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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Part #4

I’m one of those gung ho people.  So when I get into something I usually want to go balls out.  I have to be careful not to overtrain or over tax myself.  I have a hard time saying no when yet another committee would like my help.  It’s in my blood.

I come from a long generation of women doers.  My mom can’t sit still, her 80 year old mother can’t sit still and my great grandmother lived til 99 having never stopped going either.

Part of this struggle with this over enthusiasm is finding balance!  Learning to relax and take time to smell the roses.  After 4 years of literally running my ass off, fundraising, being a career woman, volunteering etc., I was starting to get burnt out and my fiancé was getting tired of only having a partner between 10pm and 6am.

I had some decisions to make.  Injury had already decided to end my running streak and I was about to make a ballsy career move.  I was going to give up a job I loved (but was really burning me out) and take a quieter job, close to home job working with my fiancé at his family business.  It was a win win situation, I would have less stress, work closer to home and be able to spend more time with the man I loved and together we could build our future.

I was a little lost as first with all the spare time and I was depressed from being physically run down (both from running injury and just general fatigue).  What made me feel worse was, I was injured and my fiancé started running and was getting in the best shape of his life.  I was insanely jealous!

It was time for me to stop feeling sorry for myself for not being able to run.   It was time for me to accept that maybe running was just not for me and I would have to find another athletic activity to focus on.  So I thought of what other activities I enjoyed the most and I immediately thought of dance.  First step, I signed up for highland dance lessons in the fall!

Second step, get into the gym, but not like I had done before with no direction, It was time to get serious.

Why did I suddenly want to get serious in the gym? 1. I had seen some breathtaking photos of a girl I knew in highschool who had completely transformed her body and now was a fitness rock star (p.s. She was second at the CBBF National Competition last year, holy crap that’s awesome) and 2. This same girl introduced me to Tosca Reno and Oxygen magazine.  Both made me for the first time in my life accept Clean Eating as a long term lifestyle and seeing all of the strong healthy looking women in the magazine inspired me so much.  I wanted so much to be physically strong!  If she could do it, I could right?  I sure was going to try.

Since then the idea has never left this brain it has just consumed me ever since.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Blast from the Past – Part 3

The Finish Line in Iceland

The Finish Line in Iceland 2006

This is the part of the story where things really start to get amazing.

So I started going to the gym for the first time in my life to lose the weight from my “I just quit smoking cookie eating spree.”  I had no idea what I was doing.  But everyone starts somewhere and like most women I started with the cardio room.

It’s in the cardio room where my obsession with running began.  It all started with speed walking for an hour.  This lead to run/walk intervals and eventually blossomed into 1 – 1 1/2 hour sessions on the treadmill.

Every week I wanted to go longer and farther.

My boyfriend (now husband) had a friend name Neil that was a gifted runner and when he heard I was spending so much time on the treadmill he couldn’t believe it.  He convinced me that treadmill running was boring and what I really need to do was to try and run outside, it was far better and he was right.  Once I stepped outside, I was never able to spend that much time on a cardio machine indoors ever again.  But first I got a dose of reality, my 10k – 16k on the treadmill did not equate to what it felt like to run outside on concrete.  I distinctly remember our first run together.  We were going to run 5k, I managed to run the first half, the second half of the run was a combo of running and walking, I was panting like a dog and taken aback (I thought I was in better shape than this).  I was disappointed, but determined to overcome this hurdle.

The next time I did 5k after that, I ran the whole way.  I was so happy with myself, that the next week I ran 7km outside until finally I wanted to take this new hobby further.

Neil had mentioned a 20 mile race that was happening in town.  It could be done as a relay and I wanted to do it.  I was already training 5 days a week and I was really ready to become a runner.  I had never run ten miles before, I had no idea that people should follow a training program to run ten miles.  All I had done to prepare was run an hour everyday.  Was this the smartest way to ease into ten miles, probably not.  But I did the best with what I knew at the time.  I didn’t know about proper fuel, proper running shoes, chafing and all of the other strange issues that come up with long distance running.  But I was daring to go where I had never gone before.

Race day came, the longest distance I had run was 13km and I was about the run 16.  My goal was to finish.  I was going to pace myself, focus on my breathing and cross that finish line.  To my suprise I did it!  I pushed through the tough parts like a trooper and I even had enough gas to sprint across the finish line.  I was on cloud nine!

At the awards ceremony there was a booth for Team Diabetes Canada.  A program where one would fundraising $61000 for the Canadian Diabetes Association for diabetes research, education and advocacy and take on the challenge of running or walking a marathon in an exotic location.  I had seen the posters for this at the gym, I had looked at them, but never thought it was something I could do.  But since I had started to be in the business of taking risks lately, I grabbed a pamphlet, went home and next thing I knew I was signed up to run my first marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland and I was going to raise $6,100.  How was I going to explain this to my family 😛  Certainly they were going to think I was crazy.

Training for this event reminds me so much of how I feel about contest prep right now.  The excitement, the nervousness, the fear, the doubt, the pride, the hunger for knowledge, the unknown!

I was such a melting pot of feelings and emotions.  Every long run I completed over the 16 week training period was a new challenge.  With every increase in mileage, I wondered, “Can I do it?”  and every week I got all my miles in.  It was hard, but I always finished and the pride that came with accomplishing each new goal only pushed me to want to achieve more.  It was wonderful.

Before I knew it the money was raised and I was on my way, by myself (ack!) to Iceland.  Nobody from my home town was going with me.  All I had to accompany me on my journey (before I met the rest of the team in Iceland) were stories from the people in my hometown that has done this race.  Everyone who had run this marathon told me about this thing called “The Wall” dun, dun, dun.  Apparently the wall can hit around mile 20, apparently it is the worse feeling ever and it makes you want to scream, cry, quit.  I was scared, would I hit the wall? would I have the strength to get through it?

I was a nervous wreck from the moment I landed the in the beautiful country of Iceland until race day morning. While I took in the gorgeous views and breathtaking scenery, “the wall” was always at the back of my mind. Apparently the part of the course where the wall is most likely to hit is a small, desolate, peninsula where you can see large oil tankers offshore.  It was located 10k out from the finish line.  Being the classy lady that I am, it was my goal to see those tankers and give them the finger!  That’s right you read that correctly.  Despite my fear, I was going to tell myself the whole 26.2 miles to finish smiling and give the wall the finger.

Race day was a combination of trails and tribulations! but it was an absolute success and one of the proudest days of my life.  A number of things occurred during and after that race that will always be with me.  Memories and moment that would make me the person I am today and determine my transition from runner to aspiring figure competitor:

  • I had fun and interesting conversations with people from all over the world.  Including an 80 year old Icelandic man that was running the full marathon.  This might have never happened had my ipod not died at mile 3.  I’m so happy it died!
  • I turned over on my ankle and fell around mile 19.  Good News, I was so full of adrenaline it felt like nothing and I completed the race pain free.  Bad News, I had sprained my ankle and hours later my ankle swelled up.  This ankle injury was the beginning of many running injuries to follow.
  • I passed those oil tankers feeling like a million bucks, in fact I felt so good I gave them the finger, took my photo by them smiling and then speed up towards the finish line.
  • I sprinted across the finish line with the biggest smile on my face!
  • I wore my finishers medal everywhere for the rest of the day!
  • As a result of my enthusiasm I would obtain a job as the Team Diabetes Coordinator for North West Ontario and help others complete their dream of running a marathon!
  • I would star in a National Commercial for Team Diabetes (me a role model, seriously?)
  • I would fundraising an a total of  $25,800 over the next three years and run 2 more marathons and walk 1 half marathon.
  • I would struggle with illiotibial band syndrome for a few years before I would decide to finally stop running and let my body heal (my physio and gym owner tried to tell me this for years, but I refused to listen :D).
  • I would struggle with a bit of depression as a result of loosing my favourite hobby, but eventually get tired of the weight gain that ensued and get my booty to back to the gym again and fall in love with weight training!  Leading to Part 4 – Last Year and the decision to compete!
 
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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Paleo Days 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13

So far Paleo eating has been ok.  I’m starting to get a little bored of what I’ve been eating, but that has been my fault.  I’ve been too busy to get my booty in the kitchen and experiment with new recipes.  Also, I’ve been fighting cravings for fruit and chocolate in the evening.  I’m looking foward to Day 30 being over so I can indulge in some Paleo friendly chocolate.

Paleo Day 9
M1: 3 eggs whole with fried bananas in coconut oil and a little bit of maple syrup
M2: blanking
M3: blanking
M4: blanking
M5: Ribeye Steak with Broccoli
M6: Sockeye Salmon and pickles

Paleo Day 10
M1: Ambrosia Salad with 4 eggs (2 yolk)
M2: tuna with salsa and carrots
M3: tuna, salsa and avocado
M4: tuna, salsa and avocado
M5: Pork rinds, these are within the Paleo diet parameters, but totally disgusting.  I will most likely never eat them again.

Paleo Day 11
M1: 1 bowl of strawberries and 4 eggs (2 yolk)
M2: lettuce with balsamic vinegar and moose meat jerky
M3: Moose meat jerky and pumpkin seeds
M4: Chicken breast on a bed of avocado, cucumber, lettuce and toasted black sesame seeds with rice vinegar and soy sauce.
M5: Chicken breaded with pinenuts and sunflower seeds dipped in dijon mustard. It took everything in me not to add honey

Paleo Day 12
M1: Bacon and eggs (2 whole eggs) 😀
M2: 1 cup of blueberries and chicken breaded in pinenut and seeds.
M3: chicken bites with salsa and avocado
M4: chicken bites with salsa and avocado  as well as oven roasted parsnips and carrots with homemade mayo.
M5: egg salad on a bed of lettuce (3 hard boiled eggs with Paleo mayo [oil, egg, dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar])
M6: pulled pork

Paleo Day 13
M1: chicken bites
M2: pineapple with coconut milk and chicken bites
M3: iceburg lettuce with pulled pork
M4: Pulled pork and oven roasted cauliflower with olive oil and pepper
M5: 2 Whole Eggs with pulled pork and avocado
M6: Avocado, salsa and cauliflower

Getting excited for Paleo day 14 because I get to measure and see what my progress has been, if there has been any. I’m hoping to see some fat loss on my waist line, even if it’s 1/2 and inch or less.   At the same time I don’t want to get discouraged if no fat has been lost because it has only been two weeks

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Blast from the Past Part 2

There was a time in my life when I thought I didn’t deserve happiness (for a multitude of reasons).  I felt like the cards were dealt and I just had to deal with it.  I let my fears and anxieties control what I did and I over-analyzed everything to the point of death.  Thankfully one day I woke up and realized I couldn’t live in fear and worthlessness anymore.   I was allowing silly fears to hold me back and I was destined for more. It had to stop.

Stealing a title from a book, I started to feel the fear and do it anyway.  It was at that point in my life when I made a promise to myself, a promised that I would never allow anyone to make me compromise my values, goals or dreams (not anybody, not me, not my fear).  Here are some of the wonderful things that happened as a result of me giving my fear the finger (you know what finger, the middle one 🙂 )

  • Registered for ballet classes at 21.  Yes, after all these years, I had alway regretted dropping out of dance because of my fear of the stage.   Enough was enough I signed up for 2 ballet classes a week and got up on the stage for recital with girls half my aged and rocked it.
  • Trying Strange Foods: I started to have the attitude that you should try everything at least once.  Now I’m a trying new food connessieur.
  • Public Speaking: my first test being my maid of honour speech at my sister’s wedding.  I joined toastmaster’s to help me ease into public speaking and contrary to my previous fears, nobody laughed at me, I didn’t pass out or spontaneously combust and surprisingly everyone enjoyed it.  Including my sister who cried and never cries.  Mission accomplished.
  • Met the Man of my Dreams (who I married last year and someone I also might mention was the hottest guy in my college program *score*). Someone who loves and accepts me for who I am, helps me to accomplish all of my crazy goals in this life and supports me everyday.  He even accepts that I put my goals above housework, thankfully he always picks up the slack.  I love you babes and thank you for putting up with me.

    The most remarkable thing you can do in this life anything else is to let go of fear and never let it take you prisoner.  The fear and doubt is always there, but the key is whether or not you allow it to stop you from accomplishing your dreams.  Start dreaming ladies…because Part 3 is where I face my fear of the gym.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Blast from the Past – Part 1

Inspired by Donloree Huffman’s last post, I too am going to pay omage how far I’ve come.  Maybe I should start by telling my story:

I was never an athletic child.  While I enjoyed running and swimming I was always clumsy, therefore I was never your ideal athlete.  I was an indoor child, who was quiet, shy and happy to sit in a corner with my crayons for hours on end.

As a child I took dance classes, but they never lasted for more than a year because once I was made to stand on stage in front of 3000 parents at our community auditorium I would beg my parents to never make me go back, as much as I loved dance I never wanted to face the terror of putting myself out there like that again.

In junior high, I tried out for all of the sports teams, I never qualified for any of them.  In fact I vividly remember the phys ed “tests” where your mark was how many baskets you could get out of 10.  Due to my lack of coordination I always had marks that were just above passing, I guess they can’t fail you when you show up!  Not exactly the kind of experience that would encourage you into athletics.

Fast forward through high school where I hung out with the artsy crowd and picked up smoking. This was an awkward period, I was confident with talents and intellect, but struggled with my body image.  I focussed on my artistic talents and drive to become involved within the arts community and I took various leadership courses.

In 2005 I met my fiance.  We were in college together and after a year of never talking to each other we finally were put in the same class and had some social interaction.  I vividly remember going to a pub called Madhouse with the class, I was smoking and having drink, my fiance to be, had just quit smoking and I was so proud of his strength (being in this atmosphere and not wanting a puff).  The summer came and I was getting ready to work my butt off to pay for tuition when I realized that working more than full time over the summer was not going to earn me enough money to pay for school in the fall.  How was I going to afford to go back?  Where had all my money gone?  After some evaluation I realized that I was spending a significant amount of money every year on cigarettes and if I was ever struggling for cash it was smoking that I had to blame.  At the time I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, a pack of cigarettes cost $9, $9 x 365 = $3285.00 and my tuition was $4,500.  I knew then and there that if I was going to school in the fall, I was going to have to quit smoking in order to afford it and so the non stop cookie making, junk food eating began, which after some weight gain resulted in me getting my butt to the gym for the very first time in my life.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I went!  To be continued 😀

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Paleo Day 7 & 8

So week one is over and I’m feeling great (other than the one meltdown I had over wanting to eat seeds last week, when I was 45km from the closest grocery store with only greens and meat to soothe me).  I’m delightfully adjusted to Paleo eating and already beginning to wonder if I should just starting purging the non Paleo foods from my cupboards.  Originally I starting this 30 day Paleo trial as an experiment.  A fat loss experiment for my first Fitness Model competition.  I had no idea if I would want to adopt this as a lifestyle at the time I had just considered it as a pre competition method.  But the more I delve into Fitness the more I think, after this is all said in done maybe I should keep on the path.  But honestly once you start going without a lot of foods, sometimes you don’t miss them.  I rarely crave pasta anymore because it makes me feel so awful, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready to give up sushi and gingersnap cookies at Christmas.

Paleo Day 7:
M1: A little piece of heaven aka Ambrosia salad: carrots, raisins, coconut milk, coconut and crush strained pineapple & chicken breast
M2: chicken breast with greens and balsamic
M3: chicken breast
M4: 4 eggs (2 yolk) with spinach and salsa
M5: tuna with 1/2 an avocado and salsa
M6: sockeye salmon with pickles

Paleo Day 8
M1: A little piece of heaven aka Ambrosia salad: carrots, raisins, coconut milk, coconut and crush strained pineapple & a pork chop (loin)
M2: pork chop (loin)
M3: parsnip fries in pumpkin butter & pork chop
M4: pork chop and carrots
M5: tuna, salsa and half an avocado
M6: big greens salad with cucumber and 1/2 an avocado.  Dressing was rice vinegar and tamari.  With a handful of pumpkin seeds and 3 hard boiled eggs.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

A Little Piece of Heaven

My ladies, I have a very special treat to share with you this morning.

Last night in my funk I made myself a very tasty treat for this morning’s breakfast.  I’m going to share this recipe with you because it has truely changed my life.

Paleo Ambrosia Salad
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup of shredded or julienned carrots
1/4 c of raisins

=

Heaven!  This breakfast brought me to a white sand beach in Hawaii.  It washed away all my paleo diet grumpies!  Paleo Week 1 down, 4 more to go!  Don’t worry ladies, I didn’t forget my protein!

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Uncategorized