It’s a Journey

When I opened up my instagram today I was met with a fitgirl photo from fitgirl_michelle2015. The photo on the left showed her at the beginning of her journey 4 months ago and the right photo was her recent photo. On the right she looked strong, happy, fit. Before and after photos are powerful because we see the results, we see a side we relate to and we see a side we want to achieve. But the problem is we see nothing else. We don’t see the struggle, the sick days, the days we fell off the training schedule, the tears, the disappointment. Instead, we idolize the desirable pic.

That’s my problem. I tell myself I want to get fit and I’ll start out but, oh, if I don’t see results I get discouraged and eat poorly and I have to start all over again. Well, what if this time, I keep it, I adopt it as my way of life and I keep at it? I want to find out how I would feel being strong, fit and confident. It’s worth it. I want to do it.

Smiling in the Rain

It’s as though October just arrived and it’s already on it’s way out. Before I know it I’ll be knee deep in snow. I already see it on the tops of some mountains so it’s only a matter of time really. At the moment it has been raining for two weeks solid. We haven’t had a break from it in so long. I saw the sun for about 5 minutes yesterday before it continued its deluge. This prompted me to get new winter/rain boots so now I am equipped for all of the precipitation! And next weekend Raffi will get his winter tires on and he’ll be ready as well!

Rocco

I’ve started wear my hair in smallish braids during the week, taking them down Friday after work and wearing it out on the weekends. This may change once it gets colder and I need to shield my hair from the cold but for right now it’s been working.

A length check is on my list. Just to see what’s happening up there. I can say I have now been natural for 2 years, 7 months and 5 days 😛 I love it!

A hair ‘uh oh’ that happened recently for me… I was at the optometrist doing an eye test and the lady who came in to help the person administering my test (it was her first time) looked at my hair and proclaimed ‘Ooh it’s so cool I want to touch it’ and without waiting for a response proceeded to touch my hair. She then followed that action with ‘Oh it’s so fuzzy, it’s just like Michelle’s’… Uuuuugh. Honestly, I’m not adverse to saying no to people who ask to  touch my hair. But at least give me that chance to say no before you dive in! Holy…

Here are some pics of my love, Rocco.

Fitness

I’m doing a sort of fitness/clean-eating challenge with my friend S. We kicked it off on Tuesday, as Monday was Thanksgiving and we wanted to eat all the pie. I want to see some changes so we’ve started a low-carb diet and we’ve been working out together. We both have the same trouble spot: the tire around our midsections. It has to go. So we’re busting our butts and I’m really excited because we’ve been doing quite well working out and going to the gym and such. I’m going to head their today and get in some work out time. I really want to put in the effort so I can see my body change for the better.

We decided on having a cheat meal once a week and while I chose to have mine on Saturdays I really didn’t go in that direction. For lunch with my boo yesterday I had this delicious smoked salmon salad. I was so excited when I saw it came with avocado (yum)! Also, did some knitting with L last night and we munched on kale chips and popcorn and drank soda water with squeezed lime juice (so good and refreshing)!

Life

I stumbled on the cutest illustrative blog. I had to show my boo because they were like us! You can find it here.

I’ve also tasked myself with a budget I need to stick to. I spent way too much unallocated money last weekend. I know it was Thanksgiving long weekend but I think I was a little too free with pulling out the card. So I’ve got my budget in place and I plan to make the most of it.

Also, I’m not big on Halloween. Actually I’m not a fan at all. But if I were to go I would go as Suzy Carmichael cause she’s awesome.

Now that it’s Sunday I have to wash my hair, prep my meals for the week and relaaax before Monday!

Here are some rainy pics me and boo took on a forest walk.

I hope you have a great day!

So It Begins

I am enjoying a cold beer and relaxing in my Lush bubble bath as I write this.

You know those moments when you’re scarfing down some pizza and already thinking of seconds? When you’re kind of comfortably full but it’s so good you consider getting more?

I have become an insatiable sloth compared to my last year’s self and guess what. I see it and I feel it and neither make me feel good.

I don’t have a lot of time in my day. I generally have 2.5 hours between my getting home from work and going to sleep. That’s not a lot of time for anything. But I realized I’m not going to see any changes by not doing anything so guess what my options are: continue doing nothing and see/feel it and continue feeling like absolute crap OR to put in some effort, feel some discomfort and see some change that I can feel good about.

So! Tomorrow I’ll be at the gym at an ungodly hour making my first step towards looking and feeling more like me. I’m hoping it won’t take long before it’s a routine and something to look forward to. Wish me all the luck. This bath beer will be my final beer for a while *sob*. So I’m going to enjoy it.
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Back To The Gym & Other Things

I bought a gym pass on Sunday and worked out for a bit with a friend. I planned to go yesterday but I was hitting the snooze button like I was playing whack-a-mole. Not a great start. Today I made it count and was out of the house by 6:35 AM. You know what I’m thankful for? I’m thankful for someone letting me know what that middle button on the Jeep’s key fob was. Remote start. Holla! So when it’s -8 C outside (17 F) I turn that puppy on from the warm of my house then a couple of minutes later I make a run for it and it’s warm and ready to go and I’ve got my tunes on.

I say I sprint to the car but this morning I stepped outside and walked to the Jeep and looked up and I could see every star twinkling. It was a crisp, clear, cold night and the night sky was so pretty. I could have pulled out a lawn chair and a mug of tea and just sat and looked up. Best part.

I jumped on the treadmill at the gym and cranked out a 5.1 km (3.2 mile) run. in 20 minutes. There’s something I would have a hard time doing on the road. It’s nice to be able to get my distance up so quickly. My last road run was 5 km and I did that in 27:30 soo it’s fair to say I really upped my speed here. It’s good to be back! I will be in a great place once this becomes a habit.

My gym plan is to lose some weight, up and then maintain my running distance and to become more flexible. My regular weight is 120 lbs and I am currently… *drumroll* 139lbs! Aaah!

Yeah. I was unimpressed with this number and even questioned the scale. But my friends’ scale confirmed it. I have 20 lbs to lose. My goal is to weigh 119. I’m not giving myself a time frame at this point. I want to give my fitness a lot of focus and I want it to become routine and we’ll see how the inches and lbs disappear.

The last time I was this weight I was working at the chocolate store… true story. It’s interesting because at this weight in 2011 I could really see it. My face was bigger, my upper arms, thighs, stomach. But now (and maybe I need to get smaller and then look at a picture of myself now) I see it in my boobs, stomach and probably my butt. Regardless, everything is gonna get trimmed. I will keep you all updated.

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In other news, my work conference was fine. I was the youngest person there. Everyone else was over 40, a good number were retired and white. Just sayin, I brought some colour to the place 😛

I’m okay flying… I’ve never been on a flight longer than 90 minutes so I’m definitely not experienced. The planes I go on are general 40-50 seat planes with propellers and they are so loud. Coming home we descended from the clouds and maybe we were a little too high to go on the runway or the runway was busy (unlikely as it’s a tiny airport) so we did a pass around town and came back and oh. my. god. If we had done two passes I probably would have tossed my cookies or had to breathe into a paper bag. You will never catch me on a roller coaster and sometimes even elevators make my stomach drop. This plane was banking left and right so hard and bumping up and down like we were on a jolly-jumper. It was not fun. So I was a happy freaking camper when we made it on the ground.

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And here is my blanket!! No, it’s not quite done. I have three more squares to add to it. But I am loooving it now. And this pic is before, my afterwards I sewed all the extra strings into the blanket so that there’s nothing dangling. I’m so excited to finish it. It’s 2 months in and it is on time to send to Saskatchewan for Christmas.

I wouldn’t get a gym pass in the summer. Summer’s my time to hike, run, bike, swim, kayak and pretty much be outside and moving. But now that it’s below zero, the gym is going to be my friend for the next few months.

How do you stay fit when the temperature drops?

Happy Long Weekend! + My Spending Diet

It’s Canada Day long weekend so I hope my fellow Canadians are taking some time for themselves and I hope the weather is cooperative. I also hope that those affected by flooding are receiving the assistance they need at a time like this.

As far as my spending diet goes… I’m on week 2 and while there have been no major revelations or hiccups, I found that having these spending guidelines in addition to using my financial tracker app have made me aware of a few things:

On my road to embracing a more simple, minimalist lifestyle in the things I own and that are in my house I’ve found it easier not bringing more stuff into my home. I feel if I need to bring something in then it makes some sense that something should go out. While I’m in the process of scaling back on what I have I found I’m really just surrounded by what I need and not so much what I want which is good.

Fitness

However, the focus has kind of shifted to food and not enough on exercise. Confession time: I haven’t been running in over a month. I know. Shocker. I couldn’t run a 10k right now even if I wanted to. I would have to start again and work up to that distance probably starting with a 5k, then 7 then probably a 10. I feel the need to get back to that but I haven’t quite convinced myself to get going quite yet.

 

My weight, which normally would reflect my non-running and inflate, has been maintained and it’s probably due to my cycling! I commute to work by bike so at the very least I’m biking 40km/week. I try and bike slowly sometimes so I’m not a sweaty mess by the time I reach the office (this hair is like a greenhouse under a helmet) but I keep a good speed and it usually only takes me 11 minutes to get there. And my legs feel stronger so I’m kind of happy that I have another method of keeping myself active even when I’m not running.

Plus, now that I have bike panniers my life has been made infinitely easier. Although the trick is not to fill it just because you have space. And it’s also tricky, sometimes I’ll take only pannier but then realize I need to take my work laptop home and then I have to stuff everything into one and then I feel lopsided… Anyway! It’s great having these. I recommend them.

Money

Now, on to money. I realize, more than I need to do a spending diet, is that I need to budget. I recently purchased a ticket to visit a friend in Alberta at the end of July. This has been long overdue and I’m excited to finally go so on Thursday I purchased a ticket. I did use Airmiles so I only paid the taxes and fees but those were still $173 (boo). But! I’m going on a plane that is taking me somewhere other than to visit my parents for the first time… ever actually… It’s going to be fun!

I realized I was spending too much on groceries. I found since I didn’t give myself a budget, and that groceries were a ‘necessary’ item, I would go to the store more often than needed and spend a little too much. To remedy this I’m going to create meal plans,  two weeks at a time, and a budget.

I don’t know that I will continue the spending diet which kind of sounds like a cop-out, but I’ve recognized my shortfalls, what works for me and what I need to work on (less chips being one thing).

Plus! I opened a savings account specifically for putting away money for my 2014 Angola trip! Yay me!

Running – Solo or Social?

I seem to have found myself running 4 days in a row so far this week. Saturday I did 7km and Sunday I tried my 10km route.

Monday I was sitting on the couch with my roommate. She asked if I wanted to go for a walk and I wasn’t very enthusiastic. ‘Um… I dunno…’ was my response. She asked if I wanted to go for a run and I think those were the magic words. We were off in 15 minutes and did a 6km route.

I find walking leisurely and enjoyable, especially if you have some nice scenery but I get bored… and it takes too long. Running, you can see it all in half the time and feel accomplished. Don’t get me wrong, going for a nice walk with a coffee or slurpee in hand is nice but given the option, I’d rather be joined for a run.

Tuesday my friend E texted me asking if I wanted to run after work since it was so nice out. You betcha. We did a 7km walk/run which was a great way to catch up and I took her on a route I usually go, somewhere she had never been so she enjoyed seeing that part of the city.

Running on my own I am able to challenge myself distance-wise because the only limitation I have is myself. I walk when I want to walk and I push myself when I want to get somewhere.

Running with others has its perks though. Usually, it’s at a slower pace so I can breathe easy, hold more of a conversation and it’s fun!

A combination of both is ideal but it’s fair to say that I just really enjoy running 🙂

First 10k In Over A Month – Ouch

I did a 10km run. 56:01. I chose a favourite route but ran it backwards. It hurt. Although I’m not sure if it was the route or the fact that my last 10k run was March 16, over a month ago. Probably the latter.

It was a sunny morning run with a cool breeze down by the ocean.

Kms 1-3 were nice and simple then there was a stupid hill at km 4 where I stopped at the top, clinging to a stop signing, gasping but pretending to stretch so no one could see I was near death. Kms 4-5 were mercifully downhill, 5-7 were all along the water, although around 6 I had a cramp so I stopped and stretched and walked for a bit after. Km 8 I had a massive, unforgiving cramp on my right side. It hurt to breathe so I stopped and sat on a bench and reminded myself that I will be finishing this 10km. I gave myself a couple of minutes and then got running again, slowly.

I was supposed to take a turn for home but I was only at 9km so I said, nope, and continued down the trail until I hit 10km. I put on some speed since it was my last km and I wanted to make it count and then I was done and turned around and walked home.

What a run. I think I’ll take tomorrow off, do another round of Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred in the morning and yoga in the afternoon and go for another run on Tuesday.