Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Can you hear me screaming? This
hill was a lot steeper - and slicker -
than it looks! December 2010
Remember what I said last week about it being time to start shrinking again?  Yeah, well...about that.

Christmas and my hormones got in the way. Not to be indelicate - but I find that I crave crave crave carbs for a full week every month. I try really hard to recognize it for what it is, but end up spending about 4 days in full-blown carb-loading mode. Sigh. It really sabotages my efforts. Any advice on how to get over that? I mean, besides strapping my hands behind my back?

This week was also a bit light when it came to exercise. I am reminding myself that some weeks are like that, and it's not a disaster as long as I get back up on the horse ASAP. Good thing the Resolution Run is coming up this weekend!

Here's a recap from this week:

Saturday - Christmas! Slept in to 8.20 (best present ever - thanks kids!), opened presents, lazed around, then went to my sister-in-law's for family dinner and CHIPS! and DIP! and CHOCOLATE FONDUE! (ack)

Sunday - Boxing Day. PJ Day! Woke up with the best of intentions about cleaning ALL THE THINGS (thank you Hyperbole and a Half for a great laugh!) but ended up cleaning some of the things and relaxing.

That's one brave 6-year-old. She caught air &
laughed when she hit that bump! Dec 2010
Monday - Out of town to my mom's for another Christmas. Had a quick lunch, then took the kids sledding before dinner. There's snow where she lives!! Man - I thought skating was scary? SLEDDING got my heart beating faster. Hill was pretty steep and slick and going down it was terrifying! My kids had a blast!

Tuesday - Meant to go to the gym, but got overwhelmed by how out-of-control messy the house was. Invited a friend for dinner and spent the day putting things away and cleaning before she arrived.

Wednesday - Back to work for me. Good thing - getting up at 6.30am meant that I discovered our leaking hot water heater before it completely flooded the basement. My husband had the day off so spent the day with the kids, the shop vac and the service guys. Had to have the tank replaced (free) AND have the chimney lined (not free at all). (double ACK)

Thursday - Work. No real exercise, but I did power walk from home to the streetcar stop (2 blocks), from the subway to the office (3 blocks), and again on the way home.

Friday - New Year's Eve and a day off from work. Put away the Christmas decorations, cleaned the house from top to bottom, and had good friends over for the dinner and the evening. Nothing like starting a new year with a sparkling clean house! Took it easy with the wine and food - the Resolution Run is tomorrow!!

What I'm Reading This Week - Full Dark, No Stars, Stephen King's new book of short stories. Nice and creepy. Started The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw, a loaner from my mom - set in 1940s Malaysia.

Friday, December 24, 2010

In Which We Go Ice Skating a Lot

Perfect day for skating - December 2010
We're on vacation for the next 10 days - how sweet! The craziness of past few weeks is behind us - HOORAY. We're planning on resting and relaxing and skating and (if the weather cooperates) sledding and celebrating Christmas with our family. Nice, nice, nice.

About skating. Did I tell you that I used to be afraid of skating? I used to feel really unsteady on my feet and didn't like the out-of-control feeling. Or the falling. It occurred to me this week that although I'm not terribly skilled, that I'm not afraid anymore. Helps that I'm lighter and stronger and have the world's most comfortable skates - but I'm also generally more confident now.

This week, I worked my way up to gliding on one foot with the other off the ice and bent up behind me. And then managed to do that with my OTHER foot too. Had some fun talking myself into that one: "Nothing bad is going to happen if you take your left skate off the ice. Honestly. Trust me! Nothing bad happened when you took your right skate off this ice, now did it? OK - NOW DO IT" And I did! Slowly, slowly breaking out of my comfort zone.

Here's a recap from this week:

Evening skating at our local rink - Dec 2010
Pic taken by my daughter
Saturday - Curves workout in the morning. The four of us took my daughter to her last gymnastics class of the season, then over to our local bakery for hot chocolate and coffee. Bought a few groceries from the Italian market next door - home-marinated artichokes, warm ciabatta, pesto, pizza dough, a lovely rustic tomato basil sauce and some beautiful tomatoes, beans and broccoli. Lunches and dinners this weekend are going to be lovely! Spent the evening at the Christmas pageant / party for our son's Scout's troupe. Went on until midnight as usual - at least we were prepared for that this year.

Sunday - Laaaaazy morning, then met friends at a new outdoor skating rink in the west end. Absolutely perfect day for outdoor skating!

Monday - Ran a few quick errands with the family before the stores get crazy later in the week. Mild weather meant I could ride my bike to Curves and back (5K) for a workout in the afternoon. Took the kids skating after dinner. So proud of them both - we haven't been skating since March and they are doing amazing. My son's a decent skater and is teaching himself speed skating and snowplowing. My daughter falls a lot but is learning so quickly. By the end of our skate yesterday, she was back to where she was in March. By the end of today, she was able to skate the length of the rink without falling!

Tuesday  - Lazy morning then out for a few errands - including the very last of the Christmas shopping. Stayed home to wrap gifts while my husband took the kids skating. Realized that I've overbought for one kid and underbought for the other. Shoot.

Harbourfront Centre - December 2010
Wednesday - Finished the Christmas shopping (for real this time) and hit the gym. The kids talked me into making latkes with dinner and ohhhh I ate too many. Good thing I only make them about once a year.

Had an 'aha' moment this evening reading a post over at 5-4-3-2-1. Cara, the author, is suffering from sprains and strains in one of her feet that have derailed her plans to run a marathon before the end of the year. The good news - she's come back fighting with a recovery and training plan. The part that really got my attention was her comment, 'I'm sure a main cause of this injury is being a still-overweight person who runs 20-30 miles a week'

Aha! Maybe that's why my knee acts up now and then. I may feel strong, energetic and invincible - but I AM carrying 40 or so extra pounds, and they're with me up the stairs, on power walks around the block and at the gym. I'm thinking that it's time to break out of the comfortable plateau that I'm on and start shrinking again.

Doing Life at Harbourfront Centre - December 2010
Thursday - Skating again, this time at Harbourfront Centre down beside Lake Ontario. Skated for close to 2 hours. Took pics of the kids wearing their 'Do Life' t-shirts and sent them on to Ben. He asked permission to write a post about it - check it out over here!

Friday - Christmas Eve! Power walked around the neighbourhood with the kids, delivering cards and cookies. We're heading to a family party this evening, then home to set out milk & cookies for Santa.

Merry Christmas everyone!

What I'm reading this week: Born Under a Million Shadows by Andrea Busfield, about an 11-year-old boy living in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban. Very, very illuminating about what life is like in Afghanistan at present.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

300 Workouts and an (almost) End of Year Wrap-up

So - it's a busy time of year. The change in season means I've had a spend a fair amount of time shopping for new boots and cold weather gear for the kids, Christmas is coming, my son's birthday is here, and work is busy busy. Oh so tempting to skip the gym, to skip the lunchtime exercise, to take the elevator instead of the stairs. But I haven't. You know why? The Shirt.

My Curves milestones shirts - December 2010
Every 100 workout at Curves = a milestone shirt. I did the math this fall and realized that if I wanted to earn my next shirt before the end of the year, that I'd have to make it to the gym 3 times a week without fail. Every time I felt like skipping...too tired, too busy, too not-in-the-mood...I shoved those thoughts aside, grabbed my bag and hit the gym. It helped that I was in sort-of-training for the Santa Shuffle, it helped that I wanted a good result for my end-of-year weigh-in, but mostly, it was so that I could earn my 300th Workout Shirt.

I'm proud to say that I earned it this week! Not only did I earn The Shirt, but the manager presented it to me as I came off the last machine at the end of my workout. Fabulous.

What's going to keep me going to the gym now on those days when I might not feel like it? Well - I've got a few ideas. I'm gearing up for the Resolution 5K run/walk on Jan 1 and there's the St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run to train for in March. I'm sure a few other events will presesnt themselves along the way, but I also want to earn my 400th Workout shirt before I turn 40 in the fall.

Oh, The Shirt. There's a great ode to The Shirt over at Check it out!

My weigh-in was decent. My size has been shinking more slowly this year than last but the numbers are still headed in the right direction. I'm 71.2lbs lighter and 44" smaller than January 1, 2009.  :-)

Here's how this week went -

Well - I signed up for another event...!
At this rate, I'll never need to buy another t-shirt again
Saturday - Curves in the AM, then home to clean and polish and vacuum and declutter and such - the family came over to celebrate our son's birthday. Lasagne and cheese platter and cake and ice cream and sweets and goodies. Did my best. I do find parties really hard when it comes to watching what I eat. The good news? There weren't any chips - my ultimate weakness - in the house! I asked the kids not to throw any in the grocery cart when we were shopping for the party, and not only did they put the Party Size Bag of Cheezies that they were hugging back on the shelf, they were cheerful about it! Good, good kids - thanks!!!

Sunday - A day of rest. Went to the Vinyl Cafe Christmas Concert with husband and kids. A great time as always - funny stories, fabulous music!.

Monday - 1.75K walk + stairs to 7 at lunch. Curves workout after dinner.

Hot chocolate and carolling with my daughter - Dec 2010
(still a pro at taking pictures of myself)
Tuesday - Stairs to 7 at lunch. Quick dinner to celebrate my son's birthday, then out for both kids to perform in their piano recital. Hey - the snow showed up today - we might be able to go sledding this weekend!

Wednesday - Stairs to 7 in AM and again at lunch.

Thursday - 1.5K power walk at lunch; Curves workout after dinner.

Friday - 2.4K power walk at lunch. Went to a community carol sing with my daughter after dinner. We played in the snow, had hot chocolate, got to pet a police horse, and walked 1.6K home. Nice evening! On the walk home, she mentioned liking walking places, because "it keeps me fit and strong, just like you" Oh man - that got me right in my heart. If this girl can keep a healthy relationship with food and enjoy being active - I've done my job.

What I'm reading this week: Nothing. I did pick up a magazine of word puzzles and have been chipping away at those.  

Friday, December 10, 2010

We Shuffled!

Hot and sweaty after crossing the finish line
Lynda, Jen, Kat and Emma - December 2010
The 5K Santa Shuffle was a lot of fun! Nice quick event, perfect weather (-2C, sunny, no wind), and I got to see Santa!

There were four of us in this together: Emma and Kat ran; Lynda and I power walked.

Lynda was hoping that we'd finish in 45 minutes - and we were very pleased to finish under that time! Lynda moved moved moved and finished in 42 minutes; I hustled to try to keep up with her and fnished in 44:13. She's a speedy one! So glad that she was there to set the pace, same way that she has been doing in all of our training walks. I never would have moved this quickly on my own. Wonder how I'll do in the Resolution Run next month when she's not there!

You know something though? I've been bitten by the 'sign up for an event' bug...but I'm glad that this was only 5K. I don't think that I would have enjoyed anything longer than that. Under an hour? No problem. Longer than that - um, no thanks. I guess I'm a sprinter rather than a marathoner. Whatever - as long as I keep moving, it's all good.

Here's a recap from this week:

Saturday - Santa Shuffle. Started at 10am, was home by 11.30. Kids and husband went out for a few hours shortly afterwards and I had a lovely lovely long epsom salts bath in peace!

Our reward? Getting to meet Santa! Dec 2010
Sunday - Oh, I'm feeling each and every muscle that didn't get stretched properly. PJ day today. Decorated for Christmas and moved a bunch of furniture around.

Monday - Back to it. Stairs to 7 in AM, 2K walk at lunch - still a bit stiff so walked a bit more slowly than usual. Got an email from Emma inviting us to do the St. Patrick's Day 5K Fun Run/Walk in March 2011. Um...OK, I'm in! Curves workout after dinner.

Tuesday - Stairs to 7 in AM, stairs to 12 at lunchtime, Curves after dinner.

Wednesday - Stairs to 7 in AM, stairs to 12 at lunchtime. Fun evening - kids had their last pre-recital piano lesson, then my daughter was in a gymnastics show at our community centre.

Thursday - Started the day at school, watching the school Winter Concert. Snatched some time to run errands, walking about 1.5K, the stairs to 7 when I got to work. Curves workout after dinner. Today was workout #299...!

Friday - Stairs to 7 in AM. Busy work day - didn't get to the stairs or  for a walk at lunch. Oh well - it happens.

What I'm reading this week: Not much of anything. It's been a busy week. I'm barely managing to skim the newspaper every day.  Oh, I did read an Archie comic that one of the kids left in my room. Good to see what the Riverdale gang are up to - it's been a while since I checked in on them ;-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

In Which I Find Myself Wanting Winter Gear

The Santa Shuffle 5K power walk is coming up fast and I find myself dreaming of winter gear to  keep  me warm for it and the Resolution Run 5K in January. This is Canada, folks. OK - it's not like I'm in Whitehorse or Churchill or somewhere with similarly desperate weather, but still. 

Suddenly I find myself wanting traction aids for my sneakers.
Another "sometimes I don't recognize myself" moment - Nov 2010
Hang on here - I need equipment? I didn't need seasonal gear in my old life on the couch. All I needed was an afghan to throw over myself on chilly nights in front of the TV.

Flash forward to last week, when I hit Sportchek to pick up a pair of sneakers to keep at work, because owning one pair of sneakers is no longer enough for me. Then over to this week, where I found myself hitting the Running Room to 'visit' the ponytail toque that I'm coveting and to get a sneak peek of the Resolution Run jacket that I'll be earning in January. I'm coveting a toque? I'm earning a jacket? WHO AM I?

Here's a recap of this week:

Saturday - First snow of the season! Just a dusting but so exciting. Drove to Curves, worked out, then sped home and jogged my daughter to her gymnastics class and back. Jumped in the car and headed out of town to a birthday lunch for my mother in law. Back in the car to the grocery store, then home to host a sleepover party for my son and four of his buddies. Crazy busy.

Oooh - I want The Running Room's
Reflective Jacket - it's perfect for
spring & fall hiking & biking!
Sunday - Today was a writeoff. Too many treats in the house because of party (chips and dip and soda, oh my), and my son and his friends were up until 5am this morning. Enough said.

Monday - Stairs to 7 in AM, 2.5K powerwalk at lunch, Curves after dinner.

Tuesday - Stairs to 7 at lunch.

Wednesday - 2K power walk at lunch. Rainy today. Definintely need those traction aids - the pavement was slippery!

Thursday - Curves after dinner. No stairs or power walk. Some days are just like this.

Friday - 2K power walk at lunch. Met my husband at the Running Room and showed him my wish list. The Santa Shuffle is tomorrow!!!

What I'm reading: Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.