Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sick, tired, but still losing

It's been a long time since I've blogged here, and a few friends have "questioned" whether I'm still committed to the goal of losing 50 (or more) pounds this year.

I am.

The last two to three weeks have just been tough.

I'm not the kind of person that easily succumbs to illness, but a flu-turned-cold-turned-really-bad-cough left me bedridden for almost a week, and even now, exertion beyond mild walking sends me into a coughing frenzy. Needless to say, I haven't been hanging out at the gym, dance studio, or pool.

I miss it. Big time.

But I also - after many years of pushing too hard - have learned that getting healthy needs to be priority. Work is crazy busy, I have a number of fun side projects on the go, and I'm on a super tight deadline for my novel. None of that stuff was tackled while I was sick. And, aside from two loaves of banana bread, I haven't been holding up my end of the deal on the domestic side of life.

Understandably, I hesitated before stepping on the scale this morning. Surely I'd gained back the 15 pounds I'd lost, right?

Wrong. I weighed in at 188, which means I've lost 17 pounds since January 1, 2011.

The relief almost sent me straight to the gym for spin class.


I'm spending the weekend working on writing and editing, hanging out with my family, catching up on laundry, cleaning and baking, and hopefully by Monday, the gym won't look so daunting. I doubt I'll be running 5 km yet (though I need to get training for a race my dear friend Cristy and I are doing at the end of April), and I can't see myself enduring Salsa Burn and Fit Hop in the same night - but I am going to start eating properly again, and ease into a work-out schedule that allows me to heal.

I know, that sounds logical. But for me, it represents tremendous growth because even last year, this "pause" in the regime would have sent me back to square one. I admit, the loss on the scale is the majority of that inspiration - but I refuse to beat myself up over that.

17 pounds is pretty darn good in two and a half months.

Now let's see if I can shed another 5 before Sue and I head to Vegas next month.

- Dawn

Current weight: 188
Goal Weight: 150

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Yo-yo, YO dance, I'm missing you

My eating habits this past week and a half are about as up and down as a yo-yo. One minute I'm overdosing on carrot sticks and hummus, and the next I'm begging for just one more bite of handsome husband's pink sea salt vanilla caramel chocolates. (No, seriously, they were amazing!)

Same goes for working out. One day I'm sandwiching a 5 km run between pilates and spin class, and the next, I'm sprawled out on the couch enjoying a Supernatural marathon. (No, seriously, Sam and Dean are amazing!)

So it isn't surprising that when I stepped on the scale Sunday (Feb 13), I was down only half a pound.

On the one hand, I'm grinning - that's 15 pounds since January 1, 2011. I feel different - more confident, less lazy. Happier. Lighter. Full of energy and enthusiasm...for the most part.

But then there's days, like today, where the thought of that 5 km fills me with the kind of fear reserved usually for front row stints at J'Adore Dance. I'm actually blaming Jessica and her team (in jest) for my enthusiasm slump.

I love spin class, and when the instructor is right and the music is right, I can leave class a sweaty, happy mess. But often the tunes are weak, and the teacher isn't helping me through the end-of-day sluggish feeling. I also LOVE to run - and as I increase my mileage and speed, I feel stronger and closer to the adrenaline high I covet. Not to mention the new Nikes hubby promised if I stick to my goals...

But neither of those activities - as awesome as they are - give me the same satisfaction as dance. It doesn't matter that I am way more comfortable on the treadmill than I am on the dance floor, or that the mirrors in the studio add ten pounds to my already large-ish frame.

It's the atmosphere I'm addicted to - a place where the instructors always smile, and I never question the choice of music, even during Dance Quickie country week.

By the time I get back to dance next Tuesday, I'll have missed TWO weeks of Fit Hop, Salsa Burn, Dance Quickies and Naughty Hotties. Admittedly, the first week was my fault - too much on the go. But J'Adore took a well-deserved hiatus this week and I'm suffering dance withdrawal.

I'm also off routine.

For all of January I made lunches ripe with pre-cut veggies and cute little packages of red pepper hummus. I shied clear of cookies, chocolate, high-fat foods... But since I've been dancing less, I've been slack on food choices. Coincidence?

Perhaps...but I am vowing to change that. Tonight I'm cutting up the broccoli and caulifower hiding in the back of my fridge, and hauling out the Dance Central game on my XBox Kinect. It's not J'Adore, but if I can convince my husband to hang out in the basement with me, I'll even brave the front row...tee hee.

Honestly? I'm REALLY looking forward to going back to dance. You win,'ve converted me. xo

Current weight: 190
Goal Weight: 150

- Dawn

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hung over...?

I didn't have a single drink during yesterday's Superbowl game, yet this morning - and late into the afternoon - I feel almost...hung over.

Could I be nursing the after-effects of an overindulgence of food?

My head hurts, and I feel lethargic. My eyes are slightly blurred and I can't focus...on reading, writing, or even conversation. I spent the weekend at WordsWorth with a group of talented young (and adult) writers, where my biggest burst of energy was spent during a half-hour walk through ice-covered paths. Camp food is good, but not known for its health properties, and the evening snacks of fruit-filled tarts, cookies, and decadent hot chocolate did little to sway me from temptation. (Marshmallows AND sprinkles? Who has that kind of willpower?)

In fact, between two days of camp fare, a fabulous dinner that included white chocolate brownie for dessert, and an epic gorging of Superbowl snack foods yesterday, I can feel my body bloating - and complaining. What happened to my healthy regime of fresh fruits and vegetables? Why couldn't I resist the sweets?

I wasn't able to step on the scale on my official weigh-in day (I'd already packed everything but the kitchen sink) so I did so this morning. Not surprisingly, I lost only half a pound this week.

I'm not beating myself up over that, because truth be told, I kind of needed the break. I woke up this morning committed to getting back on track, and planned my meals with health in mind. A Wednesday board meeting means missing dance, but the rest of the week is filled with activity, starting with Spin tonight.

Now to indulge in a nap to take the edge off this afternoon's lingering hang over.

Current weight: 190.5
Target weight: 150

- Dawn

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ice, ice baby (I need some)

I love Fit Hop, honestly, I do but Jessica's Old School Fit Hop routine last night just about did me in. 

I don't have the energy to even talk about the puddles of sweat pouring off my body, or how I crawled out of bed cursing Jessica and her damn "running man" moves. 

But I did wake up singing Vanilla Ice... 

Forgive my cheesy rendition of an old classic (jump back!), but I think it about sums up how I feel this morning.

*clears throat*

Ice ice baby
(I need some) ice ice baby

All right, stop, my body says listen
My knee is throbbing with absolute conviction
Something in my abs is knotted up tight
Ribs are bruised like I got in a fight
Will it ever stop, yo! not a chance
As long as I’m fit hopping at J’Adore Dance
To the extreme I bust moves like a vandal
Now I’m so tired, I’m blown out like a candle
Love it or leave it, I’m losing lots of weight
Even when I miss the bull’s eye steps, and just play
If there’s a problem, Yo! J’Adore will solve it
Check out my “What?” while Jessica revolves it

Ice, ice baby
(I need some) ice ice baby

This morning my body is jumping
With adrenaline kicked in, my heartbeat is pumping
Quick to the point, most of the moves I’m faking
Cuz Sunday morning I want a pound of bacon
Sweating on the dance floor, though I’m not so nimble
I go back in time when I hear a cymbal
Old school hip hop  beats with a souped up tempo
I’m on a roll, think it’s time to go solo
(Just kidding!)

Ice, ice baby
(I need some) ice ice baby

Current weight: 191
Target weight: 150

- Dawn

PS - this was me in high school, when Vanilla Ice was cool. Note: I have the BIGGEST hair and the rocking Miami Dolphons jacket with the hoop earrings. HAWT. (Stop laughing!)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Colour me shocked

I'll be honest. I didn't expect the scale to move this week.

A mid-week breakdown, and two cheat days - like, serious cheat days - had me convinced I'd gained back half the weight I've lost since January 1, 2011.

I think my handsome hubby thought that as well - or worse - when he heard my scream from the bathroom Sunday morning. I lost three pounds this week!

Which brings my month loss to 13.

I'm pretty happy about that.

Although it was a busy week, Karen and I managed to tackle a number of activities, including two spin classes at the rec centre, and two dance classes at J'Adore Dance.

But this week, I also reconnected with running. Knowing my tendency to push things too far, I'm starting out slow, working on walk / run splits, and gradually increasing my time, distance and speed. This week, I brought myself up to 35 minutes, with a top distance of 3.7 km.

I wanted to work out more. I slept through aquasize, missed racquetball, didn't even turn on the Kinect until Sunday night, and blew off three dance sessions to meet my cousin and her new baby at the airport for a brief layover. So worth it.

Balance, right?

I'm gearing up for another hectic week - though nothing that *should* interfere with my exercise schedule - and am already excited about spin tonight. As my friend Jessica made me promise, I've stocked my fridge with healthy treats so I won't skip dinner before going to her classes at J'Adore. I won't over exert myself this week (promise!), but I am going to keep pushing.

Because, you know what? I like this feeling. I like:

  • Trying on bathing suits and finding one that I actually love
  • Playing Kinect with my stepdaughter and NOT cringing at the playback images
  • Grabbing the first thing in my closet and having it fit - perfectly
  • Doing laundry and NOT being panicked about whether the dryer will shrink my pants / shirts
  • Shopping in stores I've never been able to shop in before (like BENCH)
  • Feeling an increase in energy
  • Filling the bath tub with far less bubbles to hide myself
  • A smoother complexion, brighter eyes, naturally rosier cheeks
  • Wearing clothes other than sweats - and heels!
  • Smiling a lot more
  • Knowing that with 13 pounds down, I am THAT much closer to my goal of 50 pounds this year - and the number doesn't scare me anymore
Karen and I have renewed our passes at the gym (yay for Spin!), we're ready for a full slate of dance classes, and I'm hoping to run 4 km this week. Maybe twice. I'm extremely proud of us :-)

Current weight: 192
Goal weight: 145

- Dawn

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cupcake sweetness is my weakness

I always thought chocolate was the worst of my personal diet sabotages. Turns out, cupcakes are the real culprit.

To celebrate the completion of the children's book that launches this Wednesday, and for a board meeting that never materialized, I made lemon cupcakes with canola-yellow cream cheese whipped frosting.

At 160 calories each, I knew I couldn't have more than one if I wanted to keep it real. But I figured I'd covered myself. I sent a dozen with handsome hubby for the work crew, and put five aside for my stepdaughter for her lunch (they are her favourite), and took the rest for my board.

But then the meeting was cancelled...and I had almost a dozen cupcakes wafting their sweetness throughout my small cubicle office. Who can resist that?

I've never met a cupcake I didn't love, but these cupcakes were almost perfect. And so I ate...six. Not in one sitting, of course. Though one day I ate three...right after another. Sigh.

Still, I lost a pound, rounding off my first 10-pound loss of this fitness quest. One fifth of the way - and what a difference it has made. No, seriously. I didn't realize how much lighter I would feel after even 10 pounds.

I didn't make it to dance Tuesday, and missed Dance Quickie on Wednesday, and took a day off on Thursday to watch my stepdaughter's first stage performance. Which meant I worked out like less of a fiend. I managed to cram in two spin classes, two racquetball games, two dance classes at J'Adore Dance, one aquasize class, a 3 km treadmill run, and a session on my XBox Kinect with Jillian Michaels.
Not bad.

This week promises to be as - if not more - busy and so I've stocked my fridge with healthy snacks, scheduled my workouts, and told my hubby I'd bake him whatever he long as it wasn't cupcakes. My willpower can only be tested so much.

Have a great week!

Current weight: 195
Goal Weight: 150

- Dawn

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Power of One Word

I know it's been two weeks since I have written a blog.  I'm very sorry to all readers, but life has gotten in my way.  With four kids there is much "me" time in my house.

Although..I have found time for dance at Jadore Dance, Spin classes, and other fitness pursuits.  This is something I will make time for, no matter what.

The title of this blog refers to the word "What!".  I know it seems like a silly thing, but it is amazing how much confidence and power you feel when your shouting it to yourself in the wall to wall mirror at Jadore Dance.  The step they use to do this is called "The Rocker Step".  This is a simple step where you rock back and forth from one foot to the other, kind of like a pendulum (but your going forward and back, not side to side).  As you rock forward, you spread your arms, so you look like a bad-ass gangster type of rapper, and say What?!.  Again, I know it sounds ridiculous, but honestly the kick it gives you in the "mental rear" is amazing.  Your confidence soars, and you will keep trying to make yourself look all bad when you're doing the move (oh and there's the always amusing "Uh" sound you make when your rock backwards).  You will laugh, and smile at yourself doing Fit Hop, even when your trying your damnedest to look "bad ass"

Then there is the teacher of Fit Hop, Jessica.  This woman is so amazing.  I can't tell you how much I really look up to her.  She is a woman who has children, runs her own business (she owns Jadore), shakes her tush like Beyonce, and has a heart of gold.   Never have I been to a dance studio (honestly it did happen a couple times) and had the teacher come to the front of the class and tell you "If you can't do it, do what you can". Me being the bumbling clutz I am, those words were like gold to me.  I felt some confidence in the beginning and now I (although still not good with all the moves) can walk into that studio and know I may not be able to do all the moves just like her, but hey, THAT'S OK!   Fit Hop is an amazing class, and Jessica an amazing teacher.

Naughty Hotties is another course I am taking. This course is not as intense as Fit Hop, but it is still a workout.  This course is to find your "inner stripper" :)  Actually that is one of the conditions of the course, you need to find your stripper, as I am a lover of  dead things, blood, zombies and such,  I chose my stripper name to be the Gothic Godiva. :)

Deanne is the teacher of this course, and she is amazing as well.  She has a way of making the women in this course bring out their inner naughtiness, and for one hour become that stripper we all wanted to be at some time in our lives (ok maybe not a stripper, but you know what I'm talking about).   She flows smoothly like water on the floor, her body like a rippling wave.  I honestly try to be like Deanne, but damn it, it's a hard road to follow, so to say.  :)

The use of humor to lighten the feelings of awkwardness is one of her tricks and she does it very well.  Actually right now I am smiling as I think about painting a line on the floor with a very long paintbrush...I'll just leave that one to the imagination....I love that Deanne says things like "Women should use their curves"  and "Ample hips are a good thing".  And then there is her little mental vacation when she is talking about Christian Bale....again I am smiling.   She makes me WANT to shake my booty, and paint that line on the floor even though I am not as graceful as her.

Now that I have spent two weeks with them, I respect, admire and love them (in a totally non-sexual way) LOL!  They have brought out a part of me, I never knew was there.

Ok, I think I've said all I wanted to say about my dancing exploits.

Last Saturday when I weighed myself, I had lost half a pound (yay?!).  I weighed myself yesterday and I had gained a 1.5 pounds back! GASP!  I have no idea what went wrong?!  Probably nothing, I could be gaining muscle, or retaining water...or this...or that...or it could be the baclava my next door neighbor brought over as a thank you for shoveling her walk (Damn her!!!  *shakes fist*).  She is an elderly lady, who is always baking and/or buying things as a way to say thank-you for the family shoveling her walk, mowing her lawn etc. etc.  She's sweet yes, but not as sweet as that bloody baclava..(still shaking my fist). Anyway life goes on and so will my quest for 50 lbs in 2011!  Weigh in day is tomorrow, so I'll let you know how it goes.

The picture I used for this blog doesn't really portray my feelings of confidence and sexiness Jessica, Leisa and Deanne make me feel , but damnit!  It's freaking cute!!!