Archive | June, 2013

New Gear!

26 Jun

I am a girl, this means I love to shop! Don’t go saying I am being sexist, it’s practically written in to my DNA, just like my love of chocolate and ice cream. πŸ˜›

Here’s where I veer a bit off the so called “normal” girl path. Sure, I get happy buying fun things to wear but I get waaaaay psyched when buying new workout gear! I think because work out gear is usually fairly pricey, I can’t afford to buy it all that often, and really, how often do you neeeeed to buy it? No point in buying a new pair of runners when the ones you have are still in good shape. No point in buying more work out clothes when you have enough to get you through the week and they still fit. No point in buying more work out equipment when you have nowhere to put it and again, no money to be able to afford it lol.

Which means buying new gear, any type of new gear is a major treat in my world, and something I really look forward to!

Today I got to buy shoes, *happy girly sigh* and yes, that is pluralized. Shoooooooes! πŸ˜€

The first pair look like…

New Dragon Boat shoes!

New Dragon Boat shoes!

They are strictly for dragon boating, suuuuuper strictly! I get to break em in tomorrow at practice and am so looking forward to it!

I have been wanting new shoes for dragon boating all season but couldn’t justify the expense. In the cold months I wear an old pair of converse sneakers that take forever to dry but are old so I sacrifice them to the nasty water and in the warmer months I wear flip flops from WalMart that cost a whopping $3. I figure if I lose them to the water no big loss money wise. The flip flops aren’t great to wear during warm up but I’ve been able to make em work. That all ended yesterday!

We have upped the intensity of our warm ups (in addition to some other changes) in an effort to shave a couple seconds off our race times. (We came in fourth in our division at the big dragon boat festival this past weekend…sooooooo close! arg!) so now part of our warm up is running. That’s right. Running. ugh. Like I don’t do that enough as is I now have to run in a pack before hopping on to the boat. *rolls eyes* Could be worse though, right? And hey, I’m totally all in when it comes to doing my part for helping our team get a better time…even if I do bitch a bit lol

Thing is, I have tried running in my flip flops, it doesn’t go well which means I need an actual shoe. I took my normal work out runners yesterday but between finishing warm up and going to the boat there isn’t enough time to put my runners in to a locker and no way do I want them exposed to the nasty water that splashes over the side of the boat (although they did come in the boat yesterday) which led me to shoe shopping! Gotta love the wind-ey logic that got me in to the store don’t ya? πŸ˜‰

The shoes are made by Skechers, are all mesh which means quick dry, wOOt! and the bottoms have a nice good grip which hopefully will do its job when I am running…tomorrow will tell! πŸ™‚

The second pair were not an intended purchase, I swear I only meant to look, maaaaaybe try on but not buy! Buuuut, I am weak, and I bought, eek! *hangs head in shame*

The second pair look like…

My new running shoes! Treadmill here I come!

My new running shoes! Treadmill here I come!

These shoes are made by Adidas, and are meant for running, indoor treadmill running to be specific. To be fair, I am sure they would be perfectly fine running on a smooth trail but the most outside wear they will get will be when I am walking/running to the gym and back lol. They have these holes on the side of the tread that allow for ventilation that will apparently help my feet stay cool, I’ll reserve judgement on that till I actually use them lol.

I have needed new running shoes for a while, mine have had stress lines on the tread for ages which means they are dead but going back to the whole money thing, I couldn’t afford a new pair so I’ve been making do with my old ones. These were on sale and honestly, once I tried them on I was screwed, I was bouncing around the store in them and abso fell in love with them. I forgot how great new runners feel!

I really wanted to take them directly to the gym to give em a go on the treadmill but my knee has been killing me all day and since it was hurting just to walk running was not in the cards today, sigh. But hey, there is always tomorrow! πŸ™‚

So there we have it, my new shoes, both lovely pairs, I can’t wait to put them to the test! πŸ˜€

What’s In My Head

21 Jun

Don’t wait for tomorrow to reach farther, run faster, fight harder.

Push and reach those goals today so tomorrow you can do even better.

I Didn’t Sweat

18 Jun
notice she isn't actually sweating?

notice she isn’t actually sweating?

You may or may not have seen the above image, or one with the same message. They always make me feel a bit guilty, like I am not working hard enough if that day I didn’t have a sweaty messy I-almost-collapsed workout.

Yesterday I kind of worked out…I’m not really sure what I would classify it as, it was hanging out with KL, we went to the seawall and I biked while she roller skated. I biked for 13.25km (she skated for the same distance, obviously lol). Now, if anyone had told me they did that I’d be all “wow, great workout!” and KL for sure seemed to feel like she got a great workout, but me? I didn’t feel it. 😦

I am used to being all sweaty after a really good workout, but this time I wasn’t.

There is a belief (myth!!) that the more you sweat when exercising the better in shape you are…unless you are super obese then it’s a sign you are way out of shape. Now, this sucks for me cause my body has never liked to sweat, ever! I remember, years ago when I was in shape, I worked out all the time and the first day I had an actual bead of sweat drip down my arm I totally stopped what I was doing and just stared at it in amazement thinking “finally! proof I am pushing myself hard enough to make this workout count!”

As with many things I thought about fitness back then, I was wrong. sigh. *rolls eyes*

Our bodies sweat so we don’t overheat. The sweat glands, all 2-4 million of them, are either from the eccrineΒ or aproccineΒ gland and they produce moisture on our skin that then evaporates, cooling us down. If you watch sports you’ll probably have noticed that professional athletes sweat like crazy during their game/sport. Can’t really make the argument that they aren’t in shape right? So what does the amount you sweat when working out mean?

The more you sweat the better your body is at regulating your temperature and managing itself. If you are working out at a level that you think means you should be sweating but you aren’t sweating it isn’t that you aren’t working out hard enough, it is that your body is not so great at keeping itself at optimal temps.

For most people all this means is that you should keep working out, keep trying your best and keep hydrating! Your body is smart (and sometimes stupid lol), but in this case smart and will eventually figure out how to regulate your temp and keep you cool while you work out. You’ll become a sweaty mess one day, honest! Until then, enjoy the working out sans icky sweat, cause those days sure won’t last! πŸ™‚

For me, I hadn’t been keeping myself hydrated for the past week or so, I had cut down quite a bit on the amount of fluids I was taking in (not on purpose, I just sometimes forget to drink, oops!) which means my body didn’t have a lot of fluids to release to help keep me cool. Also, I tend to be cool-cold almost all the time so it takes a while for my body to work itself up to feeling warm, then hot, then feel like it needs to cool itself down. Weird huh? Since we were outside and I was biking I was being constantly cooled down by the rush of air as I biked, pretty much insuring my body would not heat up.

I would have liked to of been sweaty at the end of the bike ride, it would have made me feel I had a good workout buuuuut I wasn’t which left me reflecting on the bike ride and trying to figure out how to push myself harder the next time. After having some time to reflect on it though I don’t think I should be quite so hard on myself, biking for 13.25km is better than doing nothing, right? Being out in the warm evening weather, enjoying the feel of the air on my skin, seeing all the different people that were also enjoying the seawall, getting to hang with KL, those are all good things. And sure, I could have gone to the gym, ran on the treadmill then done some weights and known exactly what I got out of the workout but switching things up is a good thing, keeps the body guessing, keeps the brain from getting bored lol πŸ˜› And who knows, maybe if I was someone who wasn’t perpetually cold and I had been hydrated I would have been at least a bit sweaty after that bike ride…I was certainly tired! πŸ˜›

The Week’s Highlights

15 Jun

I have had so many things over the past week or so I have wanted to blog about but noooooo time to blog and now they are all old news in the past topics and I’m a little sad I never got around to telling you about them. sigh. The weirdness of having a blog! lol

Lemme see if I can give you a quick recap:

(1) my left knee has started popping in and out of joint at random times, lovely huh? Turns out all those squats I did during my squat challenge were bad for my knees (I suppose the knee pain I was feeling towards the end of the challenge could be considered an indication of that buuuuut I’m not gonna go there… πŸ˜‰ ) I went to see a doctor to request a consult with a knee specialist but of course he didn’t refer me (why are there even specialists out there when nobody can ever get referred to them?? *rolls eyes*) Anyways! He gave me some specific knee exercises to do, said the reason it is having so much trouble right now is the squats had negative consequences and to wear a knee brace when exercising for the next little while. I very much hate knee braces as they are sooooo uncomfie and not at all attractive but oh well! lol

(2) I went hiking last week and thought I was going to die from the knee pain lol I went with TF and except for the pain part we had a great time! Even with my being a bit slower than normal due to the pain we managed a perfect 30 minutes to get to the top so we made excellent time, yah! πŸ™‚

(3) I competed in our second Dragon Boat Festival of the season last weekend. Normally in this festival you race Saturday and Sunday but this year it got changed so my team did all our races on the Saturday…Saturday morning to be precise. I had already booked off both the Saturday and Sunday from work so I ended up with an entire Sunday to myself, sweet! For the races, we did really great in our second race, the other races we didn’t do quite as well but we didn’t suck either! I don’t recall the times right now but we increased our third race time by an entire second…I might be off on that so don’t quote me or anything lol πŸ˜› We have a larger festival coming up in a week so we are busy prepping for that. It’s gonna be awesome! πŸ˜€

(4) That weird and random Sunday off got turned in to a patio brunch and errand day. I was amused (and kinda pissed) when I realized at the end of Sunday I managed to not get sunburned at all on the Saturday while racing but managed to get sunburned Sunday while eating brunch. Oh the special-ness of being a redhead lol The burn faded decently fast but still! While eating brunch? Doesn’t seem quite fair if ya ask me πŸ˜‰ lol

(5) I had a friend visit from out of town for my days off this past week (that would be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) I still went to dragon boat practice on the Tuesday and Thursday evening but everything else got changed for those three days. We did some tourist stuff, saw some sights, went zip lining in Whistler BC (which, fyi, I totally recommend as it was beautiful and fun! http://www.ziptrek.com this is the company’s website, if you are going to Whistler or surrounding areas I say give it a go!). We also ate a lot of food, and I mean A LOT!! It was tasty, but oh wow! We had Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Western, Street Truck food, Tim Horton’s…I can’t remember the last time I ate so often/much but I’m ok with it, surprisingly (I’ll explain why in another post).

(6) Tonight was a big party at work to celebrate our First Anniversary. Dinner was lobster and steak (with a bunch of other stuff), dessert was creme brulee, all I can say is Mmm! Mmm! Mmm! Freakin delish! πŸ˜€ I took a protein shake to work but didn’t touch it lol Good thing it’ll keep until tomorrow! πŸ˜› It was my first steak experience and while it was good, after I got my food I got called away to do some actual work, sigh, so when I ate it the steak was cold…still tasty! but cold…I feel the temp of the meat is an important factor so I think I’m just gonna have to force myself to try it again sometime to properly judge it and see what I think, oh what a hard life I lead πŸ˜‰ teehee

Well there ya go, the highlights, not as many as I thought, I’m fairly certain I am missing stuff but it is late and my brain has stopped functioning so for now, that is all you are getting lol πŸ˜‰

Rest Time Is Over!

4 Jun

Last Wednesday I managed to hurt my foot, this meant I now had a sore left knee and a very sore right foot. Least my injuries were on opposite sites of the body, so I wasn’t unbalanced! lol

I gave myself a bit of a resting period after I finished my 30 Day Challenges so my knee could recover, and also so my foot could recover from the heavy stuff that fell on it *rolls eyes at myself*

Today was the official end of the resting period! πŸ˜€

I didn’t really think about it when I was getting my gym gear together last night, at most I thought, get the bag packed now so I have no excuse to not take my gym stuff to work and if you feel like going to the gym after work then you can go. See, I have this defect, it is called laziness, I have another defect called “my cat is in charge” so if I go home after work with the idea I will change and head out to the gym, well, it never happens because (1) I end up sitting down and then I am comfy and no way in hell are you dragging my lazy ass out of my comfy living room chair after a day at work and (2) the cat gives me sad eyes because he’s been alone all day and I feel bad so I end up cuddling him then he is comfy and sleeping on my lap and in my world you don’t disturb a sleeping cat. The cat has me well trained lol. πŸ˜›

If I have any intention at all of exercising after work I can NOT go home! Sad but true.

I have been known to take my gym gear then say “screw it, I’m too tired” at the end of the day and just go home but generally that is when I am running on 3 hours or less of sleep so I don’t feel so bad when that happens lol

Today however, when I was at work, I made a decision. Not an exercising decision, a food decision. See, at work, whoever does the morning shift (sundays and mondays that is yours truly) does the baking for the breakfast that gets laid out buffet style. It is little muffins, pastries, croissants. They are killer. They are all empty carbs, full of refined sugar, no redeeming nutritional value to any of them, but they taste so freakin good! lol The croissants are my weak point. They are small croissants so you don’t feel as guilty eating them, but just cause they are small doesn’t mean they aren’t wicked bad for you right? Right!

Normally I nibble. That’s right, I nibble! So sue me! If I accidentally decapitate a muffin when taking it out of the tray I eat it so it doesn’t get thrown out and wasted (like how I can justify it? lol), when I’m plating the croissants I “accidentally” put one on a plate for me…then, if there are croissants left over at the end of breakfast I more often than not swipe one, or two…so in case you aren’t doing the math, that is a potential 3 mini croissants in one morning! That is on top of the toast I make myself…which great, right? even more freakin useless carbs, *groan* Not a good way to start the day!

Today, for some reason I decided to not eat any of the breakfast baking. I still had the toast cause it was either eat toast or have no breakfast at all and I figured the toast was better then starvation lol but the pastries? the mini muffins? the mini croissants? Nope, I’m good thanks. πŸ™‚

Oddly enough, what I kept leaning on when I was tempted to grab something was that I had completed the 30 Day Challenges. Those sucked at time but I finished them, didn’t cheat, didn’t skimp out on anything, I got all the way through and if I could handle all those squats and all that ab work for 30 days surely I could manage one day of not eating the bakery items?

I found myself walking towards them a couple times out of habit but when I realized where I was aimed I turned and went somewhere else, luckily there is a lot to do at work so I could always find something to distract me.

And guess what? I made it through the day without touching a single item from that breakfast display and when the day was over I felt a little bit stronger for that. Not so much for holding out but for making the healthier choice. For putting my goal of eating healthy and getting in shape ahead of the instant satisfaction of something tasty. By not caving in with the breakfast goodies it made it that much easier to choose to go to the gym after work. I was tired, kinda didn’t want to go, was coming up with all kinds of reasons to skip it but lo and behold I ended up at they gym and well hey, once you’re there you can’t turn around and leave, you’d just look stupid if you did that lol πŸ˜›

The gym however almost killed me. lol. Not the working out part, although I did push myself on the cardio, but the gym itself was an oven, the air conditioning is broken so as soon as you step in to the gym you are hit with a blast of heat that doesn’t let up the entire time you are there. Oy! You could easily have started to sweat just from being in there, wouldn’t even have to do anything to work up the sweat!

Well whatever right? I got changed and headed to the treadmill. I had such a (surprisingly) good run just a bit before I hurt my foot I was feeling super optimistic about todays run and almost decided to set it for 45 minutes. The only reason I didn’t was I was parked in a one hour only zone and wanted time after my run to stretch out soooooo 30 minutes it was! I am so grateful I set it for only 30 minutes! I was running at a decent pace (for me), but by the last ten minutes I was doing that deep, slightly louder breathing and it just kept getting louder the longer I ran. Also grateful no one was on the treadmill near me lol Part of my brain was saying “stop! for the love of all that is holy just stop! you don’t have to tell anyone, it’ll be ok, you can’t take anymore!” but this little voice in my head was whispering “you can do this, you have done this and more in the past, you ate well today, you have the fuel in you, just keep going, prove to yourself you can finish, don’t quit” the “don’t quit” voice was no where near as loud as the desperate wheezing pleading voice that wanted me to stop but I clung to it, repeated over and over “I can do this!” in my head and what do you know, I did it! I ran for 30 minutes, on a random hill program, at a speed of 5, level 4, with inclines ranging from 0-5 and not once did I stop. *puffs up with a bit of pride* I know I used to do way better before, was on a higher level, doing intervals, running at a base speed that was faster then the speed I did today, with higher inclines but instead of dwelling on how I did so much more and did it so much better last summer when I was more consistent with my running training I am going to be happy at what I accomplished today. Getting back to the shape I was in last summer doesn’t mean starting at the levels I left off at last summer, it means starting a little lower down and earning my way back to where I was.

I went and stretched then headed to the locker room where I shocked myself silly when I looked in the mirror! lol Imagine a sunburn, the worst face sunburn you have ever seen, the pinkest, the reddest, the brightest, now times that by 100 (cause I am a redhead and super pale and burn worse than other people) and that was my face! I kid you not! I was soooooooooo red! lol It was quite embarrassing actually, I made sure to keep my head down while I was walking out of the gym and to my suv. I go quite red when doing cardio anyways, but the combo of the cardio, plus the over heated gym, plus the treadmill was radiating heat (not even kidding! when I stopped I realized blasts of heat were coming from the lower part of the machine and hitting me full body) I guess my poor skin just couldn’t take it and it turned me in to a tomato! A highly unattractive tomato! lol I am so not attractive when I work out and going red really doesn’t make it any better, *sigh* No wonder when I was done running I was a bit unbalanced if I was that over heated!

Ah well, who cares if I get a red face right? Just means I worked hard, I earned that red face dammit! Well, partially earned it and partially got cooked in a room with no air conditioning lol πŸ˜›

tomato running on a treadmill, aka me at the gym today

tomato running on a treadmill, aka me at the gym today

Willpower vs. Rules

3 Jun

I don’t have willpower. There I said it, my big secret is out. I used to have it, or did I? I think what I had was a list of rules I followed and mistook that for willpower. They are eerily close and yet so not the same thing.

Willpower is when you can just say no when somebody offers you something you really really really want but shouldn’t have. Willpower is also when you can say “ok, I’ll just have one” and actually mean it. So, for example, someone puts a platter of your favourite dessert in front of you (say, lemon tarts), a person with willpower can go “no thanks, I’m ok” and mean it! They could also say “yeah sure, thanks, I’ll have one” and mean that too! They don’t go sneaking around and snagging a second, then a third, then a fourth, eating them guiltily when no one is watching. They can set a limit and stick with it.

Someone with rules has a set list of rules in their head in regards to food that they follow come hell or high water. This person, when offered the lemon tarts might say “no thanks, I can’t” then snag one (or some) when there is no one around to catch them. Or they might respond with “sure, screw the diet today!”, take two to start with and end up eating who knows how many by the end. Or! They might say “no” and end up eating something else later when they won’t get caught to make up for the missed treat. The other option of course, for the person with the rules is to say “nope, can’t thanks” and actually stick with it.

This is where the confusion between the two begins because outsiders mistake the saying “no” and sticking with it as willpower when really it was just the person sticking to their self-imposed rules.

Why do I think the saying no and sticking with it is different in those two cases? Because the person with willpower could say yes and eat just one whereas the person who is following rules can’t stop at one – they can’t say “yes” without going overboard with what they eat, they don’t have the willpower to stop. Only the rules keep them in line and if the rules are thrown out the window chaos ensues.

Maybe I am the only one who sees the difference?

The reason I see the difference is because while I was following Weight Watchers I got a lot of comments from people about my willpower, how it was so great, so strong, yadda yadda yadda. At the time I didn’t think about it, I think I usually responded with comments about how anybody can do it if I can type of thing because deep down I felt uncomfie with the term. I didn’t know why I felt uncomfortable, I just did.

Lately though I think I partially figured it out…

I didn’t have willpower when I followed Weight Watchers, I had rules, rules they made up and I followed. As much as I hate following rules I chose to follow those ones, and having made that decision I followed them to the best I was able. Sure I had slip ups, mistakes with calculating my points, unexpected events that had me using flex points I wasn’t intending on using, days I forgot my lunch at home when I went to work so I had to buy something, things like that but I’d say that is fairly normal, and things like that didn’t happen all that often, shrug.

When I plateaued with Weight Watchers I didn’t know where to go, I was lost. For all that they had taught me portion control and I now had an idea of what the layout of my plate should be (half veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb if wanted) I still had no clue what I was doing. The rules had stopped working for me and I couldn’t survive without them, they were my beacon and it got turned off and I was left in the dark, on a dingy, slowly drifting farther and farther from shore. That plateau was the beginning of a screwy chunk of time for me food wise.

I stopped eating as much vegg and fruit as I used to, I didn’t make sure to get protein everyday. I started going all over the board with no rhyme or reason. Last summer a friend put me on a new track, a super strict track, a track with not many rules but the rules that were there were hard core. Everyone was surprised and impressed when I not only started following the plan but succeeding at it. Cutting out so many things seemed impractical but in my head I figured follow the plan until I get the final results I want then slowly incorporate some of the restricted foods back in to my eating plan as treats. I can do anything if I know it won’t be forever.

The super strict plan did work, I never got quite as small or as toned as I wanted but I got stronger, and there were changes, and I liked the changes.

Then life happened lol.

A severe restructuring of my schedule (I got a job!) messed with the super strict plan I was on, I started breaking from the eating plan more and more, and missing more and more gym days until I couldn’t say I followed any plan except an eat-whatever-I-choose-and-don’t-regularly-exercise-plan. During all this I was dragon boating, getting in to a relationship, moving, breaking up, and dealing with all the other random shit life throws at ya. *shakes fist at life* πŸ˜‰

I kept trying to get back on that super strict plan but it just isn’t livable, doable, manageable for a long period of time if you have my job/life/schedule. Or at least I never found a way to make it doable. And voila! My rules were gone. I had nothing in my head saying “don’t eat the dessert”, nothing stopping me from eating carbs (holy hell had I missed carbs!), nothing preventing me from ordering pizza multiple times in a month! I’m so disgusted with myself when I think of how off course I got…although, I suppose “off course” is the wrong term, I wasn’t on a course/eating plan anymore, I was left alone, drifting in that stupid dingy again with even less clue of how to get back. Because now I had failed twice over. Failed at Weight Watchers. Failed at the super strict plan my friend introduced me to.

Failed.

But now I am trying a new way of thinking. I didn’t fail, not at Weight Watchers, I lost 35 freakin pounds on that plan! Sure, I plateaued and they couldn’t help me anymore but losing 35 pounds is not a failure! I find I have to keep reminding myself of that…I also have to keep reminding myself that I have kept that weight off, even with all my problems since then those 35 pounds stayed away, that’s not a failure, right? (although to be honest, I haven’t weighed myself in a loooooong time and I think I may have gained a couple pounds but all my clothes still fit and look good so it can’t be that much of a weight gain) And sure, I fell off the wagon with the super strict plan, but it was never meant to be a long long term plan, and sure, I’ve never been able to get myself back on it, but some healthy things I learned from it stuck with me. Like cutting out the carbs, and increasing my protein, and eating as little processed food as possible…things like that.

What I need to find is a balance, an eating plan I can stick with, that is healthy, that has reasonable rules. But! I need it to be flexible enough that when someone offers me a lemon tart I can start building up my willpower and say “no” because I don’t want it, and actually stick with the “no” and not be saying “no” because of rules I am following. I have to learn to create my own boundaries around what to eat and what not to eat, I need to learn to make my own rules and use those rules like training wheels while I build up my willpower. Does that even make sense? Probably not…

Regardless of if it makes sense to you, I have started coming up with an eating plan that is balanced, healthy, and manageable with my schedule. I can’t afford to go grocery shopping till Friday so I won’t be implementing the plan until I have bought groceries buuuuut I can modify what I already have to follow as close as I can the eating plan I am coming up with. Creating my own rules to help me build up my willpower.

With a plan in place this just might be doable! Yah! πŸ™‚

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