I love when I beat my own record!

I am so excited! Last week I was able to complete my first full 5K without breaking to walk at all and I just felt absolutely on cloud 9! My time was 34:45 and I knew that was just the beginning. It was my personal record and my motivation to keep pushing forward with a number to beat.

Yesterday I ran another full 5K and cut a whole minute and twenty seconds from the time from the week before. Can you imagine how happy I was? It felt so good to get through it and look at the number 33:25 on the treadmill. YAY!

Now get this, today I went for another run because I missed my boxing class and despite being exhausted from what felt like a really loooooong week I was determined to at least match Thursday's time. I pushed through fatigue (and a wee bit of boredom) and just kept running despite wanting to slow down ( okay lets be honest, I wanted to stop altogether). I ran and ran and then ran some more and by the time I reached the five kilometre mark I was absolutely elated. My time:


I feel so great! I ran 14 km this week on top of my Pump and spinning classes and I just feel like I kicked some major ass this week!

Hope everyone is having an ass kicking week too! Happy Friday!


Serenity now, serenity now, serenity NOW!!!!

I am definitely having one of those days...you know, the kind where everything that has been a minor pain in the ass lately finally fills the box that you have been stuffing it into and the box just explodes!?! Ya, one of those kind of days.

I hate stress, for all the obvious reasons of course, but also because its makes me want to munch more damn cookies then the Cookie Monster himself. Within moments of crossing over the line of whats manageable in my day to day life I want cake and chocolate and candy and every other bloody thing I try to avoid on my better days. Its sooo annoying because if I do give in I just end up stressing some more about all the crap that I scarfed down in that moment of weakness.

What to do, what to do? Yoga perhaps? Meditation? Massage? Tranquilizers????

I take boxing which is a great stress reliever during the class (although it might prove to be dangerous for people who piss me off!) and running is a definite plus but I feel like I need something calming, something that lets me relax and just.let.it.all.go.

So tell me, whats your favorite way to relax and unwind when life gets crazzzzzzy?



The wheels on the bike go 'round and 'round...

I finally got around to trying a spinning class today. My best friend S has been raving about it for a long time and often gets up early on Sunday mornings to go so I figured it would be worth a try. Whoa! Definitely worth it. It was hard, but in that "that class just kicked my butt" kinda of way that makes every gruelling minute so bad that its good.

Happy to report that my thighs are sore, I was able to sweat up a storm and I will be going back next week for more!

Yay to finding a new activity to add to my routine. Oh and thanks S for inspiring me :)

So tell me, what exercise/activity are you currently super stoked about?


What is in a number? That which we call a healthy weight, by any other number would feel as sweet??

It's official... I am having BMI anxiety.

What's my healthy weight? How close is too close to the brink of being "overweight"? How does this stupid little calculation that only considers my height and current weight really feel that it has the right to deem me "normal"?

According to the BMI calculator that I used (and then double and triple checked with others on the web) I am normal but barely. In other words another 5lb mishap and I can kiss normal goodbye while wrapping my arms around "overweight" while shouting "Geez I really missed you!!!" Not a reunion I am looking forward to by any means.

I couldn't help but wonder (yes I am embracing my inner Carrie Bradshaw here) is this calculation an accurate indication of my current status? What about muscles...ya, you know those things I work my butt off building in Body Pump?? Don't they count for anything?

I will not be a slave to the BMI or a number on a scale! I am 5 foot freakin' 8 and I have toned arms and strong quadriceps and I weigh what I weigh because of those wonderful muscles that help me run and jump and dance and lift and squat and......I could go on.

So what now? Can I honestly be happy with my weight? I have said before that this is my "good for now" weight and I meant it. Its where I landed and have stayed for the last 6 months and my body seems to be happy here, at least for the mean time. Maybe I will lose 10 more pounds and I wouldn't mind that one little bit. But until then I am content with this and all the things that I can measure as success, like distance ran and pounds lifted. Those are going to be the true indicators of a healthy, happy me.


How am I doing? An update on my goals

In an earlier post I outlined some goals that I am working towards in order to keep me motivated on my journey towards a healthy and happier life. Here's an update of how I am doing so far:

-Exercise 4-5 times a week.

Check! Between cardio boxing, Pump class and running I am kicking butt on this one (I have the sore muscles to prove it!)

-Look back on my daily meals and know that I am getting plenty of vegetables, protein and fibre.

Check! I have been loading up on lots of good eats like steamed veggies, skinless chicken breast, whole grain bread, oatmeal and yogurt

-Get more calcium and vitamin D

Umm...sort of check. I have been taking a supplement for both but have forgotten more days then I'd like to admit too

-5K in 30 minutes or less by year end and 10K by spring

In progress....

-Call myself a runner

Check! My last post is proof of that particular declaration

So far I am feeling pretty good about the goals I have set out. I definitely haven't been perfect but I didn't expect to be. This is life, my life, and if I am being realistic I know that its not going to be flawless. But what it can be is pretty darn great and baby, I am on my way!!

PS Those dreaded 5lbs from my second post...4 of them are G-O-N-E!! Whooo hooo!


Popeye ain't got nothing on me...

Yum! I have really grown to love steamed spinach (and peppers) with lemon juice.
It tastes good and just makes me feel healthy, like my body knows that I am doing something super good for it and repays me by feeling more alive somehow. Call me crazy but its just not a feeling I get after inhaling a big bowl of Doritos and thats a good thing. I like that my body (and my taste buds) like this kind of food. Now don't get me wrong, I like a big ol' serving of Doritos too, its just nice that the good food choices aren't forced. It really helps me make the right choices when I know that I won't have to choke down my dinner.

Now to change the subject from food to exercise (my two most talked about topics these days!): I ran for a full 5K today. Yes you read that right my friends I ran every single step!! This is the very first time in my entire life that I have managed to run without breaking to walk for that long and it feels so fantastic to know that I did it. Eventually I want to run further and faster but for now I am just so darn proud of myself for this.

I really love being a runner! (See, I achieving one of my goals and calling myself a runner)

So tell me, what accomplishments are you most proud of right now???


If you need me I'll be in the bathroom...

It dawned on me a few days ago that while I eat healthy (most of the time), exercise (at least 4 hours a week) and get plenty of rest (I love my sleep!) I am completely overlooking a huge component in a healthy and balanced life...

I don't drink nearly enough water.


Looking back I am almost positive that there are days when I don't go to the gym and on those days I don't comsume any plain water...not a single drop!

*Double gasp*

Sure I get liquids but coffee, tea and Coke Zero really are no sustitute for refreshing, thirst quenching, sugar free (and aspartame free) water.

And voila! a solution is born (or bought at Canadian Tire for $12.99)

My goal is to drink at least 3 bottles (24oz per bottle) worth a day on top of any other beverages that I come across. This should help me kick the soda habit too because really, how much can a girl drink in 16 hours?

So here's to hydration...but if you need me I'll be in the ladies room.


She's talking about her thighs again....

This is my inspiration for today:

I have thunder thighs. And that's a compliment because they are strong and toned and muscular. And though they are unwelcome in the petite section they are cheered on in marathons. Fifty years from now I will bounce a grandchild on my thunder thighs and then I'll go for a run.

Happy Monday night everyone!!



Repeat after me: I will not get the flu, I will not get the flu...

I am determined to stay healthy this flu season. Every year for as long as I can remember I have had at least one knock me down, drag me out kind of flu that has left me miserable for days on end. When I get sick, I get SICK. Aches and pains, fever, short of breath, heachache, exhaustion, the whole nine yards. Its awful and I have had enough. So listen up flu virus, you pesky little sh*t, you are not welcome here anymore!
I started to feel a little sick Saturday morning and decided to dedicate the weekend to keeping it under control. I vegged out on the sofa for the rest of the day yesterday, ate a heaping serving of bean and vegetable soup and two (yup two!) brie, tomato and spinach sandwiches on whole grain bread (so delicious, especially after I grilled them up on my indoor grill) and just relaxed while watching a really awful Lindsay Lohan movie marathon on t.v. Other then the choice of flicks I was determined to do everything right in order to fight off any sickness that might have been trying to take hold of me.
Today has been a pretty lowkey day too. I had planned a run but decided against it, hoping another day of rest would get me back to full health. I made some delicious and nutritious chili with ground turkey, black beans and lots of veggies (carrots, zucchinni, green peppers, mushrooms and spinach if you must know) and other then some much needed cleaning didn't do a whole heck of a lot. Well I did walk to the grocery store for the ingredients for my chili so I guess that counts as a little something in the activity department!
On deck for tonight is a little more nothing with a side of laundry thrown in for good measure. I might even make my new favorite dessert (Baked Cinnamon Apple treat) for a snack! I *heart* lazy Sundays!!
And flu, if your still listening, you can leave now. Oh and get a life, you nosy little bug!!

Tell me, do you think your healthy lifestyle keeps you flu-free? Do you find you get sick more when you don't take care of yourself?


There's nothing like a good song to get my body moving....

Have you ever watched someone walk into the gym, hop with sheer determination onto the treadmill/elliptical trainer, fidget with their iPod for a second or two only to quickly hop back off the equipment, head back to the dressing room and march out a few minutes later in street clothes headed for the exit? If you have and you go to my gym that person was probably me, leaving after discovering that my iPod is dead and I would have nothing to workout to but the sound of the treadmill next to me and the music (usually some version of 90's dance) coming from the gym speakers.
For me music sets the tone of a workout. The right music played at the right volume can pump me up and make me want to run faster, push myself further, and keep at the workout, no matter how hard it may be, that much longer. On the flip side the wrong music (too slow, too quiet, too much like said 90's Dance or House or Trance) drains me of the energy and motivation to really make the most of my workout.
Is that completely crazy? Shouldn't I be able to get past a bad song or the lack of a song altogether? Should the music really matter that much??
Truthfully I don't think it matters what gets you there so much as the fact that you are there. Whether its a really upbeat tune or a new pair of sneakers or a pretty water bottle you are moving your butt and getting healthier everyday.
So I'll take a little Britney Spears anyday and hey, if it helps me get those abs from the Slave video I won't be complaining either!


Praying for a red light every now and then...

So I took my running outside today, after having planned to practice indoors sans wind and car exhaust, in large part due to the fact that I forgot a running shoe (yes, shoe singular) at home this morning. I was all geared up, both mentally and physically, for a run at lunch when I made the heartbreaking discovery that I was only in possession of my lonely right Asic. The leftie had inadvertently been left at home and I was forced back into my office clothes workoutless for the afternoon.
Now I would first like to take a moment to commend myself for having been disappointed that my planned workout had to be missed. Six months ago I would have welcomed the interruption to my fitness schedule. So yay me for actually regretting the fact that I left a shoe at home instead off secretly wishing I would do that more often!
Anyway, I was determined I would not be deterred from getting a run in today and at first contemplated going home at the end of the day, retrieving the missing sneaker, and returning to the gym at work (aren't I lucky to have a gym at work??!!) I realized quickly that that plan was a recipe for disaster because once I got home I'd find some excuse not to go back. Still I was unswayed from wanting to run so I decided that I would run outside in my own neighbourhood even though I am not used to/comfortable with it quite yet. I find the wind and colder air present a challenge that I would rather avoid until I am a tad bit better at it. But as a last resort I laced up my sneakers (both the right and the left) and headed out.
You know what? It wasn't terrible! Yes the wind made it a little harder and my throat felt a little strained because of the temperature but all in all I made it. I ran 2km without taking a break (I wanted one after the first 1/2km if I am being honest) which is good for me and a LOT better then I ever did when I attempted to go out running before. I focused on breathing and told myself that even though I wanted to slow down or walk I need to run just a bit further or I would never get better then I am right now. So I did. I ran when I wanted to give up and that is exactly what I need to be doing...pushing myself to get better all the time.
And every runner secretly prays for a red light now and then right??? :)

Happy Thursday everyone!!


Me and my thighs....love and loathing and everything in between

I have come to realize that I have always had a love/hate relationship with my thighs. I was never the skinny little girl with chicken legs and knobby knees that ran around in sundresses all summer long. I was always a little more full through the thighs and calves... a little, might I say, thick. And as a child who didn't really know better I never really cared until a classmate and a cousin pointed it out. First it was my cousin A, who at the tender age of 10, felt it necessary to tell me, as we watched my video taped dance recital, that I was bigger then all the other girls. She did not mean taller...she said and meant bigger.
Then there was the nickname bestowed upon me by a male classmate in the seventh grade: Bodybuilder. Why would a 12 year old girl deserve such a moniker you ask? Because I had muscular legs, thick thighs, large calves.
With that it began, the relationship that has lasted 15 years and has been confusing and unclear even in the best of times. To this day, despite losing 20% of my body weight, my thighs are still my least favorite body part. When everyting else noticeably shrunk my thighs sort of, kind of, might have gotten a wee bit smaller.
I won't lie, I want smaller thighs. I want to lose 10 more pounds and I want every single ounce to fall off my legs. Thats my wish and I will work on it every day and try to make it happen. I know that I will never have skinny legs, nor do I want them. Its not my body type and I accept that. But smaller and skinny are two different things and I do want smaller to be my reality.
Until then I must make peace with the legs that I have and the body type that I will always have. So here it is, a few reasons to embrace the stems that I stand on:

*I love that my legs are strong and powerful and allow me to hold a squat longer then most people in my boxing class
*I love that my legs allow me to run more and more everyday.
*I love that my legs want to dance just for the hell of it when I am all alone (and sometimes in front of others too)
*I love that my legs are long enough that I can stand on my tippy toes and touch noses with my 6'1 boyfriend.

I guess I kinda, sorta love you legs...now just think how much I will adore you when you help me fit into a size 7 and cross the finsh line in the 10K!!

Why not tell me one body part you like the least and 3 reasons why you should really like it more.


Happy Thanksgiving Canada...I am stuffed and I have no apologies

Truthfully I have been thinking about Thanksgiving (and my Thanksgiving post) for a week.
Would I report that I had the strength and willpower to avoid the inevitable gorge that is my family Thanksgiving gathering?
Would I feel guilty and upset if I didn't?
And with enough time to thoroughly think it through ( I am amazed at how much thinking I can get done while running. BONUS!!) I realized that I wasn't going to look to willpower to get me through the day and I definitely wasn't going to feel guilty about time spent with loved ones. Instead I was determined that I would enjoy the holiday and all the food (the good , the bad and the ugly) that came with it!
So I made chicken and vegetarian wraps and veggies and dip for the afternoon snack and then bought, ate and enjoyed a slice of cherry pie for dessert. In between there were chips and peanuts and wine and mashed potatoes and a few other things that I generally avoid but you know what?? I don't care!!!
Its one day...one day after 7 whole days of exercise and healthy eating . And its one day before more days of exercise and healthy eating, which can and will start tomorrow.
And thats just it. Sure I have goals and objectives but they also include enjoying life and all that things I am thankful for. And if I am not mistaken thats the whole meaning behind this turkey/stuffing/mashed potato holiday in the first place.
I hope everyone enjoyed their dinners tonight (Canadian or not) and that you take a moment to remember what you have to be grateful for. Enjoy!!


I needed to get my butt moving and boy did I!!

What have I been up to this week you ask??

Sunday-5K charity run (34 minutes, which is 10 fulll minutes faster then I completed the same route last year)
Monday-Pump class
Tuesday-4.25km run
Wednesday-Kickboxing class
Thursday-3.6km run (this was supposed to be a rest day but I just wanted to get some running in)
Friday-Kickboxing class

I feel great! Adding the running has given me the variety I need to stay motivated and get my butt to the gym 4 or 5 times a week, which is one of my goals. And you know what? Despite all the back to back exercise I have lots of energy and while my muscles feel worked they aren't achy or sore.
If the weather holds out the bf and I (and our doggie) are headed out for a hike tomorrow which I am really excited about. Fall in Ontario is just beautiful and its a great way to spend an active day outdoors.

What a fabulous week!! Hope you are all having a great week too!! Happy Friday!


Goals...something that a girl like me and a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs need more of!

As I mentioned in an earlier post (and I am a newbie blogger so it wasn't that long ago) I am currently at my "good enough for now" weight with the exception of a few dreaded pounds that found their way back to me. And while I do have some weight related targets to work towards I have started to realize that my goals need to be more then about the number on a scale. I need to feel motivated by something more exciting then the possibilty of a size 6 (not that the idea of a 6 isn't super fantastic!!) I need to feel a sense of accomplishment that is more obvious then the loss of a few more pounds. I need a set of goals that I can strive for and feel proud about and use to fuel a sense of happiness that is so much more important then what I look like.

So here they are:

*Exercise at least 4-5 days a week.....dog walking and late night walks to Shoppers Drugmart for mustard flavored pretzels not included.
*Look back on every days' food intake and know that I got enough protein, vegetables and fibre...even if there are a few potato chips thrown in there from time to time.
*Get more calcium and vitamin D....ice cream does NOT count!
*10-15 full push ups...knees up for every single one.
*Run a 5K in 30 minutes or less by the end of the year....that's 4 minutes less then last Sunday
*Run a 10K by spring....and never again utter the phrase "I am just not a runner"
*Tell at least 10 people that I AM A RUNNER .... have the mileage to back it up.

So that's the plan....I'll keep ya posted!!


The world is obsessed with food....I am no exception

Have you ever really thought about how big of a role food plays in your life? And I don't mean in the obvious ways like for survival and overall health and well being and all that good stuff. I mean the other parts; the parts it really has no business invading but somehow its always there.
Take your social life for example. How many events do you attend that just "naturally" include some sort of eating-type ritual. I can think of at least 5 that involve some sort of cake alone (and for those of you who are keeping track I am including birthdays, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers and retirement parties) Not to mention all the other celebrations and family get-togethers and holidays that just seem to imply a binge of some sort:
"Let's go out to dinner to celebrate your new job/engagement/promotion/divorce"
"Let's have Aunt Sue and her 6 rugrats over for Sunday dinner and I'll make a pot roast"
"Let's try to have less than 9 side dishes at Thanksgiving this year...oh and stuffing and cranberry sauce don't count"
It's unavoidable! No matter where you go food WILL follow. And its never the good stuff..no,no.
When was the last time someone stuck a candle in a bowl of oatmeal and sang Happy Birthday??
And so I'm left asking myself, is that it? Do I just have to live with it because (warning, annoying phrase about to be uttered)it is what it is?
I say no....hold on, wait. Let me try that again.
I say NO!!!!!!!
The way I see it is that I can't personally change this phenomenon (although I am stubborn enough to try. Take that cruel world!!) but I can change how I adapt my own behaviors in these situations. I can choose healthy meals when out for celebratory dinners. I can help with Thanksgiving dinner to make sure there are some healthy and wholesome options. I can even say no to birthday/wedding/yay let's all celebrate that its Friday (again) cake and hope that no offence will be taken because gosh darnit, I have rights too!! And most of all I can take a deep breath and realize that, as my friend B pointed out just a few hours ago, you only live once and a piece of that TGIF cake ain't gonna kill me (and if it does I will die with a smirky little hahaha I just had some delicious cake kind of smile on my face).
So here's to vegetarian lasagna with Thanksgiving dinner, fruit salad served at weddings and all things in moderation!


Food to Shout from the Rooftops About...

It was a happy day when I discovered these tasty little treats.
Bagels are back (in my food regime that is) and better than ever!!!

At only 160cal, 8g of protein and 2g of sugar they are truly the answer to "I'm a little sick of oatmeal today"

I should also mention that they are made with all natural ingredients, low in sodium and green, zero emission electrical power!

Happy breakfast!!



+5 lbs!! Oh f@#&!!

So the title of this post probably makes me sound both shocked and appalled to have discovered that I have gained weight after hitting and maintaining what I like to call my "good enough for now" weight last May. The truth is while I am appalled, very, VERY appalled, I am not really all that shocked. I poked, prodded and teased the Weight Gain Gods and they finally had enough of my antics.
You see I didn't lose The Weight (its become an entity of its own, as you will see in a future post) in the good old fashioned "eat less and exercise more" way that would hopefully teach me a lesson or two about the lifestyle that I would need to maintain it. I lost it due to stress and anxiety as a result of a personal problem late last winter. Food became unnecessary and unimportant by comparison and just like that, in less than 2 1/2 months I found myself lighter then I had been in years. Sure I had been exercising ( I even joined a Fitness Bootcamp) but the real contributing factor was that I just couldn't be bothered to eat on a regular basis.
Once the weight was off and I moved past the personal problem I was noticeably thinner and desperate to stay that way. And I did, for months, even with a cheat day here and there thrown in.
Okay who am I kidding? I cheated and I cheated often. I had doughnuts and potato chips and McDonalds and even though I felt guilty I found a way to justify it. "I'm on vacation" I thought. "I had a hard day" I muttered. There were excuses for every cheat and while some were better then others none were every really good enough.
And the most amazing thing of all was that despite the burgers and movie popcorn and cheesecake I wasn't gaining any weight.
Let me tell you that this lack of weight gain only bred more cheat days because by God I was getting away with it! My body, with its fiercly strong quads and noticeable-in-photos biceps, was burning through these extra calories and I had nothing to worry about.
Or so I thought.
Now I am sitting here 5lbs heavier then I want to be (well if I must be honest I am 15lbs heavier then I want to be but more about that another time) and I am looking back on the bad choices and thinking "Who the hell do I think I am??" Obviously it was going to start to catch up to me, thats how I got in the overweight position in the bloody first place! It was only a matter of time and now my time is up!
You might wonder why I am so upset. You might even be thinking "Hey lady get a grip! Its only 5 freakin' pounds!!" But hear me out. 5lbs is where it starts for every person who finds him/herself pissed off as they fail to fit into every single non-drawstring waisted pair of pants that they own. And I refuse, absolutely REFUSE, to go back there. This is where it stops!
They say that for every action there is a reaction and this is mine:
Action-Gained 5 lbs because I ate too much sh*t
Reaction- Stop eating so much sh*t (keep track by keeping a food diary) and get to the gym at least 4 or 5 times a week until the dreaded 5 are no more.
Its my plan and I am sticking to it! Stayed tuned.......


And so it begins.....

So some may ask; Why now? Why this far into your proverbial weight loss journey? Why not start at the beginning?
The truth is I can't pinpoint the actual beginning and even if I could now I definitely didn't know it then. You see the thing is you have to gain weight in order to lose it. So was the beginning the day I noticed an extra 10lbs that weren't there the year before? The first shopping trip that I fit into a size 13/14 and realized that at the rate that I was going I'd have to move to plus-size? The gradual coming-to-terms with the fact that, despite a number of gym memberships and attempts at one diet or another, my weight was creeping up, not down, and I was getting frighteningly close to a milestone no girl wants to celebrate: 200lbs. Was that where it all began?
Or was it the time I lost 5lbs, only to gain it and 10 of its friends back?
Or what about every New Year's Resolution since age 15?
When did this little journey that, now that I am 27 years old, 35 lbs lighter than my heaviest weight and willing to share it all with the wolrd, get started??
You know what, it doesn't really matter. I am here now. Somehow and someway I got to this point and while I am armed with an aresenal of experience (and pants that are that pajamas in public kind of baggy that forces you to shop for a new wardrobe broke or not) the only place I can go is forward.
Forward means keeping the weight off.
Forward means going to the gym when I'd rather be at home, or at the mall or even at the dentist for a root canal.
Forward means a bad day/a really good day/a rainy day isn't a good enough excuse to scarf down a bag of Spicy Doritos while watching the Sex and the City movie for the 143rd time.
But scary or not I know that I can do this. The first 6 months weren't easy (or perfect) and the next 6 won't be either but I know that I can and I definitely WILL do this.
So here we go..........to health, happiness and the pursuit of perfect, flattering skinny jeans!!