Wednesday, June 26, 2013

US and Canada - Different Countries

In celebration of the upcoming Canada Day (Monday, July 1 - it's also my birthday, people, just so you know!) I am working on a post about Canadians. But, in the meantime, here is the link to a humourous look at what is different between Canadians and Americans. Enjoy!

Here is the link!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cardio Cure

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been sick for the past week or so. I’m finally starting to feel better, thank GOODNESS. Summer is here, and darn it, I want to enjoy it!

After getting lots of rest last week, and still feeling crummy on Saturday, I tried something different. Something I call the “Cardio Cure”.

The Cardio Cure was discovered several years ago when I forced myself to go to the gym when I was battling a bad cold. I suffered through the workout, but as it neared its end, I realized that I was actually starting to feel better. When I left the class, I was breathing better and coughing less than I had been before the class started. My nose had also stopped running. And the next day, I felt great.

It could have been a fluke, of course, but now that’s what I do when I’m sick – with a cold only - and nothing else is working. I force myself into a workout, and see how I feel. I am in NO WAY undermining the importance of rest when you are feeling down. That is the most important thing to do, and skipping exercise is usually for the best. But when nothing else is working, and I’m not TOO sick…this is what I try.

On Saturday, though, it did not work.

I tried to go for a run. It turned into a walk pretty quickly. In fact, I practically crawled home at the end. Then I tried going in the pool with my daughter and nearly hacked up a lung. So I spent the evening trying the whole “rest” thing again. It seemed to help this time.

So the moral of the story is…

…don’t listen to me when it comes to curing your cold. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sick in June. Are Ya Kidding Me?

I am sick.

Well, I'm on the mend now, but I had to take two days off of work...which I spent sitting around the house. Dying.

I mean, I "just" had a bad cold, and did manage to avoid coughing up my lungs. But then yesterday I got a bit of an intestinal bug as well. And cramps.

Because why WOULD I ever only get one sickness at once?

(Have I told you about the time I got a three-week chest infection, stomach bug and chills..starting the day after I had my second baby? As me how much fun THAT is with a newborn, sleepless nights, and a healing episiotome!)

As a result, I haven't exercised all week, but my eating has been pretty good. I'm not one of those people who typically stops eating when they are sick, but I've certainly eaten less junk.

I'll take it. Now sickness, go away.

It's freaking JUNE. Who gets sick in June?

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Dos and Don’ts of Tracking Your Progress

In my opinion, the number on the scale is far from the only thing that matters when you are following a weight-loss or exercise plan. In fact, if your goal is to look better, feel better, or improve your health, the scale really is a poor indicator. Still, most of us can’t help but take a peek to see the progress we are making. I know that for me, personally, I rely on the scale, as well as measurements I’ve taken, and progress pictures to try to get the full picture of how far I’ve come. I highly recommend doing the same.

Here are a few Dos and Don’ts that I (try to) follow:

Before/After Pictures

- Take multiple shots (of various angles). It helps track your progress best.
- Take your progress photos using the same poses as the “before” pictures.
- If possible, wear the same outfits (or a similar outfit) each time.

- Say “Oh, I’ll wait until I’m thinner” to take that first photo. You want to be able to see your FULL progress!
- Use a maternity photo as your “before” picture. I know this is a touchy subject, and yes, there are exceptions, but…in general, this isn’t the best
type of picture to use. You’re carrying water weight, your face may be bloated, and we can’t see what your waist really looks like. Don’t sell yourself short!
- Forget about your face! It loses weight too!

Taking Measurements

- Take measurements! Please! Sometimes you are getting smaller, even if the scale is painting a different picture.
- Measure several areas of your body. Arms, chest, waist, hips, and thighs are all good ideas. Some people do more, some do less.
- Make a plan of when to check your progress. Retake your measurements once a month, or for every 10 pounds lost, for example. Ever week isn’t necessary.


- Become too obsessed.
- Set unrealistic goals. Not everyone can have a 25-inch waist.

Weighing Yourself

- Weigh yourself NO MORE THAN once per week. Anything else is obsessive (I admit that I don’t always follow this advice.)
- Keep in mind that weight fluctuates. The scale can’t tell if you’re retaining water, gaining muscle, or PMSing. Don’t panic about small gains, especially if you are eating well. You’re making progress!
- Consider taking breaks from the scale. If you’re eating well and it’s just not moving, put it away for a few weeks. Rely on your measurements, and how your clothes are fitting. You’ll feel better. I promise.

- Let the scale define you. You are more than just the number it tells you.
- Try to lose too much weight too quickly.
- Weight yourself at night. Save it for the morning – AFTER you’ve gone to the bathroom.

I am not an expert, and these are just my thoughts. But nonetheless, I hope this tidbits can help you with your own journey.

Want a “Dos and Don’ts” list for a different area of life? Let me know J

Friday, June 14, 2013

Being Happy is Too Difficult

One thing that sucks about having mental health issues is how blooming hard it is to ever feel truly happy.

Right now, I am experiencing one of those times where it is particularly difficult.

Also, I'm getting a cold.

And I gained a pound this week

This is an unhappy Friday...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Love Life Part 2

So, remember a few months ago when I wrote this post about my past dating life? Well I just realized that I never updated you all on how I met my husband - he's the most important one, after all! did I meet him, you ask?

I had switched gears in my educational plan and was attending a new college, out of town. I left for school still "dating" previously-mentioned "casual dude", but was unsure how I felt about that whole situation. I hoped that space would give me some perspective. When I moved into my college residence, I promptly got roomed with a girl with a criminal record...complete with her own parole officer. Not the change in perspective I was looking for.

Our residence had 3 "RAs", which stands for "Residence Advisor". They were older students who were basically responsible for keeping the rest of us in line. Each RA was in charge of two floors in our building. My RA was a totally kick-ass girl who is now a cancer survivor, mother, and newly a doula . Totally cool chick.

Walking around the residence, I noticed pictures of the 3 RAs from an earlier social event. Two females, one male. My first impression of the guy? "Why is that dude wearing a girl's bathing suit?" Yup, in one of the photos he was all decked out in a floral tankini. I can only hope it was part of some kind of dare. (Apparently, HIS first impressions of ME were along the lines of "She WILL be mine", but I of course didn't find that out until later. And probably would have been scared if I'd heard it while staring at the hideous bathing suit picture).

I spoke with the male RA a few times over the next month, but didn't get to know him too well. However, a month was enough time to figure out that I WASN'T comfortable living with my assigned roommate, so I mentioned the issue to Mr. Cross-Dressing RA. Since he knew that one of my friends was also having roommate issues, he took the appropriate steps to get us a new room together...right across the hall from HIS room on HIS floor. Was I that naïve to not suspect anything?

And honestly...the rest is history. Almost immediately after moving floors, we became inseparable. We were already talking about our future after only a month of dating (yes, we were crazy). He quit smoking - for ME - almost immediately, and six months later we were engaged. Yes, I realize that this seems very fast, especially given the fast that I was only 21 at the time. I know that we are very, very lucky that things have worked out so well for us. Not everyone is so lucky. You should really take more time to get to know a person!

We were married on a warm - make that HOT - June day in 2007. It rained just a tiny bit, which is supposed to be considered a blessing of luck. If nothing else, it made for some really nice wedding photos! Of course we've had our ups and downs, and we've also had our great moments. One thing is for sure: we may drive each other crazy at times, but since meeting that man...I've never looked back!

(Oh, and the guy I was casually dating when I left for school? Well, let's just say it's really hard to break it off with someone when their phone is disconnected and you live in another city, so that unfortunately had to be dealt with over MSN. Thankfully he understood.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fat-Free Friday, Workout Edition

First, let’s get this over with: I weigh 155.6. Yes, I still haven’t been eating well. In my defense…junk food is delicious. But, I’m hoping for a better week starting…now. No more excuses.

I just realized that it’s been awhile since I really talked about fitness and exercise on this blog, so instead of whining about my oreo addiction (yummers), let’s discuss how to get moving!

A few months ago, I was going to a LOT of gym classes, because they are, in my opinion, the most fun way to get a really good workout. I mean, you can’t slack off when someone twice your age is because you working hard – and in better shape than you! Or when someone twice your size is rocking the moves that you struggle with. (Note: you don’t have to be thin to achieve a high level of fitness! Just start working at it!). Lately, though, I haven’t been attending as many classes, though it’s not because I’ve fallen out of love with them. It’s simply due to my schedule, and often the times that are more convenient for working out aren’t the times when classes are offered. No big deal. I can sweat it out myself, now that I (kind of ) know what I’m doing.

I’m a believer in doing both strength and cardio exercises. Cardio burns more calories in the moment, and strength helps build muscle which burns more calories in the long-term. So doing both is ideal for me.

I tend to get lazier as my workout progresses and I tired, so the first thing I decide is what I want to focus on most that day – cardio or strength. Whichever I decide is what I do first, while I still have lots of energy.

If it’s strength, I always start with legs, then move onto arms, and finally, abs. Leg exercises include squats with a 30lb bar (I need to go higher), lunges holding 12 pound weights (also need to go higher), curtsy lunges and side lunges. I’ve also tried one-legged squats, but man my balance is horrible! Arms could involve bicep curls (30lb bar) or hammer curls (12 or 15 pound weights), push ups, tricep dips, shoulder presses, and more. I usually try to do about 10 minutes on legs, 10 on arms, and 5 on abs.

For cardio (20-30 minutes if I’m doing strength as well), I do whatever interests me that day – the stair climber (I only last ten minutes), elliptical, treadmill, or the bike. Often I use two different machines during my workout, just to avoid boredom.

Outside of the gym, running is still my first love. I also go for walks, and sometimes my husband and I take the kids in the bike trailer for a ride…but he has to pull them on HIS bike. I’m not THAT strong.

When in doubt (and short on time), try this efficient 7-minute workout! It is comprised of 12 different moves that work the different muscles of your body and get your heart rate up. You do each move for 30 seconds, then rest for ONLY 5-10 seconds in between. Doing the circuit even once benefits your body…but you can also do it 2-3 times if you wish. I try to fit this in on days where I don’t have time to hit the gym or go for a run.

As for my husband? He does absolutely no exercise and is almost all muscle. And he eats whatever he wants. I understand that he has a physically strenuous job, but STILL! It's just not fair!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Random Thoughts, Second Edition

1. Right now, Oreos are my favourite food in the entire world

2. I never wear nail polish on my fingers because it chips in less than hour

3. I get cabin fever really easily and really quickly

4. Sometimes, I wonder if people who write kids' shows are on some type of illegal drug...

5. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be half human, half horse, because I thought having four legs would be just awesome. As long as my body was pink. I probably shouldn't have been allowed to watch Fantasia...

6. When I was a kid, I also wanted to grow to a height of exactly 5'9. I have no idea why...but I am indeed 5'9!

7. I think it's really cool that owls can turn their heads 270 degrees around.

8. I really hate wearing socks when it's even remotely warm outside.

9. Sometimes I daydream about how I would redecorate other peoples' homes. Is that rude?

10. I really need more sleep tonight...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stuck in the cycle...

...of eating good one day, eating like crap the next.

When will it end?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Back in the "Swing" of Things...

Do you recognize this?

Of course you do. It's a playground swing. (Note: if you did not, in fact, recognize this item, please book an appointment with your family physician immediately. Thank you.)

But it's not JUST a swing. It's the exact style of swing that I could NOT fit my big ol' butt into last year. If I tried to cram my rear in (to appease my young daughter, of course), it just didn't work. The bolts dug into my thighs, making it not just uncomfortable, but painful too!

Today, after my run, I noticed that there were no children at the playground nearby. So I decided to do a little test-a-roo and see what progress I've made from last year.

And I fit!

It made my day. Like I've said before, sometime it's the little things that count for so much. I am so thrilled to know that I can swing with my daughter this summer, and not have to tell her "no" because of my size.

Also, my eating has been better the past two days. Not perfect, but better. I'll take that!

In other news, how freaking cute is this?:

Baby's first mohawk. My heart melts...