My Fitness Journey

By the time this post is published, I will be standing at the foot of the starting line of a 10 mile road race. This starting line isn’t just any starting line. It is the culmination of two years of work. I also will be turning 51. Yes, I’m running a race on my 51st birthday with 5,000 of my closest friends. Yay!  I decided to do the race, not because I was bored, but because it will mean something. The past year has been a roller coaster of health issues, growing pains and disappointments, and by starting this race and finishing it, I’m hoping to continue the journey of health and fitness into the coming year.

Two years ago, I was doing the same thing. Standing at the same starting line, wanting to do the same race, having the same idea to be healthy and fit. Then something happened. I did the race, but barely. I didn’t feel I did my best. I didn’t have the ability to bounce back from it the same way. I struggled. I was missing something. Hubby, suggested I join a bootcamp. I guffawed. I protested. Reluctantly, I joined.  

A great decision as it turns out. I hate it when Hubby is right. Ugh.  

BUT, it wasn’t always easy.

Getting up at 5am SEEMS like a great idea. All the excitement and novelty of starting a new path to a healthier you wears off at exactly 5:05am that first morning. Then you suddenly hear a voice screaming at you in your head to STAY IN BED!!! DAFUQ WERE YOU THINKING, LADY?!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET UP TODAY!! YOU DESERVE A BREAK!!  

WRONG.  

That voice in your head is wrong. All kinds of wrong. Your break is the exercise. Your break is the bootcamp class that gets you moving. Your break is the coffee after class, after you’ve worked your butt off doing Burpees and push ups and sprints and high knees…

You DO deserve better. You deserve being a better you. A healthy version of you. And getting up at 5am is what it takes.

That’s how I changed my thinking. I deserve a better me. So does my family.  

So the journey began. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 5am without stopping, without quitting (which was a regular thought at 5:05am every Friday morning) without verbal complaints, in snowfall, high winds, rain and sunshine.

I. Went. To. Class.

I showed up. I worked. I learned.

The entire first YEAR of bootcamp was about learning. I walked in to my first class not being able to do one single push up. I couldn’t jump. I couldn’t do a chin up, a burpee…nothing. I watched. I learned. Then I watched and learned some more. I practiced. I fell down. I got back up and tried again.

I kept telling myself to just get through class. Just try again. It will come.

I also had the task of quieting that voice in my head that said ‘People will laugh at you. People are looking at you’. That voice? That voice is an asshole. Tell her to shut the fuck up and move on. NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I work out with women who are supportive of each other. NOBODY JUDGES. BEST. Find that. Go where that is!

TWO YEARS. Two years of work. That’s what it took. Not six weeks. Not six days. Not six months. Years. If I read one more time on some magazine how you can change your body in only six weeks or less, I WILL SCREAM.  

WRONG. ALL KINDS OF WRONG. Don’t listen to that.

Years of showing up and practicing. No one is perfect right away. Or ever.  

Two years later I can do 25 push ups in a row. I know because I counted. I can do box jumps (which are the bane of my existence, but I force myself to do them. I just turn off that voice that scares the shit out of me by saying that I’ll fall), I can do battling ropes, I can lift weights, I can squat and I can do Burpees.


Don’t listen to the naysayers who keep telling you it’s not worth it. Or you can’t do it. Or just walk more.  

Do what’s right for you. Show up. Go to class. Do the work. And eat right.  

But don’t expect to change everything overnight. Or in six weeks. It may take less time than two years, or it may take more. That’s up to you, but staying committed is the key.

So, here I am today. At the starting line of the ten mile race on my 51st birthday. Stronger than two years ago. Thirty pounds lighter. A little achier (thanks, 95year old hip) but so much more appreciative of how I got here and still on the journey to a healthier me.

I may fall down and I’m still learning. But I show up. And I practice.  

Cheers, Peeps! The finish line may seem so far away, but really it’s where you need it to be. Ten miles or two years. It’s all what you put in. Enjoy your journey. I still am.  

 

*EmpowHer is my bootcamp. You can find my Coach here. She’s awesome. One of my cheerleaders that keeps me going.   

Find your cheerleaders. Everybody needs some. I’m lucky to have quite a few behind me!  

Good luck!  

 

  

  

I’m Drivin’ Here!! 

Summer has finally hit the rock with warmer winds and the penchant to sit out in the sun void of any common sense and sunblock. Everyone returns to work on Tuesday after a long weekend with red skin and a hangover. Ahhhh, summer.With that, drivers seemed to be imminently scarred from the rays of the sun with forgetfulness and ignorance, aka, signal lights have gone mysteriously missing and cutting others off then driving like grandma-without-a-license is the new fad. Apparently, my daughter says I have road rage and I should take anger management classes, just because I swore a bit today while trying to turn into Tim’s and people had the nerve to DRIVE WITHOUT LETTING ME TURN!! COME ON I NEED COFFEE HERE!!! Gawd….

I think people should be reminded how to drive with a bit of grace, dignity and an air of panache. Like driving with the windows down whilst listening to a classic Manilow tune! Or driving that convertible that can only be taken out a few times a year and whip around the city with hair flying and eyes closed! AND, of course turn down any street and park on the wrong side of the road while one figures out that dang cell-phone thingy the daughter left! Please! Just don’t cut me off then look at me in shock and horror that I am presenting you with an offer to go in another direction. At least I’m smiling sweetly while I do that. AND, DON’T DRIVE BY THE COFFEE SHOP WHEN I’M TRYING TO TURN!  
Aside from the brutal driving, I am content with the sun, tolerating the wind and am unhappy with the clouds that seem to descend once I get home from work. I long for a full day of sun in multiple succession, not just a day here and there.

ALSO, who thought up the bright idea to have graduations, convocations and proms all in the span of one month?! Those of us geniuses with multiple childadults who are about-to-be-employed-and-eat-all-of-my-food-without-replacing-it-including-my-FAVOURITE-COFFEE-THAT-I-NEED-TO-EXIST-ON-THIS-CLIMATE-CHANGING-TRUMP-VOMIT-INDUCING-PLANET, DO NOT THANK YOU FOR THAT.  

Just saying.

Despite all of the above whining, I am content. I go to Bootcamp that has me dizzy with new exercises that are combined with other exercises that have me doing multiple things all at once. The bicep-tricep-dip-with-a-downward-dog-push-up-frogjump is my favourite so far. I’m gonna wait while you try that sucker out…

See?

Awesome. I’m often glad I can’t see EXACTLY what exercises Coach has printed on the whiteboards at each station. I’m tempted to rewrite what’s there when it’s my turn and watch the ladies who follow me figure that shit out.  

IF you see me with a marker anywhere near those whiteboards, consider yourself warned.

Also, I am hanging out with Hubby who is doing very well and the childadults-who–eat- all-of-the-food and whine about working.  

Awwww…SUCK IT UP KIDS.

Enjoy the sun, warmth and the impending rain that will happen because Newfoundland.

I’ll be over here drinking wine and watching another door blow off my house. Cheers! 

 

Emergent Truth….It Really Has Nothing to Do With This Post, But I Like the Phrase So I’m Using It, Dammit.

 

With the changing seasons, I like to review and take stock in what I’ve accomplished or completely fucked up during the past few months, just so I can kick myself or congratulate myself…depending upon, of course, the previous months’ activities. So far, in my list that I have drawn up in my head, I have both accomplished a few things and totally created an abyss of crap, so really…I can pat myself on the back while simultaneously kicking myself in the ass. Awesome.  

Ugh.

Physically, I’ve done well. Hubby and I have completely overhauled our eating habits and done away with processed foods and added sugar. We still have our days where we eat crap, but they are few and far between. We’ve both lost between 20-25 pounds each and walk around the lake a few times a week now that the weather is cooperating. I’m still going to bootcamp 3 days a week and have added a bit of running a couple of days just to see if my 95 year-old hip can take it. So far, it’s not complaining too much. Most days I can even walk straight! Yay! I’ve noticed I can lift heavier weights, do better push-ups and not fall down into a complete mess when doing a box jump. All improvements. I still can’t do chin-ups, pull-ups, and walk on ice without falling or sliding under cars, but one can’t expect to do it all…right?  


With age, comes tests and more tests to make sure you’re in tip top working condition. I sound like a mechanic looking under the hood of a car, but that’s how it feels. Bloodwork, xrays, ultrasounds, MRI’s, scan this, test that…ugh, it gets exhausting. Some of these ‘tests’ are invasive and overly tactile. I had an ‘internal ultrasound’ yesterday that I was NOT PREPARED FOR. The woman technician was trying to be really nice and understanding, but already admitted that she had not had one done herself , but WAS TOLD IT WASN’T THAT BAD. In response, I very sweetly said ‘oh, okay’ but my head was screaming WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK LADY, I’M NOT HAVING THAT WAND STUCK UP MY HOO-HA SO YOU CAN TAKE PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE OF WHATEVER IT IS YOU NEED PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE FOR! GEEZ, AT LEAST BUY ME DINNER FIRST. HEY, IF I SEE THESE PICS ON FACEBOOK SOMEONE IS GOING TO PAY! That was in my head. The whole time. Not kidding. Then she was pointing out how she saw my ovaries “oh, there’s the right one. It was a bit hard to see. *giggle*” (me: * fuck off* I get a bit sweary WHERE THERE’S A GLOWING WAND INSIDE MY HOO-HA AND SOMEONE IS LAUGHING AT ME) Then, I hear her sweetly saying “okay, now just a bit of pressure” and you know when someone says ‘pressure’ they mean ‘I’m pushing as hard as I can to get a good look at that unmentionable stuff that no one talks about so don’t be such a big baby, will ya?’  

Being a woman is terribly humiliating.  

And getting older can suck.

Then I went back to work and totally felt violated and needed consoling, so I had a wrap and a diet coke…but I HAD TO PAY SO REALLY, IT WAS A SUCKY DATE.  

THANKS TECHNICIAN, LADY. I hope when you have your internal ultrasound, you have someone there to pat your hand and say supportive things like, ‘THERE, THERE. YOU SURVIVED YOU STRONG LOVELY WOMAN” And NOT giggle at the discovery of your elusive right ovary WHICH WAS PROBABLY HIDING FROM THE WEIRD ASS GLOW STICK RANDOMLY WANDERING AROUND IN THERE. AND also you won’t have to listen to shit like, “OH I HEAR IT’S NOT THAT BAD AND HOLD ON, JUST A BIT OF PRESSURE.”  

Ugh.  

 Here is a pic of a cute sloth. You. Are. Welcome. 

The Universe Is Being Trumpy


 

Whenever an issue arises that seems too all-encompassing or beyond any conscious reckoning, I throw it on out to the Universe to take care of. That way, if it all goes to shit, I can throw my fist into the air and curse the Universe for being obstinate or even a little too self-important and not blame myself for being lazy or forgetful. I mean really, you couldn’t spare five minutes to take care of that little thing I asked for? YOU HAD ONE JOB, UNIVERSE.  

Meanwhile, I’m stuck reveling in the mundane and eking out a bit of fun where I can muster the energy. This life thing is tedious sometimes and I must admit to being just a bit tired. I get tired thinking of getting up in the morning, I get tired of going to work, I get tired of doing household crap and I get tired of getting tired. I sound old. And like I’ve just given up on life all together, but really I haven’t. Honest.  

I still get to sit by the fireplace on my quiet nights when I’m alone and write in my journal. I still get to get out with friends and be obnoxious. I still get to bother my kids and ask annoying questions like ‘what are you doing?’ and say the ever popular ‘CRACK IS WHACK’ That pretty much sums up my discussion on drugs. That and ‘JUST SAY NO’. Lame slogans I can get behind. My point in there somewhere is that even when life seems very dull or overly annoying to the point of downright ridiculous, I can still find things to make me feel a little myself again. Like spew annoying clichés at the kids about drugs. Write about my dullness in my journal that is non-judgy and even kinda enjoys my boring run-on sentences. At least, that’s how I like to think of it. I get to exercise. SOME people may roll their eyes or say ‘oh, yeah. What a privilege’ but when I look forward to getting to the studio and a having someone yell at me that ‘YOU CAN DO ANYTHING FOR TEN SECONDS’ and ‘YAY BURPEES!’ then maybe, it’s become a part of me. Maybe I can’t have a good day without moving and feeling stronger. Or maybe, deep down I’m a masochist and I like all the yelling and sweating and swearing…like a Trump rally, only without all the hate.

Either way, there are other things to do and feel good about when life gets dull or ridiculous or too Trumpy. (Trumpy – Adj. word that describes life when it gets judgy, hateful, sweaty and utterly ridiculous to the point of giving the world the middle finger. Eg. He was to the point of swinging from the balcony after his girlfriend dumped him. He wanted to give up. He felt his life had become too Trumpy without her presence. ) Feel free to use this new word. I expect Webster’s will indoctrinate it soon enough.

Get outside, find a hobby, write in a journal, or do some burpees…whatever makes it better.  

Leaving shit up to the Universe to take care of may work some of the time, but it seems to me if I can tackle it myself, it will work out better. This way, I might get all of the blame but I just may get all of the credit, too! And of course, the cake in the end.  

THERE IS ALWAYS CAKE IN THE END…

 

Right! Best. Quote. Ever.

 

 

Day Two of the 14 Day Challenge

I started my day with a workout, so blah coffee before said workout was a must.  Even if there was no sugar, I needed the caffeine to get me on the go.  Good thing too.  That workout was tough…

After the third cup of sugarless tasteless coffee, I can honestly say it still tastes shitty…maybe I need to switch coffee brands.  Or go to tea…HA!  Had you there for a minute, didn’t I?  TEA?!  That may send me over the edge, so I’ll stick to the duller-than-watching-grandma-knit-blankets coffee until I “get used to it”.  Which is going to happen any day now according to those ‘in the know’…ie, people who have given up sugar in the coffee like eons ago and say there’s nothing to it…the same people/person/daughter who then says ‘buy me a cookie at Tim’s okay?’

I did manage to eat some eggs with almonds for breakfast, so that was good.   I just read that sentence.  The almonds weren’t IN the eggs.  They were a side.  Like avocado is a side for some people…apparently, I’m supposed to like that.  I like guacamole, does that count?

I’m really not complaining about the whole ordeal, I just like verbally expressing my distaste for anything non-sweet, like celery and cold coffee and that lady who hates Christmas.  She probably hates babies and little puppies too….Maybe she had a bad week, or maybe she’s trying the ‘no sugar’ thing too, in which case, she should definitely eat that big ole chocolate bar and get over it.  WE NEED CHRISTMAS. AND BABIES. AND CUTE PUPPIES MAULING BABIES.

Can I have withdrawals from chocolate?  Because I think I’m going to need a similar thing to a methadone clinic for my chocolate addiction…”I’ll need an injection of the caramel centred Pot O’Gold, please”.

I’m faring better than I thought I would, although, it may not sound like it.   Some wonderful people are posting great recipes on Facebook that I can actually try out, like a one pot chicken breast with beans thing that looks good and easy to make.  Which is excellent for me.  They must know me well.  Or feel sorry for me after my post yesterday.  Either way, it’s awesome.   I’m not in the crowd of great ladies who cook up shit a week in advance and have all their veggies chopped and organized in the refrigerator by colour and size and crispness…I CAN’T DO THAT.  They cook up pots of stuff that I can’t pronounce and make food that rhymes with avocado…NOTHING RHYMES WITH AVOCADO.

I operate on a different plane.  It’s more like ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-and-hope-shit-works-out’.  Yeah.  That’s more me.  In saying that, I DID manage to prepare my lunches in advance (by this I mean an hour before I leave for work )  and have snacks at the ready so I don’t steal somebody’s cookies off their desk…or chocolate bar…Not that I’ve been scoping out people’s offices for snacks…STOP JUDGING.

All in all, day two has been…meh.  Not BAD, but doable.  If tomorrow goes like today and so forth, I got this.  Just gotta learn how to organize my veggies…so green goes before orange, then red, then yellow…I`m thinking alphabetical.  Are they chopped or sliced?  I’m going to have to get new containers…and labels.  AND SUPPORT STAFF TO HELP ME WITH THIS SHIT.

refrigerator_full_veggies

My refrigerator does NOT look like this.  Where’s all the wine? 

Who knew organizing vegetables could be so complicated?  OBVIOUSLY THE PEOPLE WHO DO THIS ALL OF THE TIME.  They must have the global market on Tupperware.  It’s all in the lids.  Those damned things get lost and reappear in the strangest places…years later.  At least in my house. Do people still buy Tupperware?  Is that still a thing?  Huh.

tupperware

Maybe I’ll just get pre-cut veggies and store in Ziplocs…hey….see?  I got this.

At least until Friday…Friday is wine night.

WWWWIIIIINNNNNNEEEEEEE…..

wine and cookies

 

The 14 Day Eating Challenge (Yet Another Way to Make Me Cranky)

food-meme

The challenge title is misleading.  It’s not challenging one to eat, which would totally be a challenge I would GLADLY take on.  It’s challenging one to eat RIGHT.  A group of us ladies have decided to follow our fearless leader into the depths of healthiness (and despair) by accepting her carefully laid out plan for healthy eating…and Gawd knows what else, because we are supportive. And awesome. And probably a little drunk from the holidays to really think this through.

Anyways, like any carefully strategic plan for world domination, there are rules…quid pro quos…stuff that’s listed that’s forbidden to eat/drink/consume… stuff I ate in large quantities over the holidays that apparently are BAD for me.  Pffft… We are to read the list, memorize the list…basically, BE ONE WITH THE LIST.  Ugh…here we go….

My thoughts are in the parentheses…

This is the list of NO’s:

  1. No chips (dat’s okay, don’t mind’em anyways)
    2. No white potatoes (don’t mind ‘dat either.)
    3. No Ice cream   (so far this is easy….)
    4. No fast food   (Okay, so no Micky D’s for a while)
    5. No fried food   (Nudding? Hmmm)
    6. No chocolate   (WHAT?!  But…not ONE BITE?! I may die)
    7. No white bread (fine.  No homemade bread )
    8. No soda or juice   (done)
    9. No cakes, cookies, donuts, etc.  (I’m thinking the “etc” part includes everything I love)
    10. No added sugar of any kind (Sweet Jesus, lady WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!…okay, I’ll need to breathe for a while…)

Sugars – Avoid all added sugars for this challenge.  (ugh…sooooo gonna die)
Substitute Sugars – Avoid all substitute sugars, including stevia. While it’s not a sugar, the idea of the challenge is not only to get sugar out of your diet, but also to get you away from the need for something sweet.  ( and away from eating stuff that tastes better than the cardboard boxes those sweet donuts from heaven came packed in)
Alcohol – Avoid alcohol because it can make your cravings worse.  (but if you’re drunk, you won’t notice the cravings, will ‘ya? )   

I started a day earlier, just because I wanted to be able to focus and ease myself into this 14 day hell ride we call HEALTHY EATING.   Whatever…

Things I discovered today, Day One:

I drank my first cup of coffee EVER with nothing in it but a bit o’milk.  Tasted like crap, but I’m willing to try it again…not sure why…I guess I can be convinced of anything.  Next I’ll be signing up for Scientology classes and Leah Remini will be trying to save me…

I like sugar.  EVERYTHING has added sugar, so I’m focusing on fresh fruit and veggies and almonds.  Boring as hell, but it gets me through my morning….but I still want to stab somebody in the throat for no sugar in my morning coffee…

By 11:30 I needed another coffee.  Usually by this time, I have had 2 or 3 cups.  I only had the one since I wasn’t relishing the taste without the sugar.  So some may say “another benefit” while I’m saying “I WANNA KILL SOMEBODY SO I’LL STAY IN MY OFFICE, THANKS”

I found I drank more water out of desperation. Desperation will make you do crazy things…who has Tom Cruise’s number?

Why does it seem to be more water exiting my body, than entering it?  Seriously.  The bathroom at work is going to get my name plate plastered on it.

Did you know that salad dressing has added sugar in it?  WORK WITH ME PEOPLE.  I’M EATING A GODDAMNED SALAD.  THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS PROVIDE A DECENT –TASTING- SAUCY- LOVELINESS TO MAKE IT TASTE BETTER THAN STALE CARROTS AND GRASS FROM LAST SPRING’S THAW!!

See?  A wee bit stabby.

DAY 2 SHOULD BE AWESOME….

koala-eating-salad

Positively Positive

I’m not graceful or light on my feet.  I’m not agile or athletic.  I’m not able to spin or balance elegantly.  I’m lucky I can walk a straight line.  Hell, I’m lucky to be upright, most days.  There is documented proof….unfortunately.    Moving in any direction is awkward to me.  One morning at bootcamp, one exercise involved walking like a duck carrying a kettle bell…that is, squat down as low as possible and walk.   I couldn’t do that. My knees were not cooperating and I don’t think I have enough strength in my quads to pull that shit off.  Oh, I tried, but failed miserably at it. Instead of a duck walk it was more like an old-lady-with-bad-knees-stumble.  (New exercise! ) That’s okay.  I crushed it at the split squats and the deadlift.

There are a lot of things I don’t do well.  There are also a lot of things I do well.  I’m also mediocre at some things and totally suck at others.  I can’t do everything well and I don’t tear myself up about it.  I attempt it, try to get better and move on.  Days are too short to spend wallowing in any self-pity or self-deprecating shit.  I have decided to kick the habit of putting myself down, and get in the habit of lifting myself up.

We all have those days where shit happens and whatever we seem to do, it just invariably goes wrong.  We try to avoid running out of gas, but life gets in the way and we forget.  We try to get to that deadline, but so many people needed us to do a million other things so that deadline came and went like yesterday’s lunch.  Did we forget to eat that, too?

As women, we tend to think about everybody else instead of us.  We put a million others and their needs in front of our own.  It’s instinct.  We are nurturers and we just put ourselves into the line of fire every fucking time.  Ugh.  We can’t help it.  That’s how awesome we are.

Phoebe and Rachel running

It’s all about attitude…

Social media is a cesspool of body-shaming, name-calling anti-everything kind of shit-show that just needs a little bit of uplifting positivity now and then.  We tend to take some things to heart, but we have to learn to ignore the bad and dwell on the good.   When I see my FB feed and its inundated with negative crap about Trump and Hillary, or the latest celebrity divorce or how we NEED to be something other than who or what we are, I tend to retaliate with cute animal baby pics.  It’s my go-to kind of cuteness that overrides any possible negative put-down one can throw.  How can anybody hate a cute animal baby?!

bunny

There are ways to combat the ugly negatives and I suggest banning together and lifting each other up.  Be a cheerleader.  Be a motivator of wonderfulness…so awesome in the positive, that you repel the dark side and naturally attract light to you like moths to a flame, like metal to a magnet, like fingerprints to every damned wall in my house.  (Ugh)

We get beaten down enough.  Let’s lift each other up.  Smile and be positive.  Tell somebody she is awesome today…you may make someone’s day, week or year.  You don’t know everybody’s story.  Give them a smile and something to keep in their mind for the day, so when somebody tries to tear them down, they can go back to that smile or that positive remark and dwell on that for a while.  It helps.  Believe me.  Even the smallest of remarks can make a difference.  One night, I was returning to my house after a bit o’wine with friends. A neighbour happened to spot me on my way and commented on my new car.  I said I was now ‘cool’.  He said ‘You’ve always been cool.  Don’t sell yourself short’.  THAT was a small itty bitty remark that I keep.  It made me smile.  I also thought maybe he was a bit drunk, but take a compliment when one comes along!  AND, it was valuable advice.  Too many of us ‘sell ourselves short’.  Stop that.  Somebody around the corner might just think you’re ‘cool’, too.

No matter how off the cuff a remark is, it can be a big do-over for somebody.

Take care, stay positive and say something nice, will ‘ya?

woman worker