Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beauty in the simplest things

So often I try and con Rob into taking me on somewhat lavish dates: you know, a nice candle-lit dinner out or a night in Banff.  Well, last night Rob took me to a movie.  Not much romantic about that.  But, I so enjoyed it. 

We are fortunate enough to live in one of Calgary's most amazing neighborhoods: Hillhurst: close to the Bow river, close to the train, close to downtown, close to SAIT & UofC, close to hospitals: seriously does it get any better than that?  Well, we've just this year started riding our bikes - and now I love it even more! We hopped on our bikes, rode down the river to Prince's Island Park and the theater at Eau Claire.  How cool is that?  And if that wasn't purely awesome enough, the ride home was spectacular.  The twinkling lights of downtown set a spectacular backdrop, while the unusually quiet Prince's Island was a delight to ride through.  The weather was amazingly warm for 1030 at night, and it was just generally fabulous.

With that, I was reminded to slow down and reflect on how great the simplest things in life can be. 

Life is good - don't lose sight of that!


Monday, July 26, 2010

On the Verge...

Do you ever feel like you're on the verge of something new? Or on the verge of some big change? ...but you just don't know what it is, or when it will arrive?

Over the past year, I have found myself in an odd spot (well, if you knew me, you'd understand that these things are out of character for me).  I found myself in a position of slackened discipline, lack of focus and general aloofness (wow, I just used the word ALOOF!).  These characteristics transcended every aspect of my life: my physical well-being, my work and my personal life.  Maybe I'm being too harsh on myself: I have been trying to rediscover who and what I want to be, what I want out of my life and how to get it.

Now, I feel like I am slowly venturing into a space of much more grounded-ness and substantially more determination.  What does this mean for me? Heck, I'm not too sure.  Where is it taking me?  Only karma and the higher powers know for certain - but it definitely feels like I'm on the verge of some big things.  Not too sure what yet, but I'll let you know as I stumble my way through life!

With gratitude,


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another weekend comes to a close.

So, turns out my will-power and returned focus on healthy eating has paid off: 8lbs in week 1! No need to leave comments on how un-healthy this is - I know this is not normal: more than likely just the mini-donut and beer weight coming off Post-Stampede. My expectations never were this high, and they certainly won't be next week. Still, talk about a wake-up call for how crappy I was eating before!

I managed to catch a hot yoga class on Friday. After Thursday's Bootcamp session I was excited to get a big of a stretch on. Turns out, this would be the most difficult hot yoga class I have ever attended ( Sasha led us through an intense spine strengthening practice - much more challenging than any practice I've done before (and I do pride myself on having been through some toughies). Felt great Saturday morning though!

Hit the gym on Saturday after missing Saturday morning yoga. I turned my focus onto posture as per Terri Champagne (, and as highlighted before, I can suddenly feel muscles working in excercises I didn't know targeted that muscle! ie - shoulders in lateral lunges, abs in bicep curls. It's the craziest thing and has added a huge dimension to my training. For the first time in a week, my workout left me feeling energized, invigorated and...wait for it...NOT SORE! My muscles were fatigued for sure, but 1 day later I can comfortably conquer the stairs - YAY!

So, back into routine again tomorrow. I plan on hitting yoga tomorrow evening, and maybe conning Rob into a bike ride down the river - with the weather as nice as it is in Calgary this time of year, how could you not?!

As always, still looking for your experiences, testimonials and referrals on Calgary personal trainers, fitness instructors and nutritionists!

With gratitude,


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Thursday!

Everything like Wednesday feels like a downhill ride to Friday - so yay! It's Thursday!

Off to another session of Bootcamp tonight.  Thanks to Tuesday's drills I'm feeling abit like I'm walking around like a 90 year old man...then I caught a view of myself in a window reflection: it's not like a 90 year old man at all, but like I've been riding a horse for a week.  Aye-aye-aye.  I know it'll get easier...until then, I'm using the tub to brace myself as I squat down onto the toilet. EEK!

4 weeks until the next trip to YVR for a wedding, now that's motivation to get my ass in gear: I do have a pretty dress to wear, afterall!  SO, starting today I am following the "Extreme Fat Smash Diet" ...I don't know why they call it "extreme."  It's not like I'll be drinking water, cayenne and honey for 3 days - on the contrary!  Dr. Ian K. Smith wrote this book, and it's based on eating whole, real foods, minimal wheat, minimal dairy and loading up on veggies, lean proteins and fruits. 

His plan involves "3 Cycles" - gradually adding more excercise as we go along (along with more food on days where more excercise is required). 

Cycle 1, Day 1 looks like this:
Breakfast: 2 egg whites or 1 whole egg with 1 cup of fruit or 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed juice
Meal 2: 1 cup of sliced fresh fruit
Meal 3: 1 small salad with 3 tbsp of low fat dressing
Meal 4: 1/2 cup lentils, chickpeas or beans 2 servings veggies
Excercise: at least 60 mins cardio, try to incorporate different excercises (ie walk, bike etc).

SO, it is definitely a cut in calories for me...but I think it's worth a try. The plan is sensible, and requires fresh, healthy foods (no wacky theories here).  I'm hoping having an exact outline on what to eat is going to help me stay on track.  The book also outlines when to eat, and when to excercise to maximize effectiveness.

I'll keep you all posted on how this goes!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1st Bootcamp session...completed!

So, last night after work I hopped on my bike and rode down to Prince's Island to meet up with some great Calgarians and to get my ass whooped: it was the first session of Bootcamp, hosted by the enthusiastic & wonderful Terri Champagne (

First things first - Terri introduced us to the importance of posture. If you've done yoga or pilates before, you're probably very aware of these things: head placement/alignment, pelvic & abdominal strength to promote alignment and shoulder blade placement.  Seems simple enough.  Try it!  I think having my awareness brought to these things has just made any and all of my workouts more challenging.  Something as simple as the squat has taken on a new meaning!  I'm excited to continue exploring posture and how it affects my strength training.

Least favorite part? Well, if you know me even half-an-ounce you'd know it's running. I don't just hate running, I loath it...I avoid it with every inch of my being. I know that it's a great way to get into shape quickly - in fact, I even joined a running group once in hopes I would be compelled to enjoy the sport. Nope. Still hate it.  Needless to say, Terri did a phenomenal job of balancing out the activities. Bootcamps I have participated in have always been 80% running, and I was thrilled to see it as a component to our workout, but not the focus of it.

All of that aside, I had a chance to put some faces to some Calgary tweeps I've been connecting with. Hope to have more of a chance to chat as the weeks go on (had to sneak away abruptly, Rob was meeting me at Eau Claire for a movie...that we didn't get tickets for...bah!).  It's super challenging to meet new people as an adult in this city if it's not at I'm pumped to be getting out there and meeting everybody!

Excited for the challenges that lie ahead,


Monday, July 19, 2010

The little achievements in life...

I have conquered yet another Monday! I know it seems like such a small, menial thing - but I figure hey! why not celebrate these little things in life? ;)  Mondays can be such a drag...the start of another 5 day string of work before another short burst of 2 days of freedom...or it can be a celebration! I HAVE CONQUERED MONDAY!

On to other things...I'm super nervous about the commencement of Bootcamp tomorrow. I am afraid of being the last man in the pack...the only poor soul who cannot handle the beating that will undoubtedly rain down on us. Oh well, once must start with a step, and a step starts with raising the right foot, placing it down, followed by raising the left foot, and placing it down in front of the right.  One thing at a time.  One bootcamp session at a time.  And so it begins...

I've been pleasantly suprised by the reaction to what I have dubbed my "Social Experiment."  I'm still on the hunt for more stories, referrals and perhaps professional support.  I should maybe comment, in an effort to clear the air: I am not looking for free services, or a charity hand-out...but I am absolutely looking for all the help I can get! I guess I am looking for a partnership - let's team up, share with the world that it can be done! :)  SO, keep those posts coming!

I should be heading to yoga tonight, and maybe I will to one of the later classes...but I think after Stampede, it is time for me to clean up my apartment to better coincide with what I want to happen with the rest of my life.  It is so hard to be grounded and focused when you walk into an untidy home that is in need of a little love and TLC (I'm no hoarder, but I do have 2 cats and this place is in desperate need of a dusting & vacuum!).

Anyways...enough for now! Looking forward to meeting some enthusiastic, exciting new Calgarian faces tomorrow (and eek, a wee bit nervous too!).

With gratitude,


Saturday, July 17, 2010

SOCIAL EXPERIMENT: Time to Clean Up My Act

So as Stampede comes to a close here in Calgary, it becomes glaringly apparent that it is time for me to start cleaning up my eating habits, limit my beer intake and get back into routine.  Sadly, it wasn't because of Stampede that I fell out it - I cannot pinpoint a reason exactly. 

I am scheduled to start up with Champagne Fitness' outdoor bootcamp on Tuesday ( and I am TERRIFIED: my fitness routine has been almost obsolete except for some bike rides to work and hot yoga.  To think only a year ago when I joined my first summer bootcamp, I was working out at an MMA gym 3-5 times a week and at bootcamp 3 times a week...and it was still a challenge. I can only imagine how difficult this is going to prove.  EEK

Here is what I have realized. I NEED HELP. I desperately need someone on my team to help me stay on track, stay focussed and to help me mark my progress.  I've worked with personal trainer's in the past, but too often they prove only interested in our "paid" meetings once or twice a week, and not really in providing support along the way.  SO, I want to hear your stories. I want to hear about your trainers (good or bad), your nutritionists, your life battles.  Or, if you are a trainer, fitness professional of any type or nutritionist I want to hear from you too.  Consider this an initial interview process.  I'm looking for the help I so desperately need. 

I'm not going to lie, a big issue with my needing help is expense (isn't it all for everybody!), so here's what I have to offer: if we can figure something out (no, I do not expect to employ your services for free, I am much more reasonable than that!), I promise to work my booty off (literally, I hope!) and follow every rule, routine and recommendation you set out for me.  I vow to religiously mark my ups and downs, my trials and triumphs on my blog (yes, I will blog much more regularly than I have been), Twitter and Facebook.  And I promise to tell everybody I know about you.  I am looking to try new activities and new facilities - I want to find out what Calgary has to offer!  This is a social experiment...and I think it has great potential!

So, leave your notes, your thoughts, your ideas - I cannot wait to hear about it!

With gratitude,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

1st Wedding of the Summer in YVR

After 10 hours on the road, in sweltering heat we arrived in Vancouver Thursday afternoon.  Great trip, but smokin hot.

I always find the trip back home somewhat bittersweet.  It's so awesome to see family and friends that we see only too unoften, but it is soo trying for us to fit them all in during our short stays in the Lower Mainland.  Needless to say, every hour during our trips are always accounted for - we struggle always to get everybody in.  In this struggle I've become aware of a few things: those who make the biggest stink about seeing us are always the ones who don't put in the effort to come see us in Calgary....EVER.  It frustrates the hell outta me.  The second, and the better realization: we are blessed to have alot of people in our lives who love us so much.  :) 

Wedding is today.  Poor Rob is going to have to deal with more wedding fever from me, no doubt.  We've been together for 4.5 years and I'm getting antsy.  Is this so bad?  As I'm approaching 30, I really want to get things on the go...I hope that kids are on the way...and poor Rob gets the brunt of it.  Anyways, I'm looking forward to celebrate the love our friends have for eachother. 

Hopefully I can blog later about the wedding...see what ideas are worth keeping for when my turn comes up.  ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010


Frustration has hit critical levels! 

Ever get sooo frustrated with any aspect of your life, you just want to throw your hands up and cry?  I'm there. I should probably just leave it at that.