Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Workout Wednesdays #2

I'm back with my weekly exercise report!

I've been focusing on my walk/jog for the past week. Southern Ontario has been hit with a "heat wave" for the past 4-5 days, which has made jogging outside difficult for me. My friends to the south will probably laugh at this, but 30-degrees celsius (about 86F) is hot, Hot, HOT around these parts. ;) I've taken my workouts to the treadmill (in my air-conditioned basement!) to compensate.

Thursday: 30s jog/90s walk recovery
Friday: 30s jog/90s walk recovery
Saturday: nothing special, but did go to the driving range
Sunday: swam at the cottage (15min front crawl, 15 min treading water)
Monday: hiked with D and T for 60 minutes
Tuesday: 45s jog/75s walk recovery
Today: 45s jog/75s walk recovery

Moving from 30 seconds of jogging to 45 seconds was so noticeable for me this week. My plan is to stick to this ratio for the week ahead and commit to getting in 5 sessions on the treadmill.

I read somewhere that treadmills should be set to at least 1.3% incline to replicate running outdoors. Does anyone have any info on this?

Hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Let's just say I'm trying hard not to let the scale beat me up today. I had a pretty good week in terms of exercise and diet followed by a questionable weekend, which all led to virtually ZERO weight loss at my Monday weigh in. Oi!

I'm not about to make any excuses, but let me document my thoughts on what went wrong. You see, the past 3 days represented the first long weekend of the summer for us Canadians. That's right - the May Two-Four weekend (Note the reference to not only the date of Victoria day, but also the not-so-subtle reference to a 24 case of beer?! I digress....). This weekend always includes a trip to my in-laws cottage in Northern Ontario. I learned a lot about how I'm going to have to change my cottaging ways based on the events of the past 3 days. Oh my - I never realized just how disgustingly unhealthy these cottage weekends are!

Let's start with a few positives.

1. Outdoor work
Managed to burn a few calories raking leaves and gardening.

2. Opportunity for fitness
I went for a good swim on Saturday and Sunday. I could do about 15 minutes of front crawl followed by 15 minutes of general playing around before I froze in the 68-degree water. ;)

3. Support
Told everyone about my goals and they were supportive (more on this later). Had a great time connecting with family and catching up.

To sum it up, I felt like I was just beaten down this weekend. Going into this trip, I knew I would have to plan ahead to bring some healthy snacks and get my fitness in. I had the encouragement of the in-laws at the onset of the weekend, but the constant barrage of terrible food, alcohol and laziness just left me feeling like I was out of options and a total outsider. At the end of the day, I over-estimated the number of healthy options I'd have at the cottage and under-estimated my will power to avoid temptation.

A few things that tripped me up:
1. Water
I totally forgot that the water at the cottage is undrinkable. It is lake water. Okay for washing, not for drinking. NOTE TO SELF: bring your own water cooler bottle if you expect to drink more than a glass a day. The inlaws brought up a 5L jug to last the WHOLE weekend (and that includes the dog's water!). I would've drank that myself if left to my own devices, ha ha.

2. Two breakfasts!?
I forgot about this, but my inlaws style is to wake up at 8-9am and have what I now lovingly refer to as First Breakfast (ie. toast or cereal, maybe some fruit) and then around 11am out comes Second Breakfast. Yes - you read that correctly. Second Breakfast consists of a huge spread of bacon, sausage, fried eggs and pancakes. I managed to skip Second Breakfast on Day 1, but by Day 2 and 3 I was right there in line with the rest of the family. What's worse, I had skipped my proper breakfast in anticipation of the caloric overload that was about to ensue, which left me famished.

3. Poor Meals
In my defence here, I DID offer to make dinner or lunch for a few days but my mother-in-law refused because she'd already planned each meal. I offered to at least bring side dishes (planning some salads and healthier stuff) but again, was refused due to the fact that "oh....I've already bought everything we need and we have a lot of options". Well, I should've realized that 'options' didn't necessarily translate into 'healthy options'. Sausage on a bun was on the menu for lunch. Salads were pre-made potato salad and coleslaw. Dinner was usually lean meat (thanks GOD!) but accompanied by more pre-pack fatty salad, potatoes in oil and garbage. At each meal there were giggles and comments about how "I guess we're not too healthy" and "tee hee hee, I guess we're not making this easy for you". Duly noted.

FOLKS - how do you manage these situations without totally insulting your host!?! I'm dumbstruck.

I planned to go for a few hikes/jogs this weekend, but the barrage of black flies and mosquitos kept me off the cottage roads. They were terrible!!! NOTE TO SELF: come armed with plenty of bug spray next time. Duh!

4. Snacks Suck
So, I guess this could be filed under the Poor Meals column, but OH. MY. GOSH. It requires it's own category. I couldn't believe how many terrible snacks we go through at the cottage. It's constant eating with chips, alcohol, fatty dips, fried hors d'ourves, candy, cookies, butter tarts...every single activity at the cottage comes with more and more food and awful snacks. I brought along bananas and pre-washed bags of celery sticks with Laughing Cow cheese wedges for each day we were up at the cottage thinking that would be enough to get me through. No way. NOTE TO SELF: just because everyone else is eating, doesn't mean you have to.
Here is the typical activity list with associated snacks. Looking back on it, we do this EVERY SINGLE TIME we're at the cottage:
Morning reading on the deck = plate of scones or muffins
Afternoon dock time = mounds of chips and spinach dip with Tostitos
Pre-Dinner = cocktails, wine and hors d'ourves
Post-Dinner game of cards = huge bowls of bridge mix or other chocolate candy AND plates of cookies and butter tarts.
This constant parade of food was too much for me. I'm not joking. My will power was strong on the first day (I avoided it all). On Day 2 I was sneaking just a taste of this and a bite of that. By Day 3 I was scarfing down all this garbage. Blech!

If you're read this far, you're a saint. I just needed to get this all down so that I can start making a plan to have better cottage weekends. In the meantime, I'm off to do some work and get back to my regular schedule and diet. Wish me luck!!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Workout Wednesdays #1

So, I thought I was keeping track of my jogs on this blog last week. Lo and behold, I logged on today to find my draft post erased. Hmpf! Definitely not as clever as I thought I was. :)

Let's shake that off and try again, shall we?!?

Rather than reporting my workouts every day, I think it's more feasible for me to do it on a weekly basis. I'm going to post on Wednesdays because....well, Wednesday is a nice mid-week check-in and it also just so happens to have a nice alliteration thing happening: W.....W is for Wednesday....W is for workout. Sorry. Sesame Street flashbacks! What can I say? I'm a child of the 70s.

I've basically been using the treadmill for my main workout. I've been following a hybrid of the "Couch to 5k" program and the Running Room's Learn to Run program, both of which have you do small bursts of jogging interspersed by recovery walks. In other words, I walk until I'm bored and run until I'm pooped.

So far, so good.

Actually, today is the first day I feel completely fine post-jog. No annoying stiffness or soreness from last evening's effort. I think I'm going to do the "proper" Week 1 plan for the week ahead. That is, jog for 30-seconds and walk for just 90-seconds before jogging again.

Here is the Workout Recap from last week:
- I made it onto the treadmill 4 times last week with a 5 min brisk walk, 20min of walk/jog and a 5 min cool down walk.
- Unrelated exercise included 9 holes of golf (walking with full bag), hitting the driving range once and doing a big 8km hike with the dog which included climbing 4 flights of stairs to a scenic lookout.

No wonder I'm tired this week. Ha!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The all-important Week #1 Weigh-in is here. And it is sweet! I'm down about 5 pounds after a fairly ambitious week. I've been here a couple dozen times before and the first week is always encouraging: full of ambition and dedication, shedding all that initial 'fluff', staying on-plan religiously. The hard part will be maintaining that dedication in the days, weeks, months to come.

I did something different this time.

Rather than quietly going about my way with my mission, I've made my goals public and I've done so via Facebook. It started with a brief status update (" learning to love jogging....slowly) which got a few positive nods from my friends & family. Then it struck me. Those little nods of encouragement really sparked me to keep at it. I decided to get accountable. REALLY accountable. I've created a note on my page which can be updated regularly. It simply states my goal (in 'smart' goal format, of course!) and allows me to track my exercise.

I've never made my goals public before. It's somewhat freeing, to be honest. Sometimes I forget that support goes two ways and I can rely on my friends and family as much as they rely on me. :)

So, in the spirit of small wins, here are few 'wins' I experienced this week:
  • went whole week without drinking pop and actually got at least 65oz of water in every day
  • ate on plan and managed to resist temptation
  • joined and tracked my calories and exercise
  • used the treadmill 3 times and did a huge hike with a stair climb
Week 2, here I come.....!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


This time last year I weighed in at a whopping 327 pounds. That surprises the few people I've had the courage to tell about my weight. One year later and I'm still pushing 280 despite "trying hard....for real this time". The truth is, I haven't been trying hard at all. Most days I go about my daily life blissfully ignoring the fact I'm obese. I ignore the stares I get walking down the street, I pretend my shortness of breath is just due to a cold and not my completely inept cardiovascular system, and I rarely, if ever, fly into a crying jag or panic about my growing size.

If I continue in this state of ignorance I can keep going about my life focusing on other things: my career, my husband, my dog, my new home and what's for dinner? I don't have to think about things like the possibility of diabetes, my inability to have a child in the forseeable future and my general poor quality of life.

Ignorance is bliss.

Scratch that. Ignorance was bliss.

You see, my plan is to use this blog to help me confront and remedy my situation. For a long list of reasons (which I'll spare you right now), I have decided to finally take off the blinders and get on track to a healthier lifestyle. It's not just about weight loss. It's not just about exercise. It's about seriously adjusting the way I live my life, including my attitude, my relationships and my behaviour.

I've always been prone to writing. I'm a chronic list maker, journal writer and general sponge for all things literary. It's only natural that I want to document this change to my lifestyle. This blog should serve as a constant reminder of my goals, accomplishments, set-backs and of course...progress.

Here we go...