Friday, January 30, 2009

Yogalaties - how I love the way you kick my butt!

I have to confess. I have a new love. *gasp* It's yogalaties . . . not only awesome for your body but mighty fun to say too! Try it? Yogalaties, yogalaties, yogalaties! lol Even the O.C thought it way funny.

Anywho - I had tried some yoga in the past. Mainly for stretching. I would end up feeling relaxed and yes more flexible but that was about it. Years ago I used to do a lot of pilates too. I owned a pile of Mari Winsor DVDs and I used to do them religiously. Mind you I'd somehow managed to convince myself that all I needed in my (severely) overweight world was pilates. Not so much.

Enter yogalaties. I've taken this class a handful of times at my new gym. And I heart it!!! It lasts an hour and honestly it kicks my butt every single time. Heaven forbid I sneeze or cough the day following a class. 'Cause oh my Lord does that ever hurt!!! But it hurts so good!!!

And what is yogalaties? A mixture of yoga and pilates! Yoga is a traditional Eastern practice, from India, that involves stretches and poses. Pilates usually involves mat work, a lot of ab exercises, and the use of your own body weight for resistance. Yogalaties combines the two, in what I find to be a faster series of movements than your usual yoga sequences. It tops it all off with a bit of pilates. My particular class is probably more yoga- than -laties but it is so much more effective than any yoga I've tried in the past.

My gym holds the class twice a week. But only one of those classes falls during non-work hours. I have to admit . . . if I could . . . I would attend a class every other day! What can I say? I'm a FAN!

As a result I would love to be able to find a DVD that accomplishes the same thing! Any recommendations anyone? I thought maybe Rodney Yee's Yoga Burn may do the trick. But I'm not so sure!

The search continues . . .

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Great One Month Slim-Down

This January, I picked up a copy of this month's SELF magazine. I'm not usually a SELF reader (more a SHAPE kind of girl) but I bought one because I was a bit curious about an article/workout by Jillian Michaels.

I read it. The exercises looked good. And the pictures were decent. Yet the descriptions still left me a bit confused as to what they were supposed to look like exactly. But guess what!?!? Turns out there is an accompanying video - woot woot!

You can find the article here and watch the video down below (please try to ignore the fact the video screen is too wide for my blog):

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Great $1000 Fitness Dilemma

So I have a bit of a $1000 conundrum. Well actually, $939 to be exact. But close enough!

You see, I recently started a new job and it turns out that one of my benefits is an annual allowance that I get to develop myself professionally. That can either mean conferences and books I can use for my professional life or health and wellness stuff that also serves to make me a better lawyer! Yaaaayyyy for progressive work policies! :o)

Anywho - the catch is that I just became aware of the allowance and I have until the very end of March to both spend and claim my reimbursement or I forfeit my allowance for this fiscal year! EEEK!!!

What is a girl to do?

My first thought was to use it to subsidize myself a treadmill. It's early on in the New Year and there are still plenty of sales to be had. In fact I was terribly tempted by the idea of having my own souped up Nordictrack treadmill at home. In particular, I was drawn to the Commercial 1500, currently on sale for a very lovely price at Costco.

I spent quite a long time trying to convince myself that this was the best option. I was lying. A treadmill is not feasible for me at the moment. I rent a home for the time being and although there are quite a number of rooms the layout makes it so there is not much extra space. I tried to convince myself I could put it in my library (what I like to call the room filled with an endless amount of bookcases). But really there's not enough room in the middle to put a treadmill. Ditto for the bedroom, in fact I think the doors would get in the way. And the living room only allows enough room for my furniture.

No treadmill for me.

And therein is the true dilemma. How to spend nearly $1000 in such a small amount of time. For now this is my plan:

1) Try to have the Bodybugg . This is that little gadget used on The Biggest Loser. You wear it on your arms at all times and it measures a whole bunch of things to come up with an accurate amount of calories burned during the day (not only while exercising but also while sedentary too!), you then feed that information into their online program and also add what you ate on the day. This effectively gives you either a deficit or a surplus of calories consumed (vs. those burned). The goal is to create a deficit and thus lose weight. In fact you can even tell it how much you want to lose and in what time period and it will calculate what your deficit needs to be each day.

I figure if I can get the Bodybugg approved then that will take care of a good chunk of change in terms of my allowance (I'm Canadian so I have to allow for the conversion rate in any of my U.S purchases). But what to do with the rest of it?

2) Buy health and fitness DVDs and books. Right now my Amazon cart contains all of the following for a total of less than $100: Jillian Michaels' Making the Cut, South Beach Diet Supercharged, Six-Week Bikini Countdown, Total Body Power Yoga DVD (with Rodney Lee), Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred DVD, Workout One-on-One Training with Jackie DVD.

So that's my list for now, I suppose I could also use it to pay for gym membership for the next year too. That's always an idea.

Do you have any suggestions for me? Who knew spending this money would cause such a dilemma? Makes you wonder what I'd be like if I won the lottery one of these days! :oP

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FIRMLY on the Wagon

Just checking-in to reassure my readers that I have NOT fallen off the wagon; that's not the reason for the silence on my blog as of late.

My silence is due both to a combination of being really busy at work with lots of trials and court time and the fact that the Toronto Girl out West household has been struck by a mid-winter bout of the flu.

But no worries, I'm back! I have to head to work now but I'll return this afternoon with a post about my adventures in treadmill shopping. Turns out I have a $1000 allowance from work that I can choose to spend on wellness for myself.

Awesome, huh!? Indeed!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tales from the Grocery Aisle

Oh Soup . . . why do you deceive me so.

I work in the downtown core of my small (small) Rocky Mountain city. Often, I go back home for lunch but when things get busy I don't always have the time to get away. That's when I find myself at my local grocery store trying to find something healthy to nosh on in a hurry.

Cold Rocky Mountain winters + hungry me = soup

I try to be good and follow the rules. No bread or crackers on the side. No soups with pasta or rice in them. And certainly no creamy soups. Usually my choice ends up being a tomato basil bisque. Simple. Relatively healthy. Or so I thought.

Today I stopped by my local supermarket and noticed that the soups usually sold piping hot from a pot at lunch were also sold in larger take-away servings. Behold my soup in detail, this time with nutritional information included:

Just in case it's not clear it has 23 grams of fat per cup of soup!!!!! TWENTY-THREE!!!! I nearly fell off my chair. And here I thought it was just a tomato bisque. Simple. Not some evil red creation in a bowl.

Never. Again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And on Thursday . . . she rested

That's right. It's Thursday night and I've decided to take a one day vacation from the gym. I'm just chilling tonight!

I've had a hard couple of weeks at work plus I've gotten back into my gym routine (hard core!). All of this has left me one tired cookie.

I've been somewhat low on energy and short on sleep. I'm also nursing an injured knee that I'll be taking to the physio tomorrow.

So for tonight it's just me, my jammies, a blanket, and the final season of Sex and the City (bought on sale at Walmart - woot woot!).

Buenas noches!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Watching TV? Keep Moving!!

I did 45 min. of yoga this morning. I had a hard core workout yesterday and my body was badly in need of a stretch.

So what about more of a hardcore workout? Well every Tuesday night I watch The Biggest Loser. It motivates me and I love it. Usually, I watch the show sitting (okay something lying) on my couch. What a depressing way to watch a show about achieving your fitness goals.

And so this week I've decided to try something different: I'm going to be on the treadmill for the full two hours of the show. I'm not even going to pretend - I'm not going to be able to run the full time. But by God, I'm going to keep moving! :o) Might as well - it goes with the theme!

So I'm off to the gym now but before I run out the door I thought I would leave you with the newest Weight Watchers commercial. It features hungry - in the form of an incredibly furry and cute little orange guy. lol No wonder I can't seem to keep hungry away!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Want to Stick to your Gym Routine? Workout First Thing in the Morning

It's 6:30 and I'm about to scamper out the door ('cause when it's this early I don't so much stride or walk as scamper) and head to the gym; all in an attempt to re-claim my old routine of working out in the morning.

Trust me. Working out in the morning means you stick to your plans! If you manage to get out of bed that is. In my experience, when I try to work out later in the day, life gets in the way. There's always work, chores, or miscellaneous things that pop out. But the morning time is all about me.

And so this is the way it's going to be (again) from now on. Morning workouts. A guaranteed way to get me to the gym. And what about those days I want to stay in bed? Well I set up multiple alarms away from arms reach, I leave my gym bag packed, and my gym clothes out on my bedside table.

Off I go . . .

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In Need of a Little Inspiration - Biggest Loser to the Rescue!

I'm not even going to front - I've had a long hard day, it's 8 p.m. and I still have more work to do. I am in need of some SERIOUS inspiration tonight.

So while I read case law, I'm going to have The Biggest Loser - Season 7 playing in the background. I'm not going to miss a minute of it and hopefully neither will you:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Things that Make me go OW!

Things that make me go OW!?! Skiing!!!

I have to confess that yesterday afternoon I took a couple of really high quality spills on the ski hill. The morning was flawless (or as close to flawless as a first time skier can get :oP) and over lunch something happened. I lost it. So I fell. No biggie right? That's what I though . . .

Man was I wrong.

My entire body hurts. Really hurts. That part I can deal with. But my Lord my neck is in pain!!! As a result I decided to skip the gym today and baby myself. I did 45 minutes of yoga in an effort to stretch myself out.

Here's hoping I don't sneeze again tonight - 'cause that hurt like a mofo!!!

Owie . . .

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ski Bunny - Before and After

So I went skiing. It was an awesome day and an incredibly good workout! I have to admit by the afternoon I was completely beat and nothing short of exhausted.

And here is some photo evidence - this is the BEFORE picture:

I wasn't really angry. More like squinting against the bright snow! lol Mind you, I have to agree I look mean!

And this was the AFTER . . .

You can tell from my hair-line that I've been sweating A LOT! But I had a great time (despite my multiple wipe outs near the end of the day) and I think I'll definitely have to try it again.

And for the record, I skied for 3 hours (1.5 pre-lunch and 1.5 post-lunch). No small feat for an absolute beginner. I'm rather proud of myself! :o)

The Evolution of a Ski Bunny

Today is the day I become a skier.

That's right, for the first time my 28 year-old self tries skiing.

The picture above is an actual view from the resort where I'll be heading. Beautiful isn't it? Mind you it will be quite a long while before I get high enough to experience views such as that. Nonetheless I am excited!!! Very excited!!!

Not too long ago I moved to the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountains). People travel from all over the world to come ski in this area. And so I figured it would be an absolute waste to live here and not take advantage of the opportunity. When in Rome!!

Here's hoping it goes well! I'll be sure to try to take pictures and report on my progress when I get back.

Off skiing . . .