Sunday, February 24, 2013

routine machine

health and fitness aren't things to be acquired, they are a way of life.

this past week has been crazy hectic, and after doing so well for so long, i fell off the routine. too many things came up, meetings and gatherings and bad weather, and i skipped out on the workouts almost entirely. i think i squeezed in a run or two, the weather has been cold and icy and messy.. giving me the winter blues. i'm not the gym membership type, i rather enjoy running outside. i can't wait to bust out the rollerblades, my favourite!

anyways.. it's easy enough to make excuses, but it catches up. i have pretty well maintained with the shakes right through however, they've actually saved me during these busy days on worrying what to have for breakfast and lunch. i'm still enjoying them which surprises me to be honest. i usually get sick of those type of things fast.

my weight hasn't changed any in the past week, i'm still ten pounds lighter than i was at the beginning of the year. i'm happy i haven't gained any back, but i'd like to make further progress. finally my weekend tomorrow after an extended work week, time to kick it back into gear and come up with a routine for the work week that can fit my schedule, no excuses.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

shake it up..

it seems meal replacement shakes are the thing these days. i've used them in the past, and then i gave up my healthy lifestyle for a while when i was distracted with other things. now that i'm getting back on track, i've decided to try something new. meal replacements are hit or miss with me, so i wanted to try this one for a while before writing about it.

i heard about it from my roommate, my bus driver, by friend's aunt, and then my manager. it had gone viral in my mind, so i had to give it a try. a company called ViSalus makes a meal replacement protein shake called Vi-Shape. i started the recommended two shakes a day to help with weight loss about 10 days ago, which may have contributed to the 8 pound loss this past month.

i got my kit in the mail, and i was excited to try it. opened the bag and noticed it smells like cake mix.. oh man, this is gonna be dangerous! haha. i tried it based on it's plain milk instructions, and i wasn't a fan. it took the addition of some fruit to the blender, and switching out 1% for almond milk and coconut water, but now i can handle the taste. i can also handle the few extra calories the additional ingredients give, as without them i feel like i am starving. i do burn a lot of energy during the day at work so i need enough to keep me going.

i'm following the guidelines for the Body by Vi 90 Day Challenge, which replaces two meals a day with shakes and small healthy snacks to give you all the energy and nutrients you need, and i finish my day with a lean healthy meal. i augment the shakes with snacks like vegetables and dip, raw fruit or cheese and whole grain crackers, and keep my dinner portion small, making sure to drink lots of water throughout the day.

i started with my first shake on February 5th, and i set my goal for 15 pounds by the end of the ninety days. so i think it's fair to say my start weight was about 198 at that point. i lost my first four pounds before the shakes [in over 2 weeks] and the second four pounds in the 11 days i have been using the Vi-Shape. i will continue to try this product for the remainder of the 90 days, and if i see results i may continue. if not, i may switch back to a blend i've tried in the past by Vega. an amazing vegan protein product, not so hot on the taste. but something that good couldn't possibly taste like cake haha.

anyhoo.. now that i'm confident i can stand to ingest this stuff for the next few months, i decided it's a good time to mention. pros: breakfast just got a million times easier.. i get up super early in the morning for work, well before the sun, and sometimes i was missing breakfast for lack of time to prepare it. throwing a few things in the blender and hitting the go button is a guaranteed breakfast.. and lunch! cons: it still has a noticeable after taste [to me, i\m picky] which i'm hoping won't become intolerable over the next while, because other than that, i'm loving this product so far.

well that's all i got for now, i tried out a more intense resistance training workout today for half an hour, and i decided to take a break to post. i think i might finish off my day with some stretches and yoga.. and pray the sun comes out long enough to soak up a few rays. ta!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

winter workout

ahh i'm bad at keeping a blog.. but at least i've been keeping on the ball more or less with my challenge. the past week has been brutally cold, so i've only made it out once to run, and it wasn't a very long one. the path is still coated in a nice thick layer of ice that may be around for another week.

i've been keeping myself busy indoors with some resistance training, and some yoga/stretches. it's important to keep a good balance between cardio and resistance workouts to keep muscles strong and metabolism movin'. i've gone through various 'phases' of working out in my past, and each time i found a new set of movements that i like. yoga is amazing for stretching, flexibility and balance, there's some pilates i enjoy, some moves from those fitness dance things, and i recently stumbled upon ChaLean which is an awesome lean muscle building program that i'm looking at getting into.

my main focus with exercise and nutrition is my metabolism. i've had lifelong struggles with a thyroid that works off and on which makes controlling my weight next to impossible [when living an average north american lifestyle]. i'm a pretty active person both at work and in my leisure, but it's absolutely necessary to challenge myself and take it to the next level to become fit again. nutrition wise also, i have to be conscious of what i eat.

i never saw myself as a runner and found that it is one of my favourite things to do. i can't wait for warmer weather! this is an exciting year. so far my average weight is down eight pounds, which is amazing for me. i never thought i'd see the numbers drop again as i've tried in the past. i was too distracted with other things in my life to focus on my own health. well it's time, and i'm starting to see and feel results already. i started slow with my workouts and my runs, and i've noticed that i'm getting stronger and i can run a further distance more comfortably than when i started. i can push myself a little further each day.

i will say it over and over.. starting slow is key to success. push yourself little by little, challenging yourself a little more when you become comfortable with your distance or repetitions achieved. well, it's time to hit the mat, as i watch the snow fly sideways over the field outside my window. stay warm!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

chasing down the sun

man it's been a while since i have spent any quality time with the sun. i was lucky enough to get a ride home from work today instead of waiting for a bus, so i got home almost an hour earlier than usual.. i hit the trail as soon as i could to catch some rays. it seems every time i have a day off the weather decides to be miserable. i suppose that's what i get for deciding to start running in January.

the light reflecting off the snow and the pines was intensely bright, that living green colour you almost forget exists in winter. however the clear skies brought quite a chill, so i had to cut it back to 8K today. not bad i say.

i have been keeping track of my weight the past couple weeks, checking it daily, and watching my average slowly decrease. for over a year no matter what i tried i couldn't get my weight below 200 pounds. now mind you i'm heavy set and have decent muscle structure beneath my cushy layer, i do some intense physical labour type jobs and have done my fair share of long distance hiking.. so i don't look 200 pounds. no one ever believes me when i tell them [they think i weigh less, thanks guys! haha], and i don't think i ever took a photo for proof. well what i'm getting at is, i stepped on the scale at 192 today, had to double check it in disbelief. really?! cool! so my average right now is around 194. not bad, about six pounds in a few weeks. here's a pic from the celly i took a couple days ago:

no doubting those feet are mine, that's for sure! i wanted to capture my highest weight, but i missed it. i'm not too concerned, i wouldn't wanna gain it back for the shot haha. anyways, losing weight is a part of my goal, but numbers aren't important. it has become apparent that my weight is affecting some of my ability, and i simply want to regain the flexibility and endurance i had before, and improve on that a bit at a time. i mean i'd love to get down to 175 [this year], i haven't seen those numbers in a couple years. i wish to weigh no less than 160-165 ever, as i like knowing i can whoop an ass if need be haha.. just kidding. but really.. i don't wanna be "skinny". i just want to weigh a little less, and feel better.