Tag Archives: squats

30 Day Squat Circuit Challenge Revisited

27 May

I can’t believe I am giving this another try, ugh, but heeeeere we go, I am once again doing the 30 Day Squat Circuit Challenge. It is the one that looks like this…

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

The reason I am doing it again is because our dragon boat coach wants us all in better shape, I am ok with that because being in better shape is always a good thing and being extra motivated by an outside source can be helpful to keeping you on track, in my opinion anyways, but still…sometimes going through something with someone else makes it easier. 🙂

I posted to my team’s facebook page the Squat Circuit Challenge and asked if anyone else wanted to do it at the same time as me, I got a handful of people who said yes they would which was great! It also meant I couldn’t back out, or put it off since I said in the facebook post what day I was going to start, I was being held accountable right from the beginning! Ack!

So far I am on day 8 which is a rest day, yippee! lol I missed day 6 so on day 7 I did the squats for both days 6 and 7, just an fyi, I don’t recommend that, it wasn’t fun… 😛

To be honest, I’m not finding the squats hard, right now my lack of motivation is fueled by boredom, doing squats is boring. Standing there, doing squats while watching tv or listening to music or whatever, it’s just…well, boring, shrug. I have no better word for it…

I didn’t make it through the 30 day Squat Circuit Challenge last time, I got sick part way through, missed too many days because of being sick and quit it. I had fully intended to start it up again after I was better but I didn’t. I wish I had an awesome reason for you for why I didn’t but I don’t, it was pure not-wanting-to-do-it-ness and nothing else. Well, maybe a bit of knee pain but that is inconsequential.

This time I am determined! I have teammates doing the same thing as I, we can encourage each other, hold each other accountable and maybe even help it be less boring! *crosses fingers*

When I didn’t finish it last time I was super annoyed with myself, I have completed every 30 day challenge I have tried and I knew if I hadn’t gotten sick I would have kept going and finished. First I was annoyed because I got sick, then I was annoyed that when I was better I didn’t get right back to it, can anyone say lazy? *rolls eyes*

I guess I’m hoping to redeem myself a bit by re-challenging myself. Cause hey, just because I say I know I can do it, until I actually do it, the words mean nothing. So bring it on 30 Day Squat Circuit Challenge! Bring.It.On.

If I was a cat, this would be my determined face.

If I was a cat, this would be my determined face.


Stir Fry Sunday: Mediocre Is The Best Praise I Can Give

13 Apr

Hey look at me, making stir fry on a Sunday again! Sadly, it wasn’t that great of a stir fry, but they can’t all be, right?

it doesn't even look good, sigh.

it doesn’t even look good, sigh.

I used vermicelli noodles, topped with a sweet and sour sauce. The veggies are Europe’s Best brand, the Zen Garden mixture (that is code for veggies commonly found in stir fry lol), they were heated in a pan with a stir fry sauce. Then on top of that was half a honey garlic glazed chicken breast and half an avocado (cubed).

The best I can say about it is it was mediocre. Definitely not my best! I wasn’t all that hungry though so there is the possibility that I was all “meh” about it cause I would have been perfectly content not eating anything. I made enough for two meals, the other portion is patiently sitting in my fridge, waiting for tomorrow to come when I will once again eat it for dinner…let’s hope it tastes better warmed up! *crosses fingers*

The reason I made stir fry was because after work I actually had enough energy to workout (shocking I know!) and I figured my body would want dinner since it had been forced to be active, apparently I was wrong. But hey, whatcha gonna do? I already had it made so not like I was just gonna ignore it.

Sundays and Mondays are my chill work out days. If I manage even a walk around the neighbourhood I am happy. I start work at 7am which means I am up at 5:30am and since I’m a night owl and don’t sleep well prior to 3am I usually accomplish those two days on roughly 3 hours of sleep each. Sucky.

Today I was determined to exercise after work so I took my workout gear with me, the plan was to change at work and go for a run in the neighbourhood I work in. I find the drive home lulls me in to a state of “I need a nap” so well that no matter how determined I am to workout once home, it just never happens. The solution seemed to be to avoid that situation completely. Well, let’s just say I’m not always a genius lol I forgot to take my pants…yup, that’s right, I had changed my upper half and went digging through the bag for my yoga pants and hmm, nothing there…oops! I thought I would get home and say screw it, it’s a sign I shouldn’t workout but instead I lectured myself, saying I was half dressed to workout so I might as well finish changing and go, and I did! Yay! 🙂

It was a fairly pathetic workout, I ran (well, jogged/walked) for a little over 5km, then did a bunch of squats, then did some upper body weight work with a set of dumbbells I have, then stretched, then declared it time to hop in the shower. 🙂

I know it’s not a great workout but like I said, on Sundays I am happy if I manage to go for a walk and this was better than a walk! You know that quote about how it doesn’t matter how slow you run you are still going faster than the person on the couch? I hate that quote, making yourself feel better by thinking poorly about some faceless person, not cool. So I changed it, I kept reminding myself while I was running that I may be slow but I’m faster than the lazy me who goes home after work and naps, and that should count for something, right?

On a junk food sidenote, I have received two care packaged lately, one from my mom and one from my uncle, both filled with junk food from England. Man-oh-man! My tastebuds are sooooo happy! My waistline? Not so much…This evening I snacked on something called Fruit Salad & Black Jack. Don’t let the name fool you, there is no fruit lol They have the texture of a Starburst, which I love! but the flavour is, hmm, not my favourite. There are black licorice pieces which I thought would be great, I love licorice, but it tastes like licorice combined with fruit and one piece leaves my tongue numb, ick. The other pieces taste fruity, I couldn’t narrow that down to a specific fruit flavour if there was a gun to my head, just a generic fruit flavour, those pieces I kinda like. I’ll be done the bag freakishly fast since I’m only eating the fruit pieces and the bag is mostly licorice pieces, I’m trying to look at that as a good thing, saved calories ya know? 😛 lol

2014-04-13 21.23.02

I will be bombarding you with English candy updates as I graze my way through the two care packages. I would love to be able to say it will take me ages to eat it all but English junk food is way better than Canadian (I’m sorry! I know that is non-patriotic but I love the food from across the pond! Please don’t kick me out of Canada! lol) and it won’t take me all that long to decimate  what has been sent to me. Guess I’ll have to push the workouts up to the next level or I’ll be doomed! DoooOOOOoooomed! Too dramatic? Nah, I didn’t think so either! 😛 lol

I Can Feel My Knee

27 May

How often do you feel your knees? I mean really, think about this, unless you have hurt your knees how often are you aware of your knees while going about your day?

no, these aren't my knees :P

no, these aren’t my knees 😛

I’m betting not very often, am I right?

Well, years an years an years ago I hurt my left knee. For the most part it is ok now but some days I have what I oh so affectionately call my “Bad Knee Days”. Those days my knee won’t really bend, or it reeeeeeally hurts, or the knee cap jiggles a bit and I worry that today will be the day it once again decides to pop out of place and go to the back of my leg…lovely image huh? 😛

Yesterday however wasn’t a “Bad Knee Day” per say, what it was though was a day where I was quite consciously aware of my knee. I was feeling my knee. No, not with my hand like I was rubbing it, lol, but everything I did sent my nerves firing and sending signals up to my brain that basically said “hey, I’m the knee, I don’t think things are going quite right today so I’m going to make you aware of my existence juuuust to freak you out a bit”. I did not like it!

It wasn’t hurting exactly, but it was…I dunno, something. It is hard to explain. Like an achey overly aware feeling, as if there is not enough cartilage and the bones are almost touching when they move. It’s like the precursor to the pain I am sure I will be feeling all the time when I am old.

This doesn’t happen often and I’m never really sure what to do when it does. I had already done my 220 squats for the day and it got me wondering if perhaps I had found my knee’s threshold for squats. Maybe 210 squats is ok but 220 sends it in to overload and this is my knees way of telling me no more? That would suck because there are 30 days in my squat challenge and as of today I am at Day 27, can’t quit now!

I decided to not freak out about it too much, just limp along and wait till I could go home and rest the knee. Since I didn’t know for sure it was the squats that caused it to act up I figured no point in stopping the challenge. I should just wait and see how my knee is the next day. Sounds sensible, right? 🙂

Today is the next day, dun-dun-dun!

The knee was ok, not great, but not as bad as yesterday. Instead of doing my squats on my lunch break like yesterday I did my ab work instead and saved the squats for when I was at home juuuuust in case my knee started to act up again. It did have problems during the squats, both of them did actually lol. I think the right started to act up because I was unconsciously putting more weight on the right leg  in an attempt to not overly strain the left knee. All this accomplished was both knees having trouble *rolls eyes* Try to do a body part a favour and this is the thanks I get! Rude! 😉

I’m not sure what to do now. Normally when my knee acts up I baby it for a couple days, I take it as a sign I pushed it too far so I give it a break but I am not quitting my 30 Day Challenges, not when I am thiiiiis close to the end! Soooo, I’ll keep doing my squats, but perhaps I will not do them all in one session, I could try splitting them up through out the day, that might help…or maybe it will just prolong the torture lol I’m just gonna play it by ear and see how it goes, cross your fingers for me I do ok! 🙂


Gym Code

22 May

There seems to be this universal code when at the gym, unless you went there with someone, don’t talk to anyone, ever. Watch people but try to be subtle about it. Oh, and don’t make any facial expressions unless you’re a beefed up guy lifting a huge amount of weight and you do that grimace that makes you look constipated. *rolls eyes*

I don’t know where these rules came from but every gym I have ever belonged to, even the women’s only gyms, have these unspoken rules in place. I generally don’t mind since I don’t want my work out interrupted by someone trying to start up a convo, but at the same time, I don’t like when people are watching me from the corner of their eyes and don’t say anything. What are you thinking when you look at me? It’s creepy!…even though I do the same thing lol

This new gym I am at, apparently the rules don’t apply here…or at least not all of them all the time.

A week or so ago a guy spoke to me, he read my shirt out loud in a questioning voice so out of politeness I felt obliged to explain. Ah the wonders of Canadian manners! 😉 We spoke a bit but then I started stretching and my face was plastered against my knees so I couldn’t really hold up a convo anymore, or even see him lol so he went off to do his own thing.

Then today, in between sets in the free weight section this guy randomly says hi, asks if I am new there, and we started talking weights, length of time working out, all kinds of random exercise type things. I felt very awkward.

Over the course of my gym visit it seemed as if every new guy to come in there knew all the other guys that were already working out and they all did that guy greeting thing, where they kinda yell out something that doesn’t even make sense from across the room, then they fist pump, say something about how long its been since they’ve seen each other and make plans to get a protein shake and hang out after working out. Small world or just small gym?

I’m not saying it is a bad thing to have a friendly gym community but since this gym is 98% guys and the rare time I have seen another woman she (and I) do that girl thing where we pretend we don’t see each other because we don’t want to be obliged to smile or chat or be friendly to each other…girl dynamics are so weird! I don’t see how I will fit in to this friendly gym community. I actually felt more excluded in the free weight section once all the guys started being all buddy buddy then when we were all doing our own things and pretending each other didn’t exist. sigh.

Despite all that I had a really great work out. I focused on my upper body today, so back, shoulders and arms. I haven’t focused on those areas in a while so I lowered the dumbbell weight I was using by 3lbs just in case I sucked. I have no desire to drop a dumbbell on my face thanks very much 😛 lol The gym doesn’t have some of the machines I am used to from my old gym so I had to improvise for some things but that’s ok. I did a bit of improvisation but will have to youtube and google to find other exercises and ideas to help me work the muscles I want to.

Besides the gym work out I did my 185 squats and all my ab exercises (for my 30 Day Challenges), I know I am going to be feeling this tomorrow but it’s worth it! 🙂

15 of 30

15 May

Today was Day 15 in both of my 30 Day Challenges. To see a day by day tracking of my progress go to the page at the top of my blog titled 30 Day Challenges, I update it every day with how it is going. 🙂

Today was really hard! I’ve been sick since yesterday which doesn’t help but oh well, I’m not gonna let being sick turn in to a reason to skip a day or quit altogether. I just worked through it, modified things a bit, and kept going. By modify I don’t mean do less work, I just mean taking slightly longer breaks between sets and doing the squats and abs at different times of the day to ensure I don’t max out my body all in one go. It seems to have worked because both days I managed to do everything I was supposed to.

What I reeeeally want to know is this: What sadist came up with these things?!?! And why was I dumb enough to decide to do them?!?!

I only sorta mean those two questions lol. 😛

cat sit up

These challenges are hard, and not like I thought I’d breeze through them but I don’t think I really grasped the concept of doing 140 squats, 70 sit-ups, 90 crunches, 42 leg lifts and a 60 second plank all in one day…what’s scary is that is just today, it’s just gonna keep getting worse more challenging from here on out, eek!

I don’t regret doing these challenges at all, even though all I’m doing right now is bitching about them lol They bring a bit of order to my life, which is weird, I know everyday I will at some point be in my living room doing my squats and my ab work (except for rest days of course!) and I am finding comfort in that. I’ve had days where I was so busy I didn’t get the exercises done until ridiculously late at night, and if I hadn’t been involved in these challenges I wouldn’t have done anything active those days, just shrugged it off as I didn’t have time blah blah blah and that is that. But I can’t do that for this month, I have to do the work! And by having to find time to fit the exercises in I am showing myself that no matter what you really can always find the time to work out. Sure, maybe you won’t always have the time to go for a 30 minute run, or hit up the gym to do some weight work but there is always something you can do.

Some things that I can always do?

– ride my exercise bike

– pop in an exercise dvd (I own like a hundred of the stupid things but never use them)

– do any of the various exercises I know that can be done at home (this includes core work, stretching, yoga moves etc)

– pull out my Wii Fit (don’t judge! that thing is so much fun and can really get you sweating!)

– if there isn’t time for a 30 minute run there might be time for a shorter run around the neighbourhood

– if I’m at work stay after my shift and run up and down the 11 flights of stairs a couple of times

– pull up a youtube exercise video

– play some music and dance while cleaning (you might be surprised how sweaty this can get you)

So right there, off the top of my head I came up with a list of 8 things I could do. You could probably do the same things, or mostly the same, so why not make up your own list? I know for myself, when I am tired, or don’t feel like exercising, or would rather be doing something more entertaining I draw a blank at exercise options that could fit in to my time frame, I think it is selective amnesia lol. To counter act this I am going to write out my list, and hopefully think of other things I can add to it, and stick it to a wall, or on my fridge, somewhere I can’t miss it so when I start to convince myself I can get away with no exercise for the day I will have right in front of me a list of things I could easily do, right then and there, and boom! can’t be a slacker if the list of activities is staring me in the face can I? Well, in all honesty I most like could, but hopefully I won’t! lol 😉


Day 8 of 30

8 May

You may or may not have noticed I have  a page (just up top there) called 30 Day Challenges, on that page I keep track on a daily basis of my progress on the two 30 Day Challenges I am doing. I figure once a week or so I’ll do a little recap here to give my overall impressions of these challenges…and to let you know I haven’t quit or died. 😉

Today is Day 8, and for both challenges it is a rest day. The first rest day came at Day 4 and I felt that was too early but decided to follow the rules and not do the squats or abs that day. This time around, I am happy for the rest day, Go Rest Day Go!

Each day I convince myself that of course I can do the number of squats, sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts and planks that are required because it’s just a little bit more then what I did the day before and I managed those right? So far, that mentality is getting me through this, that and I hate failing at anything so at this point I won’t quit unless I sustain serious injury, or get way sick…hmm…is that a cough coming on? Dammit it isn’t! sigh.

Doing these challenges with a friend has made all the difference. It’s nice to go through something insane with a buddy. We text daily when we’ve completed our exercises for the day and help psych each other up for what is coming. He had to quit the Squat Challenge cause he hurt his knee at work so I’m doing them for the both of us – don’t mistake this as I am doing double, just that I am now even more resolved to not quit. (insert warrior chant here)

Even though the amount of exercise is increasing to a level that is hard I think this challenge is a good thing. I never would have thought I could do 80 squats in a day, let alone in one session! And yet, yesterday I did. I am pushing myself past self-imposed boundaries that I hadn’t even realized I put up, crazy awesome! Part of me thinks there is no way I will be able to accomplish Day 30 of either challenge, that day will be 125 sit-ups, 200 crunches, 65 leg raises, 120 second plank and 250 squats, oh and all of that is on a day I have dragon boat practice as well. When I think of that now my automatic thought is nope, not possible, I won’t be able to do it buuuuuut a little tiny part of me thinks that maybe by then I will be able to do that, and how great would that be? So for now, I am looking no farther ahead then the day I am on, tomorrow I will deal with how much I have to do that day, for today? I am just enjoying it was a rest day.

betcha the lion doesn't stress about it's abs!

betcha the lion doesn’t stress about it’s abs!

Don’t Even Try Saying That!

5 Oct

Any of you who say ‘cleaning isn’t or doesn’t count as exercise’ – well, all I can say to that is ‘you haven’t seen ME clean!’ Oh, and go jump in a cold lake. lol. 😀

I need a new exercise routine since my sword fighting classes ended last week; originally I was gonna hit up the community centre gym tuesdays and thursdays for eleven visits (I have an eleven drop in pass) but decided to do something a little different. I cleaned. Not just simple dusting but deep cleaning, the type of cleaning that would make a maid proud. lol. Today I chose the bathroom. Exciting huh? 😛

The only things I didn’t clean were the walls and the door and the only reason I didn’t clean those was cause I was running out of time before the Biggest Loser started and I didn’t want to miss any – oh and I still hadn’t had dinner at that point and was getting quite hungry. The things that drive me – tv and food! lol. The walls and door not being cleaned is kinda bugging me so I will probably take care of that on the weekend, not like it’ll take long.

Now, not only did I clean but I made an effort to use motions that could count as exercise, for an example, when I was scrubbing the shower walls I did squats while moving from the top to the bottom of the wall – does that make sense cause when I re-read that it sounded weird. lol. I made sure to stretch up then bend over – like in yoga poses, um, what else did I do…I can’t think of other motions to describe but I am sure you get the idea. 🙂

Now my bathroom is shiny and clean and my muscles actually hurt! Because I didn’t sweat I didn’t really consider the effort I put in all that much exercise but about 20 minutes after I was done cleaning when I was making dinner I realized my leg muscles were sore – the way they are after “real” exercise. Sweet huh? Now I am not saying clean instead of exercise, this is not a permanent way to swap out official exercise it was more of a ‘I am not quite ready to go to a gym and my bathroom was dirty’ type of thing but I think for today it was good. Wonder what I will do thursday? Oooooh, the suspense! lol. 😀

Today I ate:

29 grams honey nut cheerios = 2 points

1/2 cup diced peaches = 1 point

1/2 cup 1% milk = 1 point

1 banana = 2 points

1 sandwich

    – 2 pieces bread = 2 points

    – 4 slices turkey = 1 point

    – 1 cheese slice = 1 point

    – 1 tbls light miracle whip = 1 point

    – tomato slices, lettuce, mustard = 0 points

2 triangles light laughing cow cheese = 1 point

1/2 cup cottage cheese = 2 points

raw veggies = 0 points

85 grams whole wheat pasta = 5 points

1/2 cup Primo pasta sauce = 1 point

1/2 pckg Green Giant Essentials Fibre = 2 points

1 Slim Fast Optima whole grain muffin bar chocolate chip = 3 points

Exercise Points earned = 3 points

So I ate 25 points – that’s my 22 daily points and 3 exercise points and whaddya know I earned 3 exercise points, such a coincidence! lol.

Now you may be wondering what in the world I am doing eating pasta every day for how many days in a row now? No, I am not uber excited about the pasta with tomato sauce dish, in fact I hate tomato based sauces, lol, it’s just that they are a lot lower in points then the cream sauces I prefer – shocking I know! But I still have some of the jar left and no room to put it in my freezer so instead of not eating the sauce and then throwing it out cause I can’t tell if it went bad or not I am determined to eat it until it is finished. Hence my repeated pasta meal. ugh.

Oh, and no I don’t make it a habit of eating Slim Fast bars, I had it left in my cupboard from who knows how long ago and it seemed a better option for eating my exercise points then three points of pure chocolate. 😛 It was a tad stale but otherwise ok so I s’pose as a snack (if it was fresh) it wouldn’t be a horrible idea…it has 140 calories, 6 grams fat and 2 grams fibre. It was a decent size so worth the three points if you’re like me and sometimes have to find a way to use up those last 2-3 points in the evening. 🙂

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