Monday, April 30, 2012

Room for Improvement

Good evening beautiful,

My new 10km goal is to finish under 50 minutes. That's 6.2 miles in 49 minutes. I really have to start doing speed work - its the one thing I did not do for the half-marathon because in all honesty, I gave myself a fairly conservative goal of 2.5 hours, so I could basically just get through the race. Now that I've conquered my goal of doing a 10km race under an hour (55:47) it's time to make a new goal!

I was working out today, and I've noticed a couple things, 1. How much my body has changed since I embarked on my marathon training, and 2. How I'm still unsatisfied with little things I still notice. For example, side boob/armpit fat. This problem quickly goes away when I place my hands on my hips, but I don't like how it looks when my arms are placed at my sides. I try and refrain from wearing strapless anything. The other thing that bugs me on a regular basis is how I can try, and try, and try but no matter what I do, I can't get my biceps to hypertrophy. The only other thing that bothers me (to an extent to write about at least) is my belly. This has been an issue for me for pretty much my whole life as a result of growing up on processed carbs, refined sugar and meat. No vegetables were had in my house! I've always loved veggies and salad, so whenever I could have them, I would. Even after I moved out of my parents house I became a vegetarian for 3 years.. Mind you, that's a whole different story for a totally different day.

Anyways, back to my belly story. Its always been an issue and I've finally got it shrunk down pretty good from running which is fabulous, it definitely makes me feel so good. As far as I have come so far when it comes to changing my physique, I will always believe that there is always room for improvement. :)

Because this week is taper week, I can't really partake in any extreme workouts, but once my race is complete I plan on upping the training. I actually start playing beach volleyball next week Tuesday, which is super exciting! I've been jonesing to play since the winter, and so I'll be playing Intermediate 4's. I'm a bit nervous because I haven't played in a while, and apparently there are no such thing as "practices" when you're in a league, and 2. I read the rules of beach volleyball today and thank god I did, because there were a few key points that I didn't know, that I will definitely need to know.

Did you know that in beach volleyball, you can only volley the ball in the direction that your shoulders are facing or it counts as a fault? Well, I didn't, but I do now. Did you know that you're not allowed to volley a serve that comes to you? You have to bump it before it can be volley'd. Didn't know that either. This should be an interesting season!

Stay sweet.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Weekend in Real Time Updates

Happy Evening Beautiful,

The term "real time update" came about when C and I first started dating and I was living in London, and C was here in Toronto. Every Friday he'd come back to London, and I'd be so excited that I'd constantly ask him for updates as to where he was all afternoon. My roommate DB started making fun of me for it (typical!) and then the term stuck. So this post is going to be my entire weekend, in one post, but I'll be writing it in real time.

Friday @ 9:00p.m.

Tonight is date night with C. I love date night, it brings back the initial feeling you have when you start dating someone for the first time. It's a lot different to go out and have drinks and food outside of your home than it is to sit on the couch, watching tv doing the drinks and food thing. Typically on date night we go to Williams Landing in Liberty Village, because we live close by and it's a really nice place!

I'm just about to start getting ready and we'll be off, but first, I need to explain to you how unreal Cake Vodka is. First off, a disclosure, you cannot drink this "drink" for an evening, it's waaay too sweet for that. I like to have 1 drink with it (cake vodka + water is my choice). It smells and tastes exactly like a birthday cake. Initially I was totally freaked out by it. How the heck can someone make a liquid taste like fresh home baking!? But I had a drink, and my god, it was like I didn't even care anymore. I highly recommend it to have as something in your liquor cabinet for those odd drinks here and there. And to look cool when friends visit :).

Saturday @ 8:30 a.m.

Last night was tons of fun! We went to Williams Landing, I had a few vodka soda's (my go-to, never have a hangover drink) and edamame (soy! Bad! I know... Its just sooo good). It was fun to get out and be around people. We watched the Jays lose their baseball game, and came home around 1am.

I was planning on sleeping till 10am, but for some reason I'm totally awake, which means I guess I should make some food to eat and get a start on my workout. I have to run 6-8 km today, and then kick my own ass in the gym, which is hard to do in my condo building, but whatever.

What's for breakfast you ask?

- organic baby romaine lettuce
- organic cherry tomatoes
- an organic orange
- a can of tuna
- 0.5 oz evoo &  0.5 oz balsamic vinegar for dressing

What an odd breakfast.....

12 p.m.

I just finished a fantastic workout. What was it you ask?

- 45 min steady run outside (no walking at all)
- 10x chest press w/ 20 lbs dumbbells, 3 sets
- 10x romanian dead lifts w/ 35 lbs dumbbells, 3 sets
- 10x one arm row w/ 25 lbs dumbbells, 3 sets
- 10x upright row w/ 60 lbs on cable machine, 2 sets until a guy jacked my machine..
- 10x shoulder press w/ 20 lbs dumbbells, 2 sets
- plank on hands with legs in and out
- stretch

The whole workout took about 1.5 hrs.. I feel amazing, time for a protein shake.

2 p.m.

Quick stop to Starbucks, an en route to London we go!

8 p.m.

We've met up with some friends we haven't seen in a while, its nice! A new shirt on, a glass of wine in hand, its going to be a great night :).

Sunday @ 10:45 a.m.

Sigh. I got to bed at 4am, and I just got up to have 1. A cupcake (not paleo, the opposite of paleo actually) and 2. A glass of water. It was an awesome night though, we got to a bar that we used to go to all the time so we got to see even more friends!

I'm going to need a nap this afternoon....

On a fun side note, a guy thought that shooting the left over party balloons with a pellet gun would be fun. Here is a picture.

He didn't actually shoot it off the guys head, we threw them into the air to shoot them, or hung them to the fence. I couldn't hit one :( my aim blows. After this we decided to go out for breakfast, and while we were waiting to have them seat 9 of us, we took this picture:

Sorry it's sideways, I can't figure out how to change it. It's like a nice family photo though, right? :)

3:40 p.m.

Well, its back to the city we go. We had breakfast with the gang, had a brief but always lovely visit with my aunt, and we're officially going back to Toronto. It's always nice to go back and visit London and see all my friends, but it always reminds me of how I will never live there again. Actually, never is a strong word, I just don't see why I'd have to live there again. I just am so in love with Toronto that I never want to leave.

When I get home I'm planning on cuddling up on the couch to watch Get Him To The Greek, one of my favourite movies.

It's been nice folks,

Stay sweet.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Good Morning 6 A.M.

Good Morning Beautiful,

Today I had to wake up an hour before normal. Usually this would annoy me. I'm the girl who would love to get 10 hours of sleep every night, just because. I love the warm feeling of my bed, the softness, the fact that when you're in bed, nothing bad can ever happen.

I had to be at a company in Etobicoke for 7:45 this morning to promote my work, and give away free pens (who doesn't love a free pen?). So last night, I completely forget I need to be up early, until 11, when I usually go to bed. I usually get a good 8 hours of sleep, and previously (when I was single) on average I'd have 10 hours of sleep/night. I also have this problem with being chronically tired. I've been like this for so long, that I don't remember making it through a day without some liquid help keeping me awake and alert.

I've noticed lately that 8 hours is a good amount of time for me to sleep, and feel good throughout the day. But that also depends on the quality of sleep I get. There are nights I can sleep through without waking up once, but its not uncommon that I'm awake for 2 hours in the middle of the night for no real reason other than my body hates me (just kidding).

Today though, I feel good being up at 6:15 (I actually woke up before my alarm was supposed to go off at 6:20). I really hope that I can get through the day feeling great, which leads me to the question.. "In the summer, when its too hot to run during the day or at night, could it be possible that I could survive an early morning 7km run to start my day?".

I've always wanted to be the type of person that's able to hit the gym at 6am, but I could never do it. I just could never justify waking up so early to do something that I could easily do on my lunch break (since I work in a gym) or after work (while C plays video games). But I've also never had to run during the summer. I started running in the dead of winter, so this coming summer will be my first. I've talked to a few runner friends, and in the summer, you have to run before it gets too hot, which during the week for me means running at 6am.

Here's the Pros to getting my runs over with at 6am:
- no worrying about it for the rest of the day.
- if I'm feeling lazy later on, it doesn't matter because I've got my run in already.
- I'll look like one of those intense people running along the water at 6am

But then there are the Cons...
- waking up at 6am.
- trying to navigate my mind and body at 6am
- going outside at 6am
- getting sweaty at 6am
- having to go to bed earlier the night before

The list is endless really..

But you know what they say, if you want something bad enough you do it, if you don't want it, you make excuses. I'm now 10 days away from running my first half-marathon, and honestly, this is something I'd never wanted to do, never considered doing, until I got peer pressured into training for it. Now that I'm at the level I am, I don't want to lose it. As long as nothing extremely traumatizing happens to me during this race, I think I'd do another one in the fall. I'm not sure what I need to do or how I need to train to just maintain what I have, but I'm going to find out and do it. I'm also planning on running a few more 10km races this summer, and one so far in the fall.

I've also been thinking a bit more about personal training. I think I'm going to pull the trigger in the beginning of May and purchase enough sessions for 3x/week for 3 months. I'm going to get a feel out for the trainer, how we work together, and after the 3 months if I want to renew, then I have the option. If not, I have the option to leave and continue to work on my own.

I'm hoping to put myself through a glorious upper body and abdominal workout today on my lunch - wish me luck! I hope I can't move tomorrow (just kidding, I have to run tomorrow!).

Stay sweet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why I Decided to Write a Blog

Good Morning my loves!

I hope everyone’s day has started out nothing less than fantastic!

Lately, I’ve wanted to write more, but in all honesty, I’m not sure what I want to write about. I started this blog with the intention of it being a way for me to explore fashion, figure out what is me, what isn’t, how I want to be perceived, and get input from others. I wanted to have it to explore icons in fashion both current and late, because I feel we can learn a lot from such powerful women. It did not stay on those topics long, as I needed it to help me deal with my personal issues. It’s a fantastic outlet for me to just write how I’m feeling and not have anyone look at me funny, or not know how to respond to me the second I write it – you know? It’s like my diary, that anyone can read…

I enjoy writing (although I wish I were better at it), and I enjoy knowing people are reading what I write – it makes me feel good, like this blog has some sort of purpose. Lately I’ve been talking a lot about my training, and fitness, and nutrition. As much as I adore fashion, the fashion industry and SHOPPING (hehe), my first passion has always been the fitness industry. I’ve been in the fitness industry for almost 7 years now, and have seen may different sides of the business of fitness.

I went to school, studied personal training, nutrition, marketing, wellness, anatomy, physiology, you name it, I’ve probably heard of it. Being such a young woman, I have more experience in the fitness industry than the average person my age. I’ve had a few extremely amazing opportunities in my journey and have met so many incredible people that I will continue to cherish as I move forward with my career.

I’ve always had such an interest in nutrition, and what food does to the body. More recently, I’ve been very interested in the business of food. I know it’s something that not a lot of people think about, but I find it quite fascinating, and I think more people should be informed on the subject!

With that being said, I’m probably going to continue writing about both my fitness journey (ie. My Half Marathon in 11 days! Ahhhh!) And anything fashion I feel is necessary to share! This blog has also turned into an outlet for me to talk about my personal life as well. As a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister I constantly need to vent somehow… why not here? :)

You’ve had a taste of my life so far, so going forward I’m committing to writing more, because it’s good for the soul. And really, why not?

Stay Sweet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My First Race

Good afternoon loveys!!

So as you know, I’ve been doing a ton of running and working out lately, and it’s been AH-MAZING. I’m in probably the best shape of my life, and feel fantastic. I actually ran my very first race this past Sunday, and it went really well! It was 10km (6.2 miles) and I managed to pull it off in 55 minutes! I definitely thought that it would/did take me longer than that, but I was pleasantly surprised when I looked up my results online. I think my new goal (after I finish the half-marathon) is to try and do a 10km race under 50 minutes… I don’t know how realistic it is, but I have to have something to aim for! There is a 10km race through the Toronto Zoo in September that I’m going to do, maybe I’ll train for speed from now until then. Send me positive thoughts!
My half-marathon is coming up SO quickly, and I’m getting a bit nervous! It’s been a while since I ran for distance (a week and a bit… it seems longer…) so I’m feeling like I’m losing my endurance. I know I’m not, and that I’ll be fine because I still have 7 training runs to do between now and then, I think I’m just psyching myself out. The plan is to run for 10minutes, walk for 1 minute through the whole race… My goal for this race isn’t as aggressive as it was for the 10km; I’m hoping to do the half-marathon (21.1 km/13.1 miles) in less than 2.5 hours. If I could do it in 2h15m, that would be idea and I’d be so happy! Again with the positive thoughts, I need as many as I can get!

I’m debating purchasing personal training. I work for a fitness company, so I get about 30% off of our personal training services, but I’m not sure 1. If I can afford it currently, and 2. If I want to be able to afford it. I know how silly that sounds, but in all honesty, this past year is the first year I’ve actually been making decent money, and it will be my first summer making decent money. I’m not sure if I want to have that additional expense coming off of my paycheque every week, you know?

There are so many different options with personal training. Ideally, I’d like to purchase enough training sessions to last me 3x/week for 12 months. With the trainer I have in mind, I’d be so cut and so fit, and life would be fantastic. But reality is that I can’t afford that, so I’m thinking of committing for 3 months, 3x/week. I think I’d still see massive changes in my body, and I’d learn so much that I could continue doing it on my own, OR purchase more training at the end if that’s what I want to do.

At this point, I’m fairly convinced that I will do it…. I mean, what have I got to lose really, body fat? Knowledge? A good time with a hilarious person? It almost seems like a win/win situation.

On the subject of having my body look different, I just booked another session with a photographer (for her website, click here) to do a photo shoot for her portfolio and she revealed the inspiration photo behind the whole shoot… TAA DAA…
She’s such an amazing photographer and she’s so creative, there is no other option for her but for it to turn out amazing. Here are some of the pictures she’s taken of me before..
See! Genius, I know. I’ve lost weight since that shoot already, so I’m hoping to lose more for the next. I guess I better start cracking down on my Paleo diet, I’ll have to eat cake during my next shoot, and that’s soo not Paleo. Oh well, when duty calls :).

Stay sweet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Honeymoon Is Over Folks!

Good Morning beauty,

I hope you’re having a fantastic day! It’s a bit cloudy here, and I’m feeling a bit cloudy myself. I’m not too sure why, but even yesterday I feel groggy for no reason, I’ve been sleeping fantastic! I’ve started taking Magnesium with dinner and before bed and it has been amazing the sleep I’ve been getting. I wish I could have more of it!

4 weeks until the big race and I’m starting to feel all the work I’ve been putting into my running. I ran 18km on Sunday in 1h54m, but could barely walk the remainder of Sunday AND yesterday. Today my leg is feeling much better, but I can still tell where I irritated it. Right in behind my knee, the perfect place for a running injury. It’s quite annoying because I feel it every time I bend my leg. Oh well, I keep telling myself it’s only 4 more weeks of this intense training until I can actually chill out for a week.

Oh yes, the relaxation week? It’s going to be amazing. I’m still going to continue to eat Paleo because I 100% do not want to feel like a complete bag of shit, but you can bet yourself that I’m NOT running!!! I’m going to do a few resistance training sessions at lunch in the office, but once I get home from work, for that entire week, I’m putting on sweat pants, turning on HGTV and tuning into a good book.

Last night I finished reading Fast Food Nation. It was the very first book about the fast food industry that I’ve ever read, and it was so totally eye opening. The book is all about the American fast food industry however, but I’m sure it’s very similar to how things work in Canada, which is awful and disturbing. The old me would have read that book and decided to not eat meat for another 3 years (I was a vegetarian for 3 years…) but the new and improved Sarah has decided to consciously try and just buy and eat “happy meat” (grass fed, free range, all that good stuff) and I will definitely not be eating at a McDonalds or anyplace of the type any time soon, but I never ate that stuff a ton anyways. I would highly recommend people read this book if you do enjoy a good ol’ Big Mac, you may think twice before you put that sweet, sweet burger into your mouth. Or maybe not, but that’s totally up to you.
Yesterday I ordered a new book that I’m totally excited for, The Paleo Diet. I’m excited for this book for multiple reasons. 1. I generally love learning all about nutrition and different “fads” and “diets” and what they do (or don’t do) for your body. 2. I’m excited to learn more about this way of life in general. I can definitely comprehend in my head why this would be an amazing lifestyle, and having taken it on for the short period of time that I have, I can already tell that I’m feeling better. I’m sleeping better, I’m not bloated nearly as often. I used to become so bloated every single afternoon that it became just a way of life for me. This was more apparent when I was a vegetarian. Since I started eating this way, anything that I don’t 100% make myself upsets my stomach and makes me so incredibly gassy, that C has started to notice it as well. 3. I’m excited to be able to explain to my peers and co-workers why it is they should be trying out this way of eating. All I can tell them at this point is that I’m not bloated anymore, but I have no real evidence as to why they should try it. Not that I would push this on them by any means because they definitely each have their own way of eating/own lifestyle, but it’s nice to be able to answer any questions that may come my way.
Speaking of reading, this week C is away at a leadership meeting that happens semi-annually with our company (I’m not important enough to be invited, pff). He’s leaving tomorrow night until he picks me up from work on Friday. When he used to have leadership meetings, I would dread it. I hated that he was away for so long; I could never sleep well without him in bed. Well folks, I cannot express to you how EXCITED I am to be home alone for 2 days, with the bed to myself; doing whatever the heck I want. You have no idea.

I know that sounds awful, and I feel a bit bad about it, but my god, it’s about time. I still get a bit antsy when he goes away to these things because there are a couple people that attend that I would prefer didn’t attend (his ex, etc.) but I’m sure I’ll be fine. With that being said, I’m going to bed so unbelievably early on those nights, it will be amazing. Let alone the dinners I’m going make myself, SALMON! I’m going to eat all of it. I can’t wait! What do you do when you’re home alone for a couple days? Is it like a vacation for you as well?

Stay sweet.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Nice Surprise

Good afternoon beautiful,

I hope you are having a fantastic day.

Good news! One more day until it’s the weekend, everyone loves a long weekend. I haven’t posted in a while, and was kind of feeling like I should be. There are a few updates but this post might be short and sweet because for some reason, work is crazy busy right now! But I still wanted to write, just to kind of “zone out” momentarily from the office scene.

I’m still totally invested in my running. 4.5 weeks to go until I run my first Half-Marathon, and 2.5 weeks to go until I run my first race ever, the Toronto Yonge St. 10km race! The farthest that I’ve run to date is 17km, but this Sunday I have to run 18km, I’m a bit nervous! I did my 17km in 1h49m, so I’m hoping I can do 18km in under 2 hours, but we’ll see! My whole goal is to do the 21.1 km in under 2.5 hours, so if I do the 18km under 2 hours, I’m on a good track to finish in my goal time.

My left ankle has still been bothering me though, is so strange. I’m going to have to get it looked at post-race. Nothing is stopping me now! With that being said, yesterday I had a really good workout (see below);

10 Romanian Deadlifts
10 deep squats
10 shoulder presses
10 bicep curls
20 walking lunges
Repeat that two times

10 pushups
1min plank
Repeat that two times

I really didn’t think that it would kill me as much as it did, but today I’m having a very tough time walking. When I was doing a deadlift, one of my hamstrings decided to do something funny and pull itself, so last night instead of running, I spent the night icing my hamstring. Today it doesn’t feel as pulled, but my whole lower body is pretty sore, so it’s hard to tell. Hopefully my run tonight (6km, just a little guy) helps loosen my muscles. I’m also going to foam roll the shit out of my legs, I’m sure I’ll end up in tears, but hey, no pain no gain right?

My paleo eating has been going… ok. I’ve been cheating here and there, but I really did only commit to eating paleo 80% of the time. I’ve cheated and had Gatorade when my blood sugar has gone low (that’s somewhat out of my control, I think cheating in that case is ok), I’ve had some chocolate, and for a while I was still having rice at dinner. I’ve been feeling better for sure, I’m not getting nearly as bloated as much as I used to, and having meat for breakfast has been great, fills me right up until about noon! I’ve started taking 1000mg of salmon oil with every meal along with Vitamin C. It helps recover from workouts and is just good for normal body functions. I’ve started taking Magnesium at dinner and before bed, that stuff knocks you out! I had an amazing sleep last night, I hope it keeps working for me.

During this whole experience, I’ve learned some amazing things about health and fitness, but I’ve also grown a lot closer with a girl I knew from when I worked downtown. Her name is going to be K. She is an insane Crossfitter (if you don’t know what Crossfit is, just youtube it) and eats a very strict paleo diet. She answers all my questions whenever I have any, and she’s hilarious to talk to. We’ve talked every day for almost two weeks now; it’s kind of nice to have someone in my life that takes her health and wellness as seriously as I do! She and I were never super close when we worked together, so it’s a nice change! I am thoroughly enjoying it!

That’s pretty much my only updates for you so far. I’m SO excited to go home this weekend for Easter. I miss my family, and most of all, I miss LOUIE!!

I can’t wait to see the guy, he’s so adorable, I miss him so much all of the time! Even thinking about it gets me super excited. I want to go home TOMORROW just so I can hang out with my cat – does that make me crazy?

Stay sweet.