we have to complete 2x each.  Here are some new things I haven't done yet so I have to ask Maria a few times to quickly show me how to do it properly.

Suffice it to say this is an exercise in endurance.  We "ski", row, jump, squat, slam a ball, run on a bose ball, situps, and some shuffle thing with a heavy long tube.  Some struggle at some things more than others.  This is where you can see strengths in each individual.  I do it and it is very hard.  I am breathing hard, my heart is pounding and the sweat is pouring off me.  Maria reminds me to take a moment and slow down my breathing and my heart rate.  I do it but quickly move to the next task.

We finish up with a treadmill cool down.  This has been another totally different group of exercises. Since it's my first week with Maria I wonder if this will be the same through each week or if every single time it will be different.  She challenges us that is for sure.

I've made the salad greens with beans, chicken and avocado for lunch again as I really like it and it is filling.  Since Drew is away I am still thinking what I will do for dinner.  Last night was grilled steak with onions, mushroom and red pepper, tonight I may go out and challenge myself.

Here is the picture I had promised.

Tomorrow is Saturday - Maybe check out the spin class.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 19 - I Promised a Stat Day

Thursday Thursday, why isn't there anything that comes to my mind about thursdays?  So lets make it stat day.  

Start                      Day 19
Weight - 190         181.9
BF% - 47.8            39 - 41
Waist - 40.5"         38"  
Bust - 44"               42.5"
Hip - 46"                44"
Run - 0                   1.75 miles

The following measurements I am just starting from today but since I sew for a living and quite often have to figure things out using available body parts I will note the amounts I remember from some point this past season.

Upper Arm - 15"     12.5"
Calf - 18"                 16.5"
Thigh - 25 or 26"      23.5"
Those are probably pretty accurate as I often joke about young ladies who have 24" waists or smaller and that they are smaller than my thighs...and measure to show.

Wow - look at those numbers.   Just over 8 lbs but also look at the other numbers.  2.5" off my waist, 2" off my hips and 1.5" off my boobs.  The body fat percentage is still a bit high but definitely down from where I started.   And "Now that I'm a runner"  I have gone from not being able to run out of the rain to running for a total of 1.75 miles.  What what??  

I'm going to post 2 pics here.  I am trying to show myself in the same outfit and see if you can see what I see.

First off - the pants are much looser all around.  Especially through the legs even though you can't see them in the original photo from Easter Sunday.  The top sits better.  It is not pulling across the stomach and there is room in the armhole. I think I may have lost one of my chins!  And my arm is starting to resemble an arm.  I will take another picture at home in my black outfit that I have been using but for right now I can definitely feel and see the difference.  I just bought this outfit.  The pants are Material Girl - size XL - from the Hudson's Bay Outlet in Ottawa.  I bought 2 pairs different colours on sale for 11.00/pr.  The top is from Reitman's.  Also an XL because anything else wouldn't fit through the boobs or the armhole would be too tight.  I am not going to purchase anything new until I get down to MEDIUM.  That is 2 dress sizes and I believe an average of 10 lbs/dress size.  So frankly I have 11 lbs to get to that size.  Comfortably probably 15.  I want to note that my feet are already looking much skinnier :p.

Today I hit the pool.  I am feeling the strain of this week in most areas of my body.  Back, arms and especially that left side.  Swimming is an excellent overall exercise.  My goal is to swim 1 mile (35 laps of the lap pool) before the end of June.  I typically do a freestyle.  Last week I did 14 laps.  Today I want to hit the 1/2 mile which would be 17 laps.  It seems that there is always room in the lap pool at the time I am there anyway.  I note that there are 2 men doing laps.  One is wearing flippers - really?  Isn't that kind of cheating?  And the other one is wearing some kind of compression socks.  You certainly see all sorts. Anyway,  I start with 2 easy laps of breaststroke, head up , warming up.  Then I begin the push.  I do 8 quick laps of breaststroke, this is my strongest stroke and my go-to.  Next I flip over and go into the backstroke or back-crawl.  I like this one but I have a hard time keeping straight in the lane so I concentrate on the fire sprinklers in the ceiling and use that as my line.  I stop briefly after 2 laps to slow down my breath and then knock off 2 more laps.  Feeling a bit tired but determined I then did 2 laps of the front crawl.  This is not my strongest stroke and to do it near the end is very challenging.  I take a quick break and then do 2 more laps of breaststroke to cool down.  And that is 18 laps total, just over the 1/2 mile mark.   My time on the quick part (8,4 & 2) is 10 minutes.  Not great but not bad either. I figure if I add 2 laps each time I should be able to make my goal. Swimming has always been my favourite sport and one of the prime reasons I joined here.  The outdoor pool doesn't look like it will be open this weekend after all as they need the temperature to be 21C.  And the forecast doesn't have that number in it.  When the outdoor pool is open the indoor ones will be closed so I will be doing laps outside.  That will be awesome.

I am amazed at where I am after 19 days.  I have to voice that I am kindof disappointed in the weight loss as someone, who I won't mention their name, told me I could lose "up to" 25 lbs in the first month.  Well, I know I am still 11 days from one month but I think I will be happy if I hit 15.  Keep posted...

Tomorrow - Friday is WLG day... what does Maria have planned for us??


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 18 - Health Assessment Day

Part of the benefits of being a member at Life Athletics is the complimentary Health Assessment.  Sara books it for me and sets it up so she will be the one actually doing the assessment.  This surprises me as she is a Registered Dietician and they have a Nurse Practitioner on staff but she informs me that in Canada as an RD she can do tests of this sort.  I need to fast for 12 hours prior to and no water 3 hours before.  Having had blood work done many times before I am not concerned about the fasting.

She greets me at the fitness desk and I follow her to the Life Lab area.  She has everything neatly set up.  The procedure involves a simple pinprick on one of my fingers.  She asks if I am squeamish or afraid of needles but I haven't had that fear for many years.  We chat a bit as she places the blood on a slide and places it into this very small electronic reader of some sort.  There is a small printer attached and it starts up.  We talk about genetics role in our health.  I have high cholesterol in my family as well as breast cancer and heart attack.  She has high cholesterol as well and diabetes.  She is already having testing done to make sure that she keeps on track.  She is very young and quite tiny but we both know that genetics is not something you can control.

She checks my blood pressure and it is fine - thats the first good news.  Sara says lets go over and do the weigh in.  I'm a tad apprehensive of this as I had gone up a few pounds on Monday when I did it myself.

I look at my friend - are you going to be my friend today or my frienemy... its good and bad news - again.  I have gone down to 181.9 lbs!!  That is awesome progress.  Of course I am fasting but its definitely a positive sign.  But it appears my body fat percentage went back up to 41%.  I question this and Sara explains I also need to look at the water number as it is some complex relationship between water and fat in your body that gives you the percentage number.  My water number is down (fasting no water) and that makes the percentage go up.  Ok...  so overall its great news I have lost weight!!  Today the lady with the wands is my friend :)

Back in the lab office the printout is done and we pour over the numbers.  Given the fact that I am so far overweight, family history etc.  the numbers are really really good.  I am so relieved I let out a big breath that I hadn't realized I was holding.  All my numbers (LDL,HDL, triglycerides, blood sugar level) are all in the low risk.  One number is borderline but she says we will work on getting that down.  It is LOW borderline.  The only risk factor I have is my body fat percentage.  That I can fix and I am already almost 1/4 of the way to my goal.

I have Weight Loss group after this meeting with Sara so we go to the Cafe and I order a veggie omelet which is made fresh and comes with a small bit of greek yogurt with a bit of granola.  Very yummy indeed.

Sara and I talk some more and after I finish eating we go back to her office and she teaches me some more about label reading and making right choices.  I have learned quite a bit from her already and I hope that I have also given her some things to think about.  She gives me homework and we book an appointment in 2 weeks.  Overall I am so happy with this turn of events.  I have good numbers, my weight is coming off and I feel stronger and healthier already.  And this is only day 18!

Now on to the treadmill and Maria's drilling.  She is a tough cookie.  She never lets up and I note that there are 2 ladies not here today, Lee and Lynn.  A few of the exercises I find I just can't do since I am still sore from Kris's weight regimen and tap class.  I push as hard as I can and I feel like I let myself down but Kris said if it hurts listen to your body.  Tomorrow is another day and I have a never give up attitude.  I think tomorrow will be a lap swim day.  Give my legs and back a rest for a day.

Lunch today is the tuna salad with celery on a slice of whole grain.  Very filling and satisfying.  Dinner I have planned stirfry with steak, red pepper, mushrooms and quinoa.

Tomorrow - Swim day and perhaps stat update.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 17 - Tuesday's Child is Fair of Face

Tuesday morning and the weather is fair.  Such a nice thing isn't it to see the sun?  Drew makes us our new smoothie recipe Sara shared with us.  It has cooked steel cut oats, blueberries, raspberries, ground flax seed (for the omega) protein powder, almond butter and almond milk.  It is very very thick and a bit less sweet than we are used to but we both like it.  It is filling that is for sure.  I grab my gym bag and yoga mat and head to the gym.  I am pretty sure I am also meeting with Kris the trainer today at 11.  Yoga starts at 9:30.  I forget that I have a COD order arriving today and I have my cutter coming in so I need to get the money to the shop first.  So even though we have gotten up earlier (part of our new plan) I am running behind since I have to go out of the way, hit the bank and then the shop.  I am about 5 mins late (again) but sneak in with someone else.  Wow, this is a popular class.  The large studio is full to capacity.  The other lady sees a fairly wide space between 2 people and heads for it.  I see a space lengthwise under a window and set up my mat there and get into the position everyone else seems to be in.  This is a very laid back (pun intended) yoga class.  The room is warm - not hot - and the lights are dim with yogaish music playing in the background.  The instructors voice is very pleasant and she talks us through the different poses/moves/stretches. Another participant taps me on my foot and gestures that she will make room for me so I don't have to be squished under a window.  I quickly and quietly move into that spot.  A few minutes later I have to get up and find a block.  Interestingly I was looking at those at Target and thought NAH what do I need those for.  Now I know! I feel the stretches especially through my hip area and appreciate what this form of yoga can do for you in regards to stretching and relaxing.  I feel peaceful when I leave the class after the 45 minutes.  I know that won't last long though as I am meeting Kris at 11.

Kris finishes up with his 10:00 appointment and suggests I do some cardio while waiting.  I do 15 mins on the treadmill and then wander back to the fitness desk.  I'm a little anxious to start cause let's face it I am paying for this extra training (mind you it is out of my Life bucks) and don't want to lose any of my time.  He is now ready for me and we head out into the weight resistance area. We chat as we walk and he asks what I would like from him.  I can pick his brain whatever.  I ask that he give me some specific routine or plan that I can follow easily on my own without looking like a total dork.  He suggests a 40 minute weight training plan since he states after 40 minutes you are not burning fat but starting to burn muscle tissue.  Interesting and good to know.  First thing he stops at is the barbells.  Ummm what?  He takes out the smallest/lightest one which says on either side 20.  Is that 20 lbs each side?  I can't lift 40 lbs can I?  That's like 2 Elle's.  Or a Liam.  He shows me that I should take the bar, at chin level, squat and as I come up push the bar straight over my head.  I see me in the mirror and it is not a pretty sight.  Not like the cuties with their tight little abs,,,, ok I got distracted there back to me.  I do 10 and it's not too bad.  However, that is only the first set and I end up doing 4 more and it is more and more difficult with each set.  I do rest inbetween and he tells me the science behind what I am doing.  Then he says ok let's head over to the chinups.  Now I know he is playing with me because I cannot do chinups.  Just ask my grade 10 gym teacher, Mrs. Norris.  I still remember the laughs and taunts and the way she yelled at me.  I may have weighed all of 85 lbs in grade 10 but I could not even lift that with my scrawny arms - absolutely no upper body strength.  Kris laughs along and relates.  We have all had obstacles in our lives.  We can either let it stop us or we can face it head on and defeat them.  I chose to face this one and defeat it.  The machine kinda helps you cheat a little though.  Eventually as you work on it you will get to the point where you don't need the machine to assist you (yah ok...sounds doubtful to me).  Kris says that he fully expects to see me in 2 years doing chinups unassisted and lifting heavier weights over my head.   I laugh heartily at his joke, surely he IS joking, and say that I just want to get through the next few months.  After I do a few sets on that machine and he explains the reasoning behind the exercise and how to ultimately work up (or down) on it we then go to the chest machine.  Well now I am thinking - do I want to pump up that area (we must, we must, we must improve the bust) but perhaps it is more than just the chest and I sit down and I learn all he can tell me about that machine and I do a few sets.  My legs are aching, my arms are not sore but fatigued and he tells me there are 2 more things I am to do.  In the stretching area he pulls out a mat and asks me if I know how to plank?  Well I have done that in both the pilates and yoga so I get down and get into position.  He makes me do some minor adjustments ie hands placement, elbows etc. and gets me to do 2 planks for 1 minute each.  That is very difficult.  I am shaking and determined to do it and collapse when the time is up.  He says I should finish my workout with that pose as it works all the muscles in your body and especially your core.  This core is soft and jelly like.  Here's hoping that someday it will be not so much.  He then takes me over to the stairmaster and there I meet a torture machine.  It is really hard to do.  He tells me to do at least 10 minutes so I do as I am told.  However it probably takes me 15 minutes to do the 10 as I stop after 5 minutes and again at 8.  I end up doing 30 floors.  I am absolutely wrung out but feel like I can do this.  He gives me enough information and the science behind the exercise as well as the correct way to do it so he has done his job very well and I feel it is money well spent.  Perhaps I will spend some more time with him in the not too distant future.  At least before 2 years....

Today I think I will hit the hot tub and put some jetted water onto my legs, lower back and my foot is a bit achy on the left side.  It seems that all the pains or aches I am having are all on my left side.  I don't know what that is telling me.  Is it because it is weaker than the right side?  Or am I compensating in some way for something on the right side?  I'll keep working at it but as Kris said if your body hurts it is telling you something so stop.  I will listen to that advice and to my body!

I have 1/2 banana post workout and head into the shop.  At the end of the day dinner is going to be a grab as I have tap class tonight!  I have to fast for 12 hours for the health assessment tomorrow at 8 am so no eating after 8.  Tap class is at 7:30 so I will have to eat before and nothing after.  Good thing we have grilled chicken and I pair it with some leftover squash.  It is sufficient but is it enough to carry me through.  I hope so.

Tap class is a workout tonight.  I finally get a few of the moves and a good part of the combination Andrew is teaching.  I can't get over how difficult tap is and maybe it is more so for me as I can't get my head and my feet to communicate and cooperate.  The fact that I finally get the buffalo and a good part of the combination makes me happy.

I literally fall into bed tonight.  I am pooped.  My legs are really tired and a bit throbby.  I did a lot today.  Maybe a little too much?  But I don't care.  I am doing it.

Tomorrow - health assessment day and weight loss management group


Day 16 - Drill Sargeant Time

Monday is here and we start the day with a smoothie.  I have some new recipes to try that Sara emailed me but I need a few ingredients that I hope to pick up later today.  Since I am now taking Monday's off work my thoughts are that I will spend the mornings at the gym.  Drew is happy he doesn't need to take maddog Georgia to work with him and she can happily stay here and sleep in her own bed.  Poor Georgia, she is old and very cantankerous.

At the gym, Maria comes over and introduces herself and then we get right down to work.  Somehow I was given the impression last week that Keith is a much tougher trainer.  I beg to differ.  Maria is like a drill sergeant.  We do not let up for one single minute.  Monday's are also the day we have a nutrition meeting as part of the group (with Sara).  Sara told Maria she would be expecting us at 9:30. We were still going hard at it at 9:40!  Keith opened my eyes to running (well kind of) but Maria is not about the running.  She is about changing quickly from one exercise to the next with hardly even a chance to catch your breath or drink some water.  I am drenched by about 10 minutes in.  We have walked slow, walked fast, up increasing inclines, done pushups, lunges, inclines increase, incline decrease, pause treadmill, off the treadmill, small weight exercises, all the while we never ever stop.  I am totally winded by the time we get off and head up to the Education Room where Sara is pacing waiting for us.  I understand how Maria is driving us to get our cardio up and moving different muscle groups.  But somehow I miss Keith's approach.

The nutrition portion is about Detoxification.  Sara explains how we have toxins deposited in our bodies, which organs hold them and how they are attracted to fat deposits.  (so that's what's around my belly - its toxins!)  She goes on to say how we lose weight also contributes to how toxins are stored or purged from our bodies.  The more times you try to lose weight (ie yoyo dieting) the more toxins seem to be present.  Well thats not great news.  She also informs us that there is a DTox program that may be helpful to those whose weight loss has hit a plateau or is not moving.  It is something to consider perhaps but I am not interested at this point as I am just starting my journey and will think about it if and when I hit that plateau.  Since toxins in our body come from many sources (air, food, water) and can lead to disease (cancer, diabetes, disorders) I think at some point I will do the detox.  Kinda scary that the lymphatic system is where a lot of toxins are found.

After that part I head down to the change room to grab my earbuds, use the washroom and refill my bottle again.  There are a few ladies from the group chatting.  I listen in and find that one of the ladies has been there for 2 years and has not lost a single pound.  I am distressed for her.  Everyone tries to give her friendly advice but I think the major point was that she needs to speak to Sara and perhaps try the detox program.  I hope for her sake that helps jumpstart her ability to drop some pounds.

Back upstairs I decide to spend 30 mins on the treadmill.  This time I do an up and down speed from 3.0 to 4.2 and back.  3 mins down 3 mins up.  I do this 5 times for a total of 15 minutes at running speed.  First time I have done that on my own.  I am so proud of myself.  After that I think I will check out my friend the scale.  Another lady is trying it out but I can see she doesn't know how to use it.  I wait patiently then she gets off and asks me to show her.  I have only used it with supervision but I try by doing it myself.  I am so disappointed as it shows I have gone up a few pounds.  Damn that dinner!  But my BF % is showing as 39%.  That is 11% down from when I started.  So at least that is a positive.  I promise myself I will not go off track this weekend for sure! The lady says thank you and she gives it another try.

I hit the showers and decide that I am now very hungry.  It is going on 12 so I head to the Lifecafe to have some lunch.  I decide on the salad with beans and chicken.  They toss it up with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for me.  As I am sitting eatting, Sara comes in and asks if she can sit with me for 5 minutes.  Of course she can.  I enjoy her company.  She notes what I have chosen to eat and tells me to eat the whole thing!   It is quite large but I tell her I will give it a good try.  We chat about food and she asks what I did upstairs and I tell her I ran after class.  She laughs with me about the "runner" thing and reminds me of my goal.  She leaves the table and reminds me that we are meeting Wed am at 8 for my health score testing.  I do eat the whole thing!

After I leave I planned on doing groceries and also want to stock up on stuff from the bulk barn.  Since the bulk barn I like is in Square One next to Walmart that's where I will do my shopping.  Armed with my list of recipe suggestions I pick up fresh almond butter, quinoa, steel cut oats, ground flax seed, some sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, fresh peanut butter, 5 grain pancake mix and various spices that I was low on.  That all came to about 23.00.  Unbelievable, love the Bulk Barn.  I then head into Walmart and pick up fresh vegetables, mixed salad greens, some fruits and some squashes.  Eggs, whole wheat pita and whole wheat english muffins and a few other items fill up the cart.

Back at home I decide that I am going to purge.  I clean out the fridge, emptying jars, disposing of foods we won't be eating for awhile if ever again.  A few items I keep to give to my bachelor son.  The rest is into the garbage bin or down the disposer.  I wipe down all the surfaces and feel pretty good about making this decision.  I put away the stuff that needs refrigeration or freezing.  Now I have another dilemma.  I have a lot of powdery substances or grains that need to be stored neatly and efficiently as well as being easy to access and use.  I search through the cupboard and come up with 2 smallish canning jars to put the nuts in.  One for walnuts and one for the sliced almonds.  However, I still have lots to deal with.  I stop this when Drew comes home so I can make dinner.  We have grilled salmon on the bbq with butternut squash and the rest of the asparagus from last week.  As Drew grills the salmon he also grills up 5 chicken breasts so we have those to grab for lunch or dinner through the week.  As we are eating we talk about the storage and I tell him that I  really really like something I found on pinterest.

Isn't that awesome?  However that is not going to help me right away.  I also really like what my friend Brenda has in her cottage kitchen but unfortunately that item seems to be discontinued.  Drew says why don't I get some more mason jars and use my new label maker.  Ok I think I can live with that and after dinner head to Target and pick up 4 medium size and 4 smaller sized wide mouth Bell mason jars.  While I'm there I remember that I was going to buy a new yoga mat as I want to try that class tomorrow.  My old mat, which I have only used maybe 5 times, is not usable thanks to my hubby who "borrowed" it to cushion things in his truck bed.  I do not think that I will like to use that again!  Would have been nice if he had bought me a new one.  At Target they have a pink one on sale (Champion) and I find an exercise band that doubles as a sling for the mat. Hopefully pink will be a deterrent to the borrower.  

At home I find the jars are going to work really well and I can even put the butters in a small jar.  Now we are organized enough that breakfast or lunch making should be an easy task.

So life changes are ahappening and they start in the kitchen.  I purged alot of garbage food, cleaned the fridge out and made our new way easy to apply.

Happy all around.

Tomorrow - Tuesday try out Yoga Day


Day 15 - Mother's Day Classic!

Sunday is here and I am looking forward to golf this afternoon.  Breakfast is a bowl of Kashi granola with blueberries and almond milk as Drew is going to spend some time with his mom.  I'm just going to veg around the house, watch Coronation Street and enjoy the fact that I can sit out on my front porch at last.

Since we are teeing off at 1 pm, I go up to get ready around 11 since Drew likes to be at the course around 1 hour before - for some reason that isn't totally clear to me he always likes to be really early.  I am perplexed as to what to wear.  I am not sure it is warm enough for shorts.  I have 2 pairs of IZOD shorts and a skort I purchased on sale before the end of last year.  Suffice it to say they are xlarge so I know they will fit but again it may still be cool on the course.  So I have 2 pairs of golf pants. A black pair and a very lightweight tan pair.  I try on the black - I can not zip them up.  That is so disappointing but not surprising as I am pretty sure they are maybe a 14.  So back in the closet they go.  The tan ones come out but I am leary as the last time I wore them last summer or fall they were pretty tight.  I was able to do them up but it was not a good look if you know what I mean.  I am pleasantly surprised to not only find I can zip them up but they are fitting perfectly now!  They are not tight around the waist and the zipper is not pulling.  This means that what I have lost is now showing in my clothes.  I even put on a belt.  I used to wear the belt on the last hole, now I can put it on the 3rd hole AND it is still a bit loose but the 4th is just a tad snug.  Check this out!

So while this is a little progress it is still a definite progression in the right direction!  I feel great that I can wear these without feeling sausage like.  I do not say anything to Drew when he arrives home as he thinks I should wear shorts but I am completely happy with my choice.

I am ready to walk the course but the course we are golfing at you are required to use the cart. Since Drew has a new fancy shmancy fitness watch he is going to keep tally of how much he actually walks.  Now about this fitness device.  Somehow the fact that I asked for one for Mother's Day made him buy himself one.  Not just any one but a Samsung.  This baby not only tracks heart rate, steps and calories; it also monitors your sleep, answers your cellphone, delivers your email, lets you text or orally call someone, takes pictures, and lets you control the television!!  Its Dick Tracy time.  
Except Drew has a mustache and I still don't have my own version.  I better not ever ask for a corvette!! 

Turns out that even though we had a cart Drew still managed to walk almost 9000 steps.  Which works out to 4.5 miles!  And I think it was over 300 calories burned.  All in all not a bad way to get some exercise.  Not exactly a cardio workout but nevertheless still a good fitness activity.   I had an alright game for my first time out this season.  I was pretty pooped by the end of the day and we decided to just go home and put our feet up on the porch.  I tried to figure out what to have for dinner since it is Mother's Day I am not cooking.  I think Japanese maybe a good choice and order chow mein and chicken teriyaki.  It is more than enough to eat.  Hayley joins us after she finished work and brought me a lovely little gift of an interesting looking book (mind food) and some dark chocolate covered cranberries.  I think I will save those for a reward day.

Tomorrow - Weight Loss Group with Maria!


Day 14 Mother's Day Weekend

Since I am spending the day with Ty and Tess at the Aberfoyle antique market I am not sure how to approach the food.  I start the day with 1 cup of Kashi granola with almond milk and I put a bottle of water and a banana in my shopping bag.  I am hoping that the restaurant on the grounds has something I can eat.   I find that now I have to think ahead like that if I want to try and stay on track.  At least the weather is finally feeling like spring/summer and being able to be outside and walking around is a great treat.

I get picked up and I mention to Tyler that the market is only open til 4 and that there are 150 dealers.  He shrugs and says we don't have to see each one... I'm like what of course we do..duh.  I have a couple items in my mind that I hope to find at a reasonable price.  We get there and it is pretty busy but not as much as I thought it would be.  We have a great time walking around, taking a few breaks here and there so Tess can feed Elle.  Tess finds a few beautiful pieces of crystal and barters a good deal.  I pick up a little square crystal sugar bowl with a cute spoon.  It's 10.00 and Tyler buys if for me for Mother's Day.  What a sweetie.  I'm going to put some raw sugar cubes in it.

We have lunch and I decide on a toasted western on brown.  It is pretty yummy I eat 1/2 the bread and all the egg.  Water to wash it down.  I see the poutine Ty is eating but surprisingly I don't covet it.  Elle entertains us as we eat and when we finished eating she got to eat too.

The day ends with us not buying very much but we have had a great bonding time as a family and we will be back again as we didn't get to all the dealers - surprisingly.  Tess ends up with the 3 pieces of crystal, some books by her favourite author and a sweet little silver aquamarine and diamond ring.  I have the square crystal sugar bowl and a small silver footed vase with a glass frog.  I wanted one since I saw something like that on Downton Abby.  SCORE!  Thank you Ty and Tess for the Mother's Day gifts.  And for the awesome time together.

For dinner I feel like seafood so Drew and I head to Red Lobster.  I literally have not been there since I was pregnant with Nick.  We both order the baked seafood dish with lobster, scallops and shrimp.  I am sure that is probably NOT on the can have list, however I do not eat the bread at all, I started with a salad and just eat the fish.

Tomorrow being Mother's day we will be celebrating by golfing with my youngest son.  It is the annual Mother's day Golf Classic.  This tradition started about 5 years ago and at that time Tyler also joined us.  But times have changed and I cannot begrudge him spending time with Tess on her first Mother's day and also her mom who has recently immigrated here from Zimbabwe.  That is life isn't it.  We marry, we have children, we spend all our time and effort on raising them and then they move out and start their own lives.  Now we can concentrate on our lives as a couple as we grow older.  Being healthy and fit will certainly allow us that luxury.

Tomorrow - Golf and another pic :)


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 13 - and its Friday....

Friday dawns and I'm up and at em.  Breakfast is another smoothie.  Today is Keith's last day leading this particular group and I'm already used to the way he runs the class. On top of that, after all, he is the motivator who got me "running"

Everyday there is a different lean to the group.  I imagine they do that to keep you engaged and not bored. We start off as usual in zone 3 and over the course of the class he ramps us up to zone 4 (the run zone) 4 times with the last one lasting 5 1/2 minutes.  I find my easy loping is around 4.1 to 4.2 but I am feeling the top of my left hamstring from the last class.  Also, stupidly, I have worn a different pair of shoes.  The ones I have been wearing are classed as walking shoes so I thought, since I'm a runner now, I should try my other shoes which I had purchased this winter.  They are the red olympic Adidas and I like them but find that they are tighter over the arch of my foot due to the fact the tongue is attached to both sides of the shoe.  Saying that, they seem to be tight enough to in effect cut off the circulation to parts of my foot and I find I'm running on numb feet.  So... not doing that again, I guess I will stick to the walking shoes or perhaps seek out a new pair more suited to what I have added to my workout repertoire.

After the treadmill we are told to find a partner.  Well just like high school I get picked last and lucky me I have Keith as a partner.  We have to throw a friggen heavy medicine ball to each other.  Catch and throw it back over our head.  I get hit in the stomach and once in the chin but I got him back I threw it almost over his head.  Then we take turns lying on a mat while the other one drops er throws the ball to them.  We have a few giggles over that.  That ball is pretty heavy when it drops onto your stomach!  (Thank god I didn't toot.) We end with some good stretching over at the bars. Each day I exchange names with a new person.  We are still all women and one man (Frances) and there seems to be more than 15 of us.  I guess Monday will show me how tough Maria is compared to Keith - although Lee and Lynn have been saying Keith is tougher.

I try a different lunch today.  I have a 4 oz piece of grilled chicken cut up into 1 cup of tomato soup.  Also 1 slice of Bavarian bread with a few thin slices of hard cheese.  It's quite yummy and more than enough food.  For dinner I thought I would make a dish I saw on the Marilyn Denis show.  I have to find shakiraki or something like that noodles.  It is quite easy to make.  The noodles are quite hard to find.  I go to Oceans and after asking 2 or 3 people a young man tells me that they are yam noodles and where to find them.  Yam??? ooh ok.  So I find a bunch of different varieties and read the label on the back.  They have hardly anything to them.  No fat, no sugar, no carbs.  Is it really food??  I follow the directions and make a yummy thai flavoured dinner with a few pieces of scallopini turkey breast, red curry paste, no salt no sugar peanut butter (ok, i didnt have any of that so I used less then the recipe - I will go and buy some on the weekend).  Along with bell peppers and onion it cooks up really fast and is filling.  Drew says he likes it and that is a good thing.  It only took about 15 mins.  Its fun but challenging to find new recipes that are carbless.  That's a new word.  I just made it up - feel free to use it :)  Starting this at this time of year works very well for me.  First off I am ready to eat salad foods.  If it was winter that would be harder for me.  Also my workload has dropped off considerably therefore having the extra time to spend at the gym.  I don't have anyone to drive around to and from school or dance so I can concentrate just on what I am doing and eating.

I am not planning on going to the gym tomorrow.  I was originally going to try and catch a yoga class or something before I meet up with my daughter-in-law.  But plans have changed slightly and instead of me going there - which is quite close to the facility - they are picking me up around 10:30.

Tomorrow and Sunday - one blog about my weekend.  Happy Mothers Day!!