Saturday, July 4, 2015

Getting Ready for the #OxyChallenge on #TeamErin

July 15th will be the start of a 90 Day Challenge.

It will be 90 Days of workouts, nutrition and whipping my butt into shape.

I'm feeling like its time to shake things up workout wise, which is why I decided to join #TeamErin (Erin Stern, 2X Ms. Figure Olympia, USATF Competitor, and Spokesmodel, Lifetime Natural) She's amazing. Like for serious.

Her focus is apparently more on functional/aesthetic training where her "opponent" Amanda Latona (who I have long admired) focusses more on the regular bodybuilding heavy lifting/glutes focussed workouts. There's nothing wrong with either team, but I thought since my name IS Amanda and I DO work hard on my booty, it'd make sense to try something different!

I like having a workout training plan to follow, so this seemed like a good opportunity. The challenge for me will be to stick with it as close to 100% as my schedule allows. The bigger challenge will be in the eating. I've been following the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) plan for awhile now and I love it. But I still would like to break the sugar addiction, and also to be honest I'd like to kick the alcohol full stop. I don't know that I'll never drink again, but I do recognize that my setbacks tend to stem from alcohol. So, its not helping me at the moment.....good reason to say goodbye to it for 90days!

I plan to take progress pics, but we'll see whether I will share those or not. My hope is to maintain the muscle I've worked so hard to build and shed the fat. There's some awesome muscle underneath and I think it's about damn time for it to show itself, don't you?

Let's do this.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Urban Mud Hero

Well this morning I can cross off yet another one of my goals! I completed a 6k 22 obstacle Mud Run down at Ontario Place--- the Urban Mud Hero!

I ran with a great group of people, my brother in law to be Tom, his wonderfully kickass girlfriend Alana, two kickass crossfitters Amber and Nikki  and a brand new friend Nick (who was running in place of my fiance David who ended up having to work!). Met Nick through a webseries community and he's planning on running the Tough Mudder in he wanted to get his feet wet (haha) in preparation for what he'll be facing later this summer.

Everyone had a ton of fun, and today in the aftermath I'm.....sore. Not as horribly sore as I was the day after my first Jillian Michaels workout 3 years (almost) ago. My feet are protesting having been run and jumped upon, but I'm not crippled the way I was after doing jumping jacks at 262 lbs. That was the worst! No, instead today I'll be taking it easy since I've got some serious muscle fatigue from asking my muscles to do some pretty badass things (if I do say so myself....and I do!). And nourishing/rewarding this body with some good quality food. And potentially a short walk in a bit to stretch these feet so they don't get cramped up.

My takeaway is that I've come really far...REALLY far. But I've got some ideas on muscle groups that are lagging, and ideas on things I need to work on. Upper body strength for sure....and I will continue on my quest for the elusive pullup, and continue working on body mobility. Hip, ankle, wrist mobilities in particular. And of course grip strength. I'm pleased to say that I didn't get paralyzed with fear at any obstacles, and having a great group to run with was fantastic. The group cheering each other on was awesome :) So much so that I am thinking of the Warrior Dash as the next course to work towards.

I'm thinking of training the next year with the goal of doing the Spartan Race next summer. But one after the wedding. No sense in potentially getting bruised/scratched/maimed to high heaven before wedding photos ;)

Until next time!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Tigers who earn their stripes....

I see a lot of women these days referring to their stretch marks as their tiger stripes. Usually they are the result of carrying children, and they have definitely earned those stripes and should be very proud to sport them. They have brought little kidlets into the world and they (hopefully) find joy in every day with them.

But what about those of us who sport stretch marks that have nothing to do with having kids? Some of us just got them as we developed. It's pretty damn common, what with the breasts popping up pretty quickly and those hips just growing out from nowhere!

And then there are the extra stretch marks that some of us bear. I think of them as battle scars of sorts. Because that's what they are. Everyone's battle is different, I know mine, and I work hard every damn day to heal the wounds, and lessen the scars. But they'll always be there. They're as much a part of me as my dizzying intellect and mad wit. ;-)


Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's Been Awhile....

And yes, of course I was singing that Staind song in my head while typing that!

Hope this post finds you all in good health and happiness, pursuing your dreams and your "bliss", whatever that means to you.

Work was a slog this last season, and while I've been "between contracts" (entertainment industry speak for unemployed!) since beginning of December, things have been kinda insane, in both good and not so good ways.

I've said goodbye to my remaining set of grandparents....who passed under a month of each other. I've said goodbye to my first season of two shows at once, which was kinda nuts! I've said hello to a new snowboard, and a black diamond run, and to a new chiropractor/sports therapist guy who is kinda working magic on my ankle. I've said goodbye to a good portion of really gnarly muscle tangles thanks to the work of a magical RMT, Kate. She likes to say "heart" every time she causes me pain. :)

I've said goodbye to calorie counting, and hello to macros. I've said goodbye to (the majority) of shame in eating the food, and hello to kindness to myself. I've said goodbye to many processed foods and pop, and hello to a morning drink of warm lemon water, sometimes with Manuka honey in it. Does it work? Well my skin seems to be happier.

Why Macros? Well, I'm working with a nutritionist whose whole approach is not calorie reduction per se....its more "This is the amount of protein, carbs, fat and fiber you SHOULD be intaking so that your body can build muscle and burn fat...and y'know poop regularly." Okay she didn't say poop, but I wish people were less squeamish about this oh so natural bodily function. Do you have a problem with constipation? Well, Metamucil will help, but why not just eat more fibrous fruits and veggies? Raspberries and Blackberries are your friends!!!

Okay, enough of the poop talk.

My way of thinking is changing constantly, and the more I learn about myself, and about nutrition and science....well the kinder and more appreciative I've become of my body. My poor sad, overwrought metabolism and body. The body I allowed to grow so big, due to a real desire to disappear, and also due to poor food choices. Many of those food choices were made for me, from a place of love, to be sure, but also of ignorance. My metabolism wasn't ever really given a fair chance of doing what it should have been free to do all along. It's recovering, to be sure but slowly.

Giving my body the chance to recoup is what its been crying for for quite some time. As anybody who has ever gone on a diet, only to find they rebound.....its never going to be a quick fix. Science is discovering more and more every day, and I encourage you to keep up to date on the contributing factors of obesity. That being said, you need to take a real hard look at yourself. In my case, it wasn't JUST that I was eating too much and not getting enough exercise. There were and are reasons I have difficulties motivating myself, making the right food choices, learning to stop when I'm no longer hungry. And a lot of that has more to do with emotional and mental health, NOT the lack of willpower. As Jillian Michaels likes to ask people she works with "What is carrying around this excess weight doing for you?". Sometimes the answer isn't right in front of you, sometimes you need help to figure out why. Be it a fear of failure, compensating for lack of love, an escape, a sugar addiction. Find someone you can talk to, who can help you figure these things out. It's totally worth it.

And yes, sugar addiction is real. Just read up on what sugar does chemically to your brain when you eat it. Read up on WHY that happens. It's fascinating stuff, I assure you!

My name is Turbo, and I am a sugar addict.

No, I don't promote abstinence of sugar. But scaling back on refined and added sugars has helped a lot. :) I'd like to thank Fruit for being my savior!

Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be KIND, Be Fit.

Monday, August 18, 2014

30 Days of Eating Clean

I had a lovely albeit busy weekend! Got a haircut, tooth cleaning, hangouts, gaming and Guardians of the Galaxy in. It was great!

I also picked up Tosca Reno's Your Best Body Now. And I'm reading it page by page (kinda glossing over the stuff to do with ladies in their 40's and 50's...not quite there yet!) and I'm loving it! It has spurred me on to start with a 30 day Clean Eating Challenge. I will bend the rules to a certain degree in that catered lunches at work are....catered. For the most part, I plan to stick to salads, and steamed veggies and will try and stick to the Grilled Chicken or steak if its on offer. I plan to eschew any meat with sauces because I know that they are probably loaded with salt and sugars that I don't need.

My plan for my salads will include using olive oil and lemon juice or vinegars instead of the prepackaged salad dressings for the same reason (hidden sugars). I also plan to start following more of a schedule with my workouts in that cycling is to happen twice to thrice a week to work (17.2km each way) and strength sessions I'll stick to 30 minutes and dedicate myself to those 30 minutes.  On days that I do not bike in, I plan to walk home from Dundas West Station (2.1km) if weather permits. I plan to suss out a body split plan and also throw in some PiYo workouts at home to help with strength and flexibility. If time/budget allows I will endeavour to get to a yoga class once a week. It sounds like I'm being overambitious and perhaps I am, but I'm aiming to get 30 minutes of activity every day....even if its a rest day. And on rest days, it'll be a 30 minute walk. Just to get outside and moving.

The biggest challenge will be cutting out added sugars....but I know how bad they are for me and I'm also finding myself in better tune with my body, and plan to trust it a bit more instead of viewing it as the enemy.

SO....30 Days.

Today's the start of Day 1, I'll update later in the day and let you know how i'm doing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Picking yourself up...

I think it's become pretty clear to most people in my life that my difficulties with healthy living have nothing to do with not pushing myself in my workouts. I have struggled with listening to my body, not bowing to peer pressure (bust through that pain! you can do it!) and above all, food.

I know some amazingly competitive and awesome women who have overcome some pretty challenging setbacks in their health. It's inspiring. It's awesome. I'm freaking jealous!

That being said, it's become more apparent to me that I do have a need to not push myself to a ridiculous level. I look around me and see these amazing athletes (because even if you are doing this as a means to be healthy, you ARE athletes! Even if you don't compete in a sport!) who can do more than I can. The reality is though, my body has its limits. It also has its challenges. I've had to learn to listen to my body and take these challenges and find out ways to overcome them instead of just brute force. Flexibility is something I constantly work on, and now I have a new workout series that I'm using to work on that challenge (it's Pilates/Yoga fusion gives me the flexibility training and strength training I'm falling behind on. This year I'm biking to work...that's 17.4 km each way. I'm only banging that sucker out 3x a week because it does a number on my legs....because I book it and push racing against time....and my time during my commute keeps getting shorter. ESPECIALLY when I take the time to take a day off between biking. That rest and recovery time for my legs? Invaluable.

The other thing I've come to realize about myself is that my slowtwitch muscles are by far the most developed. I've got the endurance, especially in my legs. So I've decided to start doing more HIIT training and fast twitch muscle training. Why? Well, my sport is snowboarding and while its great to have that muscle endurance going on, the fast twitch muscles are going to be where my power goes when I eventually tackle jumps (and I will!).  So I've started using RushFit and ZGym (Zuzkalight for those of you who know her...if you don' her). The Zgym workouts fit in fantastically with my schedule. Long, ridiculously long days and a long commute make for little time. Luckily HIIT/Metabolic Training gives me the strength training I need and the fast twitch muscle work I desire in as little as 15 minutes in the morning (+warmup/cooldown)

Awesome! Fitness....taken care of.

Then there's food.

That, unfortunately, seems to be my downfall. It sucks and there's more to it than "oh she doesn't have the willpower". It's emotional, its difficult and its tied in many ways with feelings of self worth and all that fun psychobabble stuff. It's getting dealt with, but I'm getting better at it and I'm on the road to self-love and recovery. Being ones own harshest critic is a blessing and a curse. It forces us to challenge ourselves, but it can also go to an extreme where it becomes unhealthy and counterintuitive. After having a convo with a coworker where he insisted I was wrong giving my legs a day off between biking to and from work (remember, its 17.4 km EACH WAY), I was livid. Then started thinking "hey, maybe he's right. I SHOULD bike every day." Then I remembered how my legs felt after biking three days in a row. How tight my hips, IT band & calves got. How I almost had a really bad muscle spasm in one calf but caught it and stretched it out in time. For me? 3x a week is more than enough. I'm still saving transit $$ and I'm getting good cardio. But honestly? Some days I'd rather bang out an intense short workout out at home then sit on a bus and read or listen to podcasts. Its not just getting my fitness up there, its getting all around balance. I don't want to JUST be a good cyclist. I want to be a good all around athlete.

So there, suck it Debbie Downer!

My takeaway?  Variety truly is the spice of life, but there is the consistency factor too. I'm trying to get into a routine using a few different styles of working out. In the end I'm being active so that's all that truly matters. And being kind yet realistic with yourself. Be truthful to yourself, but above all remember: You showed up. You are taking care of yourself. It's YOUR journey.

MY fitness.
MY health.
MY choice.

Be Happy Be Healthy Be Fit.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When To Work Out

There are many people out there who will ask you "What's the best time to work out?"

The real answer here is : When you have time.

Think about it. Working out in the AM may not be an option for you.

Working out in the PM might not be an option for you.

The best time to work out is when you can fit it into your schedule.

Usually the next question is: Well for how long?

The answer is as much time as you can commit to, but a good minimum to go for is about 25 minutes. You need that amount of time to rev up your body and put in some good hard work.

If you're doing a shorter workout, for cripes sakes make it effective! If all you've got is 20 minutes, then do a good 20 minute HIIT workout on the Elliptical, the treadmill or the Arc trainer (especially if you're looking for an excellent Glutes scorcher!) or the step machine. For an excellent article on HIIT training click this link:

The answer for me as far as when to work out, it's now in the AM.

When I started working out, however, it was in the PM. I always felt ridiculously tired after a workout so logic dictated to me that working out right as soon as I got home from work was the prime time for me to get 'er done.  However, I eventually began to notice that while I was initially fatigued after a workout, I'd start getting a big endorphin and energy rush just as I had finished showering and lay my head down to sleep.

So I switched my workouts to the morning. It required a bit more pre planning as far as food and just laying out my work clothes for the next day was concerned.

Then....I joined the gym. THAT move has been very beneficial to me and I love blasting out a good workout at the gym before work. But this meant way more prep and planning. I pack my backpack before going to bed the night before and make sure I have a snack for the morning because I bike to my gym (Personal Best time achieved this week: 23 minutes flat to the gym, a distance of 7 km!) as well as my post workout Protein Bagel (P28 Bagels they're amazing! and make my post workout meal so much easier!) with All natural PB & raw honey.

The main thing to take away from this post is: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. And of course your schedule!

Together, they will tell you when the best time is for YOU to work out. Remember: if you can commit to 30 minutes a day of an effective work out, its better than doing nothing. 30 minutes is just 2% of your day.

Get to it!

Be Fit. Be Happy. Be Healthy.