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Where’s Your Village?

17 Jul

They say it takes a village to raise a kid, I think, maybe, it takes a village to do a lot of things.

Easy things. Fun things. Hard things. Sucky things.

There is almost nothing that you do completely on your own. Even if you are accomplished at something, say you write novels, or cook, or paint, you didn’t magically pop out of your birth mother knowing how to do those things. Maybe you had a talent for them, maybe you had the drive to want to do them, but you still had teachers, coaches, inspiration, along the way. Those people are your village.

Same thing when it comes to weight loss, or strengthening, or training for a fitness goal. You don’t accomplish these things alone, even though at times you might feel alone in your journey.

Your village is made up of the people that inspired you to start, taught you what you needed to know to work towards your goal, help keep you motivated when you struggle, provide guidance, and practical assistance, and the tools to get you where you want to go.

One part of my village are the chefs at my work, well, one of my works. I am spoiled at that job by the food that is considered a perk of working there. If your shift falls over lunch time you get fed lunch, same deal if you work over dinner time. It isn’t written in stone but the general idea is you eat what is being cooked that day, for that meal, with obvious exceptions to accommodate allergies, ethical food choices, and other restrictions.

Because I try to not be too big a pain in the ass to the chefs at work, but I am food picky, I generally ask for whatever the lean protein is for that day (as long as it isn’t pork, I don’t eat pork), and veggies. Or I ask for a salad with a lean protein on top. I don’t want sauces, gravies, starches, none of that stuff, which I’m pretty sure makes them cry a bit inside.

For the most part my dinners at work are either fish or chicken, with veggies. My lunches are salads with chicken or fish on top. I know it sounds like I eat the same thing all the time but each meal is different because of the creativity, flair, and seasonings, each chef brings to their dish.

I am well and truly spoiled by the chefs at work, and I do my best to never forget it, and never take it for granted.

One of the chefs has gone on vacation, one of my village, and it has tilted my food world a bit, making it hard to feel like I’m keeping on track.

Yes, yes, I know I could have taken my own lunch, but have I not already explained that I am spoiled?

I’m used to feeling like I am on my get fit journey on my own, even though I know I have a support system out there. There are few people in my village that directly affect the food I am eating on a given day. Those work meals are meals I don’t have to think about, they will magically appear, they will always fit in to my meal plan, they require no effort on my part. I am so grateful for that because I find dealing with food exhausting a lot of the time. The planning, the buying, the cooking, ugh, I hate it.

So to have one of my village gone, and being immediately affected by that loss, made me realize that the comment I have made to the chefs often is in fact true:

I would not be where I am in my journey without their help. They make it easier for me to succeed.

They, in their willingness to accommodate my food requests, make part of my journey easier, more do-able, they make my being able to stick to my plan a thing I can actually do.

I don’t think it is often we notice the people that make up our village, they are just there, their actions taken a bit for granted. Not because we aren’t grateful but because we are all a bit spoiled. And you know, I think thats ok. It’s human nature.

I don’t know if I am a part of anyone’s village, I hope I am, and I hope whatever it is that I do that helps someone I keep doing it, so I keep inadvertently helping them.

Just like I hope I keep being grateful for the people that make up my village. Without them this journey would be so much harder, perhaps impossible.

work food

Some of my work meals. Didn’t believe me when I said I was spoiled did ya? πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

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Forgot My Plan

7 Jul

Don’t forget your plan when you go to the gym, or in my case, to make a plan. sigh.

Usually when I go to the gym I have a plan of what I want to accomplish. It isn’t some set in stone can’t be adjusted in the moment kind of thing, but it at least covers how long I want to be doing cardio for and what muscle groups I plan to focus on when lifting weights. Within the muscle groups I know what moves I will do, but even those can be changed once I am at the gym.

The changes are usually because of not being able to access the equipment I need / want. So, say I wanted to run for 30 minutes but all the treadmills are in use, then I’ll go to the elliptical. Or say I want to do Wood Choppers using the pulley system but the proper attachment is nowhere to be found, then I’ll do them using a free weight or medicine ball, or maybe I won’t do them at all, maybe I’ll do Russian Twists instead.

It’s all about getting in the workout I want while making minor changes based on equipment availability and comfort level around the people that I am sharing the gym with.

By comfort level I mean some days the free weight section is crowded with jacked up guys who are doing super sets and moving from one exercise to another and they are taking up a lot of room with their little stations that they created. Or a bunch of guys are working out together and they kinda take over the space so some of them are working out while the others are hanging on equipment next to the guy who is working out while they all chat. I get it, they want to be social, but it sure can be annoying for the rest of us sometimes. *rolls eyes*

This was not meant to be a rant! Oops!

What I was trying to get to is that I always have a flexible plan when I go work out, ensuring I come away from my work out feeling like I have accomplished something and got in a solid session.

Until the other night.

I knew I was going to do my cardio, but hadn’t committed to which machine I wanted to use for it, in fact I kind of didn’t care what I did for my cardio. I ended up using the elliptical for 30 minutes, which is fine, but I could have done better.

Then I took a look at the free weight section and didn’t want to deal with navigating all the guys that were there so I went to a different room, it is a bit smaller but is a good space for free weight work. There were some guys in there but usually I’ll go in even if it is partially occupied cause, well, I can. But since I didn’t have a plan for which muscle groups I wanted to work on, and no real motivation to be there, I didn’t go in the room, instead I went to the stretching area, had a cool down, and went home.

I have never had such a short workout. And I can’t believe I let myself leave without getting some weight work done.

It was like, once there, with all the equipment, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what I wanted to do, or what I should do, and I couldn’t make a decision, so I left.

Maybe it was because it was at the end of a long day and I was tired and my brain just couldn’t make any more decisions. Maybe for whatever reason I had less motivation that day and I used that lack of motivation as a reason to leave after doing only cardio. Maybe I am just a lazy person at heart and I wanted to go home and be cozy in my pajamas while watching Netflix. πŸ˜›

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t a great workout, and I think a big part of that is my going in to that gym without a plan.

The plan doesn’t have to be some big great detailed thing. Some days it is as simple as:

  • 30 mins cardio
  • weight work for arms, shoulders, and back
  • some core work
  • stretch

That’s it! That is all it takes to make a plan! Who knew something so simple could be the difference between getting a good work out in and only getting 30 minutes of cardio in? Not me, that’s for sure!

Lesson learned, plan, even just a bit, and my workout will be way better.

 

A Little Recap

26 Apr

Now you may be thinking because I haven’t posted in a little bit I have fallen off the wagon in regards to the fitness challenge I am in, you my friends would be wrong!

It’s so nice to be able to write that cause let’s be honest, it is so easy to say yes to a challenge and after a week kinda slack off. I think in part I am sticking with it because (1) I made up the challenge, and (2) there is an end goal of looking good in that bridesmaid’s dress…vanity can be a great motivator! πŸ˜‰

Since I last wrote my team (I compete in dragon boating) won bronze in Division A at a regatta. πŸ™‚Β  It was this particular regattas first year and it went really well. I don’t mean it went well because we won a medal *rolls eyes* but that the regatta was run well. It went smoothly, no real glitches to be had…that I know of anyways lol They were rushing the races to get as many of them done before the afternoon as possible because afternoon water conditions were less than ideal due to lower tide levels than normal for this time of year. Our last race of the day was in choppier water but I kinda liked it, made it more fun! And yes, I know I’m a bit of an odd ball lol

apr 22 2018 race day 8

The Twisted Hips, 2018 Roster

The medals are definitely original. Normally they are made of metal but this regatta, in honour of the races being held on Earth Day, hand crafted the medals out of three types of wood. So one person made all the medals, by hand, in his basement…we know this because he was reminding everyone all day lol

Then it was back to normal life for a couple days before a little overnight trip to Whistler. Yay for it being late enough in the season it is no longer law to need snow tires to drive up there! πŸ™‚

I went with a bunch of friends, we all went up at different times based on our schedules. So I got there about a half hour before two people had to leave, which kinda sucked, but the majority of the group was still there so it all worked out in the end.

My FitBit was very happy on Wednesday, with all the walking to the Village and around the Village (twice!) and my quick gym session, I got a hella lot of steps. And we all know FitBit owners live to make their FitBit’s happy lol Proof that even when in Whistler you can keep to a fitness challenge!

It was a pretty chill trip, one of our group is moving away (lame!) so we did this trip to give us all a chance to hang out before she leaves. It was mostly spent playing board games, lounging by the pool (that part didn’t include me since I’d burn in a stupid short amount of time, sigh), going to the Village to shop and eat dinner, and I dunno, just being in each other’s company.

Both the bear and the scenic picture were taken on the walk to the Village. The sign the bear is holding basically says please don’t feed me, or my cubs, and keep your dog on a leash..just ya know, in a cuter way lol It was so sunny and summery and lovely, I took a picture of the river? Creek? The water, I’ll just call it water, but my picture doesn’t do it justice. There are chairs set up on both sides so you can just sit and enjoy being there…which I actually didn’t do because well, we were on our way to the Village so we were going somewhere and also, I don’t voluntarily sit out in the sun, that would be the equivalent of me putting a target on my back and daring the UV rays to come get me. πŸ˜›

whistler apr 25 2018 3

The sheep are too cute!

This is purely a picture of cuteness…especially the sheep on the right side. They are bombs, which I don’t actually know what that is, some sort of chocolate something or other, I just wanted to share the cute. πŸ™‚

And lastly, a picture of me touching snow, who’d of thought you’d see the day! πŸ˜‰

whistler apr 25 2018 4

In case you’re thinking it mush be sort of chilly because I am wearing a long sleeve top, no-no, I am wearing long sleeves as sun protection…hence the hat! It is easier to wear long sleeves than reapply sunscreen every hour and a half, and less messy, so I spend a lot of the sunny months in long sleeves. But forget the clothes, look at the snow! It was so odd, the snow ends right at the cement, it is on the hills for the snowboarders and skiers but nowhere else. Kind of a random thing to see…I’m used to seeing snow covering everything – when I do see it that is.

Besides my fun random days I’ve been going to dragon boat practice, hitting up the gym, taking walks, all sorts of things to keep up with the 44 Day Fitness Challenge. There are only 30 days left!…not that I’m panicking about that or anything… πŸ˜‰

Yoga Fail

14 Apr

The plan.

There’s always a plan right?

The plan was to get up and go to morning yoga at my gym.

The reality was the alarm made noise, I didn’t even pretend to hit snooze, just turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Oops? πŸ˜‰

That meant to get my workout in for the day I’d have to fit it in after work, which is fine, it is when I prefer to workout. Only catch is I work until 9pm Saturdays and I start at 7am Sundays, so usually after work on a Saturday I really live it up by coming back to my place, showering, and watching YouTube or Netflix for a bit until I go to bed.

Not tonight though, no way was I missing a workout on the third day of this challenge!

Situations like this though are exactly why I decided to not be super strict about my definition of a workout, because instead of going to the gym I did a body weight (and ok I used a couple actual weights) workout in my living room.

The cat, in case you were wondering, was not impressed.

I could have done a workout dvd, and probably will at some point, but I wanted to see what I could come up with on my own. It isn’t exciting, but hopefully it was enough to count…I did get sweaty, not been at the gym killing it sweaty, but a light ladylike glow, so I’m going to pretend that means I accomplished something lol

My little circuit consisted of:

  • jumping jacks
  • squats
  • mountain climbers
  • russian twists (with my medicine ball)
  • push-ups
  • bicycle crunches
  • plank
  • overhead press (with dumbbells)
  • flys (with dumbbells)
  • and this thing I don’t know the name of, I lay on the ground, holding a dumbbell or kettle bell, arms straight above me (think right over my face), then I lower my arms while keeping them straight till the weight hits the floor above my head, stretching my arms as far as they will go. I don’t know what is it called but I love that one, you can really feel muscles engaging.

So yeah, that was my circuit, nothing fancy. I did a minute of each with no rest in between then a minute rest after the circuit was done. I did it three times, probably should have done a fourth but ya live an learn. I’ll know to do a fourth next time.

After that was done I cleaned the apartment, seriously, can my Saturday nights get anymore exciting? πŸ˜‰

I have a friend stopping by tomorrow and I wanted the place to be tidy for her. She is one of those people whose place is always gorgeous so the least I can do is make my little basement suite clean. It’ll never be gorgeous, but clean counts for something, in my books anyways lol

I may not have made the yoga class and stuck to plan that way but I still managed something resembling a workout, meaning Day 3 (or Day 42) is in the bag! πŸ˜€

cat yoga

Of the two of us, the cat is the only one getting some yoga in lol

Day 43 – Protein Smoothie Bowl

13 Apr

Before you ask, yes I will be posting updates randomly about my 44 Day Fitness Challenge here. Why? Well, I have to be held accountable somewhere, because if you think I can hold myself accountable and not cheat you obviously don’t know me very well lol πŸ˜‰

Day 2 in the bag! Or day 43…whichever way you want to count it. Down. Up. It is all the same to me!

Today was a gym session after work, leg day! I always forget other people go out and have social lives on Friday nights. When I get to my gym there are always a decent number of vehicles parked there and I internally start to bitch about how many people are going to be in the gym at 10pm but then I walk inside and there are maaaaybe 6 people? And that is a generously high number. Which is when I realize that the parking area is also used by people going to nearby pubs. Oops?

I mean c’mon, who wants to go to a pub when you can go to the gym? On a Friday night. Almost like you have no social life or something. Ok never mind, this is gonna go dark fast if I don’t start blabbing about something else lol

Protein Smoothie Bowl!

protein smoothie bowl

Granted, not the prettiest looking food item I’ve ever posted on here. But I’m sure it isn’t the ugliest…maybe…

It is a scoop of protein powder, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 small banana, and a tablespoon or so of plain almond milk. Blend until it hits a consistency you like, I prefer thicker so I’m eating it with a spoon rather than making it a drink. This way I can pretend I’m eating ice cream, only ya know, not as tasty.Β  Aww man, now I want ice cream! But even I, with my special quirky ways of interpreting things, can’t find a way to make ice cream an acceptable post workout meal. Too bad though, cause that would be an awesome post workout meal…don’t mind me while I daydream about ice cream for a minute…

Ok, done! For now at least lol

So yeah, two days sorted, only 42 more to go! πŸ™‚

 

44 Days

12 Apr

44 days until I put on a bridesmaid’s dress and celebrate my best friend’s big day.

44 days.

That is not a lot of time to magically improve myself so I look ok in that dress. And yet, if I was counting down to vacation and it was 44 days away I’d be moaning about how far away that is.

Funny how your perspective can change huh?

Now I know that the big day is not about me, and I should only be thinking of her and how much I want it to be awesome for her. But let’s be real here for a sec ok? I’m vain and I want to look good in that dress lol and so while a big part of me is focusing on how she is getting married and I want it to be amazing another part of me is wondering if it is a realistic goal to have 44 workouts in the next 44 days.

In case you’re wondering, I think it is a realistic goal.

I used to make challenges, or find challenges online and follow them. I’ve done 30 day fitness challenges, I’ve done “Lose a Pant Size By (insert date here)”, I’ve done Paleo challenges, I’ve done seasonal fitness and food challenges. Basically, name a challenge and I have either already done it or am up for trying it. But I haven’t made my own challenge in quite a while. The most recent one I took part in was the “100 Squats a Day for 30 Days”, which in case you’re wondering about that, I did it, it was fine. I squat a lot anyways so it wasn’t that hard of a challenge for me. In fact I’m doing a second round of it because a friend wanted to do it and I decided to do it again so she’d have a squatting buddy. Which sounds weird when typed or spoken out loud lol

While sitting here ruminating over the realization that the wedding is only 44 days away I realized I needed a plan. A concrete, have goals and a way to meet those goals, plan. I was recently reminded that having vague goals in terms of fitness (or anything else) doesn’t really work. You need a way to measure your progress towards reaching your goal so you can modify your plan along the way, giving you a better chance at achieving your plan, hitting the mark, grabbing your star, whatever cliche works for you… πŸ˜‰

So, I made a plan. And because I like visuals I made a tracker to put on my fridge. It isn’t anything special, just a 3 column, 15 row, chart that counts down from 44 to the day of the wedding. Each box has enough space for the number of days left, and room for me to write what workout I did that day. I also left space to make a comment about my eating for that day. Not enough space to list my food or anything, just enough space to make a comment about if I did well food wise. I suppose I could put my caloric intake there, be better able to track if my eating is matching my activity levels…I dunno, we’ll see what I do there. Mostly it is to track my workouts because I feel I’ve been dropping the ball with those lately and need something to help motivate me.

I pre-filled out my dragon boat workouts, because those are a given, and certain gym days that I always do. The rest of the days will be a combination of extra gym days and other workouts, so maybe one day I do a workout dvd, or go for a hike, or I dunno, walk the seawall. I’m not creating set-in-stone rules for what constitutes a workout, I feel that would be too limiting, and I want to leave room to listen to my body and what it wants. If I say only going to the gym counts as a workout but I have a day I can’t get there I don’t want to feel like my dragon boat practice, or a long walk, or even some body weight work at home, doesn’t count, or worse, is a failure, when it is in fact still a workout.

I’m trying to be less rigid in my definition of what counts as a workout…I don’t know how well I’ll manage it, but I’m gonna try!

Something I think I should do though is create an overall workout plan, so X number of leg days, X number of shoulder & back & arm days, X number of cardio sessions a week, that way I know that even with my broader interpretation of what counts as a workout I am still getting in a certain number of sessions per muscle group so my odds of hitting my goal increase.

Which, speaking of my goal, I do have them, goals beyond just fitting in the dress better I mean lol They are quantifiable, can be tracked and measured, and my progress towards them will be tracked and measured over the next 44 days. And if I don’t quite make it to those goals in time for the wedding, well, I’ll keep working on them, because ultimately I suppose it isn’t really about fitting in that dress (though part of it is!), so much as it is about getting in better shape and feeling better about myself.

So if anyone wants to join the challenge, feel free! I know 44 days will seem an arbitrary number to anyone not counting down to this specific wedding, so feel free to alter the number to your own deadline. Think of it as a very customizable challenge – pick your length of time, pick what you think counts as a workout, and commit to one workout a day for the length of time you chose.

Remember, success is 10% physical and 90% mental, it’s not your body that is tired and wants to quit, it is your brain and you thinking you can’t keep going. So keep going. Push farther than you think you can go, to prove to yourself you can keep going, and next time it’ll be a little easier and you’ll be able to go a little farther.

bd76c77e43b4d371ff50eb2505b6bb42

If a meme says it, it must be true.Β 

Hello Quiche

13 Mar

Say hello to my newest kitchen creation, quiche!

quiche

Granted, not the best pictures out there of quiche, but they could be worse, theoretically lol

I did some googling and found multiple recipes for single serving quiche, hey now, don’t judge, some of us are single and cooking for one.

They all seemed to be pretty much the same. Sure some had you making your own crust from scratch, while others had you not using any crust, and the fillings got swapped out, but the general base of it seemed pretty standard and lucky for me, easy to copy.

I didn’t feel like making my own crust and was going to make the crust-less version only but this is me, and why do one thing when you can do two?

The mix, batter, filling, I don’t know what to call it, the quiche part? That is made up of:

2 eggs and 2 Tablespoons of milk whisked together, oh and add whatever seasonings you want before whisking…I put in dill and pepper.

Add 2 to 4 Tablespoons of stuff, by stuff I mean any combo of veggie, meat, and cheese you so desire. I did a mixture of diced super tiny orange pepper, diced super tiny mushroom, light marble cheese, and minced garlic.

Once it is all mixed together either evenly distribute it between tart shells or pour in to a greased (I sprayed with Pam) oven safe dish (I used my mini Corningware), and pop it in the oven at 375C for 20 to 30 minutes. My oven took 20 minutes and it was not quite at 375C, more like the halfway point between 350C and 375C. I was worried about the temperature because according to the tart shell box they should be baked at a lower temp for a shorter amount of time and I had visions of burning them and once again setting off my smoke detector. *rolls eyes*

Oh, so just to clarify, one combo of the above mixture was used in my mini Corningware, and a separate batch filled the 5 tarts.

When the timer beeped and I took them all out of the oven I realized I had no idea how to tell if a quiche is done so I poked it with a cake tester and it came out clean. Then I realized how stupid that is so I googled lol Google, and a friend I happened to be texting with at the time, both said if it doesn’t jiggle then it is done so I gave them all a good shake, decided I didn’t see any jiggling and declared them perfect.

The quiche mixture in the tart shells was super poofy when I first took them out of the oven but they flattened quickly, the mixture in the dish might have poofed as well but the flattening maybe wasn’t as obvious because it is in a dish and it was never higher than the edges, that and I was so distracted by the tart shell versions I kinda ignored the one in the dish lol

In case you were wondering, it turns out I make pretty decent quiche. πŸ˜‰ I ate one of the tart versions and the egg mixture was light, and fluffy, and quite good. I forgot to put the diced turkey in there, which I only clued in to once I was tasting one of them, oops! Guess that means I’ll hafta make them again and try a new combo of ingredients, such a hard life! πŸ˜‰

I was trying to find a link to my mini Corningware in case anyone was wanting one for themselves, I find them incredibly useful when cooking…course that could be a single girl thing lol…but I can’t find them on Amazon so instead here is a link to a simple Corningware 7 ounce ramekin which I think would also be pretty good for making a quiche in. If you click on the picture it should take you to the Amazon page where you can read the deets about them.

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