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