Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hitting Your Ten

My usual cardio workout for the last few months due to my knee have been 20-30 minutes of running, stationary biking, or very rarely the elliptical (I'm not a fan). This is because of a few reasons:

1. My knee.
2. Time constraints.
3. My *()!$ knee.

The time constraints come from working out at lunch instead of before or after work. I do go after work on occasion, but we all know how easy it is to stay home once you actually get planted in front of your home computer or on the couch. Especially when it's -47C. Since I'm used to pumping out a 20 minute HIIT run or 30 minutes on the bike, I don't think much of it. When I'm done, I'm sweaty - that's the goal right?

Today I decided to essentially double up my workouts to see how my knee handled the bike to run transition (spoiler: poorly) since I'd like to do a triathlon in the spring. Normally, I get about 12km out of my 30 minutes (2 m 30sec per km). Today I did 10km in under 20 minutes (1m 57sec per km). Um, WHAT??

I wasn't even very tired as I jumped on the treadmill. I've been doing a 4/10 interval (four minutes walking, 10 minutes running) to try and appease the knee gods. As I finished up my second set of running, I realized I could definitely keep going; the only reason I didn't was my fear of what my knees will do to me tomorrow for doubling up, let alone adding a longer run on.

Obviously, I'm not coming anywhere CLOSE to hitting maximum exertion. No wonder my training is going so slowly. Once again I'm going to have to try and find a way to hit those tens without the Joint That Shall Not Be Named acting up.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #8

So first off, today I opened up my google reader and was summarily humbled by the master.  The Bloggess, one of my personal heroes and the woman who is single-handedly bringing back the word "y'all", has set up a donation system whereby her readers in need of a little help this Christmas are matched up with other readers who send them a $20 gift card.

This is something I find truly remarkable.

In other news, I may have sprained my wrist last night (some guy body-checked me in a soccer game, which no, is not strictly legal), so I've been reduced to typing like my grandma.  Also, I don't remember going to the bathroom being so difficult.

I'd like to say that my RAK was not fighting the guy, but that doesn't really count (he was totally bigger than me).  Also, I'm not  going back to jail  a violent person.

So today when I went to the grocery store (ever tried to shop one-handed?) I noticed a homeless man sitting outside.  This, I maintain, is far more endearing than some people's habits of panhandling directly in front of the liquor store.

Struggling unsuccessfully to put on my backpack without moving my left wrist, and at the same time trying to preserve my dignity (also unsuccessfully) I left the store.  Failing at a skill I had thought mastered in kindergarten, I felt like a cat who has missed the window sill and then is all "what? I didn't even want to get up there".

As I walked outside, for the first time really appreciating the automatic doors, I saw the man again and suddenly I found some perspective.  With considerable determination on my part, I was able to extricate a box of granola bars and offered it to him.  Dark chocolate coconut granola bars.  I like the good stuff.

His face lit up, first in surprise and then in genuine appreciation.  Totally worth a box of granola bars.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #7

Ok, I can't lie to you guys.  This isn't a random act of kindness in the traditional sense.  What it is is a kind bit of advice about goal setting, learned first-hand.  The hard way.

We are now more than two months into this project, and for those of you keeping score, this is only my seventh RAK.  Of fifty.  I swear I've actually done more than that, I just haven't written about them yet.  I'm all like Mother Theresa, promise!

I have a French exam in 2 hours so I'll be brief.

When you're setting a goal, you need to be realistic.  In my youthful naivete, I had thought I could write four RAKs a week.  Turns out, I'm  a jerk  busy.

Ambition is good, but it must be tempered by realism.  Did I really have time to devote four hours a week to this blog, on top of my other responsibilities?  Not really.  Did I want to?  Absolutely.  Am I really that randomly kind?  I don't like your tone.

Picking such an unattainable goal was silly.  I was setting myself up for failure, and every week that went by that I didn't have time to write here I felt like a failure.  I was paralyzed by my own ambition.

What I'm saying here is that when you're setting your goals, remember that it doesn't always have to be perfect.  Sometimes it's ok that your goal just be good enough. 

Don't run a marathon.  Run a mile.  Then lather, rinse, and repeat.

Does this count as an RAK?  Yes, because it's good enough.

Diet Dinner Party

This is cross-posted over at In It To Gym It.

This biggest challenge I find with the Body For Life program (or any diet for that matter) is working around Odd Days. On a typical working day, it’s no problem to eat everything I should and avoid everything I shouldn’t (or at least, it’s easier). But on the weekends or when friends want to get together, suddenly it seems ridiculously hard to keep up with your meal plan. TEW and I try to plan our cheat days to coincide with social events to avoid this problem, but it doesn’t always happen. While most restaurants frown on the whole “bringing-your-own-BFL-approved-food-in” thing, if you’re hanging out at a friend’s house, we try to offer to bring food (or suggest making it a potluck). Will it be a bit of a pain? Yes. Will you be tempted by the tasty things your host or fellow guests provide? Undoubtedly. But it can make the evening less about what you can’t have and more about having fun.
Food to Bring:
Side dishes:
Main dishes:
  • Fruit platters (just avoid the dip yourself if you’re buying one pre-made)
  • Protein pudding
What are your food tricks of the trade?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do you hear that folks? That soft, almost-footstep like sound (but muffled because if it were footsteps they would be treading on what is literally an oceans worth of snow). That's the sound of Christmas creeping closer. Do you know what comes with Christmas?

Vacation Time.

Because my boss has kids she closes the restaurant from Christmas Day til after the New Year.

Do you KNOW how AMAZING this is? For someone who sold their soul to the service industry to have 10 (TEN!) whole days off in a row? For once I don't have to look upon my corporate friends with envy as they relish in their 'paid vacation time.' and 'sick days,' and 'weekends.'

However, unfortunately, because I am a service industry slave 10 days of no work means 10 days of no tips, combined with this wallet-sucking-time-of-year equals no elaborate holiday plans for me.
But do you know what it does mean?

Sleep. A lot of it. And snowboarding. And eating more than just a piece of toast and 27 cups of coffee in a day. And not standing for 8 hours. And wearing NAIL POLISH.


I've made pretty good writing progress as well, I think it's a combination of my tenure as "Marci The Restaurant Scapegoat" coming to an end, and my bosses acknowledgment that it has been a solid 3 weeks of her not making me cry that allows me to write candidly about life without suffering from PTSD flashbacks.

All in all, December, you've been a kick ass month.

Now, if only we could do something about this whole 'winter' thing...

The Never-Ending Saga of My Knee

Here is the (longest ever) cliffnotes version:

·         In November 2009, I doubled up my training to get ready for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. That meant I was working out six or seven days a week, three days of which were twice a day. Yeah, I know, it's shocking that I injured myself.
·         I started to feel "off" in my knee when I was running or cycling. Because I am smart, I ignored it.
·         Then I hit actual pain. At first, just after I worked out, but eventually I got to the point where walking hurt. Standing hurt. Yoga hurt.
·         I started chiropractic treatment and massage therapy (heart) in January and while it helped a lot of things, it didn't seem to address the cause (which remained a mystery).
·         I made an appointment with a knee specialist who without examining me told me I was wasting his time and that I didn't have a knee problem. Despite having pain. In my knee. He then said although he didn't think I had anything wrong, his $900 custom orthotics might help. (*gives finger to "doctor"*)
·         At the start of May 2010, I stopped all exercise for two months, which made me a joy to live with (sorry, Tom!).
·         During those two months, I gained 15 pounds (*gives the finger to knee*)

·         My first activity back was the Ride to Conquer Cancer – two days, 220kms of cycling through southern Alberta. With no training. Don't do that. (Do it with training though!)
·         Good lord are you still reading this? I'll have to send you cookies.
·         About a month ago, I went in for physio (heart) and was recommended to try IMS (like acupuncture except they poke the muscle that is injured and not your eyebrow) to loosen the death grip my adductor had on my MCL, and to loosen my calf muscle which was "UNACCEPTABLY TIGHT FOR A RUNNER" according to Physio Dude.
·         Turns out those muscles were holding my leg together.
·         After a week of having a completely useless right leg and spending my time picking out fake legs, Physio Dude eliminated the muscle tightness as the source, and did some active release and ultrasound work on my MCL.

Dog must be included.

·         And that was awesome. I could walk! With no pain!
·         But then I ran.
·         *Sigh*
·         And it continues…at least with icing, my brace, and active release work by Physio Dude (HEART), it seems possible that I might run for more! Than! Ten! Minutes! at a time.

Luckily, I've started interval training…take that, knee!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Random Act of Kindness # 6

Hello fellow Resolutionaries!   Viva la Resolucion!

So I'm back.  School is done for the semester, so it's time to catch up on some long overdue  sleep   food that doesn't say "easy" or "minute" on it   writing. 

Rest assured, I have been racking up the good deeds.  I am so getting canonized (the Vatican's just catching up with the paperwork).

For my latest hobby (read: procrastination tactic) I've taken up origami.  Which, by the way, is awesome.  Right up until you realize you just folded your title page into a crane.

So while I was "working" in the coffee shop, I took a break (from reading Penny Arcade) to make an origami flower.  The youtube video says it takes five minutes.  Mine took forty-five minutes.

As it turns out, I have the dexterity of a two year old.  Who knew?

Thoroughly absorbed in the task I hardly noticed that I'd gained somewhat of an audience (seriously, I was staring at this piece of paper like I was trying to melt it with my eyes).  Evidently the mother and child beside me were thoroughly fascinated by my efforts.

They made a game of guessing what I was trying to make.  Turns out the kid guessed flower.  On like the third fold.  Because, clearly, she's a witch

So when I finished, I gave it to her.  So she wouldn't hex me.

And it made her day.

Besides, the last thing I needed was physical proof of my procrastination.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Okay, so, I'm a bad resolution-er.
I know this about myself. That resolution to stop biting my nails? I made that four years ago. I'm STILL working on it. Sometimes I'm not working at it all but I recognize that it's a terrible habit and that I shouldn't do it. And the first step in anything is admittance right? I'm the QUEEN of admittance. It's the follow-up steps of action, to change the thing you're admitting needs to changing -that- I'm completely apathetic about.

But regardless. I think about writing all the time. I read something the other day that writers are writers because it's the only thing they cannot stop themselves from doing compulsively. (I think drugs and alcohol were excluded from that statement). But I think what the person meant was that writers always feel the need to write. They want to document everything. They write about whatever they write about because that's how they express themselves. I think the same is true for all artists. Don't painters paint because that's how they express themselves?

This is not true for me. I don't write compulsively. I think compulsively. Like I said earlier I am the master of no follow-through. It doesn't matter if it's something I really enjoy doing or want to do (like writing) or if it's something I've agreed I'll do for a set period of time (like contribute to this blog, where presumably the social pressure of following through on an agreement would motivate me to keep going) or something I need to do for my health (like flossing. I fear cavities like I fear the dark: a lot. And yet I still am only an occasional flosser)

But when I go to bed at night, I feel like I write whole novels in my head. I think about all the things I would love to commit to paper. But I just don't do it. I don't know why.
Now I suppose I could resolve to change that, but let's be honest here, how successful do you think that would be?

Now if you're still with me, I'd like to talk about what has prompted this dialogue of self-examination. (If you're not, well, I feel partly responsible so I'm sorry you've had to wade through my psychosis this morning.)

It's finally starting to look like winter here in my beautiful little town, in my new pretty yellow house. Winter (at least the start of it) is one of my most favorite times of the year. Whenit snows and everything looks fresh and new, like it has never been touched by anything but the purity of new snowfalls. I think of all the fun things that go with winter, skating in the moonlight, drinking hot chocolate at hockey games, flannel pajamas, and Baileys in your morning coffee. This is excluding all the Christmas greatness: family and friends coming together, giving the perfect gift that makes someones whole face light up, cooking (and eating!) delicious foods. The beginning of winter is just fantastic. And I wanted to share my love of this time of year.

It makes me nostalgic. I think about winters past, like the winter I spent working at my previous summer job, surrounded by co-workers who were just so unique, and so great. And I worked with the boy that I had fallen for, and despite everything that has happened since I always look back on that December and feel like it was all about love, and warmth, and happiness.
Or the Christmas I spent in Vancouver, the winter it really, really, snowed. My grandfather had to shovel the roof it snowed so much. We made snowmen and had a snowball fight, and skated on the now completely frozen backyard pool. It was perfect.

So now I'm anxious to see what this winter brings into my life. I've started over in a brand new town, I've moved into my first real (well 3/4 of a real) house. I can see big fat flakes falling outside from my kitchen window. I'm going to take my day off today and make cinnamon buns and head out into the town to start my Christmas shopping. I'm going to wear my new red winter coat, my winter hat and boots, and celebrate my favorite time of year with hot chocolate.

My Christmas wish this year is for something amazing to happen, something to make it all magical, more magical than usual. I just want this winter to shine brighter than the ones before it.

Or maybe that's just my boozy coffee talking. :) Happy December 1st everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

How video games made me a better person.

Video games have made me a better person, and I can prove it. It's not just because now a headshot from 300 yrds with a scoped hand gun isn't a challenge (thanks Halo), or that fighting 5-10 thugs at a time is about as challenging as pressing x 23 times (actually it's exactly that difficult, thanks Batman Arkham Asylum).

Actually my experience comes from Star Trek Online. Yesterday, while playing a mission in game, I was confronted with an issue of whether to let some shady business man keep cheating, or to tell the station commander. It was a dilemma as it was a trader I could get some good deals off. I remember thinking that I wasn't going to jeopardize my career, to get a deal.' So I told the station commander.

As part of my job, I advised my company to use a particular data back up company, that used a third party as contractors to provide hardware in our region. The company I deal with had me move all my backups as they had told me that that relationship had gone sour and they were now contracting with a new hardware vendor.
I got a call today from the previous hardware people, claiming that the dealer was basically scum, not paying bills and were not reliable to work with 'wink wink' and that the too provided back up services, and as they were in the region they would be happy to take us on as clients.

My initial reaction was 'wtf mate (with mandatory attempt at Australian accent'). After thinking about it, I realized that of course there was payment issues, it was being withheld as ontracts hadn't been fufilled and that's why the switch... long story short (I know too late, shut up). I brushed the call off, but should I the tell backup people or not that these guys were slagging them? I literally flashed back to the game the previous night and thought 'It's all about honour.' So I called the company and yeah these guys had attempted this with 3-4 other former clients and lawyers were getting involved. In anycase I feel I did the right thing, and a company isn't going to gain by being douchecanoes.

So next time someone says video games are evil, remember there are lessons to be learned everywhere.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

If It Hurts, Poke It With A Needle

I started IMS treatments this week for my knee. It's basically acupuncture but they stick the needles directly into the injured muscle, push them in deeper, and wiggle them around. No, I'm not kidding.

This is sharp.

The physiotherapist working on me did a great job of explaining what he was doing and making me feel comfortable. But there's only so much you can do - he's still poking sharp needles into my leg. He used about 30 needles in various spots along the inside of my calf up to my knee and just above it.

If you've ever had acupuncture, you'll know that the needles don't really hurt. The practitioner kinda flicks them in and that's basically all it feels like - someone flicking your skin with their fingers. For the first 29 holes I barely felt it, with maybe two or three that were a little more tender.

Then there was the last needle. Um, OW.

Right now my leg just feels sore as if I had a good workout, so we'll see if I get any nice bruises for tomorrow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #5

This one should totally count as like ten RAKs.  Today I went way outside my comfort zone and took part in Not That Kind of Girl's fabulous prisoner pen-pal program

One would think it would be hard to be pen pals with someone in whom I have nothing in common with.  But who knows, maybe if the law catches up with me (I don't have lights on my bike.  I'm kind of a badass) we'll have more in common than I thought!

After browsing through a number of profiles, I finally selected a fellow human being to correspond with.

Here's what I wrote her:

Hi xxxxx!

Last time I checked Hallmark didn’t make cards for this, so I had to make do with what I could find.  So Happy Bar Mitzvah, Grandson!

When it was suggested to me that I check out writeaprisoner.com, I was immediately put off by the number of shirtless men seeking “mailbox romance”. 

Now, I read on the site that they don’t allow Internet access, but let me assure you, I don’t have to visit writeaprisoner.com to find topless dudes! 

Then I stumbled across your profile and my faith was restored.  A real (and fully-clothed) person!

Your profile touched me.  Your writing exudes a strength of character that is both rare and admirable – a remarkableness spirit that I could not hope to match.  Seriously, I get upset when I burn my tongue on my coffee!

I can’t pretend to relate to what you’ve been through, but I DID once walk into a coffee shop and ask the girl behind the counter “What’s your cup size?”  True story.

But enough about me.  How are you?

That is really cool that you want to start a non-profit.  Any ideas what it will be called?

I noticed your birthday’s coming up, and I know they make cards for that! 

Hope all’s well with you.

Keep being awesome!

This was a really easy way to share a little humanity.  I encourage anyone who's interested to check out NTKOG's penpal program through www.writeaprisoner.com

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Better late then never.

Measurements 5 weeks in (starting just a bit late measuring but I was here)
With no post work out pump.
Weight 206.5
chest 41.0 -43.0 flexed
waist 36.25
hips 40.5
quads 26.0
biceps 14.5-16.5 flexed.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weigh-In Monday: I'll Take It

Weight BF % Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3 30.1 37" 33" 41.5" 24.5" 12.5"
148.9 28.5 35" 32.5" 41" 23" 12.5"
150.3 29.0 35" 31" 40.75" 24" 12"
150.8 29.5 35" 31" 40.25" 23" 12"
150.5 29.1 36" 31" 41" 23" 12"
149.4 28.3 35" 30.5" 41" 23" 12"

Total Weight Lost: -1.1lbs
Total Inches Lost: -1.5

Yay less than 150!!!

Size matters

Despite what the commercials want you to believe smaller is better. I'm of course talking about portion sizes. It's really the key to losing weight and allowing your body to properly use the energy it's receiving. When you over eat your body doesn't have a chance to absorb all the nutrients you've just taken in, also your body takes the excess carbohydrates and sugars and stores then as fatty tissue when you over indulge.

To lose weight and feel better, eat smaller meals but more of them. The key for me is preparing food ahead of time then eating (a protein about the size of your palm, and a carb/fruit/vegitable about the size of your fist). Then wait a half hour to see if you're actually still hungry, you'll find 9/10 times that you aren't and that if you are a full glass of water will curtail that.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weigh-In Monday...Err...Whenever I Feel Like It

You can find me over here today (err...recently)

Weight BF % Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3 30.1 37" 33" 41.5" 24.5" 12.5"
148.9 28.5 35" 32.5" 41" 23" 12.5"
150.3 29.0 35" 31" 40.75" 24" 12"
150.8 29.5 35" 31" 40.25" 23" 12"
150.5 29.1 36" 31" 41" 23" 12"

Total Weight Lost: -0.3lbs
Total Inches Lost: +1.75"

The numbers are still pretty steady, but still frustrating. I am trying instead to focus on what HAS changed. Physically, my clothes are starting to fit better which is awesome. My calves and legs in general are starting to gain definition. And on Tuesday, I had a great game with Fusion. All of these are positives that I am choosing to think about, rather than get bummed over the numbers. Ommm...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Keeping Perspective

So my last weigh in sucked. I've been really frustrated this week because I keep weighing myself every day or so (big mistake, I know) and some days I weigh in just as high as my starting weight. That, to put it lightly, is disheartening.

I took a few days to be a bit pissed and tried to channel that into my workouts. But today, I noticed something. I absentmindedly (read: while still asleep) put on a button-up shirt this morning that I hadn't worn in a while. I hadn't worn it, because when I did it was so tight the buttons would pull and be really uncomfortable (not to mention flattering!). Today, though, it fit noticeably better. It was still snug, but it didn't pull, nor make me look like a sausage escaping its casing.

And for today? That's enough.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weigh-In Monday #4 - Stuck At 150

Weight BF % Chest Waist Hips Right Thigh Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3 30.1 37" 33" 41.5" 24.5" 12.5"
148.9 28.5 35" 32.5" 41" 23" 12.5"
150.3 29.0 35" 31" 40.75" 24" 12"
150.8 29.5 35" 31" 40.25" 23" 12"

Total Weight Lost: +0.5lbs
Total Inches Lost: -1.5"

Yikes, weight plateaus suck.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #4

Today I was walking down the street, thoroughly stumped as to what my next random act would be, when suddenly it hit me.  In the form of a bus.

But Pie!  There's still so much we wanted to tell you.  We were supposed to be together.  Forever.
Fear not readers, the "hit" was metaphorical.  The bus was not.

Also, we're pregnant.

So the bus goes by and on it is an ad telling me to text "MEAL" to 45678 and it will give $10 to the Ottawa mission.  Perfect!  I did a good deed using only my cell phone!  And not just by sexting.  (Hello RAK #5)

C'mon Pie, does that really count?
Does my monthly donation to Greenpeace count?  The answer is Hell Yeah it does!  What?  You guys don't make the rules.

So here I am on my way to buy groceries and my next RAK literally (metaphorically) hits me in the face!  Evidently god is speaking to me.  Again.  (I haven't been taking my meds)

I should have my own holiday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ZOMG That's Healthy!

Sometime over the past year, my most favouritest recipe site Recipezaar.com was bought out or possibly won over a foolish ultimate frisbee bet. All I know is that now it is called food.com and is a giant pain in the ass to navigate and is constantly giving me HTTP errors when I am trying to do something so offensive as save recipes to my profile (the nerve I have!). To that end, I'm starting a segment called "ZOMG That's Healthy! Recipes" (name inspired by my Lil' Sister).

Recipe The First: Tom's Tasty Breakfast Pancake

3/4 cup Quaker oats

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup milk (or milk alternative)

Cinnamon (to taste)

Nutmeg (to taste)

A sprinkle of brown sugar (if you want to be a little bad)

*You'll probably want to play with the quantities to get it right for you and how much pancake you want to eat in the morning (does that sound dirty?)*

1. Combine ingredients in a bowl the night before (probably at 1:30am because you're busy playing video games).

2. Put bowl in fridge. Go to sleep. Snore and steal all blankets.

3. Stumble out of bed after alarm goes off for the third time. Dump contents of bowl in small frying pan and set on medium heat. Wander off until you smell burning, or until you can use a spatula under the edges of pancake and it doesn't call apart. Flip. Cooking time will depend on how big your pancake is (I can hear LiLu saying "TWSS").

4. Eat. Don't be hungry again for at least an hour if you're Tom, never be hungry again if you're me (hooray!).

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm On To You, Girl Guides

Look down, now back up at me, where am I? I'm over here at In It To Gym It.


Tomorrow is Cookie Day at Sears. If you've never heard of it, you're not alone. Apparently, the solution to people who want to buy Girl Guide cookies but don't know/live near any child hocking lovingly selling them. Clearly this is an offensive play by the Universe to sabotage my diet. CLEARLY.

As a general rule, I don't bring anything I can't eat into the house. I also don't bring in anything sharp if I can help it, but that's neither here nor there. My willpower starts and quickly ends at the purchasing part of the equation; once it's accessible, it's going to get eaten.

My one bizarre exception is if I buy something sweet, then put it in the freezer. There, it's almost helpful to the diet. It's a strange comfort to know I have a tasty treat stowed away (perhaps I am part squirrel?) and I have caught myself saying "I don't need to buy this, I already have cookies in the freezer!"

So I'll have to decide if Girl Guide cookies will be my cool minty comfort food. Especially because I want to have them around for Christmas this year.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #3

Today's RAK is a little different.  Rather than focus my energies on strangers (who might turn out to be jerks anyway) I decided to be kind to someone close to me -- my mother.

BTW, she totally follows my blog.  And kindly ignores the sex jokes, binge drinking and variations on those two themes.  Which is to say most of it. 

Anyways, here is the letter I wrote for her:

Dear Mom,

Thank you for your  genetic contribution     unconditional love.  It would be impossible to count all the wonderful things you've done for me over the years.  BUT, I like a challenge.  So here goes...

Things to thank you for:

Your nose.

Buying me a talking ninja turtle. 

Not taking away the talking ninja turtle.

Buying spider man bandaids because they totally work better.

Unplugging the Nintendo.

Raising me, my sister and two dogs single-handedly.  And making it look easy

Teaching me how to shave.

Just rolling with it when I shaved my head.

Buying me a classical guitar even though I used it to play punk music.

Pretending you liked punk music.


Giving me my first box of condoms.  Trogan LargeAt Thirteen.

Pretending the walls in our house were soundproof. 

Being right most of the time.

Not bragging about being right most of the time.

In short, you are like, awesome and stuff.  I love you.

In It To Gym It

You can now find me over at In It To Gym It, the group fitness and health blog started by the beautiful, talented LiLu, aka the person I would most want to have a daquiri sleepover with.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Art Imitates Life, or something like that.

"She is not happy until everyone around her is panicked, nauseous, or suicidal."

This is a line from the Devil Wear Prada, when Andie is describing her first day to her boyfriend.
This, I can relate to.

Now I know that bosses all around the world in every facet of industry are notorious for being awful, evil, manipulative, and downright psychotic. In this line of thinking I am not unique. And my boss isn't especially awful, but she does have the power of making me feel like I am about to throw up and probably burst into tears. Chefs around the world are notorious for this, and I have the benefit of having a boss who is probably one of the nicest chefs, despite everything else. One day I hope to experience more of the nice and less of the nausea.

Sometimes I think that if I wrote about a fictional world, with fictional people doing fictional things I might be more successful. In theory fiction means writing anything you'd like because there are an infinite amount of situations you can find yourself describing, and, if you're writing science fiction they don't even have to be realistic.

But I don't write about fictional people, I write about real people. Real people in my life, real situations I encounter, real constraints of plausibility and reality.
Which is why I think, that writing isn't so easy for me. Not because I am bound by the retelling of real events, no I have plenty of material in my life for that, but because writing about this life involves replaying, and revisiting these exact situations. . This isn't always a good thing.

Two horrendous back to back days of work preceded by a terrible service on Saturday has made me avoid writing like it's a bad ex-boyfriend.
I'm trying to leave work at work and my personal life at home, which is hard when everyone you work with wants to know the minutiae of your entire existence. And then I get to come home and obsess about things I did or maybe did not do at work. Did I remember to do everything at close? Is the door locked? Did I forget any extra requests? Is there catering tomorrow? Am I actually supposed to come in when I think I'm supposed to? Throw in the fact that I have started to flinch every time I hear my name because I am expecting to get yelled at (a current trend in my work-life) and I'm pretty much a mess 24/7.

It's exhausting. I'm mentally exhausted. But I have written 1300 words thus far, I have so many more in my head that hopefully sometime soon, with a glass of wine in hand, I'll recant in print. For now I'm at least trying to maintain some level of creative work because it makes me feel less guilty about writing so slowly. I started a painting that is nearly complete, and I have been picking out paint samples and fabric swatches for my room in my new place. I move in 10 days and I am *so* excited. In 10 days I'll also be going down to 2 shifts a week at work, which is great for my anxiety issues, but slightly sad for my wallet.

Hopefully it'll also give me more time to focus on activities. Fingers crossed.

A Letter To The Universe

Dear Universe,
I do not appreciate your constant line up of temptations. If you didn’t know, I am trying to lose the extra padding around my midsection, even though it is winter here and clearly I need it for heat. First, I am was making a Very Good Decision© by getting a soy latte at Starbucks, yet you insisted on surrounding me with pictures of delectable coffee treats like the Pumpkin Spice Latte (only here for a limited time!). Even Second Cup has a PSL now, so nowhere is safe from your blatant marketing tactics.
Several times since starting this fitness program, your evil mignons my kind-hearted co-workers have brought in baked goods and treats. I resisted. And today, just when I thought I was safe having driven by the giant waffle billboard and several Tim Hortons locations, I opened the mailbox to find this flyer.
And it doesn’t stop there. I get emails about ice cream flavours at Marble Slab, or I pass by a DQ with their Blizzard of the Month flavour prominently displayed. Even surfing the web isn’t safe as I stumbled across this. (It’s healthy! It says so!)
You haven’t even limited your tricks to me, as poor Tom had the chance at free Dr. Pepper (which he loves more than me, I suspect) at his conference.
Cruel. That’s what you are. Please remedy the situation by making my next lotto ticket a winner. Also, please send $5 for said lotto ticket.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weigh-In Monday #3

Weight    BF %    Chest    Waist    Hips    Right Thigh    Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3      30.1       37"        33"       41.5"   24.5"              12.5"
148.9      28.5       35"        32.5"    41"      23"                 12.5"
150.3      29.0       35"        31"      40.75"  24"                 12"

Total Weight Lost: +1.4lbs
Total Inches Lost: +0.25"

I don't feel too badly about the gains this week because I lost so much the first week. I am pretty sure the first week was mostly water weight and that I looked like this:

Also, this was a short week for us due to the Newlyweds engagement party (big fun!). This week is a long one, so hopefully the results will be good next week!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Random Act of Kindness #2

So after the success of RAK #1, I decided to get even more ambitious.  I walked next door to my neighbour's house and offered to walk their dog for them.

Please, don't think of me as a hero.

Anyways, "Bodie" is an adorable Australian shepherd puppy.  He comes up to about knee height but could probably jump clear over me if he were so inclined.

Wait, are you saying you offered to play with your neighbour's puppy?  For FREE?

That's right.  Because I care.

My neighbour was actually quite surprised by my offer:

"You want to take Bodie?  For a walk?  Bodie?  Walking?"

"Um... Yes?"

Bodie watched the whole thing go down with that curious puppy head-tilt that was so adorable it belied his fiendish intelligence.  He waited patiently by the door.

After a thorough briefing slash agreement of zero-liability, in which the words "he's a puller" and "uncatchable" featured prominently, Bodie and I took to the streets.

As we neared the end of the block I made to go right, towards the park.  Bodie assured me, emphatically, that this was not in fact the way to go.

Fair enough pup, I'll play your game.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that Bodie does not "walk" in the literal sense.  His is more a canter, which is liable to explode into a full run should a cat, squirrel, or friggin' leaf dare to move in his presence.  His determined gait makes it clear that this is no mere "walk" but something akin to a death march: you fall behind, you get left behind, human.

After several minutes of twists and turns, I am now thoroughly lost in my own neighbourhood.  Rounding a corner, we reach the park.  I still don't know how.

Eager to burn off some of this pup's energy (oh my youthful naivete), I picked up a nearby stick for a game of fetch.  Lobbing it across the field, Bodie found his fifth gear and chased after it.

Unfortunately, Bodie has mastered this game; in that he now knows if he gives the stick back to you, you'll just throw it away again.  Humans can be so silly.

Given the combination of Red Bull and steroids that my neighbours must be feeding him, it took a long time to catch him.  Evidently he has also mastered "chase".

After what felt like (and probably was) hours, I returned a perfectly content and innocent-looking Bodie to his rightful owner.  Then I went home for a much needed bubble bath  for a beer all manly-like.

And you know what?  I think I'll do it again.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Holy Food Hangover

It's brutal. Apparently part of this plan is to make you suffer twice as much after a cheat day since you are eating cleanly six days out of seven. Makes me not want to cheat though! Except for the chocolate swirl cheesecake squares someone brought to work today. I sure wanted those.

On the upside, I had a great run today!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weigh-In Monday #2 - The Turkey Edition!

It's that special time again. Here are my stats updated.

Weight    BF %    Chest    Waist    Hips    Right Thigh    Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3      30.1       37"        33"       41.5"   24.5"              12.5"
148.9      28.5       35"        32.5"    41"      23"                 12.5"

Total Weight Lost: 5.4lbs
Total Inches Lost: 4.5"

I'm guessing that's a whole lot of water weight lost since I can't really keep up the hydration the way I should until we have a bathroom again (probably today! YAY!). But still, progress in the right direction! This might just work after all!

Now Tom and I are off to have breakfast with the Newly Engageds and kick off the start of a glorious Thanksgiving Cheat Day.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Okay. So. We are making resolutions.

It is October, which means NaNoWriMo is just a few weeks away and every amateur, semi-professional, professional, and just really enthusiastic about writing individual I know will soon be pledging to write an entire novel in one month. This is INSANE, no?

Well okay, maybe it's not so much. There are many more insane things a person could do for a month. Like pledge to become a crocodile hunter. That would be more insane.

However I recognize that for me, an individual with the least amount of motivation ever documented outside the animal kingdom of sloths, pledging to complete an entire novel, or an entire chapter of a novel (hell perhaps even the first page of a novel) in one month is ridiculous. It is so far outside the realm of reasonable that if 'reasonable' was the Sun this particular goal is chillin' next to Pluto.

(Maybe the added volume of such high expectations could function to restore Pluto to its former planet status. That would be a nice additional bonus.)

So, my resolution is this:
I'm getting a jump on NaNoWriMo as it were. I'm pledging to start now on completing some body of writing, in the hopes that by the new year I won't have to make this a "New Years Resolution." Hopefully by then writing will be a habit, or at least a well engrained hobby.
Realistically I don't have enough material to make up a novel. But I can start to write, and maybe one day this writing will turn into something bigger.

So there you have it. Now I'm off to open a word document and give it a title and see if I can't jot down a few lines.

Accountability - now there's a motivator.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Workout Modifications That Will Kick Your Ass

I conned Tom into training me on Thursday night, which was a great ass-kicking. It's awesome to go around with someone who knows as much about fitness and training as Tom does. It also hurts. A lot. He had me do a few modifications that really made a huge difference in my weight routine (we did lower body weights).

  1. Continuous Reps
    Instead of pausing at the peak of every rep (no matter what exercise), Tom had me go up to 80% of the rotation, then continue to the next one without pausing. It was an easy way to make things more challenging, without adding more weight. This is especially good for me because I am paranoid of a) dropping the weights and b) putting on so much muscle I am mistaken for Tom's short and sturdy body guard. 
  2. From Machines To Free Weights
    It's simple, and it's said quite often, but moving to free form weights from machine weights makes one hell of a difference. I'm told it's because it becomes a compound exercise (which works more than one muscle group at once) and it works the stabilizer muscles and your control at the same time. I think it's because they are really heavy, and it feels like everyone is watching so you don't want to quit early.
  3. Hitting A True Ten
    If you're ever feeling lazy in the gym, take someone with you to push you that extra 10%. Tom is definitely not afraid to take an exercise to failure, as evidenced by him throwing up during his run the other day.
  4. Racing to a Secondary Exercise
    After completing my sets, he'd have me get off the machine as fast as possible to do a secondary exercise that works the same group. OW.

50 Random Acts of Kindness

When I was approached to write for this blog, I had not fully appreciated the magnitude of the request.  I racked my mind for days to come up with a resolution, yet somehow "I resolve to keep being awesome" seemed too  arrogant  easy.

Now I know what you're thinking:
But Pie, how do you improve on perfection?

Alas, dear friends, this is my burden.  I have no real vices (except pie, caffeine, and pie.  Seriously don't touch my pie I will fight you) and I already have a killer bod (experiences may vary). 

Then it hit me.  I should spread some of this awesomeness around.  Give back to the community.

Again, I know what you're thinking:
But Pie, it's too cold to walk around topless!

And you're right.  So I came up with the next best thing: over the coming weeks I will perform no less than 50 random acts of kindness.

RAK #1

Strolling into my local coffee shop, I decided to buy coffee for the next person behind me, whoever it should be.  Now this was a ballsy move, considering yesterday's debacle.

Thankfully, the next customer to walk in was a charming young mother with a stroller.  Or a baby thief, I never did check.  While she seemed genuinely surprised, she graciously accepted my offer to buy her coffee.

It went down like this:

Me to cashier: "I'd like to buy this nice woman's coffee please."

Young Mother: "Oh!  Well thank you.  I was going to have a tea actually."

Me: "That wasn't part of the deal."  What? I'm new at this.

YM: "Oh... well I guess I could have a coffee."  Damn straight.

And you know what guys?  It felt good.  She was genuinely appreciative, like her faith in humanity had been restored (the coffee really is that good). 

Oh!  And I got TWO stamps on my coffee card!  Score.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day #3 - No Cheats

Day 3 and I haven't cheated yet! It's like a Christmas miracle in October (which, considering the Christmas section is already up in the Bay so, not a huge stretch).

We're facing the first potential scandalon (Greek for stumbling block, thank YOU only thing I remember from my Early Christian Writings class) and that is picking our cheat days around social events. Our normal cheat day is Sunday (right before Weigh-In Mondays in the hopes that we don't overdo it) but we have a birthday event on Saturday for a fabulous woman AND Thanksgiving on Monday (om nom nom). What to do, what to do.

I took my before photos last night and oh my, it wasn't pretty. I have decided that my greatest fear (besides having those photos posted ANYWHERE without my hopefully awesome after photos) is that I will make it to the end of the 12 weeks and not look or feel any different. And then I will have missed Pumpkin Spice Latte season for nothing.

On the upside, our bathroom is nearly done which means the extra hydration will no longer cause me to drive to Tim Hortons all the damn time once in a dainty while.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Weigh-In Monday #1

Yes, it's Tuesday, but I weighed in yesterday so it TOTALLY counts.


Weight    BF %    Chest    Waist    Hips    Right Thigh    Right Bicep (flexed)
154.3      30.1       37"        33"       41.5"   24.5"              12.5"

Hold me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Revenge of the Baked Goods

It's Day One so, of course, there were chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen at work this morning. I took a deep breath and walked by (yay!).
I happily munched my second meal and went to the gym where I rowed out my HIIT program instead of running because my knee hurts and I want to be able to play in my soccer tournament on Wednesday (*gasp* runonsentence *gasp*).
I got back from the gym and the chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen had been joined by cupcakes. Seriously?!
Too bad, tasty baked goods and the intending-to-be-kind-but-really-evil souls who provided them. You won't sucker me in!
Tom and I are going to weigh in tonight (yikes!) and take our before pictures (DOUBLE YIKES!) and we decided to have  "friendly" "competition" between us to see who can lose more by body fat percentage. Anyone who knows us knows that this will most likely end in a fist fight (which I will win) (because I will cheat) (shut up, he's a 200lb, 6ft tall rugby player!).
Starting stats to come (be afraaaaaid).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step.

"We all want to change the world"- Beatles
Far be it from me to challenge the Beatles, but really what asshat thinks they can change the world. Everything in this world is a journey, instead of just thinking of the large goals, take it one step at a time.
I've made the decision to change myself and see what follows.

I am going to complete another cycle of 'Body for Life' which is a 12 week program.

I've completed this once before and it was awesome, and also one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was fantastic and I've never felt better. Since then I've relaxed and just let the hard work slip away. I'm not out of shape but I know I've been fitter.
The plan for tomorrow. Six meals, 1 trip to the gym, just one day, not that hard.


Today, I hit my breaking point.

You know the days when everything feels wrong? That was today. Today I felt like I was a stranger in my own body, with no control over what happened to me. This isn't just about weight loss; it's about reclaiming my body, my sense of self and my life. Today I begin a 12-week journey that I will stick to – no matter what.

About Me:

I'm a 23 year-old female, a graduate of the University of Toronto, a young professional, an editor, a reader, a writer, an athlete, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter, and a partner.

I suffered a knee injury in the spring which has left me overweight, and I am determined to change that. 

My Goals:

Food & Drink:

I will…
·       Eat five meals a day, balanced with protein, complex carbohydrates, veggies and fruits
·       Drink 3 litres of water a day
·       Eat only one refined carb per day (1 slice of whole grain toast)
·       Be allowed one cheat day a week where I can relax on the "I will not" list

I will not…
·       Drink alcohol (sigh), coffee (SOB), or pop
·       Eat anything processed
·       Overdo it on my cheat days

I will…
·       Work out five days a week, aiming for six
·       Weight train twice a week
·       Do cardio three times a week
·       Do yoga one day a week
·       Put in 110% (just for you, baby) effort into these workouts

I will not…
·       Use my bad knee as a excuse

I will…
·       Weigh and measure in every Monday
·       Take progress photos on the first Monday of every month
·       Stick to my financial budget, because money stress = FAT ME
·       Take the supplements that keep my thyroid happy, and me less certifiable

Let's see how drastically I can change my life.