Doin’ it at home….

I haven’t written, but I have been plugging away at my fitness pursuits, but I hit some roadblocks. First was a cold, then two days after getting better there was another one…. Then the stomach flu. Those things over such a short period pretty much drained my motivation. I was holding on by a thread and just didn’t have it in me to write about health and fitness when I was feeling anything but healthy. I hate to sit (write?) and complain, so I just kept silent.

But there were a lot of bright spots: I found a decent gym! 20 minute drive away, friendly staff, beautiful new equipment, not too crowded. Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Except for 20 minutes is a little far when you add in rush hour, which doubles the drive, hence pretty much making the evening and weekends the only good time to work out. I want to make sure that working out isn’t a chore and make it as easy as possible…. So I found another solution.

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My own gym!

I’ve pushed all my furniture to one side, hung a mirror (my old living room mirror haha) and moved everything around to make some extra space.

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I can’t tell you how absolutely wonderful it is having weights in my basement. I’ve said it before, TRX is a great workout but it just doesn’t make my heart sing. When I lift weights, I feel like this:

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TRX makes me feel more like this:

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Given that weight lifting truly makes me happy, I’m feeling a little stupid for not doing this earlier. Cost wise, I’ve spent about 6 months membership fees to the gym that I found, so I feel like I’m ahead of the game.

I’d still like to purchase an adjustable bench (I’m using a stability ball in place of a bench now, but it is tough when lifting really heavy to put weights down without dropping them or wiggling to sit up, but maybe I just need more practice?), an Olympic barbell, some more weights and maybe a medicine ball. Honestly though, I can do pretty much everything with what I have now. My current inventory includes a variety of resistance bands, stability ball, TRX, dumbbells (2×12, 2×15, 2×20, 2×25 and 2×30), mats, foam roller, an Olympic EZ curl bar, some weights for it, jump rope and fast rope, and coming soon a box jump.

What have you done to make working out fool proof in your life?

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Favourite Things

So in the spirit of focussing on the positive, I’m going to write about a few of my favourite things.

When the dog barks:

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I have two dogs. Apollo, is a 3.5 year old golden retriever who we bought from a breeder. He is the goofiest, cuddliest most loyal dog ever. He has never known anything but kind words, ear rubs and positive reinforcement.

Then there’s Trooper. Trooper is a 1.5 year old shepherd cross (with who knows what but my guess is husky and beagle) who I fostered through a local rescue. He was supposed to be a short-term foster, but his cuteness and charm proved too much to resist, so I adopted him. Or more accurately, he adopted me. This dog is hopelessly devoted to me. He is a little scrappy, highly intelligent, and a little spastic.

These two pups are brothers and best buddies. I really couldn’t have better dogs (well, I could if Apollo would quit counter surfing, and Trooper wouldn’t lose touch with reality with other dogs while he is on leash but that isn’t the point).

When the bees sting:

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I’m incredibly lucky to have a yard big enough for a garden, and that everything grew!

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There's nothing better than picking fresh veggies for dinner!

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When I’m feeling bad:

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I don’t even have words enough to describe my love of So Delicious Coconut Creamer in my coffee. And chai tea. I stopped drinking milk a year or two ago when I was following the Jamie Eason Live Fit Trainer which came with a very specific food/eating plan to follow and it specifically eliminated milk and replaced it with unsweetened almond milk. I’ve never gone back. Almond milk is evil in coffee. It tastes like death and wet worms and Monday mornings all rolled into one. Luckily I found the coconut creamer (queue the choir of angels here). The ingredients aren’t perfectly clean, but when I compare them to the root canal that is drinking coffee with almond milk, I don’t mind so much. It’s totally worth consuming dibasic potassium phosphate for (not that I have any idea what that is).

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If dibasic potassium phosphate is going to kill me, please don’t tell me because I really hate almond milk in my coffee.

I simply remember my favourite things…

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Whey Isolate to help me recover and grow big muscles (look at those great clean ingredients and no fake sugar!).

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New hang out spot where I am currently blogging from with a glass of wine.

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I bought it on vacation and it tastes like dessert.

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Homemade green juices! My favourite (sadly not my hunky husband’s favourite, but he occasionally chokes them down for me).

.. and then I don’t feel so bad!

Vacation

I haven’t been blogging because I was on vacation…

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I packed workout gear, but it just didn’t happen.

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The beach happened.

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Some hiking happened.

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A lot of sight seeing happened.

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And then some more.

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And amongst all of that a lot of eating happened. I always managed a healthy breakfast and lots of water, but beyond that, well… Let’s just say that I was relaxed.

These guys….

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…turned into these guys…

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And were consumed with abandon.

So was this.

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(so good!!)

And several rounds of these…

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And this… Which is probably the most buttery thing I’ve ever eaten.

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And if you look closer my latte looks like this

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(does this look like what I think it looks like? Because I think the milk frother dude was trying to tell me something)

Anyway, it was a week of being easy on myself. Taking time to stop and smell the roses seaweed salt air. But now I’m back, and it’s time to get serious once again.

The first thing I did when I got home was went to the garden and pulled a ton of fresh lettuce to juice. I added it with some questionable celery from the fridge, two lonely apples, and a lemon. Voila instant nutrients and detox juice all in one.

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Tomorrow I’m back to workouts and meal planning and feeling re-invigorated after some well needed vacation.

Body Image

A friend posted a quote by Maya Angelou from her poem Phenomenal Woman the other day. This is a poem that I’m familiar with and the lines always stuck with me. Fortunately for me, she posted it just when I needed the reminder.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, that’s me.
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I’ve talked about how the change in my lifestyle has made me look different, but honestly the change is mostly internal. I still thought I looked pretty good, but I didn’t feel good.  When I’m not working out and eating well I don’t feel in control. I don’t feel as strong.

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I enjoy the look of a strong woman – I’ll admit it, if you’re a female friend of mine and have nice biceps or defined shoulders, I’ve totally checked them out.
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So, yes, I enjoy how look when I’m fitter and more muscular. But honestly, mostly I love how I feel.  You know how I mentioned the other day that I worked out and then immediately felt 10 feet tall and bullet proof? It’s that feeling that I love about being fit. That feeling that I can put my mind to something and conquer it. I can work harder and lift heavier weights, I can do more pushups the next time. Its a constant contest with yourself, and most days your winning. I love it.
I love the feeling I get when I know that I am doing the things that I need for my health- eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, taking my vitamins, drinking lots of water. When I manage to balance this perfect storm of things I feel great. And that’s what 21 Days is really about.
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