Friday, January 29, 2010

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesteday

Earworm, sorry.

I'm not sure if anyone can tell this, but it's just after 6am in New Brunswick and I'm wide awake, blogging. That alone should give you some indication of where I am mentally. I've already been awake for an hour.

This has been a very strange week for me. It's like I've gone back in time eight years.

First a chat and email from a very old friend, and then last night.

I got a surprising email yesterday from an old friend of mine with whom I went to university. He and his wife were coming into town for the evening and were getting together with a group of friends of ours whom I hadn't seen in years. I hadn't even seen him since we graduated from school. Ryan, I know you'll never read this, but I really hope it doesn't take six years next time.

Seeing old friends is always good, and always a bit sad. Ryan didn't actually expect me to show up, and when I did he was so pleasantly surprised, it just warmed my heart. Around the tables, I saw so many familiar yet unfamiliar faces. It makes me sad that I live in the same city as many of these people and didn't even know it.

People are never quite the way you remember them if you don't see them often enough. On the rare occasions when I do run into an old friend, am I the only one who just wants to grab them and hug them close, in the hopes that it will light a tiny flame under all of our old memories and somehow take us back to a forgotten moment, if even for a minute?

I dreamed of one of these old friends last night, one I haven't seen in years. We had a falling out and we stopped speaking. We didn't make amends before he rode off into the sunset to continue living his life. Now we'll never make amends and my heart aches for that to happen. He is someone who was so close to me, then suddenly gone. It truly makes my heart hurt.

There are so many other friends who weren't there last night, at least not physically, but talking about them really stirred up a lot of emotion for me. They might as well have been there, as far as my heart is concerned.

Take some time today to contact an old friend, or a friend you don't get to see as often as you'd like to, or someone you don't think you still have a relationship with. Give them that feeling of a reminiscent hug; try to rebuild a bridge that burned a long time ago.

We might not always have these chances.

Monday, January 25, 2010

And on a Side Note

Picture of us taken by my friend Vaughana (in the background) on Saturday night at the Blue Rodeo concert:

The New Plan

Since Saturday I've been giving some serious thought to how I'm going to get stronger, faster. Circuit training. It's not easy, and it's not always fun, but it works, and I'm going to do it.

I am currently a member of Jillian Michaels' online plan (for another month) and I'm really going to take advantage of the resources. Jillian's plan outlines workouts to do each day of the week (including two rest days). They're tough workouts, but I'm gonna bet they get results.

Here's today's workout (in case you're following along):

Warm Up/Prep: at least 5 minutes of your choice

Circuit 1:
Close-Grip Push-Up (2 sets of 15)
One-Leg Squat (2 sets of 15)
Mountain Climbers (2 sets of 1 minute)

Circuit 2:
Dumbbell Chest Fly (2 sets of 15)
King Squat (2 sets of 15)
Mountain Climbers (2 sets of 1 minute)

Circuit 3:
Bench Dip (3 sets of 15)
Lateral Leg Raises (3 sets of 15)
Jumping Jacks (3 sets of 1 minute)

Circuit 4:
Anterior Shoulder Raise (2 sets of 15)
Weighted Crunch (2 sets of 15)
Jumping Jacks (2 sets of 1 minute)

Circuit 5:
Dumbbell Triceps Extension (3 sets of 15)
Scissors (3 sets of 15)
Jumping Jacks (3 sets of 1 minute)

Cool Down: 5 minutes

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Boo on Fitness Assessments

Paid a visit to the gym this morning for my appointment for a general fitness assessment. I tried to time it so that I would be doing it around the time of beginning of the X-Weighted challenge, as well as the beginning of the "Don't Stop Believing" challenge we're doing on the WW boards.

Snap! Rude awakening much?

Here's how it went:

~ First Dan took my measurements:
~ Weight: 142.5 lbs
~ Body Fat Percentage: 27.9% (normal range is between 20-28%)
~ Fat Weight: 40 lbs
~ Lean Weight: 102.5 lbs
~ Based on this, my BMR is about 1230 calories/day
~ Shoulders: 41.5"
~ Arm: 10.75" (R), 10.5" (L)
~ Chest: 36" (sad, isn't it?)
~ Waist: 30.5"
~ Hips: 39.5"
~ Thigh: 22.75" (R), 22.75 (L)

~ Then we got into the good stuff, the fitness test stuff:
~ 5 minutes on the recumbent bike to get my VO2 Max, which was 38.7. He rated this as very good, but my sources tell me otherwise.
~ Push-up test: Do as many push-ups as you can for 1 minute. I did 31 or 32 (on my toes, he gave me the choice)
~ Sit-up test: Do as many as you can in 1 minute, all the way up and all the way down. I think I got just under 30. They were zero fun, zero. And a bit surprising.
~ Wall Sit Test: Wall sit for as long as you can at a perfect 90 degree angle. I got just a couple seconds over 2 minutes, which he said was really good. Most people don't make it past a minute - they give up more mentally than physically. He said he's actually seen one person get 5 minutes! What?!?

~ Then we did a circuit (3 times):
~ Walking lunges across the gym and back (I did 13 each way)
~ Kettle bell deadlifts (1 minute)
~ Tricep dips (1 minute)
~ Suspended Knee Pull-ups (10 of them)
~ Spider man kicks *hold plank and bring knees up to elbows, one at a time* (20 of them)

And then I was pretty tired.

My results: I suck in terms of physical strength, but I have pretty good cardio endurance. So more circuit training and weight lifting, which I figured would be the case.

If I lose 9.5 lbs, and increase my lean muscle mass over the next 12 weeks, I should be able to reach my goal. That would mean 10 lbs less of body fat, being exchanged for 6 lbs more of lean muscle mass, ie. a weight of 133 lbs. That's 3 lbs less than what I was shooting for, so we'll see how it goes.

Then I got on the step machine for a while. *sigh*

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thinking of Taking a Break

I think I need a break, from everything. I don't know why this happens to me sometimes, but it does. I always come out a bit shinier on the other side.

There's one small difference this time though. Usually I withdraw completely into myself, but I'm not going to go it alone this time. I'm tired of not feeling close to anyone, alone, and less than adequate. I'm going to try surrendering myself to the people closest to me, whom I should trust without question, and who love me.

I'm tired of trying to be what other people want me to be. I don't need their negative energy bringing me down and causing me to question how I feel and who I am. I'm done with that. I'm just fine, thank you very much.

So if you don't see me around the usual haunts, don't be alarmed. I'm not far.

But if you do see me, I miss you, and I love you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Interesting Article

Read an interesting article about the food trends of the last decade on CBC. Here are some of them:

Allergies: Rising awareness about food allergies and disorders such as celiac disease forced chefs to adapt, says chef John Higgins, head of Toronto's George Brown College culinary school. But, he notes, the great chefs rose to the challenge. "It's mind over matter," he says.

My take on it: It's unbelievable how much restaurants and chefs will accommodate you now. You can ask for nearly anything and they know how to prepare it the way you need it. I think this is a huge step in the right direction. It also makes life so much easier for people with allergies and food intolerances. The variety and ingredient substitutions are almost endless. Awesome!

Portion control: Gone are the days when Sunday brunch equals a large buffet, says Higgins. Nowadays it's more common to find people ordering individual plates, which he adds is much more "normal dining experience."

My take on it: While I like the way they've presented this and I do think that it's good that we're moving away from the buffet mentality, portion control has introduced an entirely new beast, the 100-calorie pack. I loathe the thinking behind the 100-calorie pack. While I can't argue the fact that they are convenient and do present people with a reasonable portion of that particular food, I see them as a stepping stone on the path to healthy eating. A person will not be able to say they are in full control until they no longer need the 100-calorie pack and they can bring home the real deal. Besides, the added packaging is not very green.

Blending sweet and savoury: The mix of flavours took off in kitchens and store-bought goods alike. "Salted caramels and bacon-flavoured chocolates are de rigeur at chocolatiers and coffee houses," says McCauley.

My take on it: Hmmm... what else is there? Chocolate covered bacon, chocolate covered pretzels, peppered strawberries, any more that I'm missing? I love sweet savoury combinations!

Convenience: "We have wanted more and wanted it faster since World War II, when our housewives became Rosie the Riveters," said McCauley. "Convenience is still king." Today it takes the form of prewashed and cut vegetables, frozen desserts promising homemade qualities and coffee drive-thrus.

My take on it: My favourite convenience foods include bagged salads, pre-packaged veggies in steamer bags, fresh design-your-own salads, roast chickens at the deli...

Bubble tea: In the early part of the decade, shops devoted to the Taiwanese drink filled with tapioca pearls began popping up across North America.

My take on it: LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I love this freaking sweet concoction! Strawberry milky slush with pearls please!

What are some food trends you're loving/hating lately?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hey Life, you wanna give me a break for a while?

I don't know if I've mentioned this to many of you (I know I've mentioned it to one of you), but I think I'm going to give up my regular Weight Watchers meeting. I just don't think I can do it anymore.

I have so much going on, I'm not even sure what to do with myself. I was back in the office today and all hell broke loose, like it does EVERY SINGLE DAY. I'm tired of it, and I'm exhausted. I was informed this morning that I am working tomorrow evening and on the weekend. Great. Welcome back. I forgot that my life belongs to all of you.

I also have my Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow night after my first 8 hours at the office.

Tomorrow will go something like this:
~ Wake up, get ready, take dog to daycare, get to the office by 8.30am
~ Get something ready for the weekend's work
~ Lunch *sigh*
~ Continue to work on the weekend's stuff
~ Run up to the hospital to visit gramma post-surgery (which I'm pretty anxious about)
~ Get to my WW meeting early so I can prepare the meeting ahead of time
~ Run my meeting, which is always chaos and runs late (through no fault of my own)
~ Snack, so I don't eat my arm off?
~ Go back to the office, work for another couple of hours if I get off lucky
~ Home for dinner circa 9.30pm

This entire situation is just no fun. It's constant chaos for me. It's not fair to me anymore, and it's definitely not fair to Stephen and the puppers. I'm out of the house at least 4 out of 5 weeknights during the week. That's just not right.

My meeting is the fastest growing meeting in the city and I do love my members. Besides all that, this meeting is mine and has been since it only had 3 members. I now have over 30. It will make me sad to let it go. There are lots of problems with it though. There is hardly a week that goes by that we leave the meeting on time. That just means that I get home for dinner extra late and very starving.

I just think I need more time for me and my boys. I spend too much time doing the things I think I should do and not the things that are the right things for me to do, like taking the time to look after myself.

I guess I don't know what to do. Advice?

Get Back!

Back to life, back to reality... *sing it with me people*

I'm back to the office today after a wonderful and knowledgeable week in Toronto. I had such a great experience there this time. Lots of great friends, good food, walking(!), and shopping. Oh and there was that course I was on too, that was pretty cool.

Today's the day I put all of that behind me and jump back into my regular life. I'm back at the office today, back at the gym tonight, and back to everything else the rest of the time.

Am I happy about it? Sure. I mean, my life is by no means exciting, but it isn't bad either.

Am I sad about it? A bit. I don't like thinking about not seeing my friends in the big city for a while. In fact, there's nothing in the works for a future visit yet. But I'm sure it won't be long.

On a side note, I weighed in this morning for the X-Weighted challenge I signed up for. I lost 1.4lbs last week. YES!