My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

Thinking About Sleep

If you’ve been following along, you know it’s been one of my goals for a while now to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.  Sadly, I have not been too successful at this. In the month of October, I got 7 or more hours of sleep only 11 times…and most of those were on weekends, which leaves me a tired kid during the week.

I really need to get my sleep under control.  The last couple of weeks have been especially rough.  My Fitbit shows many periods of restlessness and times awake each night.  It is starting to take its toll on me.  I’m tired all the time.  I’m tired in the gym, lack energy during the day, and just not feeling like I’m coping very well.  I barely held it together in a WOD last week, when i was on the verge of tears over wall balls!  I know I hate them, but they shouldn’t make me cry.  That’s a sign that things aren’t good.
suck it up

I’ve been reading and hearing about the importance of sleep in just about every blog and podcast I follow.  I saw this great video by Everyday Paleo‘s Sara Fragoso and Doc Parsley.  They talk about the relationship between poor sleep and stress and it really hit home.  They talk about the stressors that we face every day and how they impact our sleep. They also talk about how all repair in the body happen when we sleep, and if we aren’t getting enough sleep, things don’t repair properly, which leads to more stress on the body, which leads to poor sleep, and the cycle continues.  They suggest a few techniques to help break this cycle:

  • be aware of your stress
  • deal with it during the day to sleep better at night
  • let your body “come down” to allow for better sleep (meditating before bed helps)
  • practice deep breathing techniques

Basically do whatever you can to deal with the stress, so you can have a better sleep and let your body repair itself, so you are better able to deal with the stresses that come up the next day.

Here’s the video…it’s well worth the 5 minutes.

I’ve got a few things I’m going to try to do to help improve my sleep:

  1. Go to bed on time!  I tried the sleep alarm to tell me to go to bed, but it just didn’t work  Every night it would go off at 10:45 and I would just turn it off and continue to do whatever I was doing – usually finishing up whatever tv show we were watching.  Realistically we watch so little live tv, I could just finish whatever we are watching at another time.  I am going to change the alarm to 11 and really try to go up to bed when it goes off, and give myself 30 minutes to get ready for bed, foam roll, and read, and then lights out by 11:30 at the latest.  I know this should all start earlier, but I want to start with something realistic and then start moving the bedtime process earlier little by little.
  2. Listen to Meditation Minis twice a week.  I discovered a podcast with little 10 minute meditations.  It’s called Meditation Minis with Chel Hamilton  I’m going to try to add this to my half hour bedtime routine a couple of times a week just before/after I turn out the light.  I’m hoping that by getting relaxed and in touch with my breathing it will make me “ready” for good sleep.
  3. VALUE MY SLEEP.  I just need to accept the fact that I need more sleep and make it happen!

Hopefully these 3 things will be easy to implement and stick with, and will all help me get better sleep, which will in turn make me happier, healthier, and as Steph Gaudreau says, “Harder to Kill”!

Do you have any techniques to deal with stress.

How much sleep do you get every night?

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Lilyhammer

Happy Friday!  I’m so glad it’s the weekend.  Two days with no commute into the city and not much planned other than kids’ hockey. I’m hoping I can get caught up on some sleep and maybe even have a nap at some point!

Tonight has been a Netflix night. We finally watched the season finale of season 3 of House of Cards.  I didn’t like this season as much as the previous two and it took us a while to get through it all, but we finally finished.  I think there is supposed to be a season 4.  Not sure when it comes back on, but I’m sure we will watch to see where they take it, since we’ve invested all the time watching these first 3 seasons.

After we finished House of Cards, we watched an episode of Lilyhammer.  This is Steven Van Zandt’s show about a New York mobster who goes into the witness protection program and moves to Lillehammer, Norway.  I heard of this show when it first started back in 2012.  He was on Q107 talking about it.  I had pretty much forgotten about it, but then a few weeks ago hubs saw it on Netflix and we thought we would give it a try.  It’s pretty good.  It’s like Sopranos meets Fargo. There have been 3 seasons, so we’ve got a few more episodes to catch up on.  Not sure we will ever get into a Lilyhammer binge, but an episode here and there should be fun.
lilyhammerI’m off to the gym early tomorrow morning – 8:30 class.  Not crazy about that since it is early, but Jacko has an 11am hockey game, so our usual 9:30 class is a bit too late.  Class tomorrow looks like a good one.  Bench press as the strength and then 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Burpee box jumps, dumbbell thrusters (ugh) and sit ups. Sounds tough, but at least it’s 10 to 1 and the reps get smaller each round.  So much better than 1-10 for sure!

Now I’m off to bed to rest up for that WOD!

Have you watched Lilyhammer?  What do you think?

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Totally Random Tuesday

totally random tuesday 2.jpg

Well, once again, despite my plan to write at lunch, it didn’t happen. So now, here I am, at 11pm, writing a quick post before I go to bed.  I’m pulling out Totally Random Tuesday so I don’t have to have a cohesive thought! Yes, I’m lazy 🙂  Here we go:

  1.  I won the October MMC at my gym!  The challenge was to pick a mobility level and stick to it for the month.  I went with 5 days a week, and most weeks actually did 6 days.  At the end of the month, they did a random draw among those who met their goal, and I won!  That’s worth $50 at the gym Pro Shop.  I can’t wait to go CrossFit shopping!  Wohoo!
  2. I’m on book 27 of my goal of 30 for the year!  I’m currently reading another Liane Moriarty book, The Last Anniversary.  It’s pretty good…good enough that once I start reading while I eat my lunch, I can’t stop and end up reading for my whole lunch break and don’t get any blogging done!  Oh well, it’s not like I’m wasting time just surfing the web, so it could be worse!  I’ve also go my next books lined up from the library in ebook format:
    • Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell.  I’ve read all of her other books and really enjoyed them, so I’m looking forward to reading this one, that was just recently released.
    • Dear Life, You Suck, by Scott Blagden.  No idea what this is about, but saw it on the feature table at Chapters and thought it was a funny title, so figured it would be worth a shot.
  3. When you eat to macros, you eat some crazy combinations of food!  I mentioned the other day that the new MMC at the gym is to track food every day and to come within 5 grams of your target for carbs, fats and proteins.  This is great, and is just the thing I need to stick to my healthy eating goal.  It also means that I am trying harder to hit my actual targets than I might normally if I wasn’t accountable to the challenge.  And, to hit targets, I have been eating the strangest combinations of food at the end of the day.  Yesterday I had ham slices, a piece of cheese, and some jalapeno stuffed olives.  Today it was ham slices, olives, and a skinny cow chocolate & peanut butter ice cream sandwich.  While it’s nice to be able to snack at the end of the day, it’s not ideal, because I’m finding I don’t really want to eat at that time, and it feels like I’m eating just for the sake of eating rather than actually wanting to eat.  I will need to work on my food “scheduling” to use up more of my macros during the day.  Wish me luck!

Well, that’s about it.  I’m off to bed to read more of my book.  I need to find out what the mystery is behind the couple that disappeared!

How was your Tuesday?

Read any good books lately?

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Motivational Monday: Planning For Chaos

Happy Monday!

motivational-monday1.png

I was searching online for some sort of quote or image that I could use in my post and found this one that was perfect for today’s topic:

planning chaos

Most days, my life does feel like organized chaos!  Each week we juggle school, work, CrossFit 3 times a week for hubs and 4 times a week for me, hockey twice a week for each kid and once a week for hubs and me.  That’s a lot to fit in. Some days I’m amazed we pull it off!  I rely on the calendar in my iPhone to keep track of things, plus we have a family calendar in the kitchen that we fill in as well.  It has a column for each family member so we can keep track of who needs to be where when.

In general, I think we do a pretty good job of fitting everything in.  Although, when things get hectic, the one thing that tends to fall through the cracks at our house is food.  When our weekends get busy, or we are away, I often don’t menu plan or grocery shop.  This makes the week following a bit of a challenge.  Lunches and dinners get a bit sketchy.

We finally got smart last week.  I knew I was going to be away and not likely back Sunday in time to menu plan or grocery shop before we needed to head out to two rinks on opposite sides of town for hockey with the boys. So, hubs had the genius idea to do a Grocery Gateway order.  Grocery Gateway is an online grocery store that delivers to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).  You go online, fill your “grocery cart” with whatever groceries you need, pick a delivery time, check out and the groceries will be delivered to your home during the delivery window you choose.   He started our order Thursday night and I went in and topped up the cart with things I would need for meals this week.  The first delivery option available was tomorrow…so tomorrow between 6 and 7:30am (before we go to work) our groceries will be delivered and dropped off right in our kitchen.  All we have to do is put them away before we head to work.  You have no idea how excited I am about this.  I am going to have a fridge full of groceries without having to step foot in the grocery store or take an hour to shop.  YAY!!!

I also had a feeling last week that this week might be crazy so on Friday, before I went away,  I made an Eat Savage order for my lunches this week.  Eat Savage is a Paleo meal delivery service.  You order what meals you want by Friday, and they deliver them the following Monday to the drop off/pick up location of your choice.  I get them to deliver to my CrossFit gym and just pick them up when I go to class Monday night.  Tonight one of the boys plays hockey at 7:20 which means I can’t get to class, but I will swing by and pick up my lunches on my way home from work.

So despite having had a busy weekend and not being able to get to the grocery store, I have lunches for the week and all the groceries i need to cook tasty, clean meals – well, tomorrow after the groceries get delivered I will have everything I need 🙂  All this means that I have no excuse not to eat healthy this week…and that makes me happy.

I don’t have an exact menu plan for the week, but with what we’ve ordered, I know we will eat well.  I’m excited to get cooking!  I think I will try one of the casseroles that I mentioned here.

How do you plan for chaos?

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October Goals

Hello-October

September just flew by and here we are at October 1st!

This seems like the perfect time to take a look back and see how I did with my September goals.  If you don’t want to read that whole post, here’s quick summary:

  1. Blog 3 times a week
  2. Eat well, get back to macro tracking
  3. Get 7 hours of sleep a night

So, here’s how I did:

  1. Blog:  I didn’t quite hit my goal of 3 times a week, but I did mange to post 9 times in September, which is way better than I was doing in the summer.  I also think this was pretty good since I was away for 5 days on my golf trip in there and didn’t even think about blogging then.
  2. Food/macros:  I did eat somewhat better in September than I had been eating over the summer, but it was still not quite as clean/healthy as I would have liked.  There were too many weekends away or with events that I let get in the way of my meal planning and grocery shopping, which I seem to need to stay on track food-wise.
  3. Sleep:  Looking at my FitBit sleep record over the month of September, I was in bed for at least 7 hours for 26/30 days.  However, I only managed at least 7 hours of sleep on 12 of those days, due to restless/awake periods during the night.

If I had to give myself a score on my September goals, I would probably give myself a 7/10.  I was very mindful of each goal, tried my best, but still could have done better.

For October, I am going to keep these 3 things as goals for the month and add 2 more to the list.  Both of my new additions are fitness related.  One is driven by the monthly member challenge (MMC) at my gym, and the other comes from a friend doing another challenge.

  1.  20 minutes of mobility each day:  This is the MMC for October at my CrossFit gym – CFNAC.  Last month it was miles on the Assault Bike (I did not participate in that, but one member actually rode 600 miles in September – you are a machine Perry Doody!).  This month’s mobility challenge seems more my speed, plus who can’t benefit from more mobility.  I have signed up for the Intermediate 5 days a week option, but will try to do it every day if I can.
    Oct_2015_MMC
  2. Plank challenge:  I saw this challenge this morning on my friend Marina’s Facebook page.  She is a very good planker (is that even a word?).  I am a very bad planker.  This seems like a fairly quick and easy way to improve.  It starts with a 20 second plank today and by the end of the month, will get us up to 5 minutes.  Since I am horrible at planks, I figured it was worth a try.
    30 day plank challenge

My plan is to plank in the morning, first thing when I get out of bed, and do 10 minutes of mobility before I go to bed each night.  The other 10 minutes of mobility I need will either be at the gym before/after class, or at work with a golf ball rolling my feet while I work at my desk.  My feet have been getting crampy during WODs lately, so hopefully this will help stretch the out a bit and work out some of the kinks. (BTW, I have been rolling my feet out as I type out this post and it feels fantastic!)

Anyone else setting goals for October?  

Anyone want to join in on the plank challenge?

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A Week Off From The Gym

I’ve put my CrossFit membership on hold for the week.  I can’t get in for my usual 4 classes this week, so rather than waste a week with only one class, I’ve put it on hold.  While this is financially a smart move, it makes me sad to miss a whole week of class 😦  I miss it when I can’t get to the gym.
miss the gym
I have a good reason for not making it to the gym this week:  I’m off to Connecticut on Wednesday to play in the EWGA Cup North East Regional Qualifier!  This is a team match play competition, and I’m part of team “Grip It & Sip It”…8 ladies who love golf and who have been known, on occasion, to enjoy a cocktail or two!

We leave Wednesday, late afternoon, and will be stopping in Lee, Massachusetts overnight and hitting an outlet mall Thursday morning, before making our way Middlefield, CT, where the competition is being held. We are playing at Lyman Orchards, and have our practice round Friday afternoon.  The tournament rules meeting is Friday evening and competition kicks off at 8am Saturday with the four ball matches.  Sunday is singles match play.  Top 6 teams (out of 16) from the qualifier will go on to play in the EWGA Cup finals Nov 13-14 in Kissimmee, FL  at Reunion Resort!  Last year we played in the finals in Pheonix.  I wrote a bit about it here…and then fell off the blog wagon.  (We didn’t win, but we were the best placing Canadian team…and we had a very good time!)

I can’t wait!  We have team outfits and we are going to look spectacular.  I will save the full outfit reveal for another post, but here’s just a tease…our hats…how awesome is this?

GRIP SIP HAT
Despite not going to the gym this week, I will still be fairly active.  I have my regular league golf round tomorrow (I’m hoping work cooperates and I can leave a bit early to squeeze this in), and then golf Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Tonight, I am going to try to do a basement WOD.  I’m hoping to do a modified version of the WOD from the gym.

sept 14 wod

I’ve got a rack, barbell, and plates downstairs so I can work at finding my 3 rep max back squat.  For the Met Con, they are doing Karen, 150 wall balls – YIKES!  I don’t have a wall ball, or a wall high enough to do wall balls at home, but I do have dumbbells, so I’m thinking of modifying to 150 dumbbell thrusters.  This will give me a good leg workout and the thruster sort of mimics the wall ball toss part of it.  I’m pretty sure I will hate it just as much as if I did Karen!  Now, I just need to make sure I make it to the basement to actually do it!

Anyone want to join me for my basement WOD?  Or at least hold me accountable for it?

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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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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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