Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Game: Find a treadmill to make a treadmill desk

I want to play video games AND I want to get exercise. So the new aim of the game this month is to find a treadmill that I can use for a treadmill desk. I have been thinking a lot about the desk portion, and decided rather than build one, I am going to research them and figure out which one to go with.

My favourite is the GeekDesk, a nice, clean and simple design, however they are a little larger than I am looking for, so the dear continues.

I've done enough research to know that I don't want a manual/crank adjustment sit-to-stand desk.  I think the motorized adjustable is probably the best way to go at this point. That's also why I wouldn't be trying to build one; I have no idea what to do to motorize it going up and down.

Looking at the results so far, I think it's harder to find a sit-to-stand desk in Canada, and I think it's a lot more expensive than I would like to spend, but c'est la vie.

What else is new?

I've been struggling here and there with the food, but it was Halloween season, so I had a few pieces of candy every few days, and that showed up as stalled fat loss. My own responsibility. Regardless, I was definitely feeling the whole Halloween dress-up this year. Here is my second costume, as I had three throughout the weekend and on Halloween itself.

This week I have started back on eating really, really clean, and will be doing a low carb eating plan, as opposed to a slow carb eating plan for the next 2-3 weeks to jumpstart. It's not for everyone, I know, but I actually really enjoy the challenge of hitting my macros, and I figure if I gear down to slow carb every few weeks, I can make this work better. And of course, I get my free Saturdays still so I can indulge if I choose

My downfall as always is planning, so I have to commit to setting my menu and making sure that my food is available to cook, pack, or bring to work with me. For now I am going to use My Fitness Pal, as I can adjust the Macronutrients in the tracking section.

Word, nerd.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

News Anchor calls out Weight Bully, and Spinning to Win

So I just went to a spin class, even though my intent was to do a much easier cardio class.

I took it on even though I was scared I would pass out/throw up. And I almost threw up, at least three time in fact!  But I sat where I had to sit, I turned down the tension when I needed it to be turned down.  My heart rate monitor reported 592 calories for the 50 minutes that I tracked (I always forget to start it!)

Afterwards the instructor came over to talk to me about how the class went, and to give me some tips. I was really surprised and happy that she went out of her way to do so! I've promised her that I will come back for at least FOUR more classes, to get acclimated to the activity.

On another note, I saw this amazing video today:

An occasional watcher of this show sent her a letter calling her out for being obese, and encouraging her to be a "better example" to the community, particularly young girls.  In the spirit of Anti-bullying week, she did a piece on the letter, on the impact to her and her workplace, and to how people who are engaging in bullying behaviour have an impact on others around them, especially if it is a parent setting that example to a child.

Ch..ch..check it out!

Monday, October 1, 2012

On the down and down

I just realized how long it's been since I checked in, so here I am!

I had a minor hiccup here and there (for instance, a week of stomach flu) however that's not been in my way at all. I've just been rolling with the punches, and eating on plan as best I can.

I'm finding it easier to stick to the routine, now that I am paying a lot of attention to packing my lunch for the day. That way I don't get to work unprepared, and get tempted to eat junk/fast food. I've been sticking to the while salad with protein combo for lunch, and will use lots of different nuts and seeds, sprouts, vegetables, sometimes bacon tempeh, and usually a chicken breast on top with an oil and vinegar dressing. I'm not sure I can ever get sick of salads, and mixing up the toppings every few days keeps it fresh palette wise.

I'm pretty lucky to have access to a full kitchen at work, and as you can see, I am trying to take advantage of that!

I've been using my heart rate monitor a lot lately, and trying to get the amount of time in the 3 heart rate zones on a more consistent basis. I've also been doing fun stuff to get in my cardio; I tried a Zumba class at the gym, playing Just Dance 3 on the Wii, going for a walk with the kid, etc.  I also have to rejoin the challenge at work, where some of the staff and clients are doing a certain amount of minutes on the elliptical per day.

The muscle activation stuff is going well, I have been doing hamstring activating exercises since the last session. It's had an impact on how my calves react when I walk, and there is a lot let of the crazy shooting pain in my legs the past two weeks. Bonus!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Holding Steady

Food is off and on, mostly due to poor planning. Last night though, I put together a huge crockpot of sprouted lentil and black-eyed pea soup, so that should help out for the week. Not all the food has been bad, just here and there. One of my challenges is eating out where I can do the lean protein, greens, and legumes. Thank goodness one of my favourite restos, Sneaky Dee's has the perfect meal for me, Spicy Eggs!

I've also committed to doing weight loss and nutrition coaching with my muscle activation guy, who is also certified as a personal trainer.

I also can't for the life of me find the DEXA scans that I did, which has been really pissing me off, and also hightlights to me how my level of disorganization just doesn't work for me.

First day back at school for the kiddo today, and I couldn't be happier. Also, I am getting back into my really early morning workout routine. This week I have a goal of 4x20 min cardio to start off my day.

I will also try to get  a yoga class in this week at the gym. Although I say I hate yoga and it is the bane of my existence, I actually feel much better overall when I work it into the mix.

Anyway, off to ship the kid off to school!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

MAT, Dexa and more!

This is going to be a really quick, point form update, as it is WAY past my bedtime.

1. I am continuing to see my Muscle Activation Therapist, Alan Thrasher, and continue to be amazed at the small but powerful changes. I am also mostly remembering to do the exercises every day.

2. I sorted out the mishap with the gym membership through work, and yesterday I went to a BodyFlow class. It's a mix of yoga, pilates, balance, and stretching. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. I was super duper sweating buckets, and watched at least 4 people bail on the class. I couldn't do all the moves, so I modified as many as I could and just stretched or rested on the few I couldn't. I was sore today though, boy and how!

3. Went and got my inital DEXA scan done at the Bone Wellness Center, which was completely awesome. I called for info and managed to get an appointment the same day. The office was easy to find, and had a big poster about the DEXA process while I waited.

The lady doing the scan was great, and sat down to review the results with me even though it was past closing time. The scan itself took less than 10 minutes, and apparently has gives off less radiation than a cross-country flight. Here's a look at the scanner:

Basically you strip down to your skivvies and put on a nifty paper gown, lie down for a few minutes, and VOILA! Scan complete! I can't wait until next year to get another one and compare to this one. Stay tunes, I will post more on the scan in the next blog entry.

4. I am continuing to work on my rollerblading, and will be taking a third class with Stephen Fisher, but this time I am moving up a level. I am going to be able to rollerblade down the Lakeshore path by September, I swear!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cycling and Learning to Rollerblade

 This week I have been bike riding three times, just to work in some exercise. It's been a long time since I used my bike, and it was a really nice way to get around. Plus I got to use my heart rate monitor a bit!

I was without a helmet for a very long time, so I headed over to a few places to check them out. At Mountain Equipment Co-op, there were lots of cool designs, and great prices (think $35 and up!) however because I have a gargantuan noggin, there were no helmets on the shelves that would fit me.

I then started home, and passed a new bike store on the way, so I pulled over. It was a great store for bikes, but he had no helmets in stock yet! Ooopsy! I ran my kiddo over to his Jeet Kune Do lessons, and on the way back I tried to stop in at Broadway Cycle, but I had missed closing time by a few minutes. 

The next day, Saturday, I decided to check out a new little place called My Roll Life, a niche rollerskate store in the west end of Toronto. And then I saw it...the wall of helmets!

Actually, there were two walls, but this was the first one that I saw. The gentleman working was really, really helpful and laughed at and with me about how rotund my head is. (I could put some of the XL helmets on, bend over so my head was upside down, and not have it fall off. Hahaha!) I ended up getting a Smiths Scabs Safety Gear helmet, black with blue straps. And then I decided to get a bunch of rollerblading pads (elbow, knee, wrist) for the roller blading lesson I was planning on attending the next day. One thing I have always wanted to do is learn how to roller blade.

The guy was SUPER patient with my pickiness, and I ended up with Triple Eight wrist guards, which I loved because it has three straps you can adjust, not the uncomfortable slide-on sleeve design. I also got some Capix elbow and knee pads. These things are SO crazy. I can drop my full weight onto one knee, and not feel anything but the squishy, fuzzy sensation of "landing on a care bear." And yes, I stole that phrase from the guy who was helping me.

So today, Sunday, a friend and I headed out to a class run by Stephen Fisher, an all-around nice guy and very patient instructor. I did a lot better than I thought I would, and I chalk that up to ice skating when I was a kid. I had to remember to do the left side oblique crunches and toe raises before starting, as prescribed by my Muscle Activation Therapy guy, but I did them and off I went!

We went to a city arena, which is smooth and easy to learn on. At one point, a pretty sketched out shirtless guy wanted to come into the rink too, and he was so twitchy we thought "no" would not be received well, so we said "yeah, go ahead man" and stayed away from him. He ran around the west end of the rink, yelling, screaming and singing, then just as abruptly he left. Bizarro.

I'm looking forward to the next lesson, which will be next Saturday. That will give me more time to work on getting back into the self-defense course on Sunday afternoons. My goal for the end of the summer/beginning of fall is to be able to go along the waterfront trail.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

21 Days Make a Habit...I love this Habit!

The first day of June this year marked the day I was at my heaviest weight and body fat percentage EVER in my life.

So I made a few changes. Remember me trying to remember to pack a lunch for work? Now I make sure that there is food in the freezer and cupboard at work that I can eat. I also pack a serving of Vega One (Vanilla Chai flavour) and usually two hardboiled eggs for breakfast, if I don't have time to eat at home.

I also made a $250, one-sided bet with a friend. If I didn't re-comp 20 lbs. by September, I would owe her the money. If I DID recomp 20 lbs., she owed me nothing. (I got the "Slow Carb" eating and the money tips from the Four Hour Body book by Tim Ferriss. Watch the neato video below.)

I also started seeing a Muscle Activation Therapist, Alan Thrasher, to see what could be done about the crazy pain in my legs. I have had a lot of issues with my legs for many, many years. I can't walk fast, if I try jogging or running, I last no more than 10 minutes, and the sides of my lower legs swell for 3-5 days. I have trouble being on my feet for long periods, have to sway when I stand, can't do lunges, have trouble with squats, hell, I can't even bend forward at the waist with my legs straight after a shower to put a towel on my hair.

In an earlier post I outlined many of the things that I have done to address my leg problems, and I mentioned that it all started in my upper back, but no one could figure it out. Well, Mr. Thrasher was able to figure it out in something like 30 minutes to an hour. (This was a few weeks ago and I forgot to write it all down.) Turns out my upper back is like that because my left hip was "locked", causing my right side to take most of my weight, my back to torque to the right, my neck to the left etc. He demonstrated the lack of range of motion in my left side compared to my right, and spent some time working on the left side only.

(Keep reading, CRAZY results are at the bottom!)

After the first session, I was sore for a few days. My knees were popping, my shoulder was sore, my calves were twitching randomly. Also, something kinda crazy happened. I could walk up stairs without having to walk on the balls of my feet only. I know it sounds like a little thing, but trying hiking a huge hamper of laundry up the stairs with all that weight, ya get a little unsteady! After a few more days, I noticed that my arms were actually swinging when I walked, albeit with a click in my left shoulder, but yikes! (For years, my friends have been able to identify me from afar by the way I walk - my arms don't swing and I look like Lurch from the Addams Family)

Anyhoodles, I have not been doing my workouts other than walking, but I have been eating amazingly well Sun-Fri, and loving the "refeed" day on Saturdays. On my refeed day, I can have anything I want, as long as I make sure I overeat my calories for the day. Pizza? Yup. Chocolate? Yup. Grilled Cheese? Yup. In fact, this Saturday, I will be attempting to destroy the Cancer Bat's creation, the Destroyer, superloaded nachos on a bed of Fries. A billion calories, and a challenge to complete solo!

The Destroyer, presented by Sneaky Dee's

It's been 28 days since that highest weight and body fat percentage ever. I am down 18.3 lbs of fat, or to put it another way, 4.8% body fat. I've taken 2 inches off my hips, 1 off my waist, and 0.5 off my arms. In a fricken' month. That is extra weight that will not continue to stress my hip, back, and legs.
 Since it's been 28 days, I can officially say that I am in the habit!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I have been felled by a Migraine! Ack!

Hello kids.

It's 6:11 p.m. and I am just getting up and out of bed for the day. That's right. I woke up at 4:30 this fine morning because my head was POUNDING. I forced myself to drink a crap-load of water and take some ibuprofen, but by 6:30 a.m. it was pretty obvious that I was not running into work. Luckily one of my coworkers was able to cover for me.

I may try some low-impact stretching or (ack) yoga a bit later, to see if I can't help out my poor head a little more.

I have been having a lot of fun with the new heart rate monitor that I got, but I am now 2 days behind for doing any activity. I am also loving the Nexercise app on my ipod. I have a few friends that I am competing against for minutes per week. I'm winning so far, ha ha ha.

I also have started a bet with a friend over a 20 lb recomp goal for September. If I don't recomp 20 lbs. (get rid of fat and gain muscle) then I owe her $250 bucks. That's gonna hurt if I don't get it, so I really better tighten up on the food and exercise.

Speaking of food, I made a bunch of Lentil-Loaf cupcakes this week. They're fairly tasty (especially with the Daiya! It's a non-dairy cheese alternative which is really, really tasty to cook with,) and easy to take with you. Throw some veggies in on the side and you have an easy meal. All I need now is a new lunchbag, as the zipper has completely detached itself from my little neoprene bag. I was eying the one over at Not An Effing Diet, but I will probably hit a local place, maybe see if the Good Catch General Store has some in stock.

Anyway, the computer screen is not helping the headache situation. I think I might crawl back into bed for an hour or so.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Gadget! Hooray!

So my watch finally died a month ago. The metal strap was broken, it slowed down all the time, and best of all, it turned my skin green around my wrist and made my skin very, very, itchy. I called it my "Itchy Watch".

So I decided if I was going to get another watch, why not get one that will last me more than a year? And then I thought, why not get one that can double as a Heart Rate Monitor? And even after that, I thought, not another one of those crap-ass Timex HRMs. I had 2 in the past few years, they both broke down, and were impossible to fix. Now I have a data collection thingy for watches they no longer make. Suck.

So I decided that I was going to splurge. I was going to splurge on a watch that I have had my eye on for a while. I placed the order on Amazon.ca, after price checking and comparing all over the interwebs. I really wanted to buy mine from Mountain Equipment Co-op, because they are awesomesauce, but they were easily a hundred dollars more than I paid for the online order, including shipping, taxes and duties. Sorry MEC.

ANYWAY. I placed my order on Friday, they shipped it Monday, and I got it Wednesday. Hooray for gadgets with a quick shipping time! It wasn't a terribly heavy box, and this is what greeted me when I opened the package. Another box! So then I opened the second box, hoping perhaps, for a third box?

No third box, but a neato warning that said any problems I have with the HRM watch should be directed back at Polar. And if any problems come up, you can rest assured I will cheerfully bitch into the phone. But I kinda hope I just don't have any problems. Anyhoodles...

It's a pretty easy little watch to set up. The monitor detaches from the chest strap so that a) you can wipe down the chest strap post-workout, and b) save some battery life by not having it connected. So I put it on, followed the setup directions, and followed the "Fit Test" which is basically you lying down and not moving for 5 minutes. Although I dreaded that it would come up "dreadfully unfit", that was all in my head. I am simply at the bottom range for "Average".

The watch then computed a training program based on my goal of improving my fitness score, and presto - I have a plan which involves a gadget. Those are ALWAYS my favourite. Now I put on the chest strap, press one button on the watch, workout, do THIS:

And then I get to see how long I worked out for, how many minutes I spent in 1 of 3 zones, and how many minutes in each zone I left left for my weekly goal. We'll see how this goes, won't we kids?

Monday, May 28, 2012

What's the What

Hello again,

1. I have brought lunch almost every day to work.  I forgot it on the counter today, so I had to dip into my emergency stash of snacks at work. I had a Luna Bar in the cupboard, which I have not tried before. (I bought 3 flavours last week on sale, and put them in the cupboard at work in case of foodmergency.) It was good, but very, very sweet.

2. I put this program, Nexercise, on my Ipod, and have started using my workout minutes in a game format. It's damn fun, and I have had at least one friend sign up for it, and another ask me about it. I tied it to my Facebook and it posts awards that you've won for working out...They know every other fecking thing about me, why not my workout habits? hahahaha

3. I have worked out 5 days since last post. Which was 8 days ago, so I am doing more rather than less. Yay me! I've done a bit of Turbo Jam, some walking, some Zumba, and at work, have a small challenge going with some clients and coworkers centered around the new Elliptical that I put together. We're starting small, so I am not yet counting those minutes as working out. When I hit 15 or 20 minutes, maybe I will count them.

Oh, and may I say that spending 4 hours to put together an elliptical is a workout in itself?

Anyway, water is up, vitamins are on, lunch is usually packed, and I am trying to move more days a week than not.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring feels like Summer

Went for two 30-minute walks today, threw on some sunscreen and hit the road with some company. I was a little twitch after the first walk, which I interpreted as my muscles waking up and screaming, "HEY! Long time no use!"

This evening I have been having some trouble walking on my left foot. It's the outside from the joint on the pinky toe and moving backwards. I've popped some ibuprofen after about 8 hours of complaining, so now things are feeling less ouchy.

I got my household calendar together. I've done the meal planning on a 3 week schedule, and I've been trying to track spending on groceries, special events, etc. and I am trying to check it out everyday.  I've not moved up to a consistent workout plan, other than I always take time on Sundays to do something physical. I missed the self-defense class again, and will miss next Sunday, but will then resume my regularly scheduled programming.

This week I am going to bring a lunch to work every day. That is going to be my consistency goal in terms of my health goals. Tomorrow I can bring some leftover rice pasta with a chicken and eggplant marinara sauce. Smells good (one of my roomies cooked tonight) but I am not feeling like eating at the moment. I had a huge breakfast and a nice chicken sandwich in the late afternoon. I know I should do the 3 meals 2 snacks, or 5 small meals, but that is coming later. For now, pack a lunch so that I am not starving every lunchtime at work.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

WorkOut CheckIn

Woke up a little late today (6 a.m.) but still managed to get in a quick 20-min workout. I'm going to aim for another one tomorrow morning as well.

I've been thinking over the consistency stuff. I think I will actually go out and get one of those giant wall calendars and start planning things out properly. House stuff, social stuff, health stuff, the works.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Building Routine

One of my major downfalls is that I have absolutely NO ROUTINE in my life other than wake up, get the kid to school, get to work, and pick him up.  Oh, and laundry on Wednesdays when I get desperate. This is in all areas of my life, not just the health/eating/fitness aspect. I do this with my bills, my cleaning, my social life, some aspects of my work, EVERYTHING.

So there is one thing I have added in the last week and a half. I am now dedicating 1 hour a week to a self-defense drop-in class run by Makoto Kabayama. It's 1 hour a week for me time, where I can work on some fitness, and at the same time, some don't-get-stabbed skills. (If you knew the area of town I work in and some of the stuff that goes on there, you would be taking a self-defense course too. I was at court 2 Fridays ago for some jackass that pushed his way into the office and pulled a knife. Thank spaghettimonster the security guard happened to be around. Sheesh.)

I'm also making a lunch for work the night before, so that I am not starving and rooting through the junk at the local donut shop when I get ravenous at work.  Today I brought some cut up peppers and tomato, baby spinach, sprouts, hummus and salsa with a tortilla, and made a veggie wrap.

They are small steps, but they are steps nonetheless. I will add another routine next week, most likely dealing with the chaos that is my household, and just keep plugging away at it. Consistency, I think, is not a way of being, but a way of doing.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Getting into it, but OH the soreness!

One of the major roadblocks I set up for myself with working out and eating is consistency. I have a track record going back six years where I work out consistently for three weeks, then I stop.

There is one 8-month exception to this rule, when I joined a Goodlife Fitness near my work, and would go 3-4 week days, and 1-2 weekend days. I was also attending Physio twice a week to try to address the issues I have in my legs. (Turns out it actually originates in my upper back, but I ran out of benefits before we could fix it permanently.)  When my then-spouse and I split, so did a lot of the disposable income, so the gym is something that had to be cut.

Now for the past 9 days, I have done a workout on 5 of them. As much as I would love to get straight to 6 days a week solid working out, I have to tell you, I have been beyond sore.  Even though I am warming up, stretching after the workout, getting my water, and taking glutamine after strength workouts, my back has been sore to the point that sitting and sleeping is difficult.

I know this will pass as I start to be more consistent, but it is an added excuse when I am trying to talk myself OUT of working out. (Oh come on, you do it or have done it too...)

I've done 2 strength workouts and 3 cardio workouts. What I have not done yet is a stretching workout. I have some pilates and yoga DVDs, but I have to say, I am not a fan of either, and never have been.  Mostly because it hurts, and because some of the moves aggravate the nerve crap going on in my legs. Regardless, one of my goals is to consistently do 1 stretching workout a week.

Food has been good for the majority of my meals. I am cooking a few meals ahead of time, and bringing lunch and a snack to work so that I am not ravenous by the end of the day. Tonight I am making a really simple Chicken Cacciatore recipe, and will have a few servings left over to freeze for the rest of the week.

I'll be back again to post, sooner than 9 days from now. I think perhaps I will set Fridays as a guaranteed posting day, and try to post at least once during the beginning of the week if I have anything interesting to say.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Rambling Introduction to My Weight Loss.

Well hello there. And some of you, hello again. (This would be the third time I have started blogging on this topic. "This Topic" meaning my anti ass-expansion project.)

Just to give you some history, I have been beating this dead horse for 6 years. 6 years of stops and starts. 6 years of never quite hitting my groove. I have started, then deleted 2 other blogs on the topic, and I am not really sure why I do that.

What I do know is that when I read, and track, and pay attention to my eating and exercise, I do quite well. My body really likes strength training, I have learned to love a select few forms of cardio, and stretching is the devil, but I must do it. When I track my food, I pay attention to what I eat. When I plan a few days ahead and cook accordingly, I do amazingly.

I eat fairly well in my house. My son, who has autism, also has the gift of food allergies. (We're not talking GFCF diet here, autism people.) His eating precludes cow and goat dairy, garlic, corn, pork, spelt, and whole wheat. That means I can buy nutritionally deficient white bread, not delicious and textured 12-grain or multi-grain breads. It means I cannot buy most pre-packaged foods from the grocery store, with a few exceptions. It also means that I have had to transform myself from a hopeless meal preparer into a creative cook.

FOR INSTANCE: Here is a pot of soup I threw together in the slow cooker on Wednesday night:

I know, it looks delicious, right? Beef stock, lean ground beef, onion, mushroom, red potato, kale, tomato, bay leaves, white pepper, paprika, sea salt, and parsley. No recipe needed, this is the kind of stuff I really like to make these days.

That being said, when I decide to enter "Screw it All! I will eat what I WANT!" mode, then we have your no-veggies-to-be-seen, burger, pizza, butter chicken, potato chips, brownies, and cupcake type eats. That is much less common for me to do these days, and it tends to be a few things at a time, rather than a gorge fest. I am much more likely to decide I am going to have 2 pieces of pizza and track it than I am to order a small pizza and eat it all to myself.

So now I have talked about what I know works for me, and I talked a little about the food aspect of my life. I think the approach I will take will be to post pics of awesome food when I make it. I'm not so sure I want to be posting my daily food intake, but we'll see. I have started tracking it on my BodyBugg App on my Android though, as it helps me to make sure what's coming it does not exceed the calories going out.

As for my first goal for the year, I am going to start at a reasonable level. I have a wedding to attend in mid-May, so for that wedding, I am going to burn off 8 lbs. of fat. I want to reduce my fat levels, not my lean body mass, so the eating and exercise balance is critical.

I came upon this article recently, which talked about a woman in the UK who is considered too fat to be a model for certain plus-size labels; She is 5'11", and 175 lbs., and wears a size 10-12. I have no idea what clothing size I will be aiming for at the end of all of this, but having a similar physique seems inspiring to me. So I am going to aim to wear whatever size makes me feel like I have hit the finish line; I am going to wear a Size Awesome.