Body in shock


This week has been my get-back-on-the-wagon week. So I’ve filled it with tons of water-drinking (punctuated with one beer on Friday that left me bloated for 24 hours), lots of veggies (punctuated with some fries to accompany the afore-mentioned beer) and some exercise.

I say some exercise because as much as I’d would have liked to have hit the gym 5 times this week, I didn’t for the following reasons:

  1. I didn’t really want to.
  2. I had uni on Monday and Tuesday nights so I only got home at 8pm.
  3. I visited my lovely friend Kate in hospital on Wednesday night.
  4. I didn’t think it was that smart to go hell for leather in the first week in case I would’t be able to move for weeks afterwards.
All those excuses, I mean, reasons didn’t stop me from actually exercising though. In the past, they would have. I would have gotten to Thursday and thought, well, this week is a loss, I’ll start again next week and then next week would have been exactly the same. This is why I’m carrying around an extra 15 pounds.
So on Thursday, I went to the gym and had a 45 minute session with my trainer, who left me with very tight quads. On Saturday morning, I walked for 30 minutes to pilates and had an hour pilates class and then walked home. This left me with very tight abs and a body that craved sleep all day.
Today, I’m sore and I’m still tired. But it’s a good tired, or least that’s what I’m telling myself. I’m not going to try do more next week because my obligations are the same and my time is finite. But I’ll get to the gym on Thursday and I’ve already booked into a pilates class on Saturday so my body may not be as much in shock next time.
And despite everything I tell you and all the whinging I do about my sore muscles, I like this feeling. I like feeling as if I’ve done something, as if I’ve shocked my body out of complacency and I’m actually moving forward. Sore muscles are great (but don’t tell The Boy, since I need to keep whinging to someone :))
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And now we wait for the pain


Last night was my first boxing class. It’s part of this 8 week program I’m doing at the gym – 8 weeks of 2 small training sessions a week, a meal plan and weekly weigh-ins. It’s an extra cost over and above my gym membership but I know that I need accountability and one week in, it’s going well.

The meal plan is pretty good. It’s based on 1500 a day and I’m sticking fairly closely to it. Not exactly though because the inner rebel in me doesn’t do that sort of rigid thing. So when they call for yoghurt with a side of fruit, I go for yoghurt with berries in it. Or tuna in brine on salad with dressing – I leave off the dressing but use a different tuna. So all in all, I’m on 1500 calories.

And today I was craving chocolate. I bought a bar and sat down to enjoy it. I had two squares and I was done. Amazing. So something is working. I’m drinking my water and snacking as planned (3 meals and 3 snacks a day so I’m pretty much never hungry) and we’ll see at my first weigh in on Monday afternoon.

And the classes are interesting. The class on Monday is a toning class full of lunges and squats and whatnot. It’s a very small class – only 2 of us – and the other girl wasn’t there on Monday so it was a personal training session. I think I surprised the trainer at how much I could do – she only brought in 1 and 2lb weights and seriously, some of the exercises felt like I was holding air! Fair enough though, her style of training is of the low weight high rep style and after 30 shoulder presses, my arms were tired, but for me, I’d prefer heavier weights and few reps. And then more sets. But when she suggested modified pushups and I glared at her and showed her proper pushups, I think she realised that I wasn’t really a newbie. Hopefully next week will push me more. If not, I may go up the weights myself before class!

But last night was boxing and yes, that KICKED MY ASS. My body was bone tired last night and typing this is tough today. My arms are tired, my glutes are tired, my heart was racing. It was go go go and it was GOOD. This is what I need. If I don’t like the Monday class next week, I may look at changing to either another boxing class or a spin class. Spinning scares the living daylights out of me but perhaps that’s what I need. Operation fit-into-my-wedding-dress is not meant to be a cakewalk you know!

(mmmm cake ……)

And yet, in other news, I went shopping the other day and found that I haven’t actually gained too much weight. Obviously, sizes are different store to store, but I was smaller than I thought. It’s just the hips and thighs that need some toning down and since there isn’t a magic machine that spot reduces, I have to drag my whole body through a workout or four.

I’m enjoying this tired body feeling though. Really enjoying it. Whoever woulda thunk it?

The importance of a buddy


We’re all social creatures by nature. Even those of us who are introverted need people around us and need support and encouragement. But wait Gemfit, you said this the other day when you wrote about support, aren’t you repeating yourself? Well yes and no. The previous post was about asking for support and supporting someone in your life by asking for the support you need. Today, I’m talking writing about another kind of support: that of The Gym Buddy.

The Gym Buddy can be an important part of your fitness life. The Gym Buddy does not have to be a literal gym buddy – some people hate the gym, don’t belong to a gym and never will. Your gym buddy has a number of qualities.

  1. They encourage you by joining you on your journey
  2. They join you in your exercise of choice – they’re your walking/running/Zumba/diet/Weight Watchers buddy
  3. They make “appointments” with you (by organising runs or meetings to attend together) which forces you to actually do these things you talk about but often don’t follow through on

The buddy can be an important part of your healthy living journey and the best thing is that they can be anyone in your life and you can have many buddies! My Walking Buddy is the Boy, who pushes me to walk further and faster than I would alone. My walks alone would be about 5km on average – his are 12km on average. That’s a lot more activity and even when we’re walking quietly, it’s encouragement and support. My Gym Buddy (newly acquired) is the Boy’s brother’s girlfriend (wow, that’s a mouthful) who lives down the road from the gym and is a new Zumba convert thanks to me. Together we muddle through Zumba and make up our own moves when we get lost (and end up cracking up in the back row like kids). I can be sitting at home thinking about going to the gym when a text message from her asking if I’m going comes through. As soon as I say yes, I’m committed and I get off the couch and go. Hopefully we can keep it up.

I know Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment has a great bunch of gym buddies (I’m kinda jealous to tell the truth) but you don’t need a huge group. All you need is the accountability and commitment of having someone with you on your journey, whatever your journey is. Who are your gym/diet/running/whatever buddies?

Weekend recap (or hiking, drinking and eating)


I had a brilliant weekend. A perfect weekend in fact.

The weather was glorious and sunny and Spring like. The sun came out on Friday morning and stayed there all weekend. It made me smile 🙂

Saturday morning saw me on a hike with a couple of friends and meet market adventures. We went out on the Niagara Escarpment toward Hamilton and hiked around Spencer’s Gorge and Webster Falls. I went on the same hike last year in the summer and the it was great – a little challenging but super fun. The guide this time was different and he picked a very easy route which didn’t take us along the river bed and was not nearly as challenging or breathtaking as before. I was a little disappointed but still had fun.

I got back into my photography as well. The area is still really “winter like” in the lack of foliage and the dead trees around. It was perfect for black and white photography and I had a ball – I turned my little point and shoot to black and white and focused on the shapes and textures. I could have taken a million more shots and I may have to go back sometime with a better camera. I’ll put some shots up when I get home tonight. I loved it.

Saturday night was a housewarming party for a work friend. I went with a bunch of girls and probably drank a little too much but hey, whatever. We all stayed over at one girl’s place and went for brunch on Sunday and then stayed in to watch movies (even though it was a lovely day).

We did make it out for a bit and I got some yummy loose-leaf teas and some really pretty paper that I’m planning on framing for my apartment. I’m also thinking of getting some of the photos from the weekend printed out and framed. I need some photography around me. I’m looking to get a new camera – not a SLR because I can’t justify spending the money I’d need to spend to get what I’d want, but an advanced point and shoot that gives me plenty of control and zoom. My parents have agreed to give it to me for my birthday/gift from home when they visit (which also gets me away from the clothing-that-doesn’t-fit-as-gift) and I’m hoping to get it within the next week or so for my trip to Vancouver.

On the weight front, I wasn’t too bad with eating etc but I still managed to GAIN 2 pounds this week according to my scale. I’m hoping it’s water weight so I’ll weigh in again tomorrow. Ugh. I feel like a sloth. But otherwise, life is good.

I have an online friend arriving in town on Wednesday and we’re heading out for dinner Wednesday night. I told him to stay in a hotel by the way, if you’re wondering. This week should be interesting. I don’t think we’ll have trouble getting along but you never know in person – people are different online and over the phone (done the internet dating thing for a while and trust me, people are different!) so I’m trying not to expect too much. I’ll report in Thursday 🙂

Tonight I have training but then I’m going out with a friend for dinner at a lovely French restaurant and I’m not sure how much sticking-to-the-diet will be going on. It is Oyster Night after all!

State of mind


My state of mind recently has been more on the “this is pointless” side of things than the “I’m loving this healthy lifestyle” side.

I’ve been working out 2-3 times a week but that’s a drop from my usual 4-5 times. I’m not enjoying my cardio workouts as much so I haven’t been pushing myself nearly as hard as I should. I’ve been mindlessly eating and lazy generally.

Everyone goes through this lack of motivation thing – whether you’ve got 50 pounds to lose or 5; whether you’re maintaining or not. This lifestyle takes effort and it’s not something you can start and finish. That’s a diet and we don’t do that. We’re all about making this a lifestyle and achieveble and all that jazz.

So what do you do when your motivation wanes?

This past week I’ve thought about how I feel at the moment vs. how I feel when I’m being healthy:

  • I have more energy when I’m exercising and eating right
  • I’m happier when I’m eating better.
  • I feel more in control.
  • I look better (there, I said it)

And, sadly, the last one is probably the most motivating at the moment (followed closely by the rest). But I’ve learnt from past experiences that allowing my motivation to be controlled by my appearance doesn’t actually keep me motivated AT ALL. That’s when my motivation wanes the quickest because you never seen results quickly. This is why all the articles in those stupid magazines that focus on appearance never work – very few people see external results immediately and so their motivation wanes.

So I need to focus on the first two points – energy and mood. They affect me in every facet of my life. Because of that, it’s something I can definitely quantify and qualify when it comes to ‘success’.

So my workouts for this coming week:

  • Training session tonight (1.5 hrs including warm up)
  • Possible workout tomorrow (maybe 1hr)
  • Hike on Saturday (it’s only about 5kms but pretty steep at times)
  • Rest on Sunday
  • Training Monday
  • Cardio Tuesday
  • Friend comes in for a visit Wednesday so rest
  • Training Thursday

On that note though, I need some music recommendations – my playlist is getting a little old and I’m going to update it. What gets your heart pumping? Hit me up in the comments for some tunes!

Self-sabotage and a lack of appetite


One of the left-overs from being sick the other week is my weird appetite. Except in the morning, I don’t get hungry. But I know I need food so I eat. And because I’m not technically hungry, I’m not registering as full so I’m eating beyond what I need. And I’m eating crap. Like chips and popcorn in place of dinner because I have no craving for dinner.

It’s not good. Not good at all.

I’m forgetting what hunger or thirst feels like, what saiety feels like. And I’m gaining weight – just in time for summer!

It’s freaking me out. I feel out of step with my body and it’s weird. I’m not working out as much, I’m eating more than usual and my concentration is shot.

I need to get back on track. No, I need to find those tracks again first to get back on track. I’m so off track, I’m on another line altogether.

So, tasks this week:

  1. Journal my food to be aware.
  2. Plan my meals and stick to them.
  3. Workout!!!
  4. Drink more water, even if I don’t think I’m thirsty. Just do it.
  5. Realize that the 5 lbs I’ve gained will drop off once I get back on track and life will be back to normal.

Ugh.

Plus I almost fell getting in the shower this morning and almost missed my bus stop after falling asleep on the bus. What a frigging day.

A dilemma


I got my quarterly hair cut and colour yesterday (looking sharp!) and I love it. Short, curly and reddish-brown. Easy to maintain generally and cute. But I have a dilemma.

See, my hairdresser gives me great cut and nice colour but I don’t like her. I mean, I like the result, but she’s a little, well, boring. She’s all for sticking with what works – you know, find a cut and colour that suits you and stick to it ’til death or old-age forces you to hit the blue rinse.

I’m not like that. I did stick to long hair for a LONG time but when I’m ready for a change, I tend to prefer a hairdresser I can go to and say “CHANGE” and let them work their magic. This last chop happened in September with my old hairdresser and I loved it. My new hairdresser has been maintaining it but is loathe to change anything. But the cut is so good! How can I walk away from someone who cuts my curly hair so well?

And the other thing is that she’s super NICE. The kind of nice where you don’t say anything bad about anyone ever. And I’m nice but not that nice. I have opinions and I like to express them (nicely :P) but she makes me feel like a bitch.

But the cut is so good! What to do, what to do?

In other news, I survived my workout on Monday. Joe the Trainer went easy on me, which was good because I got winded a lot easier. I’m feeling almost back to normal and I’m planning on hitting the gym again tonight and see how the running goes. I may only aim for 2 miles just to see how I feel. I’m actually kinda excited to get back to it – you’d think I’d taken a month off or something!

We have a potluck lunch at work today for a colleague who’s off at the end of the week for her first baby. I made a yummy broccolli and cashew salad and I’m hoping it goes down well. It’s got broccolli, crunchy ramen noodles, cashews, raisins, sunflower seeds with a mayo/onion/red wine vinegar dressing. Everyone tends to make super unhealthy stuff so I may end up sticking with my salad!