Thursday, January 31, 2013

1400 crunches down!

2 weeks ago I signed up for a challenge at Tribesport to do 100 crunches a day for 2 weeks.

Phew!  I did it!

It was not an easy challenge.  Starting out I could only do 10 crunches before I had to rest.  And after the first day I didn't think I would be able to keep going as I wrenched my neck quite badly.  Your position and using the right muscles is very important when doing crunches as you don't want to use your neck muscles at all, but it is a natural feeling to use them to give yourself momentum.

Originally I thought that I would have to split the 100 crunches into 2 - half in the morning and half at night, but I quickly found I could do all 100 in a go, with a few seconds break here and there.  By the last day I could do 50 bicycle crunches (my favourite of the 6 types I tried) without having to take a break.   And even with breaks 100 crunches only take a few minutes.

I don't think I can see any visible difference in my abdominal area, but I am starting to feel just a wee bit firmer and more toned.  I don't know that I'll keep up with 100 crunches everyday, but they will certainly be a part of my rotating routine.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Need some extra protein?

I find that I don't get enough protein in my diet, so I've been looking for ways to add it in.  Quinoa seemed like the perfect solution. We've been enjoying quinoa for a little over a year now.  Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein, easy to digest and really very tasty.  You can eat it hot or cold, add it soups or stews or even buy quinoa flour to add to baked goods.

 For the past couple of weeks, I've been eating it for breakfast.  Cooked up with a bit of oatmeal and flax seed and served with Greek yogurt, it's a hot, quick nutritious breakfast that starts your day off with 14 g of protein.

Last weekend I put together a very quick quinoa - vegetable soup.  It only took 30 minutes from beginning to end and was delicious.

I also have a quick go to quinoa dinner with shrimp that also only takes 30 minutes to make, so it's easy to do after work.

Hilary and Liam bought me a quinoa cookbook for Christmas and I'm very excited to try out new recipes and ways to add quinoa (and protein) to my diet.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weigh In - Jan 27, 2013

Starting Weight - 217 on January 1st, 2013
Current Weight - 208.9

Weight lost this week -  0.6 lbs

Not a huge loss this week, but progress all the same.

We rented a car this weekend which drastically cuts down on the amount of walking that I do.  Also the cold and ice of January on the East coast has really set in, so my desire to be outside is nil, and my fear of falling is through the roof.  I shuffle along the side walk like a 90 year old person, each step pre-planned to find the safest place to set it down, lest I slip on the ice.  Walking like that doesn't burn very many calories.

I'm keeping up on all my Tribesport challenges.  I've been working on my arms more this week, since I bought myself 8 pound hand weights.  I didn't think 8 pounds was all that heavy, till I had tried to lift them over my head 15 times.  I still struggle with doing push ups.  I started against the wall and have progressed to the counter.  I can do about 10 before I feel like I'm going to collapse.  Later today I'll be planning out next week's challenges and I think I will concentrate more on leg exercises.

I'm struggling to keep my calorie count as low as I would like.  Even though I'm making great food choices, I can't seem to cut out the calories.  That is another area I want to concentrate on this week.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Then and now

For the record, I HATE having my picture taken.... but I thought it was worthwhile to see if there was any proof to my progress.  People tell me that they see the weight loss, but of course I can't always see it on myself.  Then I remember that on January 1st, 2012 I took  a "before" picture.   So this January, I took the same picture, wearing the same shirt:

While I'm only down 17ish pounds since then, I CANsee a difference.  The shirt hangs loser!!  Progress that I can see!

Maybe next January that t-shirt will be too big for me to wear at all.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weigh In - Jan 20, 2013

Starting Weight - 217 on January 1st, 2013
Current Weight - 209.5

Weight lost this week -  1 lbs

It's great to see continued, steady progress.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Like most people who have weight to lose, I carry most of it around my middle.  Making good food choices and lowering my calorie intake is a great first step to losing weight, but without exercise there is only so far that diet alone will take me.

Since my tummy area is something that I want to work on, this Tribesport challenge couldn't have come at a better time.  The challenge is to do 100 crunches everyday for 2 whole weeks.  Eeek! That's a lot of crunches.  Luckily they have 6 different versions of crunches to help keep things interesting.

Crunches work on your rectus abdominus muscle, the most prominent muscle in your core.  Toning this muscle will help your belly to appear more flat as you start losing the fat around it. Having good core strength also helps you in many other areas.  It helps with posture and overall support for your body, especially your spine.

Using the correct technique for each type of crunch is also important to get the most benefit from it.  The Tribesport page gives details on each type, including pictures.

I'm going to sign up for this challenge today.  I'll post here as I go to see how I manage with 100 crunches a day.  So far, the most I've ever done is 30, but I learned from this challenge that I've been doing reverse crunches and not regular ones like I thought I was doing.  I suspect that I will have to split this challenge up over the day to 50 in the morning and 50 at night. 

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's just a number

Why is it that intellectually you can know something to be true and the right thing to do, but it is still so hard?

Every blog, report, pamphlet or article that you read on weight loss will all say the same thing: Don’t be a slave to the scales. It’s just a number. Don’t weigh yourself every day.

But what do I continue to do? Yup, weigh myself every day.

There is so much more to being healthy then just a measurement of my current weight. How I feel, my energy level, how I move, my appettit, how I’m sleeping, my moods and how my clothes fit are all better indications of how I’m doing overall than a simple number on a scale. Then there is the problem that every scale is different. I weighed 5 lbs more at the doctor’s office then I did at home 30 minutes before hand. The current medical standards all say that I should weigh 165 lbs. But how will I feel at 165 lbs? Will I like the way I look or move? My goal is to be fit and healthy, not to mould myself into society's current definition of what a woman should look like.

Logically I agree with all the reasons for why I should not weigh myself everyday. I know that my weight can fluctuate from day to day just from existing and it may not have anything to do with actual weight gains or losses. And at some level I know that it’s just a number. For me though, that number (at least right now) is an encouragement and not a detterent to my resolve. I celebrate the losses, no matter how small and the gains make me more determined to make better choices. I won’t let myself get to a point of obsessing over the number each day. I may be disappointed by a small gain, but I’m not going to punish myself by doing more push ups, or cutting back my calories drastically for the day. I do reflect on what may have caused the gain and I decide if it was worth it, like last week when we ordered in Indian food (yes, it was very much worth it).

I would like to get to a point that I am comfortable with not weighing myself so often. To be confident in my food and exercise choices to know that I’m doing all the right things and that the weight loss will just naturally follow. One of the things that might help me with that is the Tribesport challenge to stay off the scale for 21 days.

Take the Challenge to Stay off the scales for 21 days and see if you can improve your fitness, mental happiness and waistline in that time!

I'll let you know when I'm ready to start the challenge.  It should be soon.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weigh In - Jan 13, 2013

Starting Weight - 217 on January 1st, 2013
Current Weight - 210.5

Weight lost this week -  2.4 lbs

I had a great week!  I made it to TaeKwon-Do 3 times (and the Wednesday class was a killer!)  I've kept up my TribeSport challenges at home everyday.  I walked 2 mornings even though it was icy out.

I did have 2 meals that far exceeded the calories that I should have, but that's okay.  This isn't about dieting and denying myself certain foods.  It's about making a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. Yes, what I weigh is still an important part of that, because I don't believe that I can be healthy and physically fit at my current weight.  But while I'm working on seeing the number on the scales improve, I'm also working on being able to do better lunges, to run longer and farther and to hopefully one day be able to do an actual, proper push-up.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weigh in - Jan 6, 2013

Starting Weight - 217 on January 1st, 2012
Current Weight - 212.9

Weight lost this week -  1.8 lbs

I'm feeling very much back on track!  I've managed to exercise every day this week, even with a cold, mostly thanks to the motivation from .  I also got back to TaeKwon-Do yesterday after the 2 week holiday break.

It's always so easy to be motivated the first week of a new year.  The key is to keep it up. Right now I'm feeling great about my plan, especially about having S.M.A.R.T. goals to work towards.

I'm looking forward to 2013 being a great year!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Walk to the Moon

Did you know that the distance to the moon is 384,400 km?  I didn't.  It's a great goal though, logging enough steps to walk to the moon.  But if I tried to do it on my own, even if I could hit my 10,000 steps a day, it would take me 48,050 days or 131 years.

Not likely to happen.

But if you get a whole group of people logging not only their walking, but their running, rowing and cycling kilometres too, it can be done.  And that is exactly what we are doing over at

The challenge started at the end of August and currently has 537 people adding to our distance every day.  So far we have moved 48,605 km.  That's 12% of the way there!

We can always use more people to get us to the moon faster, so come on over and join up.  The goal is to get to the moon by August 5th, 2013 to celebrate Neil Armstrong's birthday.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Walking is one of the best exercises you can do.  Almost anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime.  You don't need a lot of fancy or expensive equipment (though a good pair of shoes is important).  You can do it alone or you can do it with a friend.  Too icy and cold out?  Just head over to the mall and put in a few laps.  You can even sneak in a few minutes on your lunch.

They (those expert/science-y types) recommend that you walk 10,000 steps a day.  Why 10,000 and not some other random number? Based on the average persons stride length, 10,000 steps is approx 5 miles (approx 8 km) and made for a nice even number.   Most people who are just sitting around all day, using their car to get from place to place only walk about 3,000 steps a day.  10,000 is an attainable goal that still pushes the person to be active.

Walking works a lot of different muscles, some that you would expect like your calf muscles, hamstrings and  your butt.  But it also works your abdomen and your arms and shoulders so get those arms pumping while you move!

And all exercise can help with weight control, preventing diabetes, lowering blood pressure, depression and a whole host of other benefits.  What's not to like about that?

We don't own a car, so we obviously walk a fair bit.  But you know what?  I rarely, if ever, reach 10,000 steps.  On what I consider an active day I will hit around 7,500.  Today though, I exceeded 10,000 - I'm at 11,324 as of 21:00 tonight.  I was very conscious of the number of steps throughout the day and put in the effort to reach my goal.  My bus/walk to work routine in the morning gets me nearly 4000 steps alone, but then I sit at a desk all day long.  I made sure to get up every hour today and do one lap of the office, just under 200 steps, but everyone counts.  Then a quick trip to the mall after work helped me get to that magic number.

My challenge to myself is to start out by hitting 10,000 steps at least 3 days a week.  Once I can do that regularly, I'll up the ante and aim for 6 days a week.  Hopefully once I get into the habit, it will simply become a routine part of my day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

No will power

I have absolutely no will power to stop snacking when I'm at home.  I start the day off great, I have a plan of what I'm going to eat, and then somewhere along the way it derails into me convincing myself that just a bite of this, or a small piece of that or that as long as I track it at MyFitnessPal that I won't let myself go over my calories for the day.

Yeah right.

I also spent the whole day telling myself that I'll do my exercise soon, just after I check this email or run that report..... It's amazing how a whole day can slip by and I haven't actually done anything.

Finally at 20:30 tonight, I said Enough is Enough!  I got out the yoga mat and did all of the workout challenges that I've signed up for at Tribe Sports.  I'm still struggling with a bad cold and my nose is pretty drippy, but I made it through lunges, squats, crunches and more.  My legs are sore, but it's a good sore.  I still can't breath, but eh, that's okay, this cold can't last forever (right?)

Tomorrow I have to work at the office.  So not only do I get to walk more (though maybe not the full walk I sometimes do, it's pretty cold out, which isn't good for the whole not breathing thing) but I don't have free reign access to food!  I will pack my lunch tonight and that is all I get.

As long as I can control myself once I get home, all should be good for the day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The road to hell

is paved with good intentions......

It's a new year, and like many people I had great plans!  I would kick start the year off right - I would get up and exercise, I would eat right and be active all day long.

How did I actually start my day?  Sleeping in till 10:00 because I had been up most of the night unable to breathe due to a lousy cold.  I feel like I've been run over by a truck and my head filled with heavy gas that is  slowly weeping out my eyes.

As the day moves on, and the coffee kicks in, I am perking up a bit.  I don't think I'll be doing a whole lot of working out today, but I do hope to be a bit active, maybe even get out for a (slow) walk. Today won't be a total loss.