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.


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.


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.


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.

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:


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!

Posted on November 26, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Work can certainly make living a healthy lifestyle much more difficult. Working at Subway did that to me. Staring at food all day made me feel like I was hungry when I obviously wasn’t since I had just eaten two hours before! Do your best with exercise and plan ahead with food! :) I think you will do just fine. You’ve come a long way!

  2. “With almond butter and marshmallow fluff. Mature, yet immature all at the same time”—I prefer the immature fluff any day my lady ! LOL

    The best defense against gaining wt or unhealthy choices is a good offense. And you’ve already got the danger zones Well mapped out AND you have solutions. You are gonna be JUST FINE. More than fine as you recognize the temptation and are beating it to the punch. WELL DONE!

    My prob is that I am very physically active with doing yoga, teaching yoga, etc and that I need to remember to fuel myself and not just live on water, air, and coffee and veggies. It’s a job hazard of a different kind when you’re really active for your work. I stay healthy by planning ahead too and bringing the right fuel with me.

  3. I work a desk job. I try to get up and walk around as much as I can: to the copy machine, fax machine, bathroom… I also get in a kick ass workout on my longer workdays when possible. I do workout about 5 to 6 days a week so that helps. On days when I don’t have school and work, I push extra hard and I have extra endurance and energy after sitting all day. Starbucks black tea rocks! I get it with no “classic” and light ice :)

  4. wow! yumm those bagels look awesome!!

    everyone elses comments are right on. you know the temptation is there.. but are willing to ignore it! you are making all the right choices! and will definatly be OK!!

    i was totz craving stuffing all day today too

  5. 4 minutes of bicep curls? That is insane! I understand about the wanting to like it. I kept trying kickboxing because I really, really wanted to like it, but found it just didn’t work for me.

    I don’t think many people realize how tiring food service jobs can be. With all your workouts and strength you have built, I think you will probably feel better than you might expect, but the feet will take some work! That was always my sorest.

    I sit on my butt all day now, which is something I really dislike about my job. I am just used to always moving around prior to this job, so sitting still can be a problem.

    • That’s a good point! I’m a lot more energetic and stronger than I was when I worked there before, so hopefully a lot of the tasks will come easier to me now :) I need to get some good comfy shoes to wear though. I don’t want to ruin my feet for running! :P

  6. i think knowing how certain foods affect my mood/energy levels and eating to sustain a positive mental/physical state are what keeps me “on track” when i’m working really hard. hope you had a wonderful t’giving!!!

  7. I totally understand your worries about the change in lifestyle, but I think you’ve done a great job of seeing where you might struggle and that’s half the battle there! I would really just try to be as intuitive as possible with your body–realizing that you WILL be more active and sometimes that may call for a less intense workout or an extra day of “rest.” Also understanding that sometimes it will be ok to eat a poutine for lunch or have a treat sample. But you have changed you habits so much into healthy ones, that you are already headed in the right direction no matter what. Good luck sweetie pie! xoxo

    • Don’t worry, I will definitely me tuning into my body more to see when I need extra rest or food. Just going to be a bit of an adjustment I guess :)

      I can’t see myself wanting to eat those poutines again (really, I don’t think I can stomach them anymore). But I AM looking forward to a chocolate sample every now and then ;)

  8. I just wanted you to know , first of all I love your blog ! Second I read about your Breakfast Cookie a while ago, and never got around to trying it. Last weekend I was going through some recipes and found it and gave it a shot ! I LOVE them ! And the amount of time they keep the hunger away ! Plus the fact that they are simple to make, save time in the morning (making the night before) , and you can change them up with an edless variety of add ins , I have begun to call them Miracle Cookies ! Thanks so much for sharing ! I wish I’d tried them sooner !

    • Yay! That makes me happy :D People are always scared they won’t be filling, but I use the exact same measurements I do for a bowl of oats, so why wouldn’t they be? (not to mention, dessert for breakfast is awesome)

  9. I am glad it’s not just me with crazy cravings for turkey and stuffing. I want to change my facebook status to a plea for leftovers being sent my way :P

    Maybe your workouts can change? When I worked at Starbucks, I was exhausted beyond words after a shift and the thought of a long dip in a pool or a yoga class to stretch out was always tempting. As for the food- does Canadian Starbucks have healthy options? In NY, there are low fat bran muffins, multigrain bagels, protein plate (mini bagel, fruit, hardboiled egg, peanut butter pack) as well as oatmeal. Drinks: tea, coffee, mistos, sugar free syrups… Change doesn’t mean ‘bad’, but it does mean that things might adjust a little- maybe you’ll find that working out on work days needs to be toned down, or that you need to eat more frequently/slightly different foods. make some snack sized breakfast cookies :D Are you working full-time?

    • Hey Ellie! Yup, 40 hours a week! Not immediately though, it will be a few more weeks till I get up to those hours. I fully expect to incorporate at least one more rest day into my week and bring down the intensity of my workouts. Part of the reason why I workout so much is because I’m bored! :P But I also LOVE working out, it’s seriously the one thing that keeps me going, so I’m pretty insistent on keeping it up on some level. I’ll likely just have to make sure I adjust my eating to reflect my more active lifestyle now.

      There are healthy(ish) snacks. But I rather not eat them just cause they’re there ;)

  10. I’ve never tried BodyPump but it sounds interesting in that you do one move for the whole song. I’d be one serious complainer towards the end of the song ;)

    I think you’re going to be just fine in your job. You have a different mentality than you did when you first worked at Starbucks. I’m going to say good luck but I really don’t think you need it! You know what needs to be done to live a healthy lifestyle and your thoughts about the past prove that you’re in a different place in your life – you got this!

  11. I’m the same way with Body Pump.. I like it because I like having someone tell me what to do but I never know how heavy to go!

    It sounds like you’ll be just fine at your new job! I know you’ll find a way to make it work!

  12. oh my goodness i LOVE marshmellow fluff!! good luck with your new job :)

  13. susan…i worked at starbucks post-weight loss, and i had the same problem. the pastries, the sugary drinks, everything! i usually just stuck to coffee and the occasional latte or vivanno drink. i mandated the pastries were just off-limits. i knew if i had one taste, i would want the whole thing. once in awhile, i would have a bite or two, but it was fine. if anything, you are going to be a calorie burning MACHINE at work. sometimes (esp. with early shifts) i was too tired to work out, but you will just have to cut yourself some slack and know you were active all day.

    i have no doubt you will be just fine…LOVE YOU GIRL!

    • Holly, I laughed out loud last night when my boss told me I’d get FIVE free drinks per shift. Can you imagine!? Five lattes or frappuccinos in an eight hour span kinda makes my tummy churn :\

      Pastries will be off limits to me too, except maybe the oatmeal ;) I fully expect to snack on the samples we cut up and place on the counter. It’s just eating the whole plate of samples that I’m worried about :P

  14. I’m a Canadian that was craving turkey, stuffing, gravy and all other Thanksgiving related foods ALL day yesterday! Haha

  15. Mmmmm the chicken omelette is GENIUS!!!

  16. I work/worked/going to work in food service for probably at least the next couple years (well, I’m going to culinary school, at least, lol.) and its so hard for me too! Defnitely blogging is tons of motivation, to previous times when I worked/didn’t have a blog yet. (Ahem, meaning no accountability= no one is going to notice that handful of chocolate chips I stole from the freezer) haha BUT its what I love to do! Balance and consistency is key for me.

    But you’re a different gal from a year ago. Self control and a new life is what you have now, plus a whole head of knowledge and a respect for what you eat/drink. I say you’ll be juuuuust fine. ;)

  17. I agree with everyone- you’ve already problem solved the issues, now its just sticking to the plan. Getting your exercise in first will be CRITICAL!

    On the Body Pump- a trainer at the gym I know really considers it more “cardio” than weights, but I’m not sure I agree. It’s endurance. And yes it’s tricky about how much weight to put on. Personally, I like to go to failure- and from what it sounds like, that’s exactly what you are doing. AND you’re sore the next day (=it worked) and yes, you’re not burning as many cals, but that’s because it’s a weight workout and NOT cardio. I think if you consider it weights or endurance, and arrive a little early and bang out a HIIT first for 20 minutes you’ll have a stellar workout. Just my opinion, but curious to know your thoughts.

  18. i think i would get bored with that layout.. hmm.. maybe i should try it sometime with my shuffle and just do a song each. hmmmmmm. maybe.

    you will definitely do well at staying healthy at this job. i know you will because your habits are so different now and you honor your body and fuel it with what it needs, not with what is available! you will do great :)

    it is easy for me to stay healthy at work because we have a full kitchen.. BUT.. i sit down all day, i need to start to move more.


  19. just found your blog and i love reading it! all your recipes are awesome :) can’t wait to give them a try!

  20. I meant to comment on this last week when you posted it!
    I KNOW you will figure out your rhythm with this new job. You have learned so much about your personal nutrition and what works for you since the last time you worked at Starbucks. I am sure it will come a lot easier than you think!

    I am so excited for you with all the new things that are happening!

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