Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Canoe Trip: Amber’s Version

August 27, 2011.

Yesterday Chris and I went to the 2nd annual karate camping weekend to enjoy the campfire and some canoeing. I was looking forward to it because it was an activity I loved as a child and thought it would be a new and active experience for the two of us to share together. Chris asked me multiple times “Have you been in a canoe before?” and I always responded “Yes, I’ve been canoeing before” with an air of attitude and annoyance that suggested I thought he was crazy to think I couldn’t paddle a canoe. This was bad sign number one.

Chris has canoed multiple times with his dad through white water rapids. His dad canoes rivers where you travel at 50km/hour without paddling. My canoe experience is limited to my days at Girl Guide camp or on the calm shores of a summer cabin rental. So when Chris asked me if I canoe I understood his canoeing background, but I failed to detail mine and simply answered exactly what he asked..

As we picked up the oars a friend pointed out that we were missing a key piece of equipment – our life jackets. We shrugged it off noting we could swim fine without them. This was warning number two. Chris hopped into the back of the canoe. I was going to push us off the bank with the assistance of a young teen girl then hop in myself. At this point I thought to myself ‘This doesn’t sound like the best idea. We’re probably going to tip.” That was warning three – but I failed to relay it to Chris. We barely lost contact with the bank and I flipped the canoe. Chris was not impressed. He stood up in the knee deep water shocked that I had flipped us and sore from scraping his hand on the rocky bottom. Those on the banks tried not to laugh. We were fully dressed (camera in Chris’ pocket) and drenched head to toe.

We reset with a lot of “I can’t believe you flipped us!” comments from Chris and we tried again. We entered the canoe from the water and I flipped us yet again. At this point Chris asked me why I was trying to sit on the bench. Apparently when you are an adult you should kneel on the bottom to keep yourself grounded. With this new knowledge we tried for the third time and succeeded.

Chris never got over the shock of being flipped (he’s only flipped once going through rapids and I’ve never flipped). We went upstream for awhile and learned how to communicate with each other as Chris called out terms like “draw” expecting me to know what to do – I didn’t. Once Chris learned that my “yes, I’ve been in a canoe” actually meant “I sat in a canoe and paddled a bit twenty years ago” we managed a whole lot better.

For me, this was an adventure. It was an experience to share with my husband that we will not forget. I’m sure Chris would rather rewind to before I flipped the canoe to plan accordingly, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. We learned so much more about working together and communicating with each other this way. It was an awesome day. To read Chris’ version of our canoe trip visit his blog at

Weekly Weigh-in 11

August 27, 2011.

At the start of the week I was going to the gym every day. I was going up in weight each morning, likely because I was building muscle with my new workout routine. After my assessment Wednesday I haven't made it back to the gym yet and I've been going down in weight. I eaven ate a ton of roasted marshmallows at a campfire last night. It makes no sense in my brain, but I have to just trust that going to the gym is better than not going. This week I will be better at dragging my butt to the gym.

This week I'm up .2kgs or .4lbs.
Overall I'm still down 2.9kgs or 6.4lbs

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Results Are In (Assessment)

I finally agreed to get an assessment of my measurements done at the gym to compare to the ones taken before I started working out with my trainer. Chris was getting tired of hearing me complain. The results are encouraging...

My awesome trainer Jodi takes three types of measurements so you can really see the changes in your body. She advised most people just measure their weight loss (and sometimes body fat) and therefore become disappointed and give up easily on their workouts because they do not see the changes they are looking for as soon as they would like. I am no different.

Between June 7, 2011 and August 24, 2011 I have...
lost 4.4lbs and lost 1.2% body fat.
These results have frustrated me as I feel like I am not progressing. For example, this week I went to the gym every day and I maintained the same weight, then went up in weight today. I'm heading in the right direction though because I am down overall still and will continue on this path.

The second type of measurement trainers usually take are tape measure measurements to see inches lost. This is a better indicator of progress because you are building muscle while you work out so sometimes you do not lose a lot of weight, but you do drop in clothing sizes. I definitely have seen results here and my stats prove it.

Between June 7, 2011 and August 24, 2011 I have...
lost .5cm on both my right and left upper arms
lost 2.5cm around my chest
lost 8cm on my waist
stayed the same for my hips
stayed the same on my right thigh, but went up .5cm on my left thigh
lost 1cm on both my right and left calves
I'm very happy with these results, especially my waist. Jodi said girls hang onto the weight on their hips for a long time, but that I should see it drop by my next assessment because of all the stairs I'm climbing.

The third measurement that most people and trainers do not check is your skinfolds. Jodi does these because it really shows how fat you lost by replacing it with muscle. One of my measurements shocked Jodi so much that she measured me a second time (thinking she made an error) because she had never seen such a significant change.

Between June 7, 2011 and August 24, 2011 I have...
lost 9mm on my bicep skinfold
lost 21mm on my tricep skinfold
lost 3mm on my illiac (part of upper arm) skinfold
lost 6mm on my subscap (back) skinfold
stayed the same on my calf skinfold (which Jodi was not surprised by because my calves are very muscular and my skin is super tight)

Glad I went to the gym today and didn't put off my assessment. Will continue doing what I'm doing. Loving the gym today.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"The Rack" Progress Update

August 21, 2011.

In going through my blog to see how far I've come I realized I overlooked posting my progress on "the rack" program. Perhaps it was because I only did it for 5 sessions from July 5-July 17 before Jodi switched me out to a new program and the fact that she used the same sheet so I didn't bring it home with me. Anyways, here is the progress from that dreaded program...

Elliptical from 22min at level 9 @ 95RPM to treadmill 10min - 3min @3mph with 1% incline, up .2mph every 1 min until 4mph, then 1min @ 4.5mph, 1min @ 3mph

Squat rack from 2/15 with 30lbs to 2/15 with 40lbs
Sumo squat from 2/20 with 10lbs to 2/20 with 17.5lbs
Rack lunges from 2/15 with 30lbs to giving up on this activity

Assited pull-up from 1/10 at 90lbs lifted to stayed the same
Face pull from 2/15 with 30lbs to 2/15 with 42.5lbs

Chest press from 2/15 with 12.5lbs to 2/15 with 17.5lbs
Chest fly from 2/15 with 10lbs to 2/15 with 12.5lbs

Concentration curl from 2/15 with 12.5lbs to stayed the same
Skull crusher from 2/15 with 10lbs to stayed the same
Lateral raise from 2/15 with 7.5lbs to stayed the same

Bosu crunch from 1/15 to Regular crunch on floor 1/20
Bosu twist from 1/12 to Toe touch on floor 1/20
Scissor feet from 1/20 to stayed the same
Double Crunch from 1/15 to omitted from program
Back extension from 1/20 to stayed the same

Stairmill from 1.5min @ 42 steps/min to 1.5min @ 60 steps/min


Part of me is surprised to see progress in only 5 sessions for some excercises, but part of me is disappointed to see I made no progress in other areas or slacked off and eliminated parts of the program. Jodi was right to switch me out of this one and give me something new.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in Week 10 with Rant

August 20, 2011.

I went to the gym 4or 5 times this week so I was looking forward to weighing in today. I hopped on the Wii Fit scale and immediately became pissed off. I went up .7kgs overnight!!! I thought this was very odd and couldn't be right so I reweighed myself. I still ended up going up overnight which is mind boggling to me, but at least I'm down overall since last Saturday.

Chris and I had a lengthy discussion because I was very irrate that I have been putting all this effort into the gym and I am not seeing results that would correlate with my effort. Why should I go to the gym almost every day and bust my butt if going less gets me better results (in terms of weight loss)? He is really glad that I am doing an assessment on Wednesday just so I will see the results he and Jodi see and finally shut up about my progress. However, he said I have every right to complain as much as I want if I don't see progress on my assessment.

The muscle above my right knee is killing me today. It hurt yesterday while working out with my new program. I didn't think I was going to make it through my squat jumps and be able to carry on , but I pushed through it. Debating whether I will do laps in the pool or my cardio routine tomorrow morning. Looking for ways to nurse my sore muscle before I have to make that decision.

This week down .3kgs or .6lbs
Overall down 3.1kgs or 6.8lbs (my lowest Saturday weigh-in yet, but not by much)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Intense Cardio Workout

August 18, 2011.

I went to the gym today to run through a new program with Jodi. I expressed my frustration to Chris on the way that I am not seeing the results I want. He advised me I should do an assessment today instead then so I could see for myself. I opted not to, only because I was looking forward to (yes, looking forward to) getting a new program that I could be running through again tomorrow and on Sunday. I've booked my assessment for next Wednesday even though I haven't hit my 10lb mark yet. I need to see some other form of results.

Jodi greeted me with a big smile and informed me that I might hate her because she had planned an intense cardio workout for me that focused on the stairmill because she thought I could handle it now that we are onto our fourth program. I was not as impressed, but glad that I choose to arrive just in time and not early to do a cardio warm-up on the treadmill. Here is the new workout...Not as intense as I thought it would be, but it was still very difficult for me and will increase as I complete it.

Stairmill 5 minutes at 50 steps/minute

Standing next to the stairmill holding 10lb weights complete:
Squats 1/20
Sumo squats 1/20
Squat jumps 1/20
On sliders - Step back lunges 1/20 and Step to the side lateral lunges 1/20
Without weights, on sliders - Mountain climbers 1/8, but keep adding to it (mountain climbers are push-up position sliding feet as if running bringing one knee up to chest)

Stairmill 5 minutes at 50 steps/minute (I was only able to do 3min 45sec)

Standing next to stairmill holding 10lb weights complete:
Bicep curls 1/20
Tricep extension 1/20
Kick back arm rows 1/20
Shoulder press with a squat 1/20
Lateral raise 1/20 (I did 1/10)
Push-ups 1/15 (increase each time)

Abs - free choice of any I like (I'm continuing with my last set of 5 abs)

Stretch Out - with additional stretches and for a longer time (10-15 minutes of stretching)

If stairmill is tied up, use stepper, cybex, or treadmill with same intensity level. Do not use elliptical. May increase time on stairmill as I get better.

Program time: 30 minutes plus stretching

Monday, August 15, 2011


August 15, 2011.

I've ended my latest program at the gym and will be getting a new one on Thursday when I meet with Jodi again. I'm very tired of this one because it is hard in some places and really tires out my muscles. I've also felt like I've hit a wall on where I can improve with it so I figured that means it is time to switch it up.

I worked on this program from July 19 to August 15 and only managed to do it eight times, plus one fitness class, one run around the block, one day of at home fitness, and one aquafit class with swimming laps. I should have completed it 12 times by now, but life and lack of motivation got in the way. Here is my progress nonetheless...

Treadmill from 10 min with 1min @ 3.5 and 1min @5.0 to 10 min with 1min @ 3.0 and 1min @ 6.0 with a maximum running time of 3.5 minutes straight at 5.0 one day
Also tried rowing one day for 3 minutes, but machine has been broken or in use since.

Split squat from 2/15 with back foot on step to 2/15 with back foot on bench
Bosu squat from 2/15 on round side of Bosu to 2/15 on flat side of Bosu
Lateral Bosu squat from 1/14 to 2/16
Hamstring curl with ball from 1/15 to 2/15

Pullovers from 1/15 with 15lbs to 2/15 with 20lbs
Chest Fly from 2/15 with 12.5lbs to 2/15 with 15lbs
One arm row from 1/15 with 15lbs to 2/15 with 20lbs
Incline bicep curl from 2/15 with 12.5lbs to 1/15 with 15lbs, 1/15 with 12.5lbs
Tricep kick back from 1/15 with 10lbs to 2/15 with 12.5lbs
Shoulder rotations 1/15 with 7.5lbs - no change

Push-ups 1/20, 1/20 - no change
Mod V sit 1/20 - no change
Bicycle crunch 1/20 - no change
Leg drop from 1/10 to 1/20
Crunch 1/20 - no change
Alternating superman from 1/10 on each side to 1/20 on each side

Stretching - flexibility has increased

Sunday, August 14, 2011


August 14, 2011.

It's no secret that I find it difficult to get my butt to the gym on Sunday mornings, but I enjoy going once I get there and get into my routine. This morning I broke down though. The thought of going to the gym with little more than three hours of sleep after a horrible 12 hour work shift with another 12 hour work shift to come was to much, especially after having been away from the gym for the last week.

Chris copped some attitude with me telling me that I should go, that I wanted to go, and generally making sighs, rolling his eyes at me, and grumbling about how I've paid to go to the gym. He completely pissed me off and I told him to back off and leave me alone because there was no way I was going to the gym.

I stormed off to the living room to eat my bowl of cereal in peace and think about my next move. Was I going to go to the gym just so I didn't have to deal with Chris' attitude and disappointment in me? Which was worse - the idea of going to the gym completely exhausted or looking into my husband's eyes? Or, was I going to dig in my heels and stay home to watch t.v. or go back to sleep for a bit while he was at the gym? I was even going to give up my Sunday morning pancakes because I wasn't going to the gym to work them off. I was so looking forward to them because I bought chicken bacon to get some much needed protein and if I substituted three pieces of bacon for one pancake I'd even be eating less calories.

At this point I remembered that aquafit runs the same time we are at the gym on Sundays. This clearly seemed like my best option. Satisfy Chris by still going to the gym, satisfy myself by still getting in a workout, but still be able to relax and take it easier. Plus, I'd get to go in the pool which is something I love doing.

This may become my new Sunday morning routine. Aquafit itself was pretty boring. The instructor had no enthusiasm and moved in slow motion, but I got a bit of a workout. I even swam laps in the pool afterwards for another 20 minutes. Swimming laps was much more of a workout and much more enjoyable so this could be what I do to break up the routine of my workouts.

This week and next I'm going to the gym 4 nights to do my treadmill, weights, and abs. I'll try and book Jodi in to get a new routine for some variation. My goal is to finally hit the 10lbs mark by my three month weigh-in. When I am successful I will also do an assessment to see my new measurements. I believe it will be possible.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in Week 9

August 13, 2011.

I went to the gym on Sunday morning, I attempted a run outside on Monday morning, and I did a few lunges and squats at my mom's on Tuesday. I've also walked and painted a lot. I have not, however, attended the gym all week. I will attempt to go to the gym every day (Tuesday excepted) after my professional development course as I have to pass the gym anyway to get home.

On the upside, I am down in weight this week by 1.4kgs or 3.1lbs
Overall I am down 2.8kgs or 6.2 lbs

This puts me almost back on track with my lowest weight to date a month ago. Just 0.2kgs to go to get there.

I've updated by two graphs on my blog as well.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"From that day on ... I was running!" Not!

August 8, 2011.

Chris has inspired me to run. He is running 10k now to gear up for Mudnewton (a 10k race through the woods with obstacles along the way). I think he has lost his mind, but he tells me when the race is over he is done running until next summer (for the 5k Warrior Dash). The Warrior Dash itself does not interest me, but going with my husband as a participant rather than a supporter does intrigue me, therefore I have decided to start running.

The quote in my title is from Forest Gump, but I did it to mimic Chris' post about running. I planned a route today in my neighbourhood that was entirely flat and didn't run along the main roads for long. It was just over 1km because I sprint/walk just over 1km on the treadmill at the gym. I also wanted something close to home in case I wussed out and needed to head home sooner.

I woke up early, got dressed, set my stopwatch and set out on my run. My first goal was to run from my house to the main road (2 blocks). I ran for about 1min and almost made it to the road before I had to walk it out. Weird because I run 2 minute sprints at the gym. I figure I run faster on land and that it is harder on my body. Huffing and puffing I walked the few houses to the end of the road and then down the bike trail along the main road for 1 block. This is where I planned to gear up again and run 1 block before turning left and running until I tired. I tired before the end of the block, but forced myself to make it.

At this point I had a choice walk to my left to the main road which meant a long run/walk back home and I was already tired or walk to my right a block and then run 1 more block home. I chose the latter and made it home as planned. I made it .68 km in 5 min 20 sec. My shins hurt, sweat started pouring from my brow the second I walked in the door, but my breaths settled quickly. I do not plan on running outside again for a long time. Running sucks! I wish I was at the gym.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Morning Sweat

August 7, 2011.

I made progress this weekend!!!

* I dropped .8kgs since my weigh-in yesterday so I'm feeling better and like I'm back on track.
* I did a waist measurement on my own because I couldn't tell if my shorts were getting looser from wearing them or because I lost an inch. It looks like it was a combo of the two because my shorts fell down today on my way into work while I was juggling an armful of stuff in the rain.
* I raised the bar one notch for my leg stretch and can now reach past the rope for my split stretch.
* I incresed some of my weights for my arm freeweights.
* I can do more reps in a row before I tire on my difficult exercises.
* I ran 2 minutes, walked 1 min for 10 minutes total and didn't feel like I was going to die (although I did not want to try for 3 minutes)
* I barely drank my G2 so I'm not feeling queasy anymore at the gym.

I still hate getting sweaty, but I'm learning to deal with it as it is now inevitable. My new routine has me drenched front and back (see pics below) like it should be to recognize that you actually put in the work at the gym and didn't just go to socialize (as I used to). I now leave butt prints on everything I sit on at the gym. I used to tell Chris this was gross when he did it, now I cringe at myself and wipe up my own mess. On the plus side a butt print makes your butt look tiny.

Today Chris even made me poached eggs for breakfast after our shower. They were overdone and watery, but still very yummy. All round happy day.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekly Weigh-in 2 Months

August 6, 2011.

Party=Fun=Weight Gain=:(

This week I've been going to the gym and doing a lot of work around the house and yard so I expected to drop all the weight I gained the week before. Up until Thursday morning I was almost at that point. Then I brought my husband a sushi lunch picnic, went to a 30th birthday party at a buffet, and held a Rock Band party and potluck at my house. In two days I managed to gain it all back, plus some. I'm still feeling better though and although I have not lost a lot of weight my clothes are miraculously fitting too loose. Go figure. 4 more weeks until I do an assessment with Jodi to find out some new results.

This week I gained .8kgs or 1.7lbs

Overall down 1.4kgs or 3.2lbs

No pancake breakfast for me tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back in the Day

August 3, 2011.

All this weighing in on Wii Fit and talk of assessments and ideal BMI or body fat ratio had me reminiscing about the past. It reminded me of a breakfast out last year with my family where my mom arrived wearing a shirt I wore for New Year's Eve 2000. That was a bit of a blow to my ego and how hot I thought I looked when I realized my mom who I find to be too thin arrived wearing clothes I could not fit into once I started college in 2001. I don't remember being that tiny because I remember when I was that thin I still thought I had a tummy and could lose some weight. When I was that thin I weighed about 150lbs. Here I am at my high school formal in 2001.

This is considered to be a healthy weight for me. I do not think it is realistic to reach this weight again, but I have not been able to part with this dress. For comparison this is the most recent picture of me in a party dress. I hope to reach a happy medium by next summer.

I'm My Own Worst Critic

August 3, 2011.

I was at the gym yesterday with Jodi working out when she asked me how I've been feeling about my workouts. I told her that I came to the gym to feel better and that I did indeed feel better, however I was not seeing the physical results I thought I would by this point in time. She told me I am my own worst critic as I won't see the changes that other people will be coming up to me saying. She's right because a few people have told me about some things they've noticed while others at they gym that see me there often have told me I'm kicking butt. I was really hoping that I would be down 15lbs by the time I did my assessment at the end of August. It's not looking that way, but I still plan to do one just to see.

I showed up late to my training session with Jodi so I only had a few minutes to warm up on the treadmill before we met. I chose to run without looking at the timer until I was so tired I had to hit the stop button to shut it down. I ran for 3.5 minutes which is 1.5minutes longer than I've run before. I walked it out for 1.5 minutes and then sprinted at 6mph for another minute just to see if the faster speed made it easier to run. It did, but it didn't if that makes sense.

Jodi kept my workout routine the same as I am still struggling through it and have not increased a lot of my weights. She did, however, make it more challenging in a few areas (squats are now on flat side of BOSU so it is like doing them on a Pogo ball, and lunges now have my back foot on a bench instead of step). I also have to do more lateral lunges in my repetitions and two sets instead of one. I really hate these!

Here's hoping things improve this week - so far so good!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Run, a Stretch, and Some Abs

August 1, 2011.

I did not make it to the gym this morning. I was climbing into bed last night at midnight when Chris asked me if I still planned to go to the gym this morning. The thought of getting less than 7 hours sleep before my third 12 hour shift of work was too much to contemplate so I responded if I woke up on my own early enough I would go, but if I could sleep in I would need the sleep. After laying awake in bed until nearly 1am when my cat's crying could be tolerated no more I climbed out of bed to play fetch with him (yes fetch) so he would leave me alone. I was really appreciating my decision to sleep in at this point. I did sleep in, but not by much.

To console myself and my lack of ambition this past week I am going to revel in my mini accomplishments from Sunday when I was feeling at my worst...

A Run
I hopped on the treadmill with my iPod and some "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" by Katie Tunstall (times two) followed by some "Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera and decided I was going to avoid looking at the timer and just run until I couldn't run anymore. This lasted about 1min 15sec before I tired, but I pushed myself to 2min. I changed my goal to 2min sprints at 5mph followed by a 1min walk at 3mph. I got to my fourth sprint before I gave out at 1.5min and had to walk the remaining time. I was still impressed by my success.

A Stretch
Chris and I were stretching out on the equipment and he was showing me some new moves to keep things interesting for me. Either that or he is secretly trying to help me be able to do the splits (something I've always wanted to be able to do - but have never even been able to touch my toes). Anyway, I was seated on the floor with my legs splayed open pulling myself forward by holding onto a rope and pressing my calves into two pads to get a better stretch when Chris tried to console me by telling me it will get better soon. I responded by telling him, yeah right I can't even stretch to the side to touch my toes. As I said the words I reached over and lo and behold I not only touched my right toes I grabbed onto my foot. Shocker! I had to try my left foot I was so surprised and yes I could grab that foot too! Wow! Some days I even surprise myself.

Some Abs
There was a time a few months ago, even a few weeks ago, where I hated doing ab work. I was so tired and exhausted by the end of my workout that the last thing I wanted to do was work my core muscles even though it allowed me to lie on the ground on a soft cushy mat. Yesterday I was too drained to do anything else and actually chose to do my ab work about halfway through my workout routine because I thought it would be easier (yes, easy) than my leg and arm exercises. Today they were a breeze. No issues with my ab workout at all. Even made me feel like I could go back and complete a couple more arm or leg bits that I skipped. Today I even got down on the concrete floor at work and did a few of the ab crunches just to get out of my office chair. Who would have thought?