Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I had it all together in Victoria until it was time to study for the bar exam. I have never (NEVER) been under such stress in my life. I wasn't eating properly, I was neglecting my workouts, and I was under such pressure my hair started falling out in clumps. Not a pretty sight.
I eventually finished that whole process and moved to the Rocky Mountains. And here I haven't been as good as I would like to be. I haven't really found a gym home and I really miss my Victoria workout digs. I've also found it a bit of a struggle to get adjusted to my new career life. I don't work insane hours but I still feel myself utterly drained at the end of the day.
But enough with the excuses. I've fallen off track and I need to get back to the way things were. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and loaded up on oodles of healthy stuff; that was the first step. I'm also going to buy free weights for home and a little contraption that I can use to turn my bike into a stationary spinning bike. I've spoken to my trainer and he's going to come up with a plan for me to do at home. And just as soon as the weather gets better (it will be months) I'm going to take up running outside.
So in honor of New Year's here's what I resolve to do in 2009:
1) Get back to my healthy ways (I've worked too hard for too long to let it all fall apart)
2) Reach my ideal weight
3) Run a half marathon
There you have it! What are your resolutions for 2009? Just remember, it's good to have goals!
Monday, December 29, 2008
So I've decided to try a new approach. I'm going to incorporate a morning yoga practice into my routine. This morning I will be using "SHAPE long, lean, and strong." This handy DVD came in a copy of SHAPE, purchased in Montana. I have completed this DVD once and loved it! It really limbered me up and made me feel strong.
I don't know how fantastic this DVD would be for a more experienced yoga practitioner but for a yoga newbie in relatively good shape - it's perfect! I think pretty soon I'll look at investing in some more yoga DVDs - perhaps something from Rodney Yee. But for now this is perfect!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Thank-you for following me on my weight-loss/fitness journey. It's a hard road and it's nice to know that there are people that care and are encouraging me along the way.
Wherever you are this Christmas, I hope you are blessed, loved, and healthy! Enjoy these couple of days (God know I will! :oP) and look for some inspiring healthfulness-oriented posts as we enter 2009!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Pretty much all day I've been staring out the window waiting for it to stop snowing. Or at least waiting for it to lighten up sufficiently that I can drive to the gym without risking a fender-bender or worse.
And of course, what better thing is there to do on a snowy winter day than to dream of a beach far far away. Yesterday, I ended up on the website of a Bikini Bootcamp that combined both a variety of awesome workouts with a location to dream of . . . Tulum! That's the location of Amansala's famed Bikini Bootcamp.
And really who wouldn't want to engage in some circuit training, indulge in fabulous fresh caught fish, and unwind in fabulous beaches. Le sigh . . .
Now if you'll excuse me I have to go and dream of warm Tulum days.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
One thing and one thing only - The Biggest Loser
And all I have to say is "GO MICHELLE!" This is what she looked like at the beginning. And I can't wait to see what she looks like now!
Friday, November 14, 2008
I'm moving this weekend and I start a new job on Monday. I'm very very very excited but the thought of moving again (for the 2nd time in four months) is kind of daunting. But it will get done and then I'll be happily ensconced in my new home.
As for the gym, I think I've found one. My new city doesn't have much gym selection but this one appears to be the best of the bunch. I think I'll sign up for a month and go from there.
Moving day, a new job, a new gym, and my birthday - all in the space of three days. Life is good peeps! Life is good!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Dear Faithful Readers:
In the last week I have managed to fall behind on my blog writing. That is because so much has been going on around here: including some bouts of illness, lots of school work, Bastille Day celebrations, and a trip to Vaux-le-Vicomte. I will write about all of those things. But before I do so it is of vital importance to me that I write about my trip to Flanders Fields (the battlefields of World War I). It was at once an incredibly fascinating day and a horrifying one . . . .
I awoke on Sunday morning with the initial idea of going to take an early morning walk around the city. I am very much the shutter bug and I didn't want to leave without taking more pictures. In the end, however, I decided that I would simply have to come back to Bruges another time -- and I headed down to breakfast. Let me tell you the spread was fantastic! There was coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, juice, various cold cuts, various cheeses, a multitude of fresh baked breads . . . it went on and on. Despite my weak stomach I decided to give the meal a go. It was super yummy and managed to tithe me over until my late lunch.
Very promptly I got my things in order and headed towards the check-out desk. Once the business side of things was taken over I walked approx. five minutes for my scheduled bus pick-up. I would be embarking on a Quasimodo tour of Flanders Fields. This was a trip that came highly recommended by a friend of mine and I was determined not to miss it!
Truth be told I wasn't really sure what to expect. When the bus came to get us, we discovered that in our small group of 30 there were only 3 Brits and 2 Kiwis. Everyone else was either Australian or Canadian. I should stop at this point and say that I have never had any relatives who have fought in any wars. Indeed, I call myself "A Canadian in Paris" but my blood isn't Canadian. My heart however is. And even so I wonder if I could ever come close to experiencing the feelings of some of my trip-mates.
Our group was guided by this lovely woman named Sharon. She proved to be very informative and seemed genuinely interested about what she was discussing; a true asset to my experience.
We began the trip with an approximately 30 min. drive from Bruges through the Flemish country side. There was to be no narration during that portion. This of course gave me the opportunity to admire the tranquility of the Flemish countryside. A notable observation given what we would learn later on in the day.
Soon the narration started and my admiration for the Belgian people began. We were told by our tour guide that after the war not a single tree was left standing on the Flemish country-side. Most of the people fled. In fact, the majority of Belgians spent the war in refugee camps just outside of Paris. It wasn't until the mid-20s that they came back to their homes. At first there was nowhere for them to live. Their homes had been destroyed. There was nothing. So they lived in the only structures that were left standing -- the wartime bunkers. Eventually though, the determined Belgian people began to rebuild. And what was the first thing they reconstructed? The village church. The Belgians were a very religious people and the church was at the heart of their community. I can only imagine how they must have felt, living in a war-torn land, making clay bricks out of the local soil, and rebuilding the Church brick by brick -- on the foundations of the original one. Even the non-religious have to admit that in and of itself that one act was a tremendous stand for hope and faith for brighter days ahead.
Armed with this new information we continued on with our tour. It was at this point that at the side of the road I saw my first WWI cemetery. It is one thing to see it on television and quite another to see it in person. Nothing could have prepared me for the devastating site of those white-washed tomb stones, row upon row, appearing out of nowhere. It was a small cemetery but the impact was nonetheless tremendous. I will fully confess that I had to fight back tears. There in the midst of that small country, lies a permanent reminder of the ravages war and the countless lives that it destroys.
Whilst I was absorbing the shock of seeing the cemetery, Sharon continued to tell us stories of Passchendale Ridge. The area near where we were driving. She explained that it was 56 metres above sea level and thus was of vital strategic importance in flat Belgium. As such, the Germans and the British Commonwealth forces fought for control over it for much of the war. It was important not only as higher ground but because whoever controlled Passchendale Ridge could easily control the city of Ypres. And if Ypres fell the Germans could easily reach Calais (in France) from where the White Cliffs of Dover where only 35km away. So the two sides fought for four long years. And they died. So many of them died. Of those dead only 1/3rd of the bodies were ever identified. Even today 1/4 million bodies lay buried under the tranquil farm fields of Flanders.
Relations in between the two-sides were not always so strained though. Whilst Sharon was describing the area filled with trenches she told us of the events of Christmas morning 1914. On that day the British and the German troops met on "no man's land" (the area between the trenches) and shared Christmas together. They sang Christmas carols and exchanged holiday wishes. That was obviously the last time anything of that nature took place. Soon both sides realized that soldiers were more likely to desert if they knew the face of their enemy. Moreover, the next year the war had become so horrible that both sides grew to hate each other.
It was this melancholic tale that brought us to our first memorial -- fittingly a Canadian one. It was a single long column, made of what appeared to be granite. It stands alone in the middle of Flanders. On the top is a sculpture of a bust of a Canadian soldier. He is bowing his head and facing west -- towards Canada. The column is there because it marks the spot where 18,000 Canadians withstood the first German gas attacks on 22-24th of April, 1915. Of those men, 2,000 fell and lay buried nearby. It was a single solitary tribute -- standing in stark reminders of the events of the previous century -- in the midst of the otherwise peaceful landscape. It was at this tribute where I took my favourite photo of the trip. At the base of the column was a carefully laid wreath. You could tell it had been there for a while and was slightly the worse for the wear. Nonetheless, its green leaves, red poppies, and red ribbon sash were plainly evident. But what caught my attention was a small pin that had been attached to the red sash. It was a small metallic pin with the flags of Canada and Germany beside each other. This was a moving tribute to forgiveness and the possibility of change for the better.
As we continued on, Sharon showed to us some very obvious examples of left over shells by the side of the road. Apparently, even today there are 4-5 deaths every year, in the area, from unexploded WWI shells going off. This to me was horrifying. For some reason I had always though of the WWI battlefields as something that in the present day was sanitized. But for the people of the area the terrible events of 1914-1918 are still a vivid part of their every day lives. Whilst we were driving through one particular farm, Sharon, recounted the tale of her friend who lives there. She told us that a couple of years ago he became very suspicious when his crops did very poorly. He began exploring and found a couple of shells. And so, following government instructions, he notified the army. They arrived and found 600 shells in his small farm alone!! The Belgian army, to this day, continues the task of destroying WWI remnants. They have at this moment enough work to last them an entire lifetime. But it is not only shells that are found in the farms. The clay soil of the area acts to preserve very well the bodies of WWI dead. Those are often, also, found and when enough are collected they are given a proper military burial at one of the nearby cemeteries.
And that was where we were headed next . . .
After driving for several minutes our bus stopped in front of Tyne Cot Cemetery -- the largest Commonwealth burial site in all of Belgium. If the site of the initial cemetery had shocked me -- this one was mind-numbing in proportion. We were given half an hour to wander the site. I took off amongst the rows and rows and rows and rows of tomb stones. Lying there were young men -- most around my age at the time they died. They were Canadian, British, Kiwis, Australian . . . they came from all corners of the world, with their youth and idealism and died in a desolate land far from home and those they loved. And those that lie buried there make up only a small percentage of the war dead. Along the backside of the cemetery there is a wall that has a partial list of names. Those names belong to those whose bodies were never found. Whose families never had the finality of a burial or a tomb stone to visit. I walked and I walked and I couldn't help but thing of the poem "In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses row and row." Never had the scale of the impact of the war been as palpable to me as it was in that very moment. There were crosses left at tomb stones with "In Remembrance" written on them. There was one in particular that caught my attention: it was wooden, clearly home-made, and clearly old. On it was etched "In loving Memory of Michael T. Dallimore." There were also the Canadian flags left at the graves of my country's native sons. And lastly, but equally moving the small rocks of remembrance placed on the top of the Jewish tomb stones.
I left the cemetery genuinely moved, fascinated, and torn apart all at once. But because of my particular situation in life what Sharon told us next really brought the point home for me. She said that a lot of young men enlisted in the war effort believing that it would be short lived. They knew if they enrolled they could go over to Flanders -- which was near France. Their hope was that at the end of the war they could visit Paris. Because they all wanted to visit Paris. It is in reference to these young men that the term "backpacker" was created. I am young and of the age of those men at the time they died. I am blessed and I know it. I am now in the midst of my second extended stay in the City of Lights. I did not have to enlist in any war effort to come here. How often we take our lives for granted. How often we overlook the blessings that are given to us . . .
This entry has been difficult to write but I can not end it without sharing with you the tale of one of my tour-mates. It was a family of four Australians who made a special request to visit Bedford House Cemetery. They wanted to visit the tomb of one of their war dead. Our tour guide gladly obliged and took them where they requested. They walked straight to the tomb stone of what turned out to be the grand-father of the mother of the family. Her mother had been only a couple of months old when he died. And they, on the 10th of July 2005, were the first of his descendants to ever visit his grave. They smiled and took pictures. Happy to have finally visited the tomb of the man of whom they had heard so much about!
I asked the tour guide if all visitors to tombs took it as well as this group. She answered "no." And shared that about two weeks earlier a very elderly couple, also Australian, had asked to be taken to the tomb stone of that lady's grand-father. They wept endlessly at his grave. They too were the first to visit his burial place. The elderly lady, however, had brought something special: she had smuggled-in from Australia a piece of eucalyptus and had attached it to a poppy. A symbol of home to stay forever at the tomb of her grand-father.
The events of my day in Flanders, and in particular the tale of those dear Australians calls to mind a poem that I have loved for many years. It is called "The Soldier" and was written by Rupert Brooke:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts of peace, under an English heaven."
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Like me, there are others out there who write blogs dedicated to health and fitness. These can often prove to be a great resource and help to foster a sense of community. It's kind of nice to remember that I'm not alone in my struggle.
And so today I present to you some of my fellow soldiers in arms - enjoy:
Back in Skinny Jeans
the Chic Runner
The DIY Diet
Amy's Quest to Skinny
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
She will apparently devote the whole hour to interviews with past contestants, as well as, Jillian and Bob. I may be out and about when the show airs but I will make sure to tape it and you should too!
You can find a preview for the show here: link
By way of update I can also report that my knee is doing so much better! And so are my ribs!! I know I did not mention it on here but they hurt so much I feared I had broken them. Turns out it was not anything a few days of bed-rest could not cure. I will be heading back to the gym tomorrow and may even attempt a light jog. Wish me luck!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Don't always mix with jeans that flare, like so:
In fact, sometimes, those pretty shoes can find a way to tangle themselves in the extra fabric of the flare. Thus, causing the wearer (ME!) to tumble forward.
It was not a pretty sight. Not at all! And the worst part is that this is not the first time something like this has happened. In fact, I had a very similar scenario several years ago (I was late for class and running in heels and wide-legged pants). Except that time my fall resulted in a fractured knee-cap. This time I was much more fortunate. My scraped foot, achy wrist, and painful ribs are all testaments to the fact that my knee did not absorb all of the impact.
Don't expect to see my miles increase on my Nike+ account for at least a little while. Yesterday I could barely bend my knee. Today things are better but it's still ridiculously swollen. More worrisome however is the abject pain in my ribs. :o( I think I may have impacted those.
I'll be back at the gym tomorrow (hopefully) even if it only is to stretch. Boo! And I was doing so well too . . .
Friday, October 24, 2008
But I get fidgety. Oh do I get fidgety! Something about staying still for so long just watching a television screen makes me feel guilty (I think I get it from my mother - she can't even sit through a movie).
And so I came up with a solution that allows me to enjoy my TV watching and burn some extra calories at the same time: I've taken to working out while I watch TV. Think about it - all you need is a soft carpeted surface (or a mat), enough room to spread your arms and legs, and some comfortable clothing. You don't need weights or any special equipment - just move.
I do ab exercises, lunges, squats, a variety of push ups, and some yoga poses. But you can choose whatever you want. Just make sure that even in your downtime you're moving! Every little bit of calorie burning potential counts!!
Who knows, you may even find yourself inspired enough to start working out at home on a regular basis. As for me, I like that a gym provides an "escape" but at least I know that if a gym were ever not available, I would be just fine!
Monday, October 20, 2008
After much prodding, pressuring, and even a bit of nagging, the boy joined the gym too. I'm thrilled! He's been active in the past but he's just not a gym person. Problem? Winter is coming and we don't really ski (yet).
I have to confess that thus far I'm very impressed. He's been working extremely hard! I have him doing a training program that my trainer created for him a while back. Unlike most boys I see at the gym (who usually arrive, lift a couple of things, talk a lot, and then leave) he goes hard-core and works hard for over an hour. And he even tops it all off with cardio!
I for one am thrilled and the boy seems genuinely excited about how well he's doing as well as the prospect of a being, and I quote, "hotter!" Whatever it takes!! lol
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I am not really three years old today - but the NEW me, is!!!!!!
You see three years ago today I changed my life. I was about to turn 25 and decided I no longer wanted to be (very) overweight. These were supposed to be the best years of my life and I was letting them slip me by. So I decided to turn things around, finally stop fighting what I always knew I needed to do, and get fit.
Now, in part I had gained the weight due to some severe illnesses and injuries in undergrad. As a result, I knew that I needed a trainer. I couldn't do it alone! I had way to many injuries to work around and I needed someone who would help me adapt my workouts accordingly. Enter the man who would help me change my life and become a really good friend in the process: Nick. Today, he owns a very successful gym in Victoria, British Columbia (a place I miss dearly since my move) but back then he was a trainer at the UVic gym.
Until my dying day I will remember my first workout. For starters, he was great. Extremely supportive and motivational. He first sat me down and talked to me about my goals (I said I wanted to lose 40lbs and get healthy), we ran through some basic fitness tests, and the next session he had a workout all ready to go for me. And Oh. My. Dear. God. I suffered. That's when I realized how terribly out of shape I was. I honestly though I was going to DIE! My heart felt like it was going to beat itself right out of my chest and I was in pain. But I kept at it. And Nick kept on trucking right along with me.
Three years later, I've lost 60lbs, have changed my eating habits, can fit into form fitting clothes, no longer feel like I'm going to die in a gym, have ran a 10K, and am thrilled to bits!!! I would not change these last three years for anything in the world.
The new me is a healthier me. The new me is a happier me. And the new me, is NEVER going back!!!
Friday, September 26, 2008
I have one week left here and I love being back in my home. But it's time that I get back to my regime of frequent workouts and my kitchen where I've banned dairy, bread, pasta, fruits, tortillas....yeah the list goes on and on.
But now I have a week of enjoying life back home to enjoy!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I love the show because it's not just entertainment. It's motivation and a life-saver! Not only for those fortunate enough to be part of the program but also for viewers at home. And so, in advance of tonight's premiere, that it would be fitting to share with you The Biggest Loser Season 6 - super tease:
PS: I figured I should return to the days of my food diary- and so for breakfast today I had tea, two scrambled eggs with tomatoes, one piece of sprouted grain whole wheat bread, half a cup of blueberries, 1/8 of an avocado, and one small piece (the size of my thumb) of feta cheese. I'll try to do without the feta next time!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
What am I up to today? The Nike+ Human Race 10k. I am running not only for health reasons but more importantly for nine million children in UNHCR refugee camps around the world. For every step taken today Nike will donate funds to the runner's charity of choice. I chose ninemillion.org but others are also running for Livestrong and the WWF.
Could there possibly be a better reason to head out and run today? I don't think so:
Out for a run - back in a while!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Anywho the reason for this AWOLness is that in the last month I have been completing the most grueling part of my licensing course and the bar exams. And so I locked myself up for weeks on end (and I'm not kidding here) and did nothing but hit the books.
So today I will return to the gym for the first time in a very loooooooong time. I fear I have probably gained a couple of pounds. More than that, however, I have noticed a definite softness creeping in. EEEEK!!!!!! My butt better get itself to the gym. STAT!!!
Friday, July 4, 2008
read more | digg story
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
So much so in fact that I don't remember what I ate yesterday and can scarcely remember today's consumption. That's right - I have food related amnesia.
I have no intention of fighting this oblivion today. Instead I will succumb to it and go back to opining. Perhaps it will all come back to me in the morning.
Wish me luck! Say a prayer (or ten!)!
Monday, June 30, 2008
I Can't be Held Responsible for what I do in 42 Degree Heat!!! (That's 108F for you American Readers!)
Do you have any idea what it's like to be trapped in a home with no A/C in 42 degree heat, while you're trying to work on an assignment, and your lap top sits there humming only contributing to the heat? It's pretty horrible. And I have to say - I don't recommend it! Instead I recommend going to a place with A/C on a day like that or perhaps even taking a dip in your nearest and coldest body of water. Unfortunately, I could do neither. And so I found myself eating ice-cream. Again:
- Crystal Light iced tea
- Two pancakes made from whole wheat mix
- One tablespoon of syrup
- Half a Spanish Chorizo satueed in 1 cup of veggies (red and green peppers, onions, and mushrooms)
- Half a cup of Pasta
- Crystal Light iced tea
- One cup of oreo cookie ice cream - the boy bought it at the grocery store
- One ham sandwhich with fat-free cheese made on sprouted grain bread (no flour!)
- One Source fat-free yogurt
- More Crystal Light iced tea
Back to work............
Sunday, June 29, 2008
It is difficult to control your eating when you don't buy the groceries. Let's face it - if I were in control all of my bread would be whole wheat stone-ground bread, all of my cheese (if any at all) would be goat cheeses or fat-free, and any fruit spread would be artificially sweetened. That's not always the case when someone else does the grocery shopping. Especially boys - boys usually aren't prone to buying things like that. At least there is no junk food around or yummy white bread - I can't be trusted around yummy white bread!
On vacation I tend to want to splurge a little more with my calories - and then I end up regretting it. Take ice cream for example - it's been really hot here this weekend (in the 90s for the Americans reading this, and in the mid-30s for everyone else). The heat has been intense and we've taken quite a few country drives. Along these meandering mountain roads one finds creameries that have the most beautiful freshly made ice-cream. Perfect for hot summer days - sigh.
Because I don't see the boy very often when I do see him, I tend to cook for him the things that spoil him. The kind of things he likes but doesn't really cook on his own. And that stuff is not always the healthy stuff. And of course I end up eating some too. I anticipate, however, that this problem is merely temporary.
And on that note - here is what I ate yesterday:
- Two scrambled eggs
- One piece of whole wheat toast with one teaspoon of huckleberry fruit preserves (it's a local specialty)
- One half of white bread toast plain (I stole it from the boy)
- Crystal light iced tea
- One grilled turkey breast "burger" on a white bun with no mayo and no cheese (only ketchup)
- Side salad with unidentifiable dressing - it came pre-tossed
- Half a praline and cream ice cream cone (shared with the boy then I felt SOOOO guilty!)
- Home-made stove top pork short-ribs (only ate a small amount)
- One good sized bowl of mixed greens with 1tbsp of calorie reduced ranch dressing (35 calories, 2.5 grams of fat)
- Crystal light iced tea
Let's see what today brings . . .
Friday, June 27, 2008
Yesterday was my travel day and it was busy to say the least. It involved waking up to pack, going to my licensing course, running to the gym for quick intervals, running back home to pack up my school stuff, taking a ferry to seattle, taking a taxi to Sea-Tac airport, a plane to Spokane, and finally being picked-up by the boy at 2 minutes before midnight.
Today, we took our sweet time making our way north into Canada. It was a fantastic day but blistering hot! So hot that I ate some stuff designed to cool me down - things that I probably wouldn't have eaten under other circumstances. This is a bit of a vacation after all!
Tomorrow will probably be a bit more of a stable eating day but as those of you who travel know eating on the road, cheaply, and conveniently does not always go hand-in-hand with healthful eating. I still tried though - believe me, I was beyond tempted by the fair in Spokane today!!!
But enough of that, on to my food diary:
- Protein shake made with water
- Ham and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread
- One Granny Smith apple
- Thinly shaved turkey on a white bagel (in retrospect I should have only eaten half) with mustard and cheddar cheese
- One lemon lime sparkling water (no calories, no carbohydrates)
- Two Milano Pepperidge Farm cookies
- One unsweetened apple sauce
- One small bag of low fat, trans-fat-free pretzels
- The mayo that came with my bagel sandwich on the ferry
- The cheese crackers that came with my dinner combo on the ferry
- The pop that was offered to me on the airplane
- One sushi roll
- Half an order of spicy BBQ pork with sauteed vegetables - cooked Korean style
- One side order of seaweed salad
- Miso soup
- One small skim milk sugar-free vanilla iced latte
- Half an order of gelato (shared with the boy)
- Half a glass of home-made Huckleberry Lemonade
- Two slices of thin-crust wood fire oven pizza with no mozzarella but a small amount of smoked goat cheese, caramelized onions, and a couple of morsels (really almost none at all) of Spanish chorizo
- Half a small cardamom, orange, oatmeal, raisin cookie
- The funnel cake that was calling my name at Spokane's Riverside Park
- The ice cream that was calling my name, also at Spokane's Riverside Park
- The white sticky sushi rice that came with the order of spicy pork at lunch
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today, I'm going to go away for the long weekend (Canada Day). I'll be flying to the mountains to go see the boy. I'll also be spending the weekend working on an assessment that I need to complete successfully in order to be called to the bar. In short, my food journal this week will reflect the hectic nature of my life and the fact that I won't be at home and will have to rely on whatever food we find on the road. And let me tell you, in small mountain towns there isn't a lot of healthy stuff to go around.
Anywho . . . to yesterday's food:
- Gatorade (30 calories)
- One slice of whole wheat flax blueberry bread
- Small fruit salad
- Ham and cheese sandwich on brown bread (I don't know that it was whole wheat - it was the healthiest thing they had at the University cafeteria)
- Medium home-made turkey chili
- Home-brewed iced tea (no sugar)
- One serving of Fat-free chocolate pudding made with 1% lactaid milk (they don't sell it in skim form)
Today I will also eat mostly out.....Mainly because I can't leave left-overs behind in my fridge as they will be growing things when I get back. Haha!
Until next time.....
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In fact, today I made the mistake of eating very little for breakfast (and an early one at that - 5:30am) so that left me hungry at irregular times and I ate what I shouldn't have. Today's Meals were as follows:
- Three Wasa fibre rye crispbread, each with one teaspoon of raw almond butter and one teaspoon of E.D. Smith no sugar added (sweetened with sucralose) raspberry spread
- Chamomile tea
- Sugar-free jello like snack pack (no carbs, only 5 calories)
- One small bowl of home-made turkey chilli
- 2 home-made cookies
- One large bowl of chilli
- Chilled mint green tea (I brewed it myself so no sugar)
- Three Wasa fibre rye crispbread, each with one teaspoon of raw almond butter and one teaspoon of E.D. Smith no sugar added (sweetened with sucralose) raspberry spread
I'll try again tomorrow and see if I can do better. Part of the problem is that lately I don't much want any chicken/pork/or beef. On top of that I wake up so early (5 am) that by the time I get to school at 9 I am starving.
Must find a solution.....
Monday, June 23, 2008
For the wedding, my friend purchased a beautiful dress for me to wear as a gift. I love it! But it is a tiny bit small for me. In particular it's riding up a little around the waist area. Which definitely calls for some action, Bulging Bride Style!
And so to that end, my trainer has asked me to document my eating habits in a food journal for the next week. So I will do that here because what better way is there to keep track of your noshing than being publicly accountable to the world!
So after my afternoon workout this is what I ate:
- Two Wasa fibre rye crispbread, each with one teaspoon of raw almond butter and one teaspoon of E.D. Smith no sugar added (sweetened with sucralose) raspberry spread
- Chamomile tea
- One small bowl of home made turkey chilli (with black beans and soy beans)
NOTE: Picture credit goes to http://www.runnersworld.com
Saturday, June 21, 2008
One of my "new" exercises is a cable crunch. Sure it looks like some kind of medieval torture but you can really feel it working:
1. Take a mat and place it at the base of your cable machine
2. Choose whatever grip is most comfortable for you - I like the ropes
3. While kneeling reach up and grab the grip - pull the cables down so that your forearms are on either side of your head
4. Contract your abs, round your back, *think curl* and pull your elbows down towards your knees
5. Make sure you keep your abs contracted and breathe (exhale when you're going down)
6. Release and bring the cable back up in a controlled manner (inhale)
Perhaps it would be useful to see a demonstration. I looked up and down and I found a great animation demonstration here.
Trust me, this is an awesome exercise!
Friday, June 13, 2008
I have been training with Nick for a very long time now. So long that for the most part I train on my own nowadays. I know my way around my programs and most of the exercises. Once in a while, however, we work out together and he checks-up on me to see if we should change my program.
Yesterday, he asked me what my goals were now. I told him I want to do two things:
1) Lose 20lbs
2) Run a half-marathon
The first I figure will only occur through discipline and lots of hard-work. And for the second one to occur I need my body (mainly my knees) to co-operate with me.
And then something happened that I didn't expect. While he was observing me try some new exercises - he kind of laughingly told me that he didn't think I had 20lbs to lose. Cue the confusion! lol I wasn't sure what a statement like that means. Apparently he doesn't think I should lose 20lbs - that it would be too much.
Talk about throwing me for a loop! Honestly, most girls would freak out if they weighed as much as I do. They may even freak out if they weighed 20lbs less. I guess it just goes to show you, different strokes for different folks.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
This past Friday I went into the gym and found my trainer's girlfriend setting up what looked like a circuit course. It turned out that she was trying to come-up with a training circuit course for her soccer team. She asked me if I wanted to give it a go and of course I jumped at the chance!
Turned out it was an awesome workout. Mostly because it introduced me to some new exercises that challenged me in a really good way. Probably my favourite was the plank on a stability ball. I had, in the past, seen other people try it but thought it looked much too advanced for me. In fact I sort of suspected that if I were to try it I might end up in a heap on the floor (after rolling off the ball of course) or worse - wiggling uncontrollably on that thing!
Lo and behold it turned out brilliantly and it was a great variation on my usual ab-workout. Follow this link for a how-to and plank your way to flatter abs!
NOTE: Picture borrowed from http://health.howstuffworks.com
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I bet you didn't know I was going to run a race? Well neither did I! No joke - I literally decided to sign up the weekend before the race. My main motivation, besides completing my first race, was the fact that I want to train to complete the Royal Victoria Marathon (RVM) this fall (I intend to run the half). I figured the 10k would be a good way to put the fear of God into me and teach me a lesson about training for a race. And so it was that in the week before the race I ramped up my mileage back up to 10k (I had previously been running that distance). I also managed to injure my knee in those days leading up to race day (April 27th, 2008). So much so that on the Friday before the Sunday race I could barely walk.
I had a moment when I considered not running the race - I wrote my trainer and told him so. He told me I'd been promising him a race for years and it was too late to turn back (sing it with me - Past the point of no return.....) and that he would see me at the finish line! And that was the extra motivation I needed.
The night before race day I was severely nervous - a giddy kind of nervous but nervous nonetheless. But as the boy reminded me - the worst that could happen was that I had to walk the race because of my injury. Either way I would be okay.
On race day I woke up to discover that my stomach was doing a number on me. I honestly have never gone to the washroom so many times in my life!!! In fact when we arrived at the starting area I needed to go.......again! So I found myself a porta potty with a relatively short line. Appearances were deceiving though because people were taking forever. Honestly the boys should have just been made to go in the bushes. With about 2 minutes to go before the start (the wheelchairs had already begun by this point) I finally got in and found myself in THE most unstable toilet ever. Whomever set it up actually put it on an uneven little slope. So when I went to get out it started rocking violently back and forth. Seriously, I was filled with fear that the thing would tip over with me in it and instead of running I would be trying to get out from underneath....ummm.....stuff. Ewww! I narrowly avoided the fate just in time to kiss the boy goodbye, hand him my warm up jacket, and attempt to join the hordes behind the starting line. Except I found myself behind the gates!! I had to jump, retrace my steps to make sure my timing chip passed the start line, and before I knew it........I was off!!!
My goal wasn't to run the most spectacular race. I wanted to run it in 1:15 and run it without stopping - not even for my knee.
Pretty soon I found myself at km2 and realized that I was running at a faster pace than I usually do in the gym. Clearly, there's something to be said for the whole lemming mentality in a race. Happily I also discovered that nothing hurt (yet).
I relished the race - in particular I took extreme delight in being able to grab water at the water stations, chugging back the water, and then throwing the paper cup on the curb. Hahahha! I don't thing I've ever felt more like an athlete in my life! :oP
At one point I found myself running a km near the seaside route where I took my first hesitant trots more than two years ago. Back then that km seemed to last an eternity. In fact I remember the first time I ran it and how it hurt and how badly I wanted to stop. But there was an older gentleman who yelled out "Keep running little girl!" lol And there I was two years later running that much and so much more! From that point in I felt like gold, I made a point of taking off my headphones to enjoy the bands playing on the sides, I waived at the spectators, and I took in the view of the Olympic Mountains from the race course.
Next thing I knew I was on km8. And that's when my left knee and left ankle really began to throb. In fact I got caught in a crush at the water station and stopped for a nano second only to realize that it hurt and I had to keep going or I would feel it. With about a km left to go I spotted my trainer off to the side and yelled hello to him. His girlfriend was there too and they were both so excited to see me there - proud of me too! His girlfriend even ran with me for a little bit on that last kilometre and pulled away to let me make the final dash on my own.
And dash I did!!! In fact I actually managed to sprint across the finish line!! :o) I distinctly remember during the race when Kanye West sang the line "This is history in the making...." And that's how I felt at the finish line. I made my own little history and I was proud. Oh I was more than proud - I was on a ridiculous high!!! In fact it took about a week to wear off. Now I can't wait for the next race. That feeling is definitely addictive!
And how did I do? Chip time said 1:05:50!! Way below my goal time :o) Want to see me cross the finish line? You can see my little head and turquoise outfit go running across the finish line here at approximately 1:07:08 according to the finish line clock.
I can't wait until the next time..........I really can't! I look so happy in that finish line picture above and I want to re-live that feeling. Honestly, I was amazed at what my body could do!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
You can see my lovely certificate here!
Friday, April 4, 2008
Needless to say, after missing a week of the gym the New Balance Ads hit the spot; all the new ads are based on the notion that most people have a love/hate relationship with running. This one in particular has to do with breaking up with running and it made me laugh out loud. And decide I need to get my butt to the gym first thing tomorrow!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
The event is so popular that entry into the race will be determined by a random lottery. According to the Nike website over 30,000 people entered the lottery. Unfortunately, there are only spots for 20,000 people in the race. This, if I get in (oh pretty please can't someone just let me in!) will be my first road race. And I have to say it just boggles my mind that so many people are willing to fly to San Francisco, pay for a hotel, and volunteer (even pay!) to run many kilometers. One thing is for sure, runners are a strange breed!
I have to admit I'm really hoping to get into this race; it is just the motivation I need to train myself to my ideal weight/fitness/shape just in time for my 28th birthday on November 15th (approximately a month after the race).
Here's to hoping! I'll let you know how it all turns out in the morning . . .
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Yesterday I hit the gym and for the first time in a long time I ran 10km.
In the past two months I've lost 17lbs.
Yesterday I weighed myself and lost 2 more lbs since the previous time I'd weighed in.
I've been eating healthy.
This week I realized that I've sufficiently changed my body and as a result I can now wear a strapless dress.
I've been eating well.
I feel good.
And today..........today..........a very dear person in my life flies back into the city after a very long absence.
Today is just one of those days when the sun shines a little brighter, my steps are a little springier, and life is just that much better!
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Today I went to go get ready for a run on the treadmill at my gym, when lo-and-behold......my trusty Nike+ system could not find my sensor.
How was I to run without Lance's voice congratulating me on achieving new records at the end of my run? How about my obsessive need to press the center button and get updated stats (including my pace and distance completed)? And how was I to make it through the hard parts of my run without my trusted power song (a song I pre-select to motivate me that can be accessed at any point)? It was rough boys and girls. It was rough.
And that's when I realized something - taking my Nike+ system away is like taking away my crack (or something akin to that).
Now if you excuse me I have to go hound Apple to send me a replacement sensor lest I perish in it's absence.
NOTE: picture credit to culture buzz
Monday, March 10, 2008
For starters I had to take a gajillion (yes, that's a word) jeans in the change room with me because I no longer know what size I am in anything. In fact I'm convinced my suits for work are about 6 sizes too big. Not cute - frankly I think I look like a bit of a hobo.
The same could be said for my jeans. Up until this weekend they were ridiculously saggy in the butt region. Surely, I decided, I was small enough to fit into tight fitting jeans that were flattering to my figure (including the buttocular area)!
Instantly I started trying jeans on, And to my delight I discovered that I had to keep on trying smaller jeans. It was brilliant! If ever retail therapy offered anyone a boost in self-esteem, it was this past Saturday at my local mall.
Eventually I discovered my new size. When I first started working out I was a size 16 (border line plus size - eeek!). Eventually I dropped down to a 14 and just before Christmas I would say I was a size 12. Over the Holidays I purchased a size 10 pair but I was aware that it was a generous cut (as I was reminded when I went to my local American Eagle and discovered that I couldn't fit into their size 10). Now I know my size.............I purchased a size 28 Guess jeans in a low-cut that was flattering (and a size 8 jeans at American Eagle). Something even months ago I would have never imagined wearing!
These are the first pairs of really great jeans I've owned in my adult life. First non-saggy butt jeans I daresay. And I'm thrilled - so much so that I have to admit I have an urge to admire myself in every reflection! lol That will pass - but for now it's pretty awesome!
Note: Picture courtesy of the Guess website
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
But in order for you to appreciate how far I've come (60lbs!!!!!) I think you need to see a before and after.
Let's start with my horrifying before, shall we? It's traumatizing to be sure but it's the way I USED to look. And thankfully not the way I look today. Hence the before and after. But enough delaying the horror.....here is my before:
I am the rather large girl at the very front of the group. Sure this is a particularly unflattering outfit but this doesn't change the fact that I let myself get to be a big girl. Not that it was completely my fault - I ended up that way after some illnesses and really rough times. But whatever caused me to get there the fact remains that I was big. Bigger than I ever wanted to be.
And so it was that when I was about to turn 25 I decided it was time to start loosing weight. And now (several years later) I'm 60lbs lighter. And instead of looking big - I look something like this:
And now instead of being the big girl in the group, I'm the rather normal looking girl on the left. I daresay I feel proud! REALLY proud!!!
Now that I'm what I originally thought my goal weight would be I've turned my mind to something else. My next big challenge! I need to keep myself going so I've entered the lottery to run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 19th, 2008. I would run the half (not the full - I'm crazy but not that crazy) and would somehow find a way to get myself to San Francisco that weekend.
Crazy huh? Yeah, but I love the thought of it. I relish it even. Too bad the event is so popular that entrance is by lottery. I won't know until April 1st if I got in. But here's to hoping!
And in the meantime I'm going to relish my weight-loss a little more!!! :o)
Monday, February 4, 2008
There haven been times in my life when I have heard something that stirred my sould to its very core. Words that lead me to believe that I have caught a glimpse of a great destiny.
I had that experience during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
When Barack Obama delivered the keynote address, I knew what millions watching knew - that man needed to be President. I may not be American but I would like to believe that somewhere in this world, a person who works hard, who has a vision, and a passion, can be given the chance to lead his (or her) Nation to greatness.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I run because I have a career that is ridiculously stressful. The kind of career where you find out about how not so nice the world is. Most days it's okay but other days not so much.
And so to escape the pressures, to de-tox my system, and to generally relax - I run. I guess I run to get away. And thankfully it works.
I also run for my health and because nothing has changed my body the way running has. But that's just a fringe benefit. Mostly, I just do it because while my feet are pounding the treadmill to the rythm of my iPod selection - I'm able to escape.
Why do you run?
Monday, January 14, 2008
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I expected it to be good but only in a "Yeah, it was good...." kind of way. Instead it ended up being SO good! SO GOOD! The kind of good you rave about; like on your blog for instance. If you get the chance, you should totally go see it - and in the theatres too. It's the kind of movie that should be seen on a big screen with loud sound and in a dark room to boot.
Honestly, who knew that The Fresh Prince of BelAir (a.k.a: Will Smith) would turn out to be such a brilliant actor. Kudos to the man! Anywho - here's the trailer. It doesn't even hit at the brilliantness of the movie. But at least it will wet your appetite:
I Am Legend - Trailer
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Needless to say, I'm not impressed.
Monday, January 7, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
I am still getting over my cold so I haven't written in the last few days. I did, however, want to share with you one of my pictures from the trip. It was taken at La Bufadora in Baja California, Mexico. I heart the photo. In fact, the boy and I have bought frames for it already!
Here's hoping your Holidays were just as enjoyable!!