Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy December!

Our weather continues to veer wildly back and forth between beautifully warm and freezing cold. Today we were back to warm, and I love it. Welcome to the Maritimes.

I would like to say that I have made some progress since I wrote this post trying to analyze what I was doing right last winter, when I was losing weight. But I haven't. Partially it's because things have been busy, but it's also because I can't quite figure out how to do it. But it's too late at night for me to write that  post right now.

So for now, I will record my October & November workouts, and I will try to get to the rest of it soon.

01: Treadmill Walk + 2 Zumba songs
02: Zumba
04: Zumba
05: Jackie Warner One On One Training UB+LB + Treadmill Walk
06: Zumba-versary
09: Zumba
11: Zumba
16: Zumba
19: Treadmill Walk
22: Zumba
29: Jackie Warner Xtreme Timesaver Circuit

01: Zumba
02: Crunch Burn & Firm Pilates DVD
08: Treadmill Walk
09: Crunch Yoga Body Sculpt
11: Yard Work
12: Yard Work & Stacking Wood
14: Treadmill Walk+ 2 Zumba Songs
15: Zumba
17: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Total Body
20: Zumba
23: The FIRM Power Half Hour DVD
26: Crunch Cardion Sculpt DVD
27: Zumba

Some highlights from my Sunday...

I baked donuts. It was fun. They taste good. Did I say I want to lose weight?

Refilled the Peanut Wreath bird feeder again. The Jays seem to empty it in about 2 days.

That's pretty much it. I was a busy-around-the-house day, but also a quiet day. I like that in a Sunday.

Edit for the wannabe donut bakers:

I have this Norpro Petite Donut pan:

The packaging included 2 recipes, but if you go here: they list a bunch of recipes, including one that is gluten  free.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Need A Vacation

Let's talk about October. I started off with a decent level of optimism. Feeling ready to work my way back to a good place with the eating, get back into my normal exercise routine.

Yeah, well. Life is what happens while you're making other plans.

October started off well enough. The long weekend rolled around and we probably enjoyed a few too many treats, but we had a good time.

The following Wednesday, Husband was doing a load of laundry when he heard a loud 'thunk' from the washing machine, followed by the smell of burnt rubber. Sigh. We called for a repair guy, and the soonest appointment we could get was a week away, on Thursday.

Friday morning: Husband wakes up with a red splotch on his torso; it was swollen and sore, looked kind of like a rash. He goes on with his day, but feels worse and worse as time goes by.

Saturday morning: The red splotch is now very angry looking. Husband is in pain and is experiencing fever and chills. Off to the clinic we go, to be told by the doctor that it's is a spider bite. We leave with a prescription for antibiotics.

Husband spends the weekend feeling very ill. We are going through towels and washcloths and blankets, since compresses seem to help with the pain. And, oh yeah, our washing machine is broken so we can't wash all these towels and washcloths and blankets.

Meanwhile, I am freaking out because spider bite! I have a hard time sleeping, I am busy all day taking care of husband and quietly having panic attacks.

Tuesday: Off to our family doctor. The infection is still spreading. Off to the hospital we go for the first of 3 IV antibiotic treatments.

Between my spider phobia and Husband's needle phobia, it's not a good week in the JavaChick house.

However, the IV antibiotics are the turning point, and by the third day Husband is much better. I'm still not sleeping, but at least one of us is improving, right?

The washing machine repair dude shows up. Our machine is fixable, however it will be a week and a half minimum, possibly longer to get the part. Husband has been waiting for the right opportunity to replace the ancient, 2nd hand dryer that came the house, and going another week and a half, possibly longer, before we can do laundry is not appealing, so I agree to buying a new washer and dryer.

Plus, during his convalescence, Husband noticed that we have blue splotches in the middle of our TV screen. I have been noticing this for a while. I have been willing to put up with it. It really only shows up during dark scenes. I'd rather not buy a new TV. (This is how my mind works). I swear, husband lives for the chance to buy new TV sets.

So on Friday we go out and buy a washer & dryer. On Saturday we go out and buy a TV. Now, in addition to my heightened spider fear, I am hyperventilating from sticker shock. I don't like spending large amounts of money all at one time. Plus, I don't really like the new TV. Husband tells me it is better than the old one and I will get used to it (I still don't like it).

Add to that all the rainy, gloomy weather we were having and I was pretty much a wreck. One rainy day makes me feel sleepy and unmotivated. A week of rainy days makes me feel fuzzy headed and depressed.

Gosh, life is exhausting.

Things did quiet down after that, and life started to get back to semi-normal. Then toward the end of last week we realized Zappa wasn't himself. On Saturday I realized he was hardly eating anything - he wasn't even interested in his favorite cat treats and that was a huge deal. So I pretty much worried the  rest of the weekend and up until we saw the vet yesterday. I spent a lot of the weekend sitting in a chair with my Kindle and letting Zappa sleep in my lap.

At the vet's office, Zappa had a thorough exam, x-rays and blood tests and nothing showed up. This was good in that it eliminated a bunch of bad possibilities, but it didn't tell us what was wrong. He'd lost weight and the vet was worried about him not eating, so she said to try giving him a quarter of a Pepcid AC tablet once a day for a couple of days, in case an upset stomach was the reason he wasn't eating. So I went out and bought Pepcid AC for my cat (never would have expected that), and we gave him a quarter last night and he did eat some. Then today he was actually waiting to be fed when I got home from work, like he usually would be, so that seems like a good sign. I wouldn't say he's 100%, but at least he is eating and that's an improvement.

I realize that many people have larger problems and none of this was really tragic. It was exhausting and disruptive though.

I need to get out and tidy the yard for winter, put away all my garden stuff, but we had so much rain and then so much other stuff going on that it just didn't happen.

Our pile of wood is still sitting in the driveway and neither one of us really wants to go near it. I tried wiggling my fingers at it while saying  Wingardium Leviosa but nothing happened. It's because I didn't have a wand, right? Somebody find me a wand. Otherwise I have no idea how that wood is going to get stacked in the garage, and we will freeze this winter.

Okay. I'm done. I don't have the energy to whine any more.

Zappa thinks new TV sets are great. They come with boxes!

The birds ignore this peanut wreath feeder all summer, now I can't keep it filled.

In my diminished mental state while all this was going on, I put a bowl of grapes on the patio table because the fruit flies were driving me crazy. I forgot about them. A raccoon found them, and while I do not begrudge him the snack, I wish he had not broken my pretty ceramic solar light. Sad. Also, I could have done without the pile of scat outside my patio door. Is my life entertaining or what?

At least taking pictures of the moon is still fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Figuring Out The Hows and Whys

[I know. That title looks funny. Oh well. I started this post almost 3 weeks ago. I planned to give it a week, to think about it and see what I could remember. Which I did. I kept coming back and adding little notes. Then Husband got sick for a week, and our washing machine broke down, and things were just turned a bit upside down. Anyway, time call this one done. It's a long one. Sorry. I suppose it's also more for me than for anyone else, but I'll welcome any thoughts & comments!]

From November to early April, I lost about 6 pounds. I was not actively trying to lose weight. I did not feel like I was depriving myself, or making myself miserable (for the most part - I will get to that). I was doing moderate amounts of exercise, not killing myself with workouts.

Then in late April I suddenly turned into a potato-chip-and-pound-cake-scarfing fiend. Those pounds came back in short order, and I've picked up a few more (seems to be the way it goes). I already posted about this - at the end of May - and what have I done about it? Not a whole lot.

Reading this post about all calories not being equal over on Cranky Fitness got me thinking about what exactly I was doing while those 6 lbs quietly melted away...And then thinking that what I really need to do is write it down and figure out what I was doing right. That seems like the sensible place to start, right?

It should be stated: This is a whole bunch of random stuff that I remember. It's not any kind of organized weight loss or health plan because I wasn't planning anything at the time. I was not counting calories or points. I was not measuring portions. I was not following any specific diet. I was just living. Husband was away a lot, I was figuring out how to be on my own after 10+ years of always having him around. I was trying out some things that would have been harder to do when Husband is around - cutting out wheat & dairy, full time vegetarianism.

What was going on:
- Husband left for his first trip to Japan just before Halloween 2011.
- Husband has been traveling back and forth periodically since then, but he was certainly home during some of that 6 month time period
- I went to Japan for a week in March
- Looking back over my workouts now, I would say that when Husband is away I probably get in more workouts, but honestly not more than I have done at other times in the past. A lot of Zumba, strength training/circuit workouts, but also walking, yoga & Pilates.
- When Husband is home, we probably eat out once a week. When he was away I rarely ate out.
- I did not count calories or otherwise track what I was eating (wishing I had now, so I would know exactly what I was eating)
- I did often stop think before eating to determine if I was really hungry or really  needed to eat. Honestly, I think this came later as I realized I was losing weight, and I felt motivated to try. I felt like I was in a good place with my eating, like I was in tune with my body.

What I was eating:
- I did two weeks of strict no wheat, no dairy. After that I tried to avoid it most of the time but sometimes if I wanted pizza, I ate pizza. I really missed cheese a lot. Bread & yogurt too, but mostly cheese.
- When husband was away, I was mostly vegetarian, though I did eventually start eating fish once or twice a week.
- I ate corn pasta, brown rice pasta, soba (buckwheat) noodles, corn tortillas.
- I sometimes ate guacamole & Organic Tostitos as a meal. Yes I did.
- I also ate fish tacos with guacamole. And black bean tacos with guacamole. I was probably eating 2 or 3 avocados per week.
- Lots of Peanut Butter Noodles
- If I wanted something sweet I had a couple squares of Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (I love that stuff!)
- I had the occasional margarita or can of coke.
- I cooked with coconut oil most of the time.
- I was eating the little bags of chips with my lunch at work semi-regularly. It didn't seem to be doing any harm for a while, did not seem to be sending me out of control.

This is not to say that everything was all kittens & rainbows for that 6 months. I had my bad moments when Husband was away and I was missing him. I had periods of work stress and planning our trip to Japan was a little on the crazy-making side.

And. Every day that I avoided wheat & dairy was hard. However, those restrictions were not motivated by weight loss and I definitely was not going hungry. Avoiding wheat and dairy meant I had to stop and think every time I planned a meal or wanted to eat something. I think that stop for thought may have been a big factor in the weight that I did lose.

Where it went off the rails:
- Who knows why it suddenly happens? It often feels so random!
- I do know that stress eating was part of it. Husband was away, high priority project at work, and the cats were peeing all over the house after we were so unkind as to leave them with a house sitter and take off to Japan for 10 days.
- And I know that once I give in to the potato chips and pound cake (or whatever), they can take over very quickly.
- I don't know if it's the 'what' (specific foods) or if it is the 'how' (allowing that out of control, mechanical feeling when) I am eating.

I know 6 lbs over 6 months may not sound like a lot. But it's the most I've managed to lose, ever I think. And I did it almost without noticing. I must have been doing something right.

Monday, October 1, 2012

September Summary & October Goals

I'm kind of sad September is over. I feel like I've missed out on sunny September days when I should have been out enjoying the last bit of summer...but I think that's because we've been getting a lot of rainy weather, so there haven't been a lot of nice days to enjoy.

Good stuff:
  • My treadmill is back in working order
  • The new Zumba schedule is working out really well for me
  • I feel like I'm back in a more normal workout routine...

September Workouts
01: Ellen Barrett Barefoot Cardio DVD[45 mins]
04: Strength Circuit[35 mins]
05: Pick Your Level Pilates DVD[30 mins]
09: Kathy Smith Staying Strong - UB + Abs[30 mins]
10: Kathy Smith Staying Strong - legs + Glutes[30 mins]
11: Zumba
13: Zumba
18: Zumba
20: Zumba
22: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Total Body[30 mins]
24: Crunch Joy Of Yoga[35 mins]
25: Zumba
28: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit
30: Strength Circuit[45 mins]
Not so good stuff...
Actually, I don't have too many complaints at the moment, aside from the rainy weather. 
  • The days are getting shorter and my sunrise alarm clock is pretty much at the end of it's life. I've ordered a new sunrise clock though, and it can't rain forever. We're bound to get some sunny autumn days soon.
  • We have a portable dishwasher and last night, as I was rolling it across the kitchen to the sink, I managed to smash my hand between the dishwasher and the pointy edge of the china cabinet. That's not so good. I'm sure I didn't do any serious damage, but it's mighty sore and I think I am on my way to a rather spectacular bruise. 
Onward to October!
Exercise: I want to keep the momentum going. September was decent, a good mix of activities, I want more of the same.

Eating: Husband came home from Japan and noted that I am pretty much off the wagon when it comes to avoiding wheat & dairy. I was going through a phase where I just couldn't think of things I  wanted to eat and didn't want to be bothered with cooking. Which leads to making poor choices when I finally decide I'm hungry and I need to eat. So, at the time, I decided it was better to let myself have a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on whole grain bread than to eat potato chips for dinner (sad but true). So far I seem to be doing okay with the wheat & dairy, so I'm just going to see how things go.

However, there have been some bad habits creeping in. Like those bags of potato chips that are so easy to grab from the lunchroom at work. I don't need to be eating those every day. So my goal is to stay away from them for the next four weeks. I can do that.

Still picking tomatoes - at least I was a week ago. It rained really hard all weekend, so I didn't get out to the garden, but the previous weekend I brought in another bucket full. Aren't they pretty?

So we have been eating lots of tomatoes...Really, there is pasta under that pile of tomatoes, olives & feta. 

I have also experimented with taking pictures of the moon. I was surprised at what I can get with my little camera and lack of photography experience. This was cropped out of a larger image taken with a 55-250mm lens.

Today was a busier day than I wanted it to be, and I didn't quite manage to get everything done that I  had hoped, but I still accomplished a lot. The rest can wait for tomorrow. October off to a good start!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Teeny Tiny Baby Steps

I wouldn't say I'm 100% back in the exercise groove, but I'm on my way.

Bad news: My treadmill conked out on me. We did buy the extended warranty, so hopefully I can get it fixed.

Good news: The schedule at the fitness studio changed again, so I might start getting back to Zumba.

July 03: Zumba
July 04: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Upper Body
July 10: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Upper Body
July 11: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Lower Body
July 28: Pick Your Level Pilates DVD

Aug 10: Kathy Smith Personal Trainer Stretching workout
Aug 13: Treadmill Walk [30 mins]
Aug 15: Treadmill Walk [30 mins]
Aug 17: Crunch Fat Burning Yoga DVD
Aug 20: Weeding garden
Aug 22: Weeding garden
Aug 27: Treadmill Walk [25 mins]
Aug 28: Pick Your Level Pilates DVD
Aug 31: Kathy Smith Staying Strong DVD

Food wise, I started to  make some progress...was feeling good...did some major back-sliding...and now am hoping that I'm ready to get back to good. All within the space of a couple of weeks. All over the place. That's me.

I have so many tomatoes this year, we've had an excellent growing season (aside from the lack of rain early on) and I'm loving it. Carrots also grew really well, so I've been eating lots of this:

That would be grilled cheese & tomato with carrot sticks. Husband is still away, which means this is often dinner. I like it. Not so much that husband is away, but that I can eat what I feel like.

Of course, sometimes I do feel like something a bit fancier:

That would be haddock that I cooked on the BBQ, wrapped in foil with lime juice and a Thai spice blend. I then topped it with a fresh peach salsa and had fresh veggie spring rolls on the side. Sometimes I amaze myself. :)

Did I mention the tomatoes have been fabulous this year?

Hello from the Fabulous Felines!

And good night!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hello Treadmill! Remember Me?

This has got to be the worse exercise slump I have ever experienced. I am unmotivated, disorganized and easily distracted. My routine - I used to have one - is completely shot. I could go back through the series of events, list causes and explanations...but the important part right now is the solution.

Why hello there treadmill! It's been a long time...

In my unmotivated, disorganized state of mind, I can't settle on any exercise that I feel like doing. Since I have no routine, I can't look at a schedule to see what my next workout should be. But my treadmill is still there, faithfully waiting. This is one of the reasons I wanted a treadmill in the first place; barring injury or illness, I can almost always manage a walk on the treadmill. Tired? Busy? Lacking in energy or motivation? A short and/or easy walk on the treadmill still adds some exercise into my day.

So Monday after work I liberated my treadmill from it's corner in the basement. When I first turned it on, it did this horrible shuddering-groaning-grinding thing, but once it started up it was fine. I went back through my workout notebook and found that the last time I used my treadmill was in February; I don't think it has ever gone unused for such a long period of time.

So we're getting to know one another again. I'm taking it easy for now. I think I need new sneakers. But I'm getting back in the game.

Now to tackle the eating. When Husband first started traveling for work, I was all enthused to cook purely for myself. I enjoyed experimenting with full time vegetarianism. Then adding in some fish. Trying to cut out wheat and dairy and finding that it does have health benefits for me. But I've lost my motivation there too. I don't want to be bothered with cooking. I can't think of anything in particular that I want to eat. What is the healthy eating equivalent of the treadmill? Any thoughts?

I did stop at the grocery store on the way home yesterday to stock up. Hard to make eating your veggies a priority when the fridge is pretty much empty. In addition to my usual veggie staples, I bought a bag of Broccoli Slaw. Open bag. Dump in bowl. Consume. I should be able to manage that. Baby steps in the right direction.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What's Up For July

Had a fantastic Canada Day Weekend! Took Friday off as well, so I had 4 days and the weather was perfect. Spent lots of time out in the garden, got a few things done inside, made time for some relaxation and fun - a pretty perfect weekend all around. It was hard to go back to work on Tuesday.

This month I am:
Trying to get back to food journaling - not calorie counting, just moving towards intuitive or mindful eating (still) so more about how I feel. Cutting out wheat & dairy is a lot more difficult with Husband home full time. Aiming for 5 out of 7 days to start (though this past week was a bust).

Since the schedule changed at the fitness studio, I will only be able to get to zumba once a week, instead of twice. I definitely need to get back into the home routine. Last week was bad because I ended up not feeling well, this week will be busy, but I will try to fit some short ones in.

I signed up for a month long online photography course. It actually started on June 28.I consider myself a beginner, but the first bunch of lessons were basic, even for me. Still, the review didn't hurt, and the lessons seem to be getting into the things I want to know/feel like I need to learn. It's good in that the lessons come by email, they are videos that I can watch when I have time, so there's no pressure.

Workouts for June:
Again, I did not keep track. I only had four written down in my notebook:
June 2: Garden
June 3: Garden
June 4: Zumba
June 5: Zumba

....And that was it. I know it was mostly Zumba Mondays & Tuesdays, with yard work in between, and I remember one strength workout for sure. So this is all I can fill in for the rest of the month:
June 11: Zumba
June 12: Zumba
June 18: Zumba
June 19: Zumba
June 24: Kathy Smith Personal Trainer Sculpting workout

I like to have these records, so I am definitely going to try and keep better track this month, though so far there hasn't been much to keep track of.

I will say though, we are having a fabuolous summer so far. The weather has been great, I have been spending quite a bit of time out puttering in the garden, so I'm less worried about the formal workouts. I just want to enjoy the summer!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Late June Update

I have been meaning to post an update for the past week or so, but somehow I never find time in my day. But here I am now, so let's get this done...

Eating and Excercising
I am working my way back to the gluten & dairy free eating...The extremely itchy skin is very motivating. Based on last time I know it will take almost 2 weeks to see a difference, so I am gritting my teeth and hanging on.

Exercise has basically been Zumba on Mondays & Tuesdays, then gardening on the weekends. I used to have a pretty good routine, and was getting in some workout DVDs, but lately that has not been happening. I have reasons though...

a) My beloved cats are kind of being monsters, and I'm having to take them out for a lot of walks
b) I think it's time to switch workouts; I tend to settle on a routine - which has been Jackie Warner DVDs for a while now - and then suddenly I get to a point where I just don't wanna do it. I realized last weekend that's where I am now - time to switch to something else for a while.

The Zumba schedule at the fitness studio I go to is changing anyway, and now it looks like I will only be able to get to one class a week. I am undecided on what to do. I was thinking of trying a different class - they offer yoga which might enjoy...Then it came to me last night (after work, as I was out weeding and hanging out with the cats) that I should just play it by ear; when the weather is good, it probably makes just as much sense to go out and work in my garden and not worry about formal workouts. I wait all winter for the warm weather, and there is plenty to do out there right now.  Plus...

My Little Monsters ~ previously known as the Fabulous Felines
Ever since we went to Japan the cats have been peeing all over the house. We had a house sitter while we were away, and I had asked her to open the basement window for the cats if the weather wasn't too bad, but she didn't let them out at all. So I don't know if it's the fact that they didn't get outside at all, or if they just didn't like having someone stay in the house...or if they were just upset that we were gone for 10 days...In any case, they were showing their displeasure by peeing in the house.

I think that may have been what triggered my binge in late April/early May. Husband was away again, and I was cleaning up cat pee and trying to figure out how to make them stop. I wasn't talking to anyone about it because somehow "I'm living in cat pee" is just not something you want to say to people. I was stressed out.

The vet said it can take up to 3 months for cats to stop behavior like that, assuming it was stress induced. It has pretty much been 3 months now. It hasn't completely stopped, but it's less frequent now and taking them out for lots of walks seems to help.

So that's my life right now. Doesn't it sound like fun?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nose dive

The few of you still reading (since I hardly ever post these days) may recall that back in the fall, Husband went away on business and I took my alone time as an opportunity to experiment with cutting out wheat and dairy. I was really strict about it for two weeks, then I tried but it was honestly hit and miss. Still, I definitely cut down on my wheat & dairy consumption.

Over the next few months, I found I was gradually losing weight. I didn't feel like I was dieting - aside from the wheat & dairy, I was eating what I wanted in reasonable amounts. And I was feeling pretty darn good. I was sort of mentally holding my breath, you know, waiting for the other shoe to  drop...But also thinking that maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this intuitive eating thing.

You know what happens next right?

Things went so smoothly from November to late March, early April. Then Husband left on his 4th business trip since November, gone for another four weeks. I drove him to the airport on a Saturday morning, then went directly to the salon for a hair appointment, followed by grocery shopping. I hadn't eaten breakfast. It was one of those mornings that I just didn't feel like eating. I put a LaraBar in my purse, but I didn't eat it. I picked up another  coffee  and a baked treat on my way to the salon. Then went grocery shopping and proceeded to make very poor choices. And pretty much went on a four week binge of eating crap.

I have no  idea where it came from, but I'm so disappointed in myself. I lost 6 pounds or so between November and April, then put it all back on in 4 weeks. So so angry at myself. And afraid  that I won't be able to  lose it again. Six pounds does not sound like a lot, but it's the most I've manage to lose in years of dieting. And  I lost it without making myself miserable. I'm afraid that I won't be able to do it again. Like it was a one-time magic formula that can't be repeated.

Why why why did I do this?

So this is me. Starting over again for the seventy-millionth time. Okay, maybe not that many, but more than enough.

Meanwhile....It's spring! That's been nice. Lots of lovely weather and green things growing. Husband got sick a few days after he got home from his trip. Then a week later I got sick. That wasn't so much fun. But I'm feeling much better  now. We're having a rainy week, but I hope the sun comes back soon so I can finish planting  my garden.

Cherry tree in our front yard, May 11.

 Frank in the garden, May 11.

Our herd of deer, May 20

Belated workout logs from April & May...

02: Zumba
03: Zumba
04: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit DVD
15: Zumba
18: Jackie Warner Power Circut Total Body DVD
23: Zumba
24: Zumba
26: Walk - 30 mins
27: Workout with Jackie DVD - lower body
28: Workout with Jackie DVD - upper body
30: Zumba

01: Zumba
04: Garden
06: Garden
07: Zumba
08: Zumba
15: Zumba
17: Burn & Firm Pilates DVD
19: Garden
20: Garden
21: Garden
29: Crunch Joy of Yoga DVD

I have a gap in my notebook for May...Lately I have not been as diligent about writing down my workouts so I'm not sure if I really did skip that many days or if I forgot to write stuff down. I do know that between the 21 - 29 is when I ended up getting sick. May 19 - 21 was Victoria Day Weekend and I was out in the garden every day. The weather was perfect and I got a lot done. Went back to work on Tuesday feeling great. Woke up Wednesday morning feeling unbelievably exhausted...Wondered if all the yard work was catching up with me after all but it turned out I was getting sick. Boo. :(

Did you know that in Japan they have all kinds of weird and wonderful flavours of Kit Kat bars? We tried a few during our vacation, I like the dark chocolate and the cinnamon cookie. Husband asked if I wanted him to bring me anything and I said some Kit Kats. So he stuffed his suitcase full.

That should last me for a while.

Monday, April 2, 2012

March Summary

I'm going to hazard a guess and say this is the shortest workout list I've ever posted:

Mar 01: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Total Body[40 mins]
Mar 05: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit[30mins]

Mar 08 - 17: Walked All Over Japan

Mar 26: Zumba
Mar 27: Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
Mar 28: Zumba Toning

At the beginning of the month I was busy getting read to go. Then I was gone. Then I came home and got sick. But it was still a good month because I went to Japan! I'm probably not going to get tired of saying that.

I'm so far behind on everything else it isn't funny, but I'm okay with it because: see above.:)

Spring is coming. I need to get some seedlings started. And exercise. And get back off the wheat and dairy (I ate whatever I wanted in Japan and the wheat & dairy didn't seem to bother me, but now that I'm home I'm getting itchy again. Sigh).

Slowly getting pictures up on the garden blog - see the link above if you are interested.

Walking up stairs. In Japan!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I Went To Japan!

I went. I found my husband. We had a fantabulous vacation. We came home. I got the flu.

Things have been busy.

I have lots of photos that I have not yet done anything with, but will be posting over on the garden blog once I get my act together (since that is the blog my family reads). I did throw up some posts during my trip, to preserve that sort of as-it-happens feeling, which I'm glad I did. If you are interested check out my Japan posts on the garden blog and keep an eye out there for pictures.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Moving into March

I think this may be the most winter-y week we've had this winter. While we have not had any storms, it has stayed cold, and we've had flurries that did at any point turn into rain. Really we've been so spoiled, it seems like it has never stayed cold for more than a few days at a time until this week. Having all of these cold days in a row feels like a real hardship...and it hasn't even been all that cold compared to other years. I was looking over my posts from last March, and the amount of snow we had at this time last year was just crazy. Still, I'm ready for winter to be over.

I know we've probably still got a month of winter weather ahead, but this is the time of year when I really start to get sick of it. What also happens this time of year is that grapes start to look really good to me...

For some reason, grapes always taste extra good this time of year - probably because we've gone so long without in-season produce. And really good grapes just have a sun-shiney quality about them.

Anyway. On to business. My February goals? Well, I didn't do so well on the tracking. All I really wanted to do was track if I ate anything that contained wheat or dairy. And I started to, but I didn't stick with it.

So there I was, eating goat and sheep milk cheese, trying to fill the void left by the absense of my beloved Balderson 2 Year Old White Cheddar (Oh how I miss you!) and thinking I'm going to have to stay away from the non-cow's milk cheeses because I am getting  itchy patches...Then I gave it some thought and remembered those few little innocent cookies that husband brought home from Japan...and the bits of chocolate here and there...and oh, how about some popcorn with real butter? So I honestly don't know - which was the whole point of tracking, now wasn't it?

So, I guess that's going to have to carry forward as a goal to work on, and I'm probably going to  have to start all over again. But that won't happen right away, because my main March goal is to GO ON VACATION AND HAVE A FABULOUS TIME.

How's that for a goal?

Actually, this has taken up quite a bit of my February. But we've got things mostly figured out now. We have a house sitter to stay at the house while we're gone and take care of the Fabulous Felines.  We've got our itinerary and our reservations. I'm honestly too overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done to be excited at this point, but it will come.

February Workouts
Feb 01: Jackie Warner 30 Day Fast Start Lower Body & Abs + Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
Feb 05: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 06: Jackie Warner 30 Day Fast Start Upper Body + Treadmill Walk]40 mins]
Feb 07: Jackie Warner 30 Day Fast Start Lower Body & Abs[25 mins]
Feb 10: Crunch Fat Burning Yoga DVD[40 mins]
Feb 11: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Upper Body + 1 Heavy Set[20 mins]
Feb 12: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Lower Body[15 mins]
Feb 13: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 14: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 15: JW Xtreme Circuit[30 mins]
Feb 17: Zumba Toning @ Baila Fitness
Feb 20: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 21: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 23: Jackie Warner One On One Training - Upper & Lower Body[40 mins]
Feb 26: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit[30 mins]
Feb 27: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Feb 28: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
Yep, so, a lot of Zumba and a lot of Jackie Warner DVD workouts. I have  not been on the  scale, but my upper arms look slimmer. I have no idea if I've magically stumbled onto the right workout formula, or if it's because of how I've been eating - most wheat & dairy was eliminated, I have been mainly vegetarian though I've had fish probably once a week. I would like to say I will keep it up, but once Husband is home from his travels the vegetarian with fish thing will be out the  window and I'm not sure I'll be able to get to Zumba as often. We shall see what happens I guess.

The Fabulous Felines say hello...

Frank is such an excellent model. He holds his pose perfectly, allowing me to take lovely portraits. Meanwhile, Zappa either jumps up and runs toward me as soon as he realizes I'm focused on him, or he looks goofy and/or wild. Also, he constantly rolls around on that rug leaving balls of fur all over the  place. But that's okay. I adore them both and the only thing I don't like about going on vacation is how bad I feel about leaving them behind. Enjoying lots of kitty snuggles now to make up for it!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February Goals

I meant to include some goals for February when I posted my January summary, but that didn't happen. As usual, I was trying to throw the post together at the last minute and so I forgot. Then Husband got home from Japan and I forgot again.

Better late than never though, and I'm keeping it brief:

Eat to feel good.
Enjoy regular exercise.
Track without judgement.

In November I experimented with cutting out wheat & dairy; my eczema cleared up and I actually lost a few pounds. Then while Husband and I were on vacation at the end of December I dove headfirst back into yummy cheese and baked goods. I've been trying to cut it out again now though, and trying to figure out exactly what I can and can't have. Which is what I want to track - it's not about counting calories right now.

Exercise, I just plan to keep on keeping on. My shoulder is feeling way better than it was in November, which is  great. Taking it easy with the strength training, making sure I stretch well, still enjoying Zumba classes when I can get to them.

Husband was home for week, and he had to leave again yesterday. :(

Yesterday started out warm and raining, then shortly before noon turned to snow which continued into the evening.

Frank seemed pretty convinced that he wanted to go out for a walk in the afternoon, but we didn't even make it down the driveway. It was actually warm (relatively speaking) but the snow was coming down pretty thick.

That's okay. There was fun to be had indoors.

I went out for groceries yesterday before the snow started. On a whim, I picked up a bunch of kale and finally got around to trying kale chips. Sadly, I can't show them to you...

I stood at the stove to taste them and see how they turned out and before I knew it half the pan was gone. The rest disappeared within the hour. Looking forward to more of those.

And tonight I made fish tacos. I've never had fish tacos anywhere, no idea how they are usually made, but I had haddock that I managed to perfectly pan fry, I had corn tortillas and guacamole. It was pretty awesome. I will be doing that again also.

If I keep this up, I will have all kinds of interesting new things to feed Husband when he gets home.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


January 2012:
~ Lovely mild weather, very little snow. Just the way I like my winter
~ Three weeks of Husband's work saying: You have to go to Japan! Oh wait, we need  you here...But we need you in Japan! You go in two weeks! Well maybe...It seemed like a lot longer than it was. I like my routine. If my routine is going to change, I like a detailed plan. I won't say I was glad to see Husband leave, but I was glad we weren't waiting on a decision any longer.
~ A solo trip home to Nova Scotia...On the same day that Husband left for Japan. That was the biggest disappointment - the timing when they finally made the decision. But I still had a good visit with my family. One of my sisters was home visiting from out west, so I definitely wasn't going to miss the trip.
~ I am a little stressed about things going on at work. Well, more than a little. I am working very hard to distract myself and not dwell. It's nothing I can change, so I have to power through. Last weekend I sat down and rewatched the entire first season of Big Bang Theory on DVD. It makes me laugh. Laughing is good.

So is exercise, so without further ado...

January Workouts
Jan 03: Treadmill Walk[30 mins]
Jan 04: Crunch Yoga Body Sculpt[40 mins]
Jan 09: Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
Jan 11: Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
Jan 12: Treadmill Walk[25 mins]
Jan 14: Crunch Candlelight Yoga[40 mins]
Jan 16: Zumba @ BailaFit
Jan 17: Zumba @ BailaFit
Jan 19: Jackie Warner Fast Start Upper Body + Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
Jan 25: Zumba Circuit @ BailaFit
Jan 27: Ellen Barret Grace & Gusto DVD[45 mins]
Jan 28: Jackie Warner Fast Start Lower Body + Abs[25 mins]
Jan 30: Jackie Warmer Fast Start Upper Body + Treadmill[40 mins]
Jan 31: Zumba @ BailaFit

Other good stuff - His & Hers Anniversary gifts; apparently the 10th anniversary is the camera anniversary...

Our anniversary was actually December 31st...I got my gift a couple of weeks early - a 15-200mm lens for my Rebel T3i. Husband wanted a compact camera to take with him on his travels, and had it all picked out but we didn't manage to get our hands on one until Jan 13; not a moment too soon because a week later he was headed for Japan.

Alternate reality Fabulous Felines!

AKA, my parents cats. I just found it kind of funny that we have a matched set of grey tabbies and my parents have a matched set of orange & white.

The prettiest pooch ever!

I'm definitely a cat person, but I am rather fond of my sister's dog. Not only is she pretty, she is extremely polite and well behaved. My sister is awesome too and I was even more happy to see her. :)

And that was January. Bring on February.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stormy Fridays

We have been having an extremely mild winter which is just the way I like it. We had one big snow storm in November, then nothing until last Friday when we had a storm. Then on Tuesday it warmed up to 8 degrees and all the snow was gone by Wednesday. Today we had another storm - started with snow, then ice pellets and freezing rain, and it's supposed to warm up enough to rain after that. Honestly, I don't think we could ask for a better winter.

Last Friday

I did work at home today; I didn't like the idea of having to drive home in freezing rain. I had planned to go to Zumba this evening, but I didn't want it badly enough to go out in the weather. I'm sure it wouldn't stop a lot of people, but I freely admit to being a wimp about winter driving.

I had kind of a bad day. I've been feeling a lot of negativity about work lately, and today was even worse. I won't go into that, it's not why I'm here. I'm here because by the end of the work day I really just wanted to sit in front of the TV and eat guacamole. But I talked myself into a treadmill walk. I was sitting by my desk, putting my sneakers on, feeling cranky and trying decide between TV or tunes. At which point I decided it was time for a change of strategy.

I had this new Ellen Barrett DVD sitting there. Ellen Barrett workouts always make me feel good. They require some concentration, even more so when it's a brand new workout. So off came the sneakers, and into the player went the DVD. The workout flew by. There was one shoulder stretch at the end that hurt in a way that tells me I should be doing it every day. And I feel better. Thank you Ellen.

On the subject of new workouts, I've tried two others so far this month.

My Jackie Warner collection is nowhere near as big as my Ellen Barrett collection yet, but I have four DVDs now and I like them all. This is the newest; I've only had a chance to try the upper body workout so far.

It went something like this:

Hey! I like Jackie's hair cut, it's really cute...Hmmm, she says 3 - 8 lb dumbbells so I'll go with 6 lbs...This is kind of fun, but I don't feel like it's doing anything...Wow, they get through those reps really fast...Oh! Ow! Where are my 3 lb weights?

And then, thankfully it was over.

It went really fast. It was doable, but challenging. Each segment is two exercises that you alternate between, doing a pyramid; so alternate between pushups and bicep curls (pushups were from the knees, then you come up to kneeling for the bicep curls), starting with 1 rep each, then adding a rep and repeating until you get up to 10. I found it really challenging to change positions and keep up with the pace on the DVD; I don't know whether to blame that on it being the first time with the workout, my bad shoulder, or my being a wimp. In any case, I did survive the experience and was sore in new spots the next day which makes me happy because I know I've hit some muscles I don't normally work.

Now I just have to survive the lower body workout.

And finally: Zumba Circuit! I didn't make it to the regular Zumba class on Monday or Tuesday. I've been avoiding the Circuit class because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it with my bad shoulder.  I ended up having a lot of fun!

I tend to worry about new classes, I think I will be lost, I won't keep up, etc. The thing is, I've been doing this fitness thing for quite a while and since I like variety I've tried quite a few activities; maybe not so many live classes, but a lot of DVDs and a lot of different workout plans. That doesn't mean I can walk into a class and get everything right the first time, but it's usually nowhere near as bad as I think.

Zumba Circuit was fun. We did one song to warm up, then everybody ran to stations. There was a max of 3 people per station, and I ended up going around with 2 ladies who were also new, which was nice; sort of a 'we're in this together' vibe. Most of the stations were not anything new, except 2 that used TRX - that was kind of exciting as I've never had a chance to try TRX before. That was also the only thing that bothered my shoulder, so I guess I won't be signing up for TRX classes any time soon.

I enjoyed the class, I worked hard, I walked out feeling good. Note to self: get over this fear of new things! And fun workouts make you feel better!

Now. Did someone mention guacamole?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back to Reality

Husband and I have had a lovely two week vacation, relaxing at home; sadly it's almost over. Back to work tomorrow! I'm glad we had the chance to goof off at home together for two weeks, as it's sounding like Husband will be heading back to Japan soon.  Anyone have any suggestions on what to see in Japan in late January - early February? We're looking at the possibility of my flying over to meet up with Husband when he finishes up this stint in Japan. Nothing definite yet, and it's probably not the best time of year to visit, but it seems like a good opportunity.

For the first part of vacation, I divided my time between some extra chores around the house that I'd been meaning to catch up on, and sitting around on my butt. Husband & I both came down with a bad cold that lasted through Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, and somehow after that I barely managed to do anything productive at all. Oh well, vacations are meant to be enjoyed.

December Workouts

06: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Upper Body + Treadmill walk/jog[35 mins]
07: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Lower Body + Treadmill walk[35 mins]
13: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit Training[30 mins]
14: Treadmill Walk[45 mins]
16: Ellen Barrret Pick Your Level Pilates[30 mins]
11: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit Training[30 mins]
13: Zumba @ Baila Fitness
14: Jackie Warner Power Circuit Upper & Lower Body[30 mins]
31: Jackie Warner Xtreme Circuit Training

Dec 31st was Husband & my 10th wedding anniversary. My anniversary gift from Husband is a new lens for my camera which was very exciting. I took a bunch of pictures to play with it. I would have posted some cute ones of the Fabulous Felines, but after I downloaded the photos, and deleted them from the card, I discovered that they are not in the folder where they were supposed to have been imported. I have no idea where they went and I suppose I've lost them. Sigh.

We are having absolutely fantastic weather so far. We did have snow that arrived just before Christmas, then melted right after Christmas. There have been a few cold days, but mostly it was pretty warm. When I checked the weather earlier today it was 8 degrees celcius (for those who don't speak celcius, google says that  it is 36 degrees Farenheit right now, and the weather page says 2 degrees celcius). For January in that Maritimes, that's downright balmy. I will enjoy it while it lasts because I'm sure it won't last that much longer.

Happy January everyone!