Time to Get Serious

Thanks again for all the bee-day wishes! I had a wonderful day yesterday. Now I’m just preparing myself for a very busy week ahead at work!! I have a few more 10+ hour work days ahead of me :\

I did at least continue the celebration for breakfast.


  • 1 packet multi grain instant oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 sliced banana
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (it’s national PB day after all!)
  • mini marshmallows
  • sprinkles!! Just for you Deb ;)

And then I had a piece of beet cake as my pre-workout snack. Totally powdered me through a tough one!


Minutes MPH Incline
0-5 3.5 0
5-6 5.5 0.5
6-7 6.0 0.5
7-8 6.5 0.5
8-9 7.0 0.5
9-10 5.5 1.0
10-11 6.0 1.0
11-12 6.5 1.0
12-13 7.0 1.0
13-14 5.5 1.5
14-15 6.0 1.5
15-16 6.5 1.5
16-17 7.0 1.5
17-18 5.5 2.0
18-19 6.0 2.0
19-20 6.5 2.0
20-21 7.0 2.0

This particular treadmill workout is getting easier!! Yay!! Improvement! :D


Minutes Level Intensity
0-2 10 low
2-3 14 high
3-5 11 medium
5-6 15 high
6-8 12 medium
8-9 16 high
9-11 13 medium
11-12 17 high
12-14 13 medium
14-15 16 high
15-17 12 medium
17-18 15 high
18-20 11 low

Rowing Machine

Minutes Grip
0-2 overhand
2-4 underhand
4-6 overhand
6-8 underhand
8-10 overhand

Stair Machine

Minutes Level
0-1 8
1-2 9
2-3 10
3-4 11
4-5 12
5-6 9
6-7 10
7-8 11
8-9 12
9-10 13


L-O-V-E-D this. Will definitely be added to my new Fitness Page (which is still a major work in progress – lots of updates to come!).

I find long cardio workouts at the gym are a lot more fun when I only have to do 10-20 minutes on each machine. Makes it fly by! I also work at a higher intensity because I keep switching to different things. Definitely helped that my mommy came with me too :D However, at the end of the elliptical session, we saw someone fall off a treadmill!! Holy scary. If you ever feel like you’re falling off a treadmill, just let yourself go. Trying to hold yourself on only worsens the situation :\

My tummy was yelling at me by the end of this workout, so I fed it right away.


Laughing cow, roast chicken, tuna, onion, tomato and romaine on a pita. They chicken/tuna combo was delicious!

Shortly afterward it was time to make the boring drive home. I kept awake by singing along to CDs at the top of my lungs. This song in particular got a few encores.

No groceries at home, luckily I had some goodies stashed in the freezer.


Ketchup with a side of turkey mini-meatloaves and butternut squash fries.

Liz – I let the fries sit with sea salt for a few minutes, then squeezed the moisture out a second time – totally worked!! Made for a much sturdier b-nut fry :D Thanks for the suggestion!!


Time to get Serious

Okay guys, I’m gonna be straight up with you. I’m still struggling to lose the few pounds I gained over Christmas. Not the end of the world. But, I’m a little bigger than my “happy weight.” My snacking has been a little off the charts. I don’t photograph everything I eat, and that includes the multiple handfuls of chocolate chips and cereal (among other things) I eat at night.

I’ve struggled a lot over these past two months to find an eating and exercise routine that worked through TWO job changes. Yes, I’m on my third job in less than two months. I’ve worked inconsistent hours at differing activity levels over the past eight weeks, it’s messed with my body and food routine immensely. On the bright side, I’ll be in a stable job for these next three months and I’ll finally be able to get into a routine with it.

So what does this mean? No, I’m not making silly self-imposed rules. I’m not doing boot camp or giving up sugar (the horror!!). But, I will be counting calories again. Maybe not every single day, and not religiously. But I like the accountability it gives me with snacking. I know there’s varying opinions on this, but I know what works for me :)

I also want to keep track of my foods so I can look at my day and see where I’m not eating whole, “clean” foods. I exercise tons, but I realize my body composition issues are diet related. I just need to polish it up a tad and I should be able to see and most importantly feel a difference.

Part of this is because my birthday is now behind me, so I have no more big “splurge” days on the horizon. The biggest part however, is that I’m going to be a personal trainer in three months, and I want to look the part. I don’t expect to have the bod of Jillian Michaels. But I’d like to lose a little body fat and actually “bulk” my upper-body (my limbs are quite scrawny). The way I see it, you wouldn’t get your hair cut by a hairstylist with bad hair, so why listen to a trainer with a pudgy tummy?

As always, I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing with this. There will still be marshmallows, just not every day ;) I feel best when I go back to basics with my food. And I want to start experimenting more with my exercise! I want to get a little more serious with my weight lifting, and try to incorporate more plyometrics. Hopefully there will be tons of new workouts popping up over the next several weeks :)


Question of the Day: Do you or have you worked with a personal trainer? What was your experience like? I’ve actually never worked with a trainer before. Mostly because I like learning the stuff myself and choosing what I want to do. But it will be interesting to job shadow with one in the coming months!

Posted on January 24, 2010, in Health, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. i love that you tweet new posts because you dont show up in my reader for hours on end. ANYWHO! i like your plan to become more aware of what youre eating. i know all about those pesky handfuls of this and that. you will definitely get to where you need to be. youve had a rough few months with a lot going on! i would be eating handfuls of cereal by the dozen if it was me.. ha. on the subject of looking the part of a PT, i agree with you! there are so many trainers at my gym that dont look like they have lifted a single weight nor eaten a healthy day in their life. but i think you already look the part, judging from your guest post you sent, so any changes you do make will just be an added bonus! i love your protein mix of chicken and tuna. good idea! and that breakfast is SO fun and festive. yay for PB day! even i celebrated~ screw the rules for a day ;) love you!

  2. Holy deliciousness! That bowl of oats looks AMAZING (and I don’t even like marshmallows). How do you get your peanut butter spread around in little squirts (sounds gross but I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it =) )

    I’ve never worked with a personal trainer but I’d love to. Maybe I’ll troop up to Canada once you’re certified and let you practice on me LOL

    Good luck with “cleaning” up your eating. I’m sure you’ll do great – you always have such delicious and wholesome meals and greattt taste in food!

    Nicole G

    • Haha, it’s just my mom’s peanut butter. It got really hard in the fridge and literally crumbled on top of my oats! Oh, and if you come to Canada, I’ll give you a PT discount ;)

  3. I’ve worked with a couple trainers before. I hate hate hate ones that aren’t 100% focused on me. There was one trainer that would be texting on his phone during our session and shit. Pissed me off. And he’d basically just count. I didn’t learn anything new. He didn’t challenge me enough. I want to feel like I’m going to puke. Or that my legs are going to give out. I’m a masochist I guess.

    • Part of the reason why I’ve never worked with a trainer is because I’ve always been scared they’ll just stick me on the weight machines. It’s my number one goal to teach my clients something NEW, even if they’re already pros!

  4. I am so with you on the snacking thing! I made it my goal today to not snack outside of planned ones. It’s a hard habit to break, I must say.

    I think it’s good that you have a goal to be the best personal trainer that you can be and it gives you a finite goal to work with.

    I have never worked with a trainer. I always wonder how correct my form is.

  5. Hi Susan!
    I did wish you a Happy Birthday, I hope. It is true…we want a personal trainerwho walks the talk. Good luck. Love your blog!

  6. I love how the post topic was immediately followed by a picture of oats with sprinkles! So appropriate!

    Try not to stress out too much about the small weight gain – stress is definitely something else that won’t help! We all stumble a little bit now and then, but you are so strong – you’ll get back on track! I have faith in you :)

    I have never personally worked with a trainer, but since I work out a gym, I pick up a lot from the members and the trainers that surround me every day. The vast majority of the members that stick with a trainer consistently (for more than 3 or 4 sessions) are so happy with their results! I can see physical and emotional differences in all of them.

  7. that breakfast is AMAZING!

  8. mini marshmallows

    I gave you a shout today about pancake fluffage. Weren’t you and Deb the ones who have these super fluffy pancakes? If not, I am losing my mind then :)

    Wanting to look the part of a PT? Great! I think you already look awesome but it’s where YOU are happiest. Whatever works for you hon, it’s your life, your body, your path kinda thing. But you’re rockin now :)

    Trainer? no. Private yoga teachers, yes. PTs, no.

  9. You are beautiful and look very fit! I am so with you with wanting to look the part of the trainer….im starting classes in a couple months to take my personal trainer test so i wanna look the part too! its hard work but dont you feel so amazing putting wonderful food in your body and sweating after a great workout!?

  10. I worked with an amazing PT a few years ago. I already knew a good deal about lifting but he took me much farther than I would have ever done on my own. We only did free weights and he was a stickler for form so I felt like it was really worth it.

    I always find calorie counting to be helpful. I know people feel it makes them obsessed but that has never been my experience. Good luck!

  11. That is by far the cutest bowl of oats I’ve seen in a long time. Love the addition of sprinkles on top! So festive!

    I’ve worked with personal trainers on and off again, but I find the first couple sessions to be worthwhile, then after I feel like it could be a waste of money. BUT, they are great motivators to work as hard as you can!

  12. I hear ya on the holiday pounds. I am at the same place- still over my happy weight, wanting to get back to where I feel good, but not wanting to be overly restrictive. I am starting a food diary just for that reason- accountability, not necessarily counting calories, but focusing on clean, whole foods.
    Good luck, with your motivation I know you’ll get to where you want to be!!


  13. i understand the need to want to count calories, at least for a little bit. sometimes i mentally count up WW points just because seeing the large number makes me realize that the extra snacks really do add up, even though of course i know that without keeping track of points, or calories in your case.

    for me, i get a lil too lax a lil too easily but you are very motivated and im sure you will be back to your happy weight before you know it. just promise no getting mad at yourself if the calorie range isnt perfect every day! that’s the one part that can be frustrating for me sometimes :)

  14. Happy (belated) Birthday! I should go eat more peanut butter to honor today’s holiday!
    Anyway, I currently work with a trainer to bring variety to my workouts. I like that she keeps up the intensity during the work outs (I have had to lie down once or twice). She does that by doing either bits of cardio (like knee ups or box jumps) or by doing FULL body strength training. She is also very easy to chat with, so the hour goes by pretty quickly.

  15. Yummy breaky!
    I have worked with a trainer and it was awesome! Helped so much!

  16. i love your festive and fun oats!!
    i worked out w. a trainer for 7 years!

  17. Hey, thanks for keeping it real! I’m in the same boat, and sometimes I wish I could do calorie counting, but it gets obsessive for me, or I get lazy and don’t feel like weighing everything and doing the math, or I get Mexican food and don’t track it so it’s like, what’s the point? But good for you for doing what you know works. I wish I knew that for myself, ha. I wouldn’t have to do silly things like bootcamps ;-)

    I’ve had good and bad trainers. My last one, I really liked, but I couldn’t afford to keep her. She was my age, so it was like working out with a girlfriend…who was trying to make me sore for days! We did new things (to me) like boxing, and she taught me how to use a foam roller, bless her. I know you’ll be a really good trainer, as it is if I have workout questions I always want to ask your opinion first :-)

  18. I appreciate and respect that you’re being serious. Let me just add a couple of things here:

    1. When I broke up w/ my ex and switched jobs/house at the same time I found that night snacking was in full force for me. I am reminded of this when after hearing Dinneen@Eatw/oguilt ‘Primary’ v. ‘Secondary’ foods. Primary are our emotions/feelings/soul–we have to be full on this. Secondary foods are the actual foods we eat. I was shoving down my primary emptiness/lonlieness w/ secondary foods. It’s normal to feel a bit like your primary foods aren’t enought right now or that you’re hungry. However, remember to be honest with yourself about where your hunger/snacking is coming from.

    2. Counting calories is good..I am kinda doing it. However, remember that you need to address your soul as well.

    3. Don’t think that you have to look that damn part. You are. You’re living life. You’ll never be perfect and just be you. That’s why people are going to train with you. That you know what you’re talking abt., that you exercise, that you know how to balance out your life. Not because you have a six pack instead of four, or that your five lbs less.

    Sorry if I am being harsh…but I don’t want you to beat yourself up.


    • Mish, thank you for the kind words as always :) My extra snacking has definitely been stress related. I maintained quite easily for a year and a half at my “happy weight” before Christmas, but the stress just sort of dumped on around that time and I’ve been struggling to keep my eating it check since. I feel like crap shoving food in my face, so I don’t wanna do it anymore :) Fitness is my PASSION, so working it out in the weight room is just the therapy I need :D

  19. erintakescontrol

    I’ve worked with a trainer for almost a year now. Made HUGE progress and overcame a LOT of fears/reservations. Love the brekkie!

  20. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, so definitely start getting on the weights a bit more.

    Don’t worry about looking the part, so much as being able to play the part. I think that although being a trainer you want to look the part, I think it’s more important that you can play the part.

    Just be the fit and healthy person you are comfortable being, people will like you more like that then with a 6pack counting every calorie. Good luck with the food journal. Fitday.com is great for tracking if you want something on your comp.

  21. Happy Birthday sorry its late! I so know what you mean, I’m going to do a 6 week intensive course to become personal trainer in 3 months and after my back being bad I’m sooooooo not in shape I’m starting my HEALTH KICK 2010 today yes nearly a month late but better late than never right?! Hopefully I will be in the right place when I start my course x x

  22. Happy late birthday! I love your celebratory oats! SO pretty!

  23. The sprinkles?! I LOVE! What a fun bowl of oats!!

    I thank you for being so honest and I wish you the best of luck as you try to shed those pesky few pounds. I have worked with a PT for my sport. As an athlete, none of us were looking to lose weight and our trainer, although fit, wasn’t body builder fit. I think that her not having the “perfect” trainer body actually encouraged us to focus more on gaining strength and endurance than trying to shape up. That’s just my experience!

  24. Such a cute bowl of oats- I always feel like a fairytale princess when I eat stuff with sprinkles.

    I think that you are doing the right thing (not that you need my permission, LOL), but you know when you feel your best and you know when more action is needed. I’m glad you have NOT made this a priority during the huge changes over the past few months but have waited until things are stable- you’ve got your head screwed on right (it’s the British blood :P ) Keep us updated.

    I’ve never worked with a PT but done 1-1 coaching for breakdancing. LOVED it, but seriously…so ridiculously intense. Classes I could hide in the back or take a wee break- not so much when it’s one on one! Haha.

  25. You have to do what works for you to get the progress you want to make. As long as you are still eating enough, healthy, balanced meals and it isn’t affecting your mindset then its all good :)

    I’ve never worked with a trainer because I’m like you and just enjoy learning the stuff myself. I plan to go into a PT job when I go back to work from staying home with the kiddos. It seems like such a rewarding job :)

    • No worries about me eating enough. I don’t think I could ever, ever under-eat. I get serious mood and physical side-effects when I’m under-nourished!! :\

  26. Susan, I’m sure that once you keep a food log of sorts, those pounds will melt away!!

    anyway, you’re gorgeous so even if they don’t, you’ll still look awesome

  27. Happy Belated Birthday.

    I worked with a trainer for the first time this past spring/summer before coming home to NB. It was amazing! He gave me lots of new ideas and really helped with my motivation. He is a fire fighter and trains with the local team here that competes at the World Firefighter Skills competitions. He’s not a beefy musclehead gym bum…just a guy who’s in great shape and has a great desire to pass his knowledge on to others. Worth every penny!

  28. You know you have my support on this, Susan! While I think you look great, I completely understand the feeling of just not feeling your best. When I feel like that, I always return to calorie counting. I am kind of in that place now, actually. I am sure it won’t take long for you to start feeling like yourself again. You have been through a lot this past holiday season and you have done an amazing job coping with it!

  29. I’ve never seriously worked with a PT, just a complementary session when joining a gym. I agree with your viewpoint though – just like a hairstylist should have good hair, a PT should be fit. Although, I am sure you are fit enough to rock the PT look right now :)

    That said, your future clients will probably appreciate that you, too, have to work hard for an awesome body. They’ll relate to you more!

    I think the calorie counting is a great idea – I know for some it can be restrictive, but that doesn’t mean it is that way for everyone. I know you’ll do awesome!

  30. you go girl! you have had such major changes and whatnot happen, that you CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be concerned with those couple extra pounds. now that you got a good routine going, you can work it out and lose them. i feel ya on the fact that you want to look the personal trainer part, just don’t put too much pressure on yourself dear :)

    p.s. we totally need to have another banff chat…i have some ideas and found a good flight!

    love ya!

  31. I feel you lady. Remember though that we are only three weeks through January and as we all know, it takes a lot longer to shift a few extra pounds than it does to put them on! You’ll get there.
    Glad you had a wonderful birthday – absolutely LOVE your cake!

  32. Aww love the sprinkles on your oats!
    I’m currently job shadowing a trainer. It’s so much fun :D

  33. I missed wishing you happy birthday yesterday so I’ll do it now- Happy Birthday Beautiful!

    As far as those extra pounds go- you are gorgeous and have nothing to worry about, but if you’d like an easy website to use to help you keep track, try out sparkpeople.com if you haven’t already! They have tons of resources. Good luck! I know you can do it!

    • Thanks Kendel!! Funny you mention Spark People because that’s what I’m using!! I used The Daily Plate/Livestrong while I was losing weight, but I needed a change. So far I’m liking Spark People, it’s a lot quicker :)

  34. Your oats made me drool! It looks like candy in a bowl!

    I’ve been on sparkpeople.com. I’m actually much more comfortable on there than on the daily plate.

    I hope it works for you!


  35. I think a lot of us in the blog world (and prob the real world) are struggling with the Christmas weight at the moment- I know I am. I’ve never worked out with a 1:1 trainer but I am taking a lifting class right now that has been similar. So far I’m loving it- but the weight doesn’t really come off when I eat half the house when I get home, oops!

  36. Susan- for what it’s worth, I already think that you ‘look’ the part…it’s more how you feel. If you don’t feel good, then you won’t feel like you look the part. If calorie counting is what will help you get control over it, then by all means you should. It saved my booty a few years back.

    I know the nibbled and bites as well. I did quite a bit of that over the holidays and have cut way back since. I think that the holidays are stressful enough- then add an imminent breakup, and job changes- girl I think you’ve done amazingly well. I’m with Mish in that I don’t want to see you being so hard on yourself. Hang in there! :-)

  37. PS. Totally forgot to thank you for the dedicated sprinkle oats! Did you also know that I adore marshmallows, mini ones particularly? I love them almost as much as sprinkles but they tend to get all stuck together where I live so I don’t bother buying them!! :-) nom nom!!

  38. Susan, shut UP with that bowl of oats. Holy freaking cow. Plus sprinkles. You are a genius

  39. hey susan!

    I think if you want to start calorie counting again then that’s fine! I had stopped because everyone thought of it as so negative… but I find I do much better WITH counting. And I support you with your goals! I”m trying to put on 5 pounds of muscle.. so yay for weight training and more definition! :)

  40. My parents worked out with a personal trainer for 7+ years and he did major life changing stuff with them. Diet+exercise mixed together. I naturally do well on my own and I feel that most personal trainers at gyms etc wouldn’t do anything for me- but some of them are really qualified and from what I see they look like they know what they are doing, so I’m sure you’ll be great!

    And fyi- usually I can tell from blogger’s pictures if they’ve put on a few vanity lbs, um Susan, yeaaah sure you may be able to tell, and obvi the scale tells you something, but i seriously had no clue you even gained weight! Ah c’est la vie. i hate the scale.

    love your post birthday oat sprinkle bowl. :D

  1. Pingback: The Great Balancing Act « The Great Balancing Act

  2. Pingback: Protein Waffles & Protein Cakes « The Great Balancing Act

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: