Tag Archive: losing weight


OK, well maybe I am being melodramatic.  But the diet hit me this weekend.  Which also happened to be Thanksgiving weekend.  It has been rough (I like to call it “low carb crazy”).

I was warming up to the diet all last week, then Friday really cranked it on.  I eat vegetables (those have carbs), but no pasta or bread.  My daily carb blast (brown rice, quinoa, or some sweet potato) I try and save for right before the gym, which means two things:

– I have energy for the workout

– I am in a good mood for the gym

The first week is the hardest.  Saturday I was just tired and miserable, haha.  I can tell it’s a carb thing, because I treated myself to a tasty steak, and normally a steak would be the greatest thing I could eat, but all I could think this weekend was, “hmmm, not really all that great… you know what would be great?  a steak sandwich…”

The real kicker to it all was that it’s  Thanksgiving.  Being on a diet during the holidays is hard enough, I grew up in a house where you ate what Mom cooked, and you never complained, not once.  No requests, no dietary restrictions, she makes it, you eat it, everything she puts on your plate, nothing left to waste.  So to say hey no stuffing for me, and just a handful of turkey thanks?  CRAZY.  But even worse than a diet on Thanksgiving?  A diet you just started… because you haven’t built up the routine yet, and your energy is still low.

But I hung tough.  Looking forward to moving on and getting used to the diet, haha.

Also, this weekend I did a chest and back workout.  My trainer is out of town, so I made up a short routine for myself, in addition to all the cardio, which is unavoidable.  I did a bunch of dumbbell chest presses, because I love them, like 9 working sets, and then I supersetted the machine press with the lat pulldown.  Those were tough!  They will leave you gasping.  After that, one more back exercise, and I decided to try something new.  I picked a machine, and challenged myself to do 100 reps!  The idea is you pick a relatively low weight, you do as many as you can, then you take a rest determined by 100 minus the reps you have done so far in seconds.  Sound complicated?  It’s not.  Let’s say you bust out 40 reps then have to stop.  100 – 40 = 60  So you rest for 60 seconds then keep going.  Then you keep going and only make it to rep 60 (they add up, you don’t start over).  So you now wait for 40 seconds.  Keep going to 75, rest for 25 seconds.  etc etc  (it helps to be good at arithmetic in your head haha).

Chest Press w Dumbbells (2 min rest b/w sets):  50 x 13, 60 x 12, 70 x 10, 80 x 6, 90 x 2, 80 x 5, 70 x 10, 60 x 13, 50 x 10

machine press/widegrip pulldown superset (1 min rest b/w supersets):  135 x 12/180 x 10, 150 x 12/180 x 10, 165 x 8/180 x 8

narrowgrip machine row: 90 lbs – 25 reps, 75 sec rest, 20 reps, 55 sec rest, 18 reps, 37 sec rest, 17 reps, 20 sec rest, 12 reps, 8 sec rest, 8 reps

1 hour cardio after

notes:  this was my first time running the dumbbells since I aggravated my shoulder in September, so I wasn’t willing to go all out.  I stayed cautious for fatigue in my left shoulder.  Happily, I don’t feel too far from where I left off.  I am still right on the threshold of breaking into the 100 lb dumbbells!  It’s coming.

I haven’t supersetted chest and back like this before, so I was still cautious, about my shoulder and everything else.  I decided if I could hit 12 reps, I up the weight the next set.  But as it turns out, I couldn’t keep it slow and controlled on lats long enough to hit 12 (maybe it doesn’t help it is the second in the superset), so pulldowns stayed the same while machine press went up.  It was fun!  Leaves you panting, but good.

Machine rows I wanted to hit 40 reps on my first mini-set, so I wasn’t happy about 25.  It wasn’t my back that got sore and tired, it was my shoulder, so I decided to be kind and not push it.  Darn that shoulder!  Always spraining, getting infected, what a jerk shoulder!

Anyways, the afternoon carbs are wearing off, so I don’t feel like typing anymore, lol.

Back to real life!  the long weekend is over!  Back to the office job, back to the trainer, back to Rocktober!  Bye guys!

I LOOOOVE to sleep in on weekends.   Friday night (the shoulders, the legs, the yoga) left me plum tuckered.

Unfortunately, my 30 day challenge starts today!  Yoga class every day (at least that is the challenge I set for myself out of the options available).  And since it is Labour Day weekend, most studios have reduced hours.  You see, most sane people are out of town this weekend, but not I.  I am gearing up to exercise like crazy.  So, the studio I wanted to have track my attendance only had morning classes (well, and a noon one, but on the weekends, noon counts as am to me).

Part of me dearly wanted to take in one of my customary weekend spin classes.  But I am too stubborn to fail out of a challenge on the first day.  Plus they track your progress on a big piece of construction paper with stars!    I find that irresistible.  I have done 2 or 3 30 day hot yoga challenges before, so I was ready for this.

Yea, so I still slept in past the 8 am class, but I made it down there for the 10 am class.  I will just say this now, the yoga studio is gorgeous.

the hallway leading to the hot room

This class would be led by Megan, who is also, not coincidentally the founder of this particular 30 day challenge!  I have been fortunate enough to work together with Megan on a few charity projects before, and not only are her yoga classes excellent, but she is a tireless philanthropist and brings yoga and social activism together in a really inspiring way.  She obviously lives what she loves, and I keep hoping some of this will rub off on me and one day I will be as awesome as her. 🙂

Check out the challenge website here!  http://bethechangechallenge.webs.com/

I have taken a few classes with Megan before, including one memorable one where I knocked myself senseless trying to get into a headstand.  Hopefully no headstands this class!

It would be a 75 min hot class, and a “vinyasa” flow class, meaning we would link our movements to our breath, we would flow.  I will admit, I was a little nervous.  I still felt rusty, like I was not back “in the zone” yet with my yoga practice.  I was worn out from Friday night so I didn’t know how my shoulders would feel.  And I am so used to doing the Moksha series, that doing a brand new series would be extra-challenging… extra-challenging like changing the track on me when I still hadn’t taken the training wheels off yet.

The class started off with some supported fish and some forward bends, ok so far so good.

supported fish

Then it heated up.  Since it was all new to me, it is hard to describe it, but it felt like plank pose was our “home base”, where we stretched our back muscles out before flowing through all of the Warriors and the crescent lunges and the chaturangas.  We did a series of half moons (which I love even though they tire me out) and seated prayer twists and crescent lunge twists.  I love the twisting sensation in general, but my shoulders were feeling quite stiff, so I bound my arms around myself instead of touching opposite elbow to knee.  Sometimes I can touch elbow to knee with the crescent lunge if not the seated prayer, but today even those I took the arm bind on (wrapping your back arm around the small of your back, an acceptable compromise).

half moon

crescent lunge twist

By this point in the class, the heat and the novelty of the sequence was getting to me.  I sweat A LOT.  Litres of sweat (and a few tears) littered the ground around my mat.  As I sweat I got tired, and the flow continued.  As I got tired, I got frustrated, and the flow continued.  I got grumpy.

At one point we went into bow pose, but again, my shoulders weren’t feeling up to that, so I did some locust.  But then we did bow pose again.  And again.  Everyone was laughing and rolling around, trying to go from bow pose into a full bridge.  And I was stuck doing my sad little locust, and getting more frustrated.  I don’t know, I felt left out.

bow pose

This is part of the practice too.  Sometimes when you find the practice difficult, the negative side of you comes out, the side that gets all defensive when life doesn’t go your way.  The side of you that wants to lash out and lay blame.  It’s like life that way.  When things don’t go your way, the negative side comes out.

And you think you have dealt with your negative side because you haven’t seen it in MONTHS.  But it’s still there, you just layered over it with your happy social side, the side you construct in order to “get along”.  This is what happened to me, I had been getting along and had left a thick layer of happy over whatever stress and tension I was feeling beneath, about my shoulder, about whatever events in my life I have been upset about but couldn’t do anything about, etc.

So I showed up to yoga feeling tired but happy, and the asanas broke me down until I came face to face with the ugly, unhappy side.  I guess I knew it was there, I just chose not to deal with it.  But here it was, and I tried to work through it.  I tried to sweat it out and chaturanga it out of my system.  You acknowledge these negative feelings and you keep flowing.  Yoga is good for that, helping you calmly breathe your way through stressful situations.

And then the class was over, and I stumbled out of the room dehydrated and worn out.  I was so melted that I accidentally tried to steal a guy’s shirt!  I walked into the change room, gathered my clothes in a pile, apparently I grabbed this other guy’s shirt too, then I went for a shower.  He got nervous, went to the front desk to complain someone stole his shirt, came back in the changeroom and found it in my laundry pile!  He tapped on my shower to tell me what I had done, I felt really bad!

Grabbed some pixx with Megan too!

this is the last known pic of Megan before she broke her foot…

See how damp I am?  Hot yoga is no joke!

Ok, I would like to talk to you for a second about something else.  This won’t be a fashionable topic, be ready to end your reading here, haha.  There is more you need to get out of your system than just negative emotions.  I am talking about waste.  Sweat, pee, poop.  Grossed out yet?  But you can’t make it without them.

I sweat a lot more since I started doing hot yoga.  Not even kidding.  But I came to realize just how much my body ENJOYED sweating.  I preload with water before gym or spin or yoga, and it feels bad now if I don’t, like I get really tired halfway through because I feel dehydrated.  If I could suggest anything to you, it’s that you drink tons of water, drink water like it’s your job.  And show up ready to sweat.  Water in, water out, all day long.  Keep it moving.

Hand in hand with all that water-drinking will come the other 2, naturally.  I urinate a lot more than I used to, haha.  This is actually of great benefit to me.  I have gout, I was diagnosed with it when I was about 20, my body just couldn’t process all the junk I was putting into it, and it accumulated, crystallized, and turned to little rocks in my toe joints.  You can’t “cure” that, but by drinking more water, I make my body better at flushing itself out.  So the sweat, the urine, it helps me stay “balanced”.

MMM, ok, the third one.  No need to go into great detail, but we all need to “stay regular”.  I remember once I was travelling in Africa, and one of my fellow travellers had not gone in about 7 days.  Folks, he did not look well!  He looked green and queasy.  Luckily, exercise helps with that too, the twists, the flailing your limbs around, it’s all good.  Drinking lots of water helps (see a pattern?), eating lots of fibre helps.  Potato chips don’t have fibre!  Keep looking for better food choices, haha.

So the diet theme of my challenge today is recognizing and assessing my waste processes.  Doing quite well, and much better than before I started losing weight, thanks 🙂  In honour of my waste, today I drank massive amounts of water, I ate lots of flax seed and greens, ate a few salads, and told my body thank you for supporting me through all this exercise.

See you tomorrow!