My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Sleep Update

As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I am making it a goal for September to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.  I have actually been working on this one for a while now, since I finally got fed up with feeling so tired all the time.

looking forward to sleep

I’ve been listening to a number of health-based podcasts, and it is surprising how often the topic of sleep comes up as a key to good health.  The general consensus seems to be that adults need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.  I found this on the web:

hoursofsleep

One podcast, “Life in Focus” with Dr. Alessandra Wall & Christopher Browning, actually suggested that teens might need as much as 13 hours of sleep at night, given how much their bodies and brains are growing and changing.  Guess I shouldn’t nag my 16-year-old who could sleep the whole day away  :)  Seems like he is just letting his body do it’s thing!

Anyways…adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep.  Until I stated focusing on getting more sleep, I averaged somewhere between 6 and 7 hours of sleep.  Getting 7 hours or more was quite rare, and tended to only happen on weekends when I didn’t really have a set time to get up.  Since making a conscious effort to get more sleep (and actually setting an alarm to let me know it’s time to start thinking about going to bed – more on this to come in a future post), I have been doing quite a bit better.  It also helps that we are still in summer vacation mode, and don’t have to get the kids ready for school in the morning, so hubs and I have been sleeping in a bit and not getting up for work as early as we need to during the school year.

Here’s how my last week of sleep looked, as tracked by my Fitbit:

hours slept
Not too bad, if I do say so myself!  I hit my 7 hour target all but one night, and even then I came pretty close.  Wednesday I got some bonus sleep, as I was feeling totally run down, and decided after presenting to a client all morning that I was just going to go home and nap instead of going back to the office.  I don’t get to nap that often.  It was awesome and I slept like a rock!  I really should try to squeeze a nap in more often – maybe not a 3 hour nap, but a half hour every once in a while might be nice.

Here is the detail of my sleep.  The lines show times when I was either restless (blue lines) or awake (pink lines):

daily breakdown

Even though I’m hitting my 7 hours, I still have some work to do on my sleep quality.  I seem to wake up at least once very night and some nights I seem to be quite restless.  Not really too sure how to improve the sleep quality.  Guess I will have to hit up Google and do some research.

I’ve got one more week of “summer mode” and then it’s back into “school mode” when I have to get up about an hour earlier than I am now.  Losing that hour will make it challenging to get my 7 hours.  I will just have to make it a priority to get to bed earlier.  That should be interesting!

Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night?
Have any tips on how to improve your quality of sleep?

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September Goals

sorry-ive-been-slacking-copy

Hello blogiverse!  Remember me?  I’m your friendly, lack of posts, slacking blogger!

I’ve really been wanting to post, it just hasn’t been happening.  I think I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself to create the perfect blog post, which just stresses me out and in the end, makes it so nothing gets posted.  I am going to try to get over that and let myself just write and post and not worry if it’s perfect or thought-provoking. :)

So, this is going to be a quickie post about some goals I am setting for myself for September.  I ended up setting these goals after reading a post by a blogger who I follow who has also been a little slack in the posting department.  You can read the post here, by Cassy at Journey to Awesomehood.  She set some goals for herself that inspired me to do the same.

So, here are my goals for September (I’ll start now, since September is just around the corner – HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?)

My goals:

  1. Get back to blogging 3 times a week.  I know I have said this before, but as I stated earlier, I’m going to cut myself some slack and just blog and not get stressed about the process.  This is supposed to be a fun thing for me to do, and stressing out over a post totally defeats the whole purpose.
  2. Get back on track with eating well and to my macros.  This summer, and August especially, has not been great for my diet – and by diet I don’t mean eating less to lose weight, I mean eating to fuel my body and activities.  I am trying to eat to certain macro targets for fat, carbs and protein based on my current weight and workout levels.  I’ve got MyFitnessPal all set up with my specific targets and I’m entering what I eat (for the most part), but not eating towards my macro goals.  I need to get back on track with that and give the plan a chance so I can actually see the results through changes in my body.
  3. Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.  This one will be hard, but I know if I do it I will feel so much better.  I’ve been listening to a number of health based podcasts, and reading a few books, and they have all been saying the same thing….Sleep is key!  Key to performance levels (both at work and in the gym), key to overall health, and even key to happiness.  I know I don’t get enough sleep and I’m really starting to feel it.  I’m exhausted all the time;  I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning; I’m yawning all the time; I look like crap; and I’m tired of it.  So, my target is 7 hours of sleep a night.  Ideally, it would be even more than that, but I’m going to start with aiming for 7 and go from there.

So, there you have it.  My goals for September.  They have been in my head as things that I need to do for some time, but actually putting them down in writing and getting them out into the world will hopefully make me more accountable and keep me on track.

Have you got any goals for September?

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Spending Saturday on the Lake

i am writing this post as I bob around Sturgeon Lake watching my kids sail in the Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club annual Civic Regatta. 

  
It’s a perfect day for a regatta. A nice mix of sun and cloud with a decent amount of wind. 

  
Our kids are having a great time sailing with their friends and practicing their skills. 

   
 
So far three out of a possible max of 8 races have been completed. 

We will have to wait until prize giving tomorrow night to see how they did overall, but so far between their two boats they’ve gotten a couple of thirds and (if they didn’t get DQ’d for crossing the line early) maybe a second!  

Regardless of how they finish, I’m confident they will have had a great day on the water. 

Life is good!

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I’ve Discovered Podcasts!

podcasts

I think I am late to the podcast game…but better late than never!

What lead me to check out podcasts was Julie Foucher.  She is a CrossFit Games athlete who was injured during this year’s regionals (tore her Achilles) and ended her professional CrossFit career.  This was going to be her final year competing at the CrossFit Games anyways, since she is going to Med School to become a Family Physician.  Her injury put her into retirement a little earlier than planned.  I would imagine she had already planned on doing her podcast, but the injury might have made it go live sooner rather than later.  He podcast is called “Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher“.

JF Health

Julie believes that “every person has the right to basic knowledge of how to optimize their mind, body, and spirit”.  So far there have been 6 episodes (well, 7 since #2 was a 2 part episode), with most of them being with CrossFit people and she also spoke to her surgeon who fixed her Archilles.  I’ve enjoyed it so far.  She has great conversations with her guests, and always asks these 3 things:

  1. what 3 things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest impact on their health
  2. 1 thing they struggle to implement that could have an impact on their health
  3. what a healthy lifestyle looks like to them.

It’s been pretty interesting hearing what everyone says and i look forward to new episodes being added every few weeks.

The second podcast that I’ve been listening to is Harder To Kill Radio hosted by Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo.  .

harder to kill radi

On Harder to Kill Radio, Steph is talking to the best experts in fitness, nutrition, sleep, and mindset so you can apply their lessons to optimizing your own health and wellness.  Steph wants to give us info to make us harder to kill and be unbreakable humans.  In each episode, she asks her guests what they think is the #1 ingredient for building an unbreakable human.  The answers so far have all be different, yet all amazing.

One episode of Harder To Kill Radio, I can’t remember exactly which one, Steph’s guest mentioned a book they found helpful – The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin.  I have this book on my iPad but haven’t read it yet, but listening to whoever it was talk about it got me curious and I discovered that Gretchen Rubin actually has a podcast!  So…

The third podcast I’m listening to is Happier by Getchen Rubin.

PodcastHappierLogo

Gretchen took a year and dedicated it to becoming “happier”.  Her book – The Happiness Project – documents how she went about becoming happier.  On the podcast, she and her sister Elizabeth discuss things and habits that can make us happier.  Each week, they give a “Try This At Home” task.  I’m enjoying this podcast and plan on implementing the “try at home” tasks very soon.  (more on that in a future post)

I’m sure there are a ton of other great podcasts out there that I would enjoy and hopefully as I get more into this whole medium I will find more to add to my listening lists.

If you haven’t listened to these podcasts yet, give them a try.

Do you have any podcasts you like that I should give a listen to?

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Countdown to Vacation!

Seems like I didn’t do so well with blog posts last week.  :(  I thought about it a few times, but then life got in the way and I did other things!

My kids are in the midst of enjoying 2 weeks up at the cottage with their Nana…so this has left hubs and I empty-nesters…and we’ve been making the most of it. Of course, when you don’t have kids to worry about, the first thing you do is…get your mind out of the gutter…the first thing I did was finally drag him to a CrossFit class!  Rory did the baseline assessment a couple of weeks ago and then initiated his 2 weeks free last Monday – on his birthday!

We went to class 3 times together last week.  The first class he was very nervous as he still didn’t know what to expect in a real class – his baseline test was done one-on-one with a coach, so this would be his first experience working out with other people around and doing the WOD.  He looked quite uncomfortable as we waited for class to start and just kept pacing around.  Once we got into class, I think he settled in quite nicely.  Coach Ernesto modified and scaled both the strength and WOD portions of the class so Rory could get a good workout in, but live to WOD another day!  At the end of class, Rory was a sweaty, exhausted mess, but admitted he liked it and finally got what I have been talking about for the last 2 years.  Once class starts, everyone works on their own thing and no one pays attention to how much or how little you lift, and they cheer and encourage you to finish the WOD. We did 2 other classes together last week and did another one yesterday.

His two weeks free is up at the end of this week and he’s got a few more workout planned.  We go on vacation next week (wohoo!), so I’m hoping when we get back, he will sign up for at least 6 months and give CrossFit a real chance.   Fingers crossed.

Aside from CrossFit class, we also enjoyed going to a movie…which we haven’t done in a long time.  I honestly don’t remember the last show we saw together in a theatre.  We went to see Trainwreck with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.
trainwreckWe love Amy Schumer – her weekly show on the comedy network is hilarious!  We laughed out loud quite a few times and both really liked the movie.  It was a nice way to hang out and Rory liked that he didn’t have to lift anything heavier than a glass of coke and popcorn!  I didn’t realize that Amy Schumer wrote the script until I saw it in the credits.  She is a pretty talented chick!

This week the kids are still at the cottage and we are busying WODing, golfing, and dealing with a sick cat.  Ovie seems to have developed a cough. I took him to the vet yesterday and we have antibiotics and some other cough medicine for him. He does not enjoy getting his medicine.  It is a 2 person job where hubs wraps him in a blanket, trapping his paws, and I try to open his mouth and fire in a syringe full of meds.  It is quite a production!  Hopefully he improves quickly, otherwise we will need to do x-rays and blood work to the tune of $400!  Other than coughing once in a while, he seems otherwise unaffected.  Here he is helping me work from home today:
OvieTonight I’m golfing with my league and I hope we don’t melt out there!  It’s 31 Celsius, feeling like 35 with humidex (that’s 88 and 95F for my American readers!) and there is a heat warning.  We have decided we will be taking a cart tonight since it’s just too damn hot to walk, and I’m pretty sure we will be enjoying a few on course beverages.  It’s important to stay hydrated!

I will be rounding out my week with CrossFit class Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rory is going to his first class without me tonight while I’m golfing.  Not sure when else he will go to class as he golfs tomorrow and has ball on Thursday. Hopefully he can sneak out of work a bit early and come to 4:30 class with me Friday before we pack up and head out for our annual vacation week at the cottage.  Can’t wait!

These next 3 days can’t go by fast enough for me. Come on, Friday!

How’s your week looking?
Got anything fun planned for the upcoming weekend?

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Growing Old Together

I saw this amazing video posted on Facebook today.  It shows a young couple, about to be married, and through a great make-up team, ages them to 50, 70 and 90 years old.  It’s quite touching to see their reactions to each other as they “age”.  You can read the article that goes with it here, or just click below and watch the video.

Rory and I have been together for 26 years, and in 3 weeks, we will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary <3.  Over the past 26 years, we’ve changed…a LOT, but it’s been so gradual, you don’t really notice it.  Looking back to when we got married, I’m pretty sure I never gave one thought to how we would look when we got older.  I wonder if our reaction would have been similar if we’d gone through the instant “aging” process.  Even now, when I think about it, I have a hard time imagining what we will look like in 20 or 40 years.  One thing I do know is that I’m very happy I get to grow old with Rory, and can’t wait to see what the next 40 years have in store for us.

Love you, baby!  xo

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WODing and Golfing

So, when last we touched base, I had convinced hubby to finally try CrossFit.  Well, I’m happy to say he survived, and has agreed to try it for 2 weeks (for free) and then decide if he’s going to sign up for real.  His two weeks start next Monday (on his birthday!), and we’ve signed up for the 6:30pm class together.  I’m excited to get to workout with him, and then after class, I will take him out for a nice birthday dinner.

workout with a friend

Before we go WOD together on Monday, we get to golf together on Saturday.  We are playing in a charity tournament with our friends Pam and Mark at Wooden Sticks…an awesome “copy cat” golf course.  It has holes from some of the top courses from around the PGA.  It should be a fun afternoon and I’m really looking forward to it.  I’m going to need to watch this video for a hole by hole run down of the course.

Speaking of golf, the weather cooperated on Tuesday and I was able to get out for my weekly EWGA league night.  We missed the week before due to torrential rain, so it was nice to get out there again.  I even managed to play a decent game, shooting a 46. I think my best before was a 49.  Between that, and shooting a decent round (99) last Sunday, my handicap has dropped!  I’m getting closer to the 2nd flight.  Not sure I will make it, but I’m making progress!
27.1I’ve got my second round match play game next Tuesday.  Hopefully I can keep the good stuff going.  Fingers crossed!

Okay..bedtime.  I’m reading a new book and hoping to read a few chapters before I can’t hold my eyes open anymore.

Sweet dreams!  

What are you reading these days?

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Motivational Monday – Get Off The Couch!

Happy Monday!
motivational-monday1.pngAs you probably know, I’ve been doing CrossFit for a few years now….and LOVE it!  I faithfully go to class 4 times a week and would go more if I could fit it into my hectic schedule.  I love being in the gym, learning new things, lifting heavy shit, and being inspired by all the other great athletes I work out with.  The hour I spend in CrossFit class is usually one of the best hours of my day.  Then I come home from the gym and tell hubby and the kids all about it.

My kids have come to friends and family days a few times with me, and my youngest has gone to a CrossFit kids class and loved it.  Read about his first class here.  Despite asking for 2 years now, I have never been able to convince hubby to come to the gym with me.  He’s reluctant,  He says he “doesn’t want to drink the kool-aid”.  I was okay with that, so for Christmas a few years ago, I bought him all the stuff he needed to WOD at home – a rack, a barbell, 300 lbs of plates, and we already had a pull up bar, dumbbells, a treadmill, and nautilus machine.  He had everything he need to workout at home.  Except he didn’t.

I threatened him a few times that if he didn’t start using the stuff, I was going to get him a CrossFit membership.  For a few days after that, he would make an effort and head downstairs to workout when I went to the gym.  Then he would stop and assume his usual spot on the couch, watching tv and working on his laptop all night.  Not the most active thing he could be doing!  He does play slo-pitch a few times a month as a spare on a team in the local men’s league, and in the winter he plays hockey once a week with his buddies, but I think he needs to be more active…to get up off the couch and do something.

bring-a-friend-1

He has a birthday coming up and I’ve been mentioning the idea of a CrossFit membership as my gift to him.  He’s still not convinced he wants that, but I have finally gotten him to agree to at least give it a try.  So, tonight at 6:30 he is going to come to they gym with me and when I do my WOD with the class, he is going to have a one-on-one introductory session with Coach Ryan and do the CrossFit baseline workout.  (To read about my first visit and my Baseline test, click here). Once hubs does his Baseline, he will get 2 weeks free to try out classes and see what he thinks.  I’m hoping once he tries it he will like it as much as I do and we will get him a membership so we can go to class together and be one of those sickeningly cute CrossFit Couples!  LOL
CrossFitCoupleCarry

I will let you know how it all goes.  Send positive vibes around 6:30 please! :)

Do you workout with your spouse or partner?  

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Running Sucks

I used to run…a LOT.  When I first started blogging most of my posts were about training for half marathons, and long before I started blogging, the year I turned 40 I ran a full marathon.  So, I am no stranger to running.

Funny thing is, I never really liked it.  I did it, but I’m pretty sure I never hit that runner’s high you hear about.  Every run was a challenge.  It didn’t seem to get easier and any improvement seemed minor.  My fastest half time was 2:29:55, just under my goal of 2:30.  See here for that race recap. That half was pretty much the last time I ran any great distance.  Just after I joined CrossFit I signed up for another half and started to train.  I got 2 runs into my training schedule and finally accepted the fact that I don’t like running and decided to stop.  I sold my bib for the race to a friend and haven’t looked back.  I don’t miss it at all.

Now, the only time I run is when it’s programmed at the gym.  Yesterday was one of those days.  The WOD was Jerry:
jerryThis was the first WOD of the summer with a lot of running in it.  There was one earlier in the spring, but my back was still bothering me, so I rowed instead.  Lots of people cherry picked and skipped it.  I must be going crazy in my old age, because I changed my schedule around so I could go to the gym and do this WOD. I’m not sure why I did that, since I know running is not a strong point for me.  I guess I did it to prove that I could.

running wod face

The first mile took me 10:40. Not blazing speed by any means, but around what I was expecting.  The row started out not too badly.  I just focused on keeping my split time in a zone and keeping my strokes per minute lower rather than higher to try to conserve some energy.  That row was not fun, and my legs were screaming at me towards the end, but I finished in 9:55.4, which isn’t too bad considering the only other 2k row I did was just a row by itself and it took me 9:42.4.  The last mile run sucked HUGE!  I ran the first half mile non-stop and then walked a few paces at the turnaround just to catch my breath.  That last half mile was awful, but I knew it would be over soon and I just kept my eye on the driveway of the gym, knowing every step got me closer to being done.  In the end, I finished the WOD in 34:11.  The last mile was definitely slower, but I didn’t make note of the time I left the gym to know exactly how long it was.

I was not fast.  It was not fun.  But I finished.
running is fun when its overMy legs are very sore today.  Hopefully today’s WOD will help loosen them up.  This is what I have to look forward to tonight:
wod july 10We did this one back on March 10th and I liked it.  My pistols are coming along, although I don’t think I’ve done them since then so hopefully my legs will be able to handle them after the rough week they’ve had.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to head up to Wasaga Beach and watch my fellow CFNC members compete at the UG Series Beach WOD.  The weather is supposed to be great so it should be a fun day enjoying the sun, the sand, and cheering on my friends.

Happy weekend, everyone!!!

Anyone out there dislike running as much as I do?

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Making Changes

Bad-Blogger

Well, it’s been 2 months since I posted a blog.  I am really not doing well with posting at all this year.  That needs to change.  I need to find someway to fit blogging into my life again.  I really enjoy it, but it seems to be the one thing that gets bumped in my hectic life.  I am going to set a goal of 2 posts a week for July, and if I post more than that, then it’s a bonus.

So, let’s get to it!  :)

One thing that should help me get some time to blog is that I am officially caught up on Game of Thrones.  Why did I wait so long to watch this show?  I friggin’ LOVED it!  I did not love that they are killing off all my favourite people, but other than that, what a great show!  Anyways, now that I’m not watching GOT on my lunch hour, I can use that time to blog… at least I hope that will be the case!

I think I mentioned before I disappeared for 2 months, that I was doing the Whole Life Challenge again.  This time, along with following the challenge rules, I also followed a macro plan given to me by one of the coaches at the gym.  The challenge is now over (thank god!) and I finished with some slight improvements.  I lost a few pounds, lost a few inches from my waist and hips, and improved my workout score.  All in all, it was okay, and although I didn’t lose as much weight or inches as I did on my very first challenge, at least I lost and didn’t gain, which tends to happen to me as we get into the summer months as BBQ’s and beers become more frequent.

Towards the end of the challenge my coach changed my macro plan.  The first set of macro targets they gave me was based on the Eat to Perform calculator.  It gave me a lot of calories each day (2136), and I actually had a hard time eating enough to meet my targets ( 215g carbs on workout days, 105 on rest days, 150g protein, 75g fat).  Probably with about 2 weeks left in the challenge, I was given new targets based on the If It Fits Your Macros calculator.  My coach says this one is better for women, and it gives me quite a few less calories, mainly from a much lower fat target (1606 cals, 201g carb, 110g protein, 40g fat).

Even though the challenge is over, I am continuing to eat to my new macro targets.  It’s actually easier to do now that I’m not restricted by any WLC rules.  I can pretty much eat whatever I want, as long as it fits my macros!  I’ve been much more successful with these new targets, and with a little planning, and some creative snacking, I’m coming pretty close to all goals most days.

I have had to make a few changes to reduce my fat consumption.  Breakfast used to look like this:

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Baked sweet potato topped with taco meat, veggies and 2 fried eggs.

and now it looks like this:

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Toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with light herb cream cheese, sliced ham and 1/2 cup of fried egg whites.

And at the end of the day, when you have a bunch of macros left to eat, you get pretty creative with your snacks:

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10 jalapeno stuffed olives, 4 slices ham, and a Skinny Cow chocolate and vanilla drumstick!

All in all, at the end of the day yesterday, I was right on with my carb target, and just under my fat and protein, but I’ll take that!
IMG_4475I’m sure there will be a few more changes that I need to make along the way, but so far, they have all been worth it!

changeHave you made any changes lately?  

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