Friday, 14 September 2012

Day 4 and 5: Usana Reset

I'm pretty terrible at daily blogging, especially when I do almost exactly the same thing day in and day out. If it gets boring to write, surely it must be boring to read... 

Day 4
Felt pretty good all day. Walked to school and home from school since Thom was away working in Whangarei, so that was all good.
I switched to shakes with low fat milk rather than water, and was just absolutely loving the consistency and flavour!

For dinner, I was ultimately quite lazy, and chose to have a single home made serving pumpkin soup from my freezer. I didn't feel like salad, and couldn't be bothered cooking anything. 

I was definitely feeling lighter!

Day 5
To be honest, today I was just over the idea of drinking all my meals. I loved the bars and apple I ate simply because I chewed and enjoyed.

Now for the true confession... After work drinks on a Friday have generally been quite common practice in my teaching career, but this year being at the beach/away from town and closer to home,  they've been far less frequent or regular. Today of all days, the principal bought a box of Coronas and cracked it in the staff room!

It was necessary. I did have one. Slowly.

I cringed. I debated. I really debated. and then I justified that it's 'just one beer'.
And it was just that. One beer. Social and relaxing.

Left it at that. Hopefully it doesn't undo everything I've done. 
 But no guilt here.  

Came home and made a massive salad, with chili shrimp on top. I really wanted meat! That did the trick.
Didn't even have my chocolate shake tonight as I worked on my travel blog - Canuckiwikate

So now, I've still got two meal replacements left up my sleeve. 

I had a squizz through the resources that I got emailed with the program, and the low GI grocery list is everything that I already buy - I just tend to try to eat less of the grains after going paleo. (Still refuse to cut anything completely because I don't want to make my body intolerant and complicate my life). 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Day 3: USANA Reset

While I will admit that I do feel like I have more energy this week, this morning getting out of bed was not the case.

Since I didn't have my chocolate shake last night, I was stoked to have chocolate for breakfast this morning! Added a few frozen berries, and away we went. I think I added more water than necessary, but it was delicious none the less. Chocolate anything is a great way to start any Wednesday!

I opted for hard boiled egg with my Vanilla lunch. I liked the chewing - the worst part of shakes is that I think I miss the physical act of chewing my meals! So I was full for the whole afternoon.

We had a staff meeting in town, with other schools so I had my peanut butter bar in the car on the way in. These meetings are usually notorious for putting on a good spread - lucky for me, today was a budget version, and consisted of savoury swirls, chocolate cake and GRAPES. I helped myself to some of those, not even missing the other options. Throughout the meeting, I managed to drink a whole 1.5 in the hour and a bit we were there. This resulted in 2 trips to the loo, but that's okay. I am finally consciously improving my hydration!

By the time dinner rolled around, I decided to change it up, and go for the salad. Bit of iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, red onion, carrots, mushrooms.. and toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I also added the slightest bit of olive oil/red wine vinegar for a slight splash of dressing/flavour. It sure hit the spot. Didn't even need the eggs I'd boiled, so I;ll save those for when I do.
For the love of veggies!

Around 9pm I wasn't hungry hungry, but still wanted more. I had carefully calculated whether to save a chocolate and have the strawberry that I don't love... but opted to experiment with some Almond Milk and chocolate in the blender. I went for the "less is more" with just barely a cup of almond milk added, a few ice cubes and the chocolate sachet.... OH MY GOD. I created heaven in a glass. It was thick, creamy, and it reminded me of licking cake batter off the spoon.

Ended the day SATISFIED!

Roll on Day 4 - I am ready to rock you!

Let's end with a bit of perspective
February vs September 2012

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Day 2 of USANA Reset

I felt heaps more onto it starting off day 2!

I had my glass of lemon water, and took the vitamins.
Breakfast at 7am- I added the water first again, some ice and a few frozen berries. Still not sold on the after taste of the Wild Strawberry flavour, but it's not unbearable so I'll stop whinging

I had a strawberry/mango herbal tea once I got to school, as well as filling up my 1.5L water bottle to have in my classroom so that I actually drink water often.

Morning tea at 10am - Chocolate flavoured protein bar. Still delicious. Still filling.

Lunch at 12pm - By far my favourite shake of the day, the French Vanilla!

Refuel break at 1:30pm - Apple! Remembered that I'd hardly touched my water bottle (6 years olds sure do keep me busy!) so I skulled most of that. My goal is to have it gone by after school, and then another bottle done before bed. I must get better at drinking water!

Afternoon tea at 3pm - School finished, and I enjoyed that Peanut Butter crunch bar - yum yum!

Dinner at 5pm - I was feeling peckish when I got home, so I took Steph's advice, as I'd emailed her last night, and she recommended to have a boiled egg or fresh salmon. I obviously didn't have salmon on hand, so I boiled an egg before grilling up my veggies.

7pm - Onions, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, carrots and some garlic in a wee bit of coconut oil.

I kept putting off having the chocolate shake, as I wasn't overly hungry. I hope it doesn't throw things off, not having it. It's now 10:42 and it just feels too late.

I feel heaps better today.
Glad I drank more water. Resisted the temptation of Thom eating Doritos next to me (NONE for this girl!)
I didn't do any exercises after school or tonight. I get so easily put off by coming home in the rain. Excuses excuses. Ugh.

Onto the Half-way point tomorrow!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Day 1 of USANA Reset

Today I started a 5 day 'Reset' cleanse. I don't like the idea of fad diets or the like, but for some reason I bought into for the 'reset your system and feel better'. I saw a few of my cousins on Facebook doing it a month ago and raving about it, and thought "why not."

Day 1 went like this....

Breakfast at 7am- strawberry shake in the blender. My first reactions were that it was tasty, but by the end of it I was less of a fan.

Morning tea at 10am - I was hanging out to eat my bar by the time morning tea rolled around. The chocolate protein bar was super tasty though. I was keen!

Lunch at 12:20pm - I had the Vanilla shake, made in my Punch Supplements shaker at school. I dumped the  packet in, added the water and then shook.... except I had a terribly powdery lumpy concoction in my shaker that I was not looking forward to drinking. Luckily with a little spoon stirring and I think I added a bit more water, shook again and the consistency improved. Even better, I was blown away by the delicious flavour.

Afternoon tea at 3pm - Busted out the ol Peanut butter crunch bar provided. Another delicious hit, it tasted just like a Candy bar!?! I also realised I hadn't taken my first vitamin packet, so I got that in me

Around 4pm I received an email - a guide to Day 1.  Oops, I'm about 17 or 18 hours ahead of everyone else doing it in Canada. Oddly enough, I had chosen the same shakes that they had for breakfast and lunch... and then I read this.

DINNER (about 7:00)
- Vitamin pack
- Big green salad or plate of grilled veggies (no cream dressings)
- Nutrimeal shake (We would do the chocolate, it will feel like desert); you can have the shake a bit later say about 8:30, depends on how you are feeling)
Wait a minute... for some reason, I had originally thought that it was 2 shakes and 2 bars, and one 1 normal Low GI meal at dinner. Now I'm onto 3 meal replacements!?! aw shit, I don't know how I feel about a liquid diet. But I am sticking with this to the end. 
Once I got home, I got the backup call to play netball. So I went into town and had a go running around the court trying to get in trouble for obstructing. I am no natural netball player, that's for sure. But I had good fun, and it was good exercise. 
Dinner at 745pm - I couldnt face a salad. I didn't feel like a salad would make me feel full mentally or physically, so I grilled up some veggies. I had mushrooms that were nearly going off, so perfect for frying in a bit of butter with mixed herbs. Next I melted some Coconut Oil, tossed in an onion to caramelize then some sliced carrots and broccoli. Chucked a lid on the frying pan to create some steam and then tossed in some spinach. Added the final touches of chia seeds and sunflower seeds. It was actually so tasty considering the level of boringness. Maybe it was just the 'real food' as opposed to liquid that I was appreciating. 
Not long after my vegge medley, I had my 'chocolate dessert shake'. Only this time, already learning from my previous experiences, I added my water (and some ice cubes) first and then the packet. Powdery problem solved. The flavour wasn't too bad, but Vanilla has still won my heart. 
Tomorrow is a new day and I intend on learning from today and making it even better. I will definitely be making a few changes.
-Lemon and water when I wake up - get the vitamins in
-adding ice and frozen berries to the strawberry shake (as well as the water first)
-I DID NOT DRINK ENOUGH WATER TODAY, so will be making sure I have a water bottle in class with me 
-I'll have a piece of fruit with my morning tea bar.
-I will try to find out earlier if I get to have real dinner, or just veggies again.
As usual, I've stayed up too late. I'm feeling a bit hungry in my tummy, but I'm thinking that if I sort out those things I figured out today, tomorrow I should feel like a million bucks.
Time will tell!
I'll update with some photos eventually too

Monday, 3 September 2012

We are back! Using workouts I've 'pinned'

Attention Ladies and... okay I know it's likely more ladies instead of Gentlemen

I am back! And I am going to blog. Perhaps you couldn't tell I got out of my blogging routine. Once I got sick and fell off the 100 Day challenge, I avoided my blog. Perhaps I felt like a bit of a failure at the time, but the truth is I am far from it!

My goal was to lose my excess flab (it still is my goal!) but I had the incentive of heading to Thailand in July. Well that trip has come and gone. It was absolutely fabulous.

About 6 weeks or so prior to leaving, I got my measurements done at the gym. The trainer gave me some diet advice, and I was working on doing P90X, although that programme is another one for the 'Started and I lasted a Month' file. My eyes were opened to the Paleolithic or Caveman diet, where you eliminate all grains and dairy from your diet for at least 30 days.

It was TOUGH, but I did it. When I'd cook for myself, I wouldn't cook anything grains or dairy. Certainly made for some interesting meals! Once we got to Thailand though, I didn't limit myself. I didn't want to avoid rice!

I've been back to real life for 2 months now, and I haven't sussed out my routine. I want to eat less carbs, but I've bought them, and they've been in the house, so that makes for tricky self control. I want a balance between a strict paleo diet, just a more mindful of less carbs, more protein kind of diet.

That being said, since I started  my MISSION in January, I have seen my body completely change. At my heaviest I was sitting on 86kg (190 lbs!!), something that I was none too proud of. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. NOW, I sit at about 75kg (165 lbs) and while I still would like to lose another 5kg (to put me at 155lbs or so) I'm not fixated on the specific number, as much as still improving my fitness levels, and toning up the flabby bits.

I've enjoyed a few non-scale victories over the past couple months, but most importantly was fitting into ALL my old jeans comfortably again (!!!). It has also been nice to have various people noticing and commenting on the changes.

I've been doing a bit of running, intermitantly rather than regularly. 2 weeks ago I did the Tough Guy and Gal 6km Mud Run in Rotorua, which was great fun frolic through cow shit and tiptoeing through ice cold water- but the paddock hills KILLLED me, as hills always do. Last weekend, I got off my ass Sunday morning, and did a 10km beach run around the reef in 1:42. This weekend just passed, I went into town nice and early on Saturday morning, and ran a 5km loop - without giving into that litle voice in my head that says "I'm tired, let's just walk" for a 2.5 KILOMETERS - new personal best for me!

Like lots of others, I've joined Pinterest where you can find HEAPS of excellent workouts all on board. I've created my own SWEAT board. I also see all those SomeEcards that say "it's great you've pinned another workout that's going to make you fit isn't it" and decided I didn't want that to be me. If I've got all these great resources, by golly I ought to use them. When I got home from school at 5, I faffed around getting into my workout gears, but I did it. And I'm not exactly sure what it was about today, but I've decided I'm going to keep doing it.

And I'm going to hold myself accountable again. I can't promise you my posts will be entertaining or informative - hell they'll like be ramble-y exactly  like this one. But I need to remember how far I've come, and not just focus on how far I've yet to go. I've learned that I don't do well sticking to those programmes and routines like Insanity and P90X - and that's okay. I've still got them, and they're still awesome as workouts, and I can still use them as I like even if I don't follow it to a tee.

I am back, and I'm gonna bring a better me, baby!

3 months till summer, and THIS year, I'm going to be READY.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Revelations, motivation and general ramblings.

This weekend was a long weekend, here in New Zealand and the second/last of the PADI dive course Thom and I got for a bargain. Being a certified diver is something I've always wanted to do and now it is done! I really do love that feeling of accomplishment, of making dreams reality.

Since Christmas, I have lost roughly about 9.5kg/20-ish lbs(woop woop!). That was really just a number, that i wanted to see keep going up but didn't mean much to me - UNTIL this weekend, when I had to strap that weight back around my waist to go diving and realised just HOW heavy it actually is. I was stoked! I am more motivated than ever now, to keep at it.

2 weeks ago, I went into the gym to get properly measured and have a body assessment done. I'd started p90x about a month before, but I was curious to know my body fat percent. I'd taken most of my own measurements sporadically before, so none of that was a surprise. I came out with 32% body fat, which isn't really ideal, and the trainer set the goal to get it down to 30% in 6 weeks, when I'd come back to measure up before we head off to Thailand.

She also suggested I look into a "Paleolithic" diet, which is also known as the Caveman diet. I'm not really into fad or crash diets, but she said that cutting out grains and dairy (the Paleo argument is that our bodies were never designed to digest these sorts of foods) to lean out. What the hell I figured, I'll give it a crack. It wasn't so hard to eat just meat and veggies really. I was a star during the week!

...Then the weekend came along. And we were off to Thom's grandparents for the weekend. Saturday, we thought we'd go grab lunch despite being told to bring it, but we figured we were right in town. Oh no, we didn't even stop to HAVE a lunch break. We went straight from dive theory to practical before we knew it! Nana had a lovely roast ready for us when we got home that had 4 different vege with the main meat and I shyed away from the potatoes, but I did indulge in her famous bacon/egg/cheese pastry things that are so delicious. Not that I needed to, but I didn't beat myself up. She made us sandwiches to take to the course, and despite bread being on the banned list, I went with it for convience sake.

Admittedly I have not been following p90x after I got sick, and I counted diving as 2 days of exercise (It's actually fairly strenuous, especially lugging the gear around). Last week was shocking with only one night of exercise, and that was playing netball with the girls from school! But regardless, my good eating during the week did favours for me. This weekend at Nana's, I probably slipped up a wee bit more than I should have, having a CHOCOLATE BAR (*Shudder*) but tomorrow is a holiday Monday, and even though I have to go to school to do heaps of work, I love the flexibilty of knowing that I can make time to work out in the am before I head in to school.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The good, the bad and no excuses

Ok, I took a slight hiatus from the fitness blogosphere since school started. I challenged myself to 100 days of 30 minutes of activity a day, and as real life carried on, I didn't always make the time. Some might be quick to say I failed the challenges and I'm okay with that.
For me, the 100 day challenge was about creating new habits. Taking my bike to work instead of driving my car. Taking time out for me and my health. Improving my running endurance. I can't be 100% all the time. I have my slip ups. I get lazy. But I refuse to beat myself up about being human. I make bad choices and mistakes in all areas of my life... And I learn from that. It's how I grow and know I'm getting better.
So I didn't complete every day - I did make an effort MOST days - far more than I had been.

I also realized that it wasn't fitting in the exercise that I really struggled with; I kind of got put off blogging when it came down to crunch time. I could get out for my run when I got home from work, but I just couldn't be assed writing about it afterwards. I felt like I was writing kind of the same thing over and over and boring myself. I put pressure on me to make itteresting, and add photos and eventually I just didn't have the time or energy to put into that. So it took the back burner.

My accomplishments
-I ran the Whangarei Beach2Basin 9.4km run on 4 March in 1h 13m, while I was sick (lungs were on fire!) and still took 7 minutes off my previous time in September
-I've been improving my short run stamina and time, running more and walking less.
-I discovered I'm way better at maintaining a steady pace if I run on the beach
-I ran 3.3km on the beach without stopping
-I ran 5km on the beach without stopping!
-I got up on Good Friday morning and went went for a 9.5km run by myself and made it
-I finally broke out of my 84kg plateau, and am down to fluxating between 80 and 81 ( next goal= get into the 70s!!!)
-I gave up eating chips and hot chips (fries) for 40 day - however long Lent actually is

What's next?
I have done the first t days already. I'm not going to kid myself and say I'll blog about everyday because there's no need to set myself up to fail again, right. My priority is the physical activity!
So far it's not as scary as I'd hyped up in my mind. I started doing the LEAN version, which is more cardio based DVDs rather than muscle building, but there's a good chance I may switch to the classic programme. I just wanted to ease myself into this, especially since I was so intimidated. I'm not following the nutrition guide to a t, which is naughty I know. But I'm making clean, healthier choices. I know nutrition is the key part of the equation. I'm working on it. I am a work in progress.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Real life happens - the 10+ day catch up

Well, when you last heard from me, on day 27, which would have been the 27th of January, I  was still on my summer holidays, I had yet to go back to my full time job of teaching at a new school. Since then, we've had TWO LONG WEEKENDS and lots going on. 

For me, this challenge has been about 'making the time' a habit. Always a learning curve, bound to slip up here and there, and I refuse to let that stop me or get me down! I'm starting to see/feel success, as the scale is FINALLY (after not moving, since about MAY!?) go down and stay down... and the real tell-tale indicator, I tried on a pair of jean shorts I'd bought second hand online  at Christmas time, and they didn't actually do up because my massive midsection... but feeling brave for some reason today, I decided to see where I was in comparision... and they did up! Still had quite the muffin top popping out the top, but nothing a loose fitting tshirt couldnt hide. I decided to bask in my success and wear those damn $5 shorts. Now that's motivation to keep at this, and eliminate that flab!

Here's the scoop on what I've been up to: 

Day 28:  This was a Saturday morning... I got out on the bike early and did a 10km ride :) I was stoked to have gotten it out of the way, as we were heading up north for the rest of the long weekend, to go camping. 

Day 29: Sunday and we were camping... kind of an iffy grey day all day. Sandy and I attempted body boarding, only to be sent crushed into the beach, so we gave that a miss quite promptly. Us girls set out the surf caster, as Sophie is a legend with the line, while the boys, went spear-fishing. A good feed for lunch was caught!  

The 'fruits' of our labour,
in shellfish form
Low tide was at about 7 that night, and so the remaining four of us wet-suited up, and went for a walk around the rocks to a sheltered inlet, where the I had intended to dive, but instead received the pauas that the boys got. I counted the trek around the rocks as my exercise for that day. 

This effort could possibly have been negated by the cream in our dinner, of pauas and cream. (with a hint of sweet chili sauce)

This is best photo I had on my computer,
of the wee hill we climbed at Spirit's Bay
Day 30: Northland Anniversary day, a public holiday! Before heading back to face the demands of reality, Soph, Phil, Thom and I decided to conqueror the beast that is Spirit's Bay. This little trek is not so much for the faint of heart, or weak of calves, as going up the back has quite an incline. I'd been having trouble recently with my calves, and they played up again on the ascent up the hill.  Soph took her camera with, as mine had died by then, so I have some photos from the top to get from her that I may add later. I believe this might have taken us about 2 hours return to hike up and back. 

Day 31: Tuesday night Yoga for an hour and a half! I'd had Teacher Only Day at school all day, and was looking forward to yoga, although was slightly disappointed by the fact that the lady took the class, and she did lots more meditative breathing activities rather than physical stretching... regardless, it does the body good!

Day 32: Hello February! I'd gone 31 days straight and done so well, I was feeling so proud of myself... but the realities of school starting tomorrow also set in and led me to feel quite overwhelmed, unfortunately. After spending all day at a Restorative Justice Professional Development course in town, I did ride my bike to and from school, but ended up staying quite late and had more to do, so couldn't do any more exercise than that. Not beating myself up, at least I rode my bike. I didn't do 'nothing' it just wasn't as much as I'd have liked.

Day 33: This was the day the 'water jog' was created by Sandy, Mel and I. Resistance running, with the fun and support of the water!  It was amazing. Up and down the length of the beach, twice. We reckoned it would've been about 500m each length, I was out for 45 minutes before I went to a Pizza Oven Party with the staff from my school, to celebrate surviving the first day back to school.

Day 34: Friday morning, 6:30 am,  Sandy and I were in love with our new discovery of the water jog, so we got up early, wetsuits on, and braved the cold sea for an up and down the beach (including Sandy's brilliant idea of throwing in '50 Strokes' for good measure).  Felt so good to get exercise out of the way for the day! After work, we went out the back with the 4x4 trucks, and explored the rugged west coast, and then ended up a bit boozy at the pub!

Day 35: There seems to be an error on my count calendar. I have omitted what I did this day, and I just can't remember.  I woke up early, and took Thom's mate back to town, went to the market, and met up with friends at the cafe for lunch... and that night we went to a 21st BBQ at Thom's family friends.... I think I may have done something water related, as it was a scorcher of a day!

Day 36: Thom and I got up early-ish for a Sunday morning, and he came with me on a run to Shipwreck Bay (5km return) ... It was quite cool to run with him, as normally I don't like being around someone that I know is fitter/faster than me, but he was sweet and supportive and encouraging, in his own crude, rude, Thom way.  We walked up the massive hills, and then ran to the bottoms. Was a sweet morning :) 
The Classic Hits Winery Tour
When we got back, it was off to Tutukaka for a Girls Mission to the Winery Tour concert

Day 37: Literally ate crap all the way home from the concert. Big Brekkie, chicken and chips.... ugh! Hit the spot at the time,  but not worth it in the long run. But so difficult to say no to on a precious hangover tummy!

Once safely home, we were surprised with the arrival of my former DeFacto flatmate who moved to Aussie in July!!  Hadn't seen Amy since she left, and it was amazing for her to just rock up! After a yum as pumpkin risotto cooked by Mel for tea,  the four of us did a classic "after dinner walk" along the beach up to the creek and back.

Open fire BBQ!

Day 38: Another less successful day in my journey... as I had a mates bags to return to her at school, it was quite difficult to carry them on my bike, so Thom dropped me and my bike off at school, and the bags on his way to work. I did bike home, but only to then go to a BBQ at a mates place, as Amy's visit was a surprise for others as well. In the grand scheme of things, can't get upset by what you can't control, and 10 minutes on the bike is better than nothing in my mind ;) At least that's what I tell myself. Everyone has off days, and then you move on.

 Day 39: Sandy and I got back into the water jogging. Both exhausted after working, we thru together a deliciously random lasagna of whatever we found in the fridge (some mince, kidney beans, spinach, beans, onions, etc etc) and for the hour that that was baking, we went out to the beach to do a few laps. Perfect timing, came back in to dinner being ready at 7! 

Day 40: This makes for 2/5 of the way thru this challenge already!?!  Thursday night saw another and the final Pizza night, around in the village. Man I love food, I have to say. These pizzas are to DIE for! I didn't quite stuff myself to the same point that I did the week before, so that was progress. We jumped in and caught a ride with Thom's sister over, as there are 5 cars in our driveway when everyone's home, so it was just easier... and then Thom and I walked home. Only about a 2ish km walk , but we enjoyed a lovely stroll by the beach under a beautiful full moon :) Bliss!

Day 41: a Friday... no excuse for only biking to/from school, besides that I was buggered after working all week :( Other than that we went out and gathered tuatuas at low tide.... that wasn't so much "intentional" activity as "accidental" but still good for the legs, as you twist in the sand?  Moving on with life... 

Day 42: Good morning Saturday! This is today! I am getting caught up! I had a lovely wee sleep in (as in, I woke up with out an alarm around 8, and felt sooo refreshed, rather than dragging my ass, as I have been in the mornings) and I ran to the shop - to buy some postage and then back home, to do THIS ------------------------------->>
ab workout, which I got from Fitness Junkie on Facebook. She posts heaps of great motivational pictures, if that's what you're looking for. Always something inspiring. So I did 2 rounds of this, and one of the leg pilates I used to do with my mate at the gym.

Feeling guilty for  yesterdays off day, I also did some treading water, which was quite good for the old arms, as I floated (benefits of salt water?) on my belly, layed on my back and tucked my knees up to my chest (working my core as well?) who knows!

Back on the bandwagon! Ready to get more Fab and less Flab

 You have successfully reached the end of this massive catchup  (if you're still reading!?).
How do you deal with days that are less successful than you'd hope?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Day 26 and 27

Day 26: Felt like I needed that good push this morning, so opted for INSANITY Pure Cardio, as I can always count on that to kick my ass good . And it SURE did! In my garage, just pushing.

I do feel better knowing that even the super-toned people in the videos get puffed!

Day 27: I use my bike almost daily, doing the 3km return trip to school and back, and don't count as part of my challenge, but more a bonus to decreasing my carbon footprint and increasing my activity... but I haven't been out for a long bike ride in AGES! I thought this morning would be it... but by the time I got myself awake and organised, it was nearly 9am - PRIME drive-to-work-time/that means lots of 100km/hr traffic that I just don't like dealing with... SOOOO opted for a 5km run, out to the Marae and back. Was all going great, until the calf muscles seized up again. Despite stretches, they were just giving up on me, so again, the return trip had a lot more fast walking than I'd like, but what can I do, but keep at it.

A friend from home has started her own facebook fan page, called FITSPIRATION, where she posts lots of motivation pictures and healthy recipes (which do not disappoint!!). Today I made the banana Ice Cream, and it tasted every bit as delicious as it looked in the picture! I added some chocolate, and chia seeds to mine, just to be creative. I had some troubles downloading the picture of mine, but you might be able to see it here

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Day 25 - The Quarter Century Mark!

Yes, you read right, 1/4 of the way to 100 days, already!

Day 25: Me and mornings are not getting along. All of my plans of practicing waking up earlier are foiled by my snooze button. That, however, does not hinder my workout efforts. It just delays all the other things I plan to do in the day. Instead of a 7am run, I left at 8am, and decided to just run a good 3km's, to the school and back, and then do a circuit of ab stuff in the garage.  I love the ap that I recently upgraded to, called SecondsPro. I had SecondsFree, which created different interval timers, but the free version didnt allow you to save timers/workouts you'd just created, and I just couldn't see myself reprogramming it everytime! So I splurged the $4.19, and now can enjoy and save a range of Tabata, Circuit and various other kinds of timers etc. And what I love about this ap, is that you can name each exercise so that it tells you what to do, and then using the TexttoSpeech feature, it tells you in a computer generated voice, what you had planned to do... and then also counts down your last 3 seconds of work/rest. It's fabulous, try it out!

A lovely day in the neighbourhood!           
SecondsPro.. I recommend it!

Do you have any iPhone aps that you swear by or like to use during your workout? What would recommend? 

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Day 24 - Yoga!

Photo taken from 
Day 24: Decided to try something different, and attend an hour and a half Yoga class in town. I also biked to and from school, but it's such a short wee trip, I hardly count it for more than doing something better than driving the 1500m between my house and school. The class was good, it was something different to what I would normally do, as it was more meditative than physical in my opinion. I'm not exactly well versed in the different types of yoga, besides knowing that there are. But for most of the time, I actually relaxed and was forced to stop thinking and take time out for me. For that simple fact, and $9, I think I will be going back next week, and making it a part of my weekly routine. It was a good stretch, and I'd love to be able to improve my flexibility more. 

Back in 2009 when I first arrived in New Zealand and started attending the University of Otago for Teacher's College, OUSA (Otago University Student's Association) put on a wide variety of extra curricular activities, one of which being Yoga on Monday (and Thursday?) nights, for $3. You didn't have to commit to any number of weeks, you just paid for what you attended, and if you didn't go, then no harm done. This was one of the really physical kinds of yoga, and the teacher was really awesome. I remember always sweating profusely. And my favourite, because it was challenging, I can't remember what the pose was called, but you laid on your back on the floor, then literally thru your legs back behind your head, trying to touch the floor, and then used your core to lift them up, into the air, and then hold them as straight as possible, resting all your weight on your shoulders, elbows and neck. I went every week, and saw myself really improve, and therefore LOVED yoga... but after I moved further away from the OUSA building, the nighttime walk became a bit more dodgey and I had flatmates to keep me company so I regrettably got out of it.... and have never since found an equivalent!
I will continue my search of  Iyengar Yoga (I just did some google research...)
Upon a bit more research, due to living so rural, the closest that I'll probably find for this specific type is probably Kerikeri, which is over an hour and a half drive from my house...

So I guess I will be sticking to weekly mediation yoga! Perhaps I will try to fit in something else as well on Tuesdays, but if not, it is intentional activity and good for my body - everyone needs a good stretch and relax, eh!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

22 and 23...

Day 22: Bit of a lazy Sunday, we made toastie sandwiches with cheese, onion, ham, and avocado in them on the George Foreman grill... yummmie! I didn't really do much of anything all day, till about 3.00, Mel and I decided to go for a drive. Nothing was open in town, so we went out to the East Coast. Found the Indian place, and decided to flag Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner, and bring home some indian. I had wanted a chicken kebab, but apparently they didnt have that, so got a Chicken Korma, which was quite delicious. Came home, and did more puttering around. Trying to sort out my last spare bedroom which contained ALL of my leftover teaching crap from changing schools. Sandy, is meant to move in sometime this week, so really the room needs to be clean and clear for her. 8.30 came, was dusky out, but it was no or never. Got into my gears, and loaded up my new playlist (ah yes, Mel and I had a bit of a music exchange earlier in the arvo, creating the ultimate running playlist). Playlist loaded, off I went. Originally intending just to do a 3km run, to the school and back... but I was feeling so good! With the upbeat music, I was able to set a good pace, and run way longer without having to stop and walk. And the sky was so pretty, I wanted to go over to the beach ramp, and see it from there. I'd logged that route the other day, so I new it was approx. 5km return run, so it didn't matter that my LogYourRun app wasnt working and properly measuring how far I was going. So I'm rocking out to all this upbeat music, get to Kaka Street (haha, yes you read right, like poo) which is the turn around point.... and my calves are aching, so I walk a bit further, but they completely seize up. The last 2km home, I had to completely (but as briskly as I could) walk home. For the final k, I just turned off the music, and listened to the water lap and the waves crash, since the tide was way in. 

I don't recommend running with curry on the belly either. I thought it had digested, I'd gone to the toilet before leaving... but no. That curry put me in a hurry to get home, and with painful legs, it was not fun!

I used to always have the free pass attitude,
now I am trying to SHAKE it. 

Day 23: I am accepting that at the beginning of school, it's going to be very difficult to work out in the morning. I am still struggling to get up and not fluff around. So I will accept afternoon workouts, after school. This morning, proved that. I was up at 7, and considered going for a bike ride. I like to get out before the traffic gets busy, because quite frankly, the main road is busy and there is not heaps of extra room for those cars doing 100km/hr to fly past you. I ate some museli for breakfast, and then had a nose around on the internet.  I love the little icon pictures that say inspirational stuff, or like no one else is going to make you  exercise, I was looking around another blog that sounded like mine on Tumblr and copied some pictures off that.
Then I thought, nah, I'm just gonna use "my gym" since it's there. Warmed up by using Tabata to Jog. And then I started mucking around with the exercise timer/sets on my phone, and decided to work on my arms, since they often don't get as much attention.   So I set up the app to do 6 exercise, 1 minute each,  and 30 seconds between each for 3 rounds
I did:
-lay on the ball, 4kg fly

-press up (i'm getting much better at those, especially in form!)
-resistance band pull downs on the door
-sit on the ball 4kg press
-sit on the ball 4kg curl

I was going to do abs too, and probably should have. But I was ready to stop. 

Working on THIS!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Day 21 - 3 Week mark!

Day 21: A gorgeous Saturday morning, had a lovely wee sleep - in, and then up and out the door for a solid 5km run! I do get a bit bored on runs, so I need to keep changing up where I go, so today I opted for something different, and went thru the village and did a little loop, which was nice. So warm out by 10am though! But there's hardly any wind and the bay is sooo flat. I definitely ran more often than I walked today, although my legs/shins kept aching :( While I was out, my mate was texting me about going camping tonight, so I'd take walk breaks to reply and by the time I got home, we'd decided that next weekend, being a long weekend, would be a better plan.  
Came home to a delicious western omlette with cajun spice, GP, onions, ham and mushies. Yummm yum.

Can't believe it's been 3 weeks of the challenge already! Habits are being formed! 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

okay 3 days at a time... 18, 19, and 20!

Day 18:  At home morning gym session, total 40 minutes,  hard out TABATAS! Ohhh did I ever feel it after this one! Remember, Tabatas are 8 rounds, 20 seconds of FULL THROTTLE give it your all and then 10 seconds rest, for a total of 4 minutes. I did:
-High knees
-press ups
-lay on the floor, legs on stability ball, lift bum

-torso twists with 4kg
-torso leans, lifting 4kg each arm - touch knee
-lay on stability ball, 4kg fly
-lay on floor, legs on ball, use core to touch ball on each side

Day 19: INSANITY Cardio Resistance & Power ... Not going to lie, I had to DIG DEEP to find some motivation... I was a wee bit sore from yesterday ab - domination, and I knew that I needed something to motivate me, so dvd it was, as I find Shaun T so motivating and inspiring :) 

THEN! later in the evening, I was feeling like 'doing something' rather than just sitting round, so we walked to Shipwreck Bay and back, for an additional bonus 5km! The hill is killer, and I foolishly wore Jandals, so my calves ached a bit, but slow and steady we got there and home!

Day 20: Fact- I'm really proud that I have stuck with this challenge this long, I was so excited to be able to say "I am One Fifth done!" (except I'm probably not going to stop once I get to 100, I hope). So I did INSANITY Cardio Recovery and appreciated every minute of the stretches... okay except maybe not the squat and lunge holds, those kill  me. Every time. 
Cyber world, meet my sticker chart of motivation.

Monday, 16 January 2012

16 and 17 and still going strong

Day 16: Monday morning! Starting this week off right after a TERRIBLE sleep, I tried to run...  but ended up walking, as my badly bruised leg was giving me a bit of grief and throbbing pain. But I still did 5km, and just did 2 minute intervals of walking/running. I also biked down to school and back. We had the most delicious falafels for dinner - a favourite!

Day 17: Today! Tuesday, slow start. I was up at 730, but again had another terrible sleep and was awake for more than an hour, so I let myself go back to sleep till about 9 or so, and then at 10 decided to bust out some INSANITY Pure Cardio in the garage rather than the living room. So much better on the concrete floor instead of the yuck carpet upstairs.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Keeping it FUN! Day 13, 14 and 15

My little set up I've got goin on down
in my garage... workout with a view ;)
Day 13: Friday morning, up and at them, not so early but enough to get in a solid workout before having some guests over to bake cookies and catch up. 
I decided to stay home, in my garage rather than go for a run or bike ride as my newly bruised leg was still quite tender.... but I would bust out my Tabata timer app on my iPhone, and do as many leg friendly exercises. Tabata is a form of High Intensity Interval Training, where you go hard and give it your all at whatever you're doing for 20 seconds (that's it! not long!) and then take a 10 second break, and you repeat this 8 times, for a total for 4 minutes of hardout work! I love it, and the timer is so helpful. 
I started out by jogging, then did some boxing, then the c-sit hold from insanity, bum lifts using the swiss ball, 4kg oblique drops and 4kg oblique twists, and finished off with some more boxing. Sooooo good! Felt awesome afterwards, and for the rest of the day!

So fun just paddling and trying to catch the wave
Day 14: The girls and I had gone to free concert on a remote island about an hour and a half away for the night.... heaps of cardio was had dancing the night away I can tell you that!  Saturday was a mint as gorgeous summer day (finally) and my mate Genna and I had been trying to get out surfing together for ages... so today we finally made it happen! It was beautiful. Now, I am no surfer by any means, but that probably just means that I work heaps harder! Paddling big waves is a mission! I counted that as my workout as we were out on the water for an hour - hour and a half!  I was exhausted afterwards. Abs worked, arms worked, knees sore. Okay I can't actually stand up but it will happen, with practice.
I believe!

Day 15: Sunday morning.... cleaning day!! With the thought of going back to work, even just for a little bit each day, I really wanted my house to be clean so that'd be one less thing to worry about :)  Washing done folded and put away, dishes all caught up, fridge cleaned out and wiped out,  all rooms vacuumed - including flippin spiders! and then I even cleaned out the garage. Whew. Mel and I went for a leisurely (but intentional) stroll down to the shop and back to get some bread and milk, so that was my 3km's of walking for the day. Thomthom starts his first day of work tomorrow at his new job, so I'll be up early hopefully to do something exciting for exercise before heading off to putter around my new classroom for a bit. 

Despite that I did eat a whole bunch of crap while out with the girls Friday night, I am quite proud that I have stuck with this for 15 days already. Must say my 'sticker chart' is pretty solid... cannot disappoint. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

3 day catch-up! Days 10, 11 and 12

Day 10: Tuesday, I got up a bit later than I intended, was about 9am before I left the house. I was going to walk/run to Shipwreck Bay, which is a lovely 5km return trip from my house, BUT there are some solid hills involved. So that's where the walking came into the equation. I didn't seem to have heaps of energy on the go at that point, especially up the hills, so it actually took me ages. 5km in an hour isn't a personal best by any means, but at least I got it done, I say. 

Shipwreck Bay, from the top of the hill
I was meeting the principal at my new school at 10am, and she drove past my house just as I was getting home... "I'll just grab a shower before I go to school" ;) Since we finally had a not raining day, I was stoked to be able to ride my bike there and back. It is literally 1.5km from home to school, so I really dont want to be driving my car that short of a distance. 

Day 11: 
Post-donation bandaid
The first time I gave blood! I am not a needle fan, but braved through the whole process no troubles, giving my half a litre. I was just about to get up, and then it was all over. Will spare the details of the after effects, but there was vomit. And it was not pleasant nor pretty. 

The rest of the day, I felt like crap, so lethargic and yuck. We had a Nova Scotian guy come Couchsurf with us for the night, and cooked up some homemade pizzas and garlic bread. 

Come 10pm, still had not done 30 minute of intentional activity, and I was not about to give up on only day 11.... So Mel and I went for a walk over to the school and back, 3km return in 30 minutes. Felt better knowing that I made the effort, rather than just going to bed. 

Looking oh so lovely not so bright but early in the morning
Day 12: After yesterday/last night's procrastination and 10pm mission, I did not want a repeat! So I got my butt outta bed at about 7.45am and got on my bike, and did my (becoming more usual) loop of 10km in about 40 minutes. Stoked. Love the feeling of having it done in the morning, and just knowning that it's done so I don't have to worry for the rest of the day! 

On top of the world! 
Came home and had a lovely little snooze before going horse riding  with Thom's dad later in the morning.  Kev's 3 horses are all rescues, and not the easiest of horses nor am I the most confident.... I came off 3 times, and made a few graceful exits as the saddle went 45 degrees to the side. I live in such a beautiful area.... massive sand dunes, tea tree forests, farm land - all in one ride and then some! 

It was a great ride, when I was actually on the horse. My last topple resulted going down yet another hill. I was in 'HANG ON' mode (as I was for most of the ride) and stayed on a good while before sliding down Harmony's neck as she stopped short. I was on the ground, and she was a bit spooked, and did a bit of a dance... stepping on my calf in the process, as you can see in the top photo (the bruise is coming out in the shape of a hoof-print!)  My shins got some bad knocks going through the Tea Trees as well, my left one that got stepped on was incredibly sore. Ice, ice, baby !
Add caption

So onwards and upwards, will find something to do tomorrow morning, before I have visitors over to catch up and then head out to Urupukapuka Island for a free concert with the girls. See morning workout will be necessary, just need to do something that doesn't hurt (too bad)

Stayin' strong! 

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Day 9 complete

So this has been the 3rd day of straight miserable rain. I am over it, it might as well be winter in the north... not the summer we're used to.

Got Insanity's Cardio Power & Resistance done and out of the way this morning, at about 8.30 or so. I've never been a good 'work out in the morning' kind of person, even though I did go through my 6am bootcamp stints, which meant I was leaving home at 5.30am or earlier to make it in time - that was as painful as the actual workout! But I am really enjoying being able to work out in the morning, and then knowing that the restof the day is mine to do with what I like. I know it will be a bit different once school starts, but I'd love to be able to do a wee run in the morning, and then a dvd... whatever happens we'll make it work 

Just a couple post-insanity photos today... love working up a good sweat!

Effective workout I think

Days 7 and 8 of the 100

Day 7: a Saturday! I woke myself up nice and early, around 8 (early for a Saturday!) and got out of bed to do Insanity's Cardio Abs, before skyping my former flatmate/soulmate Amy who moved to Aussie in August. It was such a wet and miserable day, but despite this Mel and I went in to the local weekly market in the rain. I do love buying as much as possible locally, and supporting those in the area because times are tough, and I'd rather see my money go towards helping someone else out rather than a big corporation. And I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that my food has been grown by people, properly even if it is imperfect (like me!) 
The people at the market that I've come to know and love are also just so kind and giving, we got that little bit thrown in extra for free just because, at almost every stall we visited (even if I couldn't identify the white cucumbers, I still appreciated the thought). 
The rainy weather makes me want soup... and due to the still copious amounts of potatoes leftover from our harvest out of the garden last week, I opted to go for Potato and Leek Soup. I often explore the Clean Eating recipes that Tiffany has concocted at The Gracious Pantry and this was another winner. 

Day 8: Sunday, the day after a few drinks the night before... Saturday was one of my dear and best friends in New Zealand's 24th birthday, and of course we celebrated this with a few freshly made Mojitos and dancing at the local pub to the tunes of the Pink Floyd cover band. No hangover followed, but the Medium Breakfast from the BakerMan Cafe was in order heading back home. During our trip to town yesterday, we stopped into the second hand bookstore, where I picked up a wee Weight Watchers recipe book for entertaining, purely because of 2 recipes that I saw.... one being a Tomato and Red Lentil soup, and the other a Coq au vin... and with the weather what it was again... MISERABLE, I opted to explore some more soup making. The Roasted Tomato and Red Lentil soup was absolutely delicious! 
By now, it was about 6pm, and I still needed to do my 30 minutes... so rather than putting it off till later still, as I do so well... I changed into my gears and turned on Insanity's Cardio Recovery. Now I do realise I'm not following the Insanity programme to a Tee as I should be.... but I'm just making it work for me at the moment. I'm still doing all the things I want and need to, and just fitting workouts in around it. My life doesn't cope with rigid and strict guidelines, I'm just not that kind of girl. Committed to improving myself, yes... Willing to sacrifice my friends and other commitments Nope not a chance. Small improvements and self control, for the win! 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Days 2 to 6 of the 100 day challenge

Typical... create a blog, write a post, then forget about it.
No I haven't done that, despite it being days I have been keeping to my personal challenge which I found on Facebook... to be intentionally active for 30 minutes for the first 100 days of 2012.  Here's what I've been up to... 

Day 2: Jan 2nd, was a former workmate's 50th birthday. A big celebration for anyone, this was more monumental as she has recently left her husband and discovered her independence for the first time in her life, so needless to say a glass of bubbly was in order
Activity - INSANITY Plymetric Circuit before heading over to the party. 

Day 3: Thom and I were off to Auckland (a lovely 4 hour drive from the Far North), but not before I went for an 11km bike ride when I woke up. Got that out of the way, as I knew it wouldn't happen later in the day. We were going down to catch up with my friends from Teachers College in Dunedin, who now live in Canada and were back for a holiday. We obviously met up at a pub, and caught up over a beer (notice the A as in singular) and had some fish and chips. Continuing our evening over in Takapuna, we parked our car at a friend of my friend, where we would spend the night, and walked the 20ish minutes to the pubs (so efficient, walking to go drinking don't you think?) I had a couple of beers, opted for the 'low-carb' Mac's Spring Tide which doesn't have as nice a flavour as Pure Blonde... but hey.
And once the evening was finished, we walked home again :) 

Day 4: A drizzly rainy day not so nice day in the city... We had great intentions of taking Kitesurfing lessons, which would have been 3 hours long. But crap weather, and Thom has since managed to hurt BOTH of his feet over the past two weeks doing extreme sports... so he was not keen. Instead, our adventure alternative was to head to the Auckland Zoo. Now I had intended to use my "LogYouRun" app here, to track just how far we actually walked between 11:30 and 3... but of course I forgot. Regardless, we walked heaps, and I counted that as my day.

Day 5: We'd stayed halfway between Auckland and Whangarei, with Thom's grandparents, so that our 4 drive was split into 2 two hour drives. After shouting Thom's lovely grandparents to brunch with vouchers I'd bought ages ago in October, we did a bit of shopping (must take advantage of being in the city, as where we live is QUITE rural!). We were back on the road, and home by 4 or 5ish. Sorted out life, cooked a mean summer night's tea (that's what kiwis call dinner PS) consisting of BBQ'd Beef Kebabs (just beef pieces on a stick with onion and yellow pepper), corn on the cob fresh from the roadside, and Quinoa- with garlic in it, a bit of red pepper and made with homemade chicken broth for extra flavour. I love making chicken and vege stock, and storing it in my freezer, so that that way I KNOW it's going to be low in sodium. The night carried on, relaxing on our deck etc... it was 9pm and I still hadn't done any intentional activity. CAN'T HAVE THAT on just day 5! So picked up my shit, got changed and went for a run. I only ran 4km... but I am not a runner. I've discovered that my mind gives up waaaaay before my body needs to. It's a new year, and I'm not having that anymore. So I literally just ran.... with the LogYourRun app on my phone going, I ran to 1.5km without stopping. I wouldn't say I ran fast, but the point was I did it. I went another 500 metres before turning around for home, and kind of interval ran the rest of the way home. Took me 36 minutes to do those 4km, but I was quite pleased with myself for that dedication despite the time. 

Day 6: I wasn't able to get to sleep last night, and even though I went to bed at like 1030? I didnt get to sleep till after 1.... so had a bit of sleep in this morning. But I got up, got my mate Mel out of bed and we did INSANITY Pure Cardio... not counting the warm up, and stretches/cool down, Pure Cardio is 15 minutes, consisting of 15 different exercises each a minute long. It's bloody tough, but damn it's good. I vacuumed all the yuck spiders out of the house, cleaned the bathroom and then went for a dip in the sea (just across the street from my house ;)

RIGHT! There you have it, 6/6 days and loving it... Will attempt to be more vigilant in updating daily so as not to have a bloody novel! 

Stay strong if you're on your own Flab to Fab mission ;) 

Sunday, 1 January 2012

The 100 Day Challenge

I'm Kate. I'm 26. I'm a Canadian that lives in the Far North of New Zealand. I'm a primary school teacher (I've got 5 and 6 year olds next year). I live on 90 Mile Beach with my boyfriend. I've always been chubby and self-conscious of my weight, regardless of what shape or size I was, I always felt fat. Looking back at photos I probably wasn't always flabby... but I am now, and I'm just not happy about it. I want things to change.

I've read and followed many a fitness and weight loss journey blogs through twitter and facebook over the past several months, and considered doing one myself. I've also dabbled in bouts and stints of exercise and diets, and never really done it. But for me, 2012 is about a commitment - to myself. I came across the The 100 Day Challenge on Facebook the other day, and thought "that's what I need to do for myself". The rules were simple (I'm a sucker for simple!) move intentionally for 30 minutes every day, for the first 100 days of 2012.  Doesn't matter what you do, just make that commitment.

To kick of 2012, I quit the gym. With my new job starting in a month being only 1.5km from my house, I won't be making the 15km trip into town each day, therefore the likelihood and reality of going to the gym is next to nil. And at $20/wk, I know I'm better off putting that money into equipment for home. I've been quite good at "pushing play" with Shaun T for Insanity... although this is my 3rd time starting it, and we haven't stuck exactly to the plan as we've had company visiting, and Christmas/trips away for concerts/New Years, so we've just made it fit. This time I'm committed to finishing the full two months though, even if it takes me longer.

I do intend to blog my 100 days of intentional activity... even if it's recapping several days behind. Yesterday I also made a chart to tick off... and then found some stickers amongst my school stuff - so yes, as I motivate my 5 and 6 year olds with stickers, I also intend to reward myself with stickers!

Day 1 - 1 Jan 2012
3.2km (uphill!) Feeling tired (but not hungover) from the events of the day and night before, I had intended to do Insanity's Cardio Recovery dvd.... but at 8.45pm, decided that a walk over to Shipwreck Bay may be a bit more low-key, and the fresh air would do me good. Being a nice big hill, it was a good walk.

Stay tuned for more updates on the challenge