Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 5 Posts of 2011

Tomorrow night is New Year's Eve!!  We are celebrating by running the Resolution Run 5km with a bunch of friends and then having a child friendly party with our good friends.  I am so excited.  I think we will be ending the year exactly the way I have lived it...a balance of fitness and health with lots of fun and some indulgence!!!  Bring on the CHEESE and WINE!

and with that I leave you with the top 5 posts from 2011 (because this is exciting stuff right)

100 pounds lost so much more gained

Telling my story a porcelain hell


Granny Panty Parachuting: New Extreme Sport

Ottawa City Chase

and my favorite post of the year "21km"

Thank-you for all of your support and comments this year and I am wishing you your very BEST YEAR of health and happiness in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Holy Sh#T I'm 35!!!
and I've lost my marbles...
Happy Birthday to me :)  Well its actually my birthday tomorrow and I am writing this post ahead of time.  Tomorrow morning I will be having my toes pampered at the Spa with my dear friend excited for some girly relax time.  Also can't wait for them to see the paint job Kayleigh gave me last weekend LOL.  Then we pack up the car and head to Norland for Christmas with my family.  I am beyond excited to see my sisters!!! To be surrounded by my family :)  

So on my last day of being 34 let's take stock for a moment?

  • I died my hair this week before I could spot any greys coming in...haven't officially found one yet and I don't plan on it!
  • My "aging" body seems to be feeling some aches and pains this week, my wrist swelled up and I still can't put my full weight on it (but its much better) and my foot hurts from running intervals I have taken a break from upper body weights this week and high impact activities. I did a Spin class Tuesday and Wed skipped the gym all together and did a core workout at home for 20min, today I hope to get to the gym for some low impact cardio.  Can't even take my yoga class because my wrist wouldn't do well in downward dog :(  Really hope that a week of rest on it will fix it.  
  • Thanks to my friend Jenn officially signing up for her first HALF MARATHON yesterday, I bit the bullet and registered for the Marathon in May.  No more ifs....its going to happen!  Like Jenn I feel slightly sick about it LOL.  
  • Good news...I have a training buddy for the marathon, a friend I met while sweating at Saunder's Farm this year at Exer Susie's class, Kelly is running it too, so I have someone to share those really loooooong training runs with. 
  • Christmas is almost here and I am beyond giddy with excitement, my December Daily album is packed full of memories already...its been an awesome month!
  • New Year's Eve we will be ending the year again with the Resoultion Run, and running it with a bunch of friends.  I love that we are ending a year of health off with a bang with friends that also share this crazy spirit!  After the run we are celebrating with our dear friends Laura and Rob (they are running too), while the kids are having a sleep over.  Laura has issued the challenge of filming our Losing It in Ottawa Push Up challenge that night in our party wear!  Should be entertaining!  I just hope her Snooki Accessories stay in place!! 
So bring it THIRTY FIVE, I'm READY!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A WIN better then any "personal best"

find the recipe here....if you dare

We are in the full swing of Holiday parties, and Christmas baking...treats are to be found everywhere!  There is much talk of how to "handle" ourselves this Christmas season, how not to gain weight, how to navigate the minefield of cookies...tricks on how to fill up with healthy food etc.  I won't lie I too am thinking about just how much of these delcious treats will pass by my lips.  I am thinking about how to find some sort of balance between healthy eating, exercising and indulging.  But you know what my real wish for Christmas this year is?

"I want the gift of letting go, of being kind to myself, of loving myself...I want to just 'be in the moment' of Christmas...enjoying the celebration and magic"

I don't want to think about all that "other" stuff...nor do I want to go into a full blown sugar coma, where I am not in the moment celebrating and interacting with my loved ones but caught in some strange cookie stuffing mania.  It does seem that I have a hard time finding that "sweet spot" right in between the two. I tend to find myself either being super rigid or down right manic about filling myself. 

Well last night I had a WIN, and it was better then any personal best running!  It was late in the evening, and I wanted a treat, I made a small plate of my favorite Christmas treat (see pic above).  It was soooo very good!  Then the overwhelming urge to eat A LOT MORE kicked in, that panicked feeling of flight or fight settled in, that old habit that led to me weighing 258 pounds was banging on the door!  I took many deep breaths, and I walked away!  But that wasn't the win.  The win was that I ate that small plate of cookies and I didn't let the  guilt...that feeling of this is going to undo me...that oh you Farked Up feeling get me.  I ate that treat like a woman that exercises hard, and eats very nutritiously most of the time.  I ate that treat like that elusive "normal"woman would eat it...does she even exist?  That was my win!  

 I wish you all a very Merry Christmas this year and my hope is that we will all find our way to being kind and loving with ourselves in our own way.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

100 pounds lost, so much more gained

Awkward trying to show some muscle pose...or pushing a big fart out...wonder?

A long way from doing jumping jacks and having my back fat slap together doing the Shred 2 years ago :) 
Today marks an official 100 pounds, those last two pounds decided to make me be patient.  Which in hind sight is good, 2 weeks to loose two pounds is a good thing, and hopefully means it will stay off.

So to celebrate, and to reinforce for myself what this 100 pounds really means I thought I would make a list of 100 things gained!  (I don't expect you to read through it all, its more for me) wink. 

  1. confidence in myself
  2. confidence in my body's ability to do things
  3. I love going out and dressing up and don't choose to "hide" at home because I am embarrassed by my  size.  
  4. trying crazy news things because I believe I can likely do them 
  5. made a big dream come true running a half marathon
  6. fell in love with getting up on a weekend morning, chugging a shake, and heading out to a race with  my hubby
  7. loving the post race glow and chat with Ryan while we break it down
  8. sharing getting fit with my husband
  9. how hot my husband looks (can you tell I miss him)
  10. strength...I am strong...I feel strong
  11. I love my arms, even if they still have loose flying squirrel skin, I think they still look toned, and I love them....I hated baring my arms at a size 22. 
  12. shoulders...I love my shoulders 
  13. I love that my daughter draws pictures of girls with shoulders LOL
  14. I love my legs...
  15. I can look at myself in the mirror with both eyes open now
  16. I can look at myself naked and not cringe...even with sagging skin...I don't care..its like a battle scar I am proud of
  17. speaking of naked...well lets just say certain actives are much more fun!
  18. and on that note yoga...yes yoga really helps in that dept :) LOL
  19. speaking of yoga, have fallen in love with yoga
  20. love the challenge of getting better at certain poses
  21. have learned that there are actual health benefits to those poses!
  22. my kids love yoga!
  23. I like a variety of physical things now....
  24. running
  25. spinning
  26. yoga
  27. weight training
  28. biking
  29. Fitness classes
  30. Races
  31. Even enjoyed a dance like class ONCE
  32. I've done crazy stuff like City Chase and next year Bust a Move
  33. being fit has become a social thing
  34. I've so enjoyed the last 6 months or so with my good friend Laura at the gym, will miss her so much when she goes back to work, but plan on seeing her once a week in the evening
  35. met a girl at the gym, Jenn, who's become on of my dear friends, and with Laura, we make a crazy threesome!  CHARLIE'S ANGELS watch out!
  36. I have a new workout out pal, Liz who is training for a figure competition, I am learning so much from her, and more than that she is an awesome person and I am so enjoying getting to KNOW her :)
  37. I've met up with a friend from the LIO community and fellow blogger Pam, to get sweaty
  38. I've reconnected with my friend Mell at the gym :)
  39. I have a huge sweet spot for a group of 'retired ladies' at the gym, they make me smile and laugh
  40. Through the Losing it in Ottawa community I have met an awesome group of women and they are  part of my daily life online
  41. yesterday when Pennignton's called to tell me about a special offer, I kindly and admittedly quite proudly asked to be taken off their call list as their clothes don't fit, and I politely said I hope they never do again, the lady laughed and gave me her best wishes :) it was pretty cool :)  
  42. Yesterday I zipped a gorgeous designer dress in a size 8 up :)  Sigh it stayed in the store...not in the budget LOL
  43. when I set out to loose weight I thought a size 14 would be my goal....never imagined didn't even seem possible...
  44. but its not about size...its about speed, and strength, and endurance
  45. or maybe its not about that either....
  46. maybe its about my Dr. proudly giving me an A PLUS at my physical, and looking at my girls in the room with me and saying that what I am doing is setting them up to succeed
  47. maybe its more about the frustration and effort I am putting into trying to feed my children's little bodies as best I can and set them up for health and the success when they actually like something I make
  48. maybe its more about how much closer Ryan and I are after 16 years or so together...
  49. and  how much more of a team we are
  50. and how  attracted to each other we are
  51. Its about not feeling trapped by my weight 
  52. Its about my mind finely healing and my soul lifting
  53. its about seeing the people I love making their own brave steps towards a healthier self
  54. oh my I have to think of 100 things? 
  55. who's idea was this?
  56. is anyone still reading?
  57. my taste for food changing
  58. I love healthy food
  59. my body wants it and so does my mind
  60. I still want choc though and other treats
  61. and I have learned that I can enjoy those things in moderation and more importantly MINDFULLY...being present...not in a mind numbing binge
  62. I'M DRUG prozac, no paxil....just plain old fashined endorphins
  63. I have discovered just how strong my WILL is....
  64. my will power, and determination in running that half
  65. my strength in staring down my past demons and kicking their ass!
  66. running in Norland.....its beautiful and feels magical
  67. learning I like hills
  68. fitting into LULULEMON....that was a big fun for me....
  69. doing this one again :) LOL
  70. I can carry my children on my shoulders up and down hills on a sweat..ok maybe some sweat...saving me from having to listen to them whine about being tired 
  71. I can play with my kids outside and give them a run for the money
  72. I can heave the laundry up and down the stairs like wonder woman 
  73. I can carry a TV all by myself to the car, no help from the guys
  74. I can put the lap tray down on the train or airplane
  75. I can sit comfortably in the movie theatre
  76. I sleep so soundly at night or I would if my kids left me alone
  77. I am not smothered in guilt over what I ate
  78. when I do indulge, there is no guilt...or at least not like before
  79. I have learned how to enjoy and relax and fit into my overall healthy lifestyle....for the most part
  80. I have found what works for me, not a diet, a way of life
  81. I am ok with my weight fluctuating...
  82. I know I likely gain some weight as I train for a full marathon
  83. I am ok with that
  84. holly crap I am going to make a huge dream come true
  85. I got my PT certification
  86. I made it through sitting in a class feeling like the FAT, OLD, LADY...and didn't give up
  87. I believe I can help other women
  88. I believe that I will be happiest sharing and helping others
  89. I want to bottle this feeling up and give it away to those I love
  90. never
  91. ever 
  92. want 
  93. to 
  94. feel
  95. less 
  96. then
  97. ever
  98. again!
  99. I feel like ME :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Random Bits

I noticed its been a while since I blogged or rather a friend pointed it out to me (wink). So I thought I would share some random bits of Kataroo with know because that's riveting stuff!

  • Last week I went to a Sugar Sense workshop, held by Eat Whole Be Vital and had a few aha moments.  One of those moments was learning that Fructose goes straight to your liver and therefore is considered a 'poison'.  Guess what my beloved AGAVE NECTER, yep is high in fructose....navigating this sugar stuff is a complicated land mind.  So does that mean I give up Agave Nectar? No....I just need to use a variety of sugars like honey, molasses, brown rice syrup, maple syrup...
  • I wrote a blog post on strength training for the beginner on the Losing it in Ottawa Blog
  • I finally baked the "healthy" cookies that my friend Maranda has been raving about, and she was right they are AWESOME!! 
I used honey instead of the white sugar

  • On the fitness front, I ran a personal best for the 5km on the treadmill (1% incline, flat terrain) 27 min 22 sec!  Previous best was really have to PUSH it to shave time off a 5km...I almost hit the puke point LOL. Luckily I had my friend Laura next to me, keeping me engaged and my mind of the "UGHH"
  • I had another strength workout with my friend Liz, who is training for a figure competition, I love working out with her, she's super fun and I am learning so much from her! 
  • I discovered this new to me site called BODY ROCK TV and its full of great intense short workouts, unfortunately my good friend Jenn now wants us to do the 1000 rep workout...I'm scared :) LOL
  • Had a really cool moment at the gym the other day when a woman said "I know you don't need this, but could you help me find the "light" weights"....loved that!  
  • In addition to making the healthy cookies have also done some Christmas baking for a cookie exchange party this Friday.  I made these cookies, not so healthy...I also now need to make more for the exchange!

    • Christmas baking and holiday parties are not helping me inch toward that last 1.5 pounds...but I am ok with is the holidays after all :) My friend asked me the other day what my holiday plan was for dealing with temptation.  I told her that my plan was to find balance.  To eat a healthy breakfast and lunch, and to workout and then enjoy an indulgent dinner and dessert and lots of wine :)  This past weekend was the first test, a weekend away and a party to go to.  Let's see I didn't workout even though I brought my stuff with me, and Sunday I had an IV line of sugar hooked up!  And you know what..IT WAS AWESOME!  

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    10 more miles to go....

    I have 10 more miles to go to meet my goal of 50 miles in November, a challenge issued by my favorite runner/scrapper Cathy, on Daily Mile.    I think I might actually make this goal, which is great because last week I felt like it was a mountain to climb. Its no secret that I have been struggling with running of late.  Like I have done so often in my life, I get close to a goal and I start to self sabotage myself.  This time around its the mere 'thought' of goal that seems to have sent me cowarding in the corner.

    So today I set out with a plan, a plan to run 15km.  My thinking is that when I was training for the Army Half, 15km was my first real run of any great distance.  It was a special number for me and it became my 'base' of sorts.  I figured if I can keep that base, the thought of moving into Full Marathon training in January will no longer be so daunting.  So today with the help of a friend by my side, I did 15km, and you know what it felt great!  It felt really good in fact.  Even better, mentally, I feel back in the game.  I feel confident again.

    I've been thinking a lot of late, about running a marathon and what that means to me.  Its been a life long dream.  A I don't think I ever actually thought I would do it!  But having run the half marathon this year and having it rank in amongst the best days of my life (birth of the kids, wedding and half marathon that's the order) it seems silly to not go for it all!  When I think of running it, I picture my kids waiting for me at the finish line and I get teary.  I want the kids and Ryan to record messages to me to add to my playlist along the way.  I figure if I get this emotional just picturing the finish line, its a sign that I need to do this.


    Monday, November 21, 2011


    Nothing like finding an old picture of yourself, in your 'larger' days to motivate you to hold strong and keep up the hard work.  I was looking through pictures of this time last year, looking for pics of the kids putting up the tree and I came across this.  I have to tell you that it is somewhat 'shocking' to myself...I remember feeling so good about myself here..having lost 40ish pounds..I felt like I was really fit (working out hard running and spinning).
    I had to wear two bras back then to hold those suckers down LOL
    The funny thing is, I did feel good, but I was stuck.  Despite having lost a bunch of weight, and working out consistently 5-6 days a week, I had plateaued.  A lot of that was due to the fact that I was still eating what I pleased 2-3 days a week (ie. really overeating), I was eating a lot of processed food, and I was doing almost pure cardio with very little strength training.

    I took this picture today a year later...and 3 pounds away from having lost 100 pounds!  Difference is nutrition (focus on whole foods, high protein, complex carbs, healthy fats) and strength training!
    So this is my motivation to keep at it, because its not that bad, really it isn't.  This really has translated into a lifestyle for me and for our family.  You all know I love the exercise bit and the nutrition part isn't that bad at all.  I really enjoy the food that I am making (except for that pea soup disaster) and I like how eating this way makes me feel.  Greek Yogurt is my friend :)  I am easing into a maintenance mode and 'relaxing' on the weekends.  Overall, I have to say its going really well.  So remind me that the next time I feel like skipping my weight workout, would you?

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Need to finish what I started

    I was supposed to run 50 miles in November, as part of a daily mile challenge I signed up for.  I have only run 21 and its passed the half way point.  I am usually really good at being on the ball when I set a goal in my mind.  But for some reason I have been slacking on the running a lot of late.  Not to say that I have been sedentary I have been weight training more than ever before, and had also gotten into a good Hot Yoga streak.  I think part of my problem is that after so many race goals to train for I felt free to just play with my workouts and break out of the boredom of my routine.  It felt really good to 'choose' what I felt like doing rather than knowing it was Wednesday HILL day.  But on the downside I think I may have 'played' a little too hard and last week found myself feeling the effects of over training.  I wasn't recovering well from my workouts (muscle soreness persisting), and my workouts were much weaker than normal.  This led to taking last weekend off entirely, not even a stretch to be seen. I must admit it felt good (really good).  This week was challenging as I was kept from my 'happy place' (aka the gym) with the two sick kiddies to take care of.  I managed to squeeze in two evening workouts (not my favorite time of the day to workout) and even one at home workout (again not ideal but you make it work).  By Thursday my lovely children had passed their germs on to me and I felt myself feeling less than my usual 'rainbows and sunshine' self.  Normally, I would have pushed through anyway, with a sniffles and snot aren't going to hold me back can do attitude.  But this time knowing I was coming out of an 'overtrain' I thought lets just take it easy this time, and so I did.  Again it felt really good to rest.  Friday I felt well 'enough' to join a friend at the gym for a workout, but coupled with a late night out I think it did me in and I woke up this morning feeling wheezy and awful.  So once again, I have 'benched' myself to rest.  I am really hoping that this 'rest' fixes me up and I am back to my usual 'endorphin seeking' self by Monday.
    Because I need to finish what I started!  I need a plan!  As much fun as this 'fly by the seat of my pants' exercising has been, I feel out of sorts without a concrete goal and mini goals to test myself with.  I like the feeling of going after something, and I really like the feeling of achieving lets say 26 miles.
    So Ryan if your listening I really want one of these for my birthday!
    Ryan you can find it here :)

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    LIO Post: Finding my true strength

    I have a post up on the Losing it in Ottawa blog today, this was a tough one to write.....

    In other news....I'm about to make breaky cupcakes with the kids...yes folks you heard right BREAKFAST CUPCAKES :) LOL

    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Rest days

    This is where I would like to be today, can you imagine a sweet day spent curled up in this bed with a good teen vamp book, some Starbucks, and nothing but sweet quiet time to yourself?  Since my bed doesn't look like this, and more importantly I am not going to have sweet quiet time to myself, I am dedicating this day to some rest.  I took the day off working out yesterday, even canceled a gym date with my good gym buddy.  I listened to my body and my mind for that matter and rested, and it felt GOOD! So good that I am taking today off too. I am hoping to scrapbook a little, read a bit, and maybe just maybe get a nap in.  Wishing you all a happy Sunday, hopefully with your own restful moments. 

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Eat when your hungry, stop when your full

    Eat when your hungry, stop when your full.

    Sounds pretty simple, but for many of us we lost the ability do this as children.   In the last year and a half I have gotten much better at recognizing when I am truly hungry and when I am not.  Knowing that I am not really hungry for chips, but rather something to do because I am bored, or that what I am really hungry for is a drug to calm me down after the kids push all the wrong buttons.  When I am hungry, I eat.  I try to eat nutritious food.  I try to stop when I am full.  When I am not hungry I am usually able to stave off eating....sometimes until I have convinced myself that I am really hungry and actually made my tummy rumble (oh the power of the mind).

    Lately, I find myself truly hungry much more then normal.  I am working out hard as always, but I have changed things up a bit, I am lifting heavy weights, and doing more interval training, as well as hot yoga.  All of which crank up the old metabolism.  So I have done what your supposed to do and eaten and for the most part have eaten healthy nutritious food that will help me preform better.  I've mentioned before, that one of the tools that I have been using to help me loose weight is a program called My Fitness Pal (MFP).  Basically, its an online tool where I can track calories in and calories out.  I struggled a bit with the program when I first started using it because I went to the crazy place.  I took a little break, had a stern talk with myself and was able go back to useing it with great results.  I even had Ryan using it too, for awhile.  As I get closer to my goal weight (93 pounds lost...7 to go...funny enough 158 pounds  puts me at a normal BMI) I am trying to find more balance and to ease my way into more of a 'maintenance' kind of mode.  I am relaxing on weekends, enjoying wine, and foods that are higher in calories in moderation.

    But I am increasingly beginning to think that MFP is no longer right for me, at least for now.  This past week, as I mentioned I found myself very hungry and almost every day I was at 1200 cals by 1:00 in the afternoon.  Now those 1200 cals were packed with protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and fiber (trying my best to stick to a whole foods diet).  I am fairly certain my body needed those calories, as I found myself feeling achy and twitchy even in my muscles.  Many days last week I found myself over my daily net calorie allotment, which means that I ate A LOT, as I ate all of my exercise calories and I burn on average maybe 700 cals a session depending on what I do.  Here's the problem, on those days I would go to bed and feel a wee bit guilty for going over even knowing that I was doing the right thing listening to my body.

    So I it looks like a change is needed, and yet I have come to look at MFP as a bit of a security blanket, it helps me feel in control.  I'm not sure I am ready to just go cold turkey.  I like keeping track of what I eat so I know I haven't gone completely over board, although after about 5 months of tracking what I eat I think I have a pretty good idea of what to eat and what my body needs.  I think I could fly blind if I trusted myself.  So my ultimate goal is to do just that, fly blind, listen to my body, eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full.  But I'm not quite I have an idea though, an experiment if you will.  I  am going to adjust the MFP goal to maintenance so that my net daily calorie goal is higher, and more realistic for my energy requirements.  Will give this a try and see how it goes.  After all, this all about finding what works for me on this journey to living a healthy life.  

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Strength Training

    I am finding myself very inspired by images of strong muscular women like you see here.  Inspired by new friends that are making big dreams come true! I am starting to fall in love with strength training, its no longer the dreaded, boring, but necessary evil of my workout.  I dare say I am finding myself wondering if I could indeed have a back that looked like that? HEY MAYBE?

    I spent the evening last night scouring the internet for a good strength workout to do this morning with my workout bud Jenn.  I am finding the training I received in my personal training course prepared me well for the beginner and intermediate strength training programs (think foundation, and build) and even the strength/burn workout (got that down to a science) but I am struggling with how to move into the 'STRENGTH' (advanced) program of training.

    So last night I read and I read and I learned.  I book marked exercises and articles and walked away with a good workout for today thanks to the super awesome Workout Nirvana.    I also learned that like anything you have to take what you read with a grain of salt and navigate your own way and find what will work for you.  I am excited for this next stage of training and seeing what it will bring...hopefully me pulling my own full body weight up in a pull up!

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Move More, Eat Well 2012: Big Picture Scrapbooking

     Cathy Zielske

    I am so excited to share with you a new class coming to Big Picture Scrapbooking in January 2012, Move More, Eat Well 2012 with my favorite Crazy Cat Cathy Zielske!  Cathy has been sharing her journey to a healthy self on her blog for about 2 years now.  Watching her transform into a runner, knocking out mile after mile, seeing her post a pic of herself in her first running skirt....they made this former runner, who now weighed 258 pounds and got out of breath walking up the stairs dream that she too could do this!  It was watching Cathy day after day posting her runs that got me out there!  

    But it wasn't just watching her turn into an awesome runner, it was that she was so damn REAL!  I loved that she shared her  crazy icee and gold fish cravings, that she took monthly progress pics of her self with the 'John' in the background, and that she 'struggled' just like we all do.  I have to say one of the things I am most proud of when I look back at all the posts Cathy has shared with us, is that you can see the evolution of her 'finding HER way' to a healthy self.  The title of her program used to be Move More, Eat LESS.  Notice how its changed to eat WELL?  Do you have any idea how happy that makes me?  I love that she has shared her progress with a great program like weight watchers (which I think in terms of 'programs' is one of the healthiest out there), to finding that it was no longer working for her and changing to more of a focus on eating whole foods.  She's never toted a party line, THIS IS HOW ITS DONE, she's simply shared her steps, MISSTEPS too, and with those steps she has made me laugh with her unique humour.

    Not only has she shared her journey but she has invited so many other people to share their's in the form of a little community through the comments on her blog and on Facebook.  Now she's taking that a step further with Big Picture Scrapbooking and her class Move More, Eat Well 2012.  This class will create an intimate forum for classmates to share their journey's to a healthier self, while creating and documenting the journey in an album.  Cathy will have monthly lessons, projects, and a video.  There will be some online chats with Cathy too.  For more information on the class, check out this link.  

    One other reason, I am totally stoked for this class is that I get the chance to share my own story with you in it later in the year!  How cool is that?  Do you have any idea how loudly I screamed in my kitchen when I got Cathy's message asking me to join in and share?  I swear I was hooting and hollering and crying.  The thought that someone I look up to so very much thought I was worthy of sharing my story filled me up with happiness and goosebumps!  

    So please check out the link, the class is going to be filled with inspiring women (maybe a few men too) led by one funny, real, and inspiring Cathy Z!  PS.  you don't need to be a 'scrapbooker' to take part and ENJOY this class.  The project doesn't require a bunch of fancy frufru scrapbook stuff.  I would love to see my non-scrapbook friends par take in this class (hint hint lol) as I think you will love how documenting this journey and journalling will help you along the way. 


    Friday, October 28, 2011

    The kids getting downward dog

    hahaha except the picture is of cobra :) but it doesn't have the same ring as downward dog :) LOL

    I had been looking around for yoga classes for my girls to take since we have been having so much fun playing 'yoga' at home and in the park.  Until, yesterday I had been unsuccessful in finding something close to us, and that also allowed both girls to take the class.  Then comes Exer Susie to the rescue, who just happens to be my favorite TRAINER!  She is now teaching a KIDS YOGA class at the beautiful Moksha Yoga Studio on Thursdays, and the best part is while the kids do their class I can take a hot yoga class.  Even better they have a special on right now for 30 days unlimited classes, for $50 (I still pay a $10 drop in fee per kid per class, the special is for ME).

    My girls have already gotten to know her a bit, as they have come to the Richmond Core Class that I have taken a few times with Susie.  So they will be familiar with her, and having watched Susie baby/child wrangle the kids during the class so that Mom's can keep working out I feel really good about leaving the kids in class to go sweat in my own class.

    I love the idea of the girls getting exposed to this amazing practice of exercise and well being at an early age, and well let's be frank I am really excited about MY own Hot Yoga kid free!

    Monday, October 24, 2011

    Bucket List

    This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details. 
    15.  Travel to Europe and eat my way through it enjoying the most delicious food and wine.

    14.  Watch my children grow up into beautiful and talented women

    13.  Live a long healthy life with my hubby Ryan and renew our vows and do the whole big wedding all over again with each other one day. 

    12.  Run a race in Disney Land

    11.  Go on the Disney Cruise again with the family

    10. Get our new cottage built

    9. Run a successful business that balances family life and helps other women

    8. Whiten my teeth LOL

    7.  Dress up and go to a ridiculously fancy event with Ryan

    6.  Go on a canoeing/white water/hiking some kind of crazy physical adventure somewhere cool like the rainforest.  

    5.  Write a book..even if its just for myself

    4.  Do one flipping chin up

    3. Teach a fitness class

    2.  Take cooking classes, fancy ones, with Ryan (see a general theme of get more fancy LOL)

    and wait for it, NUMBER ONE ON MY BUCKET LIST....will be taking place in MAY 2012!!!!

    1. Run a MARATHON (had one of those life chats with Ryan on the way home from Rattle Me Bones, and he said DO IT!!!)

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    New Personal Best

    I'm having a great week!  A week back at the gym after taking care of two sick kids last week and having to find ways to workout out at home.  Tuesday I worked out with two of my good friends (Jenn and Laura), we did a strength/burn workout for just over an hour trying out a bunch of crazy moves I had looked up on youtube.  I love working out with these girls, they are in top shape, push themselves hard, and enjoy a good challenge.  A challenge like pulling one another on glider discs down the hall like a horse and cart. We sweated for just over an hour, but I swear it felt more like 10 min!  We joked that we should film our own workout video for the 'real' woman, complete with pants falling down and boobs popping out while doing Burp-pees.

    Today, I hit the treadmill to put in a practice run for this Sunday's 10km Rattle Me Bones race.  Again, I was lucky to have Laura's company.  I had set a goal of trying to run the race in under 1 hour, which in all honesty is something I wouldn't have thought possible 2-3 months ago.  But for some reason or another I seem to have gained some speed, and thought it was a reasonable goal.  One problem though, the race is the day after our Halloween/International Dinner Club night and I have a feeling I may enjoy some wobbly pops.  So in the event that I am feeling 'under the weather' race day I wanted to prove to myself today that I could do 10km in under an hour.  I ran the first 5km at a 1-1.5% incline at a fast tempo, in the 2nd half I slowed down and added in some hills (a few at 3% and a few at 5% each for a minute) then picked the pace back up to finish in 58:08!  I DID IT!!!

    It was hard, but I had a secret weapon today...Laura!  Laura also recently set a goal, a goal of running her first 5km race at the resolution run on Dec 31st.  She hit the treadmill today along side me and pushed herself hard!  As we ran I couldn't help but think of the girl next to me, who 5 months or so ago said she was NOT A RUNNER.  I can't get over all that she has achieved physically in her fitness (Saunder's Fitness classes, yoga, strength training, running) and I am oh so very proud of her.  So you can see how it was hard not to give it my all, when fueled by a serious case of the goosebumps.

    Its amazing how setting a goal can empower you to push yourself, give you focus, and drive you through the tough spots.  I think its important not only to have a long term goal (like running that full marathon) but a series of smaller goals to booster you (like getting up in that spider yoga move).  I particularly, like the non weight related goals.   I like taking the focus off the scale and putting the power into something that I feel empowers me.  Getting to that one chin up, is going to require a lot of strength, and that strength is going to come from building lean muscle, and eating well.  I feel like that one chin up is going to hold a lot more value for me then a loss on the scale.

    So what's your big goal? and what are your mini goals?  Let's cheer each other on!

    Ps.  I have a crazy video up on the Losing it in Ottawa blog talking about scrapbooking and weight loss of all things :) wink

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    New post at Losing it in Ottawa

    I've got a new post up on the Losing it in Ottawa blog today, all about banishing the black and white thinking!  Its still something I struggle with but I think I have come a long way in making my world more colourful :)

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Check up and checking in

    I had my annual check up this week.  I have to admit I was pretty excited to see our family Dr. (she is awesome) and to show her how well I am doing.  I had my last physical, just after running my first 5km race and having lost a little bit of weight.  I remember how happy she was to hear and see that.  She even put an A+ in my file (for real).  You can imagine my excitement at telling her that I had run a half marathon with Ryan.  The kids came with me for the appointment, and I'm glad they did, as they got to hear us talking about being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle.  I have to say that my Dr. was beaming with joy when I told her about all the year had brought.  The best part was that other than her bringing up my BMI chart to show how much it had changed in a year (44 to 27) we didn't talk about weight.  It wasn't the weight loss that had her beaming, it was the change to our whole family's lifestyle.  We talked about Ryan and I running together, trying to eat more whole foods, cooking and baking with the kids and teaching them.  It felt so good to hear that I was doing well, setting a good example.  We even shared some laughs, telling post baby/weight loss boob jokes.  

    It also felt good to know that I am being healthy.  I am trying hard to find that balance between loosing weight, being healthy, and LIVING life.  When I was home this weekend for Thanksgiving my mom showed me a picture from when I was in high school.  She compared it to a recent picture of me, and I guess I have the 'same look' in both pictures.  Its a look in the eyes because my eyes captured the 'eye' of the camera (if that makes sense).  But by no means do I look the same physically in both pictures, I am a 109 ponds in the one from high school for heaven's sake.  But my mom was worried.  At first, I was aggravated with her and thought she was being silly.  THEN IT DAWNED ON ME....if this was Kayleigh or Kasey and I had so intimately watched them struggle with Bulimia for such a large portion of their life, I too might be worried seeing their body change so much.  I got it then, and when I got it I felt so horribly guilty for all the pain I had caused when I was younger.  I told my mom, not to worry, that I am well, that I am healthy.  She said, she knows, but that sometimes the focus on fitness and nutrition can seem obsessive.  I told her that its hard not to be 'obsessive' to some extent.  I am passionate about this, making healthy changes, eating well, and moving.  I am hooked on it like scrapbooking, and anyone that knows me knows I am 'obsessed' with scrapbooking too.  I am trying to make a career out of being a personal trainer, and with that comes a certain focus on fitness.  A little over a year ago, I was 'obsessed' with food too....I thought about what to eat and how good it would make me feel when I was stressed or bored.  I focused on food, at a size 22, a lot then too.  Food was my friend, my enemy, my personal party.  The difference now is I am trying to see food as a fuel, a way of nourishing myself and my family.  I am also trying to find the balance, where I can just eat and not be thinking about how many grams of protein this has, and what its nutritional value is, to instinctively know what it is I need.  Sometimes, that 'need' is a glass of wine and a bar of dark chocolate.  My hope is that I will be able to navigate these murky waters, and become the light house for my daughters as they grow and develop.  That my girls will have a healthy, well balanced, role model in their lives.  A mom that loves her body, jiggly bits and all, and can teach them to love themselves.  My greatest wish, is for us all to feel that way, no matter our size. 

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Menu Plan for the week

    Just a quickie post, my tummy is full of warm soothing PHO soup, and I am putting together our menu for the week.  I am trying my best to make more home cooked meals, using whole foods, and less processed stuff.  My friends on Facebook know I am pretty hit or miss in the kitchen but I figure the more practice I get the better I will do, right?  I try to get the kids to help me as much as I can.  I find if they help make it they are much more likely to eat it.

    Whole wheat biscuits and Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque

    Scrambled eggs with Feta and Spinach

    Thursday:  Individual chicken pot pies

    Friday: Protein Packed Pizza muffins with Salad

    **I like to figure the weekend out by the seat of my pants :)  really depends on what kind of mood we are in.

    In addition, to these meals I plan on making the following with the kids to have some wholesome snacks on hand.
    -our own version of cheese bread sticks, made with whole wheat flour.
    -Banana and Peanut Butter Flaxseed Cookies

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    My first Lulu :)

    Yahoo a first for me, my first Lululemon top!  I know a silly thing, a material thing, BUT for the longest time I would stare at the girls in the gym with their pretty Lulu shirts knowing one would never fit me!  Plus there is the cost of one, ouch.  But I recently discovered you can get a good deal on ebay, I got this for $30.

    So today I was feeling pretty good when I went to workout, thinking of how far I have come.  I was so happy in fact that I couldn't resist showing you the guns!  LOL   I've been working hard at building some muscle, and I am really loving how strong I feel.  (I think I may need to change my Halloween Costume to Super Girl)  Notice I showed you the right side though, my left side is much weaker as result of both an elbow and shoulder injury this year and flexing on that side isn't quite as 'impressive'.  But that side is getting stronger too, and yoga has helped a lot with that.

    To top off a great start to the day I got on the body fat scale today and have gotten to 35.8% body fat!  Remember that post about 6 months ago, when I came home crying because it was 44%.  I've been able to loose weight this past 6 months quite well, but loosing the body fat has been hard.  I was stuck at 39% for sometime.  Increasing the weight I am lifting, and tweaking my diet has helped a lot.  My goal is to get to the point where I am not medically considered overweight anymore.  That's my goal, if things continue to go well.  What I mean by that is I am happy with my current way of life, there is enough balance that I don't feel grumpy or deprived, I am healthy and fit AND HAPPY.  If the tables turn and I start to feel anything less then happy, then I think I will have to realize that this may be my 'happy' weight and I am ok with that.  Look for more on that in and upcoming Losing it in Ottawa post.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Finding ways to make the gym more interesting

    You know what? Even this gym lover gets bored!

    Yep I get bored of the routine of it all.  Like yesterday, it was my strength training day and the thought of spending 50 min lifting weights was not appealing.  Weight training doesn't give me the same 'endorphin' rush that running and other intense cardio activities do.  I have come to enjoy weight training because I can see a change in my abilities week over week and that's very motivating.  I also know that the strength training is a critical part of building lean muscle and hence loosing weight.  But some days it is still a challenge to get myself to the gym to do it.

    I've come up with a few ways to make the strength training portion of my workout more fun and thought I would share them with you.

    1. By far the best way to make it more enjoyable is do it with a friend.  I have two workout buddies that I get to train with (Jenn and Laura) and those sessions fly by with conversation and giggles.  Jenn and I have even set a goal of doing one chin up, and working on that goal helps make it more 'interesting'.

    2. As part of my training I do Strength/Burn workouts that involve doing cardio intervals in between weight exercises to keep the heart rate up (think of more of a circuit training style).  I do things like jumping rope, step ups, jump squats etc.  I find this type of work really gives me that shot of endorphins that I crave.

    3.  Look up new exercises online....keep it fresh.  Bored of the same dumbbell chest press?  Look up another exercise to work the same muscles.

    4.  Yesterday, I was desperate for something new...something to make it I downloaded some of Jillian Michaels podcasts and listened and LEARNED while I worked out.  I loved it, and the topics were very fitting (protein, workout recovery etc).

    5.  This one is a bit silly, but yesterday I noticed callouses on my hands (ok time to get some weight lifting gloves) but that made me feel 'hard core' and kind of motivated me too.  LOL.

    PS. my first 'offical' post is up at Losing it in Ottawa :)

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Some exciting news

    I have some really exciting news to share.  I am joining the Losing it in Ottawa Blog as a regular contributor!  I have been following this blog since nearly the beginning, its been part of my morning routine and if truth be known I have wanted to write for them for some time.    I can't wait to jump in and get started (insert seriously excited!).  You can check out the announcement here.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011


    I feel AWESOME! I had a great run today.  The kind of run that just lights you up inside and makes you feel like you swallowed a bottle of prozac.  I ran 8km on the treadmill, in the hill interval program (level 6).  Which means that you basically run one minute flat and then one minute on an incline.  The incline varies from 1.6 to 5%, building up and coming back down and then repeating all over again.  I love these runs, the flat incline is enough of a rest to give you the power to get up the hill.  Today I ran 7.25ish KM of the run at 6.0 mph.  I usually struggle to keep that pace on a flat run.   I seem to have gained some speed and power and am doing better than ever before. I think part of it is that I am doing more 'explosive' types of training.  Like plyometrics in the "Strength Burn" workout, intense cardio sessions like Jacob's Ladder, Body Attack and work on the treadmill.  My body is getting better at working in the anaerobic energy system.

    Usually this is the part where I say I want to bottle this feeling of AWESOMENESS up and hand it out to my friends.  But I don't think I need to.  Something is changing with the fall air, a change is coming, and people are catching on!

    Just in the last week I have had a friend join the gym, another set some serious goals, one start running again and sign up for a 5km race, another sign up for her first race ever, Laura's pushing herself harder then ever before and husband is doing his first race and a 10km at that, Jenn is running her 2nd half marathon, and thinking about a third in the next couple of months, Ryan is back on his game his knee is strong and ran 5km in 28 min today. The list goes on and on (Peggy! Alysia! Jenn. B etc)...of people out there pushing themselves to achieve things that perhaps they never thought possible.

    In the words of my favorite exercise GURU...Exer Susie!  "EVERBODY AWESOME!"

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Random Bits

    Happy Tuesday!  Thought I would update the old blog with a few random bits:

    1.  Worked on the 'SPIDER POSE' (I know that's not its official name but that's what Laura looks like when she does it! Like a girl with supernatural powers transforming into a fricken spider!)  Laura spotted me and I still couldn't get my head up off the ground.  Not giving up though, going to keep trying.

    2.  Officially Registered for the 10km race at Rattle Me Bones.  I said my goal was under 1:06 for the race. Well I am going to change that, since I ran 10km Monday, at a personal best of 1:01:40!!!!  So my new goal and I can't believe I am even saying this is under an hour!  I never would have thought that possible 2-3 months ago!
    Rattle Me Bones last year...1:09:20..I looked up my official time.  
    3.  I haven't bought a scale yet, I looked at some today at the grocery store but was too cheap to put out $50 bucks for one.  So I will wait...or rather Ryan will wait LOL.

    4.  I actually registered for a CPR course today!  Its only been on my TO DO list for a month.  Its the last part that I need to officially obtain my Personal Training Certification.  Yes I have been suffering from a serious case of the procrastinators itch.

    5.  I've been to the Athletic Club twice in the last week to workout with THREE of my old friends...kind of a little reunion in a way.  It was really cool.  

    6. Kasey and I baked CHOCOLATE CHIP BLONDIES that are HEALTHY!! They are made with chic peas of all things! 

    7.  Did a guest post over at Kids in the Capital, you can check it out here. 

    That's all she wrote!

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Are you ready?

    I wanted to share one of the many reasons why I love my husband.  Today he asked me: "Are you ready to have a scale in the house?"  You see last year, I threw our scale out.  Not because it was broken, it worked just fine but because it was driving me insane, or rather I was driving myself insane.  Now Ryan is going nuts having to weight himself at the gym, and not even always the same gym or scale.

    You know what I am ready!  I think the scale and I can be friends as long as we set up some ground rules.

    1.  Its a personal thing but I don't want to let my little girls see me weigh myself.  I don't think its wrong if they see me stand on it, if they know that the scale measures how much someone weighs.  Its just that for me and with 'my history' I would rather they not see me weigh myself and I don't want them to ever hear me talk about being fat or loosing weight or any of that nonsense.

    2.  No more than one weighing a day!  Non of this bouncing on and off the scale dancing through out the day.

    3.  If at any point the scale makes me feel less then worthy of AWESOME...I get to kick its metal ass!  and I take a break from it.

    4.  I remember always that it is just a number and a number that can change so easily with water retention, 'a big fat poo', the time of day...etc....I remember its JUST A NUMBER even when I like the number :)

    So in non scale victories (I love these), I have one to share.  Getting ready for church yesterday, I thought for 'fun' I would try on a skirt that my friend Gwen had given me.  It's a size 10 and didn't fit 3 weeks ago (could not even begin to get the zipper up).  Guess what it FITS!  and I love it.   I love wearing skirts, I had forgotten how much I like them.  I felt so girly and airy (yep nice fall breeze LOL). I couldn't resist getting this silly picture taken.
    You know I really need some new shoes....

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Now what?

    I started this week off feeling a little lost, with the completion of a year long goal, the Army Run Half Marathon.  When people asked me about the race at the gym I got all teary talking about it, and even made someone else tear up (drag them down with me I say!).  I guess I was still feeling pretty emotional about it all.  Mid week, I felt 'free'.  I felt free of a training plan and decided to have some fun this week working out and to change it up.  Wednesday the kids and I drove out to Richmond to take a CORE class with one of my favorite trainers EXER SUSIE.  I wasn't disappointed and let me tell you my abs still ache. That night I suggested in a spur of the moment way that Ryan and I go hit a spin class at the gym.  The two of us haven't been on a spin bike in months, and I was worried it would kick our butts.  But I was surprised to find that I needed to keep cranking up the tension to get to the breathless point.  The music in the class was awesome and took me right back to my 20's!  I felt on fire.  We left the gym sweaty, and full of endorphins.  Thursday morning, I took a killer cardio class called BODY ATTACK with my gym rat Laura.  I loved the class, and the instructor was awesome and not just because she brought homemade Date Nuggets to share. This morning I am headed to my favorite Yoga class and then meeting my good friends Mellisa, Stephanie and Tanya, at the Athletic Club this afternoon to try out a new class.  It feels great to mix it up and have some fun....BUT...I miss having a goal.  A goal drives me, empowers me, keeps me on track.  

    So its time to set some new goals!

    Short Term Goals:

    1.  Ryan and I are going to run the 10km at Rattle Me Bones at the end of October.  Last year I ran it in 1hr and 14 min I think.  I would like to run it in under 1hr 6min this year.  So next week I will be back into my running shoes and working on that. 

    2.  My friend Jenn and I have a goal of doing ONE CHIN UP.  Our plan is to use the chin assist machine and keep using more of our body weight till we can do one without help.   We will have our cameras ready to capture it before we collapse. 

    3.  Strength training 3 times a week from 2.  I want to build more muscle and work on some definition in my muscles.  Which also means eating well to build some muscle in the kitchen.  

    4.  I want to do this yoga pose.  (right now I can't get my head up off the ground) 

    Long Term Goals:

    1.  To launch my own personal training business geared at helping moms like me.  I need to stop procrastinating, build some confidence and can do attitude and GET IT DONE! 

    2. Run a FULL MARATHON....don't know when, but since its been on my dream list since high school and I did half of one...I think I had better make this one happen!