Days Worth Living For

These last few days have been the ones that make all the hassle and daily struggle and bullshit worth it.  The fun stuff, the good stuff, the stuff that makes you smile and months from now may give you a chuckle or a smile when you think of it.

Friday morning started off very dark and very cold when I went to get Tara to go to the USA.  We stopped for some very good coffee and shared a white chocolate and raspberry scone from Woods Coffee Company in Bellingham and then got on the interstate and booked it down to the outlet mall.  Money was spent, laughs were had, fancy panties were purchased and then it was lunch time.  Applebee’s in the US is not bad….it’s not great, but it’s not bad.  Unfortunately as we were leaving to head back to stores closer to home, we saw the restaurant that we had initially wanted to go to not 4 blocks down the road.  Ah, well, maybe next time.  Tara fell in immediate love with Trader Joe’s in Bellingham and we spent a good long time perusing their offerings.  Both of us packed grocery bags full and headed for our last stop at Target.  And then…it was time to come home.

Great trip, great conversation….the only thing that would have made it better is…..nope, not much.  Great day.

When I got home from dropping Tara off, Ray took me for dinner and then I had to come home and boil ribs and make sauce and cut squash and make apple crisp in preparation for the family dinner that we were hosting on Saturday.

Saturday morning started out bright and early with a killer spinning class.  I realized about half way through the class that my body has adapted to spinning and that the resistance that used to torture me isn’t quite as difficult anymore.  And so, because I figure what’s the point of going unless you’re going to give it everything you have, I cranked up the dial and got after it.  When I got home from spinning I was very happy to see that Ray had vaccumed upstairs and down and mopped the floors.  Very nice little treat, much appreciated!

Dinner was fantastic, wine, succulent ribs, savoury rice, caesar salad and some killer herbed garlic toast.  And warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert. 

And yesterday was a beautiful crisp fall day that had us lazing about until noon, a nice lunch at a neighborhood coffee shop and then two hours of leaf raking in the back yard.  Ray commented to me as I was raking that because of how large our yard is and how many leaves there were to rake, that it meant I shouldn’t have to go to the gym for a couple of days.  I disagree….while the leaf raking and hauling of 35 pound leaf bins and bags gets the heart rate up, I rather believe that the gym is the reason that I can leaf rake without an aching back or exhausting myself.  Leaf raking falls into the same category as dog walking or car washing or yard mowing.  It’s one of those things that you do, that is active, but isn’t considered exercise…not gym-replacing exercise anyway. 

Sunday night was leftovers for dinner, I baked Peanut Butter Ranch Cookies and spent a couple hours sitting on the sofa in my jammies drinking hot toddies and watching mindless television (which almost never happens).

I had one epiphany over the weekend that concerned exercise and food.  For me, I’m in the gym 4 hours a week.  Three spinning classes and a kickboxing class….(I burn approximately 2700 calories at the gym every week).  I’m NOT in the gym 15 hours/day (waking hours) which is 105 hours a week.  What goes on in the gym is good….definitely good, great even.  But what goes on when I’m not in the gym as it relates to food is a larger portion of my life.  Kill a workout 4 hours a week, great.  Eat too much or the wrong food when not in the gym and you’re diminishing the value of that hard work.  That was my epiphany.  It’s really easy to get sucked into the mindset of “I worked like a demon in the gym, now hand over the brownie!”.  I am going to work hard the next month to change that mindset to “I worked like a demon in the gym, now I’m seeing results!”. 

Below is a photo of the delicious ribs that we made!

Tonight I’m going to BodyCombat (kickboxing) right after work…again, dependant on making it there by the time the class starts…I can’t leave work early every Monday so it’s a crap shoot if the traffic is decent enough to get me there on time.  Tuesday is 6am spinning, Wednesday is 7pm spinning and then I think I might try to squeeze a class in on Friday (day off) because I have an hour of cardio to make up to keep me on track this month.

Love List ~ November 7, 2011

  • fluffy, sweet smelling pink bath towels
  • JOE yoga tops
  • friend chatter and family time
  • grey wool toque!
  • my stretching manual

Low Grade Crabby

October ended yesterday and for me it ended on a high note although I have to say that November hasn’t started out that way.  I am C-R-A-N-K-Y today!  I think it’s one of those moods that isn’t based on any one thing but a bunch of little things that are all ganging up.
Yesterday I left work a smidgen early in order to make it to my first BodyCombat class.  The girl teaching it is one of my favourite RPM (spinning) instructors so I thought if I was going to try something brand new, I wanted it to be her teaching the class.  Hell on toast, that class is HARD.  I am unco-ordinated, inflexible and have little to no upper body strength.  For that reason, I will be there every Monday afternoon for awhile.  I think it’s going to replace jogging on my schedule for awhile.   I had no idea that you could work so hard and sweat so much when you are only under the influence of your own body!
One of the things that I know making me crabby today is that I found out yesterday that Valerie (favorite instructor) is moving away in a month to go and open a new GoodLife Fitness in Kelowna.  We’re not friends, I barely know her and I don’t think she even knows my name, but I see her 3 times a week and her energy and drive and personality are a good part of what inspires me to get my ass down to the gym some days.  And in a month she won’t be there and it’ll be a bunch of random people teaching all her classes.  Whatever, I guess it’s not an actual problem but it makes me sad!
One of the other things that is making me crabby today is that I have a common spinning aggravation (not injury at this point) and the beebopping around in BodyCombat yesterday did nothing to help…and so I did not go spinning this morning.  I have Achilles Tendinitis…which means that my Achilles Tendon is inflammed.  It’s not a huge deal but it definitely is uncomfortable.  It’s most often caused by improper foot position when spinning. What I KNOW is that it’s often caused by dorsiflexion of your foot (toes pointed up) when pedalling.  What I THINK is that it’s because my quads (and most women’s) are so much stronger than my hamstrings so my body tries to get the quads to take the brunt of the work by driving the pedals down with my heels…and then my toes point up.  So ice, stretching, ice and a bit of rest.  I’ll be back to spinning tomorrow night, it’s already feeling better this morning after icing a bunch last night and again this morning.  And….my hamstrings will just have to suck up the pain from now on.
Ray is currently doing the first day of a two day cleanse prep for a colonoscopy.  It happens every two years and it’s always a touchy time because his dad died of colon cancer so getting that screening done is a good thing but we’re all on pins and needles for a couple of days…it brings that fear right to the forefront!
And finally, putting two “X” marks on my fitness schedule doesn’t feel very good, those red X marks are little failure tattoos and I don’t like it.  There are far more happy check marks than X marks though!  Tomorrow I’ll be back at it.  I’m kind of glad for the rest even though it meant red X’s though, I am tired and this morning looking in the mirror I actually look tired.  That’s not good…exercise is supposed to boost you and energize you and make you look vibrant and glowing….not tired!  I’ll be all rested up after all of today and tomorrow and ready to go tomorrow night!
Love List ~ November 1, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
a good ache in my shoulders and back
curry chicken mini pot pie for dinner (I’m being grateful in advance!)
cinnamon quinoa w/ a touch of syrup

End of October!

Morning.  I’ve been feeling posterrific over the last few days! 
I’ve completely brushed off the “failure” of skipping spinning all weekend and I’m moving on.  Because….what choice do I have?  I’m actually kind of excited about tonight.  I’m trying a new class at the gym called BodyCombat.  All the classes at my gym are Les Mills classes and those programs are definitely a challenge.  Valerie (Group Exercise Instructor) tells me that RPM (spinning) is the hardest one and since I already do that I’ll be fine…..but I’m not so sure.  You regulate your own resistance on the bike throughout the spinning class so if you’re really struggling you just turn down the volume.  In the aerobics style classes where it’s just you and an aerobics room, if you’re really struggling you just…..keep struggling?
Anyway, BodyCombat is an hour long martial arts aerobics class and completely out of my comfort zone.  I’ve never d0ne martial arts, I’m inflexible and I can’t do a push up to save my life.  Sounds like exactly the class I need, right?  LOL!  I keep thinking of that annoying cliche saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”.  It’s true though and so tonight (providing I make it there through traffic in time for the start of the class), I am going to do something different.  Wish me luck!
Now, even though I said above that I’ve put the weekend behind me, that’s not to say that I haven’t learned a big, huge lesson from some of the goings on.  I have come to realize that I am very sensitive to sugar, and not in a good way.  I don’t notice any particular energy spike when I eat sugar, but the crash that I get is horrible.  Plus, once I start with the refined sugar, my brain and my hand-to-mouth action don’t always connect.  I find myself re-sugar-charging myself when I really haven’t made a concious decision to do it.  One cookie equals two which equals an ice cream which equals a piece of fudge and on and on.  I exercise enough to take the calories but what it does to my body hours later is horrible.  I get sooo sleepy and soooo lethargic and that just snowballs if I let it.  I read a study awhile ago that said that refined sugar does a similar thing in the brain that heroin does (obviously to a lesser extent) and that makes sugar addictive.  It also said that generally people who are more overweight are more addicted to it due to longer term exposure and that the bigger you are, the harder time you will have cutting out sugary items.   I’ve also noticed (for quite some time) that sugar in any quantity makes my stomach swollen and my digestive-ness not work properly (if you get me) and changes my appetite completely.  So, I’ve got a sugar embargo going on right now in my world.   I need to just remember how crappy I feel afterwards and I should be completely fine saying no, thanks.
Love List ~ October 31, 2011
This morning I am grateful for:
 a pajama clad late(r) night drive (that’s always tonnes of fun)
quinoa cooked in cinnamon
apples and peanut butter
new exercise possibilities
my down vest!