Sunday, February 28, 2010

Believe - My Olympic Lesson

I was watching the Olympic coverage this morning and more particularly a piece on Canadian pride which got me thinking about the parallels of my life, and my struggles with obesity and the "Canadian Way" so to speak. We all know that we, as Canadians have always been the quiet type, proud but not loud - and when it came to the Olypics and our athletes performance, we often settled with not being on top of the podium, we were happy with a top 10 finish, we never expected to WIN. Now of course there have been exceptions to this rule - the athletes who have medals to prove it.... and I am certainly not knocking the years of training or the heart and soul of past athletes, I am talking more about our nation as a whole - in my opinion we have always been afraid to expect more out of ourselves, we simply did not believe.

This got me thinking about me and really what is holding me back from my dream to get healthy and fit, and I think simply put, I too have been afraid to expect more out of myself. Being obese and unhealthy has given me an excuse to check out of life basically - nobody expects much out of me, and most importantly I have not really ever expected anything out of myself. I also know on some level that if I lose the weight, I also lose the excuse that has kept me protected for my whole life, and that terrifies me.

So I was watching this piece on Canadian pride and how these Olympics have changed us as Canadians. They were talking about the gold medal count and said that as of today, we have tied two other countries with the number of gold medals won at an Olympic games- EVER! They were showing the athletes and the flag waving fans and you could see the pride on their faces, the strength that comes from completing a dream, the confidence that has replaced the fear. I had an uncontrollable meltdown while watching this - I want to feel that sense of accomplishment, strength and pride so badly and in watching this piece I finally think I found the missing piece - it is the "believe" part of the equation.

Canadians have always wanted our athletes to do well, but I'm not so sure we have ever really believed that they would win..... We have been hearing so much about the Own the Podium push leading up to the games and even when the games got off to such a terrible start in the first few days, I think we all held our breath, but when the medals started to come in, and the amazing performances just keep coming, we became stronger and stronger - and we began to believe!

I am thrilled at how well these Olympics games have turned out and I have always been and always will be so very proud to be able to call myself Canadian. What I will take away from the last few weeks is that we are all capable of greatness, we really can rise above all of the challenges life presents us with - we just have to find that inner strength and learn to believe in ourselves. That is what I am going to spend some time working on!

Tonight is the mens hockey final- I cannot wait to watch- GO CANADA GO!

March 10: Just a note to add so that when I look back on this post 50 years from now everyone will know that Canada won GOLD in mens hockey, and as a nation won more gold medals than have ever been won at an Olympic games by any country. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another day done!

Well I slept in this morning..... ok so I hit the snooze button every 15 mins from 5:30 when the alarm went off until 6:45 when i finally rolled out of bed. The good news is I went to the gym. Normally I would have talked myself out of it but today I went. I did 10 mins on the stationary bike, 10 minutes (20 floors) on the stair master and then swam lengths for about 20 mins. Not the most challenging workout, but the positive was in the going, rather that what I did once I got there. I also managed to go grocery shopping on my way home, have brekkie, make lunch and get ready for work and out the door before 9:00. Mind you I looked like hell today, but whatever!

I also am trying to incorporate the clean(er) eating concepts this week, so today I had:
- 8:00 - 1 cup steel cut oats with blueberries and raising, along with a hard boiled egg for breakfast; timmies large double double
-10:00 - slice of pumpernikel bread with hummus and a slice of lean ham
-11:00 - timmies large double milk, no sugar
-12:00 - slice of pumernickel with hummus and ham, plus 1/2 cup butternut squash soup
-2:00 - quarter of the leftover soup
-4:00 - quarter of the leftover soup
-6:00 - wrap with hard boiled egg slices
-6:00 - slice of pumpernikel bread with hummus and a slice of lean ham
-6:00 - cup of tea with 2% milk and 1 tsp sugar.
-8:00 - fat free soy milk with blueberries and 1/2 scoop of protein powder

It actually looks like a lot of food, but the portion sizes are quite small. It's definitely not perfect, but I am grasping the concept still. I feel like I am getting my metabolic furnace revved up at breakfast and keeping it burning like crazy all day long.... we'll see if the scale is kind next Tuesday.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spinning and a big fat happy moment at the gym!

I have been checking out the "spin room" at the gym since I started. I've never actually seen a class in progress but I hear so much about people taking spin classed, I have been interested in this for years..... Well today was the day! My trainer unlocked the spin room and got me set up on a bike, it even had the shoe clamp thingies(I know this is not the correct term, but I have no idea what they are called) and off I went. I did about 20 mins as part of my 1 hour session and it was AMAZING. Really difficult, I sweat tons but I felt free. When I was doing the uphill portion and was standing up and pedalling, my trainer had me visualizing climbing a mountain and getting closer to the top. Anyway I was totally stoked and i think this is going to become part of my workout cycle.

Then at the end of the session I was doing some mat work, sit ups, plank etc, when my trainer asked me to do something called a scorpion. (pic below)

When he showed me I immediately thought, there is no way in hell, with my bad back, that I can do this....... he was lying on the mat too and said, you can totally do this, I wouldn't ask you to do it if you couldn't...... and I did! It just made me think back to a year ago when I started this, that I could not walk for more then 10 minutes without having to sit down to rest. I had absolutely no ab strength and forget bending over to touch my toes, I couldn't even bend over to touch my knees. My back and leg muscles were shortened so much because of lack of use due to my degenerative disc that, well lets just say that being able to lie on the floor on my stomach was almost impossible, let alone get into the scorpion position.

Although I haven't made great strides in losing this weight, all the hard work was worth in in that one scorpion moment. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Out of the Blocks

Plan for the day

- Just back from the gym and a 45 min - 1500m swim

- meal 1 done- steel cut oats with blueberries and raisins and a boiled egg

- meal 2 is still an unknown at this point - I think some blanched almonds

- meal 3 chicken fajita on a whole wheat wrap with peppers/onions and tzitziki sauce

- meal 4 chicken fajita as above

- meal 5 will be dinner out tonight, my goal is to order a vegetable soup

- meal 6 If required - fruit smoothie with protein powder.

Note: I will drink 500ml of water with each of these meals, giving my a daily intake of between 2.5 and 3L for the day.

That is the plan, here's hoping I can execute this.

I should also mention that my weight this morning was 248.5. Not 100% accurate as I have been having some IBS issues of late probably due to my crappy(no pun intended) diet. *I will not step back on the scale until next Tuesday morning*

The Reality of my day!

-exercise was done
-oatmeal for breakfast and an egg done
-meal 2 was missed, unless you count a coffee with double milk
-lunch was two fajita's (combined meals 3 and 4) fyi, the torillas are the small ones
-meal 5 was a tortilla with a chopped egg inside (whole egg, including yolk)

The good news was that our dinner out was cancelled so I didn't have to worry about ending up caving and ordering fish and chips or something.

The bad news- one of the law clerks at work brough in some cake that she made (she is from Romania) that was covered in chocolate and coconut, and well ya I had 2 of them!

I am off to shop for some more good choices and make sure I plan better for tomorrow.

On an off topic: Does anybody else feel extremely hungry after swimming? What is that about, and any tricks to quiet my stomach after a swim?

Monday, February 15, 2010

(another) New plan

I have been reading an hearing about clean eating for some time now and I recently bought and have been reading the book Clean Eating Recharged. I think I am far enough into the book now that I can make some changes to my diet this week. There is a lot of talk about things (mostly grains- I think) that I have never heard of or am not sure how available they are (bee pollen as a sweetener?) but I will incorporate some of the ideas into my plan this week and then slowly work my way into it. Some of the changes I am incorporating this week:

- eating every 3 hours (for me this will mean 8:00, 11:00, 2:00 5:00 and 8:00 on most days)

- eat a protein and a complex carb at every meal (oatmeal, and an egg white for example)

- drink a large glass of water before each meal (my goal is 500ml before each meal, or 2.5L per day)

- exercise at least 30 minutes EVERY day this week.

- only one cup of coffee per day, with no cream of sugar.

That is as far as I have gotten in the book, but even making these changes I think will make a big difference not only in my weight loss efforts but in my energy levels as well.

This week will be a challenge in that tomorrow night I am going out for dinner, and Wednesday, lunch is being catered at work, but I will do my best to comply with the rules I have set out above.

I feel like I am spinning my wheels a bit as we get closer to June and the try a tri.... I am actually contemplating doing a mini duathlon instead just so I don't have to wear a swimsuit (or wetsuit) in public!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Ramblings

Can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Things are good. Indulged too much on the weekend, beer and pizza with girlfriends on Friday, date night which included beer in a pub on saturday and well a bit of a run in with some cashews as well, but I am hanging in there. Currently reading a book on eating clean and the benefits of this type of eating plan.

Hmmm what else is going on..... Ah the gym. Well my knee is healing nicely, still not too much weight bearing exercise but I did manage to do 75 floors on the stair climber, which is roughly 1/2 way up the CN Tower. Today I managed to swim again, and did 1500m in about 50 minutes, which I think is a leisurely pace, but I am currently trying to work on my form and distance so I am happy with this.

Not much else going on in my life, which really is quite a good thing really. Hmmmmmm I was up at 5:00 this morning to drop my Dad off at the airport, he's off to the sunny Carribbean for a month, lucky buggar.... and it is not yet 9:00 now and I am slowly nodding off........ need to go get some zzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fun in the pool

So this week, I am taking a break from hard core training in order to allow my knee to heal. Monday, my training session was in the pool. What did I learn, you ask..... I freaking learned how to do a flip turn and a dolphin kick my friends!!!!

I was so excited about this as I love love love the water and swimming, but have never had any formal lessons so I was extremely excited to learn how to do the turn and then follow it up with the kick. Now, I think the whole point of doing the dolphin kick is it keeps your momentum going so you can burst out of the water with lots of speed....... I just sort of rise up to the surface, I'm talking straight up, almost in a vertical position, and just stop- hahaha. But I am practicing

The other problem I am having is getting water up my nose when I flip, I can's seem to master blowing out of my nose when I flip, so my trainer suggested getting a nose plug, which I got today along with a swimming cap(the clorine is already doing a number on my hair).

I tried it all on tonight, the cap, the nose plug and my swim goggles..... and well, when I was actually able to control the fits of laughter long enough to really look at myself, I thought, "what the heck has happened to me..... the girl that wouldn't leave the house without a full face of make up and hair perfectly in place..... is now going to be seen in public looking like this......... Hell ya she is!"