November 25, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up - November 25, 2011

Overall weight lost: 62 lbs

Weight lost this week: 9 lbs (Woohoo!)

Work outs: 
Saturday - Off / Sunday - Off / Monday - Spin (50 mins) / Tuesday - Run & Walk (45 mins) Strength (10 mins) / Wednesday - Strength (75 mins) / Thursday - Off / Friday - Yoga (60 mins) & Run (42 mins)

Accomplishments: This weeks accomplishment has been to lose all the weight I gained on my two vacation. The first accomplishment was actually not putting on as much as I thought I might, and the second accomplishment was taking it off. This week has been an exercise in determination. I arrived home very late Friday night, and then Hubby and I started at 30 Day Cleanse on Saturday morning. This time, I have stuck to everything including the cleanse day! The results support my theory that if you put to weight on quickly, you can take it off quickly. I lost 4 lbs in the first day - talk about water retention!

Challenges: On Monday morning, I met up with a group of gal pals for my very first spin class. It was intense, but in the spirit of determination, I kept on and really pushed it. There were a few moments where I thought my quads were going to give out on me, but all in all, I really liked it! There's a spin class nearby on Monday nights, so I might bring hubby along and make it a weekday ritual once I get back to work in January.

Thoughts: As I was unpacking my latest Isagenix order, I browsed through the magazine that comes along with it. It reminded me again of the IsaBody Challenge. I am disappointed that hubby didn't participate in last year's competition given his amazing results, but I figure that I still have a chance. Unfortunately, all the weight I've lost so far won't count, but since I still have a lot of losing, toning and shaping left to do, I thought it might be a good motivator. What do you think?

November 22, 2011

From the Mouths of Babes

On my way home from picking Cate up at daycare, she proved to me that she was a true Canadian Girl. 

Cate: "Mom, that's the wrong street"
Me: "No, Cate, I have to go this way to pick up the mail first"
Cate: "There are two ways to get to our house, eh?"

She instantly made her Mama proud. (Is that wrong?)

In the short drive from the mailbox to our house I was thinking about how I could turn this moment into a blog post. Still pondering, I walked into the house, took off everyone's outdoor gear and headed to the kitchen to get dinner ready. Cate was playing with the cutlery drawer and I reached over and grabbed a spoon to stir Maddie's milk. 

Cate went apesh*t.

She stomped her feet, flung herself into the drawers, and started the usual whine/cry/yell/scream routine. I explained to her that I needed a spoon for Maddie and that I could rinse it and give it back to her.

Her reply?

"Stupid f*cks"


I was shocked. dumbfounded. appalled. 

I asked her what she said (hoping I had heard her wrong) and she refused to repeat it. She knew she was in the wrong. I explained that we NEVER use those words. Yesterday we had a long discussion about not using the word stupid because it wasn't a nice word, never did I think she'd be dropping the f-bomb the very next day.

I asked her where she learned this word (hoping she wouldn't say Mommy or Daddy!) but she replied with "I learned it when I was a baby"... Great. 

I don't know where to go from here. I'll admit that I am not perfect when it comes to watching my language, but I try my best to keep it clean around kids.

Can any of you offer any advice on nipping this in the bud? The last thing I need is her teaching this great new word to her groupies at daycare... yikes! Can you imagine the dirty looks I would get from the other parents? It would be worse than the biting incident last year...

November 19, 2011

Home Sweet Home

We are finally home!

After 12 days touring around Florida, I flew home late last night (or I guess it was this morning) with two very tired little girls. We covered everything from Disney to Universal Studios, Outlet Malls to Mini Putts, Pirate Ships to Beaches. 

Although I have been to Florida more times than I can count, this was Cate's first trip to Disney World. At 3 years old, she was mesmerized by everything to do with Mickey Mouse - you could see the magic light up in her eyes when she saw Minnie for the first time. I understand that she will not remember this trip, but it was definitely worth it for us to experience it over again through her eyes. I also know that we'll be back in the years to come since my folks have a condo in Fort Myers, which is only a few hours from Orlando.

Here's a quick recap of our trip :)

The pool bar served the best Pina Coladas I've ever had.
Daddy's Girl
All aboard!
The Madster
Giving Maddie some crawling time in a hotel lobby.
It's Minnie Mouse!
Cate was SO happy to meet her!
This picture is so telling.
Donald was there too!
Goofy was REALLY tall. Cate was a little startled at first.
Happy Campers.
The girls with Grams and Gramps.
Cate to the rescue!
Seuss Landing at Universal's Island of Adventure - This was our favourite place of the whole trip.
Pink hat for Dad!
Maddie & I (Notice the new lululemon tank from the outlet shop?!?!)
Cate and her precious balloon.
Disney decorated for Christmas (see Cinderella's Castle in the background?)
The best part of our day at Magic Kingdom!
Goodbye Disney World
Cate is still riding the high.
Maddie, not so much...
We made it to Fort Myers Beach
and Cate had her first real swim in the ocean.

We're back to reality now and I've been busy stocking the cupboards, unpacking the suitcases, and starting to get ready for the holidays.

Oh yeah, and catch up on some sleep!

November 2, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up - November 3, 2011

Overall weight lost: 60 lbs

Weight lost this week: Even

Work outs: Thursday - Run (40 mins) / Friday - Cardio (20 mins), Yoga (60 mins) & Hot Yoga (75 mins) / Saturday - Off / Sunday - Off / Monday - Strength (50 mins) / Tuesday - Run (45 mins) / Wednesday - Strength/Burn (55 mins)

Accomplishments: It seems like I got back on track at the gym this week, although I am still struggling with motivation to go on the weekends. In my mind, if I am getting there 5 days a week, then I'm satisfied. I even tried a few new things this week like Hot Yoga (wow that was HOT!) and outdoor running. Overall, a great exercise week.

Challenges: Trying to get back on track with food over the Halloween weekend was a bit of a challenge. We bought our candy on Sunday morning. I had a few Sunday afternoon, I had A LOT on Monday night, but I haven't had any since. This year we had a good game plan to bring the leftovers into hubby's office. I was also thankful that we had more kids this year so there was much less left over. That being said, the 5 calorie jello I had for dessert isn't quite cutting it and I am sitting here craving chocolate. 

Thoughts: I am still trying to figure out the right approach and mentality to have on vacation. We leave on Sunday for 12 days of temptations in Florida. I am bringing enough Isagenix shakes, bars and snacks to see us through the time away, but realistically, I know we'll want to stray a little. As for exercise, I want to keep up my 5 times per week minimum. That should be feasible since there is a gym at both condos where we'll be staying.

My biggest goal is to stay active, eat healthy, and (crossing my fingers) maintain my current weight. Is it even possible to lose weight while on vacation?

Rob - (I swear I had this title first) Running the Roads – Part Two

For those of you who skipped Part One of this blog, shame on you.  All right, if you don’t have time, although I highly recommend reading the full blog, allow me to summarize:

·         I love my family and wanted to get in shape

·         I have lost weight before and have always put it back on over time

·         I changed my eating habits and started exercising

·         I lost a bunch of weight and took up jogging

·         I signed up for my first official run and then promptly skipped out on it to go party in New York with my wife

·         I got lazy and started to beef up again

All right, now back to the story. 

As a way of making up for missing the Army Run, I decided that I needed another goal to keep me on track and I signed up for the Rattle Me Bones run for the Ottawa General Hospital.  To punish myself for my lack of perseverance on the Army Run, I signed up for the 10km run.  The only problem was that I had roughly 6 weeks to get ready and the most I had ever ran to date was 8km and that was only once and it left me in pain for a week.  I mean real and true pain (sore legs, sore groin, sore stomach?) but I will say in my defense that it was a really hot day in the summer and I had been going pretty hard on the exercise for about a week. 

Undaunted, I decided I would try to run at least twice a week, doing one longer run and one shorter run.  I also decided to take up playing hockey again, so I figured exercising three times a week should do the trick.  Finally, with the run 2 weeks away, I went out on a Wednesday night and decided that I would do my regular running circuit twice which would mean doing about 9.5km.  I figured if I could do 9.5km, I could finish the 10km run without too much difficulty.  I headed out with my iPod fully charged and started running.  I must say, it felt good to know that I was going to go the distance and I felt like Rocky in Rocky IV in the mountain training montage.  It was really tough and I seriously thought I might pass out at about the 8.5km mark but I grizzled through it and managed to run almost the entire distance.  I crapped out about 200 metres from my house but still felt great about the whole run except for the agony in my legs for the next 24 hours.

Except for the slight groin pull from playing hockey that occurred two days before the race and a great dinner party that kept me out much later than I probably should have been, when the day of the Rattle Me Bones race arrived, I was pumped and ready to go the distance.  I travelled to the race site along with two friends of mine, who both also happened to be out late the night before, in a car that wreaked more of party after effects than serious runners, but by the time we arrived, we were all starting to feel the adrenaline kick in.  Now over the years, I have competed in all kinds of sports but most of them were either team sports or individual sports like tennis so I was a bit unprepared for the hundreds of people milling around getting ready to compete.  I tried to stay loose and kind of followed my more race experienced friends around like a lost dog.

Now, I should start by saying that I have always considered myself fairly non-competitive, but when we finally made our way to the starting line, I started looking around and sizing up the competition.  I looked to my left and gave the middle aged women with her child in the running stroller the dagger eyes and turned to the right and gave the ‘ole you’re going down symbol to the 75 year old man stretching in his spandex pants.

The horn blew and I took off not so much like a shot, but more like the contents of the shot glass full of Saki still floating around in my belly.  However, after about 10 seconds I realized two things:

1.       Adrenaline is a wonderful cure for not enough sleep/too much to drink

2.       I was actually running much faster than many of the people in this race

I blazed past runner after runner for the first 2km, thinking that this was awesome and frankly that I was awesome and I could run for ever.  Then reality set in and I realized most of the people I had left in my dust were actually just pacing themselves and the great majority were now passing me.  I picked a woman out of the throng that I thought I could keep pace with and for the next 2km I ran right behind her.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was going to have to run my own race and further, that nothing was going to stop me from finishing this race.  In order to make the time and distance go by faster, I decided that a group of fitness people who were wearing matching outfits were my direct competition and I needed to beat at least one of them to the finish line.  The next 4km were spent going back and forth with these people and I can honestly say that I kind of started to actually hate them just a little bit.  I’ll call this healthy, but I’m not sure that it actually was. 

Finally, I turned a corner and passed the 9km sign and started the long uphill climb towards the finish.  Now I know this race was for charity, but I can’t believe someone so sadistic would put a hill at the end of a race.  This was just plain evil. I was determined to finish and more than that, I was going to finish ahead of one particular group that I had spent the last 2km trying to catch, so I put everything I had into running those last few metres.
I thought I was running incredibly fast but in hind-sight it was probably more like a brisk jog. Regardless, I did it. I crossed the finish line and beat all three of those other racers and better yet, I finished in a time of 61 minutes and 25 seconds which was about 10 minutes faster than I thought I would finish!

The run was so great that I have signed up to do another run on New Years’ Eve and I’d like to run a half marathon in 2012 but I’ll close with saying that when you accomplish something that you never thought you would do, it’s easy to start rewarding yourself and I have recently fallen out of some of my lifestyle changes and back into some of those old habits.  However, as mentioned in Part One of this blog/novella, I am determined to get back on track, keep challenging myself,  get into the best shape of my life and share all of these wonderful experiences with my family. 

I’m curious to know if others experienced the same things that I did during my first race or if you’ve had an inspirational, life changing experience like the journey that I have been on with my family for the past eight, sorry nine months.  If so, please share.

November 1, 2011

Rob - (I swear I had this blog title first) Running the Roads – Part One

Those of you who have been following my wife’s blog will know that we have been on what is being referred to as a “lifestyle” change for the past eight months or so (Too be absolutely honest, it was eight months ago when I started this blog post but it’s pushing on towards nine months now.) and no, not the kind of lifestyle change for which our little suburb has become famous (the swingers capital of Canada), rather, we have been eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis. It has been a great way to bring us closer together as a couple and for me personally, has been a way to bring my commitment to my family into focus. That is not to say that I think Laura and I were particularly far apart as a couple since frankly, we have basically been tied at the hip for the last seven years, and I have always loved my kids the way only a parent can understand. Rather, this lifestyle change has managed to bring things like the importance of eating healthy and my own mortality into focus.  This has in turn, made me want to experience more, love more, laugh more, make sure I’m around to see my children grow up and watch my hair turn white (or even disappear).

While this adjustment has been great for us as a family and fantastic for me personally, the exercise side of things has been an odd sort of evolution.  For me, the exercise bug began even before we started with the healthy eating when I joined a gym near our house last fall while we were patiently waiting for the birth of our second child.  As a bit of back story, I have, on at least three separate occasions, lost a significant amount of weight through hard work/exercise (the weight by the way, came back each time with a vengeance) and I think in the back of my head I kind of thought that I could do the same thing this time.  If I went to the gym five or six nights a week I could lose weight again and wouldn’t have to change my eating habits. Unfortunately, my 30 something metabolism didn’t seem to agree and, to be honest, I don’t know that I was working at it the right way.  For the first two months I did nothing but ride the stationary bike and then spent the next two months doing only the elliptical machine. In all that time, while I think I got in better shape, I’m pretty sure I actually gained about 15 pounds and I’m positive not very much of it was muscle.

Then at the end of February, we made this change into healthy eating and low and behold I started losing weight.  Again, those of you who have read my wife’s earlier blogs will know that it came off pretty quick and like a typical guy, I started asking myself how could I make the weight loss go faster.  One night, I had a light bulb moment and told Laura that I was going to go for a jog the next morning.  I think I made it about 1 kilometre and while I was sucking wind and hyperventilating like a kid whose older brother just punched him in the stomach, (those of you with older siblings get it), I kind of felt fantastic at the same time.  After the first week, I was hooked, and over the course of the last couple of months I have steadily increased the time and distance that I have been running. 

In August, I made a decision that I was going to do a 5km and would debut my fantastic form at the Army Run in September.  I trained hard and was doing roughly 5km at least three times a week.  I was timing my runs and thinking that I was in pretty good shape to compete on this race. Then I talked to a few folks who run on a regular basis and realized that I was averaging about 15 minutes behind the “slow” runners.  Undaunted, I figured that it wouldn’t matter since all I had to do was finish the race but then life took over.

Around the same time that I was in full “training” mode, Laura and I were starting to plan our fifth anniversary and we made a snap decision to go to New York for an extended weekend.  Sometimes you just do things without thinking and before I knew it, the tickets were booked before we realized it was on the same weekend as the Army Run. Even though I was a little disappointed, as a good husband I felt obligated to soldier on and go to New York and all kidding aside, it was a great trip. We saw tons of sites, did lots of walking, drinking and eating but in the time since our trip, I had kind of gotten off track a bit on the lifestyle change.  I think skipping the run may have opened up a bit of a laziness door in my brain that encourages me to have snack or a beer and unfortunately, I am one of those types that once Pandora’s box is opened, I have a hard time closing it again.

Stay tuned for part two of the Rob Runs saga…

Running the Roads

Yesterday, I had a plan on how to tackle the lure of Halloween candy. I was focused and determined to get through it. Once we finally got the kids to bed shortly after 8, I threw everything out the window with the promise of working out for an extra hour the next day.

This morning, I woke up, put on my gym clothes, got Maddie dressed, got my gym bag ready, got Maddie's gym bag ready, and then sat down to update our monthly calendar. As I wrote in "November 1" I realised that Maddie's 9 month check up was this morning - there goes that plan! I decided that this is an opportunity in disguise and that I should take advantage of this beautiful Fall day to go for my first outdoor run.

Maddie fell asleep on the way back from the doc's and so I left her sleeping in the car as I got all my gear ready for the run. I counting on her to keep sleeping through my run since it was getting mighty close to her lunch time, but I didn't want to put it off until after lunch for fear of talking myself out of it.

With my iPhone strapped on and tunes blaring, I successfully transferred Maddie to the stroller without her waking (no easy task in itself!) and hit the road. The first few minutes were, well, awkward. Running outside in the cool crisp air while pushing a stroller is NOTHING like running on a treadmill. Five minutes into it I was heaving and my lungs were aching. Oh boy, good thing I have a couple months of lung conditioning before the Resolution Run!

The run itself was a sad sight of running, walking and being really out of breath. I did, however, continue to push myself and as soon as I felt recovered I picked up the pace again. I started to figure out my tempo around the halfway point and fell into a nice rhythm on the way back. 

About a km away from home, I remembered that you're supposed to lock the front wheels of the stroller to keep it from swaying side to side. Duh! Once locked, it was certainly easier to control one handed and it allowed me to focus more on my form. I sprinted to the last major intersection before home, and then walked the rest of the way to cool down. 

I checked my watch as I stepped foot on the driveway - 44 minutes. Yikes! I have a friend who walked a 5K at 8 months pregnant in 50 minutes, so I'm about 6 minutes faster than a pregnant woman... Awesome...

My goal for the Resolution Run is to cover 5K in under 35 minutes. Right now, I can run 5K (with a bit of walking) on the treadmill in about 37 minutes. Today's experience has shown me that I have some work to do, but I'm hopeful that like most fitness goals, you can improve your speed/strength/stamina very quickly with a little perseverance.

Tomorrow is Cate's turn for a morning appointment so I will be hitting the roads once again to get my sweat on. Let's hope for a better show so I don't embarrass poor Maddie in front of the other babies we run into on the sidewalk.