With the wind this morning it is a balmy -46 C.

I call shenanigans. This sort of weather is absurd... the cold snap is supposed to lift by the weekend thank frog. There's only so much of this you can take before you go all Shining on people from being cooped up indoors...

Last night it was just me so I took some oven time to make myself a most tasty meal. Oven roasted sweet potatoes and beets with pork tenderloin. A little spices and red wine on the pork and...mmm...Yummy. I'm just getting the hangs of roasts and that...I've only ever done them on a restaurant scale for over 100+ people so I have trouble making these kinds of things on a smaller scale. My gas convection oven has some tricks up it's sleeve and I need to play with it more. J's not one for roasts and meat on the bone so I usually reserve it for when we have big gatherings, but I felt like treating myself last night, and there was a tenderloin on sale at the grocery store I stopped in at on the way home to warm up a bit. Since J was working, I had time to experiment...I figured if I burnt it to chewy charred bits and ended up eating just sweet potatoes for supper he'd never know :P

This AM I came in for spin class and eased off the super high tension a bit. My knee was clicking after the high tension class, so I wanted to ease off it a bit and not re injure myself. It was still a good sweaty class. Did an abfest after and now for breaky and work work work. I grabbed some organic bananas on the way home yesterday and can have bananas and granola and yogurt for breakfast...yum.

Have a great day guys. I am going to try to stay warm and make it that one more day until the weekend...they promise warmer weather then.
Courage :)

I is for ice cube

Tired. It looks like I may not be able to go to comicon this year since the friends I usually go with can't and the cost alone is too great...BUT...since I'm busy trying to figure out plans for going to Europe to present my MSc project at a conference I'm trying to be happy anyways because...well...Cool! I have to try and find a cheapish place to stay. Since my ticket and conference registration is being paid for we're gonna get one for J and he's gonna come along too and we're going to stay a few extra days and be tacky tourists. Meep! Spent time I should have on my paper looking up flights and hotels. Cuz I get to go to London in April. EEEEEEEEEE! :)

Other than that - it's a giant freezer here where I live. Dug out my ski pants last night because it was -33C before the wind and below -40C after this morning...could feel it through my winter gear. Brrr. I am strangely amused that we just go on as usual in this kinda weather. I don't mind taking the bus in this kinda cold. Thankfully my Dad is not driving down to visit in this weather - he's going to wait until it warms up on the weekend to come down to visit on his birthday. So I called him and sang happy birthday instead :)

This morning I got up and bundled up like a sausage and came in for sculpt class. It was a good class and now I have some work to do. I'm trying to find some old little lab things no one wants for my little niece who is almost 5. Lily has decided she's a scientist and wants to do "experiments" in her room so I'm going to try and find some eye droppers and little beakers and stuff. I even have a Dr. Zed's book of experiments for kids that I got way back when I was a kid from Owl magazine that I'll send her way. I love that my sis in law encourages her girls to play and have fun at all kinds of things...and if I can help create a little mad scientist I'll be happy (although it's just as likely in a few weeks she'll want to be a fireman, so who knows? he hee).

Must be off.
Stay warm wherever you are!!

doop dee doop doop....ching ching!

Last night's belly dance class was fun. We learned a short choreography to a classical drum solo. Complicated, but it's so much fun taking basic moves we know and putting them together. I'll need to practise or the moves will float right back out my ears and I'll forget them, but it makes you feel beautiful and fluid to move and sway and shimmy, sweeping your arms and hip dropping to the rhythms as a group. No pressure to be perfect - just to learn and enjoy the movement.
 *Loved* it.
My abs are starting to have definition  again, so I was proud to bring them out into the light for class. Dug out a choli top and old hip scarf too and saw my husband's eyes light up at the sight of me on my way to class. Softy he is. He loves the way I look in my belly dance gear.
Garsh! *blush*

Anyways...yeah. I'm in a good mood today. No real reason...just am. :)
Came in for yelly Mel and a particularly evil high tension spin class. It was hard and I pushed and sweated and, yet again, as much as I want to kill her while the class is on for pushing us, after I always feel invigorated and full of life and proud that I did it all and worked hard. I did 6 different ab/back exercises to cool down, with some nice stretching and was done done done.

Today is another glamourous day of putting sciency looking things in boxes and packing up laboratories for moving prep. Oh be still my geeky little heart...

Have a good day my good peeps :)

here we go again

So tired.
It's my own fault tho - stayed up late. It was a long fun weekend and I just didn't want it to end :)
Yes I got some work done, but I also got to spend a leisurely saturday morning and afternoon with my husband and sunday I spent out shopping for fabrics and costume ideas with a few friends and ended up picking up a few cool things at Old Navy and Value Village - cardigan, skirt, top, two workout tops and a dress which I initially bought for fabric to turn into a bellydance skirt but when I tried it on it fit perfectly, so I'm just going to keep it as a dress. I love bargain shopping...so much stuff for so little. It's been ages (literally years now that I think about it) since I've been out with just me and some girls and then back to the house for craftiness. Add in some tasty food, fresh powdery snow (shovelling the snow) and some good coffee and I'm grinning. :)

This AM the  instructor failed to show, so I made up a workout on the fly again.
3 sets of:
15 box step ups, each side
20 good mornings (35 Lb dumbbell)
15 bicep curls (10 Lb)
15 bent rows (12 Lb)
15 overhead shoulder press + in front elbows together (no idea what it's' called; 10 Lb)
10 burpees with full pushup
20 back raises
20 suspended ab crunches

Then I hopped on a cardio hill program on the elliptical and had at it for 30 minutes. I've never done that program before - the long hill was hard. I did it all and pushed myself, but was sweating at the end. It felt good to get my sweat on and I feel great now. 

Now it's work time. Right on cue, my crazy previous MSc supervisor is going whackadoo again and recanting on all her previous ideas of getting someone else to write up some data, that we argued about last monday, which I'm more pleased about, but thankfully I am still doing MY stuff, and so now it just comes down to actually DOING my stuff. It'll happen. I'd planned to work all wednesday but apparently my brother's wife planned a birthday party for my Dad without consulting us, so I'll have to rearrange and go. it's another crazy week, starting.......

NOW! :)

Kicking azz and chewing bubble gum

OK I lied about the gum part. :)
This morning I felt fierce. I came in for spin and sculpt with yelly Mel and I rocked it. High tension intense spin with resistance band sculpt moves for the upper body. I think it's cause I was wearing new workout duds. I felt good and I looked good...it's funny how that can make you work harder :)
Last night  a new fitness store selling Lorna Jane workout wear opened in town and there was a "VIP" early opening for fitness instructors around town and a few of their friends, since there were a few cancellations. A friend of mine who teaches kick boxing invited me along to come and I'm glad I did. They had prize draws and 20% off the store. I won a free pair of workout pants of my choice which is what I had come there hoping to buy, and so I got a tank top and a new spider shaker bottle instead to go with the pants...SCORE! I picked out these cropped workout tights and I love them...cool styling with the stitching and MAN they make your azz look good. Their stuff is priced a bit lower than lulu lemon stuff would be (my free pants would have been $89) and looks to be of the same quality. Comfy and sexy...Woo hoo. I was impressed with the store...I hope they do well. They even had some protein supplements that were stevia sweetened (cookies and cream flavoured....mmm) so I will definitely go back! :)
And now? I have a seriously full day of SOOOO much work to do. I gotta run. Planning some workouts on the weekend to keep me going with a bunch of normal sciency work I have to do...and I'll be making bellydance costumes in there too with some friends on sunday too I hope. Full weekend of goodness. Just the way I like it!
Have  a WONDERFUL day :)

Quick! Make something up!

Our instructor was a no show today (probably due to the blizzardy arctic weather), so I just made up a workout on the fly and it was a good one. I can feel it in my azz already...

3 sets of:
20 one legged dead lifts, each leg, with two 12Lb dumbells
20 clean and press with deadlift with 35 Lb barbell
20 "kettlebell" swings with a 20 Lb dumbell

2 sets of:
20 back raises
20 suspended ab crunches
15 outer thigh weighted extensions (90 Lb)
20 inner thigh pull-ins (90 Lb)

Then some side ab raises with the 20LB dumbell and 30 minutes on the elliptical with an interval program and a bit of stretching and tadah! Done.
I had some chia overnight oats for breakfast and man...I forgot how much I love them. I need to have it more often for breaky...that and get some more protein powder. I ran out back in early december and haven't gotten more, and I think I'd like to get back to that. I wanna build up some sexy azz muscles and that'll give my body some booty fuel! :)

I'm feeling really good today. I got some work done last night and will do more tonight, but I'm just feeling better overall. I've gotten back to my pre-christmas gorge fest stage, so I'm at a baseline to go all amazon with myself for the next few months. It's got me in a good head space. I want to just focus on my healthy eating and workout and see just what I can do by the summer.
Slow and steady, with some healthy eating and hard work...booyah! My work has a wellness benefit, so I may take advantage of it to get a few home workout toys like a green Leibert equalizer and a sandbag that I've wanted for ages...and my running shoes need replacing. I figure since they have to fire a bunch of people over the next 6 months (it really sucks - morale is pretty low here at the moment), I should get it now, just in case I get cut. The I can just bang out home workouts if I lose my work perk of a free gym pass! Just trying to keep a positive spin on it. No one's been cut from my group yet so I've still got time I think...:P

Anyways...off to the exciting world of laboratory supervision. We are actually preparing to move now. For realz. So I have to go defrost some freezers and pack up some stuff. Oh the glamorous life I lead :)

Have a great day everybody. Stay Warm!!

One day...

A friend sent me this today.

Yup...things will be OK somehow :)


yesterday was better than monday night. I didn't get a lot done, but I had a much better day overall at work and started on one of my posters...and I made muffins :). Tonight I will do more and get down to some real work and plug away at things bit by bit. I am waiting for yet another whirl of crazy meetings about academic stuff as people try and tell me what they feel is better for me (*sigh*), but for now I'll try and avoid them, work hard and hopefully keep sane for a few days at least. I'm trying to just focus on taking charge of what I need to do and the rest of the craziness can just dance about madly around me...I refuse to get involved in it unless I have to...until I've finished what's on my plate for now.

This morning I got up for sculpt class and it was a very solid overall workout. Now that that is done, I've got full day ahead of me at work and later at home. Work is rather tense at the moment as we're in the middle of the university downsizing and firing people...and everyone is on edge until it's done and we know it's not us. I figure I can't worry about it, since there's no way to know who it'll be. I'm just gonna do my thing and get on with it...

Hope you all have a great day. :)

grrr. argh

Last night sucked. See my other blog for rants and details if you like.... I'm just so not in the mood to dredge it up again. Suffice it to say the world of academic science is seriously f*cked up and I am so glad to me nearing my time of being done with it...so many egos...and I just don't care to be involved with it, but yet I still have to be to a certain degree until I finish my final MSc obligations, which keep getting mutated further and further from what I care to be involved in.

After hours on the phone with collaborators and my old supervisor after work I was picked up as a sniffly mess by J and driven directly to dance bellydance for 2 hours, and THEN came home to a good ranty cry and some leftovers and just went to bed.

This morning I came in so spin class with yelly Mel. And I used it. All the anger and stress and frustration came out through my legs and I had a sweaty mess of a spin class. It helped.
Today I'm in at work to try and work hard and then adapt to deal with the angst of yesterday and try and move forward with my life and get some writing and poster work done.

I am going to have some coffee and get to it.
Later taters...

monday already?

This weekend was relaxing. I tried to stay healthy and succeeded for the most part. I wrangled up a kickass low fat multigrain banana waffle recipe that we enjoyed both mornings (~250 cal for a big belgian waffle! Yum). I also had a chance to whip up some absolutely delicious & healthy moroccan sweet potato chic pea soup and edemame hummus for my lunches this week, and took a stab at some healthy-ish pizza for supper last night after all that (homemade multigrain crust with spinach, tomatos, olives and feta. Yum...).
We did get out dancing late late laaate on saturday night which was so much fun. Sunday I forced myself to not sleep in too much, but found this morning to just be too early, so I slept and extra hour and feel much better for it since I have a stressfull long day ahead of me. I just had a bowl of oatmeal and blueberries instead and came in on this frozen morning (seriously, with the wind it's -41 C. My eyeballs started to freeze).  I have my workout stuff with me so I can try and bang out a bodyrock or ZWOW bodyweight workout in my office over lunch to still get in some activity today. Today has already been weird - a pileup on the bridge made me 30 minutes late, so I'm off at a run, and I'm just gonna wing it :)
Tonight is bellydance too - fun. I'm psyching myself up for a bit of a stressful day with a few meetings I am not looking forward too, but in the end I think I will put on my big girl sparkle panties and see what this day has in store.
I have a venti dark roast to fuel my morning. Here we go!

LATER: Just banged out 4 rounds of a bodyweight  ZWOW 28 in my office in 15 minutes (much to the amusement of people who can see in my window from the stairwell!!).
1 round:
20 dragon curtsey back lunge + side kicks (10 each side)
20 switch lunges
15  pike jumps (donkey back kick on hands + squat jump)
10 lizard pu (crunch each side + pushup)

Time for lunch! :)

Ha HA!

It's friday.
This week has seemed very long and tiring. Not enough snuggles and naps. I will correct that this weekend. Friends are throwing a shindig, so I know I'll get out for a bit of fun. I have much to do on stuff, but I feel ready to get things started, along with making some tasty healthy meals for the week to come. And... I am finally feeling at peace with my needing to get work done. Like I am ready again to do some work (knock on wood). I actually have to have a talk with one of my supervisors -she had convinced me to let someone else write all my papers since the time and stress was getting to me and I'm not the best writer, but now? I wish to change that I think. I can do most of them, while my husband is busy working on his show this winter. And...in the end they will be good. Not perfect...but the way I want them to be. Altho the thought of having a pro researcher write up things and have them optimal and publishable is tempting, it would mean letting her take primary authorship of things for all my work and redoing it. I don't care about the credit and authorship, but I do care about doing things right. I feel a bit like I'm being bullied, and so altho I thought I was OK with it...well it turns out I'm not. I've figured out where I stand, and I've put my stress down and looked at it and had a bit of time to think. She may not like me changing my mind, but I think it's best to do things this way. I will try my best, like I did before, and see what the world has for me.

And there should be waffles at some point too.
Banana ones.
I got a new wafflemaker for christmas...I heart it.

This morning was spin and sculpt class. Good and sweaty and awesome. I get to meet some girls for lunch to get out of the building for a bit too, so I'm hoping today will fly by and I'll be home. J is doing lights for a show tonight, but seeing as last time I tried to go out when feeling this tired I actually fell asleep while out (yes, at the club at the table...rather embarrassing that...) so, I may be an old biddy and stay home, relax and work on some stuff...or not. In winter we are down to one vehicle so I don't have the option of heading home if I'm tired (our bus service tanks on the weekend) so I'm gonna wing it just see what this weekend has in store and go from there. Maybe some farmers market goodness and some relaxing elaborate meals and some dancing saturday night.

Happy weekend all :)

Alarm kittehs r teh ossum

Last night I spent an hour fixing the internet (again...grrr). I may have fixed it. Maybe. After I upgraded things it was worse than before...it worked this morning again so we'll see when I get home. What is more annoying is that I had work to do that didn't get done instead of this. In the end I finished my "fixes" and went to bed...and forgot to set my alarm. Thankfully hungry kitties got me up, but I ended up sleeping an extra 20 minutes and being ready too late for my regular bus. I considered working out at home, but my runners and all my get dressed-up hair face stuff was in my locker at the gym. So, I got my stuff together and just got on the next bus, and still made it in in time for a 30 minute workout on the elliptical. Not quite the sweaty spin class I'd signed up for, but still good solid cardio. It'll do for today. The point is I *did* it. :)

I had an good visit with my brother and his wife for a bit last night. My SIL has started eating for her "body type" (her latest health approach) and seems to be interested in eating well and making small dietary changes. While I'm leery of any sort of "eat for your type" sort of book, she *is* eating healthier and hopes to do a bit of activity daily soon, so I tried to be encouraging. It's good to see her positive and trying to be healthier and feeling better about it. It can't be easy to be active when you weigh close to 400 Lbs. Every little bit helps. She said she's lost a bit of weight and feels so much better, and that, for me is the most important part - Feeling better. I want to be as encouraging as I can. I'm hoping once the weather is nicer we can go for short walks together once a week maybe...we'll see :)

My brother told me a crazy story about the "introductory" karate class he tried to take recently, which sounded anything but introductory. Here's what I mean - the first part of the "warmup" for the very first class they had to do was stairwell runs up and down 3 flights of stairs with 15 pushups at the bottom each time for a total of 8 times, along with burpees and jumping jacks after. Then they paired up and did basic sparring. Does this sound like an introductory class to you? I know a lot of martial arts is fitness and fine muscle control, but I know I personally would find that a medium-hard workout now, after working out often. My brother does walk on the treadmill every day, but he said he gave it his best and could hardly walk the next day. He wondered if that was what you had to do to begin, who knows what he'd need to do later? Needless to say he dropped the class, as there wasn't much actual karate or introduction to it it at all. Which is a shame - he really did want to try new things, and just seemed to be geared the wrong way. I know I've wanted to try karate and taekwondo and haven't yet because I was afraid of a similar experience...and I'm a lot more active than my brother. I'm willing to work hard for something, but it made me think about how those of us who are more active and fit may do others a disservice when we try to make them jump in too fast or bring them up to a higher level too quickly. Introductory classes should be just that - introductory. Not to mention FUN. Not everyone is comfortable with crash courses, especially when its our body involved. Each person has to try and find what they like to do to keep active, and we need to help them, not make them feel dumb. What they end up liking may not be what we like to do, but they can have an opportunity to really try it out and then decide for themselves.
Soapbox away!
Have a great day :)

oops. Sorry africa. That wasn't supposed to happen...it's just so tasty...

This article in the Guardian UK has reported something I've been wondering about for a while now. I love quinoa, but it doesn't love me so I don't eat it much anymore. Many vegetarian friends of mine do and do so often and its gotten so popular you can buy it at places like Costco. Sadly, our demand for quinoa here in a land where we already have more food than we know what to do with has driven the price of it up so much that those who live in the poorer countries that actually grow it can no longer afford it. Where it used to be their dietary staple, now it is more expensive in some places than chicken. The people who grow the food can't afford to eat it...they get crappy junk food instead.
THAT is messed up.
True, this article is very biased and a bit antivegan, but things like this make me wonder just how ethical our desires are to be healthy are. We see something on Dr. Oz (though, personally I can't stand the guy) and go jump on the latest healthy bandwagon, without realizing how our consumer demand could impact others or the environment. I personally thought the profit from the food would be a good thing and never thought about it beyond that...and it is in some ways I suppose, but it just ends up causing another problem instead.
I admit I splurge on food now that I can. I do eat meat and when I do it's from ethical local farmers. After reading this, it forces me to look at some of my other dietary foods and supplements to see what I might be inadvertently doing to the world and health of others while I try and improve myself. I hope that we all can look for other highly nutritious foods and supplements that are local so that we don't completely screw up our world in other ways. I wouldn't say people are putting the lives of animals over our fellow humans, as things are much more complicated than they seem on the surface...but it makes you think doesn't it?
In this world of plenty we need to think about how our life choices effect each other. I know I'll be looking at things a bit differently in the food world from now on.

Walking in a winter wonderland

Last night was nice. Talk about putting things all back in place. I was able to do a bit around the house, fix (I think...knock on wood) the internet wifi issues we've been having in our house with the new computer and make a nice tasty supper. Turkey pesto burgers (no bun for me) and oven roasted maple/balsamic brussel sprouts. Mmm. It was so utterly gorgeous outside ( about -2C) with soft fluffy movie style snow and J and I went out for a drive, listening to this funky remix of stuff by the Fort Knox 5 (have a listen - seriously so good!!) and then parked the car by the river and went for a nice long walk up by the river through the woods. He's finally feeling back to himself after being so sick for so long and we could just walk and talk and relax and take in all the snowy glowey beauty of it all. There were lots of happy walking people out enjoying the weather. Nice way to end the day :)

This morning I came in for sculpt class form the new instructor again. I like her already. Another solid all over sculpt class, with a mix of all kinds of stuff, even dive bomber pushups (which make me feel totally bad ass). There are a lot of new people int he classes with the new year starting, just getting into fitness and I often forgot how strong I am and how far I've come until I see just what I can do in class in comparison. It's encouraging to see. I am going to be a bit stiff tomorrow, but I know I worked hard, and I can feel my body coming back from christmas. I'm being good, taking it day by day. So far so good. It's gonna be a good day my good peeps. Yes indeedy!

I hope you all have a fantastic day :)

Ah, middle manglement

This morning the spin instructor was away so we had a guest instructor for a boot class. Booyah did it kick my ass...three 10 minute cycles of 30 seconds of different exercises non stop with 2 bouts of upper body weights and pushups in between them. I maintain I can do anything for 30 seconds...but by then end of the cardio cycle I was sweaty and panty...it kicked my butt. As a bonus, the instructor gave low knee impact options for a few things so I was able to go all out and not stress out my knee which is fabulous for me. So many instructors get in the zone and are more advanced and want you to push yourself and forget that there may be a perfectly valid reason why you can't do some exercises...for me things like scissor jumps are not good and having alternates given like lunging step backs made for a great workout for me. I'm kinda dumb and will try and push myself  and often end up having to take time off workouts from stressing out my knee too much...this reminds me to be smart about it and have a solid result. :)

Yesterday was good and bad, with yelly conversations at work (Being yelled at is "fun". Yup -had some PO'd people, but we fixed it in the end), but my first oriental bellydance class of the year helped me dance off my angst and ended up going to bed tired but happy. We learned a bit of choreography for Shabba oriental dance - it's sort of funky street dance, with less focus on style and more on energy and fun, so it was a fun upbeat class. Classes are 90 minutes this term too which is nice...I'm looking forward to more. :)

But I must be off... Lots to do and I have to clean up the aftermath of "yelly monday" and have a few mildly uncomfortable meetings to get to the bottom of things and make sure all my people are looked after, whether they deserve it or not :).
Later taters.

Welcome to crazy town. Population me.

This weekend was something else. Poor J worked pretty much all weekend and I, altho I had great plans, didn't get much done. Yes I took down all the christmas decorations (*sigh*), but then instead, every time I tried to focus on working on my thesis papers I got a heart clenching ball of ansgt in my stomach. Eventually it was to the point where physically I couldn't deal with it and I panicked, curled up on the couch under a blanket...and then...I ate. I focused my whole mind on the feeling and emotion of eating and blocked out everything else. Sure I ate relatively healthy stuff (my weight in rice cakes I think), but I haven't done that in ages. It freaked me out...I'm an emotional eater, regardless of what I try and tell myself. I've worked hard to separate food from life and emotion, because it really is my biggest challenge, but what happened can only really be described as a bit of a binge...I tried to fill the empty angsty hole with food, like it was salve on a wound.

Eventually, I gave up, shook my head and resorted to seeing if I could distract myself and ended up watching old high school vampire movies and scifi (Fright Night, Lost Boys and Starship Troopers) and drinking wierd concocted martinis and babbling with friends online and on facebook...and then thankfully J came home late from work and he dragged me out to dance my blues away. And it did. Dancing and music for me can change my whole mindset. I danced to the songs played by a friend of our friends who was in town for the night playing music and came home happier. Not totally better, since it's not like I got to doing much of anything productive on sunday either, but no attacks. Instead I cleaned house and spent time making healthy meals for the week: red river banana date muffins for snacks, pumpkin carrot bean soup for lunches and mexican pulled chicken (best new recipe I've tried in years) for tonight's lunch, since it'll be rushed with bellydance class tonight.

What have I learned? Well, for one, grad school really did a number on my head. I NEVER want to go back to that level of stress and anxiety again. I need to get some work done, so I need to just face up to it and ease into things and start. Also - I've decided a few things. The next time this sort of thing comes my way I will just force myself to get up and just DO something. Anything. If it weren't hothlike outside I would have gone for a run or a walk, but being trapped inside in -35C can really force you to be creative. I should have done something physical or distracting like on sunday. I could have worked out to see if it changed my mood...I bet it would have.

And so this morning I have gotten up and come in to work out for a sculpt class with a goal for this week...I am focusing on my health. Healthy foods, exercise and day by day hour by hour focus on what is best for me. No more beer until the end of the month, and then, only on the weekends. I need to start listening to what I need, to fill my time with things that help me.  Day by day.

Here goes nothing. :)

what if he comes at you with a pointed stick?

Winter has returned with a pointed stick. "Only" -21C but with the windchill it feels like -32. Which after our little warm spell cuts through your clothes and into your eyes like pointy little cold needles. Brrrrr. It's back to this for a while now...
Courage :/

Spin and sculpt class was good though. I almost ALMOST slept in but I sucked it up, got up gathered my stuff and came in and had a solid workout. I'm tired, but happy. I just keep telling myself that this weekend I'll be grateful for the frigid weather to keep me indoors and let me get some serious work done on my paper. Cold you can bundle up for but cold and wind makes you curl up inside with cats and a mug of tea. J works tonight and most of the weekend so I have no excuses (well none I've come up with yet!).

I think I may curl up on the vent beside my cat when I get home. Geek's got the right idea I think :)

Off to the warm lab for some cool science. Have a good weekend!!
Stay warm taters!

gathering up the loose ends

I'm not as creaky as I feared, just pleasantly (??) stiff in my legs and shoulders. Whew! Last night as I tried to work on my paper (based on my thesis) for publication and got distracted by...well...anything really, I felt really stiff as I went up and down stairs tidying and doing laundry (it's amazing what you can find to do when you genuinely don't want to work). Thankfully it did not multiply overnight and I'm still feeling good. This AM I came in for yelley Mel and her kick-my-ass spin class workout and I feel ready to take on the world. It was hard but I have felt great from the minute I woke up this morning (before my alarm even!) so I pushed myself and just had a great sweaty old workout.
I am amazon. Bwaha.

The next few days will be me holed up  attempting to write my paper for revision my my old supervisor. The last remnants of my MSc. I'd like to say I care as much as I should, but really? Not so much right now. Altho I find the work fascinating I still get anxious and angsty when I think of my thesis and it's hard to let that go and focus on the good work and what needs to be finished up. I will get it done tho.
Tonight I may get a bit sidetracked, as I want to go meet up with my friend Heather for a celebratory beer - she got a new job! THE job! One she's wanted for so long.... and after  4 or 5 months of her life being just AWFUL health and work wise she is finally back to good health and now just got the news about the new job. I am SO happy for her. It's like a new, awesome chapter has started for her and her husband. There must be at least a few woohoos to mark the occassion! :)

I must dash. This morning I have to help someone so I need to read up on just what I'm supposed to be all helpful about so I can do just that!
Have a great day guys!

pyramid scheme

Blogger just ate my post. Gargh. Here we go again...
Our regular evil sculpt instructor has a new job so we have a new sculpt instructor. I love interval workouts and today we did an interval, pyramid sort of workout and I LOVED it. I like mixing it up instead of 10 sets of 10 something and my muscles screaming at me like the old instructor (who still rocked, don't get me wrong). I prefer this, since you still end up doing the same number of things, but you can focus on form and use heavier weights because you're doing one set at a time.
After our warmup we built up the following pyramid of moves, adding one set of things each time through:

-10 pushups (all on my knees - holla!!)
-10 forward lunges, each leg
-10 bicep curls
-10 side bends with weights
-10 tricep extensions
-20 deep squats
-10 shoulder presses
-10 upright rows
-30 seconds of superman/flutter kicks on your stomach
-30 side oblique crunches, each side
-30 side lunges into a woodchopper each side

Then we finished off with 1 minute each of crunches and vsits (I did leg extensions instead). I did the whole thing with a set of 12 Lb dumbells and felt badass. It was fantastic. I did the math on the walk to work after and that is 120 pushups and 120 deep squats, not to mention all the other awesomeness. Wow! I love it. Definitely keeping this workout for a day when I'm not sure what to do. :)

Aaaaaaand, totally off topic...is this not the coolest video? I'vebeen looking for new workout tunes from all over the world and this popped up. The Songza app on my phone is offering up some neat stuff :)

Cha Cha Cha

Last night was boring. Computer stuff. Boo. We are trying to migrate over 100GB of music from our old clunker computer to our new Mac in iTunes before it dies altogether, and admittedly don't quite know what we're doing. J didn't really look up how to and just did it, so I'm staying out of it and offering moral support cuz I have no idea what's going on and don't really want to. Thought we had it, but all the albums are alphabetical and not in track order. If I have to go through all 400+ albums and reorder them you will hear my screams from wherever you live, I assure you. Just a dull evening. I may have to do some online research as to how to to it properly, but I'm leaving that for a bit first and letting J do this - staying out of it for now. Trying to fix something in the middle sometimes isn't helpful. Instead I made muffins instead to occupy myself...blueberry cornmeal. They're yummy.

This AM I came in and got into the spin class. It was a good hard class and didn't bother my lower back much. I added in some lower back raises, side ab curls and hanging ab crunches at the end (which don't hurt my back, ha!) and I feel ready to go for the day. I finally sucked up enough nerve this AM to see what damage I did to myself over the holidays with my "eat all the things" mentality and I'm a bit relieved to know it was only 4 Lbs. That I can recover from. And so, I shall. :)

Tonight is buy all the foods day plus registration for this term's bellydance class and I am very excited. Now that I've redone the basics, I am going to try Oriental style, which I've never spent a lot of time with before. I'm looking forward to a new challenge. I'm also looking forward the fact that this class is at 730 PM instead of 6 like last term...much easier to get to after work and eat and all that jazz. There are a few friends I used to work with in the class too, so I'm looking forward to having more time to hang out with them and bellydance. I miss dancing.

Have a great day guys. Remember, when life tries to pull a fast one on you, just dance until you feel better. Cha cha cha! :)

Enchanted Forest

Last night J found a way to help me shake my mopey funk away. It was the last night of the Enchanted Forest lights at the forestry farm, when you can walk through it (which is my favourite way to see it). J was feeling a bit better from his plague so we bundled up, and I put on my new boots (so warm, and not a hole in sight! On sale too-score!) and enjoyed the balmy winter weather we've been having (only -7C!) and went for a nice 90 minute walk through a snowy winter wonderland. It was great. There was free hot chocolate half way thru and I felt like a little kid oohing and awwing at the lights. When you drive thru you don't have the time to look and enjoy, and you could walk right up to the displays, which was cool. There were some decidedly odd displays, like the walrus next to Santa's village, and the part where the displays overlapped so that it looked like Mary and Joseph were being visited by some gophers. My favourite though, was the angels playing music over an arch of stars and Candy Cane Lane :)
Me giggling in Candycane Lane

This morning I was up and in to workout and made it into the spin and sculpt class. I am quite frustrated that I still can't do any sort of Vsits or abs work where I rest on/near my tailbone, but I improvised alternate moves and I suppose I will just have to be patient with myself. It takes time to heal and I don't want to overdo it. I've just never been sore in this location before. It's weird, and I'm half healed, so sometimes I forget and do something I shouldn't. My body knows best tho - it gives me a smack and reminds me what not to be up to. If anyone knows of some good ab and back exercises that aren't involving the tailbone area I'd be very curious to know what they are. Planks and crunches get boring quick...
Hope you all have a nice winter's day today. Keep warm and carry on :)

Mumma you've been on my mind

I've been a bit morbid lately. I suppose it came through on friday's post on my non-fitness blog. J has been quite sick with the cold/flu and so I have been thinking a lot, with time to get lost in my head. You see, today, 3 years ago was when my Mum passed away, so I get a bit morbid this time of year, with the cold and snow. The song "momma you've been on my mind" has been in my head a lot the past few days. Not mopey...just introspective I suppose. Days like this I wish I could call her up and chat or make some cookies together, you know?

I was sure I was coming down with the plague J has been suffering with a few weeks ago - felt achey and awful yesterday, but after 14 hours of sleep and some fresh baked scones I feel worlds better today. It is only -5 today, so I may take my creaky bones out in my new winter boots for a walk. It is a nice 30 minute walk to the pet store and grocer. Perhaps I will pick up some food for the kittehs and for me. A little sunshine is good for the soul. :)

there was an old(er) woman who lived in a (cold) shoe

Morning taters!
Other than a bit stuffed up I'm still feeling pretty good. Crossing my fingers that the plague will be kind to me. J is still sick, so we shall see.
I was in for spin and sculpt class today and I admit the spin bike was not entirely comfortable in the race position (thanks to the my sore lower back and butt leftover from what is now mockingly being referred to here as the "boxing day shuffle"). Other than that though, it was a solid workout. Tough, but it felt good. Healthy breakfast and I'm off to workytown.
So glad it's friday. My right winter boot which had a small hole in them has now split it's side seam completely so I will finally have time to go find some new winter boots tomorrow. I must say -one warm foot and one cold foot while outside feels really weird. Thankfully it's not super duper cold at the moment...

Totally off topic,  but I want to give a shout out to a colleague. If any of you are interested in some information about whole grains, one of the researchers I used to work with (who does agricultural/crop research) has been working with a new Canadian  information site called the Healthy Grains Institute. They work to provide science backed information about gluten free diets, and the impact of wheat and whole grains on weight and chronic disease. Their new site is up. Have a look around. Science is cool yo.
Have a nice weekend everyone. Stay warm!

but it's a healthy recipe

This morning I dragged my butt out of bed to come in to workout. I did an old bodyrock workout (12 minute magic) with two modifications, since the muscles around my tailbone I injured on boxing day still hurt when I do some things. Tuck jumps became box step ups and switch jump lunges became regular alternating step back lunges. Then I hopped on the elliptical for 30 minutes. I feel great! I missed this...

Last night I had an odd, frustrating conversation with my sister in law.  I was over for supper and we had a nice veg stew with toast. After we had some Japanese specialty cookies for dessert. Then my SIL (who now weighs over 350 Lb and is always struggling with her weight) brought out some Christmas chocolates. Then some homemade nut chocolate balls. I politely declined those last ones. I wasn't hungry and saw no need to mindlessly snack on chocolate, after having overdone it all holiday season. After this she asked why I refused - I said I wasn't interested. She said "but they're healthy - they have dark chocolate in them". She asked me if I'd help her make some other "healthy" treats next week. I offered to: turns out they are a mixture of 1 c each of cashews, almonds and puffed rice, with a spoon of chia seeds all coated in 300g 70% dark chocolate. Damn tasty yes, and while these would be OK for you, I wouldn't really call them "healthy". Especially if you eat them all at in one day. Which, unfortunately she likely will. I know that sounds harsh, and I don't say this to be mean-it's just true. I know this because she said so and offered to split the recipe with me so she'd only eat half. I am not really that interested in eating the other half...but I might take half, and then see if we can both try to freeze half of them for later maybe and both try to save them as a daily treat or something...
But then she said "and if you like that one, I have a healthy fudge recipe".
I just looked at her and said "It's fudge. How can you have healthy fudge?"
She replied "But it's a healthy recipe. From a dietitian's blog."
Again I replied "it's fudge"
"but it's healthy"
"it. is. fudge."
"fine...whatever. you don't have to make it" she muttered.
I tried to explain to her that the idea of healthy fudge is really a false idea. Fudge, even healthified is not a "healthy" snack. I refuse to be persuaded to say it is just to make her feel better about her poor food choices. (Plus, I admit I just don't like fudge much).

So I ask you guys - was I off base here?
It seems to me that if you have a sweet tooth and a weight problem you are trying to address, the last thing you need around your house is a pan full of fudge, "healthy" or otherwise. I admit I'm not big on sweets (altho I love me some peppermint dark chocolate) so the thought of a pan of fudge really makes my stomach churn to begin with. And I admit it made me angry. SIL is always commenting on how she is frustrated and jealous that I'm thinner and pushing me eat more whenever she wants a treat and "oh just have a bit more" and "drink fruit juice instead of water" when she does so she's not alone in doing it and it frustrates me. She's asked me in the past how to reduce calories in her diet and I've offered comments like cutting out some juices, and stopping the endless mindless nibbling on candy and chocolate and she says "but I like that stuff". Yet she is frustrated that she cannot seem to lose weight. She sleeps with a sleep apnea machine and can no longer walk a long distance or up lots of stairs anymore. Everytime she tries to exercise she stops because it hurts. Her health worries me. Yes they eat healthy meals but she snacks all the time on crap. She knows she needs to find healthier snacks. To me this would mean fruit, or a granola bar, or hummus and veg or something like that.
To her it means "healthy fudge".
Thing is...I made a new years resolution regarding my sister in law that I would no longer ignore or pander to her deluding herself with poor food choices. I won't offer opinions unless asked, and this fudge thing is just one example. I can't have "just a little of anything" and neither can she, so that isn't a valid suggestion. Any ideas about how to respond to something like this without being rude? Now that I'm done my thesis I'll be over there visiting a lot more and this will come up a lot. I don't want to be condemning or rude about food, because I've been there and hate that kind of thing. But I want to be honest with someone who isn't always ready to listen to the answers to the questions she asks.
Any thoughts??

holiday over. boourns.

This morning hurt. I'd like to say I was up at 515 no problem and hammered out a workout, but I couldn't properly fall asleep until 2AM and then slept poorly all night. I kept waking up to the snoring coughing of my J who is still not well from the plague he contracted over the holidays...which I think I am finally falling prey to. I have a sinus sort of headache today and feel alternatively warm and cold at the same time and just lethargic. So, I did not workout this AM, altho I am going to do *something* like a workout this evening when I get home. My back and butt are still a bit sore from falling down the stairs on boxing day, but I think I can do a decent workout without hurting myself by now. It's been a week since I worked out and I feel it. I feel like I've put on some pounds over the holidays and feel blechy from all the junk I've been eating lately, so I'm looking forward to just getting back to healthy food and more activity. Especially if I'm going to get sick and feel even more blechy for a few days. We shall see...

Hope you're not all finding the first day back at work as tiring as I am. I could just crawl back under the duvet for a few hours... :)