Friday, January 30, 2009

fantastic friday

i am having a really great friday. i have an interview next week. i have a delicious bowl of steel cut oatmeal in the fridge. i found a dime on the street. can't be beat! and my boyfriend and i are going out for dinner tonight to milestones. it's just a chain but a nice one and we have a gift certificate. we usually eat at home so going out is special.

last night i saw the movie "bride wars" with a few girlfriends and it was really cute. a little cheesy, but i liked it a lot. i am the biggest movie critic and never like anything so that's saying a lot. great fashions! jen, i never would have noticed that purse if you hadn't mentioned it in your blog. i loved the outfit emma was wearing while she had that bag.

my week of proteining it up is OVER (thank god - i don't normally eat that much meat) and i am down 4.8 pounds. can you believe it? i can't. that really works for me. actually it's probably protein 40% no salt 60%. it's so hard for me not to use salt. i used so much mrs. dash it isn't funny. so now i'm back in the middle of my maintenance zone and pretty happy about it. last night i made a batch (4 servings) of steel cut oatmeal. it takes 30 minutes to cook on the stove so making just one serving at a time wouldn't be very time efficient. i'm having a serving for lunch with pumpkin mixed in, sweetened coconut and toasted almonds sprinkled on top, and a scoop of PB2 chocolate. it's a dream come true.

this morning i tried the 20-minute hatha yoga #2 download. it was pretty good. a few different poses, some sort of challenging due to my lack of flexibility. i have trouble arching my back. when i was a kid i practiced every day until i could finally do a standing back arch. now? i would probably wind myself falling flat on my back trying. i love yoga because it really focuses on stretching hamstrings.

fun weekend coming up. dinner tonight, tomorrow possibly some dancing (my favourite thing), and sunday... oh boy... getting together with some girlfriends for a GONE WITH THE WIND movie watching party! hoooooray! we are going to watch half, break for dinner (potluck style) and then keep on watching until our eyes fall out. today is such a great day. oh, and after work i'm going to loblaws to shop for a few things. it's my favourite grocery store and i never get to go there since there is a metro literally a 2-minute walk from my building. loblaws has a great natural foods section, and it's all together unlike metro which puts everything with the like products. for example, organic ketchup with the regular ketchup. organic soups with the regular soup. i want it all together in an organic wonder aisle! not spread out! the end. have a nice weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

celebrity trashing

thanks to all who weighed in on my post yesterday. get it? weighed in? wow... lame joke. like when i tell my boyfriend there is a "really big shoe" coming up and he asks if i'm really 70 years old. no! i'm not! some humour never dies!

today's post is on a topic that is making me a little bit angry. i'll preface by saying that i love reading celebrity gossip online. it's very amusing. my favourites are perez and dlisted, but i do read many more, including the skinny website, which is focused on weight in hollywood. it's interesting to know who is toning up, who has lost weight, who has gained a few pounds. my opinion is that if you are in movies or on tv, you are in the public eye and it's not a crime for people to want to know more things about you.

but a few days ago, there were pictures of jessica simpson posted at some sort of chili cook off, and now there is talk about how "fat" she is all over the internet. i thought it might go away but now other celebrities are all putting in their two cents. here is the photo, by the way:

yes, she looks a bit heavier than normal. but, who cares? she definitely still has a nice figure and i wouldn't call her "fat" by any means. and what are we comparing this to? when she was in that beverly hillbillies movie and working out four hours a day and eating nothing but lettuce and chicken breasts? she did have a slamming body but very unrealistic. generally women with ahem, naturally larger chests, ahem, are meant to carry a bit more weight all over.

now on the other end of the spectrum, we have an actress like lindsay lohan, who i actually like if you can believe it. i liked mean girls and freaky friday and the parent trap back in the day. and no one can say she doesn't lead an interesting life! she is called out for being too skinny. there was one point in her career, where she was way way way too skinny.... the word skeletal applies! see below:

i don't know what's up with that blond hair either. then, she was criticized for putting too much weight back on!

and now, she is apparently too skinny again. i personally don't think she looks unhealthy in this picture. skinny, yes, but it's not crossing the line.

i'm angry because of the message this celebrity trashing is sending to the women (and girls!) of the world. you have to be skinny, but not too skinny, and if you gain a little bit of weight you'll be called "fat," even if you still have an average BMI. this is giving license to the cruel people of the world that it's OK to make fun of people who have gained a few pounds, and assume that skinny people are sick, disturbed and on crack. a lot of people lose weight from emotional problems, illnesses and stress. now i'm not saying that lindsay lohan is or isn't on crack. how in the world would i ever know? it's not my place to speculate and frankly what other people do is their own business! anyway... just putting this post out there to see what other people think. personally i think that the majority of women would love to look like jessica simpson, even that horrid "fat" version of her. grrrr.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the FOREVER diet

the other day, i was thinking about weight maintenance. i've lost 40 pounds on weight watchers, and kept it off for about a year and a half, maybe two years. i'm sure people (friends, family, readers?) think i'm pretty good at maintaining my weight because i usually can stay within a five-pound range. however, i don't think i've mastered the maintenance secret yet because i continue to gain and lose the same five (or six or seven) pounds over and over again. i've read that gaining and losing the same amount of weight (even ten little pounds) can be very bad for your overall long term health. so what's my point?

to me, weight maintenance has always been this far off ideal. to be able to eat whatever you want (but sensibly), and not have to worry about gaining weight because you have control over eating. you eat to live, not to eat. my problem is, i still live to eat. every time i go through the grocery store checkout line and see those stacks of chocolate bars, my mind thinks, "gimme gimme gimme." i don't give in, but i don't consider depriving myself the same as having control.

another problem i have is the idea of "normal eating" vs "diet eating." i still think that if i am where i want to be weight-wise, then i can eat whatever i want, as long as it's a sensible portion. this is not true. why? i don't know. maybe it's true for you and not for me. i think to myself, wouldn't it be great to have a morning snack of tea and two cookies? le sigh. le cookies. don't normal women who have control of their eating eat this way? maybe, maybe not. i'll never know because everyone is different. everyone has different metabolisms, different tastes, different body and food issues. when i'm not trying to lose weight, i gain weight. up and down, up and down. it's annoying but maybe i'm just programmed that way.

i've finished reading gone with the wind (tragic), and started a new book, thin is the new happy by valerie frankel. i'm only about a quarter into it, and what she is writing about really hits home for me. i started gaining weight when i hit puberty, and my mother did a lot of things to "help" me lose weight. i remember eating dry toast and clementines at lunch when everyone else had delicious looking french fries from the school cafeteria. yes, i did lose weight. yes, i instantly felt better about myself. but why? acceptance obviously. not only did my mother praise me, but friends did, teachers, even women who worked in clothing stores would compliment my mother on the shape of my legs. and hearing this i felt like a bazillion dollars. i don't blame my mother, because we are all just part of this womanly cycle of self-loathing. we can try to step out of the mold, but it's going to be very difficult. i can tell myself that i'm never going to mention anything to do with weight/food issues to my children, but if they see me dieting or complaining about my looks, it won't matter. monkey see monkey do. valerie frankel talks about how she has been on a diet for thirty years, since she was 11 years old. me too... me too...

the only thing i can say is that i've learned A LOT about weight maintenance over the last couple of years. for example, having an exercise routine that is part of your lifestyle makes all the difference. changing the staples of your diet does too. things i used to indulge in all time are a once-in-a-while occurrence, and i'm fine with that. one of my favourite techniques is telling myself that tomorrow is a new day. i want the pastry at starbucks, but it will be there tomorrow if i want it that badly and can't get it out of my mind. i'm not really depriving myself because i probably didn't want it anyway. the same can be said about those supermarket chocolate bars! has anyone noticed they aren't really as good as you remember them being? i guess i'm fine with losing and gaining the same five pounds over and over again as well, if it means i can enjoy myself when it really matters (holidays, celebrations, random fun times).

what do you think? are you on a forever diet too?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

book talk with yours truly

since i am still reading gone with the wind (it's epic), i don't have too much to say in terms of books. EXCEPT, that gone with the wind is amazing. i think on sunday some of the girls from my book club are getting together to watch the movie. also amazing!

i've been listening to a few good audiobooks lately. the first, which i finished either yesterday or on friday (who can remember these things?), is the third angel, by alice hoffman. this is a story with three separate parts, focusing on different characters who relate to each other in very interesting and unique ways. i didn't really enjoy the first part too much. there was too much, "so and so didn't believe in love" which i think is ridiculous. who are these hard-hearted characters? i don't like them. the second and third parts were so awesome - the author really redeemed herself.

the book i started listening to on friday or yesterday is freakonomics by steven d. levitt and stephen j. dubner. it's very interesting! not your traditional economics book. it's actually about subjects that appeal to your average joette (me), and not just about numbers and money.

last night i rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes, and did some situps. this morning i went for a 40-minute swim and tonight i plan on doing a 20-minute yogadownload, maybe hatha #2, or maybe #1, the same as last time. i have got to mention how sore my muscles are from this yoga. i am loving it! especially the muscles in my back. i love to know that i am working these muscles.

my eating at set times, high-protein diet is going alright. i'm sticking to it at least until friday morning. it's only hard because a) i am a carboholic who eats oatmeal for breakfast AND dinner several times per week and b) i am also a saltaholic and have cut it out cold turkey. just for this week. i can do it. maybe some of food's natural flavour will return to me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

time to get it together

whoops, i forgot to post on friday. i was having lunch with a friend, that must be why i forgot. we went to a restaurant/pub and i ordered a cheeseburger and fries. wooooooo let me tell you how sick i felt ALL afternoon. i mean not good. i used to get this feeling quite regularly - the feeling like you need a bathroom NOW so there better be one in the immediate vicinity feeling - but not for a couple of years since i changed my eating habits. i think it's all of the greasy trans fats. oh trans fats, you taste so good but are bad in every way.

my weekend was good. on friday night it was my boyfriend's bi-monthly music and art showcase. this time can.adian ido.l finalist moo.kie mor.ris was performing and it was really really packed. it was a good night and we went out for last night chinese food with friends after the show. i didn't get to bed until almost 5, and slept in until 1:30... can you believe it? needless to say saturday went by way too fast.

i was feeling a bit chubb all weekend. when my new jeans were a bit tight last week, i knew something was up so i bit the bullet and got on the scale this morning. after the weekend and everything. i was repeating in my head, "please not more than 5 pounds about maintenance, please not more than that" and it wasn't that bad. only about a pound over. but still. in december i was happy at the low end of my range and i can feel the difference in the fit of my clothes and my body confidence.

i have decided to use the same plan of attack that i used at the beginning of december. eating on a schedule (8am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm) and sticking to higher-protein options so that i won't feel hungry. this really was effective last time. whatever works! i'm also going to keep exercising and drink more water.

workouts have been pretty awesome. on friday morning and saturday afternoon, i went for 40 minute swims, and then yesterday i did a 20 minute "yoga for runners" download from it was really hard and i didn't like it. afterwards i realized that it was an intermediate program, level 3, and since i'm a beginning i should be sticking to level 1s only. i downloaded a few of those and this morning i did the 20 minute gentle hatha #1 download. a lot of the 20 minute downloads are free. i am going to try them out and if i like them, i'll purchase longer versions. one of my main goals is to increase my flexibility, especially hamstrings.

tonight my plans are doing some exercise probably (either biking, swimming, or walking), and watching gossip girl. and reading gone with the wind of course. 800 pages down, 224 to go! ;)

Thursday, January 22, 2009


i should feel really tired today, but i don't. last night was wednesday date night and by wednesday date night i mean my bf and i just hang out, either at my place or his place, depending on who is lazier and does not want to travel. he has a lot going on this week so i went to his apartment, but i was feeling pretty lazy myself and decided to drive instead of taking the transit.

since i drove i had to move my car off the main street (aka go home) before 7am or risk a ticket and towing. this morning i left at 6:50 and saw the tow truck waiting to attack innocent sleepies so i know they mean business. i've had my car towed before - not a fun time.

the point is, i should be tired and i am not. when i got home i did two 20-minute pilates videos. the first:

windsor pilates ab sculpting!

and the second, windsor pilates bun and thigh scultping!

both videos are rad, because they are only 20 minutes long but quite effective. i tried my best not to stop with ab and bum exhaustion during the sets but it was hard. and 20 minutes is just long enough to feel some major burn, but not too long where it becomes boring.

my only problem with these pilates videos is my horrible lack of flexibility. i cannot lay on my back and put my legs straight up in the air at a 90 degree angle. it is not happening. likewise, i can hardly sit up straight with my legs straight in front of me. when sitting in that position, i definitely can't reach toward my toes! maybe 1-5 cms! the women on the screen are reaching their toes, chest resting on their thighs. ha! not in my lifetime. i know this is due to my very poor hamstring flexibility. maybe if i keep doing the videos i will improve. i should do a yoga video for this.

in other news, i am wearing the pants today. they are actually incredibly comfortable when i am sitting down. when i stand up they are a little tight in the waist. i say waist but they are so low cut i mean hips, and since they are around my hipbones and not waist, it's just a bit annoying not painful. they are already stretching and feeling better. and they fit so well everywhere else. AND the jean material feels like a dream. like buttery jean velvet. with stretch. i can't stop touching them.

today i am working in the burbs. i am going shopping afterwards. i have a giftcard to la senza from christmas and am in desperate need of undergarments. i might do some biking in the condo gym (because i can read while i do it) but i'll probably just crash instead.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

moving on, moving up

high tea yesterday was a lot of fun. you choose from a selection of interesting loose leaf teas, and they keep refilling your pot with hot water. and the food! you start with strawberries and a crumpet with honey, then enjoy a selection of sandwiches, and THEN a giant tiered tray full of delicious treats like scones, mince meat pies, and desserts. everything is decadent but very little. i took home a few items... although when i got home they were all smushed in the carton so i just threw them out.

when i got home i was on a serious mission, and worked on job applications. there are some great opportunities out there right now. hopefully i will get some interviews and then jobs and then live a long and prosperous life.

my pants DID arrive yesterday, but not until nearly 7pm. UPS! when i first pulled them out of the bag i thought they were really short, but they are fine. i got a 31" inseam, which is perfect to wear with casual flat shoes, but not with heels. normally i wear skinny jeans, but these are bootcut. i'm trying to mix it up. SO... the pants fit, sort of. they do fit but they are a little snug in the waist. i refuse to wear anything that is remotely uncomfortable so i am putting them on hold for a few days. i suspected that i had gained a bit of weight and now i know it's true. i gain weight in my stomach first, so it makes sense that these jeans are only a bit tight there. i actually almost wore them today, but chose not to for several reasons: 1) i am wearing a white turtleneck sweater and thought maybe i should wash the dark jeans before wearing them with light colours, just in case the dark jean colour rubs off. 2) they are quite low in the rise, and give me a bit of a muffin top (shudder).

i'm sure my gain isn't much. five pounds max, if that, so i am just going to loosely count points, keep up the exercise, and lay off the salty snacking and the wine. not that i drink that much... but tonight is date night.

this morning i went for a nice 40 minute swim. i didn't want to get into that chilly pool but after a few laps it was fine. happy humpday. boy do i hate that term!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

tea time

my new jeans did not arrive yesterday, and there is a chance they might arrive today. apparently they were scanned in "concord" ontario, and out for delivery. i will see where this alleged concord exists. oh, it's just a wee bit north of me, so i think i will see the pants today. hallelujah!

yesterday i went for a swim after work and worked on job applications. i only got one down but it was a special one that required a lot of detail and attention. i am happy i got that swim in. for me, exercising on mondays is the absolute WORST. i just have no energy, and then feel like a lazy slob if i do nothing. it's tough, but actually doing something physical makes me feel so much better and starts the week off right. now i want to keep it up!

today not working. i am going down to the gym (after breakfast) and i think i will ride the stationary bike so i can read gone with the wind at the same time. 450 pages down, 625 to go. it's just a little mass paperback so the type is too small to read on the treadmill. so much has happened already in the story, i can't imagine what is going to come next and fill the next 2/3 of the book! i guess that's why they call it an "epic."

also, all of my silly girl dreams are coming true today because i am going downtown to a fancy hotel to have high tea. yes, my friends, high tea. i live downtown, but i'm going really downtown where all of the skyscrapers are. to have tea and eat pastries and little sandwiches. i am going with my bf's brother's fiance. that is a mouthful! should be a lot of fun. now.... should i wear diamonds... or pearls? just kidding. (pearls obviously) ;)

Monday, January 19, 2009

tight pants

my pants are tight today. uh oh. not good! but i'm not sure if it's because i've gain(ed)(ing) weight or because of other reasons. the other reasons could be:

a) post weekend - always a bit more bloaty due to excess alcohol and salt.

b) freshly washed jeans - and dried the whole way in the dryer.

c) last night i tried on a sweater and it looked tight and puny. but i haven't worn it in a while and i washed it and maybe dried it for too long and it could have shrunk.

excuses, excuses! i will see how i feel tomorrow. AND i bought a pair of silver jeans online after shannon mentioned the big sale in her blog, and they are the size of jean that i strive to wear and that generally fit me when i'm in my maintenance range. so they should be here today or tomorrow or this week (better be...) sometime so trying them on will be a very good non-scale indication.

in other news, last week i killed the exercise. i met my four x cardio goals and two x pilates video goals. AND i did one more cardio workout than planned. yarrrrrr. this week is going to be equally as magical for me.

for some reason i am experiencing some bum pain today. i've done a little more online research and i think the following describes it best:

Pseudo-Sciatica - Gluteus minimus

The smallest and deepest of the gluteal muscles, lying beneath the gluteal medius, its fibres run from the pelvis to the hip. Like the overlying gluteus medius it has a split role in life; the anterior fibres medially rotate the thigh whilst the posterior fibres assist lateral rotation, all fibres contribute to abduction of the thigh. It also helps to stabilise the pelvis during ambulation.


Hip pain that may cause a limp during walking. Lying on the affected side may be too painful and result in disturbed sleep. Pain on rising from sitting and standing up straight. The pain in the hip area can be severe and constant with no let up either lying down or walking. As this muscle lies close to the Piriformis, the pain patterns are similar. Like the Piriformis it can cause SI joint dysfunction. But whereas the Piriformis pain pattern can extend down to the knee, the minimus pattern includes the calf and the thigh. Low back pain in the sacral and sacroiliac regions is most likely be due to problems in the gluteus medius. Pain referred from trigger points in the gluteus medius is less likely to involve the thigh; gluteus maximus trigger points restricts flexion at the hip whilst Piriformis trigger points restricts medial rotation.


Trigger points may be activated by too much, too soon. For example, walking too far or too fast, especially over rough ground; overuse in running and sports such as tennis. Even painful blisters can alter the gait pattern sufficiently, or simply running awkwardly due to another injury.

Holding the foot constantly over the accelerator pedal during a long car drive results in hip muscle imobilization, resulting in activation of trigger points in this muscle. Likewise, prolonged standing will have the same effect. SI joint dysfunction will perpetuate the trigger points.

Sitting on a wallet placed in a back pocket can cause impingement on this muscle and therefore produce referred pain in a sciatic-like distribution pattern.

i'm sticking to not running until the spring although it's taking a lot of determination... hopefully this goes away and i can go back to my normal activities.

Friday, January 16, 2009

not weighing in

this not weighing myself weekly is the best thing i've done in months (in regards to my personal health). it is so wonderful to wake up on friday morning, not dread getting on the scale, congratulate myself on a week of good food choices and hard work in the gym, and move on. this morning i looked in the mirror and was very pleased with what i saw. if i got on the scale and saw that i was two pounds above my maintenance range, that would put a damper on my whole morning.

i'm going to have to weigh myself sometime i guess. maybe at the beginning of every month. how does that sound?

today is a good day. it's freezing outside, but sunny. nothing is worse than freezing and gloomy. i went to the gym early and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, and then some sit-ups and bum exercises. working out in the morning really takes a lot of effort. my heart rate was pushing 170 the whole time, and after 23 minutes, i thought i might faint. i lowered the resistance and i was able to complete the 30 minutes.

today is also a good day because on the way to the office, my mom called and asked if i could stop by my dad's work and pick up a pill she needed. i did and my dad gave me a bottle of blueberry mead. oh yum! it's from the trafalgar brewing company. here is a description:

"Blueberry Mead: 9% alc/vol.

Blueberries, from the fields of PEI, are blended with fermented honey and water then cold aged to become unique melomel style mead. Blending the most “Canadian” of berries with the oldest style of beverage alcohol results in a drink that is surprising in its refreshing dryness. Blueberry mead is enjoyed over ice or well chilled."

for lunch today i am really vegging it up. i have a baggy with chopped carrots, 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 zucchini. and hummus for dipping. sabra hummus - the most magical of all hummuses. and i also have a hummus and veggie wrap. last night i sauteed the other half of the red pepper and zucchini, and 1/2 onion and some mushrooms. what a delicious wrap it's going to be.

and finally, my hair turned out really fab. i will try to snap a photo on the weekend. i didn't have to go "natural" or really short. my stylish just cut it shorter at the back, and gave me highlights and lowlights, which looks rad and choppy(ish). and when my hair grows out a little, it will blend better and i won't look like a reverse skunkhead.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

get out of the pool

i am not working today because i have a hair appointment. great excuse, right! ;) it's kind of a sad appointment because i'm having some major hair trouble. my bleached hair has been breaking off in giant chunks, and only on the top of my head. luckily i can style it in a way so that it's not noticeable, but i feel terrible about it because i'm used to having nice, soft, shiny hair. just my luck lately...

so i don't know what to do. i'd like to stay blond, but i don't want hair like a roll of hay in a field on a farm! i was growing my hair too, so now i might have to cut it super short again, dye it as close to natural as possible, and then just let it grow. maybe i can go blond again after i grow it to the style i want. what a bummer though. and super short hair in the winter... brrr. i better invest in some new scarves. actually i already have lots of scarves haha, i just said that for emphasis.

so that is this afternoon. i'm sure i will feel better when it's over. if not, i will just buy some paper lunch bags and wear one every day over my head. with eye and mouth holes cut out. my new "shtick" will be jumping out from behind corners and scaring people with my scary mask face. booga booga!

enough about that. oh, one more thing. i think that i am not being offered jobs because of my blond hair. and i don't think it's in my head either. i'm sure thinking that is not helping. the power of thought. but i really believe that as a platinum blond i'm being judged and not in a good way. i asked my bf about this last night. he usually tells it like it is, so i can trust his opinion to be on the ball, and he agrees with me. alright - back to brown... maybe.

now, i mean it. enough about that. this morning i went for a 40 minute swim but it was cut back to 30 minutes as i was kicked out of the pool. it wasn't that harsh. the security guard asked me to get out because the cleaners clean from 11am-noon. no big deal. when i started swimming today, i could really feel my ab muscles, which means that the pilates videos from yesterday had an effect. alright! i might go back to the gym later if i have time.

for those who asked about my HRM, i have the polar f4, in red. it's very cute and i'm happy with it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

workout songs

great workout songs can really make all of the difference. or a great magazine. last night i added two new songs to my playlist:

1) all the single ladies by beyonce, and

2) live your life by ti and rihanna

amazing! nothing like getting your groove on to make working out fun. it will be heaven when no doubt releases a new album. HEAVEN.

last night i did about 36 minutes on the elliptical (burning 300 calories), and then moved to the mat for some stretching, sit-ups, and more bootylicious exercises. my bee-hind is definitely feeling the burn.

i wanted to write a little bit about heart rate monitors. mine has really opened my eyes to three important things:

1) the number of calories i'm actually burning. i find the estimates on the treadmill and the elliptical to be grossly overestimating how many calories i'm burning. i used to walk for an hour and think i burned 600 calories. HA! of course, the number of calories you burn doing any exercise varies based on your own weight, height, and age. i burn a lot less calories than a 200-pound man would doing the exact same exercise.

2) the level of physical exertion i should be aiming for and maintaining. after you input your stats into the monitor, it gives you a range to aim for and maintain during cardio exercise. for example, my resting heart rate is in the upper 50s. this is pretty low. my "cardio" zone is between 125 and 165 beats per minute. when i used to run, my heart rate would stay around 140 beats per minute, unless i was running up hill. on the elliptical, it's about 150 because i'm pushing myself hard. sometimes it goes up to 165, and i know it's time to back off a little.

3) what exercises are good for cardio and not as good for cardio. i'm not saying bad, because any exercise is good. but i now know that even walking on an incline doesn't pump me for maximum burn. and that tony gazelle machine (my parents have)... worthless! unless there is some way to turn up the resistance that i don't know about (there probably is).

my dinner last night was ridiculously low in points. i roasted an entire acorn squash, scooped out the insides (1 point for the whole thing) and covered it in 1/2 cup cottage cheese (1.5 points). since i had leftover points i enjoyed a 50 oz. glass of wine. 50! and now i'm dead. i meant 5 oz. i measured it on my kitchen scale and 5 oz. is a lot. i was underestimating my wine consumption before. not anymore haha.

this morning i thought about swimming but that didn't seem very appealing, so i did two pilates videos instead. the first was a beginner 25-minute "band exercises" workout, and the second was the 20-minute circle workout. my hips are very flexible but my hamstrings are NOT and both these videos stretched them out a bit.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

wrap it up

i am addicted to making wraps with the "flat out" brand of tortilla wraps that i bought in the united states a couple of months ago. i bought four packs and froze them, and now i am into them with a vengeance. for breakfast i make egg and cheese wraps, and for lunch, tuna and hummus wraps. today's lunch wrap also included onion and zucchini that i sauteed this morning. each wrap is only 90-100 calories and 9g fiber, which is only 1 weight watchers point. amazing! it's nice to get the taste of bread without going crazy on the carbs.

last night after work i headed right downstairs to the condo gym. i did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then some sit-ups and bootylicious exercises. i wore my HRM and overall my calorie burn was over 300, and my heart rate stayed in the upper 150s and 160s during my cardio. that is a high heart rate! last spring when i was running 5-6 miles, my HR would stay about about 140. am i grossly out of shape? i know swimming cardio is different than sweaty running/elliptical cardio, but still.

on the elliptical i played this game with myself to pass the time. 2 minutes using arms, and then 2 minutes without arms, or "running" on the spot. both are very effective. i can really feel the burn in my arm muscles when i'm using the arm ski poles (or whatever they are), and it's much harder on the legs to not have any arm help. i had so much energy it was hard to get to sleep last night!

today i have more big exercise plans. either swimming or using the elliptical again. i want to get it done before watching the biggest loser. i'm going to watch it tonight (instead of taping) and do some trinket organization. desk drawers, makeup cases, jewelry boxes. a major purge is needed. yesterday i bought some cheap makeup on ELF so i need to make room. aren't you supposed to throw out makeup that is 6-months old? i still have eyeshadows from HIGH SCHOOL. yes, that's ten or more years people. scary thought.

Monday, January 12, 2009

not meeting goals

ack, one week down and already i am not meeting my goals.

1) i am trying to ease up on myself but it's difficult. last night i was suffering through a bought of poor self-esteem. i wanted to go to the gym but was just too tired from all of the weekend festivities, and then time ticked on and on and it was too late. i am going to get my hair "did" this week and then i'll feel better. i noticed that my roots are out of control and that is probably 75% of my issue!

2) since i didn't work out yesterday as planned, i only completed three out of four 40 minute cardio sessions. i did do two yoga/pilates videos, so all is not lost. i was thinking if i did five cardio sessions this week i could call myself even and move forward. sometimes four is a lot, especially during the the first week back from holiday!

that's that. i already feel better. writing things down really does help. and, even though it's january (the most depressing month), i have a lot to look forward to.

a) the prospect of a new job. nothing is happening yet, but positive thinking will work for me. and of course i keep applying for more jobs!

b) getting my hair done. so worth the money!

c) gossip girl tonight. and last night i finally watched that "being erica" show (new on the cbc) and it's pretty cute!

d) my boyfriend booked us a valentine's weekend getaway to niagara falls. &hearts &hearts &hearts, complete with king bed and jacuzzi tub. swoon! this will be our third valentine's weekend in niagara falls.

e) tonight i am going to get physical. swimming, or a video, or maybe just treadmill walking. something and it's gonna be amazing!

f) the tuna/hummus wrap i have for lunch. 1/2 can tuna (1.5 points), 30g sabra classic hummus (2 points - and if you haven't tried this brand you are missing out, it's seriously AMAZING), on a flat out wrap (1 point), with a side of steamed edamame (2.5 points).

in other news:

1) i have decided to avoid running until the weather is warm. not because i hate the cold (i do), or am lazy (i am not... hmmmm), but because i am still experiencing some bum pain from time to time and i think the only way to make it disappear forever is to refrain from doing any activity that aggravates it until it has been gone for a long time. right now sometimes i can run and sometimes i can't, but it's not enjoyable because i'm out of running shape and each run is such an enormous effort. not worth it. i will revisit this topic later!

2) on the weekend a group of my friends and i went to check out (oh, by the way, this is not for the faint of heart or the easily tempted!) a new quebec-style poutine shop that opened recently. smoke's poutinerie uses real cheese curds from quebec and there is a large variety of types and toppings. i got the mama's poutine, which is traditional poutine with slow roasted chicken chunks and green peas. delicious although afterwards my stomach was sending me a few signals suggesting this poutine should be a rare occurrence. the boys got crazy poutines with italian sausages, bacon, sweet onions... too much! a picture of smoke's poutine can be found here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

when days are hot, when days are cold

do you want to know what really gets my goat? (i don't really have a goat by the way) what gets my goat, is finding the perfect product online, at a reasonable cost, with reasonable shipping fees, only to find out at the very end of the transaction that they don't ship to canada. WHY NOT?!?!?! it's evil. we are part of the same continent as the US. and now that i'm on this subject, why OH WHY does it cost SO MUCH to ship american magazines to canadian addresses? a ridiculous amount more. i'd be willing to pay more for postage, but this goes way beyond postage. not fair not fair not fair.

the product i wanted from the united states was the iposture. this is definitely a "want" not a "need" item. i can imagine the poorest people in africa slapping me in the face for even considering this gadget. it's a little buzzing device that you attach to your skin or bra, and when you slouch for more than a minute, it buzzes until you correct yourself. eventually it's supposed to train you to sit and stand up more straight. i want this because i'm so slouchy. sometimes sitting up straight can be painful. i see those little old hunchback ladies walking down the street, bent over their canes, and i'll be damned if that is going to be me one day. note to self: keep eating dairy! i was practicing the keyboard a couple of days ago, sitting on one of my cheap kitchen table chairs from ikea with a straight back. after five minutes my back was killing me, but i had to maintain a straight posture to play. how many slouchy pianists have you seen? anyhoo, my shipping rejection happened a few weeks ago but it got me thinking. there was a fabulous sale on the device too. boxing week 50% off or something. i wouldn't pay full price!

this morning i got up early for a 40-minute morning swim. i didn't want to (of course) but as soon as i got into the pool all was cool. the water was chilly which is best because a) it wakes you up and b) you are constantly refreshed while working out. here is my standard 40-minute swimming workout. each "length" is about 15 metres - that is going from one side of the pool to the other.

40 lengths front crawl
20 lengths breast stroke
10 lengths front crawl
10 lengths breast stroke
20 lengths of 1 breast stroke, 1 front crawl

and then at the end i do 20 lengths of "cool down" which is five times of this:
1 length breast stroke, 1 length sprint front crawl (as fast as possible... like phelps), 1 length relaxed front crawl, and 1 length back crawl.

i find that if i don't count my lengths it's very confusing. i can't just swim for 40 minutes without a plan because it's so disorganized and unstructured. swimmer's ocd!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

book talk

do you want to know what i'm reading? i'll tell you, no arm twisting required.

physical books

1. gone with the wind: one of the true epics. i'm just beginning this one. it's overwhelming because it's so huge. i have a really old mass market edition that i picked up for $2.99 in a used bookstore, and i've wanted to read it ever since ponyboy was reading it to johnny in the outsiders. thankfully it is relatively light. when i was a kid at sleepovers, parent's used to put on the movie to make us fall asleep. i don't remember the movie at all, which is how i like it. books are always better.

2. the independence of miss mary bennett: a novel. this one was written by the same author as the thornbirds and it's kind of a sequel to pride and prejudice but the focus is on mary bennett, the only unmarried sister, and it's twenty years later. it's an interesting read so far. the only thing i don't like is that they are implying that elizabeth's marriage to mr. darcy turned sour quite quickly. nooooooooooooooooo! how dare someone ruin my mr. darcy fantasy! anyhoo...

3. the devious book for cats: a parody. i got this book for christmas and it's a bathroom reader type of book. it's hilarious. i'm pretty sure it's a parody on those daring books for boys and girls, but i don't know much about them so i can't be sure. the book is written for cats, by cats, and talks about different things like cardboard boxes, kitty litter, and "your human." obviously you have to have a cat or be a cat lover to appreciate this. there is also one for dogs.

audio books
if you didn't know i listen to audio books in my car, and sometimes load them onto my mp3 player and listen whilst walking on the treadmill.

1. run by ann patchett. i don't think i would enjoy this book if i had to read it, but i like listening to it. it takes place over 24 hours and is a complicated story about a family. a family in which the mother dies, after having one child of her own and adopting two boys. the father (after the mother's passing) becomes the mayor of boston, and so their lives are somewhat public. one night after the two adopted boys are grown, the father takes them to a lecture on a snowy night. after the lecture, one is going to be struck by a vehicle but is pushed out of the way at the last second by a woman. this woman turns out to be the adopted boys' birth mother! she has an eleven year old daughter who is with her. the oldest son (not adopted) has just returned from africa where he was stealing and reselling AIDS medication. see... complex plot. but interesting... and the reader has a very pleasant speaking voice.

2. clara callan: a novel by richard b. wright. this story is neat because it's about two sisters from small town ontario in the 1930s, and it's all written in letters (to each other) and journal entries. one of the sisters moves to new york to become a radio actress, and the other deals with some pretty heavy stuff back at home. there is also more than one person reading, which makes it feel like an old radio program.

for breakfast this morning i made an egg white wrap with 100g microwaved egg whites (1 point), a flat out wrap (1 point) and a TBSP of salsa (0 points). it was a pretty hearty breakfast for only 2 points.

my bum is a little sore from yesterday's goddess booty dvd, and that's excellent. i was never one for derriere exercises so there is no time like the present to start becoming bootylicious.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

baloney man

last night i went to costco to pick up a few things. a big container of woolite which i haven't been able to find in regular stores lately, a combo pack of larabars, a big box of 100-calorie packs of ritz and cheese nibs, and a box of 12 individual microwave packs of edamame.

i wanted to try the woolite because my clothes are constantly fading and it's driving me crazy. and i kept seeing those television ads with stacy from what not to wear. marketing works on me obviously.

normally i am against 100-cal packs because usually they are grossly overpriced and have no nutrition value whatsoever, but the ritz and cheese nibs called to me. so salty and delicious and sometimes cheesy. how many people do you know that can stop at the suggested serving size of delicious salty ritz? how many crackers is that anyway? three? not enough.

the edamame is such a great idea and very useful. i can bring these packs to work and not worry about having to pre-cook them at home. the only bizarre (and annoying) thing is that each "bowl" is 1.5 servings, and the nutritional information on the box is for 1 serving. outrageous! it's irritating when companies do this. are they just not thinking, or are they trying to make their products seem healthier than they are? like those breakfast cookies at second cup - two servings per cookie. no one eats 1/2 a cookie. also outrageous!

in other news, i recently stumbled across this new funny blog the grandly spectacular and fantastically phenomenal fad diet experiment. this guy is going to spend the next 18 weeks trying 14 different fad diets for one week at a time, with a day off between each diet. it kind of annoys me that he's listed weight watchers as a "fad," but other than that it's very amusing to me and i'm pretty interested to see what happens to him. i'm not too concerned about the danger of this experiment - he's a grown man and can do what he wants!

and finally, this morning i tried the yoga booty ballet series dvd that i took out from the library. this dvd had two discs: goddess booty (25 minutes) and yoga core (30 minutes). the goddess booty workout was tough! my bum was really aching and i had to stop several times. does anyone have an extra pillow for me to sit on? at the beginning of this workout i was not into it, but by the end i came around. the yoga core workout wasn't really for me. i'd say these moves would be very difficult, if not impossible for beginners, and i've had much better core workouts from windsor pilates, and from the carmen electra fit to strip dvd. a few times during this video i felt dizzy and lightheaded... not good. the women in the video are alright, although they are VERY into the meditation-we-are-all-one-with-the-universe mumbo jumbo. sometimes i like it and sometimes it seems like a baloney sandwich.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

finding the time

yesterday after work, my mom wanted me to go to ikea for her and return some unwanted christmas presents. i didn't want to, but it's sort of on the way, and way out of her way, so i said alright.

a person just can't zip in and out of ikea. it's impossible. either the line up for returns is really long, or something catches your eye, and suddenly you are looking at things you never knew you needed until that very moment.

and then it's 7:30 already, and you're starving, but motivated, so you wait until you get home to eat dinner and wolf it down like a hungry fox and then feel kind of worn out and too lethargic to exercise? sound familiar? and not to mention your sleeping patterns are all out of wack since you've basically had the last week and a half off so you are very tired but don't want to go to bed early... just veg out and watch four episodes of true blood online.

that's my excuse for not exercising yesterday. i will have to do something today though! and it's the season premiere of the biggest loser again! that is a little too fast for me. i like that show a lot, but i need a season off. and i'm not going to not watch it... heaven forbid. i borrowed yoga booty ballet from the library, maybe i will do that tonight.

in other news, i tried a friend's wii fit on the weekend, and i can't stop thinking about it. it was really quite fun and entertaining. and i was very sore the next day, and the day after, so it must have been working!

Monday, January 5, 2009

feeling fine in 09

a new year has began, and so begins a new plan, with new goals and aspirations, for a healthy lifestyle and personal achievements, etc., and blah blah blah. let's get right to it. here are my resolutions and a plan of action for '09.

1) i am going to ease up on myself. accept myself the way i am, no matter if my pants are too tight. life isn't about tight pants. if you are constantly thinking about your tight pants, you won't be able to enjoy life for what it is - a beautiful gift. of course, i am going to try my damn hardest to keep the pants fitting, but i may not weigh myself every friday anymore. i haven't put too much thought into this, but maybe once a month would be better for me at this point, just to make sure i'm on track. i just don't need the ups and downs that come with a small weight gain or loss. i'm not trying to lose a large or even a moderate amount of weight, so weighing in all the time seems unnecessary. i should probably add that i'm sure i gained a couple of pounds over the holidays, but my clothes (including my pants) still fit. i will survey the damage later this week after a few chocolate detox days.

2) my second goal is to enjoy exercise more, and not feel like it's a chore. i always love that post-workout feeling. i'm going to try and incorporate more activities that involve fitness and fun. i don't know what yet. my brain is still a little fuzzy from all the wine i consumed over the holidays. i'm going to set a cardio goal of 4 x 40 minutes or a total of 160 minutes per week. i hope my math is correct. that is very reasonable and a nice minimum goal. i'm sure some weeks i will do more. in terms of strength training i think i'm going to lay off the weights and focus more on yoga and pilates moves. i have tons of pilates dvds that i never use. why not start now? my goal will be to do two pilates/yoga videos per week. some are only 10 minutes, and some are longer (50 minutes).

3) my third goal is to get a damn job. in my field. i have started to consider applying for jobs not in my field, except wouldn't all my training be a waste? i have a university degree and a postgraduate degree from college. there is nothing wrong with being an office assistant, but could i be happy doing something like that if i'm not being challenged? the answer is no. i love my career and need to stick with it.

4) my fourth goal involves personal hobbies. for christmas my awesome boyfriend got me a yamaha keyboard including ABBA and the four seasons songbooks, so my new hobby is learning to play piano. i can play a bit already. in university i lived with a pianist, and bought myself an intro piano book, and practiced all the time. it's really a lot of fun. i would also like to continue sewing, reading, and start writing a bit more.

i think that's about it... for now. if i think of anything else i'll add to the list... don't want to overwhelm myself ;) and now... i have a date with my google reader.

EDIT: i just thought of my 5th goal. i am going to learn how to make my own sushi! YEEHA!

Friday, January 2, 2009

happy new year!

happy new year everybody! regular posting will resume on monday, january 5th, 2009. my regular eating has been pretty good, my chocolate consumption has gone way up, and my exercise has been on par. i'm going swimming right now :) and then shopping (to return things!)

i'm sure i have a backlog of a million posts to read in my google reader - i've missed you guys!

ps. i hope everyone is posting their resolutions... with a plan! i'm thinking about mine BIG TIME.