Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Goals - Year in Review


Oh, glad I will be to see thee end!  This has been the year of years on so many levels, and truly one of the most tumultuous, emotional, roller coaster-y years I've ever had in my life...was it mercury retrograde all year or something?!  I hate to start the year off poorly, but I actually recall last November I had this weird gut feeling...I remember thinking huh...I think 2014 is going to bite the big one, but I couldn't put my finger on why.  Well, now I know!  Almost everyone I know was touched by some type of life altering or life challenging event...I've had a very full year of dealing with my parents' health, and some days it was almost more than I could handle.  Health issues, marriage breakdowns, and a life altering car accident were the other things that those around me dealt with, and I can easily say that for most people I know, we can hardly wait to see the end of 2014...good riddance, I say!

But...because I like to look for the silver lining in every cloud (and a big black thundercloud it was!), there were some positives in 2014 as wasn't all doom and gloom!  The relationship between my parents and I has always been relatively parents and I have never seen eye to eye on many things, mostly because I was a first generation child stuck between two very different cultures.  And as a bullheaded Taurus, I stood my ground on many things which led to a fairly rocky relationship.  However, this year that's mostly changed...while there were moments where my parents make me crazy (what parent doesn't, at some point?), we're much closer now and I enjoy having them in my life more.  Other huge positives in 2014 are that my BFF moved back into town after a three year hiatus, I discovered a new love for strength training, and we booked a European tour for 2015!  So all was not lost.

Anyhoo, enough of me waxing poetic about the trials and tribulations of 2014...without further adieu, here are my 2014 goals and how I did...

1.  Take Swimming Lessons
Done!  And done and done and done...ha!  I signed myself up for swimming lessons last January and signed up twice more for additional sessions of the beginner class.  Can I do the front crawl yet?  Not yet, but close...and I did achieve a few milestone things such as going into the deep end without any swimming aids.  For 2015, I'm going to continue on but I think will look at taking private lessons...I think a big part of my issues stem from not being able to tread water and save myself as it were, so I think if I can get someone to work on that skill with me and the front crawl, I might just get myself there!  But I have found that I love to be in the water, and am not turning back now that I've gotten myself this far.

2.  Take a CPR Course
Done!  I wanted to take this course because my FIL passed away last year and his death may have been preventable if someone knew how to do CPR, so this goal had a lot of meaning for me.  The class we took was awesome and I'm so glad that I've got this life skill now under my belt.

3.  Volunteer for a Food Related Cause
Fail.  Wah!  Believe me, I tried...I contacted food banks and other orgs to see if there was anything I could do, but most places seem to only need people during the day when I'm at work.  I'm going to carry this one forward into 2015 and have a few ideas on how I can get this one under my belt.

4.  Improve Mobility/Posture
All in all, I would say I did pretty well on this one.  At my last physio visit, I asked her if she thought my posture had improved and she said she thought it had!  Plus she commented that I had very good body awareness now whereas I really didn't before.  I had mini-goals under this heading, so here's how I did with those...

Foam roller the crap out of myself and stretch nightly
 - Check!  Almost every night without fail

Work on head positioning (dang forward head)
 - Check!
Stand as much as possible at work and sit properly (no slouching!!!)
 - Hmmm...I could stand more, but definitely sitting posture is better now
Work on areas of weakness to improve muscle imbalances (glutes, neck, upper back)
 - Check!  am currently working on these with personal trainer

Work with my physio regularly
 - Check! have been seeing her monthly to check in to make sure I'm moving well
Go for regular massages
 - Le sigh...sadly, no...hopefully this will change in 2015
Sadly, I'm still fighting injuries...ribs have gone out a fair bit this year, I've had a rotten niggling issue with my hip flexor/TFL that is driving me insane, and just had a foible at the gym and buggered up my lower back just before Christmas.  Note to self...never take a shortcut on warm ups!  One weapon I'm adding to my arsenal in 2015 that I'm hoping will help is a mobility class at PISE.  I've already signed up, but am hoping it's not cancelled as a similar class was cancelled last year due to lack of interest.  Mobility and moving well is so important, I hope people start signing up!

5.  Floss Once a Day
Done!!!  My gums are so good now that my dentist said he would have given me a prize if he had one.  It's a total habit now and I actually feel yucky when I don't floss.  It's like exercise for me now, just part of the routine.

6.  Jars of Awesomeness

Jars before:

Jars now:

sorry for the crappy photo, folks!

Done!!  I'm going to break open the gratitude jar on New Year's Eve (be ready for some waterworks people), and just counted the booty in the workout jar...$257 smackeroos, so on average about five workouts per week. I think I may actually keep doing the Jars of Awesomeness, as we all need a little gratitude in our life, right?

Woohoo!  So all in all, not a bad year...and I've picked up a few things that I think are going to stick with me.  Now the question is...what does this foodie have up her sleeve for 2015?  And what will I do with my $257?!?!  Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Six Months Later

Man, time flies.  I know, I know...I say that all the time, but seriously this year has absolutely raced by and I can't believe we are three weeks away from the end of 2014...and thank god for that...ha!  It's no secret, this year has sucked on so many levels and I'm glad to see the end of it, but I'll save that for another post.  Anyways, the other day I was looking back at the calendar and realized...I've been doing strength training for six months, so thought it would be timely to do a post on how I'm finding it.

Overall...I absolutely love working with weights, and think I've found a new passion!  I still adore running and it will always have a very special place in my heart, but I'm not gonna lie...there is something really empowering about racking a barbell on your back and squatting your bodyweight, or standing on the platform and deadlifting with the big little pink three pounds weights for this girl!  I've become a real believer in lifting heavy and am now firmly on the strength training bandwagon.  I never believed that weightlifting would make that much of a difference, but it's like night and day.

So what changes have I seen physically?  Well let me start by saying that I was definitely a cardio girl before...I did hours and hours of running and bootcamp, but was never really happy with how I looked and felt...I was reasonably fit, but still really felt soft and weak overall.  Case in point, I clearly remember a moment when I was running the marathon and I felt my arms jiggling like crazy and I thought wow...must work on that!  Anyways, when I started working with Graham, the goal was to become stronger and more muscular overall and if that meant gaining some weight or getting bigger, then bring it on.  I've learned to accept that I will never be the Asian girl ideal of a delicate, sylph-like reed, and will always be more muscular so why not go with it?  Anyhow, I've seen some really big changes in my body that I couldn't achieve no matter how much cardio or bootcamp I did.  My shoulders, arms, legs and glutes have gotten way more muscular and defined.   My back is no longer a flabby wasteland, and my posture has gotten way, way better now!  We've done a lot of work on the back, and when I asked my physio if she thought my posture was better, she said she thought it had really improved!  Small wins, people...small wins. 

Without further delay, here's the stats for some core movements that we've done from beginning to now...

Barbell back squat
start:  55
now:  115
I'm super proud of this one, within 5 pounds of bodyweight!

Barbell deadlift
start:  100
now:  120
At bodyweight!  This lift is pretty technical, but makes me feel badass especially when I'm around the men.  No delicate flower here.  I also love how this works almost every part of the body...I find this lift hard, but it's a great one.

Barbell shoulder press
start:  35
now:  55
This is a tough lift for me and I loathe it, but I do it.

Chin up (assisted)
start:  green
now:  purple
After months of struggling through negatives, I've been able to go down to a purple band.  One day day the elusive chin up will be mine.

Dumbbell Chest Press
start: 15
now: 35
I'm also super proud of this one too! One of my fave exercises.

Glute Bridge
start:  50
now:  118
It's alllll about the base...

Not bad for a noob, eh?  Of course, these results are not just me.  My super lovely trainer Graham has to take a huge chunk of the credit as well.  He's really good about pushing me but not pushing too much, and knowing when I'm ready to move on.  And of course we have some hilarious gab sessions in between sets, so it's fun even when I feel like barfing up a lung.  Ha!

Mentally, weightlifting has helped me to push hard and to learn to be comfortable going to those uncomfortable places.  When you're at the bottom of a squat with a heavy barbell on your back, it can get a little scary.  The other thing it's helped me with is being stronger mentally and not give up when things get difficult.  There were times when I was standing on that bloody stool in the middle of the gym doing negatives, sweating buckets and arms burning...when all I wanted to do was give up but I stood there staring up at the bars and had to really talk myself into continuing on.  So it's not just physically that I've grown, but mentally too.  And I truly believe that kind of stuff transcends all borders and helps in daily life as well.

Strength training, I like you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tattoo You

I've always believed that everything happens for a reason...not sure why, but as time goes on the more I truly believe that everything that happens to you is meant to lead you to something else.  I've been wanting a tattoo since forever and a day but haven't quite found the one thing that made me think "that's it!"...something that I wouldn't mind being permanently inked on my body and that I would never regret or get sick of looking at it.   Now a few years ago when I ran my first marathon, I thought that I would immediately dash out and get a tattoo but truth be told I never liked any of the running ones I saw and wanted something that was more universal than strictly running...basically something that was meaningful for me, and not just a "26.2" or something like that.   I'd been thinking about tattoos recently again as my friend B had just gotten one, so I'd been doing some poking around on the internet searching for ideas.  Enter fate, stage left...

My BFF and I were getting together one Sunday for one of our usual hen parties, and she threw out a suggestion that we go to a craft fair.  Now neither of us what you would call craft fair types...whisky festival, hells yeah!  But craft fairs?  We're not really tea doilies and homemade knickknack types, but for whatever reason we both love craft fairs so decided to head out on a brisk Fall afternoon.  So many cool things to see, and one of them was this awesome bracelet that my BFF picked up that had this quote...

I love this quote.  LOVE.  It has so many meanings and can be applied to so many life situations.  I truly think that everything is a case of mind over matter, and if you put yourself out there and try, you'll never be disappointed.  Sure, you may not be the best at everything, but trying is half the battle.  As this phrase rolled around in my head that fateful Sunday, I was texting with my BFF when I suddenly realized that this was the "one".  This was going to be my tattoo!  I could think of multiple situations where it was applicable, the most important one for me being the marathon.  Truly, completing that marathon gave me the belief in myself that if I could run 42 kilometres, I can pretty much do anything.  Case in point, my swimming lessons.  Now it's been awhile since I went into the deep end, so I was pretty scared a few weeks ago when I had to swim to the deep end with this teeny tiny little kickboard.  I totally panicked and freaked out.  I clung to the side, I was scared out of my mind...I was a little ashamed of myself after class I admit, as I was kicking myself for not trying harder and not being mentally stronger.  The following week I spent the whole day before the lesson worrying and truth be told, I almost, almost jammed out of lessons that night, but Hubs wanted to go to the rec centre.  Not wanting to disappoint him (yep, there goes that fear of disappointing others that propels me), I accepted my fate and dutifully went to class.

That evening at class, I went through the motions knowing full well that we were going to venture to the deep end at some point...not gonna lie, my heart was in my throat a few times.  Then the instructor gathered us up, and had me swim to the deep end with my trusty kickboard (which I swear is no bigger than a postage stamp).  Once we reached the deep end, he matter of factly declared to the class that we were going to swim from the deep end on our fronts and when we had to breath, we were to flip onto our backs and swim to the shallow end.  Oh...and Cindy why don't you go first?

As I clung for my life on the side of the pool with all eyes staring at me, I hesitated and thought back to that was now or never so I thought...well I can't really write down what I thought, but let's just say that it rhymes with "bucket" and I plunged in...and did it!  At 45 years old, I finally swam in the deep end without anything except a smile...and I have this quote to thank for helping me get over a huge mental Mount Everest.

Tattoo me.  Stat.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Well, looks like it's finally happened.  After many years of threatening to do so, the morning bootcamp that I go to three times a week at an ungodly hour (yep, 5:30 am, rain or shine) has been cancelled for the winter.  While I understand the can be rainy, windy and cold and quite often attendance drops during these months...I can't say I'm not disappointed by the decision.   I've been doing these classes since 2008, so it's become a bit of a habit over the past seven years, and one that quite frankly has saved my sanity on many an occasion.  These bootcamps were the catalyst that led me to running and the choice to lead a healthier lifestyle, so I'm pretty sad to have to give them up.  I've come to really like the other ladies in the group as well and to be honest, 5:30am is the best time for me to get up and work out.  I know...sounds insane, right?  But life is so busy and after a long day at work, I'm not motivated to work out in the slightest (well, except when I go to personal training because I loooooooooooooooooooooveeee eeeeeet).   The trainers push me hard, and I've come to know that while I have the motivation to get up in the morning and work out on my own, I know that I absolutely work harder when I've got someone else there pushing me.  Plus I love the variety, and I'm happy to have someone else come up with the workout and I can just turn off my mind and turn on my muscles.  The other part that makes me sad about this whole thing is that the winter months are when we tend to...shall we say...put on our winter coats?  So cancelling classes during this time seems a bit counterproductive.  The winter months are where we work hard so by the time the summer rolls around, we're in shape for tank tops and shorts, amirite?!

So what am I gonna do?  Well I looked into many facilities and it doesn't look like there is anything that early.  My evenings are limited as I'm doing personal training twice a week and taking swimming lessons but it sounds like some of the other ladies are interested in hiring a trainer on our own and having her work with us, so looks like that could be an option if we can get enough people interested.  The flip side of this whole thing is that maybe I'll discover something new and different, like I did with strength training.  There's lot of stuff out there and with January right around the corner, there will be lots of new stuff starting.  So there's still hope so I'm just going to roll with it, and maybe as they say, a change is as good as a rest. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chicken Arms No More


Sooooo....a little confession.  As a follow up to last week's post, I somehow managed to not have to try a pull up at the gym this week with my trainer.  I know, I're all disappointed, right?  Well, not so fast...last week I was admittedly feeling a little nervous because I had promised Graham that I would attempt a pull up, and to be honest I was shitting myself a little.  OK, I was shitting myself a LOT.  As you all know I suffer from extreme gymtimidation, so was picturing people all pointing and snickering as I tried to hoist my substantial body weight with these two stick things I call my arms.  I was by myself one night last week so thought hmmm...I have a chin up bar downstairs...let me see if I can maybe sort of do one?  I slipped downstairs, jumped up to the bar and....


*@(*(#*(*(!!!  I could barely even get myself out of the dead hang position.  I tried everything I could to pull myself up but I just couldn't.  Blah.  Disappointed with myself, I was dreading the next training session because I hate to disappoint others even more and was already envisioning the slightly pitying and somewhat sad look that Graham would flash me when I failed to even budge an inch.

As I headed into my workout on Thursday, I was a feeling a bit worried.  We started off with some lower body work, and moved onto supersets of dumbbell chest presses and negative pull ups (which I seriously despise).  I think possibly I had built up this week's imminent pull up failure to epic proportions because last week, I had completely sucked at the chest press...I'd been successfully pressing 30 pound dumbbells with each arm so had tried to move up to 35 pounds but couldn't even get the buggers into the starting position.  Graham is really good about pushing me so I keep progressing so suggested that we try again...I was a little hesitant but thought about my post from last week...way better to try and suck, then to not try at all, right?  So dutifully I tried again and guess what?!  I was able to get two sets of six reps!  My arms were shaking the whole time and he had to help me a bit but whatevs...I did it!  I think the headiness of reaching that next step gave me a buy from attempting a pull up this week, but methinks I may not be as lucky next week.  And who knows...maybe I might surprise myself?  Here's to hoping.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Where the Magic Happens

A few weeks ago on my way back from Maui, Hubs and I had a bit of a layover in Seattle.  Now normally I don't mind this...Seattle has a fabulous airport, and every time we fly through there I always stop by this cool knickknack store called Fireworks.  As I browsed through the store leisurely, I found these cards with all sorts of cool sayings and one in particular jumped out at me...

This quote really struck home for me.  Over the past few years, I've made some pretty concerted efforts to get outside of my comfort zone and force myself to do things that I otherwise wouldn't.  I guess my theory is that if you don't try, you never know what could happen...and I would honestly way rather try and suck than never try at all.  Case in point...swimming lessons.  I'm back in the pool again and this instructor is different than the one I took the first few sessions with.  He's hilarious, and pushes us just a wee smidge but not too much.  A few weeks ago, he announced we were going into the deep end of the swimming pool and I could honestly feel my tiny little landlubber heart shrivel up in fear.  Holy crap, did he just say the deep end?!  Dutifully - because I hate to disappoint people - I strapped on my water belt AND hot pink pool noodle and waded into the deep end, squelching the desire to complete lose my shit and start screaming, sobbing or some combination of both.  Admittedly, I was terrified...absolutely and positively terrified, even though I knew I wouldn't drown...and I freaked out and got a bit panicky.  As we ended our session and I headed back to the shallow end, I made a realization...I just swam in the deep end for the first time ever in my middle aged life!  OK, I had a water belt and pool noodle but I did it.  As I swam out, I felt a total rush that I had conquered a life long fear and I didn't die!  I didn't die, people!  The next week I went in with just the water belt and felt pretty comfortable, and then last week we went in with just the pool noodle...I felt a little bit scared still with just the noodle, but baby steps, right?  And it's hilarious because I think the instructor knew I was pretty scared so each session he comes over and pre-warns me so I can psyche myself up.  Ha!

Speaking of baby steps, even though I try to go outside of my comfort zone often, I'm not immune to being a big old chicken at times.  Last week I was working out with my personal trainer (also hired because I want someone to push me to the point of being "manageably uncomfortable", as he likes to put it) and one of the goals I stated I wanted to accomplish was to be able to do a strict unassisted pull-up.  We've been working on this since June, doing set after set of assisted pull-ups and negative pull-ups (which, if you've never done them, super duper suck and shred your arms to bits).  So you all know what's coming, right?  As I got up on the stool to start my negatives, Graham throws out casually that he thinks that I should be able to at least crank out one pull-up and hey, why don't I try?  Now I had the same terrified feeling that I had in the I stood on the stool and battled the conflicting feelings of not wanting to disappoint Graham by not trying but then the overwhelming fear that if I tried and failed and disappointed him anyways, I must have had that deer-in-headlights look because he relented and said OK...he'd let me off the hook this time, but as soon as November hit we were doing it, no ifs and or buts, young lady.  Afterwards I was a little mad at myself for being such an utter chickenshit, but mark my time I post, I'll have attempted my first unassisted pull-up.  Yep, I'm puttin' it out there, folks.  Better to try and fail than never try at all because you never know, right?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Oh Hi

Anyone out there?

Yep, another long unintended blogging break...every night I would get home and think oh, I should blog tonight, but for some reason I just can't seem to sit down and put the pedal to the medal.  I went for a walk with Kyla from Early Bird Fitness and she said the same's been a busy, busy, busy summer on work and personal fronts, and I've been pretty distracted.  Sorry, peeps.

So what's new with me then?  What have I been up to this summer?  Well, I'm almost at the end of my 18 personal training sessions and I looooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee iiiiiiiitttttt.  Super love it!  I don't know why I waited so long to give it a try...I love strength training and even though I was leery about working one on one with someone, it's been absolutely awesome.  The first little bit of working with a trainer is almost like dating someone new...will I like them?  Will they like me?  Will we get along?  Are we on the same page?  Luckily, things have totally worked out (I've heard nightmare stories that my friends have had with their trainers) and I've definitely made gains in strength and can really see and feel a difference.  I've signed up for another 20 sessions (poor Graham, he's really stuck with me now!!) and then will likely do once a week sessions just to make sure I maintain all the hard earned gains.  Not gonna lie, the workouts are super tough...I really have to push hard to get through some of the exercises and afterwards I look like a drowned rat with my hair plastered to my head and mascara running down my face but man, do I ever feel awesome afterwards!

Swimming.  Let's see...I took a break during the summer because I thought I would go practice on my own, and all I have to say is best laid plans.  I swam once on my own, so am going to sign up again for the beginner level.  I will learn how to swim and make it into the deep end at some point!

Hmm. Now that I'm typing all this, I'm realizing Fall isn't going to be all that slow either!  We've got a trip to Maui coming up in a few weeks (I can hardly wait to go!), a girl's trip to Vegas to celebrate my friend Christine turning 50, busy times at work, a very full workout schedule (bootcamp three mornings, strength training twice a week, running with Hubs one day and swimming lessons once  a week) and lots of busy-ness helping the parental units.  As the saying rest for the wicked, right?  Heh.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Big Girl Panties

OK does anyone hate the word "panties" as much as I do?  I don't know what it is but I've always hated that just has this weird connotation and just sounds so...awful.  Ha!  Total fingernails on chalkboard for me...Hubs always teases me by saying it over and over and making my skin crawl.  Monkey. 

Anyways...this week I ended up putting my big girl panties on (ugh) and...wait for it...went to the gym to work out by myself for the first time EVER.  I know!!  Crazy, right?  As I've mentioned previously, I have a horrible fear of the gym and am so intimidated, particularly when it comes to doing weights.  I have nightmares of making an idiot of myself, but one of the reasons why I wanted to work with a personal trainer was so I would learn how to use the equipment properly, and figure how to set it up myself.  My trainer and I have had a few scheduling conflicts so there's a two week break where we won't be meeting, and I figured you know what...I'm just going to bite the bullet and go to the gym on my own so I don't totally lose what we've worked together to build.  Of course I chose a Friday night because it's pretty quiet at that time, Hubs was out playing hockey anyways and there's not a lot of people around to see me make a fool out of myself.  I was actually a little surprised at how many people there were actually, as I expected to be the only one there...there were a fair number of young guys working out and I kept thinking OK...I'm old, well past my bar star days and have nothing else better to do on a Friday night but come on!  Shouldn't you young bucks be hanging out at the bars cruising chicks?  Anyways...I went through as many of the exercises that I could do that didn't require a spotter, and I didn't increase the weights too much as Graham wasn't there to watch my form or assist if I needed it.  One funny thing though...I wanted to try the deadlifts on my own but couldn't actually lift the trap bar out of the stand it was's not that heavy at 55 pounds, but it was awkward to lift out of the holder because I'm so short.  I attempted it twice and tried to look nonchalant when I couldn't get it out, all the while furtively looking around to see if anyone could see my failed attempts.  Trap bar fail undetected.  Whew.

So...pretty proud of myself that I went there and got 'er done.  Big girl panties solidly on.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Personal Training - Session 1

OK confession time here...I don't know what it is and I know one day...I will get over it, but I still feel crazy intimidated going into a gym setting.  I know, I know!  I need to freaking just get over it and put my big girl panties on, but seriously each and every time I have to go to anywhere that is vaguely gym-like, I have to psyche myself up to walk in the door.  I went to talk to a local gym recently about a membership and even as I was getting a tour of the facilities, I still felt nervous and broke out in a cold sweat.  Somehow the gym still brings back horrible memories of high school gym class fails and even though I know that no one is watching me and judging, I cannot seem to get over it.  Confession over.  Ha! 

So I'm totally hoping that I'm going to like working with a personal trainer.  I'd been thinking about it for ages and finally decided to bite the bullet back in February.  I really enjoy working out in a group setting but thought that working one on one might be good for a change of pace.  I hate to disappoint people so tend to work way harder for someone else, I like having someone working with me because I'm a chickenshit and hate being alone in the gym (ha!) and because I'm more of an introverted personality, might find for strength training that a personal trainer would be better. I typically hate having any attention on me, but having a personal trainer means I kinda have to get over that.   At first I was wondering if I would feel uncomfortable being the only person that Graham was focussing on (and seeing me make my ugly I'm-calling-on-my-ancestors-to-get-me-through-this-last-rep face) but after the first class I realized it was a different kind of attention.  We're working together and I'm fairly certain he's not thinking in his head "holy crap, is she ever weak" or "wow, those shorts don't do her any favours!" but critiquing my form and thinking of things that would help me obtain my goals. 

Tuesday's session was actually technically the first session, but Friday was the first day where I really had to put the pedal to the metal.  We're doing a split workout routine so upper one session, lower the next so Friday's session was upper.  Exercises we did were:

Overhead shoulder press
Chin ups (ack!!!)
Alternating chest press
Barbell row
Cable pull
Upper back face pull
Hanging chair raise

How was it?  Well I gotta say...I am so very glad that the gym was virtually empty because my chin ups were pretty pathetic!  I pushed pretty hard on the shoulder press so when I got to the chin ups, it took every fibre of my being to do six very weak chin ups.  Blargh.  But overall, I really liked the exercises...they were all quite different than what I had done before and Graham really took into account the issues I brought up (upper back and shoulder weakness, posture) while still keeping in mind the goal to become stronger and more muscular overall.  Or, as he named this program "Buff"...hah!

So how am I feeling?  Yesterday morning I was barely sore, so I was wondering maybe if I didn't push hard enough.  I admit I was worried about overdoing it on my shoulder so may have held back a wee bit but lo and I'm sore like crazy (hello my old friend DOMS...haven't seen you in quite awhile!) and I can barely raise my arms above my head, but no shoulder pain!  None!  I might not be able to shampoo my hair for a few days in the shower, but I'm super happy and stoked about my shoulder.  Must be sure to tell Graham the good news!

The other thing I'm going to really work hard on is my use in paying for all these sessions and working out so hard to undo it with bad eating.  I hadn't really thought about it as I had figured that my diet is pretty darn healthy and clean since Hubs and I changed how we eat the past year or so but if I'm really trying to build muscle Graham suggested I need to up my protein intake to around 1 gram per pound of body weight...nutrition is key to building muscle.  One gram per pound means 120 grams of protein per day which is quite a lot but if that's what it takes, that what it takes.  I figure if I'm spending all this time and money on these sessions, that to see the full effect of the training I should do what it takes to reach my goals so protein shakes, here I come!

Soooo...Tuesday is lower body.  Excited to see what the workout will be!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Fresh Start

Where to start, where to start...I guess I should start with an apology for my lack of bloggingness lately!  Things have been crazy the past few months with a change in work duties, parental health issues and just general overall life, and I seemed to have lost my mojo for blogging.  And I have to apologize to all those amazing bloggers out there for my lack of commenting...I've been keeping up on blogs through Feedly and there's no ability to comment easily, so I read and don't comment and I feel awful, like some creepy lurker.  Ha!  But I'm still keeping up on the goings on, and sending my support and love to you all.

So what's new with me?  Still at the swimming...I am learn how to do the front crawl if it kills me!  I fully admit that I was getting incredibly frustrated because I was not getting it.  What has me stumped?  How to roll my body when I swim so I can breathe, which is a very important function when you're in the water, hee hee.  After trying and trying and swallowing more chlorinated water than I care to admit (ick) and getting frustrated beyond belief, I decided to pull things back and work on breathing until finally the last class I was able to sorta kinda do it!  Third time is the charm...this is the third time I've taken the beginner swimming class and hope with a little extra practice, I might go into the deep end for the first time, ever.  Eeeee.

The other thing that's new?  I finally bit the bullet and have signed on to work with a personal trainer!  I know myself and I work way harder when I'm working out with an instructor so figured this would keep me on track with building up my strength...left to my own devices, I'm way easier on myself than someone else would be.  I'm back at PISE, and actually had my first session tonight.  We mostly chatted to get a better idea of where I was at, even though I had sent the poor guy an extremely verbose email about my current physical pursuits and goals for these sessions...while I'm not looking to lose any weight (and am OK with gaining weight even!), my main goal is to improve my strength and become more muscular overall.  I'm back to being a bit "soft", shall we say?  I really enjoyed strength training last year with Josh and loved being stronger overall.  Anyways, my trainer Graham and I did some strength assessments tonight and I came up excellent in grip strength and flexibility (not surprising as I'm hypermobile) and very good for my age group as far as push ups...somewhere, somehow, I was able to pull off 21 good form full pushups from the toes and needed to eke out 3 more for excellent...not bad for an old bat like me!  We did a few other exercises like deadlifts and squats just so he could get a rough idea of where I was at with things and we dive in with an upper body workout on Friday.  Woohoo!  I'm pretty excited about these sessions, so look out for lots of verbose (tee hee!) updates on what we're up to.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Hey folks!  I know...I've been on an unplanned blogging hiatus, and you know how once you get out of the habit of something, it's kinda hard to get back into it...amirite?  I've had a lot of things cross my mind lately that I think man, I gots to blog about that but then when it comes time to sit down and put the pedal to the metal, the motivation leaves me.  I actually keep a list of blog topics on my phone...yes, I'm a little anal like that, but inspiration hits me at the weirdest times and...well, my iPhone is attached to me like another limb so in it goes.  I was going to write about something a bit more heavy and serious for my first post back after awhile, but I saw another one of favourite 'getting to know you' thingies and had to do it...HAD TO.

1.  What are you wearing?
Navy blue sweatshirt that says "BCSPCA" on the front and sweatpants.  I'm sexy like that.

2.  Ever been in love?

3.  Ever had a terrible breakup?
It wasn't a terrible breakup as in "throwing vases at his head" kinda deal, but it wasn't great either.  Basically the boy liked someone else who actually happened to be another girl I was friends with, and he'd be calling her whilst hanging with me and apparently cheating on me with a different girl.  All's well that ends well though, as I ended up marrying that friend's cousin.  Happy ending!

4.  How tall are you?
Technically 5' 1/2'', but I round up to 5'2''.

5.  How much do you weigh?
Gah!  I'm putting it out there...121 pounds.

6.  Any tattoos?

7.  Any piercings?
Double pierced ears.

8.  Favourite song?
Right now, it's "Happy" by Pharrell actually makes me happy hearing that song and I can't help but dance a little.

9.  Quality you'd look for in a partner?

10.  Favourite quote?
"Someone out there is praying for something you take for granted."

11.  Favourite actor?
Hugh Jackman.  Dreamy sigh.

12.  Loud music or soft?
Soft.  Hate loud noises and am regularly telling Hubs to turn the TV down!

13.  Where do you go when you're sad?
My car...when I need to think things through, I always go for a long drive.

14.  How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?
Depends...on a bootcamp morning, 30 mins...any other morning more like 40.  Hey, this mop of hair ain't gonna do itself!

15.  Ever been in a physical fight?

16.  Turn on?
Someone with sparkly, happy eyes that crinkle when they smile...I'm looking at you, George Clooney.

17.  Turn off?
Gnarly breath.

18.  Fears?
Heights and spiders.

19.  Last thing that made you cry?
Watching the winners cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, especially Meb's reaction...gets me every time!

20.  Last time you said you loved someone?
This morning to Hubs as he left for work.

21.  Meaning behind your YouTube name?
I don't have a YouTube name, but I do have a Twitter handle, Cindoise.  My friend Val and I were talking one day many moons ago and I was bemoaning my name as it invokes visions of Cindy Brady (bleh), Cindy Lou Hoo from Hooville and all things cute and pert and unsophisticated, so she started calling me Cindoise to zhush it up and to this day it stuck.

22.  The relationship between you and the person you last texted?

23.  Favourite food?
Sushi and all things Japanese.

24.  Place you want to visit?
China...I so want to do a tour there from north to south!

25.  Do you have a crush?
Of course.  But it's a secret.  Tee hee.

26.  Last time you kissed someone?
See #20!

27.  Last time you were insulted?
Ha!  Well a certain co-worker of mine insults me all the time, but it's always in good fun.  I can't remember the last time I was insulted for reals, but I try not to let crap like that get to me.

28.  Favourite piece of jewellery?
My wedding ring.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hen Party

You know sometimes when the thing that you need the most, comes along at just the right time?  That happened to me today.  I admit...I've been pretty stressed the last little while with all the stuff going down my mom.  It's a weird thing to take the role as the parent all of sudden, and the realization that your parents are growing older and won't be around forever dawns on you.  I guess sometimes as we grow older and get busy with our own lives, we forget that our parents too, are growing older as well.  Anyways, that combined with dealing with some people's idiocies this past week (grrrrrr!) and a persistent headache that just wouldn't go away not matter what I did...I felt exhausted and wanted to hole up at home and shut the whole world out.

This morning I got up to start my usual weekend cooking routine and was just getting into it when I heard my phone ping.  All of sudden, my phone went crazy...pingpingpingping!  I picked up my phone to check it out and two of my oldest friends were messaging back and forth and had looped myself and another friend into the conversation.  Now these friends are some of the very oldest friends I have...I met these guys thirty years ago when I was fifteen, and somehow through marriages, babies, rough times and just the overall hectic thing we call daily life, we've still kept in touch.  Anyways, the planets aligned today because even though getting us all together at the same time is like herding cats, we were all free and around our phones when someone threw out the words "anyone wanna go for brekkie?" 

Now even though I was knee deep in cooking and the kitchen was a disaster, I realized that this exactly what the doctor ordered.  Hubs is amazing and is so supportive, but sometimes you just need time with your girlfriends, so I dropped everything and headed out the door.  I know!  For those that know me personally, I am incredibly anal (and borderline OCD) about tidiness, so to leave the kitchen in a mess is a big ass deal. I sat there today and spent time with my fabulous friends, I could feel my batteries recharging and it was exactly what I needed to get on with the week ahead.  It was perfect timing and I loved how it was just so spur of the moment...somehow it just made it all that much better, like a really pleasant surprise.  So thanks E, C and'll never know how much it meant to see you all you guys!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Goals - Checking In

Yikes...have definitely not been very good with blogging lately, have I?  Things have been insane in my life...working through my mom's health issues has really sapped my energy, but I've managed to stay relatively sane by working out and getting out my stress that way.  I've been a total beast at bootcamp and throwing all the craziness into my workouts and it's been so helpful...I think even Jason gave me a little nod of approval when I was taking no prisoners one morning and slamming out chest to floor burpees like nobody's business.  Ha!

So instead of recapping Week 8 and 9, I thought I'd update quickly on how I've been doing with my 2014 goals! 

1.  Take Swimming Lessons
Done!  I've finished the first session of swim lessons and am crazy loving it...I've managed to get to the point where I can swim on my side and rotate onto my stomach, but not rotate from side to side yet.  I've signed up for the beginner class again, and am gonna keep on taking it until I'm comfortable enough to swim in the deep end and move to the next level.  I don't care if it takes me all stinkin' year, but I is learning how to swim if it kills me!

2.  Take CPR Course
Haven't signed up for anything yet, but absolutely on the radar.

3.  Volunteer for a Food Related Cause
Le sigh.  For some reason, there are not a lot of food related causes that I can volunteer for on evenings or weekends!  I know!  I'd love to work in a soup kitchen or something so I can put my mad cooking skillz to work, but no go...lots of stuff out there but always during the day.  I'll keep trying!  Some good news though on the volunteer front...I've been asked to help handing out medals for the Times Colonist 10K!  I guess I was a medal giving machine at the Goodlife Victoria marathon last year, so have been recruited to work at the TC10K this year.  Normally there's no medal at this race, but because it's a commemorative year, there are medals and a half marathon distance.  So cool and am so excited.

4.  Improve Mobility and Posture
I've been stretching, rollering and lacrosse balling like it's my job...every night I sit down in from of the TV and spend at least 20 minutes working on my mobility...I went to my physio today and great news...she was super duper impressed with my hip stability and how I was moving through my upper back and thoracic area!  Hurray!  My right shoulder and lower back were a little tight so she did a few needles and some stretching, but the last few times I've seen her things have been pretty good.  Not sure what happened though but tonight as I got up from the couch, my left knee twinged weird and it hurts a bit now when I walk on it...gah!  I immediately got some ice and Traumeel on it...I'm sure I'm overreacting and it's likely just a little niggle, but I'm taking no chances.

5.  Floss Once a Day
Flossing like a rock star...can't wait to see my dentist and show him how awesome I've been doing...maybe I'll even make patient of the month...ha!

6.  Jars of Awesomeness
I've had a lot to be grateful for the past little while, so my Jar of Gratefulness has been filling up quite nicely.  And so far, I've got forty two smackaroos to my name in my workout jar...not bad!

Oh!  and some other news...have signed up and paid for 18 personal training sessions at PISE!  I decided to bite the bullet and just do it, and actually pre-paying for it means I'm committed to doing this.  I'm making sure I'm totally healthy physically before I start...I asked my physio today if there's anything I should concentrate on, and she said neck and head positioning, thoracic strength/mobility and scapular a lot of upper body stuff.  Can't wait!

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 - Week 7 Recap

When it rains, it definitely pours!  These past few months have really been a challenge on the parental dad has had some chronic health issues for years, which unfortunately came to a head at the very end of 2013 resulting in a trip to emergency.  Thankfully things are in control now and he's doing OK but I guess the parent health gods have decided to really test my mettle and my mom is now dealing with health issues which also resulted in a trip to emergency the other night.  After seven and a half hours sitting in emergency with my mom, we were released and she's doing OK so far, thank goodness. We're running tests on her to see where things are at because my mom is also one of those people who never, ever, ever go see the doctor.  Like as in ever.  Soooo, things are complicated to say the least, and me being the only child here in town with her (she speaks almost no English), I've been helping her out with this whole situation as daughter/translator.

So...why am I blabbering on about this?  Well, as you can imagine I'm stressed to the gills...worried about my parents, frustrated because my Chinese sucks (even though it has improved greatly over the past few weeks!) and tired beyond belief.  It was interesting because the one thing that has been my saving grace is see, for me exercise is the one thing that I can guarantee will make me feel better when I'm feeling this way.  It clears my head, gets me outside in the fresh air...just the feeling of putting one foot in front of another is like recharging me somehow and makes me feel like I can handle things far better.   In the days after the issues with my mom started up, all I wanted to do was to get outside and move my body.   I was desperately looking forward to my first bootcamp after my mom's trip to Emergency, and it was weird because I should have been dog tired after class...Jason ran, burpeed and get out of bedded us to death, but I felt so much better after and ready to deal with things.  So I'm posting this to say that I'm so incredibly thankful that I have exercise as part of my life and that it truly is something I'm so grateful for.  And yes, I did put a note in my Jar of Awesomeness about this...hah!

So last week's workouts:

Sunday:  strength
Love strength work day!  Shoulder is feeling good so I bit the bullet and have committed to personal training at PISE!  Yay!  OK, I've committed verbally so it's not fully a done deal...but as soon as I hand over the old credit card, the deal is sealed.  Look out for some posts on how I'm doing with that.

Monday:  rest
Hubs and I made a deal that if we made sure we worked out Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday, we could sleep in on Monday...and sleep in we did.  Ha!

Tuesday:  treadmill

Wednesday:  bootcamp/swimming
More side swimming and have added in rotating from my side to my front...I can only do that for one side though before I start flubbing things up.  So much coordination!

Thursday:  rest

Friday:  bootcamp

Saturday:  10K run
I gotta say...our running has not been at the levels it used to be at in terms of frequency or intensity, but it's all good.  Just getting ourselves out there is the key thing or at least that's what I keep telling myself.  Ha! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 - Week 6 Recap

Happy Family Day, folks!  I've been waiting for this day hasn't seemed to have slowed down much lately and I was super duper crazy looking forward to hanging out with Hubs today with nothing to do, and that's EXACTLY what I've done today.  Yesterday I was a woman possessed...I had a to do list a mile long because I wanted nothing, nothing that would niggle me and call my name as I sat around on my duff today.  After a luxurious sleep in this morning, I whipped up a yummy breakfast of gluten, egg and dairy free pancakes (super delish!), homemade hash browns and bacon.  Yep, we had our defense it was the low sodium version and it was fab-u-lous.  Hah!  Anyways, I'm glorying in today's downtime to just do whatever strikes my fancy...sometimes you just need these kind of days that recharge your batteries.


Just checked...$27 in my workout jar so far...yeehaw!

Sunday - strength
It's like it's meant to April my annual membership that I have with my bootcamp runs out, and I was thinking that I might do try something different.  I'd still like to go to bootcamp some days because I love the cardio workout so will get a per class punchcard, but I'd been sort of thinking about doing some personal training once my membership runs out.  Well, in the latest PISE newsletter there's a deal going on where if I sign up for 16 sessions, I get two extra!  I've been wanting to do this for awhile now because I really wanted to focus on building strength and if I start in April, that will give my right shoulder ample time to really get healed up.  So...I think I'm gonna do it!  A combo of strength training at PISE, a few bootcamp sessions per week, runs with Hubs and swimming...perfect!  I'd been feeling in a bit of a funk with my workouts lately so this adds some variety...variety is the spice of life, right?

Monday - circuit

Tuesday - rest

Wednesday - circuit/swimming
Brrrrrr...Victoria was hit last week with a bit of a cold spell.  OK, OK...for those that live in the prairies, minus 10 is not that cold but us coastal folks are not used to it, and it's a damp kinda cold!  Whine.  Anyways, D wasn't feeling all that hot and it was freaking cold so I decided to do a circuit at home.  Evening was swim class...I have to say, I'm super loving the swim classes and look forward to them!  I feel like a bit of a fraud though...having taken lessons before, everything we've done up to this point I already knew how to do so my instructor treats me like some kind of superstar student when I'm soooo not.  This class I actually got to try something new and I nailed it!  I was never able to get the hang of swimming on my side before, and finally got the hang of it and was swimming on my side like nobody's business.  Small victories, folks...ha!

Thursday - rest

Friday - bootcamp

Saturday - circuit

Woohoo, our month anniversary for our gluten, egg and dairy free living!  So how's it been, you ask?  So far, it's been not too bad...sometimes it gets a bit hard when you see ads for stuff like pizza on TV, but there's enough options nowadays that it hasn't been that hard.  Allergen free products have really, really come a long way in the past five years...when I did my food sensitivity testing previously, I had to cut out wheat, egg and dairy (amongst other things) and there was basically tapioca bread (truly awful) and these crackers that tasted like twigs.  Blah.  Hubs' skin has improved a still gets red some days but it feels a lot smoother and less dry and flaky then it has before.  And there's so many recipes out there that we can still eat...I went to a Mexican food cooking class last week because I figured it would be free of gluten, eggs and dairy or I could make modifications.  Class was fabulous, and I made everything from the class this week...who said you had to feel deprived?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 - Week 5 Recap

Oy vey...watching the Superbowl and while a tiny part of me is kinda happy that the Seahawks are winning, I feel a wee bit bad for Hubs because the Broncos are his boys...and I do kinda like Peyton.  I have that vaguely sinking feeling that I did when I watched the Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup in 2011...argh, must go lie down in the fetal position NOW...still not over it.  Sigh.

Anyways, short and sweet recap this week...


Sunday:  strength
So far, so good...I kept the weights relatively light still and added just a teensy bit more!  Things felt a bit tight after but I made sure I did lots of stretching and mobility and my shoulder and glutes are still feeling OK.  I keep having to remind myself to be patient...I've been off with some sort of injury or another since June, so I need to just GO SLOW.

Monday:  treadmill

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: bootcamp/swim class
Killer bootcamp class with Jason!  It was pouring rain out so we worked out underneath cover of the stadium at one of our was all legs and I was absolutely wiped out for the rest of the day.  Evening was swim class...have now progressed to kicking and stroking with arms!  There are only six sessions so I'm at the halfway point...I'm thinking I'm not going to master breathing or feel comfortable enough going into the deep end, so I'm going to sign up for another few more sessions.

Thursday: rest

Friday: bootcamp

Saturday: 10K run
Still feeling like I'm going through the motions a bit...I've got more of my mojo back, but this run was not one of our most stellar.  Both Hubs and I felt a bit meh...normally when we're running, it goes by relatively quickly...this time it felt like forever until we were done! 


Hubs is doing so awesome, I can't get over it.  No cheats or cravings on the "free" diet, even though I did discover that the cookies that I thought were gluten free, weren't (they were, in my defense, egg and dairy free though).  His skin is looking awesome and he's had another positive side effect...he's dropped some weight!  I was looking at Hubs the other day and noticed that his clothes looked looser and voila...five pounds lost just like that!  I'm sure cutting back all the carbs and reducing the inflammation has helped.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

2014 - Week 4 Recap

OK, who the heck came up with a five day work week?  A three day weekend would be just perfect...a day to hang out and do stuff, a day to do chores and errands, and then another day to just get to hang out and chill.  Either that or I need to get myself a wife...ha!  Anyways, I'm slowly getting my mojo back and feeling more spritely than I have in is still busy but I've had a bit more down time so it's helped.


Sunday: strength workout
Wow...that Functional Movement class I did at PISE had made a huge difference with my shoulder!  I think whatever my physio did the last time I saw her really helped to loosen things up, but it just needed that final oomph and I think the class was the piece de resistance.  The next day my shoulder felt like a million bucks with no pain.  I added in a tiny bit more weight with my shoulder exercises and so far, so good. 

Monday: bootcamp

Tuesday: rest
I went to go see my physio and...drumroll please...I'm looking and moving awesome!  I told her about my shoulder and how the areas that have been bugging me have been fine the past few weeks, even though I was in a bit of trouble the last time I saw her and wasn't moving well.  She said I had a tiny bit of tightness in my hips, but otherwise I only needed to see her on an as needed basis now.  Yippppeeeee!  I think the regular visits combined with regular stretching and mobility drills (regular as in every single night) has made all the difference. 

Wednesday: swim class
Second swim class!  So much fun...we graduated from gliding with a floating device to using nothing and kicking our feet.  And I've met some pretty nice people in class, especially my Russian friend.  Last week she was terrified...this week after class she was saying how awesome it was.  So amazing to see!

Thursday: Functional Movement PISE nothing (boo) I had feared, class was cancelled due to low registration.  I emailed PISE because I wanted to give them some feedback on how great I thought the class was, and told them about how the one class made all the difference in my shoulder, and that I'm using those techniques daily.  I wanted them to know that the class was very worthwhile to run, possibly only for a few sessions or as a one time workshop.  Anyways, they were happy to hear how much it had helped me and said they would likely run it as a workshop...hooray!

Friday: bootcamp

Saturday: 10K run
Woohoooo!  First longer run in almost three weeks.  For one reason or another, Hubs and I haven't been able to get outside to run since New Year's Day.  I know!!  A travesty.  It felt great to just get out there and I'm feeling pretty good soreness or pain.

Week Three of "Free" living has been good...we've both been able to stick with our changes, and Hubs is starting to notice a bit of a difference with his skin...yay!  I was looking at his neck the other day and normally it's reddish...this week, the skin colour looked normal and it wasn't dry or flaky but felt smooth.  I truly think this will make a difference in how he feels...we went out for dinner on Saturday night and while he tried to choose items that were "free", sometime things might slip in there and he noticed his skin itching a bit, whereas it wasn't before.  Small successes but it all counts.  Now the big question is...what gluten, egg, nut and dairy free options are there for Superbowl Sunday?!  Hmmm...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

2014 - Week 3 Recap

Just going to start this post off by saying woohoo, go Seahawks AND go Broncos!  During the NHL strike when I was dying for any kind of sports to watch (no baseball though...blargh I hate baseball), I started to tune into football and am slowly, slowly figuring out football and...dare I say it...I kinda like it.  Shhhhh...don't tell Hubs.  Hee hee.


Sunday:  strength
Slowly, slowly, slowly I'm adding strength back into my workouts and not lifting too heavy to start.  At this point I'm not trying to gain any muscle or really build a ton of strength or anything, but just to maintain my current level of strength right now.  My shoulder is feeling a lot better but I really want to get to the point where my physio is really happy with how I'm doing before I start adding a lot of hoping that if I work hard over the next while and get things under control, I'm thinking about doing some personal training starting in the spring!  Once a week weight sessions just to keep me committed.

Monday:  bootcamp
First bootcamp in the new year!  It was a super rainy and windy morning, but strangely I feel super badass when I'm out there running around in the crappy weather.

Tuesday:  rest

Wednesday:  treadmill a.m./swim class
Wooohooooo!!  First swim class...I gotta say, I was actually more nervous taking the Olympic weightlifting class than I was swimming.  Weird, hey?  Anyways, I got to the rec centre super early to make sure I got the lay of the land...I'm taking this class by myself so always feel a bit nervous as I don't know what to expect!  I managed to get myself changed and out into the pool was a bit disconcerting because it was SO incredibly busy...zillions of kids taking lessons, so there were lots of parents sitting off to the side watching and people just hanging out in the whirlpool.  I ended up skulking over to the area where people were waiting for the instructor, and managed to strike up a conversation with someone else in the class...whew!  It helped to ease my nerves a bit that I'd made a friend, haha.  There were about ten people in the class, and the instructor split us up according to our level of experience...I've taken lessons before but decided that I just wanted to start from square one and ended up with two other total noobs.  One of the other noobs was a Russian girl who was absolutely terrified...she could barely stick her face in the water without absolutely losing her shit and freaking out.  We started off with just floating, and it was cool because there was one point where she managed to stick her face in and float for just a few seconds...both the instructor and I were cheering her on, and next thing you know, she was floating like nobody's business!  It was cool to see someone who was so terrified make so much progress in just one session. 

Anyways, the first class was floating and gliding, which I was pretty OK with.  I gotta say, it was a ton of fun and I'm so glad I took the step to sign up for lessons.

Thursday:  PISE
Second new thing of the week!  I signed up for a sample class at PISE for a Functional Movement and Mobility class...I was intrigued when I read the course description:

"Already have a solid training routine but feeling a few aches and pains? Functional Movement and Mobility is the key to giving your body the TLC it needs to facilitate recovery and maintain optimal functioning. Our instructor will lead participants through concise and coordinated movements aimed at improving current motor patterns and facilitating an increase in mobility and functional stability."

Hmmm....sounds right up my alley!  I wasn't sure what to expect but the class was awesome.  We did a bunch of dynamic stretches and then lead into a lot of mobility drills and stuff like foam rollering to loosen things up and free up restricted areas.  I felt like a million bucks after the class was over...I decided to sign up because the day after, my shoulder which was ached every day for the last three months, felt absolutely amazing!  I'm not sure how much interest there's been in this class but I hope it's not a "bootcamp" style class but I think people need to pay more attention to this kind of stuff in order to prevent injuries. 

Friday:  circuit
I know...I shoulda gone to bootcamp but my bootcamp buddy D was still sidelined with sickness and I decided to work out in my nice, warm basement.  Yes, I suck.

Saturday:  circuit
Poor Hubs...he's had his share of back troubles this week...he had two ribs out which was locking up his back and causing him so much discomfort!  He decided he didn't want all the jarring from running, so we ended up working out at home...him on the stationery bike and I did a circuit. 

Week two of "free" living has been good...Hubs has been a trooper and is sticking to his new routine no problem, and I've managed to stay totally egg and dairy free this week and I totally feel the difference!  My face (especially under my eyes) and waist were so puffy from the dairy (and sugar) overload I was on during Christmas, and I'm starting to deflate and am feeling really good.  Hubs hasn't noticed much of a difference yet, but I'm hoping that maybe after a month or so when the inflammation has had a chance to settle down, his skin will get better. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why I Love Sports

I admit it, I wasn't always a sports fan.  In fact, I would say I was the exact opposite and just couldn't be bothered.  But over the past few years, I seem to have become a sports addict...I would say 90% of the time, our TV is on Sportsnet, TSN or CBC.  I got hooked a few years ago on hockey (Canucks, I am your number one fan!) and have developed a whole new appreciation for what it takes to compete as an elite athlete...I think a piece of it is that I truly admire what athletes can do with their bodies.  I'm no athlete, but I've tasted a tiny piece of what it is like to push your body to its limits when I ran the marathon, so have a whole new appreciation for people who push their bodies to the limit every single day.  The other thing that I love about sports is how it can bring people together...we all remember how sports helped people heal after the Boston marathon tragedy...I still can't hear the song Sweet Caroline without getting a teeny bit verklempt.  And the Olympics...anyone remember Vancouver 2010 and how everyone under the sun was wearing the Canada gear, and how the whole nation cheered as one when Sid the Kid scored the golden goal?  But the thing that makes me appreciate sports the most is how it can help people see their full potential and truly believe in this commercial and see for yourself.

So inspiring.  Go Seahawks (and Broncos!).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 - Week 1/2 Recap

Well I gotta admit...the first week and a half of 2014 haven't been the best as far as working out and eating well have gone.  Still suffering from a post holiday hangover, even the promise of the new year wasn't enough to get me really motivated.  I don't know why, but this December really took it out of me...all I wanted to do after Christmas was over was to crawl into a cave, curl up into the fetal position and hide from everyone.  Ha!  It's been tough to fit in workouts as both Hubs and I have been feeling under the weather, so while I've worked out, it definitely hasn't been with any real intensity.  I've just been so meh.  And...I gotta admit, my food has been pretty crappy as well...way too much dairy and sugar and I've been feeling like a big Asian dumpling, but not in the good kinda way.

In an effort to get myself motivated, I decided to do a vision board...I've been wanting to do one of these for ages but for some reason I feel like I can only do one at the start of the new year.  I know, I'm so weird!  I was totally inspired one night when I saw a Facebook post by some of the bootcamp crew.  It actually came together pretty easily...I thought I'd have one or two things to put on there, but as I thumbed through various magazines, I was cutting tons of pictures out and slapping them down.  It's interesting because to someone other than me, all they may see is pictures of girls working out and some beaches...but that's the beauty of the vision board.  Each picture has a special meaning to you, and if nothing else it gets you to think about what you really want.  I'm not done yet as there's a few other things I want to add on there.

not the final one but it's a good start!  yep, that's a girl doing
a of my bucket list items!

Even though I haven't been working out with any real vigour, I have managed to save $7 in my awesome jar!  And a couple of notes are in my gratitude jar.  These jars are right next to the couch where I do my blogging so they're a great visual reminder of my commitment to supreme awesomeness.  Ha!

Alrighty.  So I'm not going to do a full recap of the last week and a half as...well, I haven't done much exciting worth writing about....but with the dietary change from my last post, getting back into bootcamp and my first swimming lesson coming up this week (egads, what have I done?!), there will be some foibles to report, I'm sure. 

Oh, and today is Day One of dairy/gluten/egg/soy/nut free living.  So far, so good!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Eating Clean 2014

So remember how last year Hubs and I completely revamped how we ate?  Well, it's Eating Clean on steroids for 2014!  Poor Hubs has suffered for years with really bad skin...he has excema so bad that his skin is thick in spots and is red, raw and cracks and bleeds on a regular basis.  It gets particularly bad on his neck and face, and I always feel so awful for him because it keeps him up at night and I can hear him scritchscritchscritch-ing.  Last year he had a bout that was so bad that it looked like open skin, and no amount of creams, lotions or cortisone seemed to help.  Knowing how much food sensitivity testing helped me, I suggested that he go to my naturopath and get himself tested.  One thing that my naturopath had said to me that really stuck with me was that if my skin was irritated on the outside, could you imagine what was happening on my insides.

So what were the results?  Well, I'm glad that we'd already changed our diet quite a bit because the changes, if we had to make them cold turkey, probably would have been pretty difficult.  Here is the list of things he shouldn't eat:

Wheat (gluten specifically)
Eggs (super bad for him)
Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds

At first I was like, what can he eat?!  And garlic, the best thing on earth?  I could almost hear my heart shattering in my little garlic infused chest.  Basically the naturopath said paleo...fruits, veggies and meat, but Hubs also had high cholesterol and triglycerides, and cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs over the past while brought his numbers to well within normal range.  Argh.  What to do, what to do...after doing a little research, I realized there is still a lot of things he can still eat...grains like amaranth, buckwheat and oats are still OK (even though he has to be careful with oats), fish is good and beans are still a go.  So basically what this means is that our diet is going to be pretty darn's going to be mostly fish, beans, tons of fruits and veggies, some whole grains/seeds like quinoa and amaranth and some very lean poultry occasionally (chicken or turkey breast).  Basically we were already egg and dairy free (except for some cheats during the holidays, oops), so it is mostly a case of taking out wheat, nuts and soy, which was a fairly large portion of our diet and significant source of our protein. 

While this may sound really restrictive, I'm actually kind of excited about it.  Firstly, because I want to get Hubs' skin under control, and I think he could really feel amazing once we get rid of a lot of the inflammation that these foods are causing.  He's tired a lot too, so I'm sure that taking these things out of his diet, at least for a little while, will really help.  I love to see physical changes as a result of a healthy lifestyle change, and Hubs' is all gung ho and wants to make these changes too.  He's such a trooper!  Secondly, I'm happy to eat better as well and this will really force me to stick with the egg and dairy free thing to support Hubs.  It's easy to cheat when it's just me, but when it's the both of us holding each other accountable, I feel bad.  The last month has been more egg and dairy laden than I'd like, and I can really see and feel the difference.  But the best part is that our diet will be even less processed, which is awesome! 

So there you go...we're doing this for three months and seeing what happens with Hubs, and will at that time also get his cholesterol and blood sugars tested to make sure we're still on track in that regard as well.  Hubs is also taking a probiotic and some other supplements recommended by our naturopath...we're starting this new regiment on Sunday.  For some reason, I have to start stuff like this at the beginning of the week.  Weird, I know.  Ha!

Eat Clean 2014, here we come!