Sunday, January 29, 2012

Running for Charity

January 29, 2012.

It shouldn't shock me that my husband has entered to run another 5km race this Spring/Summer because that is the type of person he is. He does not like running, but he loves competing and keeping statistics on his accomplishments. Another race allows him to set another goal and break another personal record.

Chris has been trying to convince me to run with him in one of these many races, but I feel that Tough Mudder is not even up for consideration, Warrior Dash is still too extreme, and Mudnewton is still a lofty goal. But, tonight he has signed up for a 5km charity run on an early Sunday morning and guess what??? There is a 1km run/walk even earlier in the day for families and the less mobile (seniors with walkers are specifically mentioned).

I think this is the perfect introduction to running for me. I have no problems running amongst the strollers, walkers, little ones, and elderly ones to attempt my first race. Alright, I have a little aprehension stemming from some embarassment that this is the most ideal "race" for me. But, it could be a goal nonetheless.

Last time I tried to run 1km outside I made it less than a quarter of the way, walked another 1/4 and then shortcutted my way home giving up on the last half of the run. It was pathetic and shocking as I had run 1km on the treadmill alternating 1 min @ 5 miles/hr and 1 min @ 3.5 miles/hr.

This week's new goal:
1) walk the 1km route around my house and time myself at a walking pace
2) run/walk 1km on the treadmill and time myself
3) set a running goal for 1km outside

Upcoming goal:
1) run/walk 1km outside each week and on the treadmill each week and keep track of my times by posting them here

When you first started running how long did it take you to run your first km or mile?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in 2012 Week 4 (1 month)

January 28, 2012.

Yipee!!! I am down .7 kgs this week. I was fully expecting the scale to lurch upwards this week after a particularly busy work week, the tail end of a cold, a few snow days, and an extremely sore low back that left me prone on the couch for two days, but I lost weight! I'm making much healthier food choices and I've found that eating dinner at a normal hour (5-6pm) has done wonders for me.

Total weight loss this year: .7kgs or 1.5 lbs

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in 2012 Week 3

January 22, 2012.

I have stayed consistent once again. I haven't gained anything, but I haven't lost anything either. Last week this frustrated me, but this week I find this to be good news. This means that my caloric intake and my metabolism and my regular activity have found a balance. i am no longer gaining weight from my choices in life. Furthermore, this means that by increasing my activity (going to the gym 3 times a week as intended) will allow me to start shedding some pounds. I'm looking forward to next weekend's weigh-in.

Weight loss this week: No change

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I've Been Tagged

Thanks to Marion (Affection for Fitness) I have seen this tagging post floating around on a few blogs before she chose to tag me. That means you get the pleasure of reading my responses to her questions and answering a few of my own.

Here are the rules:
1. post these rules.
2. you must post 11 random things yourself.
3. answer the ques­tions the tag­ger set for you in their post.
4. cre­ate 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
5. go to their blog and tell them that you’ve tagged them.

11 Random Things About Me

1) I think sandwiches taste better if you squish them first.
2) My ears are pierced and I love to wear dangly earrings. at one point I owned more than 200 pairs.
3) I can't remember the last time I left my toenails unpainted. They are usually painted a shade of pink (right now they are matte navy blue because Chris bought it for me).
4) I can't stand the sound of an alarm clock beeping (even on tv) yet one of my jobs is dispatching alarms where I heard beeping and sirens for 12 hours straight.
5) I have a weakness for teen television dramas and fiction novels.
6) Whenever I hear the song "One Fine Day" by The Chirelles I get instantly happy.
7) I giggle when I laugh so much so that when I was young my dad nicknames me "Giggles" and bought me a stuffed animal that also giggled.
8) I eat toast that can better be referred to as warmed bread with a slightly golden hue.
9) I sleep with two down duvets on even in the summer because I like the weight of the blankets.
10) After my first date with my husband I told my friends that I was going to marry him. One our second date I told my husband. Our third date was several months later because I scared him away. We got engaged 9 months after that and married 9 months after that. We've been married just over a year.
11) I've always wanted to go to Colorado, but I'm not sure why. It just feels like my kind of place.

Marion's Questions for Me

1. Briefly, what is your best fitness or dieting/weight management or cooking advice (Choose the category you're best at)?
I don't think I'm best at any of these yet. I'm still learning. Fitness-I like to keep variety (yoga, swimming, classes, working out with a trainer, working out with my husband). Dieting/weight management-I've never been on a diet. I just like healthy foods, but have a hard time staying away from sugar and carbs. Lately my advice to others has been "If you can read or chat with a friend while working out or go somewhere after without showering then you have not worked out hard enough".

2.What is your favorite meal and dessert?
My favourite meal is homemade maccaroni and cheese with green beans on the side. My favourite dessert is homemade apple crisp with vanilla ice cream.

3. What singer(s)/band(s) could you spend hours listening to on
I spend hours every weekend listening to music and watching videos on YouTube to pass the time at work (I dispatch on weekends and there is a lot of down time). You name it - I listen to it - lots of Adele and The Band Perry lately.

4. What are your favorite exercising songs?
Creating a new workout playlist is on my to-do list this weekend. Topping my old list are... Ain't No Other Man and Dirty by Christina Aguilera, Black Horse and a Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall, Crazy in Love by Beyonce, SexyBack by Justin Timberlake, Shut Up and Drive by Rihanna, and Be Somebody by Kings of Leon. I chose songs that keep me moving on the treadmill, elliptical, and cybex.

5. What movies are your all-time favorites?
Deep End of the Ocean, The Princess Bride, Life as a House, Rounders, Gattaca, A Walk to Remember, Double Jeopardy, anything about dancing, and my guilty pleasure Galaxy Quest.

6. What is something nice that a random person did for you that you'll always remember?
Last year someone ahead of me in the Tim Horton's (donought shop) drive through paid for my entire order leaving a message of Merry Christmas at the counter. I was surprised because I ordered about $20 worth of stuff to take into work. I passed on the favour to someone else this year.

7. What book(s) do you recommend (fiction or nonfiction)?
I'm always reading as I was an English major and am now a teacher. Currently I'm reading a lot of teen fiction (The Death Cure by James Dashner and The First Stone by Dan Aker). I just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Sometimes God Has A Kids Face by Bruce Ritter. I like non-fiction books by Malcolm Gladwell and poetry by Langston Hughes and Robert Frost.

8. Tell about a moment in your life that really mattered and changed how you felt about yourself.
I talked about this in an earlier blog. My defining moment was when I entered a fair ambassador competition at the age of 16. I entered after being begged to apply as they were short contestants and the outgoing ambassador thought I would like the experience giving a speech in public (I was enrolled in a public speaking group called Toastmasters). I entered up against all the girls I envied for their beauty that were popular in school. While waiting between rounds in the changeroom with all the girls I listened to their conversations about how they did not like how they looked, how they looked fat (they were size 0-4 and I was size 12), and generally talked down about themselves. I decided at that moment that if they could not be happy looking as beautiful as they did there was no way becoming more like them would make me more happier. I would just have to be happy with myself as I was. I went on to beat all of them out, placing runner up to a girl from out of town who was very deserving. Turns out the girls I envied that night were envious of me and wished they could present themselves as confidently and as eloquently as I did that night. I haven't looked back - I've been happy with who I am as I am every day since.

9. What would you like to see more (or less) on other people's blogs?
I would like to see more photos showing progress or lack thereof and of people doing the exercises they speak of in their blogs. I would also like to read more about failures along the way and how people overcame them or pushed through them.

10.What is something you wish people would understand about you?
What makes me happy is spending time with my husband, teaching others, learning something new, and living in a clutter-free space. How I actually spend my time is dispatching, teaching, tutoring, spending time with my husband, cleaning house/running errands, and relaxing.

11. If you had a $500 shopping spree (that couldn't be for any family needs) what would you buy for yourself?
I've managed to save up quite a chunk of my allowance and tutoring money precisely because I can't figure out what I would like to spend it on (other than a lavish vacation). If I had the time I would spend $500 to take an art class and buy the art supplies (maybe this summer?).

My Questions For Those I Tag
1) If you had one day off with unlimited funds how would you spend it?
2) What is one thing you would like to change about your life?
3) What book, song, and movie would you recommend to me?
4) What is one website or blog you peruse a lot and suggest others should check out?
5) How do you fit working out into your schedule?
6) What do you like to read about on fitness journey blogs?
7) What is one fitness challenge you would like to try this year?
8) What makes you laugh/makes you happy?
9) Who in your life influenced you the most and why?
10) What do you do for a living?
11) What is one thing I should know about you?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in 2012 Week 2

January 15, 2012.

I weighed in today expecting the worst as I only got 2 of my 3 workouts in this week and my mid-week weigh in had me up in weight already. Today I climbed on the scale though and there was no change in weight at all since last Sunday. I did not gain, but I did not lose any either. That hasn't happened before.

Sadly I have to miss yoga this week with a change in work schedule. Looking forward to finally swimming though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yoga...My New Motivator

January 11, 2012.

Today was my day off, but I got up and took my butt to the gym because my blogger friends have been praising yoga lately and I thought it was about time I tried an actual class for it. I was intimidated before I went because of my lack of flexibility. I thought for sure I would look like a fool sitting in on a beginner class with a bunch of fit yoga-goers. I arrived minutes before class, took a peak in the studio door to determine what equipment I would need, obtained a mat and walked confidently into the room. Then I noticed that the room was packed - this was clearly a popular class. There were at least 30 people in the room already of all ages and fitness levels (which made me feel more like I fit in), but the only spaces available were front and centre, placing me near the teacher and directly infront of the wall to wall mirror - ugh!

I took my place crosslegged in the centre of my mat and made eye contact with the only other plus sized girl in the room (also arrived late so was front and centre with me and her very fit friend). We shared our unease and returned to these glances at a few points throughout the 1 hour and 15 minutes of scheduled classtime. I hadn't even started and I was already worried I wouldn't make it through the 75 minutes.

We began with some breathing exercises to get to know our bodies. I found this extremely informative and helpful. I've noticed lately when working out (especially when running on the treadmill) that my body is pushing for more, but my lungs are not filling to what I think their capacity should be. I think yoga will help change this because by the end of class I was getting more air into my lungs by being aware of drawing it into my belly, my diaphragm, and my chest, then back out in reverse. I also noticed that my flexibility is worse than I thought because sitting cross-legged with my back straight was difficult. I felt how weak my back muscles were at holding me up and elongated. I felt the stretch in my back and my legs and my neck and my shoulders. I was surprised that it required effort for me to do this.

At this point we began a series of body movements - twists, bends, stretches, etc. of which there were too many to remember the names of, but they were all easy to follow. The instructor (Sasha) was amazing. I found her helpful with her tips that came at just the right time. She gave variations for level of difficulty and body shape and always stressed that there was no wrong way to go through the movements as long as you were aware of your body and were listening to it. Ie. if you felt something interesting you should explore it and linger there, discover your tensions, feel your stretches, make note of where your breathing changes or becomes laboured.

There were very few times where we held a pose that I thought I wouldn't be able to support for the duration - palm tree and downward facing dog come to mind, but I breathed through them and made it for the most part. The only poses I really struggled with were ones that required you to touch your toes (or near them) with straight legs, but Sasha always advised that bent legs were acceptable to allow you to ground your hands - it just made it more difficult to support my weight on bent legs and relax.

We ended with a mediatation at the request of the "regular yogies" as Sasha called them. The meditation involved becoming aware of your breaths in and out of your nostrils. It also involved blocking one nostril with your fingertip while breathing out then in the other, before switching to block the other. This taught me that I do not breathe the same amount of air through both my nostrils. I get far more air from my left one and at times found it difficult to get a deep breath through my right. It wasn't very meditative for me, but it was intriguing nonetheless.

I made it through the whole class and surprisingly only looked at the clock once around the halfway point - more out of curiosity than my usual need to determine how much longer I have to suffer through a class. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and will definitely be going to this class regularily. I look forward to more benefits and awareness.

Today I am totally loving the gym - but only because it houses yoga class.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekly Weigh-in 2012 Week 1

January 8, 2012.

The start of a new year so the start of new weight loss goals. Last year's weigh-loss resulted in a 10lb drop in weight, but sadly (and not surprisingly) after multiple weeks away from the gym (last workout: Oct. 30th to be exact) I gained about 5lbs back.

Therefore with a lackluster start to the new year I begin my weight loss journey again with an increase of .5kgs. After a workout at the gym today that left my arms sore and my stomach churning I'm looking forward to next Saturday's weigh-in for week 2.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Goal Update

January 7, 2012.

One week has passed this year and I am determined to meet my goals. Here is my progress so far...

My list:

4) run the 5km Warrior Dash or Mudnewton - Chris (my husband) has asked for fellow competitors. I went as far as looking up the Warrior Dash website, previewing the course, and noting that I do not have to make my Early Bird decision until May - what a relief.

6) go to the gym at least twice a week for one whole month - I had plans to go once last week and didn't make it so this goal is shot for the month (perhaps I should revise it to 4 weeks in a row?)

8) do not allow more than one week to go by without a workout - one week has gone by so my butt is going to the gym tomorrow

10) blog weekly - goal achieved so far!

11) weigh-in weekly - oops, I forgot in my rush to go the bank today, tomorrow will have to do

14) go for a walk once a week - does 2,600 steps around the mall count? Sadly, I think not. Ooh, but I did walk downtown and back with a friend on Tuesday. Yay me!!!

18) try something new and sporty - I have plans to start snowboarding next month