Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back home!

We are home again after a FABULOUS trip. I will be doing a few posts about our trip once I've gone through all the pictures (we have 670 so I need to do some serious editing!) but for now I'll just say it was great! We had no issues - all (7!) of our flights were on time, our baggage was never lost, we had no issues with pickpockets (Barcelona in particular is notorious for thefts), and saw and did so much. We had so much fun and everything worked out so well. We were gone for 10 days, but one day each way was a solid 24 hr travel day, which left us 8 days in Europe. We spent 3 days in Barcelona, 3 days in Paris, and then 2 days in Madrid. Of course, parts of those days were taken up with travel too, but we managed to squeeze in an amazing trip into the remaining time! We did lots but also took time to relax too. It was the ideal chance to reconnect with my husband - exactly what I needed.

Hmmm...summary of our trip: 6 days of sunshine, 1 day of clouds, 1 day of rain, 4 museums, amazing architecture, good espresso, lots of wine, and delicious food - baguettes, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, crepes, olives, and tapas. All the food we had was so good! Interestingly, there seemed to be very few overweight or obese locals. I think, in general, the European mentality is very different from the American/Canadian. They seem to subscribe to the "have better, but less" concept, rather than the "more is better" ideal we have over here. Portion sizes are totally different - take bottled drinks for example; soda pop and juice come in much smaller cans than we have - and are probably much closer to what a portion size should be.

We walked a TON, but other than that I didn't do any exercise. I also ate and drank a lot. All good stuff, all worth it. The upshot is that my pants still fit, but are a bit tighter than than when I left. According to the scale this morning I am up about 5 lbs, which is ok by me (though 10 days of indulgent eating is the max I would want)! This morning I went to the gym and then went grocery shopping for some good, healthy food. Back to normal routine. :)

Our vacation was amazing, but I'm ok with being home now too. I guess that's a good thing.

I am still going through the photos but here is a sneak preview! This is me in Paris with the best ice cream I have ever tasted in my entire life (It's French luxury ice cream made by Berthillon. I had Salted Caramel, Evan had Mint Leaf. They were both amazing).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vacation Plan

Today we spent the day getting ourselves down to Seattle and are currently holed up in a Super 8 right next to the airport. We can hear planes flying in and out every few minutes - hopefully we will able to get some sleep! My earplugs might come in handy tonight... We have a 5 am wake-up call and a 6:30 shuttle for our 8:30 am flight. We are first flying to Philadelphia (5 hours) then onto Madrid (2 hr layover + 8 hr flight) and then finally to Barcelona (4 hr layover + 1 hr flight). It is going to be a LONG DAY!! But then we'll be in Spain :)

Last night I was too tired and busy packing to do a proper pre-vacation post so here goes Part 2. I wanted to jot down some thoughts about how I am going to handle weight maintenance while I'm away. Well...I'm going to enjoy myself but make sure I choose things that are worth it. I'm going to eat all the delicious food (and drink the wine!) Spain and Paris have to offer since this is a once in a lifetime opportunity! I am not going to track or worry too much, but I'm not going go crazy either. I will use my jeans as a guide - I hope they aren't too tight by the end of the trip. Realistically I will probably gain some weight, but since it's only 10 days I hope it won't be too much damage. And we plan to walk A LOT so hopefully that will help a little. Either way this is only 10 days of my life and the day I return I will be back on plan!! I will be back at goal weight for sure by the end of April (when I HAVE to weigh in and WW) but hopefully I can get back before then.

This trip comes at a good time for me. I have been pretty stressed lately about some work and life issues. This will be a perfect opportunity for me to relax, unwind, and spent some quality time with my husband. I am going to try my hardest to make the most of it!

I'm not sure when my next post will be - maybe not until I return. Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Just a quick note to say we're off for Europe! We are driving down to Seattle tomorrow and spending the day (and night) there before we fly out early Sunday morning. We will land in Madrid and immediately fly to Barcelona. Then we'll spend 3 days in Barcelona, 3 days in Paris, and 2 days in Madrid before we fly back home! I will be taking lots of pictures and will share my adventures on here when I return. See you in 11 days! Until then...

Hasta la vista!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Workout Music - Refreshed!

It's been a couple months since I put together my last gym playlist. I loved having upbeat songs to workout to and found it really motivating. But it's time for a change now. Here are the new songs I've added to my mix:

Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe
The Wanted - Glad You Came
Hedley - One Life
Train - Drive By
Rihanna - You Da One
Kelly Clarkson - What doesn't kill you (Stronger)
Shakira - Whenever, Wherever
The Rapture - Whoo! Alright, Yeah, Uh huh
Tegan and Sara - Northshore
Earth, wind, and fire -September
Allstar Weekend - Dance Forever
Iglu and Hartly - Day Glo
Fulanito - Pegate
Gym Class Heroes - Stereo Hearts
Maroon5 - Moves Like Jagger
Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA

I like to work out to songs that are fast and upbeat. I find it really helps keep my energy up. I put this playlist together today and will try it out this week. It might need some tweaks, but we'll see how it goes! Should freshen things up!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Accepting a little support

There are soooo many great things about losing weight; being able to walk up stairs without being tired, buying new, cute clothes, and living with more confidence and less regret! But there are also a couple things that aren't so great. Like trading in a pair of large, firm breasts for the smaller, saggier version. In losing 70 lbs I went from a DD to a small C. To be fair, I can't complain too much - my body is still proportional. I have a new, smaller waist to go with my smaller chest. But there are times that I feel a little sad about my newly "deflated" chest.

Luckily I have a brilliant sister. When I was visiting her last month (and complaining about my small boobs) she suggested I buy a push-up bra. Such a simple idea. When I had double D's there was no way I could wear a push-up bra. But totally works. I got a pretty, uh, big one. I went with the double push-up. Honestly, it's pretty padded and not an "everyday" bra, but it's very sexy and makes me look like I have my old girls back! Perfect for those days that call for a little extra omph ;-)

Sorry if this is too much info for anybody, but I think it's a real issue for those of us who have lost a substantial amount of weight. For a comparison, here is me in the same shirt with my regular (slightly padded) bra and my new push-up.

Push-up bra

Regular bra

It's funny, before I took the pictures I thought the difference was much more. I mean, there definitely is a difference, but it's not as major as it feels when I'm wearing it. I guess that just means it's more about how I feel - the boost is more mental than physical! Looking at these photos I actually like how I look in my normal bra - they aren't as small as I thought. But either way, it's nice to know I can have a bit of a lift on the days I want it :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Whew - what a week!

Wow - it looks like another week has flown by! Honestly it was a bit of a tough week for me. Not in terms of being healthy, but just in general. I've been in kind of a funk lately. Part of it is work stuff and part of it is random life stuff. As a result, I haven't actually been sleeping very well lately. Usually I'm a really good sleeper but lately I've had trouble falling asleep and/or waking up in the middle of the night or very early morning and not being able to go back to sleep. I'm hoping things will be resolved soon and I will feel better!

The good part of this is I've been able to get in all my workouts in. Since I'm awake at 6 am I've gone to the gym a couple times before work, which is very rare for me! Also I've needed the stress relief so I've been going regularly after work or in the evenings. This past week I've crushed my 5 km (3 mile) record on the treadmill - I did it 3 times: the first time 28:10, second 27:50, and the last time 27:05! Being able to run 5k under 30 min was always my goal so I'm super happy with this. I also tried a new class at the gym - it was called Knockout. I thought that meant it would be kickboxing. WRONG! It meant a crazy Latino chick yelled at us for 1 hour straight, wanting us to do crazy cardio moves faster than anyone can move. It was so tough it was laughable (the instructor actually got mad at me for laughing - I couldn't help it!). But I went with a friend from work and we had a good time and got a good workout. I'm going to try to go to one class a week at the gym to switch up my workouts! The rest of the time I'll continue with my new muscle building workouts. I've also set up a standing gym date with one of my friends one evening a week. Always good when I can combine hanging out with a friend and being active!

I've eating pretty well this past week, embracing the 80% eating smart and 20% little bit of leeway mentality and it seems to be working. This morning my scale said 143 lbs, which is definitely a happy weight for me. I feel strong, healthy and slim. I love being able to wake up in the morning and know that I can wear whatever I want, not just the clothes that are a little looser! At this weight I am 5 lbs under my WW goal weight. I'm not going to set any more weight loss goals for myself but just keep on working out and eating smart and see where my body wants to end up. Besides we leave in Europe for a week and I plan to indulge a bit! So it's great that I am at a good weight when we leave - gives me a bit of room for croissants, crepes, churros, and sangria!! (If you missed when I mentioned it a couple weeks ago, we are going to Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid for 10 days!)

I've taken a couple pictures of my eats this past week. Sometimes I wish I took more pictures, but then again, this blog was never meant to be about my daily eats. So I take pictures when I remember, but it's pretty sporadic. Nevertheless, here are some of my meals from the past week.

Carrot Ginger Soup and a Tuna Melt

Dijon Asparagus

Baked Vegetables
Also I didn't take a picture but I did make and eat another batch of Kale Chips. I have decided I really like kale in chip form (it's a great carrier for oil and salt, and healthier than potato chips!).

On Tuesday, I went snowshoeing with my lab up on Seymour Mountain. It was a gorgeous day. Here are a couple snaps:

Then today Evan and I we went skiing up on Cypress Mountain. On the drive up we stopped to take a couple pictures of the city.

Vancouver really is a beautiful city!!

At the mountain:

Me and my new skiis!
I bought new skis this year and this was my first chance to try them out. Up until now I was using the skis my parents bought me in Grade 4 or renting - I was in desperate need of an upgrade! Now that I have my own gear I hope to ski more often - maybe next year we'll get seasons passes. I love skiing and am actually pretty good now. It's amazing how much my skiing improved as I got fit! Another NSV :)

I think that's all for now. This next week I'm going to try to update this blog more frequently with shorter posts, so it doesn't all just come out at the end of the week in a super long one! One week until we leave for Europe!! Time to wrap up the last few details and start to figure out what to pack... Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gym Check-up

Whew! We've been sooo busy since I last posted Wednesday. Thursday we had dinner with family, Friday we attended a friend's birthday party, and Saturday we went to a friend's housewarming. Today we ran some errands and I'm relaxing at home this evening (yay no plans!). It looks like our busy trend will continue into next week. Tomorrow we are having dinner with friends, Tuesday I'm going snowshoeing and out with my work, Wednesday we are having friends over for game night, and Friday we are meeting my parents for dinner. Whew, that's a LOT of eating out. Maintaining my weight is soooo much hard when I have to eat out socially. Oh well, I'm trying to keep the indulging under control and just make it through this crazy period.

I had an appointment with a trainer at the gym this morning and got a "check-up" as well as a program refresh. Last time I met with this trainer was back in June. Here is a comparison of my stats then and this morning:

                        June, 2011                                  March, 2012
Weight:             155.6 lb                                       145.8 lb
% Body Fat:      31.9%                                         30.3%
lbs Fat Mass:     49.6                                             44.2
lbs Lean Mass:   106                                              101.6

So I've lost 10 lbs since my last appointment, including 5 lbs each of fat and muscle (obviously, it's not great to be losing muscle, but it happens). Now that I'm at a happy weight I really just want to focusing on converting some fat into muscle. Ideally, I'd like my body fat to be a little lower, maybe 28% or so. I also talked to the trainer about the strength training I'm doing, to try and make sure I'm targeting all my muscle groups. Now that I'm going to the gym at least 4 times a week, she suggested I do a striated workout where I focus on certain body parts each day.

Each time I go to the gym I want to workout for about 1 hour, broken into 30 min cardio and 30 min strength training (this is a more strength training and less cardio than I'm doing right now). Here are the days and exercises my trainer suggested.

Strength workout A: Chest/Back/Core
Lat pull-downs (back)
Seated row (back)
Pullovers (back/chest)
Chest press (chest)
Assisted chin-ups (upper body)
Crunches (core)
Bicycle crunches (core)
Plank (core)

Strength workout B: Shoulders/Arms/Legs
Shoulder press (shoulders)
Side shoulder raise (shoulders)
Tricep press (triceps)
Bicep curls (biceps)
Leg extension (quads)
Leg curl (hams)
Calf raises (calves)
Squats (glutes)
One leg glut lifts (glutes)

Each day I'll use the foam roller on my legs/butt to help with my IT band problems.

I'm going to try out these two workouts doing 3 sets of each exercise, 8-12 reps each, and see how long this takes. As I said, I want this to be about 30 min total, so we'll see how it goes - this might be too many exercises for 30 min! I plan to go to the gym 4 times a week, so I'd do program A twice, and program B twice each week. I'm going to do pretty heavy weights to build a little more muscle and then I just want to maintain it. I already am starting to see some definition but I wouldn't mind a little more!!

I'm not going to be too rigid and just use this as a guideline. There might be days when I want to do a class or something to change things up!!

If anyone has any suggestions on this program please leave me a note in the comments!