Friday, April 8, 2011

My New Gadget

So I've been going to A's abs&core class during my lunch break. She offers it 3 times a week and I try to get there as much as I can.

Here's what I know about the class:
1. It's tough.
2. I am literally dripping sweat when it's over.
3. I luv it.

What I wondered was:
1. How many calories am I burning during this 40 minute class?

So I bought a heart rate/calorie monitor watch. It's super easy to use and there's no uncomfortable body band. You just press your finger to the metal around the read out and it calculates your heart rate and your cals burned based on that.

I wore it today during class to test it out and was amazed!

Just in case you can't see that, it reads 39 minutes 25 seconds and 683 cals burned. Pretty impressive I think.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

#RI30 Day 2

Okay so it's day 2 of the ripped in 30 challenge. And you're on the edge of your seat dying to know how I'm doing. The anticipation!

Well here it is. I did NOT work out with Jillian tonight. I did go to the gym, where I spent 45 minutes alternating between running and walking on an incline. My body was just too sore after yesterday's 3 work outs. The thing I like about this vid is that it's recommended you do it 5 or 6 days a week and not 7 like the previous one. So I'm still perfectly on track!

My question is: When did I become the crazy who feels guilty for only working out once a day?

Monday, April 4, 2011

So I fell off the blog wagon.......

I bet you thought I gave up. That I was laying on a couch somewhere in a dark and dingy basement, barely visible underneath the empty bags of Party Mix and Snickers wrappers. That the shame of facing my audience of 14 followers was just too much. Or that the shame of quitting had overwhelmed me and I had moved to Russia and become an au pair ( a fat au pair), under an assumed name. Well no need to worry any longer! I'm back bitches!

And when I say back, I mean the blog because I never actually stopped my fitness journey. I've been training with A 3 times a week, working on my learn to run program on m alternate days and trying to squeeze in my new favorite work out class (Abs&Core) on any Monday, Wednesday, Friday that I can escape from work on my lunch break.

Now obviously I have days were I can't make it to the gym, or I'm too tired or busy or cranky to work out. But I try not to have those days twice in a row. That way I won't get back into the habit of just not going.

Have I lost the weight I wanted to in that time? Nope. Not even close actually. My thyroid may still be playing games with my body or I may be doing something wrong but this time it's not enough to phase me. I am in MUCH better shape now than I was when this whole journey began. During tonight's training session A and I reminisced a little about the first week of training and she actually laughed. Laughed! That's how bad it was. And admitted that she took it easy on me for a while.

Who would have thought I'd get to the point where I needed her to push me harder!

So that is where Jillian comes back into play. She recently released the 2011 of version of the Shred. It's called Ripped in 30 and is a more intense version of the same 3-2-1 of strength-cardio-abs principle.

So here I am embarking on a second 30 day challenge. I never actually finished the first one, but I think I'm ready mentally and physically to see this one through.

Week one has similar moves and I find the 5lb weight eerily light. Though I'm not struggling through this time I still find it tough, am definitely working up a sweat and am looking forward to weeks 3 and 4 where she promises to get "insane". I haven't skipped ahead to see what the work outs involves but this video of her back up chick, Basheera, has me excited and worried.

So stay tuned for days 2 through 30. Seems to me like it'll get interesting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tic Toc

Okay so between work and the gym, I barely have time to have a life and blog. This whole blog idea seemed so much more plausible when I had that extra time, but here I am. Back at ya for another glimpse into my ongoing fitness/weight battle.

I am still going strong at the gym! Yay! I train with A three times a week and attempt the running program 3 days a week, with Sunday acting as active rest day. Active rest you say? Well, I'm no English major (okay, it was my minor), but that sounds like an oxymoron to me. Ya know, like jumbo shrimp, little giant, science fiction, you get my drift. What it means is that I have to do something but I should break the routine of the gym and try an outdoor activity if possible. So far with rain, snow and temperatures dipping into the double digit minus range, it's been tough. I do intent to try some winter sports. I'll keep you posted on that, it should be hilarious!

So where was I? Yes, the running program. Genius that I am attempted the first few weeks wearing my easy-tones. You know the Reebok's with the built in balance ball technology to it sort of feels like your constantly walking on Bosu Ball? Them.

I wear them so often I don't really feel that instability that your supposed to feel. So it didn't even cross my mind to throw those babies on and hit the tready. That is until, the excruciating pain in my ankle screamed "dumbass!" with every unbalanced step I took. So lesson learned. Easy-tone's not for running.

I spent the rest of the week doing interval training on a bike. Keeping the cardio up, strengthening leg muscles, and resting the ankle. The ankle is now 100% better, my thighs hurt like hell from all that pedaling and I am back to running.

My first day back I was slightly scared. i thought I would have lost all my endurance, but not the case. I was actually able to run a lot more than I had before. Which is super exciting for me.

Someone told me that the key to running is to not run. Which made me think that person was a crackhead. But I get it now. The recovery days are just as, maybe even more important than the actual running days.

I don't even spend all my time staring at the timer anymore. Who would have thought?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year - A New and Improved Me

Okay so this whole 2011 thing has shaped up to be insanely busy just two weeks in. That's the reason there's been no new posting, not because there's no progress to report, complaining to do, or contemplating to type.

Christmas break was just as I expected. Full of booze, food, candy, cake (there are at least 5 family birthdays over Christmas, not to mention the three cakes we had at work before we left), and did I mention booze? All my fav's were home! We had a blast partying almost every night of the break, but this meant dozens of beer (and when I say dozens I mean nightly), late night post booze binging, hangover food the next day, and then eating whatever holiday delectable that was served at whatever event was held that day. My waist line did not thank me. But I had so much that I didn't even feel guilty! It was amazing. And I am back at my pre-Christmas weight, so take that you 5lbs of Toblerone and perogies!

So where am I at now work out wise you wonder silently. Well, for Christmas my cousin's husband bought both her and I monthly gym passes to try out the newest gym that Sydney has to offer. He obviously didn't know I have a yearly membership to the Y. So I'm the girl with 2 gym passes! It's totally convenient. Sid and I are planning to start hitting the Y during our lunch breaks when it calms down slightly at work and M (the cousin) and I have been regularly visiting Ascendo Fitness in the evenings.

Not only have we been regularly working out but we've been doing it right with the help of the personal trainer we hired! She's been teaching us some new moves, showing us how to use the equipment and will be putting us on a walk-run program so I can meet my goal of learning to run, starting with 5 Km. She's also helping us lose the gymtimidation, which is huge in its own right.

Last night we did our fitness testing to measure where we're at now so we have a benchmark for when we do it again in 5 weeks. It was brutal. It was eye opening. I am not in the shape I thought. However, I am also not in as bad of shape as I thought. Turns out I'm pretty average.

Let me share with you some lessons I have learned from my trainer, A.

1. Any amount of cardio under 25 minutes will help you maintain your current weight, but is not all that helpful in losing more weight. (My goal is an hour. I spent about 15 minutes on a bike for the first time very last night and I realized that spin class people must be crazy. That shit is not easy and it is so not comfortable!However I'll definitely be making it a regular part of my cardio routine.)

2. Numbers are just numbers. Apparently what I want to do is to bring down my percentage of body fat and bring up percentage of lean muscle. (So that number on the scale will go down as I do this, but shouldn't be as scary or have evil controlling super powers like it has in the past.)

3. A may be a robot. Or some kind of super human. She works like 12 or more hours a day doing training sessions, teaching classes (One of them which is called Fire, so take from that what you will) and doing this all in a good mood. So my lesson here is really that I should not complain when I've only been suffering for one hour. Okay, you all know me too well by now, I should complain LESS.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A post for Dad.

As Christmas draws near and the hustle and bustle of this blustery (rainy) season turns into mad dashes and panic to find that perfect gift, which the recipient doesn't really need or want, I have to take a minute to breathe. I have to take a step back and remember that this season is not about presents or perfect parking spaces. It's not about the stress of how much money you spent (is it too much? is it not enough?). It's not about what you ate, how much you ate, what you want to eat, etc.etc.etc. It is about who you spend this season with. It's about good times and creating memories that you will always be able to cherish.

This season I will try to work out at least once a day, but I'm not going to stress about it. I am going to surround my myself with the people, friends and family alike, who I love and love me back. And I will laugh. That's the point right?

So as I'm sure this is the last post you'll read before January I'd like to leave you with a feature article that I wrote two years ago for my dad. A man who loved Christmas and his family and knew how to do it right. With booze, food and loved ones.

So in my nostalgic Christmas moment I'd also like to ask you to step back and breathe. And laugh.


When is it Okay to Laugh Again?

Death is the only truly inevitable part of life. Everyone knows that death takes away, but anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows that death also brings a lot of things. It brings pain and sorrow, endings and goodbyes. It brings memories of the happy times but mostly it brings questions. Why him or her? What does this mean for me? Where do I go from here? And after the sudden death of my father, my friend, it left one question gnawing at my soul. When is it okay to laugh again?

My father was 57 when he was taken away from us. After a yearlong battle with throat cancer, most likely caused by second hand smoke, his heart suddenly stopped beating. The radiation that cured him from his cancer silently weakened his heart until it had no choice but to stop. Throughout this ordeal he never faltered. He was strong, had faith and a positive attitude. And most importantly he laughed every day. Though the cancer changed his appearance, he refused to let it change who he was as a person. He was at work at the time of his death, and we were notified by two police officers and our parish priest at 5:48 a.m. on April 21, 2005.

Our extended family on my mom’s side is extremely close. Literally. My aunt and uncle live across the street. So by 6 a.m. on that tragic day they had already begun to gather in our family home. As my uncle picked me up off the floor I remember wondering how he could possibly have gotten there so fast. Apparently I wondered it out loud and was told by my cousin that he ran. My family always joked that the only things that could make Terry run were food or a family emergency. The image of my short and very unfit uncle running at full speed with my aunt trailing behind him made me burst into laughter. Instantly I felt guilty. How could I be laughing when I had just learned of my dad’s death? How inappropriate of me I thought, as I stifled my laughter. What I didn’t realize was that that would only be the first of many times I would laugh in the days leading up to his burial.

My father was an extremely private person. He hated the idea of everyone knowing his business and couldn’t fathom the idea of Facebook . He didn’t even take calls unless he knew who was on the other end of the telephone. This meant many arguments in my house. Often the phone would ring off the hook, and my sister, my mother or I would run in to try to catch the caller only to find dad sitting right next to the phone and not picking it up. “Why can’t you answer the phone?!” one of us would always scream in frustration. And he would always laugh and repeat the same line. “It was an unknown caller and I don’t want to talk to anybody I don’t know.”

This habit was the topic of conversation before one of dad’s afternoon wakes. Though dad’s family wasn’t close like moms, in fact they weren’t close at all; dad’s brother had come to town for the services. He casually said “Speaking of calls. Have you heard from Uncle Jerry?”

“Uncle Jerry?” We all repeated at the same time.

“Yeah,” he chuckled. “Your Uncle Gerard goes by Jerry. Has for years now.”

I suddenly burst into laughter again. This time my mind flashing back to a few weeks prior when the phone rang and a loud male voice said “Hello Darlin’, this is Jerry. Is Don there?” Instead of telling dad the phone was for him I quickly assumed he knew no one by that name, told Jerry that “No Don lives here.” And promptly hung up on my uncle.

The minute the laughter escaped my lips I felt a surge of guilt in the pit of my stomach. I was about to go see my father for the last time and I was sitting on a comfy couch, sipping green tea, and laughing. I was officially going to hell. No, I was going to under hell. The place for people so terrible that hell is too good for them. I felt like a horrible person, so I pushed the laughter aside and assumed my role as the grieving daughter.

The next morning we somberly dressed and piled into the family car, bracing ourselves for the funeral service. As I mentioned before dad was very private and so we expected a small turn out of family and very close friends. We knew dad wouldn’t have wanted something big and extravagant that just wasn’t who he was. But as we made the turn to face the church we saw that the parking lot was overflowing with cars, the spill over cars lined the streets before and after the church. Then we noticed the bus. There was nothing subtle about it. It was a full size, crimson red bus with the words “Canadian Coast Guard” splashed across it in gleaming white. Dad had worked at the Coast Guard College and had apparently touched many lives. He would have been mortified. And my bottled up laughter erupted. This time everyone else in the family car laughed too so I didn’t feel as bad. Hey, if I had to go to Underhell then at least they were all coming with me.

We gained our composure and entered the church. It was standing room only. He would not have been pleased. I prayed to god to not let me laugh as we followed the pall bearers ups the isle. That would have gone over well. I probably would have been struck by lightning.

The first three rows in the church were reserved for family members. We took our seats and the service began. I don’t remember everything that was said that day, I mean no one really pays in attention in church do they? But I do remember the priest calling my perpetually late father, “the late Donald Parsley” to which I accidentally said out loud “Nope! He’ll never be late again!” And hysterically burst into laughter along with the entire three family rows.

Leaving the church was not so funny. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. To walk away and leave him there was very sobering. As we again sat in the family car and waited to be driven to the graveyard for a final blessing it became quiet, almost awkward. My four year old cousin was with us because he refused to leave my mother’s side. He started to squirm and to entertain him we made funny faces at the mourners leaving the church through the tinted car windows. My mom calmly looked me and said “Lenore, the windows are just dark honey. They can all see you.” And this time I was mortified, and they all burst into laughter.

When I said leaving the church was the hardest thing I ever had to do, I lied. Leaving the final blessing at the graveyard was. As I stood next to my father’s grave clutching roses and crying harder than I could ever remember crying my aunt approached me cautiously. She was cautions for 2 reasons. First because she wanted me to have my alone time and second because it was April and there was still quite a bit of ice and snow in the cemetery. As she stepped closer to me her foot fell through what she thought was hard packed snow and she fell at my feet screaming “Jesus Lenore, its your father trying to take me with him!”

“Or at least tell me something” she said as she stood up, brushed herself off and joined me in my laughter.

Even in that moment of extreme despair I found myself laughing hysterically. And it dawned on me that she was right. He was trying to tell her something. He was trying to tell us all something. We should never be afraid to laugh. In moments where life crumbles around us, or changes so drastically it’s hard to believe or even understand, we must hold on to a constant. And why shouldn’t that constant be laughter? Coping with death is different for everyone. For me I look back and realize that dad would have laughed and he would have wanted me to laugh too. So when life brings death and death brings the question that gnaws at your soul: “When is it okay to laugh again?” I now know that the answer is we must never stop laughing in the first place.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Boring Post

It's 8am and my muscles are stiff and sore from my workout last night. I decided to get my ass back on track and hit the gym. It was packed. My usually quiet time of 7pm brought of lots of new and old faces, all aiming for some level of fitness.

What I learned at the gym last night is that my old trust elliptical machine has a much tougher resistance than I remembered. My legs were burning. I was dripping sweat. I couldn't really breathe. But I pushed through. Enough to survive a half hour of cardio, hit up the mats for some core and chat with a few people I haven't seen in a while. All in all it was a good time. Nothing majorly strenuous but a good first day back. I mean it's been like 3 weeks since I've seen the inside of the Y so I count last night as a victory.

I also count last night as a victory because after my gym rendezvous I still had this strange surge of energy. It had to be taken care of or I'd never get to sleep. So I popped in the Shred and hung out with JMike for another 27 minutes. And to my surprise I found level one super easy. Obviously by the time I was done my heart was racing and I looked like a hideous sweat monster, but it was soooo much easier than the times before. I've decided to give level 1 three more days and then take on level two again. I think I can handle it now. Actually I know I can handle it because last night when Jillian did her endurance rant and said that the day 5, 6, 7's should be having a way easier time by now, I was able to laugh and agree instead of screaming obscenities and wanting to punch her in the throat. So yay me for that!

I also discovered the importance of grocery shopping. Your thinking, OMG this girl is an idiot, DUH. But really by the time life slowed down enough for me to get to the grocery store I realized it had been 3 weeks since I'd been there. That is way too long! It felt nice to sweep through the aisles and throw healthy items into my cart.

And here I am. Finally back on track. Now to just tie myself to the wagon so I don't fall off again.

Oh yeah....and I promise more entertaining posts will follow in the weeks to come.