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Pigs n’ Bunnies

Happy Easter.

Do bunny suits scare the crap out of anyone else?? When I was a kid, Easter used to scare me because I thought a man in a bunny suit was breaking into our house to hide things. Not a friendly man either. But the kind that stinks of bourbon and cigarettes, with furry eyebrows and deep growl for a voice. This was my innocent mind as a child. Thankfully, my parents were bad at pretending it was someone other than themselves hiding the chocolate behind the couch :P I will however say, they expertly put money under my pillow whenever I lost a tooth. That Tooth Fairy thing was a real shocker.

I loved hearing the diverse genres of music that everyone listens to while working out in my last post. Some fun ones:

Madeline admitted to listening to blasting the pop music, although she listens to indie the rest of the time.

chillel said classical music makes her feel powerful while working out.

Ellie is hooked on Glee because showtunes pump her up.

…and John ran 10 miles to NO music today. Whoa. I am thoroughly impressed.

 

Anyways! I was up at 6:50am today. Babysteps. Maybe I’ll crack 7am tomorrow. I know it’s Pancake Sunday and all, but I am not one to argue with the Waffle Monster.

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Two Nature’s Path Flax Plus waffles topped with a mix of cottage cheese, cashew butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins. 

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That’s how you make freezer waffles filling :)

Actually, a little too filling! I had my two hour group exercise medley at 9:30, and I didn’t want to go without something extra in my tummy. I reached for a homemade apple cinnamon protein bar for that long-lasting energy.

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Thankfully, we didn’t start with Body Attack, or I would have thrown up :P

The breakdown went a little something like this:

30 minutes Body Pump – For a girl who loves weight lifting, I just can’t get into this class. Doing squats and chest presses for 5 minutes each is not fun, and my joints don’t like it.

30 minutes Body Step – I was not expecting there to be a step block! I got all excited when I saw the crazy step instructor there today. Favourite part of the day. She even referred to me as one of the “seasoned steppers” for all the newbies to follow :)

30 minutes Body Attack – Ever do “high knees?” Well it’s all that, all the time. Except, we did one song from the Hairspray soundtrack where we jumped side to side and waved our hands in the the air like we just didn’t care.

30 minutes Body Flow – I was SO sweaty and tired by this point I was ready to collapse into the pool of sweat that gathered on my mat. I don’t think the instructor for this one adequately planned, as she had us doing a lot of challenging warriors, when we really just needed to chill and streeeetch.

Overall, a fun day of exercising!! I wish they offered these medleys more often, they typically only do it on holidays when they don’t do the regular class schedule. Two hours may sound like a lot, but it’s all about pacing yourself and knowing when not to push too hard so you don’t crash.

After this I went straight to the after hours medical clinic. I don’t have a doctor in town, so I can’t just schedule an appointment with one (there’s a waiting list). So I have to go to the drop-in clinic. I finally broke down and went, because my arms are essentially covered in rashes, and I can’t put up with it anymore!!

After a three-hour wait, I walked out with some cream and pills.

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The cream is a type of cortisone cream for my arms, which the doctor said looked like eczema. The pills however are for my legs. I’ve had skin problems there for well over a year now. The doc said it looked like it might be a bacterial infection in the hair follicles, so he prescribed a form of antibiotic. I’ve got to go back in a month to see if it helps. I really hope my arms clear up – the itching is driving me batty.

Oh. I ate a ham sandwich during the wait. And studied. Then I came home and had more ham. It’s freakin’ Easter!!

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For the veggies, I tossed broccoli and butternut squash in bacon peanut butter and maple syrup and roasted them.

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Since I did maple syrup for the veggies, I skipped it for the ham. Instead I pan-fried it and topped it with sauteed onions and a sauce made from laughing cow cheese, almond milk, dill and garlic powder.

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Excellent, excellent meal. Not a bad Easter dinner for one if I do say so myself :) After dinner I called my Nana who is also home alone today. Kicking myself I didn’t just go stay with her instead!

 

I’ve read a billion blogs today, here’s a couple you should check out:

Lisa wrote a great post about control issues with food and body image.

Tam made the prettiest waffles I’ve ever seen.

 

Happy Easter!! Don’t let the man in the bunny suit get you!!

Question of the Day: Did you believe in the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause as a kid? As for Santa, I found out he didn’t exist by matching “his” handwriting on the presents to my mother’s. It was much too girly ;)

New Job, New Obstacles

Okay, am I the only non-American who’s been oddly craving turkey and stuffing all day? :P Well, holiday or not, I hope everyone had a fabulous Thursday :D

Mine started off a little too early for my liking, so I went for a little comfort in a big bowl of oat bran.

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With almond butter and marshmallow fluff. Mature, yet immature all at the same time ;)

I triple-checked the gym schedule and made it to the right BodyPump class this week (after going to the wrong gym last week). I was really looking forward to it for a nice change in my routine.

But I have to say, this was my third BodyPump class, and I’m still not entirely sure if I like it! I want to like it. But I just don’t like doing the same moves for 3-4 minutes at a time. According to the Les Mills website a typical class is broken down to target one area for each song played. 

  • Warmup – a mix of all the moves using light weight
  • Legs/Squats – barbell squats
  • Chest – barbell presses laying on a step
  • Back – deadlifts, rows, clean&press
  • Triceps – skull crushers, tricep extension
  • Biceps – curls
  • Lunges – couple varieties, today we did it off a step
  • Shoulders – various rotations with small plates and barbell presses
  • Abdominals – crunches
  • Cooldown – typical stretches

So each bullet point is the length of one song, and we only do the moves listed for the duration of the song. That’s right, I did bicep curls for 4 minutes straight. Choosing weight is really difficult too. I choose light weights so I can maintain the movement for such a long period. But it means the first couple minutes are always too easy, then all of a sudden it gets really hard and I can’t finish. I dunno, it’s just a set-up that isn’t for me.

Our instructor also said the typical calorie burn for the 60 minute class is 460 and I burned 220. I was hurtin’ too. Maybe if I was stronger and could push higher weights I would get a better burn. OR she’s full of BS :P

Aaaanyways, I did 18 minutes of HIIT on the elliptical after and called it a day. I will at least say my muscles got a good workout and will be appropriately sore tomorrow :)

Came home and got some protein in me asap. Starting with some protein juice, aka PVL peach flavoured whey cooler.

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And by “asap” I mean I started drinking it before I even took the picture :P It’d been a long time since breakfast!

Accompanied by a bagel with Yves cajun chicken slices, tomato and swiss cheese.

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NOM. Everything becomes instantly better the second you melt cheese on top.

I used up the last of my leftover roast chicken for dinner (*sob*) and opted for something other than a sandwich.

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Chicken omelette! I used one whole egg and a whack of egg whites, and a delicious filling of chicken, spinach and laughing cow cheese. I dusted the top with paprika, so it’s not as burnt as looks ;)

Then it was off to Starbucks for my first training shift!! This is the third time I’ve done the training in five years. Ugh! It’s because this is the first time I’ve ever worked for a corporate Starbucks, the other ones were licensed concepts.

 

Now, I’m not going to lie here, I’m a little apprehensive about how being back at Starbucks will change my current lifestyle. Let me explain.

The last time I worked at Starbucks was Summer 2008. I was 30 lbs heavier. I would go into work and drink a giant latte and have a cinnamon roll for breakfast. Then the guys from New York fries would come over and bring us free poutines for lunch (in exchange for free frappuccinos, of course). A snack would usually consist of my own frappuccino or another latte, and then nibbles of whatever brownie or cookie we were sampling that afternoon.

Oh, and we’re allowed to bring the old pastries home at night. So I would come home to a freezer full of frozen muffins and scones that I’d been bringing home from work.

Obviously, that last stint at Starbucks was a little over-the-top, even for “Old Susan.” It’s what brought me to my all-time highest weight. I know there’s no way I’ll ever eat like that again. I’ve learned sooooo much about nutrition since then. I don’t think I ever want to put a cinnamon roll in my body for breakfast again, (hello! fat? protein? fibre?).

There’s also the fact that I’m going from a job where I spend 30% of the day on my feet, to a job where I spend 100% of the day on my feet. I remember what’s it’s like to work on your feet all day, it sucks. Your feet hurt, your back hurt, and you go home at the end of the day just exhausted. I have concerns that I may have trouble keeping up my current level of exercise when I’m running around a cafe all day.

With that said, I’m determined to make it work. Black coffee and tea are my new best friends :) I will bring in a slew of healthy snacks with me, so I can grab my own bag of homemade trail mix instead of snacking on the Starbucks packaged variety.

I’m going to work really hard at working out before my shifts, when I still have energy. I have a feeling I won’t be up for running on the treadmill after eight hours of churning out lattes at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. But maybe a stellar sweat sesh before my shift will give me the energy and stamina I need to get through it.

Finally, I need new work clothes! I looked like I was swimming in my old black pants and collared shirt tonight. I felt like a bum :P

 

Oh, and I just gobbled up this delicious snack:

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Kashi peanut peanut butter bar with an extra slathering of PB on top. Take that tempting Starbucks peanut butter bar, this was delicious ;)

 

Question of the day: How do you stay healthy with you current job? Working as a reporter wasn’t easy either. Since I didn’t spend much time in the office, I always made sure I had a bag of healthy goodies on my person that I could dig into while running around. A lot of meals were eaten in the car, and snacks shoved down while rushing from one assignment to the next. My weekend shifts really tuckered me out for exercise. It’s hard to find the motivation to work out after an 8-hour day that started at 4:30 am. But we’ve got to find a way to make it work! :)

Speaking of which, I’m getting up for a 6am spin class before my reporting shift tomorrow. My bed is beckoning, lator gators!

Ups and Downs

Before I even begin to delve into this post, I just want to say how awesome it is that you guys didn’t yell at me for liking soggy cereal! I thought for sure everyone would be on the crunchy bandwagon. Glad to see I’m not alone :) I do however have an aversion to cow’s milk and cream, so I can only do soy or almond milk in cereal. I love dairy, but straight up milk makes me think of the purpose of an animal’s milk in the first place, and gives me the heebie-jeebies. Did you know humans are the only mammal that drink another mammal’s milk? Ew. We’re gross.

Another fun fact: apparently my body only wants six hours sleep a night now. Ugh. Really? Only two years ago I could seriously sleep for 10 hours every single night. Oddly, I feel energetic and awake, I just hope it doesn’t catch up with me!

Maybe my body just gets too excited for breakfast. It’s my own fault for feeding it so well :P

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PB&J oats!!!

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • dash pumpkin spice
  • peanut butter
  • blueberry jam

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I layered half the PB&J in the center of the bowl, so it’s like an “oatmeal sandwich.” :) Usually I crank the stove up in the morning so my oats cook as quickly as possible (I’m hangry!). But today I let them cook slowly on a lower heat and they turned out soooo creamy. Almost like gelatin.

Today was my day off, and a very laid-back one at that. Did lots of housework, and made a big dent in New Moon (getting ready for the movie!). I then mustered up all my courage and went to a zumba class.

If you’re curious about zumba, you should check out this video from the Today Show.

I have to preface this by saying I am uncoordinated, clumsy, and possibly the whitest girl you will ever meet. The only booty shaking I do is shivering during the winter months.

I wish I could say I found my inner Latina diva, but alas, she may not exist :P The class was full, a good mix of ages and fitness levels. But I really didn’t get much of a workout from it. Maybe I would have if I was a better dancer and knew the steps, but even then, I don’t think it would be comparable to my regular workouts. It’s definitely fun to let loose once in a while, but I have to say it just wasn’t my thang. I still would not discourage any one else from giving it a try though!

Oh, but the dance steps kinda hurt my sensitive runner’s muscles :\

BodyPump was immediately after zumba, and I was feeling good and energized from the class, so I stuck around and did a two-fer! Body pump was much better the second time around. It’s a fine art trying to find the right weights for that class. After the two classes, I left the gym happy, and very hungry!

I did even more kitchen clearing by attacking a box of noodles. I added garlic tomato sauce to my dip from yesterday. Then added half a serving of whole wheat rotini.

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I have maybe half a dozen boxes of noodles that I never eat, because I don’t really like noodles! Something about their tasteless and slimy texture. I do like them as an “addition” to things though. So this was really a bowl of sauce with a few noodles :)

Emily expressed interest in hearing about my experience with weight maintenance after talking about my weight loss yesterday. Honestly, I could ramble on about weight maintenance for a while! As I said yesterday, losing weight was very easy for me. Once I cut back on all the unnecessary calories I was consuming (ahem! beer! and lots of it!), the pounds immediately started creeping off.

I don’t want to give the impression that losing weight is a walk in the park. I went a very long time without eating nut butter because it took up a large chunk of my daily calorie allowance. That’s not fun. But at least weight loss has a time limit. I knew I wouldn’t be in a calorie deficit forever, so my eating habits were doable for the short term.

Weight maintenance however, is forever. Now that my friends, is scary. I think the biggest thing you need to learn in maintenance is to accept the fluctuations. And I’m not talking a couple pounds of water weight here and there. Sometimes, you will feel 5-10 lbs heavier. The key is to not freak out. Understand that it’s part of the natural ups and downs of life. Losing it doesn’t mean drastically slashing your calories, or adding an extra hour at the gym every day. It just means maybe eliminating those things that you’ve let creep into your life. Maybe it’s that extra glass of wine in the evening, or giving in to the donuts in the break room at work.

My weight has fluctuated a lot since I lost those final pounds. I gained a little over Christmas last year, and again during a trip to Jamaica. There will be many other times in the future where I expect to go up a little. But I know what eating and exercise habits will allow me to fall back to my “happy weight.” It’s just a matter of getting back into those habits. To me, the heart of maintenance is in those fluctuations. Being able to nip any weight gain in the bud, and get yourself back on track.

Embracing those fluctuations has helped me not freak out over having to maintain this weight for the rest of my life. Right now for example, I feel just a smidge bigger than I like to be. But my fridge is stocked with healthy food and I’ve got stellar workouts planned for the coming week, so I know I’ll be back to that comfortable size very soon.

And for the record, I did gain weight when I went from a calorie deficit to maintenance calories. It was at that time that I threw away my scale! :P Instead, I just started eating what felt natural to me, and the next time I stepped on a scale, I was actually 5 lbs under my goal weight! Just goes to show that your body will never steer you wrong :)

Okay that’s enough rambling for one night! You know what’s next…

Question time!

Are you a good dancer? I did highland dancing as a child. I think jumping up and down on one leg will be the only dance move I’ll ever master :P

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