Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Easy Way Out...

Alright...I really need to get something off my chest...and since this is my blog, I don't think there's a better place!

Within this past week I have had two people approach me and tell me that they feel I have taken the "easy way out" with regards to my lap-band surgery.  While I feel I don't need to justify to anyone the reason why I chose that route, I feel I just need to get it off my chest.

By no means have I taken the easy way out.  I had to go through a very tedious process to even be CONSIDERED to be put on the list for the surgery!  I had to go to classes bi-weekly and hand in my food and exercise journals.  I had to lose a certain percentage of bodyweight - I had to prove that I could do some of it without the surgery. 

Let's also not forget the 5-6 times that I trained with Ben and Kendra...they put me through workouts that were so intense that I could hardly walk most days.  I also had to do the dreaded three week pre op diet - which in fact, was the hardest thing by far that I had to do.  I was on 900 calories a day...three Opifast shakes and all the green veggies I cold eat.  Still to this day, I am still unable to eat green beans.  And - throughout this pre op diet period, I didn't miss a workout.  I even worked out the morning of my surgery at 7am!  Yeah - it was a pretty tame workout, but a workout nonethless!

The lap-band by no means, is a quick's only to be used as a TOOL.  It has taught me to eat more slowly and savour each bite.  I have had my "stuck" issues and have been freaked out - but have learned from them.  I am still able to eat those nasty "slider" foods too - and that's something that I've been trying to train myself not to do. 

So there - I'm done...and I won't be discussing it anymore - if you feel the need to say to me that I took the easy way out - please keep it to yourself.  You have no idea what I have gone through to get to where I am now. 

Alright...on to my was BUSY!!  My workouts were friend Angela joined me in spin class on Monday - she was a trooper and did so well!  Tuesday and Thursday I did Kendra's Bootcamps...Wednesday I tried another class at the YMCA which I actually wasn't really fond of - so I will be doing Wednesday evenings on my own from now on.  On Saturday I went to the YMCA for an appt with one of the trainers there to show me how the FITLINXX System works.  He sat down with me for 30 mins and discussed what my fitness experiences have been.  He helped incorporate some of the exercises I have learned from Ben.  It went a lot quicker than I thought as Ben has taught me well.  It's going to be awesome to be going back to some of the exercises that Ben and I used to do.  In fact, I went to the YMCA this afternoon, and tested it out.  I was excited to be doing lat-pull downs and seated rows again!  I am also thinking of picking up another class - a cycling one that is held on Sunday mornings...I can't believe it, but I think I am getting addicted to cycling/spin...who knew!

Work has been CRAZY...but yes, the answer is...I am still happy and know that it's been the best decision by far that I have made. 

Woohoo!  I'm getting my exercise routine back...I am starting to feel more confident and definitely more happy. 

Happy week everyone!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My week in a nutshell

I can't believe September is more than half over!  In just a few weeks, we will be digging out the parkas, mitts and boots...where did the summer go?  I can't believe how quickly it has flown by.

I checked out my first spin class ever on Monday.  The class itself is called Turn and Burn.  About 70 percent of the class is on the bike and the other percent is spent doing strength/resistance exercises.  I was worried that the biking would be hard on my knees...boy was I wrong!  It was a great overall workout - great cardio!  I enjoyed the strength training exercises too - even if planks were involved! lol...The instructor was awesome too - she went around to each participant and made sure they had their bike set up properly - this made me feel secure knowing that she knew what she was doing.  She was also really enthusiastic and was also great that my buddy Lorraine joined me - I can't wait until my next class - tomorrow!

My Tuesday/Thursday bootcamps with Kendra were the usual crazy brutalness - Tuesday we did TRX and Thursday we did kickboxing with heavy weights.  It was the last two classes until the next round that starts this Tuesday - so she kicked it up a notch.

On Wednesday, I went to my Lap-Band Support Group Meeting.  We spent most of the class talking to each other about our experiences - it was neat to see all of the support we show for each other.  Wendy, one of the dietitians, brought a few receipes that were on the Lap-Band Connect Website - she actually cooked them and brought them in.  I think I enjoyed the Pumpkin, almond oatmeal the best!  I was also happy to see that the Health Region is putting more funding into the Calgary Weight Management Program.  Not only are they funding 50 surgeries for this upcoming year instead of 25, they are also in the planning stage of looking for an exercise specialist or personal trainer for the program.  I think that would be awesome and a great resource!

Friday, I was supposed to have my fifth fill.  After waiting for almost three hours, it was decided that there was a clerical/scheduling/communication glitch and the surgeon was in fact, not coming.  I was pretty annoyed to say the least, as I had taken time off of work to go there.  They are supposed to be rebooking me for this upcoming week.  I think I am finally getting close to my "sweet spot" - which would be great as the weight is not coming off as quickly as I woud like.  Last month, for instance, I only lost two pounds...I was a bit upset and frustrated when I was talking to the dietitian about it.  She told me that at least it wasn't going up and was going in the right direction - that I am doing what I am advised to do that that's all I can do.  Then she told me I need to be more gentle with myself.  Uhhh...she obviously doesn't know who she is talking to lol...I can't believe the amount of people in the last 6-8 months that have told me that - including my surgeon.  I'm not expecting rapid weight loss - in fact, I don't want that at all.  But two pounds in a month???  Give me a break!!

Friday evening I headed to the YMCA...all by myself!  I started out on the eliptical and rocked it.  I was surprised how great on my knees it was.  I then proceeded to do three rounds on the strength training machines.  I did it by myself and I am proud.  I have come a heck of a long way since the beginning of this year.  I am no longer nervous about doing it on my own - I can't wait to get hooked up with the FitLinxx System...then I will REALLY rock it!

Saturday I went to my early kickboxing class and loved it.  After that, I went and got my knees x-rayed.  They have been giving me a lot of problems lately.  They are now scraping - bone on bone.  I see my doctor in three weeks to go over the results and figure out what the next step is.  I just want some progress made - I want to be able to run up and down the stairs and not be in pain.  Time will tell...

Saturday evening, my friend Shane and I went to the Stamps game.  It was great to people-watch and have a great time and relax...unfortunately tho, they lost - they can't seem to win at home and nobody seems to be able to figure it out. 

This week I am looking forward to pushing myself more - I am capable of doing anything I set my mind to.  I can do it and I AM doing it.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I've sure been busy this week!  In fact, I worked out six days in a row...three out of the six days I did Tabata.  Don't know what Tabata is??  See below...

From Wikipedia:

Tabata Method

A popular regimen based on a 1996 study[2] uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

Doesn't make sense?  Well basically Tabata is performing an exercise for 20 seconds on, then 10 seconds off - and doing that 8 times!  On Monday, Damir had us do Tabata in Bootcamp.  We each had a station we had to do - everything from cycling, to pushups, to plank rows, squats...I think the hardest one for me was the pushups - doing pushups using the Tabata protocol is killer - at least for me anyway.

Tuesday I opened my big mouth and told Kendra how much "fun" I had in Damir's class doing Tabata - so...of course she decided to teach a Tabata TRX was insane...

Wednesday, my friend Lorainne and I headed to the YMCA and did a Muscle Works Class.  While I did enjoy the workout - to tell you the honest truth, I'm not a big fan of the instructor.  We both had a hard time understanding anything she was saying - and she lacked something big...enthusiasm!  I'm so used to Ben's charged up classes and the intensity and enthusiasm that he shows each and every time he instructs a class.  And boy do I miss it. 

Thursday I was back in Kendra's class and yup - you guessed it...we did Tabata again.  I thought for sure by the end of the class that I was either going to pass out or throw up or  I sure slept well that night!

Friday I took a much needed rest day...I went out after work with my co-workers and was great!

Saturday I was back at it and went to kickboxing.  My partner had to leave part way through the class, so I had Damir for the last half.  My hands and wrists are still sore from punching so hard...I think I will need to wrap my wrists and hands the next time for sure!

So...basically - I am back to my routine!  I'm back to working out 5-6 days a week minimum and it feels so good!  Today I was exhausted, but it felt good inside knowing that I have worked very hard.  The past couple of months have been kind of hard for me to find my groove again and get back into my workout routine - but I'm glad it's back! 

My nutrition has been better too...I still slipped up a little, but they were just little ones...nothing really overboard - besides...with all of of my workouts, I would have burnt that off in no time!

I feel good...and I'm happy... I'M BACK!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Moving Forward!

Wow...what a week...and I made it! 

I'm also happy to say I've been feeling more like my "old" self again, and when I mean "old" I don't mean my age.  I am starting to feel like I am in more control of my emotions and actions and more in control of my life.  For the past few months, I really haven't been putting forth as much effort towards myself as I would have wanted.  I let my emotions get to me.  I lost sight of why I am really doing this journey in the first place.  Yes, I want to be healthy...yes I want to be happy...but most of all, I want to be in control.  I want to be able to decline the piece of cake at work and be okay with it.  I want to be strong and capable of anything I set my mind to.  I know I have all those attributes I just listed - I'm just having "issues" putting them into play.

Monday I tried out a new bootcamp.  My friend Jacquie found a deal off of Living Social - 20 fitness classes for 20 bucks.  Jacquie was gracious enough and gave me her other passes that she had.  The Bootcamp is called FitBody.  The look on my face must have been priceless when I walked into the place and was watching the current class...the first thing I saw they were doing were bearcrawls - I immediately started panicking a little inside.  I had done bearcrawls with Ben at Alive - and hated them.  We met the instructor Chris and he told us what the class would consist of - then Jacquie blurted out that I wanted to do bearcrawls! yeah you guessed it...we did bearcrawls, and tractor pulls and side planks, and shoulder presses, just to name a few...the class kind of reminded me of Damir's bootcamp classes...lots of body weight drills and you feel like you just walked out of a torture  The thing I loved most about the class, was that I was able to do just about everything I was asked to do and I did them well.  I killed it on the bearcrawls too - and yes...I actually really liked them!

I woked up on Tuesday with pain in my lats like I have NEVER had before...and I was excited.  I always love it when my muscles hurt as I know I have worked hard.  I did Kendra's bootcamp class that evening and we did a tonne of TRX lats have never had it so good! lol

Wednesday I went and saw my doctor about my knees.  He gave me a requisition for another x-ray as he thinks the osteo has made more degeneration in my knees since my last x-ray a year ago.  Depending on what the x-rays show, the next step would be cortisone injections.  I think I would rather have Synvisc injections, but I will see what happens.  He also wants to get an MRI done too.  That will be up to a year wait to get that done...should be fun!

Thursday I did Kendra's class again...only three of us showed up, so we were at her mercy...we did tons of pilates drills, using our small core muscles and such.  We also did lots of shoulder work...must be why my shoulders are still sore three days later!  Good on ya Kendra!

Yesterday, Damir's Saturday morning kickboxing class started up again.  I was excited as my Saturdays used to be dedicated to classes of some sort...He put me with a great partner (Jessica) and it was not only a great workout, but I laughed and had's been such a long time since I've had fun like that in a Saturday class...I can't wait for next Saturday!

And today...I am very happy to say...I finally joined the Shawnessy YMCA!!  Brian and I went together - I started off on the bike - did 20 mins on that, and then we proceeded to work out together.  I also got myself acquainted with some of the weight machines and Brian helped me out to get me to feel more comfortable using them.  I've been so used to having Ben guide me and show me how to do everything, and for the first time on my own today, I think I did pretty damn good!  I am also really looking forward to doing their classes too!  Who wouldn't love to walk or run on a treadmill and watch a movie through their I-pod or whatnot? experience there was very positive and I'm really looking forward to going back and getting back on track.  The front desk girls name was Samantha too!  I cracked a grin when she told me what her name was.  That was awesome.

So there's my week in a nutshell...I'm still loving my new job and am damn good at it.  I am starting to really love my new routine and I know that in only a short time, the weight will start to melt off again. 

I'm excited...bring it on!