Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!
Rupert the science bear here, keeping it real in the laboratory.

I came in for my morning workout and got into sculpt class for a solid workout and now it's a fun day here in the lab with nuns, Blues Brothers and Indiana Jones. I love my coworkers :)


It's my birthday. Lah de dah :)
I slept in a bit this morning and after moping and whinging and psyching myself up I finally got down to it and worked out. I did the catch my breath bodyrock.tv workout with bonus abwork. Geek helped by hopping on my back and adding weights to the pushups. How nice. The end ones were not elevated...but I did the workout through and pushed myself. Getting in a workout is what counts.

I celebrated my birthday with a breakfast smoothie. I love smoothies, but our blender is stupidly loud so I don't use it often in the early hours...but today I wanted a yummy smoothie. Strawberries, yogurt, vanilla protein and a bit of pomegranate juice. Yum.
Today should be a busy day, and J is taking me out to our favourite indian restaurant for supper. :)
Hope you all have a great day!

Fit for life is more than a cliche

I ran across this article at JCFitness today and it really echoes how I've been feeling lately.
Having worked hard to get into reasonable shape, I struggle from time to time at maintaining my losses and was rather bummed out about not being able to keep up the physique I'd built for myself in the spring, where I was my leanest and most muscular in my life. At first I moped...then I wondered if it was actually possible (or even desirable) to maintain what I thought was my ideal body. And I'm not sure if it is.
The thing is, at my ubermostest (yes that's a word, I'm calling it) I was running on 4 hours of sleep a night, over-caffeinated and on a very restrictive diet. But not restricted necessarily for weight loss -  simply was so stupidly busy that I had to plan out all of my meals and had little or no times for snacks or dessert or my beloved beer. So, of course I was lean...and mean. And proud of it...I knew I looked good and it was one small part of my life that I could manage and feel confident about as I slaved away and tried not to go too crazy.
When I finally finished my thesis and defended I suddenly had all this time...and all this time to cook. And I love to cook. I almost went to chef training instead of biochemistry and for me there is nothing more relaxing than cooking or baking elaborate foods and then enjoying them with others along with some delicious craft beer or wine. My diet has changed - I eat low sodium, low sugar and low processed foods now, and generally eat quite healthy, but there is a lot more opportunity to live "normally" again...and I like it. I'm seeking a balance between fitness and health and happiness.

For me...a lot of it is coming to terms with the fact that I can eat well and clean and workout regularly but still may not attain the superlean me I thought I wanted. It might come and go in phases, but, ultimately I just don't want to be miserable, tired and cold all the time in the pursuit of a perfect ass. Yes, I need to do some work on my posterior and I'm just back to my pre "hooray lets eat everything to celebrate being done school" phase, but I don't want to be super restrictive anymore, unless the scale starts to creep up and I need to check in. I want to find a way to live life apart from obsession with food and calories and  pounds and hydration and *insert fitness obssession here*...because this is long term. This is the me for the rest of my life. I'd rather go up and down ~5 Lbs and be healthy and strong than be ultra ripped like the host Lisa-Marie on Bodyrock.tv. For one I *know* I'm not genetically built to be that physique (I'm long waisted and lean with pear shaped hips). I'm just curvy. I like being curvy. I can be healthy and still have some meat on me...turns out I don't like the look of superlean physiques after all. I'm one of those lucky people whose abs show through because I'm lean in the waist, but still jiggle all over in my butt, and the way I lived and ate to have a perfect butt...well...yes, I liked the way my bum looked in a short skirt, but really...life is more than that. My husband loves me and always has and I receive compliments often on how I look thin and healthy. That should be enough. I am striving so that it WILL be enough.

Guess what I'm trying to say is what the article ended up saying. Being below 10% bodyfat isn't all it's cracked up to be. Yes...you will look hawt...and it may not be maintainable. This is the long haul be your best and enjoy the ride sort of life...not "if I'm skinny everything will be perfect" life. I am tired of feeling like I'm giving up just because I want to have a more moderate life. I want the workout endorphins. I still want to push myself...but because of how *good* it feels. Not out of guilt or shame.

Restricting my life for 2 and a half years to work full time while in grad school has showed me many things: I know I can multitask, I'm stubborn (mostly in a good way!), my needs are important, saying no is OK, and most important of all - my health and well being are important and do not equal a number.

Right nowI want nothing more than to spend time with my loved ones and enjoy this wonderful ride called life. :)

Saturday was a really good day

MSc Grad robes are cool...
They have serious batwings!!!

 Seriously tho - it was awesome. I am now all graduated up, complete with diploma. My Dad came down for the day and we went out for mexican food later...horchata. Mmmm...
 Oh - and my Lady Vader Costume...it worked out fantastic :) Had a fun night out relaxing with friends. This costume was a blast to make and fun to wear...glad I got out somewhere to wear it :)

What are your schemes for Halloween??

All this fun and I still have my birthday this week.
No workout tomorrow, since I have to be in early to submit something...back at it on tuesday. Gotta get in a workout on my birthday.
Have a great day everyone! :)


Up with the atoms this morning. Came in to work out and snuck in to spin and sculpt class for a good workout. I've got to get my flu shot today at work and then get down to some sciency work...I am so glad it's friday.  Tomorrow I get all dolled up to graduate, head out for supper at my favourite mexican restaurant and then go out for a halloween party after.
Should be fun :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

The one where I slept thru my alarm

Well, I missed my morning workout due to miss-setting my alarm (5:20 PM anyone? *sigh*). I still woke up in time for work thankfully, but unfortunately not for my workout. I miss my endorphins...hopefully friday will be a reboot.

I was happy and tired after watching J cover the local civic election live on TV. He was on air interviewing people (and being generally handsome and awesome) for 2 and a half hours. SO proud :)

Tonight I have a bit of tidying and painting to do to get ready for grad celebration this weekend...and possibly a bonfire this weekend. We shall see. At the moment I'm enjoying the low key generality of life. I can't believe I convocate on saturday :)

the one where i finally got some sleep

It's been a bit chaotic around here...I'm in the doghouse after possibly damaging our van by ignoring a warning light. I didn't heed one...one of my most stupid moments in life...Then I forgot to tell J about it... And when I remembered and learned what the light meant I took a few days to work up the nerve to fess up. Just a bad idea and behavior and I am not proud. Not one bit.
Last 2 days I haven't come in to work out. Yesterday due to complete stressed out lack of sleep. Today, due to catching up on aforementioned total lack of sleep. Last night was supper, 2 hour nap, 1 hour work then bedtime for 8 more hours. Although I still have many things left to deal with, I feel human again after some sleep. Sleep is good.
Tonight I have to go vote in our city election, the head home to some chores and painting. I hope to have time to bang out a bodyrock workout before bed. J has to cover the election all night so I may workout while watching his handsome face on the telly. Then...more sleep and intense grovelling...
*kermit hands*

The one where I grow a pair and use power tools

Well this weekend was totally not what I thought it would be but in the ends was exactly what it should have been. My husband has put in lots of overtime lately had a long stressed out crazy week, and having lived through a lot of that myself, when it came down to stressing out a lot about driving 6 hours to Edmonton for a great party, where he would not have a costume...we just decided to stay home and relax and put the gas money to good use. I will save my costume for another time. J solidly spent most of his time relaxing and unwinding for the first time in weeks, and I? This weekend I got around to many things I've wanted to for about 6 months now.
Yes...this weekend I became a man. :)
Saturday was a warm up. Since our furnace was replaced (last year...cough) the basement has been in complete disarray from having moved half of it and cramming it ALL into my craft room. Literally. You couldn't even go into the room it was so full of STUFF. So disheartening, but I refused to just move junk around...I wanted to reorganize it all properly and haven't had the time...until now. I spent all saturday attacking that room...and I won. Took a whole carload of cardboard and recyclables in and a carload of old records and clothes to a local charity shop (leftover from my dad). Now, there is still a long way to go to get it more organized but the crap is gone and things are grouped for sorting out in the next few weeks. You can walk around in there. It's a room again. My haven for me is a real room again.

Then sunday I proved that women can use power tools and learn about cars.
We have an odd van - a  Mitsubishi Starwagon Delica L300 we imported from Japan as a camping vehicle and it's my husband's second lover...and I haven't had time or made the effort to learn about it until this weekend. I asked my husband to show me all the important things on the Delica I should know to drive it responsibly. We checked the tranny fluid and it seems nice and red (the sensor has been acting up apparently so we need to replace the sensor), and J showed me how to check the oil and all other fluids (which are all inside the van under the centre console and passenger seat) and where the fuses and jack are.
Then I got my manliness on and got to work. The back area of our basement has a workbench (currently mountained with random tools. ahem.) and is the place where all the crap that was in my craft room came from. I have wanted a storage unit back there for ages and so I measured, planned and schemed and it was off to Home Depot in the van for some lumber. Then I threw on a work jacket, gloves and toque and worked outside with my drill and chop saw and built custom shelves for the back room. They aren't fancy...just functional, strong and exactly what we need. Custom L shape with 4 stacking shelves, exactly the right depth for the rubbermaid bins I will be buying to sort and store all our junk in. J helped me mount them to the wall and secure the cross shelving after supper. We worked together and finished the evening with an ice cold Grolsh feeling very proud of ourselves.
We are the man!

This morning I came in to work out and got to squish into the spin and sculpt class and got a great workout overall. Now, a long day of meetings and bellydance class before I head home to complete some scientific abstracts that I have to submit wednesday morning. I can tell already, it's gonna be a great day!
Have a good one everyone :)

Shhh. Sleeping lady. zzzzzzzz.......

Costume is as done as it's going to be. When I wear it I'll post some pics. Here's a bit of a sneak of some of the accessories...got the grommets into the corset...they're not great because I don't have the proper grommet tool, but it will do. There's also a lightsaber cane I made. Oh yes...when I get into this I can't stop half way :)

I am tired tho. Had insomnia last night after a long annoying evening. My husband's costume stuff didn't arrive in time so he has no costume for the Star Wards party we were going to go to tomorrow. He isn't sure if he wants to go, and if he isn't going I don't know if I want to drive 5 hours to where it is just to dress up and go to a party on my own...he feels bad cuz I made this costume for this party, but I don't mind if we don't go -I know me. I know I'll wear it some other time...I'm leaving it up to him. Altho I hope he decides to go, I'm honestly happy to wear it around to another party here around Halloween or some other time... or just around the house :P Making the costume is more fun for me than wearing it...I'm odd that way. I may just set up a photo shoot with it instead and take some cosplay photos instead...we'll see. It was fun.
So needless to say on 1.5 hours of sleep I certainly didn't work out this morning. Taking the day as it goes...


If I stand in one spot, my butt is not sore. Otherwise...I'm doomed. :)
I lost track of time and was up waaaaay too late last night. My costume is almost done. The main thing left is grommets in the corset. The lady sold me eyelets by mistake which aren't strong enough for a corset tie lace up, and I only have half of what I need leftover from a previous project. Soooo, tonight is a late night "I need grommets!!" hunt... and I really hope I can find some. The corset ties the costume together so it's kinda imperative I find some. The mask needs more work, but considering it is a $4 kids mask I took apart with a hacksaw it looks pretty good. Other than that, it's come together nicely. I haven't made the cape (am going for a neck scarf/shawl instead) and I'm using a skirt I already have, so it will be ready for the weekend. Yup...I'll be dead classy :)

I slept in this AM to get 6 hours of sleep, had some pumpkin oatmeal and I'm in for work. I plan on a bodyrock workout when I get home eventually...poor J has yet another late night of work, so once I succeed in my grommet quest I can work out and relax and finish up the costume. I'm hoping I can work some off the azzkinks out as the day goes on, cuz I am mega stiff from the workout yesterday. :)

Must get to the science. Lots to do today.
Later taters.

Day 3 - holy sculpt class batman

I was up late crafting. It was glorious. I now have a lightsaber cane (as long as the clay dries!!), and a antiquey older version of a vader chest panel (jewels wire and ribbon), along with a hat that is decorated with the same ribbon and cording as my corset. Bwaha. I love LOVE *L*O*V*E* doing this kind of  stuff. I only have 2 more evenings to finish this...he heh. We shall see. It's cool staying up late making things for fun for once :)
Despite being up late I convinced myself to get up and out of bed to come in and workout. I was tired, but I thought that any workout would be good...and once I get there I'm usually good and have a great time. And I was...did...yes. There was one space left in the sculpt class and it's the instructor I love, so I joined. She is hard core and it was a tough hour workout...the most evil of which was walking lunges with and without weights back and forth across the studio...I counted, and it was 144 lunges steps with weights and 72 without. She broke them into 4 parts throughout the class but man...I have a feeling my butt will be complaining tomorrow. But I came in and worked hard. I feel good. Tired but good. Certainly worked harder than I would have if I'd slept in!

Day 2 of the rest of my life

Not too bad. Yup. Not too bad.
Yesterday I really ate clean and avoided pizza for supper. Score for me. No late night snacks. No pop or booze. Day 1 complete. They say it takes 3 weeks to build a habit...I'm trying to get it back.
This morning was day 2 of Operation Uberfrau (Part Deu). I came in to do a good solid workout: the Bodyrock TV "12 min workout" (which isn't 12 minutes, but whatever) with bonus ab workout. I worked hard and didn't quit even tho I sure wanted to during those evil switch lunges. Then I hopped on an interval program on the StairMaster for 18 minutes and declared that I was done.
The workout is 30 sec on/10 sec rest (twice through) of:
-elevated pushups
-5 high knees + half burpee
-jumping jacks
-bicycle crunches
-high knee jog
-back lunge + forward kick and toe touch L side
-back lunge + forward kick and toe touch R side
-box jumps (supposed to be tuck jumps but they are bad for my knee)
-jumpjacks with squat/floor touch when legs together
-switch lunges (oh how I hate these)
-exploding pushups or tricep dips (I did tricep dips)

Ab Bonus: 25 V-sits, 25 bodyrock double situps with medicine ball, 25 side to side rows with medicine ball, 25 planked mountain climb crunches with 3 forward "James Bond" style side twist lunges each side in between each exercise.

Now for a good breakfast and lunch and hopefully a good rest of the day. :)

I raided Michael's craft store last night and think I have what I need to finish what I can on my costume before the weekend. That store is evil...I could have spent a fortune in there...as it is I escaped without too much damage and now have I have lightsaber cane components, some decor whatsits for my hat and ribbon to finish my corset, as well as some cool bits to make my chest panel. Still unsure as to how the cape is going to go (long or short), but at least I have a longer black skirt to wear (from another costume) so I am OK if I don't have time to make the skirt with bustle I'd like for this weekend...but there will be time before halloween :)

Gotta go...lab calls. Have a great day!!

Now for the rest of my life

I am back from a blissful week away.
Up at the lake I cooked turkey dinner and all the fixings for 18 people and then got to go for a long snowy walk with J before he had to head back home on monday. Someone made the pies...including green tomato mincemeat tarts...yum. The weather was nasty (snow & mean wind) so we didn't get to hike the 8 K hike around the gem lakes like we'd hoped, but it was nice to get away. Jay headed back and I stayed up to visit my dad until sunday and it was awesome. I finally got to relax. I read the Hunger games Trilogy, built some great furniture with my Dad, split some wood, got some sewing done and cooked for Dad, who is really appreciative. Most of my fitness plans were derailed by the craptastic weather, and there was a nice amount of wine to be had, so I certainly didn't fit myself up while away, but I feel so relaxed for the first time in ages. It was nice to sleep, read and eat when I pleased and be at my favourite place on earth (other than my bed!). I think the best thing was being ablet o just spend time with Dad. When you have that much time there is a chance to just spend time together with no pressure or obligation and really reconnect. I love my Dad to pieces and I've missed him. It was great.

The shirt for my costume is done and the corset is 3/4 done, so I feel like I may have something to wear to the party...it may not be finished to my liking by then, but I plan on building on it over the winter too...still lots of details. We'll see how far I get. I don't want to stress out over it...just have fun with it. I think that's what I liked the most about the week off...no stress. None. Just coffee and the crackling of the wood stove and endless old National Geographics :)

I am back tho and determined to get back to things. As a birthday present to myself I want to see if I can book time with a personal trainer for November and December. I need focus, and the time to work back to where I was in the spring. This morning I did ZWOW 14 at home and it was HARD, but I did all 5 rounds with 8Lb weights. I felt woefully out of shape, and I slept on my left shoulder and made it sore last week, but I pushed and did it all with no skimping and I'm proud. I just have to get to it. Same with food. I had a healthy breakfast and other than going out for dinner with my family for my graduation on the 27th I plan on really eating clean for the rest of the month. I didn't pig out at the lake, but I certainly didn't restrain myself and I am ready for a more focused plan for me. The celebrating phase is coming to an end. Now for the rest of my life.
I can't wait!

Turkey countdown

Last night I got caught up on lots of boring chores, made matar paneer for supper (one of my all time  favourite foods) and gathered things for the upcoming weekend. We picked up 2 sheets of MDF (which thankfully fit in the van...whew!) so I can make some end tables with my dad this week. Yes - we sill soon be grown adults with actual bedside tables instead of the odd shelf/thingy I picked up off a friend in university for my dorm room and J's charming side table made of cheap metal stacking cubes. A little paint when I get back and viola!

I am much less stiff today (thankfully) and came in for spin and sculpt class. With it being a long weekend the gym was blissfully quiet. Class was mostly core work and ab work for the sculpt and I feel fantastic today. It helped work some kinks out.

Tonight J and I have tickets to see The Importance of Being Ernest at the local theatre...and at midnight there is a one night showing of Iron Sky at the art theatre (hee hee...nazi robots and spaceships on the moon invading earth! Cheezy! Awesome!), so we'll swing by that too if we are still awake. Might even see if we can get out for supper first to a nice mexican restaurant we've wanted to try for a while now. They don't take reservations so we'll see how it goes... whatever happens it's gonna be a fun long night. Jay and I have had a busy week and really want to just spend an evening together.

Tomorrow morning we head up to see my Dad for some relaxing and turkeying. He's invited 10 people over for Thanksgiving dinner on sunday who don't have families around, so I'll be making turkey and stuffing for a herd of people. They're bringing salads or pie...should be relaxing and delish! I'm relaxing just thinking about it :) I'll be away from internet and work stress for a while. I can't wait!

Have a fantastic weekend guys :)

Curtsy squats are evil

I am going to be rather stiff tomorrow. Heck I am now! The curtsy/dragon lunge squat things I did for the ZWOW yesterday made me a bit stiff...and this morning guess what we did in sculpt class? Yes - a zillion curtsy lunge squats and forward lunges. It was a really solid sculpt workout this morning...and my butt is already stiff. It felt good to work my muscles though...I feel strong.

Last night I had serious stomach cramps that worsened as the evening went on after supper. It made grocery shopping a real chore, and by the time I got things put away I felt really blech. The only thing I can think of is that I made curried chick peas and quinoa again. It seems like quinoa and I are not good friends. J watched concerned as I ended up going to bed curled in a ball whining and waiting for sleep, eating way too many tums and feeling like someone was putting my innards through a wringer washer. Oddly, as of this morning I feel absolutely fine. This is the 3rd time this has happened. I've heard that the high protein in it can bother some people. I've done a bit more reading and apparently there is a protein on it called saponin that must be rinsed off prior to cooking and that is the main issue for stomach issues and quinoa. This is not recommended anywhere on the packaging of the quinoa...I had been rinsing and soaking it previously (when I ate it with no issue) but I didn't rinse the quinoa the last few times I made it since it didn't say to on the package...so I'm going to risk one last stomach pain experience next time I make quinoa and see if soaking it removes this problem. I hope so. Otherwise it's bye-bye quinoa. I have no desire to feel like that again. It was not the relaxing end to an evening with J I had planned.

I stocked up on some healthy foods for the month, as well as some good ingredients to take up for my visit with my Dad for thanksgiving. All next week I'm hanging at my Dad's place after the holiday, and I can't wait. I haven't had much time at the cabin (where he lives now) since I started school and it really is my favourite place on earth (next to being in my bed with a big fluffy old duvet!).  J can't stay, but I have a whole 10 days up there. Dad and I are going to build us some bedside tables while we're up there, and I have a plan to read the Hunger Games and start on my costume while I'm up there too. I also love to cook for my Dad. He wants to take a stab at a bit more complicated cooking and asked me to buy him a slow cooker, so I'm going to make a few basic slow cooker meals for him and show him the possibilities. He's not an elaborate cook by any means, so this should be right up his alley, and give him a bit more variety in his meals. I found a slow cooker cookbook too, so hopefully it'll get him started on more elaborate meals. I'm also trying to plan some body weight workouts and running for when I'm up there. Hopefully I can gather some of my favourites so that I work out at least every other day up there.

I'm so excited. Just a few more days and I can relax. :)

ow my azz

Last night's belly dance class was fun but it made me stiff in ridiculous places...one of the hammy/glutey places I don't normally use. Between the leg strengthening squats and 2 kinds of 3 point shimmy's (one of which I've never done before and still can't quite get) my legs were actually spasming when I got home after. we made some pizza out of some leftover chili for supper and watched the finale of Doctor Who. Very sad, but if it had ended differently I would have been angry I think...

I came in for a solid workout this morning. I tried to do a bodyrock workout, but forgot my interval timer, and the one I downloaded from gymboss on my phone only works when you are viewing it so I couldn't look at the workout steps on my phone and have the timer count (to me this is a fail). Being my brilliant self I only learned this after doing the first interval (elevated push ups) for a ridiculous amount of time to until I realized that something wasn't working and it had been WAY over the interval length....so I started over and changed it up to do ZWOW 28 4 times through, using  a 12Lb weight to touch down by my lunging leg for the dragon kicks. Then I did 1 minutes intervals (I was determined to use that timer!) of: v-sits, side plank left, front plank, side plank right, side to side rows with a weight, Pilate's leg raises, hands and knees kick backs (no clue what they're called), doggy hydrants leg raises with a leg extension, bent rows (25Lb) and dead lifts (25Lb). I had sweat dripping off my nose by the end. I am pleased...:)

Now for some granola and a banana and it's off to the (squeee!!) new labs!

Later taters :)

Schemey schemes

This weekend was relaxing and hectic at the same time. My friend is moving back to BC today (flies home today) so Saturday we shipped off the last of is kit and he stayed with us for the weekend once his apartment had been inspected and signed off on. Saturday night some friends were playing at a new club in town and J did lights. It was 80s theme so I got dressed up and had a nice night out.
Sunday was errands and planning for a final farewell meal for my friend. He is a foodie too, so we spent the afternoon finding delicious ingredients from his fave places: cold smoked steak with blue cheese, some prawns and tortellini pasta. J isn't into steak or seafood (silly man) so he got shiskabab skewers and mushrooms instead of prawns. We marinated the meat in saki, and BBQd it to perfection. Even made fresh apple gjetost pastry pockets for dessert, along with some more of that fantastic saki from Granville Island. Delish. Fantastic foodie sendoff.

Also spent sunday on a costume frenzy.  If you don't already know, I love costuming and cosplay and halloween always presents an opportunity to get stuff for the rest of the year (cuz who says you only wear costumes on halloween?). Friends throw a huge annual Star Wars dance party around Halloween, and this year it's Oct 20 and I had a brilliant idea for a costume, which I flushed out getting all the fabric and other things for. It's so fantastic. My plan? Madame Steampunk Vader. Oh yes...modified vader mask, with vader armour corset and tophat. It was initially just a vader helmet coated in sparkles and cape...but this? This is what I need to make. I just love taking a character and modifying it to make it mine. I lurve Darth Vader, and this will be the ultimate. Hee hee I've got loads of grey and black satin to make a corset, bolero jacket and skirt, as well as a cheap vader mask I can dissect and create a gas/mask goggle creation to go with a decorated bowler hat, and I've yet to create a cane (that will look somewhat like a lightsaber). Oh yes. I'm pumped. I only have 3 weeks to make it, but dayum. It's been over 2 years since I've made anything like this, and I want to sew. I want to create. This is the part of me that's been shoved in a dusty closet for 2 years while I did my MSc. It's out and it's taken over :)

This AM, I was diligent. I know I indulged yesterday, so I made sure I came in for my workout. Altho it looked like I was going to have to make my own workout, I was able to sneak into the spin and sculpt class at the last minute, so I did that class and rocked it. Now, it's time to be in to work. We just got handed the keys to our new lab building (HELLZ YEAH!!!) so the next 2 months will be a frenzy of moving offices and labs and getting down to the nuts and bolts of my new job that's been in limbo waiting for the new building to be completed.
Woo yeah I am a scientist :)