Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lazy Runners Playlist

My jogging playlist is a big help to me when I feel lazy.  The upbeat tempo of the songs keep my feet hitting the pavement to the music and I'm starting to know the words to most of the songs and try to sing what I know out loud to see how my breathing is.  In most cases, I probably sound like I'm wheezing or something other than singing but in time I hope I can at least get one chorus belted out.

These are the 16 songs on my "lazy runners playlist"

  1. Mr Brightside by The Killers
  2. Baby Hold On by Eddie Money
  3. Go All The Way by The Raspberries
  4. King Of The Rodeo by Kings Of Leon
  5. The Immortals by Kings Of Leon
  6. California Waiting by Kings Of Leon
  7. Rock The Cradle Of Love by Billy Idol
  8. That Song by Big Wreck
  9. Dreams by The Cranberries
  10. Sweet Child O Mine by Guns N Roses
  11. Shake It by Metro Station
  12. My Sharona by The Knack
  13. Who Knew by Pink
  14. Psychosis by The Refreshments
  15. Please Don't Leave Me by Pink
  16. Stuck In The Middle With You by Steelers Wheel
The one thing all these songs have in common is a fast beat that encourages my feet to follow the music.  I've purposefully called this my "lazy runners playlist" because there were days I really didn't want to run and would actually talk myself OUT of running!  I was aiming for a beat that my feet can move to without having to find my own pace (because I'd be too lazy to even try).

Monday, July 29, 2013

Not Giving Up!!

I know it's been a whole week since I blogged but believe it or not I've  been keeping up with the challenges!  I'm sweating up a storm, exhausted, got a few aches and pains in my old woman body but I'm still holding strong!

Committing to so many 30 day challenges this month wasn't the best idea I've ever come up with.  The only thing I can say is I've really struggled to keep up.  There were some days when I just couldn't do the number of squats or push ups that were required but I did as many as I could before collapsing on the floor.

As for the weight... sigh, at this point I really do have to dig out the measuring tape because though I've been eating about the same if not less amount of calories, it appears I've put on about two and a half pounds.  Now I can rest assured that it's muscle weight, ya, saying that almost makes me want to laugh out loud, but like pretty much every woman on a weightloss journey, I've got a pair of pants that don't quite fit and that have become my "skinny pants" that I aim to fit into even if I'll never wear them again.  Well, I am fitting into my "skinny pants" though not as comfortable as I'd like, but this time I can zip them up (I won't attempt to button them in case the button pops and flies across the room).

I've purchased a stronger probiotic tablet with 10billion whatever they are and been taking them daily this past week.  Can't say if I see any difference with my insides so I'll have to wait and see.  Been eating more apples & grapes but also baked banana muffins and blueberry muffins.  Loved the banana muffins, but the blueberry not so much.

I doubt in August I'll start over with the challenges, I notice I get bored real fast of the same ole same old so I'm going to give the Zombies Run app a whirl since I've had it on my ipod for a while and have yet to use it.  Also read a real good article in Prevention Magazine (love that mag!!! got a free subscription on Zinio, thank you very much) the article has a link to a walking/jogging/running for fitness I think it's also a 30 day improvement ... dare I say.... challenge!   I've got a pretty descent playlist I found on Pinterest that has quick songs with upbeat tempos that are supposed to help a runner keep pace so I'll give that a whirl too.  I seriously need to keep changing things up or I'll seriously give up!!! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Magazine Help

I purchased another health & fitness magazine on Zinio last week!  I did it so quickly that I forgot I should have done it from the pc and not the ipad.  I figured I'd probably have to beg for the subscription like last time but lo and behold, after I made the purchase, not three seconds later there was my magazine!  ooohhh..... ahhhh....  Yes I am happy.  Glitch fixed, customer satisfied! 

I currently have a subscription to SELF magazine but unless you are between the ages of 18-25, and stick thin already, you won't get much else out of this magazine.  I do like the hair and make up tips for hot days, and there are some pretty cool exercise routines (all done by size less than zero skinny model) but it gets annoying sometimes to read them.  If the person doing the exercises were a trainer (with some muscle tone and not just skin on bone) then perhaps I'd feel more in tune with the article.  Ok or perhaps it's just chubby me hating on the skinny chick, so what, I'm cranky today ok, leave me alone!!  I'm allowed a cranky day!

The new mag I purchased was Fitness.  And so far I really enjoy that one!!  It caters to everyone and the models in the mag look like they just finished eating a sandwich.  I'm happy with that purchase.  Now I'm just waiting for the so-called- "free" subscription to Shape magazine.  I know, I need all the help I can get so even if I don't get it free, I'll likely buy it from Zinio, they really made me happy not to have to beg for my recent subscription... but if they hold out on delivering the Self magazine I promise I won't lose sleep over it!  Ha!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Plastic Canvas Lot

I've been frequenting ebay & etsy for craft supplies to replenish my stash even though my stash hasn't really run out of anything.  Ok so that's not entirely true.

Tony and I took a trip to Walmart last Saturday because he had to pick up something or compare something or something whatever.  While we were there I scurried off to the craft section and snatched up the last 19 sheets of plastic canvas!  The standard 7 count canvas sheet sold for $0.87 each, and to think the dollar store tried to sell me them for a buck!  ha!  Little did they realize I know how much to pay for them and it's never ever a buck.  I found some on etsy & ebay but the shipping in super insane.  Sometimes I just want to send the seller a message to say "LOL, you can't be serious with that shipping cost eh".  But I don't do that, I just think it to myself and giggle.  Anyway, I tried to buy a ball of yarn while at Walmart but Tony caught me red handed and claimed I didn't need any more so he whisked me away. 

With August being the month I usually get started on all the christmas ornaments I need to make, having the extra plastic canvas is a relief.  I think I only had about 3 or 4 sheets left and that wouldn't be nearly enough. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Not Giving Up

Yes it's been close to a week that I have blogged.  Not because I didn't want to, or that I was hiding something, more like I just was a bit overwhelmed. 

As I mentioned in my last post (that I had to read to pick up where I left off) my friend rewrote my 30 day challenge but I tossed it out.  I feel it defeats the purpose of doing the challenge if I can't do it properly.  So I'm sticking to it as it's written but still doing them in intervals of 10 or 15 now that I'm getting some strength build up in my so called "old body".  I still can't believe she called me old!  I'm still walking too and really enjoy them but now I'm searching for some uphill streets to walk for a bit of a boost.

The squats are still murdering my hip even though I know I'm not doing them properly simply because I can't squat all the way as I should because my hip yells NO!  So I only go half way but enough to feel it work some muscles (or dissolve some fat, whatever it's doing).

The no junk July isn't as bad as I thought.  I did have a couple of banana muffins I baked but not many and no chocolate or chips!  So I hope that wasn't considered a "cheat" but if it was a cheat... ah so what!  I'm still hanging in there.  Still haven't bothered with sugar anymore now that I've got the substitute sweetener, and the decaf coffee seems to have me down to one large cup a day as opposed to three large cups when it was caffeinated!

We're in the midst of a heat wave here in Montreal so what was I doing turning on the oven and baking, that's just craziness!  The past couple days our temp was 31*C but feeling like 40*C with the humidity (that's about 88*F but feeling like 104*F).  I can't stand it!  I know I said I wouldn't complain about summer if winter ever went away but I can't help it.  It's too hot! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Munchies, Exercise And The Sun

It was my intention to blog before now but my mind has been just too cluttered so I've been preoccupying myself with other things.  I won't get into the other things but here's how my week went:

I'm still hanging in there with the no junk July though at this very minute I could use a snack.  I bought fruit and honeycomb cereal to eat dry as a snack but I really want potato chips, truth be told.  

  I've been trying to determine whether I'm allergic to the sun or is my skin just reacting when I wear sun screen.  Thursday, my arms broke out in another hives like rash and I'd only been in direct sunlight for about ten minutes while waiting for the bus...and it was like 7am so not the real deadly hot sun either.  I had put sunscreen on my arms so it may be that's what causes the breakout because this time my face didn't rash out because I hadn't put any sunscreen on it.  So... Hmmm... My arms didn't rash out until they came in direct sunlight so it could be the rays reacting with the sunscreen and my arms are the innocent victims.  Sigh.  

I've been keeping with the 30 minute walks.  I find them very refreshing now and not really a chore.  I actually look forward to them and take photos while I'm out.  The push ups are more than difficult at this stage of the game. As well are the dips and the squats.  I'm struggling but not giving up.  I'm handling the dips better, so I guess my arms are gaining strength though I do them in intervals of ten between the arm curls and the push ups.  The squats murdered my hip on Thursday.  I can barely walk so a friend of mine suggested I limit the squats to 25 or 50 but not the 105 I had to do on Thursday. At least Friday was a "day off" or rest day so it's feeling much better as long as I don't stand up and put all my weight on it.  My friend is also re-writing the 30 day challenge for me by putting everything on one calendar and adjusting just the squats, she suggested modified jumping jacks to fill in the rest just to keep me moving..... Then she said I was too old to be doing so many exercises.  Wow.  She called me old and I'm only 44.  Sheesh. I'd unfriend her but she knows me too well.  HA!

I haven't weighed myself yet but I find I have plenty of energy... I'm bloated from the heat so I'm afraid the scale will laugh at me but I'll check on it tomorrow.  Will definitely weigh in this weekend.  

Not giving up.  But please don't tell me "no pain, no gain" as I may inflict real pain on the person who does say it!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Killing Me Softly

Tuesday morning my exercise began with a ten mintue brisk walk to warm myself up then I jogged for 20 minutes.  It felt really good and I didn't try to talk myself out of exercising either!  The July challenges have me so hyped up and excited to lose weight and get healthy that I'm talking myself into keeping it up and stop complaining about how I really could go for a bag of gummy bears or some strawberry twizzlers!  

After I finished my jog, I was able to log that off the list of exercised to do and then I started on my 100 squats.  It takes me quite some time to do them so in between "sets" of whatever number I can do, I get busy on the last challenge... the arms!   I did ten pushups - struggle ups is what I prefer to call them because I'm seriously struggling with them.  At one point I was laying on my livingroom rug and giggled because I felt like that guy in the Fabreeze commercial sniffing the carpet.  Ha!    So I did ten pushups, then I did ten squats, then I did ten more pushups, then ten more squats.  So now the pushups are out of the way.  Basically after another 30 minutes, I had completed the 100 squats, the 20 pushups, 30 dips, 50 bicep curls but I used the one pound weight because after the pushups and the dips my arms were limp noodles and the 3 pound weight seemed to weigh a ton.  Then I finished off with 40 punches.  Hmm... lets see if I can find the image to that challenge... And in case anyone is wondering.... that is about as much torture my forty four year old body can handle! 

My hip beat the crap out of me while I tried to sleep today.  Every time I rolled over it felt like someone was pulling my leg off.  ouch.  It wasn't the run that did it, more like the run combined with the squats.  Today I'll just walk and do the squats I think running was a bit of a stress on my old hip bone.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013


I really want to get the most out of the next 30 days so I've been bundling up on a lot of exercise challenges.  Funny, all you have to do is google "30 day challenge" and a whole bunch pop up in the results!  Or just check out your facebook feed, they always stick a couple in the unwanted advertisements.

Anywho, my legs, bum and thighs need all the help they can get so I've been doing the Drop It Like A Squat 30 day squat challenge. 

Looks easy but it's not, but I'm going to stick with it.  It takes me a real long time to complete 20 squats so imagine on day one having to do 50!  Ya, I laughed when I saw THAT number.  I did 20 then took a breather, then did 10 more, then took a breather, then did 5 more then took a breather and kept on doing that until I reached 50.  Monday I rested, so today I get to beat my backside 100 squats!  By the end of the month I'll be the squat queen or insane.  I'm aiming for squat queen!

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Minute In Susan's Mind

Maybe it's because I'm a coffee lover that I can actually tell the difference in flavours of simple regular coffee.  The usual brand I buy as instant coffee is Maxwell House as it has a smooth taste, even if its a decaf, half caf or regular roast.  Unfortunate for me, I was unable to find it in decaf at the grocer I went to so I purchased Tasters Choice decaf instead.  I guess I should taste that brand in regular blend before I complain.  Oh just ignore me right now, I'm bored and surprisingly I'm not eating because I'm bored like I usually do.  Huh... Well what do you know!  I guess cutting sugar took away the craving or was it the exercise or posting my before photos?  I don't care, I'm just glad I'm making progress!  

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Caffeine Withdrawl And More!

I haven't had a descent cup of coffee all month.  Ok so technically we are only four days into the month but still....

That Caf-Lib made it's way to the back of the cupboard as the go-to jar in case of emergency.  I did manage to pick up a jar of decaf coffee so at least I'm getting the flavor of REAL coffee now even though my head misses the caffeine.  Yes, I've had a monster of a headache for three days.  Caffeine withdrawal is a .... hmm. 

I've been keeping up with the walking and have picked up a new app that I'm going to try out.  Problem with the Walk Watch app that I've been using is the GPS reception is terrible.  If it's installed on a cellphone then ok, but I'm using an ipod touch so it doesn't accurately tell the distance travelled or the calories burned since that's based on the travel distance, it only correctly gives the time it was in use.  So this morning I walked for 45 minutes, I was tired from work, so took the bus half way and walked the rest of the way home to get my exercise in but without the accurate GPS, the Walk Watch app said I walked 45 minutes, burned 20 calories and travelled less than a half mile.  That's just stupid!  I know the distance was more like 3.5km but since the app didn't pick up a GPS signal, it started when it finally was able to connect to someones free wi-fi.  Usually when I use this app I'm in an area with great GPS so it picks up my full distance, but sigh, when out of the GPS "zone"...

I've got an app that's a pedometer, and has a tempo that can "tick" if I choose not to listen to a playlist.  It also is supposed to calculate calories, distance and speed so we'll see how it works out and I'll give it a review over the weekend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sugar Free & Decaf

Caffeine free for the month of July. Yes as it appears I'm torturing myself for the month of July.

No junk food.

No caffeine.

No sugar.

I had toffee coated peanuts tonight but they were peanuts so I guess you can say I searched for the healthy part of that snack and became oblivious to the toffee coating. Not good eh. sigh. It was a weakness, the dried fruit wasn't on sale but the nuts were!!! ya, lame excuse too.

I purchased some Cafe-Lib which in my confused mind was thought to be caffeine free coffee. In fact it's caffeine free coffee-wanna-be. It has a nice malted coffee like taste but I put too many sweetener packs in it so this cup tastes gawd awful. It's not the first time I've had Caf-Lib, it's really a coffee tasting beverage it's just that I'm so used to drinking Maxwell House, and the store didn't have decaf so I opted for Caf-Lib.  Not really a big mistake but I can taste the difference in my coffee you know being a coffeeholic and whatnot.

Out with the sugar.  I had initially been going sugar-free for quite a while but then ran out of the substitute sweetener and the container of sugar was right there..... Sugar just adds unnecessary calories and I only really use sugar in my coffee and when baking, otherwise I have no need for it.  Problem is I never picked up more sweetener when I ran out of it.

I'm really going tough on myself in July and here's why: I need to get cracking on that 20 pounds. I know quite a few folks who are doing a shake challenge or a zumba challenge or are gearing up for a marathon. All of this is in some way giving me a kick in the butt to get cracking. LOL that sounded like a butt joke.  If I make changes then I may just stick to them or if I can't keep up, hopefully I'll at least consider a healthier alternative (like dried fruit mix instead of toffee coated peanuts).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

No Junk July

So while reading RSS feeds of the blogs I'm currently following (I'm using the Byline app as it caches the blog along with any photos so I can read offline, Feedly doesn't do that, even though it has a cute look to it).  

Anyway, I came across The Sassy Pear blog (click the link, check out her blog, it's well worth the read) and since I'm reading old posts first so that things will make sense to me, she was starting a junk food free June.  Wow wish I'd thought of that.  Wish I read stumbled on that blog sooner. I ate so much Cadbury Crispy Crunch chocolate bars in June it's just not funny.  So I'm starting the no junk July! (thanks Sassy Pear!)  

Ahh yes, crispy crunch chocolate bars sell in the double pack for $1 at the Dollarama.  And since I conveniently have to pass one on almost a daily basis, you could say I've secretly been dating the crispy crunch chocolate bar.  We were in a serious relationship all of June to the point that ice cream sandwich got jealous and kicked me to the curb.  Sounds pathetic doesn't it.  sigh.  But it's the truth.  I've counted my calories for quite some time now on the Lose It app, and though the count is more ball park than accurate unless I actually weigh everything and manually input serving size/nutrition information, but it's been helping me eat less and reconsider some of the things I've been eating.  Unfortunately, even though each and every day I add the 380 calorie chocolate to my list of snacks I ate, I still keep on going back for another one the next day. 

Did I feel guilty?  Probably not, I was blinded by love of chocolate!

My Mom used to love crispy crunch chocolate bars.  If I'm not mistaken, I think she still does.  Perhaps it's hereditary?  I'm indulging in these chocolates because I inherited the crispy crunch craving gene from Mom?  

Anyway, July will be a no crispy crunch month and I have The Sassy Pear to thank for helping me kick the habit!


When Reality Hit Hard

I've always looked at people's before & after photos wondering what went through their head that gave them the "push" to make a healthy/physical change. 

Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook, a before & after photo of her daughter.  I will admit, my jaw hit the floor upon seeing the before photo.  I've been so accustomed to seeing photos of her after her lifestyle change that seeing a before image was .....


Yes... motivating! 

I've been so ... hmm... what's the word.... shy? self-conscious? clueless?? embarrassed?? Well, they all fit at this point.  All I can say is, in April of 2010, we had a Family Reunion of such and there was plenty of food, music, fun, you know.  When I seen some of the photos of myself, I noticed how round my face looked.  I had just begun to re-grow my hair from a short pixie cut and at that point it was pulled back into a pony tail only to enhance my round face.

That's me in April 2010. 

The following Monday I started jogging after reading online  that evening how jogging (or brisk walking) are a quick way to lose belly fat, make your heart and lungs healthy and to lose weight!  I lost 10 pounds that year and I was happy with it.

Fast forward to 2012.  My husband and I went on a cruise.  Yes I over ate but that's not the point, the point is how I saw myself in one photo in particular.  I could make excuses that I over ate, or that I was standing on an awkward angle  because the other photos we took have me looking not too shabby but truth be told.... I did not like that picture!!! 

That's me in May 2012.

The following Monday I started jogging again and lost 20 more pounds between then and now.  I had started jogging and had done so for a while until one early morning after a night of a beautiful full moon, the sun was rising,  birds were chirping, it was bright and the moon was still visible... I was jogging on the street and did not notice the sidewalk because I was looking up at the sky (my head in la la land) and fell onto the sidewalk injuring my hip so jogging had to be put on hold... so I turned to exercise videos on YouTube and succeeded in dropping the first 20 pounds.  Now I want to get 20 more off of this current photo...

This is me in May 2013.

I admit, had I not seen the photos of my friend's daughter, I'd never have had the courage to put these online.  But she motivated me without even knowing it.  I think I'll head on over to her Facebook page and thank her!  Now that my photo is "out-there" there's no turning back!  That last 20 pounds is going to be history!!! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 1: Walking

Week one wasn't as bad as I thought.  It amazes me how motivated I am just about walking.  I used to love jogging, still do, but since I injured my hip, jogs have been few and far between.  I'd been doing exercise routines at home but I get bored of the same scenery after a while.

So as I was saying...  My first week of walking went like this: Saturday was day one.  I know it should have been at the beginning of the week but this is how it turned out so I'm not going to fix it if it ain't broke!
  • Saturday I walked in the rain for 32 minutes.
  • Sunday I walked for 25 minutes.
  • Monday I didn't walk (excuse=thunder storms).
  • Tuesday I walked for 27 minutes.
  • Wednesday I walked and jogged a total of 47 minutes.
  • Thursday I walked 45 minutes.
  • Friday I walked 36 minutes.
I did not weigh or measure myself yet because I'm afraid to know the truth! Ha!  

Now on to week 2.