Category Archives: exercise

Zombies? Yes please!

In today’s Monday Moves post I’m sharing my new fitness motivation…Zombies!

Now – this combines 2 things that I love. First running – in this case, from zombies (though you can certainly do this walking…I actually went out for a walk with Adam last week using this app and I’m happy to report the both of us survived!) The second thing is RPG. Yes…it’s a health driven Role Playing Game. And it’s so awesome!!

The app is called Zombies, Run! and it’s basically like listening to an audio story. It starts out with a helicopter crash…you are the lone survivor and you have to run (or walk) to safety. You’ve got a radio and there’s someone guiding you … warning you of nearby zombies…asking you to pick up medical supplies…telling you how close you are to their safe base. As you walk or run (in real life) you are notified in your ear piece that you’ve found items. On my first run, I found axes, baseball bats, first aid kits, water, a CDC box, trousers and a package of underwear. (lol!!) These items are stored in your app – and then when you get home from your run (or walk…or bike ride, whatever, you get the idea!) you go to your app and then you play your game! You trade your items, build your township, boost morale, etc. It’s almost like a Farmville type of game.

One of the cool features is the ability to turn on zombie chases. Now…I thought “whatever, you’re going to have zombies growling in your ears, lame.”

It’s not. You hear a moan…a groan…then you get “WARNING, ZOMBIE SWARM 20 METERS BEHIND YOU”  and then a radar blip sound starts going off. I swear to God – your heart pumps and you move your butt to get away! It’s exhilarating! Sometimes they’re faster than others, but regardless, you need to try to outrun them.

So if you ever see me walking down the road or around Beaumaris Lake and I suddenly look panicked and start running – you’ll know why!

Now that we’re running – what are we wearing?

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My $6 running top. Deals are awesome.

So – finding modest running wear is tough. It seems that everything must be skin tight or barely there. Neither one of those fits in with my preferences. Right now I’m running on the treadmil in the privacy of my own home so what I wear isn’t all that important other than getting the sweat off of me quickly.

I wear yoga pants (not running tights) and was using my husband’s long sleeved shirts for tops. The problem is – cotton t-shirts can make you super sweaty and gross. So I went on the search for something I could use. If you’re lucky – you can buy stuff from places like The Running Room or Nike or even Old Navy in the winter that are long sleeved – however, I often found them to be too tight. I recently grabbed this top from Old Navy because it was on sale for $6. Why wouldn’t you buy it at that price?

So I searched on. I found a company called Friniggi out of Botswana. They had breathable tops with matching hijabs. Bonus! 2 in 1! I got a top but then suffered from 2 problems.  First – I have freakishly long arms – they are so long I’m more chimpanzee than human (ha, ha!) I have some seriously long arms here. So my running top from Finiggi is short in the sleeve.

Running top & hijab from Friniggi.com
Running top & hijab from Friniggi.com
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Great to run in, jut a bit short in the sleeve for my long arms. This top from Friniggi is otherwise fantastic.

Problem #2 was the hijab. I love it – I do – but I measured according to the instructions on their website not once or twice or even three times. Nope, I measured at least 5 times to be sure the fit was right for me. But it doesn’t fit me well. It’s too big and I end up having to wear an underscarf with it AND pinning it down just to wear it comfortably. Not how it’s supposed to be. I do like the cut around the shoulders though – that’s cool. They were super kind and supportive in trying to fix it for me (kudos for that!) and did end up refunding me for the hijab – which was also cool. I do love the breathability of the top. It was AWESOME on a very hot summer day and a 40 min run. If it weren’t for my apish arms – I’d have been very happy. Oh – I forgot to mention -this top and hijab came with a cool drawstring backpack that I totally wasn’t expecting!

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My top from LiaWear Action – and me, regretting not buying a hijab from them when I had the chance.

So I searched on – and came back to someone who made a custom top for me years ago – LiaWear Action. I told her what I needed, she asked for my measurements and the look I was going for – and voila – my most favourite running top ever was born.  It’s long enough for my arms – loose enough to keep me happy, and moisture wicking.  It covers all of my needs. Latifa is great at what she does – and super professional. I plan on ordering more from her (next order is for one of her hijabs…I didn’t get one and now our dollar SUCKS so I have to wait!) I have even worn this top as just a regular old top out and about because I love it that much.

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Obligatory “action” shot of my LiaWear Action top. God – I took these pics when the leaves were still green…I think this was actually August. It only took me 5 months to actually get them on my PC to write this blog post!

Run with me!

I started running a few years ago – not thinking I’d like it but wanting to find a way to exercise that wasn’t going to take a whole lot of equipment. A friend recommended to me an app called C25K – that stands for Couch to 5km. Did you see that? It said COUCH. So yes, even if you’ve been sitting on your butt eating nachos… you can do it.  You will amaze yourself. And even better – it’s a free app!

Anyhow – fast forward. I got pregnant, stopped running, had the baby, started running, got really busy with life and then fell (almost) into depression again…and got back into running in December of 2015. I love running. Who knew I’d say something like that? Not me, that’s for sure, but I really do love it.

So I thought how great it would be for you all to join me! No – I don’t expect you to come run with me in my house – or on the same routes I take when I run outside (though that might be fun come warmer weather!)… but if you have a phone, you can download the app – and plug along with me! If you follow the app – you can get up to running 5km in 8 weeks. Does that mean you have to follow the app religiously? NO!  Take longer if you want! But – try to run “with” me 3 days a week.  I aim to run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  Then you can post your results to facebook or Instagram (or both!) and tag me in them!

Who’s ready to join me?

Welcome to reality

I hate this picture SO much

Why is it that we can blissfully ignore what is right in front of our faces until we see it in a picture.  Things like mess on the floor — you don’t really notice it, but then you take a picture of your kid and see crap all over the place and think “I can’t show this to anyone!” and clean before taking more.

The same thing happens with your weight.  I’ve seen it on TV and never really understood it.  Those commercials for weight loss where the guy says “I knew I was big, but didn’t realize how big I was until I saw a picture…”

Well folks, it’s happened to me.  Yes, I saw the doughy roll forming around my middle.  Yes, I noticed that I moved from my sexy jeans to my fat jeans….and then to my sweat pants because even the fat jeans were too tight.  Yes, I saw my thighs getting bigger and bigger and didn’t really recognize the person that I saw in the mirror as the person that I see in my head.

But, reality hit me well and true yesterday when I took a series of pictures of myself (outside in the snow to send to a friend overseas who misses it dearly).  I could NOT get a picture that didn’t have a double chin.  No amount of neck stretching would do it.  And it hit me — if my face is getting chubby – what’s the rest of me looking like?  With blinders removed from my eyes, I saw me in a new light…and am not really liking what I see.

So, after weeks of telling myself I’m getting up to exercise – I DID IT.  I also logged onto my sparkpeople account for the first time in a long time to track my weight/measurements and food.  And I’m going to keep accountable on the Facebook Group that I made (because so far, it’s just been excuses as to why I’m not doing anything).  Also — I’m putting my plans out here for you all too — Keep me on track, peeps!

I’m sick of feeling so lethargic and unmotivated.  I’m tired of the rolls and the pain of tight waist bands.

My Goals:

  • I am going to do the Shred for 3 days in a row, followed by 1 day of Yoga Meltdown
  • I am going to eat whole/healthy foods
  • I am going to actually drink water (A major weakness of mine, I don’t like water and am lucky if I get 1/2 a glass in a day)
  • I am going to cut down on the sugars and starchy foods
  • I am cutting out coffee (le gasp!)
  • I am going to be positive — This doesn’t mean I can’t still have a snarky attitude and maintain my wit — no — I’m just going to also see the good in ME instead of the bad.

Who’s joining me??

A Post about Nothing.

Yup, this post is a bit like a Seinfeld episode – about nothing, yet everyone can relate (at least, I hope you can, otherwise, I’m really far gone!)

First, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts – my excuses before were that I was so busy with all the school work, reading and researching that I didn’t have time to blog; now it’s all about…well…empty excuses.

It’s not as if I have anything else to do.  You see, I’ve been avoiding my Shred workouts that I was oh-so-excited about less than 2 weeks ago.  Not a single one done since that first post.  Don’t get me wrong, I think about doing it a lot, but just have zero motivation for it.

It’s not as if the kids aren’t inspiration enough for me.  You see, after being not-the-best provider for the last 2 1/2 months (letting them just play freely while I read/researched and occasionally giving up on that and getting down to build a tower or play with dolls) – now I’m in Super Provider Overdrive.  Yup, so far this week we have baked a cake, made a super-secret gift for moms/dads, made a funky gift bag to put the super-secret gift into, created a wall of snowflakes (that I got the pleasure of cutting to each child’s direction — and I have the blister to prove it), making another stick snowflake (sounds horrible, but is cute), decorating ginger bread houses, making the old time Elephant Popcorn (anyone remember that?) and … uh…. oh yeah, I still have fudge and cookies on my list-o-things to do.  I have read stories until I’ve lost my voice (and unknowingly, gave my sweet little chosen child nightmares about wolves who eat children.  Thanks a lot Red Riding Hood!)

Also, I have booked in a last minute “Spa-Care” day (a daycare day full of spa treatments…facials, mani/pedis and pajamas.)  So, I have more boys than girls — they’ll enjoy it just as much as the girls!

No, instead I spend my evenings in front of my computer in a complete brain fog mindlessly clicking links that take me to some of the strangest things that I’ve ever seen…and they all involve vaginae (yes, that’s the correct spelling, all this time I’ve been saying “vaginas” but apparently that’s wrong.  Who knew?)  Sorry to those of you who are vagina-phobes….it’s not my fault…I read a link, find it interesting click on it and can’t look away.  It’s not porn (don’t worry about that) — but it is odd and leaves you thinking, “What the hell is wrong with the world??”

Fatty Fat

My brother in law calls me that.  I don’t think I’m fat — and I don’t think he thinks I am.  It sounds mean and cruel — but that’s just the way we are with each other.  If some random dude walked up to me on the street and called me that, I’d be livid.  But Sam, he can say it and we just laugh.

However,  I’m beginning to feel a little fatty fat.  Yes folks, after all that working on that stupid Shred DVD, after all the sweat, tears, pee and swears, I’m finding all my fat again.  I blame it on the stress of my schooling.  I’ve started my diploma courses and not only is it much harder than I thought (you have to research every single thing you want to say with evidence so that the teacher knows you’re not just blowing wind out of your ass — in other words, I’m screwed!) — but the course itself deals with things that I don’t want to face; things like sexual abuse and helping screwed up families stay together even when my gut says to take the kids to some safe place and send the parents off to the firing squad.

See — I read things like that and then I feel bad.  So I eat a cookie, or I add an extra spoon of sugar in my cup of tea.  Why?  You tell me, I have no friggen idea!!

I can also blame it on my wickedly awesome daycare mom who bought me (for no good reason, I might add) a sony eReader.  This thing is amazing.  I currently house 36 books in that little baby.  I can cart it around all over the place.  However, lately I’ve been hauling it all the way to my backyard — then sitting on my bulging bottom and reading while my chosen children run around the backyard like mindless hooligans burning calories like crazy.  I’m sure that I somehow absorb them.

Either way, I’m sorely disappointed in myself. I worked hard (click here to read the 30 day shred post that gets the most hits becuase it’s apparently uproariously funny).  I worked SO hard to get the results that I got.  I felt good, not just becuase I’d lost a few inches, but because I did something for me, 100% for me and didn’t give up.  I felt healthy – something I hadn’t felt in a while.  I see myself sliding back down that slope of chronic lazy-itus that I seem to suffer from and I’m scared.

Then I got to thinking — the average woman in America (and Canada) is a 14.  I think that the manufacturers of clothing companies realized that woman are really freaked out by such a “big” number.  All my life…all my adult life I was a size 10-12.  I wasn’t embarrassed about it, it’s the size I was.  Last time I went to buy a pair of jeans, do you know what size I bought?? A 5.  f-i-v-e.  How is that possible?  I have hips — big ones.  Hips that my doctors told me are “birthing hips” (ie, they are big enough to house big healthy babies!) — there is no way on God’s green earth that I could get a size 5 pant over my hips.  NEVER.  So what’s up?  I think they’re messing with the sizes.  A size 10 is no longer what a size 10 used to be.

Why are we so obsessed with it all?  Marilyn Monroe, was one of the sexiest woman in American history — she was a size 16.  That’s what made her curvy and gorgeous.  She didn’t need to implant anything — they were real — she was round and voluptuous and beautiful.  Look at this picture…back then, that was Me-ow sexiness…now, she’d be considered fat.  How sad is that?

I want to be a “Learned Woman”

So – I’ve been slacking in my exercise postings — that’s becuase I’ve been slacking in my exercises!  After about two weeks of sitting on my duff and thinking about exercising, I plugged in the 30 Day Shred and was barely able to make it through level one.  Ugh.  Back to square one!

I’m going to continue to do this though… I”m thinking roughly 3 days per level…ie, 3 days on Level 1, then a day of Yoga Meltdown, then 3 days of Level 2 and another day of Yoga meltdown…you get the pic.

What I’m really waiting for however, is school to be done.  I have a couple of spring courses happening right now – and as soon as they’re done, I’m signing up for belly dancing!  Yup — there’s this place right here in the city that offers belly dancing classes – it’s called Raqs Al Almeh – which apparently means “Dance of the Learned Women” — sweet is what I call it.

Why Hethr — you’re a Muslim — don’t all Muslim women belly dance?  Isn’t that part of your religion??

Uh  — NO.  That’s kinda like saying that all Christians must know how to polka. Gimme a break.  And yes, that was an honest to God question that I was asked.  *roll eyes*

Anyhow — the women running this place seem to be really funky and neat — open to everything.  I like that.  It’s also the right price — working out to just $10/class.  I also love that they’ve researched so much and offer so many different types of belly dancing.

Oh — they also have a facebook group, just in case anyone wanted to join.

I can’t wait to get started!

Shred Challenge – final thoughts

Okay, I’m well beyond my 30 days of Shredding.  I thought I’d come in with some final thoughts and statistics.

Do I love working out any more than before?  No.

Do I have a new love for Jillian?  Not really.

Have I noticed changes?  YES…energy, clothing wise, even my skin looks better!

The results:

  • Total Weight loss = -1.7 lbs.  This doesn’t seem like much – but I can see a massive change.  I lot of my blubber changed into muscle.  Don’t be dissapointed if you do this workout and don’t see your scale moving much
  • Waist = no change
  • Chest = +1.25 inches (hell yeah!)
  • Hips = – 1 inch (hell yeah!)
  • Thighs = – 1.25 inches (hell yeah!)
  • Calves = + .5 inch (oh yeah!)
  • Biceps = + 1 inch (yeah baby, yeah!)

So…now what?  Well, I honestly haven’t gotten off of my butt for the last few days…busy with life. There’s also a major change to my work schedule starting – and I’m already waking up at 5am.  I will NOT be getting up at 4 to exercise.  I’ll have to figure something out though.

I still can’t decide if I love The Shred or not.  I certainly like the fact that it’s short…long enough to make a difference short enough to be over quickly without being bored out of my mind.  I’m debating whether or not I’ll do a level a day or something…I just hated level 2 so much.  All in all though, I’d highly recommend buying this video.
I really like Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown – that’s a workout/relaxation in one (and Jillian’s not yelling at you).
My friend gave me a dvd to try — it’s Lindsay Brin’s CORE Fitness which I hear is tough…I may try it…or it may gather dust.

I’d sure as hell like to enjoy working out.  I really want to want to get up in the morning and do it. Thing is, I’m lazy…lazy, lazy, lazy.  And lately, I’ve been making excuse after excuse to not do these things.  Am I just in the wrong place right now?  Maybe.  Or maybe God just intended for me to jiggle and shake.  Who knows?

PS. Blogger has completely changed the layout of blogging. I really like it!! Maybe I’ll have a couple of posts testing out the new features!

Yoga Challenge

So — Level 3 of the shred is a joy (seriously people). Still can’t make it through all of the exercises – but that 20 minutes is gone before I even know it and I enjoy every second of it. However, this weekend, I chose to do the Yoga Meltdown.

My husband doesn’t like when I write online about him…not even in a status update, so let’s just say that I talked to “someone” and teased him to death until he decided to do the yoga with me. I pop in the video and we start doing the warm up which just consists of standing there and waving your arms up and down.

I should put a note here – I’m competitive. Nope, more than that, I’m the type of person who will work as hard as I can to do better than you then I’ll do a little “hoo rah” dance in my head when I do extremely competitive.

We start getting into more moves. I know that “someone” isn’t all that flexible – but I thought “anyone can do yoga” yet, someone proved me wrong. He’s tipping over and falling and for most of the moves just laid there (or stood, depending on the position) while we both pretended that he was still doing it.

Can I just say how much I loved this? He’s struggling and stumbling, and I’m flowing from one pose to another and, in a total un-yoga like manner, I was secretly laughing and pointing at him and saying “na na na na boo boo, I do Yoga better than you!”

Yes, I’m pathetically immature that competitive.

Later, becuase I can’t possibly let him get away with the yoga failure and feel the insane urge to brag wanted to make some conversation with my dad and his family, I start talking about our Morning Yoga Session together.

His response “my body’s not built right for it.”

Last night, he challenged me to a Shred Off…but he’s only willing to do level 1. I think I may just take him up on it.

Level 3 – for real this time

Okay – I’m thoroughly convinced that I’m warped — and am a little disappointed that I didn’t give level 3 more of a chance this morning.

I went back to do it tonight — thought that maybe watching little A do it with me might bring some humour to the workout. After the psychotic plank/superman poses – the rest of the workout was pretty fun! Don’t get me wrong – it was Jillian tough – but it was fun. I didn’t mind level 1, I absolutely hated every second of level 2, but level 3 brings some of my favourite moves from level 1 (punches, but kicks, etc) and adds even more fun in there. There’s this move where you’re in a plank position – lift up one hand to your torso, bring it down, then raise the leg, bring it down…I really like this move. It’s hard – but I enjoy it! Same with the “traveling push-ups” I’m a freak…I know it!

The thing is – I’d heard tales that level 3 was this giant torture session, but I really, really like it. I think that, for me, level 2 is my personal level 3! I’m so happy to have an exercise that I enjoy again! Woo hoo!!