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!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yo, LIESA! My abs are talking to YOU!

Obviously not MY abs....but you're welcome.    
Somewhere beneath 40-ish pounds of fat, my six-pack is screaming at LIESA.

J'Adore Dance's Fit Hop Queen, JESSICA was sick last night, so the torture torch was passed on to Liesa.

With only eight hours of sleep under my belt in two days, I admit, I felt a little relief about the instructor change. Surely the former ballerina wouldn't intimidate my hip hop style, right?


So, so, wrong.

I can still hear Liesa's sweet voice telling a full class of women - and one random guy (Hi, Erik!) - that we'd have to help her get her "funk on." Even through the warm up she led me into a false sense of security: No problem, I thought. I can DO this.

Or not.

Liesa called her class Fit Hop Abs. When I woke up this morning, I was calling it - and her - by a variety of different names. Now that I've popped a couple Advil and am comfortably seated at my desk, I'm far less hostile.

And actually, somewhat appreciative. (*shhhh*)

In my aggressive (obsessive?) workout schedule, I haven't specifically targeted my abs. I understand that choosing lower fat foods, cutting back on sodium, and doing a variety of cardio-inspired activities will naturally shave the pounds off my belly. But for what my stepdaughter would deem "ABS!", II'll eventually have to kick things up a notch.

Last night, we "popped" it to the front, the left, the right - a seemingly endless string of upright abdominal crunches. And just when I thought there might be a break in the action, Liesa added a new ab-challenging move. And then another... until after almost an hour I was ready to beg for mercy.

I didn't, though.

#1 - how embarrassing to grovel, right?

#2 - I recognized the routine from Jessica's Fit Hop session last season and...I DID the steps. Not perfectly. God, no. I'm a long way from being a Fit Hop diva. But, I know I was doing them somewhat right because the muscles that should My back doesn't ache at all, which it would if I'd done the steps with complete disregard of Liesa's instruction.

The intensity of Jessica's Fit Hop sessions always leave me breathless, but often I'm still trying to figure out the footwork while everyone else has moved on to the cool down. I kept up with Liesa (mostly) last night - and laughed a lot. (More Ab work!)

You were missed, Jess, but Liesa, darling, you definitely had your funk on last night and I'd happily take a Fit Hop class from you anytime.

Current weight: 196
Target weight: 150

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Emotional rescue

This post has nothing to do with Mick Jagger...other than I bet a lot of food passes through those infamous lips. And, well, he's looking a little rough in this picture.

Which is pretty much how I feel after an emotional roller coaster of a week.

Ironically, my "emotional rescue" came in the form of a scale. In just over two weeks, I've lost nine pounds. I'm convinced it would have been ten had I not succumbed to a pizza and beer night...the day after I declared "cheat day" with a McDonalds Angus Burger. Oy.

I am the poster child for the emotional eater. Before Karen and I started this fitness journey, I ate when I was upset. Or sad. Or downright mad.

These days, I turn to fitness.


I don't deal well with emotional hurt. Punch me in the face and I'll bounce back. But put a knife in my heart? Well hell, you may as well call Ronald McDonald and have him special deliver me an upsized Double Big Mac meal.

I got hurt this week, and the temptation to idle in the the Golden Arches' drive-thru lane was strong.

Lucky for me, I have a husband who loves me, and a network of besties who want me to succeed. Not because I don't meet their standards, but because they love me. And care for me.

Just the way I am. (*insert Bruno Mars here*)

I worked out like a fiend this week. Between dance (five classes) at J'Adore Dance, aquasize, three spin classes (including one that almost killed me), and several sessions on the XBox Kinect (I am still cursing Jillian Michaels on the Biggest Loser game), I barely had time to breathe.

But it got me through the hurt, and the disappointment of facing the fact my perception wasn't real.

What is real is the number on the scale. I'm pretty proud of that, and the personal challenges I've set. I've planned a trip to Vegas with one of my besties in April and we want to be down 20 pounds each by then. That same friend and I are going to ride our bikes to Calgary this summer as well. While I'm not new to bicycle road trips, Sue-ber is, and I'm SO excited to share that journey with her.

My heart has healed somewhat and I'm ready to give it my all next week. I know the pounds will come off slower now - it is neither realistic or healthy to lose weight so quickly. But I'm loving the new energy - and confidence - losing even nine pounds has given me.


Current weight: 196
Goal weight: 150

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Already addicted

For most of my life, chocolate has been my stress-reliever of choice. I'm not even picky about the kind - well, I draw the line at dark chocolate, even if it is allegedly better for me. If I want to soften the calorie blow, I opt for a Big Turk (the lies I tell myself) and when I've hit rock bottom, I pull out the big guns - like Caramilk, or Snickers, get the idea. *wipes drool*

Today is a Caramilk + Snickers kind of day, folks.

Strangely, I'm not digging around in my change purse to feed the chocolate bar vending machine down the hall.

Instead, I'm mourning the fact that I can't go to dance class tonight. *wipes tear*


Karen and I went to Spin last night, and despite the crappy music selection, I marveled at how pumped up I get when the songs are cranked and sweat is pouring off my chin. After an hour of spinning, my body feels weak, and my hunger is off the charts - but my tummy burns (in that I-just-did-a-kick-butt-workout kind of way) even the next morning. It's amazing!

That's how I feel after a J'Adore Dance class. Sweaty. Sore.

And fantastic.

Which is why I'm really bummed I have to miss Salsa Burn with the awesomeness that is Meaghan.

In truth, I'm already addicted to exercise. That's both good - and dangerous. Knowing my day job schedule was packed, and my evening meeting-filled, I still tugged along my workout gear in the slim hope I'd have even a few minutes to hop on the treadmill or fit in a quick swim. And as each stressful minute ticked by, I felt the letdown of knowing any window of opening was almost closed.

I have planned a full week of activity. Probably too full. I know I should take a day off - to allow my muscles to recover and all that jazz. But I can't shake the guilt of not going to the gym, especially knowing it would be the perfect relief for my Caramilk + Snickers kind of stress.

One week in and the exercise addiction already has a hold on me...

If only I could love vegetables half as much.

Current weight: 198
Goal weight: 150

- Dawn

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The first week done, and I am still alive!

Wow! What a week!  After the first week of our weight loss journey I am down 6.5 pounds.  It feels good!  It's nice to be under 200 lbs again!  It's not a major milestone yet, but it feels like I am living again.

It was a busy week. Dawn finally convinced me to go to the dance fitness courses at Jadore Dance.  Honestly, the thought of walking into an actual dance studio and shaking my ample bon-bon scared the hell out of me.  I refused many times to go with Dawn.  Last week, I finally sucked it up and went.  Damn, I have never had more fun in my life!

You have to understand, I have two left feet...I cannot put together the easiest of dance steps, or so I thought.  Walking into Jadore, I was SCARED!  Scared that I was going to fall on my face, or that I would topple mutliple innocent bystanders in one of my discombobulated dance
moves.  Again, damn was I wrong.

The atmosphere at Jadore is amazing.  They don't look at you and determine just because of your size, or wardrobe what kind of dancer you will be.  They are warm and open, and always making jokes.  It makes you feel comfortable, almost like your with your extended family (without the uncomfortable stares, and finger pointing from your in-laws).  The dance started and I took off!   I found myself catching on quite quickly.  It made me feel AMAZING to dance with a group of other people.  Jessica was an amazing teacher, telling us if we need to stop or do our own thing, feel free.  We are not there to get onto "So you think you can dance" we are there to get fit.  God, I love you Jessica!

Thank you so much to all of those at Jadore Dance: Jessica, Lisa and Deanna (I haven't met Meaghan yet).  For letting me find my inner "dancing queen".  I am actually finding myself shaking my hips at work, and walking with a little more of a swagger.   Can we say confidence??? Oh hell yeah!!

This week Dawn and I did Spin on Monday and Saturday. I did a Wii workout on Tuesday.  Wednesday was Fit Hop (love it!) and Thursday was Naughty Hotties (yes i went to this as well).  Friday was a day off for us, and today was aquasize.   This week will pretty much be the same thing, but probably in a different order :)

My next week isn't starting out so well.  Tonight we had KFC...can I say Ugh! I ate, yes, but I can honestly say it didn't taste all that great.  Usually I can eat a whole box of fries and gravy from KFC...but tonight they just didn't taste right.  Oh well, tomorrows another day!

Starting weight:  204 lbs

Weight as of 01/08/10: 197.5 lbs

"Dancing Queen" Karen :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Embracing the new year

I'm down 6 pounds this week.

I'm surprised it isn't more, to be honest. In addition to drastically reducing calories and increasing my water intake, I've pretty much spent more time at the gym than I have sleeping. That's my typical MO - go hard or go home.

I read somewhere that 2011 is the year of losing weight through a variety of activities. I'm all over that.

The week looked a little like this:

Sunday - aquasize and pilates
Monday - spin and raquetball
Tuesday - Salsa Burn at J'Adore Dance and pilates
Wednesday - Dance Quickie and Fit Hop at J'Adore Dance
Thursday - Naughty Hotties at J'Adore Dance and Kinect games withe the family
Saturday - Spin

With a few variations, that will be the line-up - until I crash.

I love working out - or rather, how I feel after the burn - so the activity slate excites me rather than intimidates. Cutting back the calories? That's a whole other story.

My mother-in-law is in visiting, which has meant eating out a little more. I've made relatively good choices but there's something about a pomegranate martini (or three) I can't resist. I weighed in a bit early because (since I'm being honest), we're recreating Christmas dinner tonight because we weren't together over the holidays.

I can already smell the candied yams, the turkey, the stuffing... But the kicker (diet sabotage) will be dessert. Fresh tiramisu from the Italian Centre.

Current weight: 199
Goal weight: 150

- Dawn