Friday, November 25, 2011


You've seen my daughter here a few times. She's a smart, sassy, fun-loving 7-year-old who loves being outside just as much as the rest of our family. Skipping, biking, swimming and sledding are among her favourites, but she's really up for anything. 

Maple Syrup Festival - March 2011

Kayaking - July 2011

Monkeying around - September 2011
This girl announced 2 weeks ago that she wants to host her own race this season.

She even had a concept: call it the "Rudolph Run", invite our friends and try to raise money for cancer research.

Excuse me while my jaw hits the floor.

"Sounds great - do you have anything else in mind for this?"

Yes. It should be about 5K with a 1K for any smaller kids, it should be at a local park, it should be free to sign up, we should have water and snacks at the finish line, and we should have race bibs.

"Okayyyyy - you've clearly thought this out! Do you want to make this happen?"


So - we've spent the last two weeks picking a day (November 27), measuring trails at a park (thank you, Google Maps), settling on a 3K and a 1K route, selecting a charity (the Terry Fox Foundation), getting the word out to our friends and her classmates, picking up supplies and ordering bibs. She's the Race Director and has recruited the rest of us as event staff - I'm the secretary, her brother designed and typed up a poster, her father will work the start & finish line and take pictures.

Can I tell you how proud I am of this girl? Actually, I don't have the words for it.

She's seven.

I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I'm really looking forward to this race! Please say a little prayer for us that the weather cooperates.

Here's this week's recap -

Saturday - Gym + 20 pushups; 2K run/walk with Stella.

GPOYD - Watching squirrels on our way home from the dog park
Sunday - 2K dog park walk; 75 assorted crunches + 30 pushups

Monday - 2K dog park walk; Curves + boot camp lite (9 mins on stairstepper, 120 assorted crunches, 30 pushups), 2K dog walk.

Tuesday - Rest day. 1.5K dog walk

Wednesday - 2K walk with the dog.

Thursday - 2K dog park walk; Zumba + Curves + boot camp (10 minutes on the stairstepper, 270 assorted crunches, 40 pushups); 2K run/walk with Stella. And...LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!

GPOY achieving an NSV
After boot camp tonight, one of the girls asked if anyone can push themselves up off the floor into a bridge. I automatically said no, because I know that I'm a girl who can't do a bridge. Despite everything I said last week, I said no, because I've defined myself as someone who can't do this. And then I realized what I was doing. And thought I'd better give it a shot. It turns out that I CAN do a bridge - something I don't think I could do even as a kid. And then I did it two more times so that my trainer could take a couple of pictures. And then I did it at home to show my kids. NSV.

Friday - Rest day. Followed by my office holiday party tonight. I'm planning to eat well today and not go overboard tonight. Wish me luck...and willpower, K? Thanks. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

You Know it's All in Your Head, Right?

You read Deb Tris, right?

I've mentioned Deb here before. She's a wise, wise woman.

Deb has spent the last while taking up running, shedding her extra weight, and getting to the finish line of triathalons. Swim, bike, run!

She has accomplished amazing things, but, like most of us, had held a somewhat conservative view of what she's capable of and where her limits are. She's spent a fair bit of time reflecting on this recently and working on letting go of those mental barriers. And go figure - she's started having regular breakthoughts in her training and smashing her personal records.

There's a lesson here, people.

Let go of who you think you are and find out who you ACTUALLY are.

My mother (Hi Mom!) told me, and I'm sure your mother told you, that you can do whatever you set your mind to.

It's absolutely true - but we also need to make sure that we set our sights high enough. Beyond what we think our limits are.

This is true in all areas of our lives. And it's funny how other people are able to see what we're capable of so much more clearly than we see ourselves.

A small example from my own life - Ana knows that I'm capable of doing a boot camp right after a workout. So for the past few weeks, she's been making me do a boot camp after my workouts. Ana also knows that I'm capable of doing more reps than I think I can, and that I'm able to do them faster than I would do on my own. So she makes me do more reps, faster. And guess what? She's right - I can do them.

Which was very illuminating. Wonder what else I can do...?

Well - I used to define myself as "not a runner - I am SO not a runner - I'm a power walker".

Even after I started run/walking during races rather than signing up as a walker.

Even in the last few months when I've started run/walking with my new dog.

I've started to let go of that "I'm not a runner" thinking and what do you know - all of a sudden I'm running a bit more and walking a bit less with that dog. She's happy and I'm astonished. It's got my rethinking my goals for my finish line times over the next few months, I'll tell you that.

I've got a number of other mental limits to reassess. But I've gotten started, so that's good. Thank you, Deb and Ana!

To those ladies at my gym who watch boot camp from a distance but haven't joined in because "Oh, I'm not strong enough for that - you girls go ahead"?

I've got news for you - you ARE strong enough. Just give it a try. You know you want to!

To my fit friend who REALLY wants to do a 5K but is letting fear hold her back? Same thing.

What about you - what do you want to do, but think you're not capable of? What are you going to do about it?

Here's this week's recap -

Perfect day to practice our road safety kills
Saturday - Curves + 35 pushups; took the kids on a 5.75K bike ride to run errands; 2K run/walk with the dog.

Another great day. This has been a beautiful fall!
Sunday - 2K dog walk in the AM; 2.5K nature hike (hills! trails! streams!) with the cousins and the dogs in the afternoon.

Monday - Rest day, but a busy one. Work, parent-teacher meeting, trip to the chiro.

Tuesday - 1K dog walk in the evening.

Wednesday - 1K dog run/walk, Curves circuit + boot camp including 40 pushups + 15 mins on the stairstepper, 2K dog run/walk.

Thursday - Oh man. Zumba + Curves circuit + boot camp + 15 minutes on the stairstepper. Allow me to elaborate on the boot camp:  tonight was a 60-second plank, 25 pushups, 30 tricep dips, 250 assorted situps & crunches, 140 assorted leg lifts for each leg. Somebody else needs to walk the dog tonight - I'm beat!

Visiting my favourite sculpture always makes me happy
You can just barely see one of the two babies behind her - she's leading them to a water fountain.
Friday - Rest day, oh happy rest day. Went for a light walk at lunch (1.3K); 2K dog walk in the evening.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Boot Camp and Distance

I'm able to get to my gym 3 times a week, and Ana makes sure that I get the most out of my time there. You may have noticed me mentioning that I've been doing boot camps in addition to my standard Curves workouts and weekly Zumba class. Yep, Ana's behind all of that.

Have to say that I'm loving it. Loving how strong I'm feeling, loving the improvements in my endurance and strength, and loving the variety that this brings to my workouts.

I'm also loving that I've gotten fit enough to do a boot camp immediately after a full workout. Sometimes with a Zumba class thrown in there too.

And noticing that brings me to Distance.

Specifically, being aware of the distance that I've put between myself and my old life on the couch.

In the earlier days of this journey, I used to be hyperaware of the positive effects of my weight loss and how my increasingly active lifestyle was such a fantastic improvement over my sedentary one. A few times a day, I'd have thoughts like -

  • It's so great that my feet don't hurt in the mornings anymore. Good-bye, plantar fasciitis!
  • Check it out - I don't see black spots after climbing a flight of stairs anymore!
  • Remember how much I used to dread the hot days of summer? Not anymore!
  • Wow, clothes are so much more flattering now!
  • Someone invited ME to do a 5K??
And so on.

If you've never been very overweight, you might not be aware that heavy people can spend a tremendous amount of mental energy in living this way - dreading shopping for new clothes, being self-conscious about trying to fit into a seat on a busy subway, worrying about being judged when eating in public, dreading warm weather, dreading putting on a bathing suit, standing at the back of the group when someone gets out a camera...the list is exhausting to think about. As they say, being fat is hard.

But now it's been a couple of years and I've kind of forgotten just how it felt to go through life carrying an extra 80 pounds. Back when eating properly, exercising and races are what "other people" did.

Somewhere along the way, those daily mental comparisons of obesity versus activity, and being grateful for the improvements, have become a very once-in-a-while thing.

I mentioned quite some time ago that I'd read that for every 25-pounds lost, it can take a full year for our brains to process how our size has changed. That until that time has passed, we continue to "think like a fat girl" - continue to avoid those cameras, get stressed about clothes shopping, and so on.

You know something? I think I'm finally caught up.

I no longer have those lingering social anxieties about being heavy. I'm excited about having a list of races as long as my arm on my mind for the coming year. And the things that I notice these days tend to involve my increasing strength and speed compared to my recent abilities. I'm no longer constantly comparing how life is better to how it was when I was inactive, and am spending a lot more time living in the present. Simply appreciating how my life is now.

And in realizing this - I'm pretty proud that I've gotten to this leg of the journey.

How are you doing on yours?

Here's this week's recap -

Beautiful sunshine but oh so cold for riding!

Saturday - FINALLY got out on my bike again. Rode to the gym & back (6K round trip), worked out including 30 pushups. Later - 2K dogpark walk and out for dinner (Indian - YUM) with the family.

Sunday - 2K dog walk in the AM, 2K dog park walk in the afternoon.

Monday - 2K dog park walk, Curves + boot camp including 30 pushups, 2K dog walk before bed.

Tuesday - 2K dog park walk

Beautiful sunset. But it's 5.02pm. We are not amused.
Wednesday - Curves + boot camp (including 30 pushups) + an impromptu 1/2 Zumba class...followed by a 2K dog walk.

Thursday - 2K dog walk.

Friday - Played in the leaves with the kids and the dog. Lots of hot chocolate afterwards.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Not of the way I've been eating this week, that's for sure. Anyone else carb loading for winter?


Work has spectacularly busy this season. But I haven't let it interfere with my fitness goals.

I've gotten in the habit of putting my gym clothes on as soon as I get home from work so that I'm ready to go to the gym or out for a run/walk or whatever as soon as I have the opportunity to head out the door.

I had a particularly busy workload one day this week and really had to keep an eye on the clock to make sure that I stopped in time to get to the gym before it closed.

I had a bit of a jolt when I realized how determined I was to make sure that the trip to the gym happened that day, and how much of a contrast this is from my old lifestyle.

Two years ago? I used to let busy-busy-bringing-work-home-almost-every-night give me an excuse to skip the gym. Oh, I'm much too busy to take an hour off and work out. And this couch is super comfy, isn't it?

So - what's changed? As much as I enjoy my work, somewhere along the line I've formed a determination to not let workload interfere with my personal goals - particularly my fitness goals.

It also looks like I've developed the habit of going to the gym regularly now that I've been doing so for so long. There's also the fact that just plain feels good to exercise, and that I have noticed that feel yukky if I don't.

I call all of that that a NSV. And I'm proud of it.

Anyone else have a NSV recently?

Here's this week's recap -

Saturday - The 5K with my daughter, followed by a trip to my mom's. Stunningly beautiful fall day.

Big smiles for both of us - 3.5K mark

Sunday - Woke up with a bit of a bad stomach - blech. Took Stella for a slowwwwwwwww 2K walk, then went back to bed.

Spooky, spooky
Monday - Stomach still dodgy. My son's, too. We both stayed home, but did drag ourselves out to take Stella to the dog park (2K). Both of us were feeling much better later in the day. It's a Halloween miracle!

Tuesday - 1K dog walk before dinner, 1K dog walk before bed.

Wednesday - 1.5K run/walk with Stella. Later - 1K walk then Curves + boot camp including 40 pushups.

Thursday - 2K dog park walk, Curves + Zumba + boot camp including 30 pushups. For the record, this is what I look like after a triple workout:

It's not pretty
 Friday - Frantic rush to get my son ready for a camping trip. 1K dog walk.