Archive for February, 2013

Pictures – Start and Finish

When I posted this morning I couldn’t decide whether I was going to post the before and after pictures, then I remembered the post that Nancy made over at the Shrinking Jeans – This is Me, and thought “OK I am going to show my accomplishments because I am proud of them”. Please note the following:
1. I have JUST rolled out of bed, weighed in, got dressed and took these pictures.
2. My 7 year old daughter took these pictures with my blackberry.
3. They are a litle blurry – OK alot blurry
4. No makeup / no hair do / snug clothes… hmmm enough said

This is me!

Before - January 1, 2013

Before – January 1, 2013

After - February 27, 2013

After – February 27, 2013

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February – A SUCCESS in so many ways!

Wow, it’s amazing that February had come and gone. Although I yoyoed all month I ended the month the same as what I started. The end of February also means the end of the eight week weight loss challenge with the Shrinking Jeans team. The following are my original goals:

How am I going to do this:
1. sign up for fitness challenge and surround myself with positive influences – one check mark on the goal list completed and it’s only day two of the year WHOO HOO! ACHEIVED
2. Eight week fitness challenge goal – to lose 7 lbs, total goal for 2013 is 17 lbs – this may have to be re-evaluated as muscle weighs more than fat therefore if I feel I get to where I want to be, it might not mean a 17 lb loss. TOTAL OF 7 LBS LOST – ACHEIVED.
3. I am going to prepare and eat healthy food (daily goal – three meals a day with two healthy snacks, drink at least 2 L of water). Remember each day is a new day, no need to stay off the wagon if I fall off one day. ACHEIVED
3. Have a fitness plan and complete the challenges daily – I have these printed out so I know what I need to do daily. Remember each day is a new day, no need to stay off the wagon if I fall off one day…. seeing a theme here. FOR THE MOST PART I STAYED TO THIS SCHEDULE, I HAVE RAN OR EXERCISED REGULARLY – KEEP THIS UP
4. Short term goals: for January to Run 5 K, February 7.5K, March 10K, April 15K, May 21.5K – this is part of my training, however it is great to see those check marks on goals that have been ACHIEVED. JANUARY AND FEBRUARY GOALS ACHIEVED
5. Evaluate these goals as they are reached and build on them to make this a way of life and not just goals WAY TO GO ME!!! KEEP GOING YOU ARE DOING GREAT!!!

Beginning Scale Final Scale

I did up my goal to lose an additional 5 lbs in February because I did so well in January, however this goal I did not achieve, so I have moved this to March.

However there are lots of other great accomplishments for this month:
1. I fit into a pair of jeans that I couldn’t even button up (like two inches off) when I started this journey.
2. I am running and exercising regularly.
3. We are eating better than I ever have.
4. My whole family is involved with our healthy living. My husband had joined me in exercising regularly 🙂

My goals for March are:
1. I signed up for a Run Every Day Challenge – I have to run or walk at least 1 mile every day. My committment is to get in at least 1 mile, and if this means up and down my driveway or around my yard this is what I will do.
2. Keep up with my running schedule.
3. I want to work on my upper body strength this month so I am going to do the Shrinkingjeans.net Spooktacular October Upper Body daily challenge. I love these little daily challenges because I can fit them in almost any time during the day.
4. my end weight goal for this month is 145 lbs. That is just a little over a lb a week and I will be extremely happy with this.
5. keep up with my blogging:)

Thank you very much to all those who have made comments on my blog, your encouragement and thoughts mean the world.
Thank you to my partner Andrea who is kicking butt on her journey to a healthier lifestyle!
Thank you to my facebook friends whose posts, stories, thoughts, suggestions and encouragement inspire me every day.
Thank you to my family and friends (near and far) who are constant in their support to my becoming a healthier person.
Thank you to my friend who has joined me in this journey. We will do awesome!!
Thank you to Shrinking Jeans and Another Mother Runner and every person who shares, blogs, writes, inspires and comments.

There are really no words to describe the level of support that I have received from all of the above. Each post, comment, kind word, story, “way to go” that have been shared has meant the world and has kept me going.

Thank you to ME for making the committement and the changes to become a healthier, happy, stonger person!

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Feeling more like normal today

I am feeling like my normal self again, now to lose that 4 lbs that I gained in two days…still can’t believe that. Eating is back on track, water consumption is back on track, exercise is back on track, so I am feeling much better about things. If I get back to normal by Wednesday morning, I will be feeling pretty good.

I have decided on the Niagara Falls Half Marathon on June 2nd for my half as my husband wants nothing to do with trying to entertain our kids in the middle of Toronto while I run 🙂 It is two weeks off of what I had planned, but I am sticking to my schedule and will do the last two weeks over again before I run on the 2nd.

So off I go for my 5KMs today with 6 strides. Back on track!

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What’s going on?

Well not sure exactly what is going on with my body, it seems like it is holding onto everything that I put into my mouth. In the last two days I have gone up four pounds, yes, FOUR! Not exactly what I wanted for the last week of the challenge. I have a feeling that it was because of the lack of water intake over the weekend and maybe a little PMS (To much info) on the side. I find that there is one week of every month that just does not go according to plan and this is the week unfortunately. However I have worked out the last three nights, last night was 1 hour on the elliptical, the other two was 30 minutes on the elliptical with 30 minutes of challenge exercises. I have felt extremely bloated over the last few days as well, again leaving me to believe that I need to up the water drinking. I am finally feeling today that I am back on track again.

Due to the weather and road conditions this week I have not been out running at all and by the looks of today I will probably not get out again today, so it will be a date again today with Mr. Elliptical. The roads have not even been nice enough to drive to the nearest town to go run there and the sidewalks/trails are not in any condition to really be running on. I give props to any runners that are getting out in this weather.

I have also made the decision to do a local race in May rather than travel to the Maritimes to run the half marathon there. It was a tough decision however with my sister getting married in August I would rather spend two weeks on holidays then than to try and make two trips. And realistically spending $600-$700 to attend an out of town race for one weekend is a little much for the handbook. So I am going to register for the Toronto Women’s Half Marathon that is the very same weekend, and my husband and kids can come with me and we will make a weekend out of it and enjoy the long weekend in ON as a family 🙂 Win-Win – I still get to run the Half on schedule, still get to have family watch me cross the finish line AND get to spend a family day with John and the kids!!! It will we an awesome weekend!!

TGIF!! Here’s to planning for an active weekend!

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Weigh-in #7

Well this week was not a great weigh-in especially for the second last week of the challenge. No change this week. My choices were not the greatest this week, intensity level was not there, so time to kick it into high gear this week so that I finish this challenge strong. I would like to be down a total of 10 for the challenge so I need 1.5 this week.
My husband did very well this week, he was down a total of 3.5 lbs. I have noticed that he is drinking much more water than he ever has and has had regular dates with Mrs. Elliptical. A great start!! Also, he lost weight from the beginning of this year as well. I wish we would have taken his official weight at the beginning of the challenge as I am going to guess he is down about 10 lbs. He would like to lose another 30 by this summer and he is well on his way. I am so proud of him!
I came across this the other day on Pinterest, an awesome place for motivation, training, recipes (yeah, almost anything), and it is so very true.
Who was watching
My kids have been joining in the fun of getting healthy. They help pick out healthy foods at the grocery store, chose what they would like in their lunches, and participate in our evening exercise parties. They like to ask what the names of the exercises are and are now “talking the talk”. I was scrolling through pinterest (yes again) yesterday and my son looks over my shoulder and says “hey Mom, she is using the foam roller and look this lady is doing that exercise that you do, a plank.” So freaking cute!!
Really hoping that this week will be a better week for weigh ins. With the weather we are having it’s tough to get in the required runs for my training but going to try to get in the 11.5 kms today that I should have done yesterday. There was no way I was running outside yesterday with 80km winds and blowing snow (I am not that hard core). The busses were cancelled today so that will tell you what the road conditions are like this morning. Hopefully things will clear up some during the day.
Here is to a great week.

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Longest run ever

My long run this weekend (Saturday) was exactly that, my longest run ever..12kms. It took just over an hour and a half. It was a long run on the newly snow covered, recently graded, slippery back roads. The three kms that I did non pavements and a slight down hill felt like I was flying, it was awesome. I did the full 12 km with 6 x 1 run/walk intervals. When I was done I did lots of stretching which I believed helped greatly in the soreness department over the weekend. I couldn’t imagine what they would have been like without stretching and massages. The bottom half of my legs were much worse than the top as with the road conditions the muscles had to work alot harder than they usually do.

I tried lacing my runners differently over the last week and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it makes!! NO BLISTERS at all after my run which is the first long run in “years” that I have not had blisters. Who would have known that these little feet just needed more room when I was running..no me. But they felt so much better. Thank you to Ang J at another mother runner for the tip. Now to try out my newer runners this way.

I also realized that I need to bring some water and perhaps a little snack on my long runs now. I was pretty sluggish by the end of the run on Saturday. So I am going to check out a hydration belt and some Nuun tablets this weekend. I think I will make my own snacks rather than purchasing the “energy style bars” that you get at the sports store. I am sure that I can make something that will work just as well, with lots less ingredients that i can pronounce.

This weekend was a great weekend with the family, and for the most part was OK foodwise however I did slack quite a bit with eating chips (Note to self: DO NOT BUY CHIPS YOU WILL EAT THEM) and I did not drink as much water as I normally do, and boy did I feel it. We went to the museum yesterday (Family Day here in ON), it was a fabulous day, but I did not have my usually water bottle with me (forgot it in the car) and by the time I got to the car for the drive home I was chugging water like I was dying of thirst. Last night I made some cookies and cinnamon rolls for the kids lunches and of course had to sample. Nothing I love better than fresh out of the oven baking, so I had to taste some, then immediately put them into the freezer where I won’t touch them. I seem to have more willpower when things are in the freezer and not on the counter.

So today is 11.5 kms on the schedule, I am not sure how I am going to get this in as it is drizzling rain outside, very close to the freezing mark (really hard to believe that the busses still ran this morning), and the roads are VERY SLIPPERY!! I don’t have a treadmill so days like today when there is supposed to be a long run are harder to figure out what I am going to do. It might be a LONG HAUL on the elliptical tonight, but I won’t make 7 miles on the elliptical, that would be brutal! I will attempt to get out at lunch, hopefully the rain will go away, if not, I will do cross training then try again tomorrow.

I am thankful that each day is a new day and there is another chance to make the choices and build on my healthy lifestyle. A bag of chips and cookies isn’t going to stop me:)

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Running List and Drills

I trained with a running group a couple of years ago for the Rock the Road 10K…Thank You Lululemon and Runners Feed for this incredible training program. It was a group made up of wonderful individuals that pushed me beyond my limits. I signed up for the race, then started training, so I was very much a BEGINNER. It was advertised for Beginners to Expert Runners, so I showed up on day one with my running stroller and almost 2 yr old to begin training. I never felt so welcomed into a group of runners and every time someone passed me I thought “I will run like that someday” as I could barely run 1 minute at a time. One of the organizers even chatted with the little guy as I participated in running drills. The little guy is somewhat of a charmer so I think it was love at first site for her. So after 10 weeks of training, I was able to run the 10k however was not able to participate in the race as my holidays fell at the same time….Yes, seeing my family ALWAYS comes before running 🙂 As I did not want to let up on my training and still wanted to run the course, I asked the organizer if I could run the route on one of our Sunday runs and have him time me. Not only did he agree, he had the rest of the running group run the route backwards so that I met cheering squads on my route, there was a water station set up half way through the race, and at the end two of the participants of the group met me and ran across the finish line with me….one hour and fifteen minutes it took me to run that 10K (yeah, I am not very speedy). It was the most amazing experience and I will never forget the kindness and the encouragement I received from this group… Thank You Brandon Laan and the group at Runners Feed & Lululemon! Make sure to check out http://www.runnersfeed.com as they have WONDERFUL training video, information and all things running.
I had planned to run the race again last year, however had to go out of town for work on that same weekend, then I had planned to run it again this year (since I will have already trained for the half) however my sister is getting married on that same weekend….and family ALWAYS comes before running 🙂 So I will run the virtual 10K and think about this great group of people and thank them for the training tips that I use in my running today!

Yesterday I went out for my training run, I did 6.5 kms then some drills (so basically I combined yesterdays run with some of the day before’s training exercices). I did:
4 x 200m sprints
100 m high knees x 2
100 m butt kids x 2
100 m carioca drills (sideways left over right) x 2
Then I did lots of stretching.

I received my foam roller and Run Like a Mother & Train like a Mother books in the mail yesterday. The foam roller HURT however felt SO GOOD after. I think I found one of my favorite things. I am truly enjoying the Run Like a Mother book, I highly recommend it (www.anothermotherrunner.com).

Last but not least my Running Playlist… I am a country girl all the way when it comes to mucic and very rarely listen to anything but…except when I am running. Who would have known that my running list would have Pink, Lady Gaga, Destiny’s Child, Natasha Bedingfield, K’naan, Bon Jovi, Carly Rae Jepsen, Fergie, Katy Perry, KeSha, Kelly Clarkson & LMFAO. It makes for quite a mix when you add a little country in there too. Thanks to the comments on Shrinking Jeans for the inspiration to add to my running list, there are songs I WOULD NEVER have thought of but they certainly put a skip in my step. Can’t wait to try out the updated list on Friday.

Today is Valentine’s day and my day off. We are going to do a family activity tonight when the kids get home, hopefully a hike in the park as the weather is cooperating, then off to Boston Pizza for a treat 🙂
Happy Valentines Day!! I am truly blessed!

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Weigh In Day #6

It’s hard to believe that six weeks has gone by already. Weigh in today has me down another 1.5 lbs this week for a total of 8.5lbs for this challenge. Slow and steady is the name of this game. I am really noticing the change in my shape these last couple of weeks. My clothes must have been really tight before. I haven’t bought anything new except for the workout clothes, but my clothes FEEL so much better, and there are a few pairs of pants that are in the donation bin as they are NOT flattering any more. Total weight loss since I began is 16.5 lbs, almost the 20 that I have been trying to lose for the last four years.

Yesterday’s last chance workout ended up being 45 minutes on the elliptical and 15 minutes of monthly challenge exercises. My husband called for me to join him at the local restaurant for lunch, however instead I packed up some left overs, a homemade granola bar and a couple bottles of water and brought them over to the barn (where he works) and we had lunch together over there. Not only did we get to spend a little quality time together and I got outside these four walls, but we had a healthy homemade lunch with it. Saved us about $35 and ALOT of unwanted/unneeded calories and fat. So my plans changed and I did an at home workout instead of outside – which was an alternate substitue on the training schedule today.

My little guy is quite a little character. Last night I was on the elliptical and was very warm and sweaty so I took off my t-shirt and was just working out in my short and sports-bra (not a pretty picture I know, however I was HOT, and the picture is not nearly as bad as it was 15.5 lbs ago).
He comes over and says “Mom, why are you wearing just your bra and showing your belly?” Sidenote: my little guy has an aversion to women showing their bellies, these are private parts in his mind.
I explained “Mommy is very warm from working out and I just took off my shirt, don’t worry, the bra is like a shirt and makes sure my private parts are covered.”
He says “OK, but what if the neighbors come over to visit?”
I say “Then I will put on my shirt so noone will see”.
He says “OK, so how much longer to do you think you are going to be exercising with no shirt.”
I got the hint and finished up my workout and put my shirt back on. He is such a funny little guy, I love him.

Today on the schedule is 10 Easy Kms… there is that word EASY again. Someday 10K may be easy. I am going to try lacing my runners differently today to see if that helps with the blisters on my feet. It may be because I need more room in the toe box of the shoe. Nothing to lose but lots to gain if this works. It’s funny I have never given much thought to my feet being wide, as I have pretty small feet (just a size 7), however I did a little watching yesterday as I walked barefeet and when I put my weight on the front of my foot, like I would when I was running, it really spreads out. So going to give this a whirl.

It is another great weigh-in day. Goal for this week – STICK TO TRAINING SCHEDULE – only 12 weeks left until the Half.

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Last Chance Work Out day

So today is last chance workout day for weigh-in tomorrow. I am feeling really good this week and hoping to another pound to keep things “slow and steady” coming off. Today’s training is 5K with 4 strides (run as fast as I can for about 100 meters or 30 seconds). This will bring me back to my ball playing days (oh how i miss playing baseball – going to look into getting back into this again one of these years).

Yesterday was my “day off”, Hubby had a date with Mrs. Elliptical (my kids thought this was pretty funny) and did 25 minutes. I was so proud of him!!! It was great. While he did this I grabbed my monthly challenge sheets and did a 30 minute session of mixed exercises. The kids loved this too and joined right in. I had to chuckle when my daughter pulled out her “challenge book”. She had taken a scribbler and on each page drew an exercise and how many reps she had to do of each. There are 10 different exercises, from jumping jacks, summersaults, kartwheels, push-ups, burpees, running in a spot, etc. It is great!!

Mom's training plans & Emily's training plans

Mom’s training plans & Emily’s training plans

Of course when the kids see us doing “exercises” it bring up the topic of “why are we doing this”, “are you trying to lose weight”. It opens the door for very healthy conversations about getting healthy, stong, being fit, good heart health, being proud of who you are and of your accomplishments. I am very fortunate that my kids are at an age where they don’t really talk about negative body image. My husband and I, although both had to lose some weight, try our best to not talk about “losing weight” or the negative parts of our body that we don’t like with or infront of our kids. We talk about how we are making changes to become stong people, so that we can do all of the fun and great things that we like to do (hiking, swimming, playing outside). I hope that as we continue on this journey that our kids will build that pride and love for their bodies and know they are perfect the way they are.

So off to get some work done then at lunch I will hit the road for today’s workout. One of the benefits of working from home, I get to dress in my workout gear first thing in the morning and don’t have to worry about changing before, it’s a little extra motivation to get out the door. With Valentine’s day this week, we are taking an idea that we got from the Biggest Loser last night, we are going to go sledding or hiking to spend the night as an active family. Hopefully the weather will cooperate 🙂

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Long run post

Yesterday was long run day. On the schedule it was supposed to be 11.5 km but I only got in 9.5 before my left knee started to bother me so bad that I couldn’t run anymore. I am not one of those “push through the pain” type people, especially when it is my knees. My pace was quite a bit slower than normal, the total time was 1:17. What a difference it makes though when you have good music to listen to. I made up a running play list for the ipod this week, who would have known that Pink, Avril Levigne and Kelly Clarkson would have been some favorites of this Country girl. There is something about an upbeat song to keep your feet moving.

I also went out on Saturday to a huge warehouse sale for a sporting goods store and picked up myself two long sleeve, two short sleeve and six running bras. AWESOME!!!! A big shout out to Moving Comfort sportswear!!! I think I have found a new favorite running gear. This store has another big sale in June so hoping to pick up some summer running gear at that time too:) I am thinking that I am going to have to get a new pair of runners. My feet really can’t take any more blisters…grrr…This could be very well what is leading to my sore knees, not landing on my feet properly. I thought these runners were going to be great, they are supper comfortable and the treads are great for on the gravel, but it is like they wrap around my foot to snuggly and rub on the inside of my foot. So off to the running store to get some new ones, and some new socks.

We are having some very crazy weather here in SW Ontario. The kids had a snow day on Friday, major blizzard rolled through (though not as bad ad the Northeast USA), then on Saturday and yesterday it was beautiful!! Now they are off for another snow day today because the roads are ice covered because of the melt and freezing rain last night. The kids are loving it.

Goals for this week is to KEEP WITH THE TRAINING SCHEDULE!!! Intervals and strides are added to the schedule this week, it will change it up some. My husband and I have also started a Get the Family Healthy journey. My sister is getting married in August and we are going to be a HEALTHY FIT COUPLE for this holiday. Need to be prepared for the dancing party 🙂 Our daily goal is 30 minutes of exercise every day, something to get our bodies moving, heart rates up and to eat sensibly. I will be posting our journey on this blog as we go along, more as a place to keep track of the progress.

So EAT WELL AND EXERCISE is the game plan for the week… It will be a great one!

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