Saturday, October 29, 2011

A day on the trails (pictures)

Last weekend I spent a few hours out at a local park, walking the trails and just enjoying the fresh air. It was a beautiful fall day in southern Ontario. The air was crisp, there was lots of laughter and I packed an amazing lunch - butternut squash soup, chicken on foccacia bread, cheese, and olives and banana bread and grapes for dessert. I also dug my old school camera out of a cabinet, dusted it off and took a few pictures. Here are a few of the better ones:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Started a new phase of personal training this week. We have moved into the endurance phase. Mondays I will be doing Olympic style weighlifting (which I have been doing for a bit), Wednesday will be high cardio day and Friday will still be boxing, just ramped up cardio. Monday was fine, I got thought the workout fine. I was feeling great after my massage the night before and was stoked at the fact that for the first time in 2 years, there was no pull in my back when I did the moves. I woke up Tuesday and my hamstrings were sore, and this morning they were screaming at me to not move.... Ouchie, really, really sore - but off to the gym I went anyway. Todays workout started out with two treadmills..... the first at 2.5mph - 0 incline and the second was at 4mph and a 15 incline. For the next 30 minutes I went back and forth 1 min on the "hill" and 1.5 min on the "flat" Man, my hamstrings were killing.... but all the pain aside. I did it, and that made me happy...... next back to the personal training centre - step ups on to a step (pretty low) my goal was to do 35 step ups in one minute. 5 x....... did it, but was spent after the 5th round...... I thought I was done, but my trainer called out..... come on back to the training studio...... here I had to run back and forth across the room one way with a medicine ball above my head and coming back with the ball at shoulder height...... 5 rounds at 2 minutes each.... the pain was killing me.... my face was purple, my shirt drenched but I did my best, I didnt' give up.... I finished with 5 x 30 sec sets of crunches. Man, today was a tough day, but I know that a year ago I would not have been able to do this in the alloted time and two years ago, this would have only been a dream.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Righting a lifetime of wrongs

This last week has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me. (food wise, I suck, but that is a whole different post). I know I've posted in the past about back pain, and the degerative disc desease that has held me back and continues to hold me back. I have been told so many times by my trainer that the muscles in the back of my legs (hamstring) are shortened and tightened because of trying to protect my back from injury for so many years. He has also told me the I have a "tight ass" lol, and then follows it up with "and I don't mean that in a good way". It seems that there is a lot of scar tissue in my back and the facia (sp) in the muscles from my lower back to my hips, buttocks, and hamstring mucsles have all been affected to the point where I have constant pain whenever I work out. The stretching exercises I have done over the last few years have helped but I'm nowhere near back to normal (whatever normal is). Last weekend I decided to book a massage treatment. A very good friend of mine is a massage therapist and has been offering massages to me for years. I finally took her up on her offer because I have been having major stiffness in my shoulders and neck from a. working on a computer all day, b) boxing and doing quite a bit of weightlifting and c) a summer filled with mountain biking ( my shoulders seem to absorb a lot of the shock from the rides) as well as a mishap in the summer where I fell off the bike and jammed my shoulder pretty good. Last Monday, i got my first massage, my shoulders and neck where extrememly tight (I have to stress extremely here) and I also had work done on my hamstring muscles up to my hip/buttock area. Afterwards, I felf pretty darn good, but the next morning I was getting ready for work and BAM- I felt a little pain in my low back area and I knew what was to come. I litereally broke down in tears and was thinking about what I could expect since this has happened to me pretty much at least once a year for the last 30 years. The pain would get worse throughout the day to the point where I could barely walk - my left hip would be twisted upward so that it would feel like it was right under my armpit. I would be unable to lay down in my bed for fear of not being able to get up again.... and the next month or two were going to be complete hell. In actual fact, I did get really sore by the end of that first day, and my hip did feel like it was under my armpit, but I was still able to walk fine, I was able to sleep in my bed and get up without too much trouble and by Friday, I was able to make it back to the gym - and complete a pretty decent boxing session. This to me is victory. All of the hard work at the gym, all of the core work, plank postition, sit ups, bicyles have all been work it because I feel like I may not be able to ever stop my back from "going out" the stronger my core is the more capable I am to manage it and my body is now able to heal better and faster. I mentioned the massage therapy only because I am not sure if the back injury has anything at all to do with my massage - it could be coincidence or it could have something to do with all of the scar tissue, muscle movement etc from the massage. I am going to stick with the massages (once a week for the next month) and see how I'm feeling at that point. I did notice, my shoulders felt very loose while boxing on Friday, and my warm up on the eliptical didn't cause major and instand muscle burn in the backs of my legs. I have spent so many years letting my back problems hold me back and I feel like I am finally ready to do whatever it takes to fix this issue and make me stronger in the gym, and in my life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday recap

So yesterday completed my first work week on program. I am feeling so much better today after eating well for 5 days. I am going to keep it going. Officially paid for my trip to Curacao yesterday, so I have a short period of time to stay on program and see if I can knock off a few pounds by then. So on Wednesday at the gym, my trainer warned me that he had a brutal workout in store for my Friday session, and in fact when he walked into the studio on Friday morning, before he even said hello he said "Im going to make you puke today" and then broke out into a devilish grin! He wrapped my hands and then told me to put in my mouth guard (which meant I was going to spar) and he placed a ladder on the ground (it basically is a mesh "ladder" that marks out boxes on the floor) I did my warmup grabbed a sip of water, and then it was time for the fun to begin. This is what my set looked like: - doing kickboxing lines (right punch, cross punch, left kick) over and over across the studio 2 times, practicing footwork up and down the ladder two times (high cardio) then doing a couple of minutes of full on sparring (punching and taking punches from him). I think I did this set about 6 times through had a two minute break and moved onto the next set which was: - two times hopping through the ladder (think hopscotch) then immediately into a hard punch,punch kick cycle 5x. I think I did this 6 times in the set. At this point I thought I was done, my hour was almost up. I was crouched down trying to get some air when my trainer comes walking over with a mat - damn, I know this can only mean one thing - ABS..... I had do two ab exercises. The first you make a position like Jesus on the cross (arms out legs straight) and lift your upper body up off the mat. Hold for 5 seconds. Then bicycles x 20. I did this 6 x. After as I collapsed on the bench and tried to get my breathing to calm down I heard myself say "man that was hard - but good-it was really, really good" wtf, did those words actually come out of my mouth- haha. I wore my body bugg and my calorie burn for the 1 hour session was 750...... Brutal Now at this point it was only 8:00 in the morning.... I had to shower, run home change, rush off to work for 10:00 and had a crazy busy morning. By about 3:00 I could barely keep my eyes open and by 8:00 last night, I couldn't fight it any longer - I went to bed..... Calories burned for the day 2750, calories consumed 1100 - difference 1,650 (just under half a pound) This is the kind of numbers I am looking for. In the past I was hitting my burn, but I was consuming the same amount or more. Today, is my Thanksgiving Day celebration..... gotta get through this.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 4 on program

I am holding on. Today was difficult. The smell of french fries and vinegar from my co-workers lunch, the sight of all the dounuts and muffins on display at Tim Hortons this afternoon, and just feeling plain yucky tonight. It's been a pretty hard day. All that's keeping me going right now is, number 1, the fact that I have suffered with withdrawal symptoms all week. I do not want to quit now and, number 2, I do know that I will start feeling better very soon. I am so looking forward to that day. On another note, I am just about to book a vacation to the sunny Carribbean. In about 6 weeks time I will be heading to the Dutch Antilles for a week of sun, sand and sea. While I know I will not be ready to don a bikini by then (lol not even close) I think I can get a good 10 lbs off by then. I made the decision to work out 2x per day every day this week. I told my trainer on Monday that was my plan. I have just been so tired that it hasn't worked out. I am trying to not feel guilty about it. I have put every ounch of energy towards staying on track this week. Next week I will increase the activity. Finally, Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend, I am trying to get myself into the mindset that I will not waiver from my program. I will stick to meat and veggies and fruit for dessert and 1 glass of wine two glasses of wine ok no more than 4 glasses It's 8:00 and I am gonna go to bed! Anything to stop myself from eating.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Set myself up to fail.... but I didn't

Had a great workout this morning - I have been doing weightlifting..... I think it's part of a lift called clean and jerk, which I know sounds a bit rude lol (pictures follow). Anyway, I came home at 8:30, starving and made myself a protein shake with almond milk and bananas and strawberries. Blended it all up and left the friggin thing on the counter when I left for work...... thank goodness I had an apple with me cause I was so tempted to pick up a bagel to go with my coffee( you know the line- just this once, then back on track, which never happens). So here I sit, 3 days totally on program, with a very limited amount of carbs. I feel good mentally. Physically, well not so much. I am still headachy, and tired, but I know these symptoms will be gone in a few more days. This morning I really struggled with the weights, I believe it's because of the change in eating, but my trainer assured me I just was not focusing.... I think he's probably right(lol he's always right!) Here are a few pictures. In the first two I'm just lifting a 30lb bar, just really practicing correct form(I did 15 reps), then I got a 45lb bar and did 5 reps, then I got 10lbs on the bar and did 5 reps at 65lbs.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Time to Regroup

Day 2 of being back on track. I cannot remember the last day I was on track for a full day. I am trying to detox my body from sugar and flour and the result has been fatigue, a constant headache, and a really bitchy mood..... I am hoping that in about 4 or 5 days, I will have all the crap out of my system and will start feeling great again. Lots going on in my life, things seems to be changing quickly..... some things are not easy, but in the long run, will help me reach my goals. Looking to get back into posting updates and documenting my fitness accomplishments with pictures. Here we go again........