Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday Five Faves

Happy Friday!

What a happy Friday it is indeed! In less than 24 hours I will be on a plane to Mexico to soak up the sun and enjoy unlimited margaritas. I can't wait.

5. Kobo Aura H20
Most of my reading is done by water. My favourite thing in the world is to read a book while floating on a lake. That's how my last Kobo met its unfortunate end. Thankfully, Kobo introduced a waterproof version right after my last one died. Now I don't have to worry when my best friend knocks my e-reader off of my dock while he is trying to blow up his floatie.

4. Barely Famous
Have you guys seen this show? I love it. I have always been a fan of Erin Foster. I think she is hilarious and I love that she loves to make fun of herself. It's my kind of reality show (read: not a reality show). I chose Erin Foster's twitter profile as the picture for this because it was taken in my neighbourhood. I literally pass this place every day.

3. New Hair
Got my hair did yesterday. My hairdresser (who also happens to be one my best friends) put some barely there pink in it. I want more, but I'm happy with the baby steps.

2. Kimonos
It's an obsession. Right now I have four kimonos and a shall sitting in my suitcase. I probably shouldn't bring them all, but I can't help myself. That's all I want to wear (with something underneath of course).

1. Mexico
Sunday can't come soon enough. Of course I will be at the resort tomorrow, but I won't be able to fully take advantage of the pool and ocean until Sunday. My e-reader is full, my iPod is loaded, and I've got plenty of sunscreen. I am ready for the countless hours spent lounging by the pool with a drink in hand.

Linking up with Meet at the Barre, September Farm, and The Farmer's Wife, and

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Yoga Challenge Update

I really enjoyed doing the Whole 30 challenge a couple of months ago. While I didn't quite make it to then end, I got pretty close. I'm considering doing it again when I get back from Mexico next week. Once I had finished the challenge, I was craving another one. Not necessarily a food challenge, but something to focus on and commit myself to for the next 30 days.

As it happened, my friends and I purchased a groupon for a local yoga studio. A month of yoga for $50. I'm sure that sounds high to some of you, but it's a really good price where I live. The month pass at the same studio is $130, and that's a pretty average price for the area.

I had always been in awe of the yogis who committed themselves to come to their practice every day. There were always 30 day challenges happening at the various studios that I've attended. 30 days of yoga always sounded like a special kind of hell to me. When I first started doing yoga, I didn't really enjoy it.

Just like sushi, yoga is an acquired taste.

When I used a groupon for a different studio six months ago, that was the first time that I ever felt like a 30 day yoga challenge was doable. I tried to go as much as possible, but life got in the way. I ended up averaging 4 times a week during that set.

On the first day of yoga at the new studio, I decided that I was going to get my money's worth and do as much yoga over the next month as I possibly could. It was my own personal 30 day yoga challenge.

I even broke out of my comfort zone and attended every single class that the studio offered: Deep stretch; Flow; Yang and Yin; Burning Butt; Fast and Furious Fusion; Core; and Barre.

I faltered after the first 21 days. It was an accident. I showed up at the wrong time. I felt like a failure, but in those 21 days I had gone to 28 exercise classes (4 of which were aqua fit, so I wasn't counting them towards my yoga challenge). And then Easter happened. I had failed to take into consideration that the studio would be closed, thereby making it impossible to complete my yoga every day challenge anyway.

In the past 38 days I have completed 41 workouts. Even after my 30 days were up, I kept going. I have only taken two days off (on purpose) in that period. The first time was because it was a good friend's birthday and I knew I would want to sleep off any potential hangover. The second time was because the only classes that worked with my schedule were with a yoga teacher that I loathe (a story for another post).

I am so proud of myself for sticking to it. This time I haven't given up when things haven't gone my way (again, Whole 30). I am seriously falling in love with yoga. So much so that I have signed up for six month unlimited that will start when I get back from Mexico. I honestly can't wait.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Weekly Weigh In

Pretty Strong Medicine

I have spent the better part of 2015 trying to lose weight so that I will feel comfortable on my Mexican vacation. Unfortunately I didn't lose as much weight as I wanted. I did lose some and then gained it back. And then lost some more and gained it back. I wound up somewhere in the middle of my 2015 highest weight and my 2015 lowest weight.

Here is a graph of my weight loss over the past 90 days. I did really well for awhile, and then I faltered. Then I did really well for a while again until I wasn't anymore.
Side note: Anyone else hate the way My Fitness Pal graphs progress? No, I did not gain 4.3 lbs in one day. It was a much slower climb.
As of today I am at 224.5 lbs. That 5.5 lbs down from January. Even though it's 5 lbs up from my lowest weight this year, I'm still calling it a win.
I'm going to have a great time in Mexico no matter what the scale says.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Going down!

I having been kicking ass in the work out department. Heck, I've been kicking ass in the eating department too. I have 6.2 less pounds than last week to show for it.

Yea, that's a lot. But I also gained A LOT in a short time too. I'm back to where I was when I "finished" Whole 30 three weeks ago. I'm pretty excited about it.

I have been working really hard to get to this place. Working out every day hard.

I challenged myself to get the most of the month pass I bought at my yoga studio. Yoga every damn day! I've always seen those 30 day yoga challenges going on and scoffed at the idea of completing one. When I bought my first month pass (about six months ago), I considered doing it every day, but life got in the way. I did end up doing yoga more that month than I had ever done before. Suddenly, yoga every day became an actual possibility.

I'm on day 9 of yoga every day. I have also been mixing up the classes. I'm not just taking the easy way out and indulging in deep stretch every day. I have been taking some hard core classes. It helps that I have friends to go with. Let's be real: if I were on my own, I wouldn't have had the guts to try some of these classes.

My goal is to complete 40 classes in 30 days. Not just yoga. I've been throwing in some aqua fit too. When I first came up with this goal, I honestly didn't think it was possible. I just wanted something to work towards. But now that I am 12 workouts in in 9 days, it seems more than possible.

I was considering doing another Whole 30 before my Mexican vacation, but I just haven't been willing or able to give up my dairy again. I'm thinking that I will start another Whole 30 when I get back from my vacation though. It will be a good time for it. Especially since I will need to detox after staying in an all-inclusive resort for seven days with my party hard family.

Friday, 13 March 2015

The Fat Person Yoga Struggle

Pushing yourself to yoga as a fat person
Sometimes it's a struggle to join a yoga class.

I always feel like an outsider. That person who doesn't belong. I keep waiting for someone to rat me out. "You shouldn't be here!" Of course, that never happens. I have as much right to take a yoga class as everyone else, even if 99% of the time I am the largest one in the class.

It was actually a struggle to even write that last sentence. Do I actually have the right? Am I just fooling myself?

I first started going to yoga semi-regularly with my friend, Laini. We bought the Passport to Prana that allowed us to go to one class at over 30 different studios. It was an incredible deal and a great way to see what classes are out there. But it was difficult to force myself to go to the classes. I kept waiting for the day when someone would take my passport away from me. Of course that never happened.

This past year I have found several hot yoga studios that I love. I still have to push myself to get over my anxiety during every class that I take. It gets easier, but the anxiety doesn't ever disappear.

Half the battle is just making it to class.

The newest studio that I have joined brings the anxiety to a whole new level. It is located in an uber trendy area full of urban yuppies and yummy mummies. It's only a five minute drive from my neighbourhood, but it feels as if I am entering another world. Everyone is fit and sporting the latest in athletic wear.

I shouldn't be surprised about the classroom turned runway atmosphere. We are the birthplace of Lululemon, after all.

Fortunately I have a crew of wonderful ladies who have joined me in getting a pass to this studio. Knowing that I have friends by my side has definitely helped in squashing the regular fear that comes with attending a class.

Although sometimes going to class with friends can be even more daunting. Strangers can judge me all they want, but once the moment is over they will forget about me and I will forget about them. When I am doing a class with a friend, I am constantly praying that they don't look over and see me in an unfortunate position that will be forever etched into their memory.

The really great teachers will remind you that yoga is about practice and not about perfection. You do what you can and each time the practice will become a little bit easier.

Don't give up.

Whenever I want to quit because I don't want to be the fat heffalump in the room who can't do any of the moves, I have to remind myself that there are things that I can do that other people can't.

A very long time ago my friend, Ness, dragged me to a yoga class. She was active and physically fit. I didn't want her to see how out of shape I was (although, she did have eyes). I kept looking over, watching as she killed it move after move.

At the end of the class she looked over at me, frustrated with herself. "I wish I could do that move like you." It was a moment of revelation for me. Here we were, both annoyed with ourselves for not having the same flexibility as the other person.

It was an Oprah aha moment for me.

There were things that came easily to me that didn't come easily to everyone. It was a turning point for me. Nobody is perfect. Everyone has things that they are working on. We are all at different levels. Just because I might be several levels behind the next person doesn't mean that I shouldn't try. The only person that you need to be in competition with is yourself.

It's taken me a long time to get to this place. It's not always easy, but I am not the person who gives up before she has a chance to start anymore.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

30 Day Yoga Challenge

I have been struggling to get back into eating properly and working out again. I accidentally took a week (or two) off from my commitment to get fit. I didn't plan on falling back into old habits after my Whole 30 ended, but that's what happened.

I kept telling myself that I would start something similar again tomorrow, so I needed to eat all the things I wouldn't be able to have. MISTAKE. Tomorrow kept stretching out and getting further and further away.

Finally, I feel like things are getting back on track. I have a little over a month left until Mexico, and I plan to make the most of it.

I have signed up for a month of yoga at the new Oxygen Yoga studio in my neighbourhood. I'm pretty excited about it. I have a bunch of friends doing it too. I am going to try to do yoga every day for the next month. I've always wanted to do a 30-day yoga challenge, so this is my chance.

The new studio is quite stunning. the floor in the lobby and bathrooms is the craziest linoleum that I have ever seen. It's a space meets water pattern that is almost 3-D. Actually, maybe a turquoise bowling ball is a better way to describe it.

My friends and I did our first class on Monday. We just took it easy with the Deep Stretch. That's my go to class. It was a bit more difficult than I expected. Not the class itself, but how my body moved. I haven't been to a class in close to six weeks, so I guess I lost some flexibility.

Last night we opted for the Hot Yoga and Core class. It was basically half flow and half pilates. It was very difficult. I really liked the instructor though. She was intense, hard core, able to push the class to the max, but she didn't make you feel like a horrible person if you couldn't do everything. And I could not do everything. I even started to feel a bit nauseated during the class. The hot heat, a very full class, and intense moves made for an unwell Less.

Of course I felt immediately better once we left the studio. In fact, I felt so much better that I headed to the pool to be able to catch my regular aqua fit class. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to keep up with everyone and continue to push myself even though I had been dead on my feet half an hour earlier.

Tonight I am going to do the Fast and Furious Fusion class, which is apparently very similar to the core work that we did in the second half of yesterday's class. I'm also planning on doing aqua fit afterwards.

I want to become strong and healthy and I know that I need to really push myself to make that a reality.

On the weighing in front... Well, let's just say at least I haven't gained back everything that I lost during Whole 30. But I have gained back a fair amount. Time to reverse that!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

I Failed the Whole 30

Whole 30 is over.

Spoiler alert: I didn't finish it.

I first started Whole 30 on a whim. I saw Heather's post on Instagram and committed to it without realizing what it was.

When I looked into it a little more, I was all "aw, hellz no!" but I kept reading anyway. There was something about the way the program was promoted that struck a chord with me. The no excuses attitude. The this isn't hard attitude. The hard is what happens when you don't this program attitude.

To be honest, I never really found it that challenging. I never gave myself the option of thinking it was. I knew that as soon I did, I would think about giving up, and then I probably would.

It was a lot of work though. You had to be prepared. Meal prepping to the extreme.

Some days I would come home, be lazy, and not make dinner. That was okay, because I was prepared. I had plenty of prepped meals that I could just heat up and inhale.

The hardest part for me was cutting back on the snacks. The first week I didn't even think about it. I ate when I wanted to because it was better than reaching for something off limits. After that I tried to stick to three meals, although that didn't always work out.

Quitting never really crossed my mind. At least it didn't until my mom invited me to a night away to celebrate my cousin's 40th birthday.

At first I completely rejected the idea. I was so close to finishing, I didn't want to mess it up. I was really disappointed that I would have to miss her party, but I knew that if I went I wouldn't be able to stick to the plan, let alone keep away from the alcohol.

But I also didn't want to miss out on hanging out with my cousins. They are all really amazing people and I don't get to see them enough.

I debated going up there and sticking to the plan. I could do this, I just had to be prepared. I looked up the restaurant menu and couldn't find anything that would be compliant. It wasn't going to work. If I wanted to go, I would have to end Whole 30 a couple of days early.

And I really wanted to go.

So I made the decision to end my Whole 30 challenge a couple of days early.

But if I was going to end it early, then what was the point? I made the mistake of letting myself think about quitting early. The idea was planted in my head. I ended up quitting even earlier than I wanted to. Five days early. I made it to Whole 25 instead of Whole 30.

I don't regret my decision to end Whole 30 early. I do regret that I let my future decision cause me to falter earlier than I needed to.

I ended up having a really great weekend. On Friday night I was finally able to participate in a weekend activity with my friends. We went to a new bar called Prohibition. The drinks were incredibly expensive, but the atmosphere was really cool.

Of course I had a blast with my cousins. It would have been insanely difficult to keep the Whole 30 going during that night. Ironically, one of my cousins was doing a similar program with her family, but she decided to end it early too so that she could properly celebrate.

I still have over a month until I head to Mexico with these lovely ladies. I am going to keep working towards my short term goal. I won't be bikini ready, but my hope is to be a little bit more comfortable in my skin by then.
I am not giving up. Whole 30 worked for me for those first 25 days, and I am going to get right back on the saddle. Although this time I'm not technically going to be following the plan. I am just going to use it as a guideline.