Category Archives: Exercise

New Year, New You?

Needless to say, I totally went off the blogging radar for a while now. Quick recap:

  • Mom was here visiting Nov 5-Dec 3. It was AMAZING to spend time with her and I love that she got to see my place, my (new) office, meet my friends and generally see what my life down here is like.
  • I have a new job! As I mentioned before my hiatus, I found out I basically lost my job when the show I was to be production managing got put on hold. The timing was great, though, as it allowed me to spend a whole month with my mom while she was here. Long story short: within a week of leaving my old job, I had interviewed for and been offered a job as Production/Facilities Coordinator at Oktobor, a post-production/VFX company that deals mainly in advertising. (www.oktobor.com for some samples of our work). I LOVE it. It’s the first job I think I’ve ever had that I absolutely love and feel like it’s something that really fits with my experience, personality and generally what I’m looking for in a job. Yay!!!
  • My diet/workout routine went out the window with my blog. The combination of mom’s visit, losing a job, gaining a new job, Christmas and everything else are all just excuses, I know, but kept me thinking about and putting energy into just about everything other than my diet/fitness. And it’s totally taken it’s toll…

In the end, it’s been a couple months of changes that have left me in a really great place. I’m really happy and grounded. I feel like I’m finally working for a company that really values me and wants me to do well. My boss had already talked about the next steps in my career and my options as I work my way up. Add the fact my mom was around for the whole process and got to encourage me before the interviews, celebrate with me after landing the job and even come by and take a tour of my new office and meet my coworkers… the whipped cream and cherry on top!

The downside to all the excitement is my health taking a complete backseat and I think now that I’ve started to slow down a little over the 2 week holiday break, I’m feeling the effects. I’m tired. I have more headaches, feel weaker and almost constantly bloated, and just generally don’t feel all that great. (Sound familiar?)

Taking the break and the new year as a chance to regroup, I’m trying to get back on track. I don’t want to say it’s a resolution, because those seem almost doomed to fail. It’s just refocusing my energy back on me. Putting my health back in the forefront and finding the discipline, inspiration and commitment to get back to where I was late September. Since the new job has longer hours – 8:15-6 as a minimum – I doubt the gym is going to find its way into my schedule too soon. (I let my 3-month membership expire in November. There was too much going on in my life and the gym was getting too busy when I did find time to workout). Thankfully, it’s summer here, so I’m going to try to take advantage. Swimming/surfing on the weekends and just generally getting outside whenever possible. Walks, frisbee games, fishing – whatever.

I don’t think I’ll be updating this every day anymore but hopefully I’ll be able to get something up at least once a week. And, of course, I hope to get back into reading your blogs and commenting and all that good stuff. I know you’ll help boost my inspiration and motivation. ūüôā

 

Did you make any new years resolutions?
Anything I totally missed in the last 2.5 months that I simply MUST read?

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It’s on like Donkey Kong!

OMG.

Banana soft serve is AMAZING!

I know I’m eons behind the times on this one, but I did not have a blender/food processor until this weekend. I’ve been dying to try soft serve since I heard about it on multiple blogs month ago. So, naturally, I was trying bananas in the freezer before I even got the new-to-me food processor down on the countertop!

My new baby!

Now, I was SUPER excited about this food processor – mainly because I wanted to try this soft serve – but also because I found it, in great condition, at a secondhand shop for $40. Score! Upon getting it home and set up, I realized it’s missing a few attachments and blades and things – but it still acts like a blender, juicer, cream whipper, french fry slicer and dough mixer, so I still think I got a great deal on it!

Somehow, I managed to wait a full 24 hours or so to make sure the banana was fully frozen before excitedly trying to make what everyone else has been raving about forever. I took it out of the freezer and carefully peeled it with a sharp knife, then cut it into chunks and tossed it in my food processor. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. (To break up the banana into little bits). Then a few minutes of blending – stopping occasionally to scrape the mixture down from the sides.

Once it seemed to have a good, creamy consistency, I scraped it out into a bowl and plopped down on the couch to give it a whirl. And, as you probably have already guessed, I absolutely LOVED it. It had the same consistency as ice cream and was just as satisfying. Possibly even more satisfying because I knew it was just a banana. Talk about the ultimate in guilt-free!

Om nom nom. Amazing.

I’m super excited about trying more varieties. Adding some other frozen berries, some cocoa powder, maybe even a little peanut butter! I also can’t wait to whip up a batch for my vegan friend. With summer just around the corner, I’m sure she’s going to love this dairy-free treat.

Plus, now I can finally try a whole heap of other recipes I’ve been holding off on for lack of food processor. A green monster for breakfast tomorrow? Some chocolate macaroons for dessert? Pureed and blended everything just because I can?! Yes!

What are your favourite “food processor foods”? What other amazing treats have I been missing out on? Dish!

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Filed under Exercise, Products, Recipes

Lactic acid and antibiotics

Not together. Or even related. But these two things are on my mind today – and are the reason I skipped out on my gym workout yesterday.

1. Lactic acid
I’m still ridiculously sore from Sunday’s workout. (And, for anyone keeping track, it’s already Wednesday here in New Zealand, so that workout was 3 days ago!) I don’t feel like I overworked anything when I was working out. Yes, my muscles were exhausted by the end of the third set of any given exercise but isn’t that the point? But now, 3 days later, I’m still stiff and sore and my poor muscles ache.

Does anyone have any suggestions? My usual workout is: 5-10 min cardio workout, 30 min weights (2-3 major muscle groups per workout, alternating so each gets about 1 workout/week), 10-15 min cardio and then about 5-10 min stretching. Do I need to do more stretching? More/less cardio? Drink more water? Eat bananas after my workout? Help! I’d rather not go easier on the actual workout as I don’t feel I’m pushing myself too hard there… and I don’t want to keep pushing back workouts because I’m still sore from the last.

Any advice would be greatly, greatly appreciated!

2. Antibiotics
The other reason we didn’t end up in the gym yesterday as originally planned. I went straight from work to the emergency dentist – who wasn’t in – and then over to the Dr next door because my wisdom teeth are acting up again.

Backstory: My wisdom teeth are about 1/2 – 3/4 grown in, and have been for years. My dentist back in Toronto always said “As long as they aren’t giving you any problems, don’t worry about them!” Which was working just fine until 3 months ago when the gums near my left wisdom teeth got infected. I didn’t know what it was, but within 48 hours it went from “My jaw feels a tiny bit sore” to “I can’t open my mouth more than 1 cm!” I was sent off to the hospital and put on an IV drip for 2 days then sent off with another 5 days worth of antibiotics.

Yesterday, I started getting that same feeling in my jaw and knew I needed to get antibiotics ASAP if I wanted to avoid another trip to the hospital. And after an hour of waiting, I finally saw the doctor, who prescribed me 3 weeks (!) worth of antibiotics. He said to take them for at least 5 days, max 7. The rest were “so [I] don’t have to come back and wait another hour if it flares up again”. So now I’m on a 4/day course of antibiotics and an antiseptic mouthwash rinse thing that makes everything taste awful for the next 5 days. Awesome! On the plus side, my NZ residency was approved yesterday, so at least if I end up in the hospital again, I won’t be charged $800+ per day for the¬†privilege! (Yay!)

I suppose it could be considered a huge diet helper. I can’t open my mouth fully (so I need to take smaller bites), chewing isn’t the most comfortable thing (so I won’t be eating unless I’m hungry) and the mouthwash makes everything taste pretty bad (so no excess eating just for the deliciousness). I know I was asking for ideas to switch things up, but this wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for…

Do you workout even if your muscles are sore from your last workout? What do you do to minimize post-workout sore muscles? Any tricks or tips that really work for you?

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2.5 weeks to go

Alright, I sucked it up and did my measurements. A week and a half later than I should have, but it’s done all the same.

Bust: 89 cm /  35 inches  Down 1 cm
Waist: 67 cm /  26.4 inches  No change
Hips: 96 cm / 37.8 inches  Down 1 cm
Thigh: 52 cm / 20.5 inches No change

Weight: ¬†No idea. Will possibly weigh in at the gym tonight, but it won’t really be comparable to the previous 2 weigh-ins…

Not too shabby! While I was right thinking I hadn’t made huge leaps and bounds in terms of loses, I haven’t gained anything either, which I was kinda dreading I might have.

All in all, though, I feel like I’ve plateaued. I know that sounds ridiculous. The measurements show a loss. My belt fits on one notch smaller. These are good things! But even still, I feel like I’ve plateaued. Maybe it’s because I’m getting used to my daily routines. Maybe it’s because walking 20-30 minutes to/from work doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. Maybe it’s because avoiding sugar doesn’t really feel like some sort of epic battle anymore. Maybe it’s because I actually have changed my lifestyle and it’s just normal routine now.

Thing is, I don’t want it to be routine. Not yet, anyway. I want to feel like I’m actually making an effort in this still! I want to feel challenged. I want to feel like I’m pushing myself and I want to feel proud of myself when I see the results of that hard work.

I think I need to reevaluate. When I started, I thought eating healthier and walking more would be a challenge and that sticking with it would show results. And it did. But I think I’ve reached the limit of what that change is going to do for me. If I want to see more results, I’m going to have to change my routine. So from now on, I’m going to keep doing what I was doing (drinking lots of water, eating healthy foods and walking as much as possible) but I’m also going to step it up at the gym. Andrew’s got himself psyched up about the gym – going so far as ordering bulk protein powder and creatine to help maximize his workout results – which will make things easier, too.

I know if I want to be showing off my body in a bikini this year, I’m going to have to put in the work for it. Ditto if I want to wear those short shorts.

Plus my birthday is in 2.5 weeks. I originally started with 3 months to go, saying I was going to be in great shape by my birthday. I’ve got 2.5 weeks left to really push and make sure when I wake up Oct 1 and turn 27, I’m going to feel damn good about myself.


How often do you reevaluate your goals? Have you ever felt like you weren’t doing enough, even when you were sticking to your plan? What do you do when you feel like you’ve plateaued?

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Ups and downs

Oh Monday, we meet again…

The weekend was pretty good. A few ups and downs. More ups than downs, I reckon, but a few of both all the same.

  • UP – my friend came back from her 6 week trip to England
  • DOWN – her and her bf were so smitten and adorable it made me miss that cutesy-ness Andrew and I used to have. (Though Andrew reminded me it’s not fair to compare a couple who hadn’t seen each other in 6 weeks to a couple who’s been living together – and seeing each other every day – for over 2 years).
  • UP – went out to a comedy festival Friday night. Must have laughed off at least 250 cal!
  • DOWN – went out for Thai food after the show
  • UP – didn’t go out for any high-calorie food after the show
  • DOWN – didn’t go out for food because Andrew & I got in a small fight (more¬†accurately, a slight disagreement because we were tired) and went home instead.
  • UP – did an awesome photoshoot on Saturday with a new model
  • DOWN – it was raining and cold for the entire shoot
  • UP – the photos turned out awesome all the same.
  • DOWN – Andrew had to work all weekend
  • UP – We met up during his lunch break Sunday to hit the gym anyway
  • UP/DOWN – I am super sore from said workout today.

As I said, more ups than downs and the downs weren’t really all that bad.

I’m late on updating my weight/measurements. I didn’t do it last week because of that time and I didn’t want the bloating etc influencing my results. Of course, I think I’m also putting it off because I don’t think there’s been much change this month and I’m trying to avoid disappointment. sigh.

Will try to remember to get that done tomorrow morning, though. Measurements, at least. I can’t do weight at home anymore since selling my Wii Fit “scale”. No more putting it off. If nothing else, it’ll be motivation for the gym over the next few weeks!

Do you put things off because you know you haven’t done as well as you were hoping to? If you do weigh in/measure and you haven’t changed since last time, what do you do to get motivated? Do you change anything to improve your chances of seeing results next time?

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Cherries

The lovely Jos from Delightful Tastebuds nominated me for an award! My first blog award ever. (Awwww!) What a wonderful way to kick off a Friday!

Along with it came 3 rules:

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
This is actually quite difficult. I am lucky enough to regret very few things in my (almost 27) years of life because even the bad decisions/relationships/experiences had a lot of good has come out of them. And who knows if I’d be where I am and as happy as I am now if I didn’t go through those things. I think I would narrow it down to: I wish I knew then what I know now about health, diet and lifestyle. Maybe then I would still have nice, normal hair and not be¬†self-conscious¬†about the thinning hair I have now. Maybe then I would’ve cut gluten out long before I had eczema that brought me to tears. And on and on…

2. Nominate another 6 people for this award ¬†and let them know they’ve got the award.
Karen at Waisting Time
Angela the Diet Book Junkie
Amanda at Me vs The Bulge
Food Addict at Food: My Drug of Choice
Cammie at The Tippy Toe Diet
Bobbie at Anonymous Fat Girl
45Before35
(I know that isn’t 6. I don’t care. I’m a rule-breaker! Or really poor counter… Either way, they all deserve it.)

3. Thank the person who gave you the award.
Jos – thank you SO much! This is my frist blog award and I’m absolutely delighted. I love following your blog and am quite chuffed you nominated me. ūüôā The food photos you post always make me drool and I love how open and honest your posts are.

I remembered 2 things from the gym the other night that I forgot to post about yesterday. The first is that I could leg curl the same amount of weight as Andrew could. I think that has a lot to do with all the walking (including lots of hills!) I do daily and the fact that he hates leg workouts. Either way, I was pretty impressed with myself!

The second was when we came home. Andrew looked at me, rather seriously, and said “You know, if you keep working out with me, there’s a good chance you’ll actually gain weight”. I must have given him a weird look because he immediately followed with “You know. Because we’re doing weight training, you’ll be gaining muscle… so your weight could actually go up just with the increased muscle mass!” He was quite concerned that if the scales showed a weight gain, I might get upset and was trying to reassure me ahead of time that it was normal when weight training. I laughed and said “The scale could say I’m 200 lbs and if I looked and felt great, I wouldn’t care!” My rationale is that it’s very obvious what size you are but really indefinite what actual weight you are. He seemed relieved and quite happy with my viewpoint on the whole thing.


Is weight the ultimate measure for you? Or is size? Overall health? Would you get upset if the scale showed a higher number, but you were fitting into smaller clothes?

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The gun show

Last night Andrew and I headed out to the gym. Until now, we had just gone Sunday mornings, where there were maybe another 3-4 people working out total. I knew weekday nights would be completely different. The gym we go to is in the heart of downtown Auckland, so you can only assume a whole whack of people head there from the office for a quick workout before heading home for the night.

I was right.

Andrew had some things to catch up with at the office, so we decided to meet at the gym at 7 pm – theoretically late enough for most of the afterwork crowd to be done their workout and on their way home. We were almost right.

The gym was still pretty busy when we arrived. And it was a world different from Sunday mornings! All the treadmills and ellipticals were taken, so we each did about 5 minutes on the bikes to warm up. And though there were quite a few people using the machines, we managed to get a full workout in without having to wait to use any machine.

Best part of the workout?
When I was doing bicep curls, a personal trainer walked by and said “Whoa. Gun show going on over here!” in an encouraging tone. Which I found hilarious as I was lifting a whopping 12 kg/26 lbs between both arms.

Worst part of the workout?
Not the fact it was busy – since it didn’t really hinder our workout at all – but the number of stereotypical musclehead gym types. Grunting loudly with every rep and punching each other’s abs and fist pumping between sets. I definitely prefer the Sunday morning “crowd”.

All in all, though, it was a good workout. Andrew and I talked about possibly switching it up and doing our workouts before work on weekdays instead of after. I don’t know how I feel about the early mornings – I struggle enough as it is now! – but it might be worth it. Would be an energizing way to start the day. I guess it really depends on whether there’s a big difference in the crowds.

If you go to a gym, when’s your favourite time to workout? Does having lots of people around motivate you or discourage you?

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