Sunday, November 9

Justification for Joining the Gym and Geeky Gadgetry

It's been a year since I was focused on fitness and it's taken me a bit to get back on track. First, a realization that I was getting bored of partying and spending summer weekends in dark rooms recovering from hang-overs. Second, the motivation of friends. On my friend Lana's birthday I joined Totum Life Science with her. It's the gym I always wanted to join but felt I couldn't afford. Fortunately I got the corporate rate (with only 5 of us there) so it's under $100/month. I found easy justification in the fact that when I'm restless at work, or on lunch, I shop on Queen Street, and can easily blow $100 on a whim. Now, I go to the gym instead, have a workout, a steam and go back feeling refreshed and motivated.

Three weeks have passed since I joined. I've been going steadily, about 3 times a week, and varying my workouts each time. Funny, my friend told me I'd get addicted to the feeling and she's right. Since Totum is a fair distance from my west-end home I didn't feel like heading down yesterday but still had the need to get my blood pumping. I threw on my rollerblades and went down to the Martin Goodman trail despite the rain coming down.

At the gym I would be watching the screen on the elliptical machine, counting calories burned and distances achieved. Then I'd find new techniques to work muscle group I want to target. I've found this part challenging. I couldn't do one routine all the time, I need to switch it up. Totum has a few machines, but also balls, kettlebells and bands, none of which I am used to using, so to take advantage of the equipment and keep things fresh I've downloaded a great little iphone application called iFitness. It has a list of target muscle groups, routines and goals, so I can always find a new exercise to try, and it feeds my need to track stats and geek out on gadgetry. I've got to find new ways to keep moving and stimulated so I'm hoping this $3 appliation will feed that need.

Wednesday, October 10

Fall Fitness

blown open

So summer wasn't the best time to start a cleanse. I did have an occasional workout at 99 Sudbury since I received a 2 week free pass from the new GQ Spa next door. I was there a few times a week usually when I'd finished work late. At 9PM I was often the only person in there. Nice and quiet after a hard day of researching rescue footage. It's a good gym, very clean. Good range of equipment and it still has pre-construction membership pricing.

I was about to join but then I heard about the Good Life gym in Liberty Village set to open. Just signed up online for their 3 free workout trial - so I can check thier gym out too before making any final membership decisions (it is a one year deal after all). I hear the monthly rate is very reasonable. I just hope they don't have fluorescent lighting. It's not fun to workout under that glare.

I'd almost dragged my boyfriend there this last long-weekend for a free workout but he's so reluctant to try something new. I did coerce him however to make the long trek across the park to the LCBO and also got him to play some wall ball with old wood tennis rackets I'd busted out of storage. Boy, did he look like a couple corks. It was fun though, and that's the whole point (for him at least). For me, it's fall and time to get serious. It seems easier now to get the motivation. Despite the weather still being beautiful I've gone into geeky school girl mode now that the leaves have changed colour. I'm saving money, bringing my lunch to work and evening reading way more. Yesterday I even popped by the Community Centre for an aerobics class I'd joined with my mum. Feels like I'm getting on the right track.

Tuesday, August 14

Gotta Start Somewhere

It's a weird day in Toronto. I started the day finding out my poor father's best friend had passed which has left me emotional and listening to some folk artist named Sufjan Stevens, and I never listen to this stuff. Now my boyfriend's texted me to tell me he's in wardrobe (he works on set but not as an actor) getting prepped to play a Mexican rapist in a wifebeater. I'm not sure how to feel.
I know I need a change and feel like a cleanse will help. I'll begin a 9 day cleanse tomorrow and get rid of all the grit and distress and bounce back all brand new. Maybe a haircut will help too.

Tuesday, July 10

Pushing Through: Day Two

Day Two started easy enough. A nice new breakfast cereal got me excited - oatmeal crisp and strawberry bits (Jordan's Morning Crisp). A couple cups of coffee, easy on the sugar, and then came lunch. I took the pooch for a stroll to a downtown park but because of the humidity in the city I didn't last long. Had a great lunch lined up too (better to eat after activity since your body burns more calories). I'd picked up Thai Kitchen's Lemongrass & chili rice noodle bowl for a couple bucks and found it filling enough. Just 3 grams of fat too I saved up the extra calories for my afternoon snack: Liberte's Mediterranean Strawberry Yoghurt. Tastes like ice cream. Delicious. I have one little rule about these high cal snacks. If you're gonna snack it better be full of good nutrients. Yoghurt is. As I'm quasi-vegetarian I realize the importance of protein for energy levels and blood sugar. Yoghurt's a perfect snack for me.

The weather dictated my workout again. I strolled to the pool and had a dip. Pushed through 20 lengths. I didn't really enjoy it I'll admit, but I felt great after. I was a little disappointed that my boyfriend didn't come with, but he made up for it by making a nice healthy dinner for us to share. Tilapia filets are one of the best fish in terms of the environment and are low in toxins and fat. We keep a big bag of them in the freezer. I put a Thai garlic chili sauce on for seasoning and we had a warm side salad of broccoli, feta, onions and cherry tomatoes. We drizzled some oil and balsamic vinegar (the latter actually burns more calories eating than what goes into your body) with grated Parmesan on top. Fresh corn-on-the-cob was made too; I tried to go easy on the butter.

It feels great to "earn" your meals like this by doing something active like swimming or walking first, plus you burn twice as many calories just sitting still after a workout as your blood keeps circulating and your metabolism has been kicked into high gear. However, it's a couple hours later now and I'm finding myself a bit hungry. Got to keep pushing through.

Finding Motivation - Day One

The hardest thing about starting to get (back) into shape is getting in the right mindset. I'm a 33-year-old woman with a very good understanding of fitness (I used to teach aerobics as well as aquafit and studied kinesiology) but somehow have lost my motivation and desire to keep in shape. Until now, I hope.

My first motivator was this past weekend, hanging out by the beach with a bunch of babes in bikinis. They're all in their thirties and looked great so it made me wonder why at only 33 I could let it fall apart. In two weeks too I'll be back by the water, camping with about 100 others and want to prove that it doesn't have to be that way, you don't have to let your body go. So summer is my first motivator and I guess you could say pride is my other. And oh, maybe getting back into some of my nice clothes too.

I'd been kind of delirious about this, knowing that my stomach was especially losing tone but thinking at the same time that the dry cleaner must be shrinking my clothes. Yeah right. Yesterday was day one. I'll admit I started with McDonald's breakfast (there was no food in the house). Lunch was tempura and grilled salmon from a local sushi restaurant and dinner was the salad and 6 California rolls that had come with the lunchtime bento box. It was a rainy day so I took my day pass for Bloor Street Boxing and Fitness and went for a workout an hour before the gym closed.

In the changeroom, sitting on the white-tiled floor, was a scale. It had been ages since I measured my weight. I had been a steady 140 pounds throughout the later years of high school and into university, even when I trained everyday (though muscle weighs more than fat they say). I figured I'd be about 155 pounds. Clothes weren't fitting the same I know, and while I'd never been very self-conscious I was now trying to hide my tummy more. I stepped up to the scale and the arrow went right up to 165. I stepped off again to make sure the scale was calibrated. Yep, it went to zero. One more time I stepped up - 165 again. Holy shit! 25 pounds since University?! There's some motivation.

Now I have my goal, (it's good to know what's healthy) I've got to get back to 140. It's not going to be easy. I've got to cut out the take-out food, maybe even my favourite macaroni and cheese from Freshwood and I've got to do some exercise at least once a day for 20 minutes to an hour. Biggest concern is finding activities that are The Right Fit so you stay with it, activities that you enjoy. It's summer so there's a lot to choose from.

Last night, because of the rain, I went to the gym and warmed up on the elliptical machine for 20 minutes, and then worked out for another 20 with free-weights, exercising problem areas like my ass (with lunges), triceps and abdomen. Afterwards I headed to Sobey's to pick up a ton of veggies, cereal and other healthy options so I can make food at home and at work and don't have an excuse to head to MickeyDee's.