Sunday, December 7, 2014

21 Day Fix-ish: Week 1

The goal: Follow the 21 Day Fix exercise plan (with modifications to keep it low impact for my recovering foot injury) and track calories (since the eating plan is too low carb for me).

If I hadn't stated the intention on my blog last week, I would not have done it; there was more than one day where that was the only reason I pushed play.

Result being: I did all the workouts! Calorie counting lasted half way through the week. It's a start anyway.

  • Workouts are short - approx 1/2 hour each, which is less intimidating when you are facing one every day
  • I'm following modifications, keeping it low impact because I am still favoring my left foot, but still feel like I'm getting a decent workout
  • Dirty 30 is my favorite and I can see me adding that being added to my regular rotation. 

  • No days off! It's honestly more of a mental challenge than a physical one. I like to know that I have at least one day where I am not scheduled; it's also nice to have the option to switch a workout to a different day. 
  • I am going to be heartily sick of the warm up. It's the same warmup for 5 out of 7 days. Thankfully I get a break on Pilates & Yoga days.
  • The obligatory vitamin and Shakeology promos. I'm sorry Autumn, Shakelogy is just not that tasty; it's never going to feel like a cheat.
Overall, I am happy what I did this week workout-wise; food could use some improvement (as usual).

Included in the lunch plans for this week: Homemade "Instant" Curry Noodle Soup

Fairy Tree!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


We had our first snow, which melted away. We had our first snow storm of the winter, which is now in the process of melting away.

Let's see...what else...Weekend before Remembrance Day we woke up to water leaking onto the kitchen floor. After calling three plumbers, we managed to get someone to come on Monday. Fortunately it was just the faucet that needed to be replaced. That weekend we had lovely weather, and I managed to get the yard all cleaned up for winter.

Exercise...Well, I'm not quite back yet. Sometimes my foot (and/or ankle) still gets achey, some days I was busy...and some days I'm just plain lazy.

I tried out some of the 21 Day Fix. I felt like I was back on familiar ground; they reminded me very much of the Jackie Warner DVDs I like so much. But, I haven't fallen in love with these workouts, not sure why exactly.

I have not been feeling like I wanted to actually tackle the full 21 Day program (21 Days in a row, no days off = ugh!), but then I looked at the calendar and realized that, as of Dec 1, there are three full weeks before I am on vacation until after the holidays, and it seems like maybe it would be a good time to give it a go...So I'm sorta thinking that's my plan.

I'm not doing the eating plan...Everytime I read it over and try to tell myself that I can make it work for me I get cranky. The plan is very low carb and I'm just not a high protein girl. So I'm thinking I will tackle the workout schedule, and try to stay within the calorie target. I can track calories for 3 weeks, right? We'll call it 21-Day-Fix-ish.

There, I've said it; now I have to do it.


Photos from our first snow day.
The birds are always busy at the feeder on stormy, snowy days.


The Fabulous Felines are always taken by surprise when this nasty, cold, wet stuff shows up. 
We are not amused.

This early in the season, I always enjoy the pretty views.  Come March I will be so over it.

November Workouts
03: 21DF Upper Fix
04: 21DF Cardio Fix
07: 21DF Lower Fix
09: Fall Yard Work
10: Fall Yard Work
11: Fall Yard Work
17: 21DF Cardio Fix
18: 21DF Upper Fix
19: 21DF Lower Fix
29: 21DF Dirty Thirty

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nose In a Book


When last I blogged, I had just taken a tumble down the stairs and banged up my left ankle and foot. Did a pretty good job of it too. It was swollen a litte bit for the first couple  of days, and then developed into bruises on the side of my ankle, and along to side and top of my foot. Not to mention the scraped knee, bruise on the front of my right ankle, and another scrape and bruise on the underside of my right wrist. Go big, or go home, right?

I worked from home for a week, since hobbling around was difficult. But I discovered that walking was easier with shoes to hold my foot up, so since then I have not been laid up. My foot is definitely much improved, but still not back to normal. It's still a little sore if I move it certain ways. I still find I can be a bit awkward when I walk around without shoes. I am limited in what shoes I can wear (The horror! Do you know how many pairs of shoes I own?).

Everyone keeps saying that this type of injury takes a long time to heal, and I know that I probably just need to be patient. But there is that little voice in my head wondering if I did some damage after all, and maybe should have had it looked at. But I am sure it will just take time.

Two weeks after the foot injury, I managed to get an ear infection. First one that I've ever had, at least that I can recall. It hurt. I was surprised how much. I spent Thanksgiving weekend taking ibuprofen and holding my aching head. Went to a walk in clinic and got a prescription for antibiotic ear drops. It took a full week to get betted.

October has been a tiring month, what can I say? I haven't felt motivated to do very much. I have been sitting around, reading a lot of novels. In my head, I can hear echoes from my childhood; my mom muttering and/or scolding about "those girls", always with their noses "stuck in a book." My sister and I liked to read. A lot. It was our preferred form of entertainment. Frustating to my poor mother who wanted us to get up and do some chores, or go outside and play.Or, you know, answer when we were spoken to, instead of being completely oblivious to everything going on around us.

I was surprised when I got older to hear that my mother actually likes to read. I knew that my dad liked to read, but I never saw my mom sitting down to read a novel, until us kids were older. She said she stopped reading when she had kids because she didn't like being interrupted all the time. I've been totally getting that lately, sitting around with my nose stuck in an e-reader a book. Why must Husband insist on talking to me? Can't he see that I am reading? Why do the cats need me to get up and walk them to their food dishes or give them treats every 5 minutes? Can't a person have some time to themselves to read?

Possibly I need to pull my nose out of the books and do some other things for a little while.

I have made the decision a few times to try a workout, carefully...Then I talk myself out of it again. I don't want to make things worse. Better to let the foot heal. And so, the whole of October has gone by. So I am deciding again - it is time to try some exercise. Carefully. Wish me luck.

We have been having a fairly decent fall so far, but we're having a pretty wild rain storm today. It's entirely possible that we will get snow tonight. Snow and ice pellets, the forecast is saying.

I am feeling sad today; my youngest sister is having to say good-bye to her beloved dog. We've known it was coming - due to old age, for which there is no cure - but I had hoped it would be a while yet. And they are so far away - on the opposite end of the country. At least my other sister is out there too. But I feel very sad.

I have hardly taken any photos this month. Another side-effect of having your nose in a book all the time. Guess it is time to peek out at the world and see what is going on.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PiYo Round Two

I had hoped to keep up with weekly posting, but oops! So here's how the rest of September went down...

If you've been following along at home (Hellooooo! Anyone out there? No worries, I don't mind talking to myself...), you'll know that PIYO Core and I did not get along. Specifically, the side planks and roll ups. Core work does tend to be my least favourite thing to do, so even though I know it's important, it tends to be the first thing I skip. While I feel that PiYo has been doing good things for me, I feel like I need to do some other Core workouts to hopefully get to the point where the PiYo Core workout does not seem like an exercise in frustration.

To that end, I have decided to dig out some of my old school Pilates DVDs, work them into the PiYo Schedule, and see what that does for me. If it feels like that's not working for me, I'll...try to figure out something. :)

So this is how I've started out:

Pick Your Level Pilates - with Ellen Barrett.  I love Ellen Barret workouts. She makes me feel tall and graceful, adjectives which are not in any way descriptive of my 5' awkward self. This DVD has 3 levels - beginner, intermediate and advance. As you do the workout, you can pick any of those levels for each move. I normally do all intermediate (except for roll ups...always beginner with the  roll ups), but after PiYo I decided to give the advanced a try, and most of it is doable (you know, except for the roll ups). Not sure if it is due to increased ability, or just lack of confidence in the past...Possibly a bit of both.

Pilates for Dummies - Was my very first foray into Pilates. Definitely identified some areas where I need to work on flexibility, but not as hard as I expected. Also, kind of boring; now I remember why I stopped doing this one.

Crunch Super SlimDown Pilates Yoga Blend - another old favourite from Ellen Barrett, which I had not done in a long time. This is a longer workout; again, I would say not as difficult as I remember from the last time, but definitely some challenging moves in this  one.

Week 1 - starting from Sept 8 - I skipped the intro workout this time, replacing it with a Pilates DVD. I doubled up on the Define workouts, doing both Lower & Upper in one session, and throwing in Pilates DVDs on the other days.

Week 2 - I was actually noticing a bit of strain in my hands & wrists, so decided to back off a bit and go back to splitting up the Define workouts for this week.

Week 3 - Was just one of those weeks. Things kept coming up. I did one workout. I was still in a good frame of mind though, because I feel like I'm back on my game. A bad week is not going to derail me; I will just start over the next week...

Then Sunday night, going down the stairs I somehow missed the last step, or possibly 2 steps...all I know is I ended up on the floor at the bottom and, along with a few scrapes and bruises, I've hurt my foot and I'm hobbling around. So there will be a short break in the workout schedule.

Could have been worse, no serious damage done, just trying to stay off my feet for now and let things heal.

September Workouts

01: PIYO Drench
02: PIYO Buns
03: PIYO Sweat
04: PIYO Core
06: PIYO Sculpt
08: PYL Pilates
09: PIYO Define: Lower + Upper
10: Pilates for Dummies
13: PIYO Sweat
14: PIYO Define: Lower + Upper
15: PIYO Sweat
16: PIYO Define Lower
17: PYL Pilates
18: WAlk[20 min]
19: PIYO Define: Upper
20: PIYO Sweat
21: Crunch Pilates/Yoga Blend
23: PIYO Buns

The weather was seriously beautiful last weekend. I spent some time sitting out in the yard with a book, which is something I did not do enough of this summer. It's been a bit of a weird summer, actually, and I'm not even sure how to explain why. It was definitely not a good year for my garden, just finally getting some tomatoes now, and not many of them. Peppers are just starting, I doubt they will get a chance to mature. I got a late start, for sure, but it also seemed like things were just really slow.

Hopefully we can still look forward to some good weather, though it yesterday cooled off considerably. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

PIYO Challenge Diary: Week 8 of 8

The good news is that week 8 was a complete turnaround from week 7; I had my energy back, and I was back to loving PiYo. Honestly, I was feeling so disappointed during week 7 because I went from feeling pretty great about the workouts to not wanting to do them at all. Maybe I should have given myself a few days off, but I was so focused on the fact that I was two weeks away from finishing the schedule.

From Tuesday on I was back to feeling good. I was marking off workouts, counting down to the last one where I could say: I did it!

Here comes the bad news...

I had to work Sunday morning. It only happens every few months, and most of the time - not every time, but usually - we're done by late morning/early afternoon.

But of course this Sunday there were delays starting, so we had to wait around. It was somewhere around noon when we finally got started, and then it was around 5 pm when we finished. I was tired and cranky, I had other things to do, and I didn't want to go back to that place where I was begrudging the workout...Of course the last one would be Drench too, which is the longest workout on the schedule. So I decided I would do it on Monday.

Monday, of all days, we were late leaving work.

I could have done it today, but I kind of feel like the moment has passed. This week was already planned out in my mind. So I'm skipping it.

Technically, that means I've missed two workouts, because I missed one a  couple of weeks ago as well. And, it took me 9 weeks, because I was sick in the middle. So you can call that a fail if you want. I actually am okay with it. It's the consistency that is important, in my mind anyway. It's not like there were 8 weeks and then it's done forever, I actually am rolling right back into another round of PiYo, though I will be doing a bit of a hybrid this time around, at least to start; we'll see how it goes.

So somewhat of an anticlimactic end to my PiYo Challenge, but there it is.

As for the results - I do feel like I have increased my strength and flexibility. In the beginning, I was often getting muscle cramps in my foot, and/or my hip when doing the workouts - those have all but disappeard. I have lost a few pounds. I haven't done measurements yet, but I doubt there is a huge difference (to be fair, my eating was not very consistent, as usual). I do think I can see a slight difference in my upper arms, but probably no one else would notice.

That may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but for me it was a success because I wanted to do the workouts, I stuck with the program for 8 weeks, and I enjoyed most of it. I feel proud of what I was able to do, and that I was able to improve. I want to do more and get even stronger. I definitely feel a bit of a confidence boost. All that, to me, adds up to success.

I forgot to post my August workout summary last week - too busy counting down those last workouts...Better late than never!The gap right at the beginning is where I got sick at the end of week 4.

02: PIYO Sweat
09: PIYO Sweat
10: PIYO Strength Intervals
11: PIYO Sculpt
12: PIYO Sweat
13: PIYO Core
14: PIYO Drench
16: PIYO Buns
17: PIYO Strength Intervals
18: PIYO Drench
19: PIYO Core
20: PIYO Buns
21: PIYO Sculpt
24: PIYO Sweat
25: PIYO Sculpt
27: PIYO Sweat
28: PIYO Core
29: PIYO Buns
30: PIYO Drench
31: PIYO Strength Intervals

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PIYO Challenge Diary: Week 7 of 8

I guess it's more like Week 7.25, since I'm two workouts into the last week already.  It's the home stretch!

I gotta tell you, last week was not so good. I'd had company the weekend before - which I looked forward to, and sincerely enjoyed - but I was exhausted by the time they left on Sunday. It is just a lot busier than I am used to when we have people to stay. Normally, I can go at my own pace, have some quiet time to myself (Introvert, party of one!) but that doesn't work when we have house guests. I don't mean that to sound like complaining, it's just a fact of my life.

Anyway, I pushed myself to do my scheduled workout on Sunday and Monday, but was still exhausted on Tuesday. And when I say exhausted, I mean dragging myself around, aware of a physical urge to curl myself up in a little ball somewhere. So I gave in and took Tuesday off, and did feel a bit better.

It was still hard to finish out the week, and I gotta say I was really cranky about doing Drench yesterday. Up til now, PiYo has mostly been easy. I haven't had to talk myself into my workout most days. I like some of the workouts better than others, but overall it's been a program that I enjoy. Last week was like the flip of a switch and I just didn't want to do it, I begrudged the workouts, and I didn't enjoy it.

Maybe I should have taken some time off, but I am so close to the end now! I'm in that mind set where I have a schedule and I must follow the schedule. That does tend to get to me eventually - I must do, rather than I want to do.

Today was Buns, which is my favourite, and I did actually enjoy that, so hopefully I am getting my groove back. Four more to go!

This weekend I took it pretty easy. Saturday I sat in my chair and read a novel (Visions by Kelley Armstrong). Then Saturday evening watched The Escape Artist, that I've had sitting on my PVR for a while now. Sunday & Monday (yay for long weekends!) I watched season 4 of Downton Abbey,which I've also had sitting around for a while too. Lots of couch potato time - I need it now and then.

Over the weekend I also did my first canning of the year - a small batch of dill pickles (with cucumbers I grew in my garden), and salsa (with tomatoes from the farmers market).

It may not sound like a very exciting weekend, but I think it was what I needed.

And  now, courtesy of my iPhone...

My breakfast of late. Freestone peaches are in season and I am doing my best to eat my fill, which leads to my perfect breakfast: fresh peach, plain yogurt, a little bit of muesli. Lovely!

The result of my weekend labour (ha! it was Labour Day weekend!): 5 jars of dill pickles and 5 jars of salsa.

A visitor that dropped by my window at work today. Just because. :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

PIYO Challenge Diary: Week 6 of 8

I have found myself thinking about yoga quite often during this challenge - probably not a surprise, since the workout is described as a blend of yoga and Pilates.

Early on, particularly once Core arrived on the schedule, I found myself thinking appreciatively of yoga workouts that allow you to work on a pose; getting comfortable with alignment, building strength and confidence, working your way up to something you find challenging.

This week I've found myself thinking about sun salutations. I remember what it was like trying to learn them - I was actually going to a live class at that time, and we would start the class with sun salutations. I felt like I was flinging myself around on the mat, trying to keep up, hearing the instructor talk about flowing with the breath and thinking how impossible that sounded...Until one day it just clicked. It really felt like that: suddenly I had it and I was flowing.

As of Week 5, there are six different workouts on the PiYo schedule. The routines go pretty fast, while the workouts themselves are plenty tough, sometimes it's hard to keep up with the switches as well. Maybe this is harder for me than the average person; I do have hearing issues, and I don't always catch the cues. This means I need to get pretty familiar with the routine.

And I think I'm getting there. Which means it is getting both easier and harder at the same time. I'm getting better at catching the cues. I'm spending less time standing still, staring at the screen wondering we do what now? Which means I'm working harder...And to be honest, I felt like I was working plenty hard most of time time before.

I am also seriously thinking that at the end of Week 8 I might want to start all over again.

Monday: Drench - Still glaring at the 48 minute start time...but I'm starting to get this (the first time a lot of it felt way too fast) and even enjoy (though if I'm being honest, I don't particularly enjoy being that sweaty...Ugh!)

Tuesday: Core - Still sucks, but ever-so-slightly less.

Wednesday: Buns - Checked the schedule Tuesday night and literally said "Oh yay!" when I saw this was the workout.

Thursday: Sculpt - Less than 30 minutes; love the short ones!

Friday: REST

Saturday: Missed workout - Drench :(

Sunday: Sweat - E for Effort :(

I knew I wouldn't have time for a workout on Saturday; I'd hoped to get it in on Friday but that didn't happen. Sunday I was just so frickin' exhausted, I  could not face Drench. You know those days where you feel tired, but a little exercise perks you up? That was not my Sunday. I talked myself into Sweat, but it was not my best performance. Still, one workout skipped in 6 weeks is not a bad record, as far as I am concerned. And  maybe I'll still manage to get it in sometime in the next two weeks.