Fired Up!

Thank you very, very much to everyone who read or commented on my last post.  I’m so grateful to know that while we are all unique individuals, we sometimes struggle with similar issues and can understand, commiserate and support one another.  Gratitude!
I thought after a couple of heavier posts this week that I would end the week on the upswing.  First, the delightful little treat that my boss brought to work yesterday morning.  His name is Bentley and he’s a Duck Tolling Retriever.  He’s 10 weeks old and a little sweetheart….also a biter with those sharp puppy teeth!  Really adorable and playful.


I’ve been trying to prepare myself for the second stage of New Rules of Lifting for Women because of course there are new exercises and new equipment required.  As happy as I’ll be to be done with Stage 1 (9 weeks is a hellaciously long time to repeat the exact same workout!), Stage 2 freaks me out a little because it means I have to do new movements with new weights and due to the equipment required I have no choice but to enter into the big co-ed area.  I kept thinking of this little graphic and how it really is true.
And then yesterday my friend, Tara forwarded me a link to an article that got me fired right up.  Fired! Up!  Click for the full article but I’ll give you below a couple of my favourite experts:
“Push.  Turn up the volume.  Go hard.  Go harder.
Re-prioritize your aches and pains.
Infuse your sensitivities with courage.
Tell fear to fuck right the fuck off.
Devote to Done.”
“Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.”
“It’s your soul speaking and she says,
Get UP! I need you.  I want you.  I am you.  Choose me.”


Anyway, go check out the link, the article isn’t long and you may just feel like an invincible, unstoppable ROCK STAR when you’ve finished.  A thousand thank you’s to Tara for sending me this, I love it!  I am going to infuse my sensitivities with courage and I AM going to tell fear to fuck the fuck off and I’m going to pop my iPod on and go and do what is right for my body and if there are boys there then there are boys there.  If there are women fitter than me there then so be it, I will use them to push myself harder.  It’s going to be at 4:30 in the g’damn morning, if it was me and I saw someone new lifting heavy weights at that time of the morning, the only thing I would be thinking was “good for them!”.  The more cynical part of me would also be wondering “I wonder how long they’ll last?”, but I know me and I’m a “laster”!  😉
Tonight after work we’re going out for a quick drink with one of my favourite co-workers who is retiring.  Tomorrow morning I’m hoping that the rains break for awhile and I am successful about prying Ray out of bed and going for our now beloved early Saturday morning coffee-walk.  I really love that time that we spend together first thing on Saturday morning.  Sometimes it’s what drives me to make it through the week!  Saturday during the day I hope to get some work done on my wagon and then Saturday evening we’re going out and we’re going to celebrate my dear friend Tara with a few drinks (it’s her b’day, go give her some love!). 
This has been a long and somewhat rocky week (and a bit) and I’m glad to be going out of it on a more balanced, positive note.  I’m excited again and motivated and my vision is clear and for that I am extremely grateful. 

I Vant To Be Alone.

I’m really craving some…..alone time….down time….quiet time….all of the above?  Normally I am refreshed when we have quiet time in our house in the evenings, Ray being on days is perfect for that, we have a drink together when I get home, make dinner together and then spend the evening doing whatever.  I always go to bed an hour before he does so we sort of both get our time to ourselves.  But this week and last, things have been in such turmoil, the emotional upheaval has been crazy.  I just need…….some space.  When I got home last night I came up the stairs and Ray was sitting on the sofa, his whole face soaked with tears………he’d gone and picked up Brandy’s ashes.  Now…I realize that it’s just a dog that’s gone, not a human.  But she was a member of our little family and it’s hurting Ray tremendously that she’s gone, and Ray’s pain is hurting me tremendously….only this is his painful loss, not so much mine and that means that right now I need to be there to support him and whatever he’s going through.  I know what it’s like to suffer a loss to a much greater degree than those around you and have those people diminish your pain with their histrionics.  So we won’t be going there.

I feel like crap today, aside from my overwhelming urge to go and sit somewhere alone for a few hours and just be quiet, my skin is the sahara, my lips are all cracked and my excema is flaming.   I’m freezing and although I had a great sleep last night, I’m exhausted.  Super.
Tonight I have Workout B at the gym after work (this ought to be good, youtube to the rescue!) and as soon as I get home (or possibly before I actually arrive home) Judy (ex wife) is coming over.  As much as it’s become a little easier to all be social with each other and as much as I have no trust issues with Ray, it does not sit well with me when she comes over and I’m not there.  Don’t ask me why…I don’t know, it just bothers me.  So tonight I’ll be at the gym and then come home and Judy will be there (with George, yay!).  Eventually when she leaves, dinner and lunches will need to get made and cleaned up and then the evening is over, it’s bedtime.  Friday we are going for dinner with Ray’s mom.  Saturday during the day Ray wants to go to Mission for an errand and then we’re doing dinner & a movie with our motorcycle club.  And then Sunday is groceries and errands and getting ready for the work week. 
Next Friday I have the day off and am going to go across the line and do some shopping.  Tara and my sister are both unavailable; I was going to invite my mom to go with me for the day but I really think I just need to spend the day alone. 
Yesterday I had my breakfast smoothie at 6am, my snack salad at 9:30 and then I just didn’t feel like eating after that.  I didn’t get hungry or tired or anything but around 2 I thought I should eat so I had an apple, some smoked salmon and some almonds and could barely choke it down.  So strange.  Although!  I was telling Tara the other day that sometimes I feel like my body needs a fast once a week.  Not long, just breakfast in the morning and then nothing until dinner.  This is the third week out of 4 that this has happened where I’ve not eaten during the day just for the one day.  I’m fairly religious about listening to my body so I don’t personally see any issue or harm with doing this once a week.  I know there are lots of people out there who do it regularly, it’s called Intermittent Fasting.  I’m not setting a schedule to it like some people do/recommend because I would fear that if fasting day was on Wednesday but I was really hungry on one Wednesday, forcing myself to do the mini-fast would be going against what my body is asking for and that sort of defeats the whole purpose.  On those days when my body just doesn’t want any intake, I’ll listen.  Seems to be happening about once a week.
So tonight I head to the gym for the first run of Workout B.  My arms are already so sore from Workout A on Monday that I’m curious how this is going to work out but this is how the program is designed so I’ll run with it for now. 

Day One ~ NROL Success!

Where do I start today? 
Yesterday after work, as much as every fibre of my emotional-being wanted to just go home and hibernate, I went to the gym and did the first day of New Rules of Lifting For Women.  I’m so, so glad that I went.  I warmed up with an easy run on the treadmill, just a 4.5 speed and no incline for 15 minutes.  As possibly stupid as it may sound, that 15 minutes was the most relaxed I have felt in about a week.  I completely zoned out and 15 minutes was up before I knew it.  I don’t want this to sound ignorant but it felt like the equivilant to taking a 15 minute nap….sort of…I don’t know.  It felt good though.
After my warm up I tucked into the prescribed exercise:
2 sets of 15 squats either body weight or loaded barbell across your shoulders.  I am fairly strong in my legs so I loaded 22 pounds.
2 sets of 15 pushups….I’m much less strong in my upper body so my pushups were 45 degree…which I was actually a little impressed by, I didn’t think I’d be able to pull that off
2 sets of 15 seated rows….loaded to 22.5 pounds
2 sets of step ups….with a 10lb dumbbell in each hand.  These I did wrong and will rectify next time, youtube is handy that way!
2 sets of prone jackknife….again, easier than I thought, this is the one I was most worried about.  See the photo below if you don’t know what that is.

The workout called for 2 sets of 8....I accidentally did 2 sets of 15. 8 would have been better!

I didn’t push myself probably as hard as I could have.  I’m fine with that though, given the previous days events and the fact that it was brand new, it’s hard to know how much to challenge yourself when you don’t know what’s coming.  My arms and shoulders certainly feel it this morning though.  Tomorrow is the next workout and it’s a bit different prescription and then you alternate back and forth between “A” that I did yesterday and “B” that I’ll do tomorrow.  Three days a week for 6 weeks and then some time off.
When I got home from the gym I walked into a bit of an upset.  Ray took coming home alone a wee bit harder than we both thought and before I even had the front door closed he had his arms around me and crying into my hair.  A little odd for him since he’s not so much the affectionate one but obviously he needed the comfort.  Poor sweetheart.  The rest of the night wasn’t too bad though, it’s when he’s home alone that’ll take some getting used to.
I made Apple Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Chicken for dinner with brussels sprouts and then for a snack last night we ate the rest of the bacon. 
I’ll wrap this post up with a shameful admission.  Eric Church is so sexy it hurts me.  And listening to him sing his new song, “Springsteen” makes me all silly inside.  His sexittude weirdly inspires me to work harder and get fitter.  Ah well, whatever works.  😉

Go listen to his new song, "Springsteen". His heavy twang voice combined with this picture just kills me!

Don’t Panic!

Oh, blissful sunshine!!!!!  Seriously, feels like a balm to my soul to feel the warmth of sunshine….even if not the physical warmth!
At 2:30 yesterday I got a call from Ray that he was asked to work 4 hours of overtime and so I was on my own yesterday evening.  I took the opportunity to:
A) panic that I might feel inclined to eat all the Lindt bunnies I bought at Costco on Friday since I was home alone unexpectedly
B) panic that I was going to be first home and be forced to clean up whatever biohazard the dog created during the day
As it was, I ate ONE bunny (acceptable!) and fortunately our dog didn’t mess in the house.  Panic for naught.
I made my lunch and put dinner together and then sat on the sofa and started getting my workout logs in order for The New Plan.  It’s very unfortunate that I made the decision to start this when I did because this week is just not going to work for me.  The recommendations are fairly specific in timing to make sure you work in the right number of rest days/hours.  So, instead of jumping in with both feet and starting wildly and randomly, I’m going to start next Monday.  And no, this is not the typical “start Monday” that most people use when they really have no intention of actually starting anything.  My workout days will be Monday, Wednesday and then Friday AM before work.  Monday came and went yesterday, this Wednesday we have a huge family birthday dinner to attend and I would prefer not to have my first day of a completely new workout on Friday before work since I have no clue how long it will take and would prefer to not be either late for work or stupidly early.  And so, next Monday it is! 
On that note, since no exercise at all isn’t really an option, tonight after work I’ll hit the trail for a jog.  Since I have a 10k in April to train for and jogging is something I’ll keep doing anyway, there’s no sense in just sitting around for a full week waiting, right?
In other news, Ray took my “before” pictures last night.  And?  They weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be.  You know how we’re all either extra critical of ourselves or conversely we have our heads stuck in the sand and refuse to pay attention to signals and signs that things aren’t good?  My photos definitely leave room for improvement, but they were nowhere near as upsetting as I thought that they would be.  Tonight I’m going to do my measurements and then I’ll be ready to go.
I’m really nervous about starting this.  This morning while getting ready there was a nasty little voice in my head that kept saying “This isn’t going to be for me.”, which is bothersome.  I know that I’m going to struggle with it at first, being that it’s brand new and not similar to anything I’ve done before…even though I’ve done a weight routine in the past.  But I will just keep remembering, you can only go up from here.  So for the next week while I’m panicking about looking like a fool or failing… might suck at first but no one is perfect off the hop.  And 6 weeks and 3 months and finally 6 months from now when I’m totally done the program, I’ll have something to be proud of!

New Rules of Lifting (for Women)

Happy Wind-day….I mean…Monday.  We’re having a massive wind storm here today, the 60 year old building that I work in is creaking and groaning something fierce!  Totally freaky!  Hopefully our power stays on or it’ll be a very long day!
I didn’t get up to much this weekend, the Alien Baby went postal on Friday night (in Costco, so thanks for wrecking that outing!) and I was flattened until Saturday afternoon…..which meant I didn’t go to spinning…….but since my previous post and discovering that spinning isn’t really what I want right now, I didn’t feel badly about it.  We went to our motorcycle meeting in the morning and then did errands and groceries and once we realized we had no plans and a whole afternoon to ourselves, we drove out to a town about 45 minutes away so that I could test drive a Fiat.  I really have no plans to buy a new car since in two months I’ll be car payment free and don’t want to get saddled with another huge bill, but it was fun to dream.  Those teeny little Italian cars sure can go!  They feel huge and solid and stable on the inside and they corner like a race car!  Lots of fun!  Next weekend we’re going to test drive a VW Jetta!

Fiat 500, super cute!


Shiny! Sure wish this was in my driveway right now!

Sunday morning my esthetician came over and did a couple of regular services for me and stayed for a coffee (Ray is not-so-secretly infatuated with her…it’s cute!) and then she left and we went for a drive and then came home and I went to the mall and bought new pants.  As Tara so delicately told me when she grabbed the baggy ass of my work pants, it’s time to get pants that fit!  😉  Ridiculously, I’ve been swimming around in a 14 and the pants I bought are a very flattering size 10 so I’m very happy about that!  Pants shopping can go either way for me, if they fit in the waist then the legs are super tight and if the legs fit then they are gaping huge in the waist.  And don’t even get me started on length!  I flipped a coin as to which mall to go to, hit one store and scored two pairs of flattering black work pants…for $70 total.  And then I lit on out of there like my hair was on fire, no sense testing my luck by hanging around! 
That’s about it for the weekend recap.  I started reading up on my new weight lifting plan yesterday and now just need to pick a date to start.  The plan has you work out 3 times a week and each workout takes about a 35-45 minutes not including the warmup so I think I’ll be stopping after work at the gym on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  I hate the idea of working out on Fridays but since it’s heavy lifting workouts, they want a day between each and at least two days off in a row.  Not really sure how else to make that work……..unless I bite the bullet and do a 5am Friday morning workout….which could work.
The first phase is 6 weeks long and then you break for a full week.  They do not recommend doing any other sort of interval training (like spinning) while you’re doing the lifting because of the need for recovery.  Jogging on off days is alright because it sends nutrient rich blood to your muscles which aids in recovery….but you’re supposed to really judge how you’re feeling as far as whether you can run or not.  I’m in fairly decent shape so I think I’ll be able to do a bit of cardio along with the weights….but if I can’t?  Then that’s alright too!
And speaking of the weights.  The idea of this program is to lift heavy weights in order to build muscle.  I want muscle!  Muscle speeds metabolism, we all know that.  But muscle is also sexy.  Tone and strength is fit and fit is sexy.  I have no fear of getting bulky, I’m not taking steroids and I’m not on the outer fringes of genetics which causes me to gain muscle at the drop of a hat.  I will simply become stronger and more fit.  On each workout and with each exercise you increase the weight you’re using and decrease the number of reps and build your strength.  Sounds good to me.  
There are two workouts that I’ll be doing for the first six weeks, Workout A and Workout B.  You alternate each one so Monday is A, Wednesday is B, Friday is A etc.  Workout A is as follows:
2 sets of 15 ~ Squats (bodyweight at first and then adding weights)
2 sets of 15 ~ Pushups (starting at a “standing” angle at first and eventually getting to the floor)
2 sets of 15 ~ Seated Rows 
2 sets of 15 ~ Step Ups 
That’s it.  I can’t remember off the hop what Workout B is at the moment but you get the idea that these are full body exercises.  There are no bicep curls or tricep kickbacks.  There are no calf exercises or specific shoulder exercises.  The theory behind this is that the human body is meant to be used in full and if you are going to do a row, you’re using your back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and engaging your core.  They say that there is no point in isolating muscles unless for sport or injury recovery because all you end up doing is changing your body’s natural strength ratio between say, your biceps and your triceps.  No muscle is used exclusively in real life so in this program it’s all full body as well.  Another plus, if you’re not having to work each muscle seperately, you get to be done a lot faster!   
Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be talking more about this as I get into it.  Tonight I’m going to take all my starting measurements and Ray is going to take my “before” pictures (in a bikini, good God!).  I’m not sure I’ll post them right away, it might make more sense to post them once I have some “after” to compare them to.  What do you think, is it worth posting them now?

And this is where I wish I was right now!