Archive | Me vs. Gym RSS feed for this section

Wanted: Motivation

1 Feb

I am seriously lacking motivation to exercise today, and have been for the past few days. I was in London for a course last week, and the hotel had no gym and it was pouring rain the entire time I was there. So, that was basically an entire week written off.

The last two days, I have felt extremely, extremely tired. Which is weird for me.

Tuesday nights is usually a 2-hour gym session: Pilates and Zumba.

Energy, I need you.

Resolutions – I’m making them

3 Jan

I hate New Year’s Eve more than I hate Dutch bureaucracy and ham. I hate those two things a lot.

This year, I hated NYE because we had a mass exodus of our friends leaving Amsterdam this year…it was particularly felt on a ra-ra party night. Luckily, our friends that decided to stay in Amsterdam (for now) had us over for a quiet night of curry and booze and fireworks on the rooftop terrace. My kinda friends!

I decided to make resolutions this year. Here they are:

– Get out of overdraft, finally!
– Learn how to take better photos of my food (so foodgawker stops rejecting me)
– Watch significantly less TV so that I can:
– Read more books
– Listen to more music
– Finish my creative projects
– Master InDesign and improve my Photoshop skills
– Start Dutch lessons
– Become a masterful baker of bread!**
– Get enough craft-stuff going so I can sell it on Queen’s Day (a massive city-wide party/yard sale in April)

** It’s currently just past midnight and I’ve got a cardamom coconut maple challah baking in the oven! It smells GOOOOOOOD! Photos coming!


30 Nov

I went back to the gym yesterday. It just happened to coincide with a Russian cold-snap and driving, wet snow. But I went to spinning and felt surprisingly fit despite a 7 day ‘leave of absence’ from my nemesis, the gym.

This morning, I intended to go after work today. But look. I’m not going. Zumba starts in 10 minutes and it’s really cold outside. There’s a homemade Italian veggie soup simmering away on the stove. My feet have just unthawed.


And I don’t care. I’m owning up to it and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

On another completely unrelated note…I somehow managed to snap my boob, more specifically, my right nipple, in my macbook last night. I laughed at myself for a good five minutes – to the effect of tears. Note: do not push the laptop into your chest (braless) while closing it and standing up simultaneously.

Not lazy, just injured.

26 Oct

It’s been a long time since I posted a before/after photo. It’s not because I’ve gained 20lbs or grown warts all over my face though. No, it’s because I have been taking mini-vacations in countries famous for food (France and Italy) and then hurt myself. Was this during a weight lifting class? No.

It was Zumba.

It was a class that I’ve been taking 2-3 per week for the past 12 weeks. It was just a little twinge, what I thought was a pinched nerve. I fought my way through 20 more minutes of the class and had to give up and retreat half-way through. The pain was so awful that Grant had to undo my shoes, coat, etc. He very nearly almost had to feed me because I couldn’t lift either of my arms more than a few centimetres.

The next day, the pin-point pain had turned into a searing streak across my upper-back. I went to work and cried out in pain while reaching for the phone. I couldn’t get a physio appointment until a day later. I had 40 minutes of excruciating deep-tissue massage and was told that I had ruptured a muscle in my back.


How long?

At least three weeks.

TWIST. blurgh.

And now, I’m trying not to beat myself up. The Amanda of 2009 would have been overjoyed at having such a great excuse to avoid the gym. Amanda in 2010 feels extremely guilty and anxious about it.

So, unfortunately, a three week vacation in Canada (where I actually did work out 5 times), followed by a mini-vacations in France and Italy was followed by an injury.

There hasn’t been much ‘after’ difference since my last update to post. Instead, I’ll be posting more about my Halloween costume (involving lots of plastic baby parts), and my first foray into baking for money.

Stay tuned.

Just. grrrr. But something good came from it.

13 Oct

I had a frustrating experience today that left me thinking ‘this…again?’ You know, the feeling that your effort/initiative/work is totally for nothing and that you’ve been in that situation before and hoped it would just get better. Yeah, that feeling.

Let’s call it a third life crisis.

I biked home today raging, RAGING. It’s a good thing a tourist didn’t dart in front of me today as I rampaged through the cobblestoned streets, my plastic bike crate hammering away against the frame. And I’m really glad that I came home to an empty apartment, because surely poor Grant would have been the victim of my frustration.

Normally, I would have come home, slumped on the couch, turned on Oprah and shoved whatever food we had in the fridge down my throat.

What did I do instead?

I ran around the park listening to Rage Against the Machine. First I ran my usual moderate pace, and then I sprinted until my head was pounding.

It felt good.

Mega BLAHs

16 Aug

I had such good intentions of pushing my exercise regime to the next level by adding pre-work runs to the mix. Here’s what last week looked like:

Sunday: 1 hour Zumba
Monday: 20 minute morning run, 1 hour spinning after work
Tuesday: 1 hour pilates, 1 hour Zumba
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 1 hour Zumba
Friday: rest
Saturday: 40 minute elliptical

My goal was to do a pre-work run three times last week. But, SHIN SPLINTS. The combo of running + Zumba (lots of jumping) was NOT GOOD. But I really enjoy running, so I’m determined to work at it. I already bought a new pair of shoes, and I’ve modified my running technique to take some pressure off my shins. I’ve also started icing my shins post-workouts, which helps the pain…a lot.

I will not give up!

This week, however, has started mega-lazy. I count Sunday as the first day of the week (fitness-wise), and yesterday I was recovering from a copious amount of vodka. And since I haven’t really been drinking for the past month, I really felt it in the morning.

I didn’t leave the flat yesterday.


I didn’t leave the sofa yesterday.

I will go spinning tonight and sweat away my Monday Mega-BLAHS.  I’m also going to update my workout playlist, because you guys gave me a lot of great tunes!

My Gym Music – what’s yours?

6 Aug

My friend Karley (who makes very cool eco-sleeves for hot drinks –> just asked me what music I listen to for a cardio workout, so I thought I might as well post it here:

Le Tigre – Deceptacon
Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
MSTRKRFT (A-Trak remix) – Bounce
Amanda Blank – Make it, Take it
Kid Sister – Right Hand Hi
Shy Child – Astronaut
Cut Copy – Hearts on Fire
Shake it to the Ground – DJ Blaqstarr feat. Rye Rye
The Faint – I Disappear
MSTRKRFT – Listen Up
Rage against the Machine – Killing in the Name of
Cassian – Fuck Song
Science & Industry – This is How its Meant to Be

…I am always looking to get new cardio tunes. What songs do you listen to?

Three Weeks Later

6 Aug

So, it’s been three weeks since I first ‘went public’ with my goal of getting healthy again and getting rid of the Euroweight that I’ve gained over the last six years. To be honest, I was a bit frustrated this week because the scale tells me I’ve lost about 3lbs. The last time I lost weight (two years ago) doing pretty much the same thing, I lost 8lbs in the same period. But, as my sister reminded me, I’m not doing this to reach a number on the scale, I’m trying to change my lifestyle. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

–  60 minutes of cardio 4-5 x per week (Spinning, running and Zumba) + push-ups and crunches every morning

– Eliminating alcohol, processed foods, sugar, etc from my diet (with the exception of my birthday)

I wore the same clothes today as I did when I first posted a photo three weeks ago. I’m fairly certain I can see a difference:

before, and after

…encouraging actually. I think this is a better way of judging results. I have a habit of weighing myself every other day, and I know that a lot of you probably think that’s foolish, but it helps me to keep on track.

Four Push-Ups

28 Jul

I suck at push-ups. When I was going to pilates 3 times a week a few years ago, I could do 10. That was my all-time crowning achievement in the land of push-ups.

Anyways, I want to rock at ‘dropping and doing 50 20′, so I’ve started practicing in the mornings before work. This morning, I could do four, which was twice as many as 3 days ago.

Baby steps, baby steps.

When bragging about my two push-up achievement last week, my colleague Susannah mentioned something about girl push-ups being better for women because, apparently, doing ‘man’ push-ups damages the womb. SAY WHAAAAAT? It turns out that was some urban fitness myth that’s been floating around the UK for a while.

My womb is safe.phew.

As far as Me vs. Gym, I’m pleased to say that ME has been the glorious victor since my last post. The gym is getting tired of seeing my red, sweaty face. Last week, my gym goal was 4 times…which I did. Last week, my gym goal was four times, which I BEAT.

I went to the gym 4 times + I went for a run on Saturday and cycled a total of 2 hours…which, on my sweet ride, is actually a pleasure:

Here's my baby

I also replaced my Asics, which was long over-due. For the last few months, my feet have been hurting after 30 minutes of cardio…not a good sign. Anyways, I ended up getting a pair of Sauconys:

New kicks

And the great thing is that now that I have changed my running technique…running on the balls of my feet rather than my heels (a technique that alleviates shin-splint pain), I no longer over-pronate. They filmed me running at the store, both on my heels and on the balls of my feet, and the difference was rather extreme. Good to know that I’m no longer limited to super-reinforced (and heavy) running shoes. Freedom! Anyways, the Sauconys are fabulous and they’re actually wider across the top of the foot than Asics.

As far as my other goals are…I’m happy to say that I’ve not had a drop of alcohol in a couple weeks and I’ve been eating extremely healthy. I haven’t touched the junk table at work, and even brought in shortbread cookies for the team yesterday, and I didn’t eat one.

I have lost just over one kilo since my last post, not too shabby.

I’m actually saving up my calorie-splurge for the hillbilly birthday party we’re having this weekend. I need to figure out how to make cigarette butts out of fondant to top my cupcakes.

My next post will be about the party, be prepared!

Huh. I didn’t expect that.

22 Jul

My average blog read has gone from 10 to nearly 200. I was talking to my aunt on Skype the other night, and she was saying they were doing a segment on the radio about how blogging is now the ‘big thing’ in weight-loss motivation. I can imagine why. Going public forces you to be honest with yourself, which means admitting your failures and learning from your mistakes. And, of course, documenting the journey and hopefully the end result too. This isn’t really a weight loss blog though, ’cause I’m definitely going to be using this space to write about cooking, Amsterdam expat life, things I’m making and just general bitching. So, don’t pigeon-hole me just yet 🙂

I’ve been a long time ‘member’ of an online music community/mega-clique  (though, I wonder how much music is actually discussed  there these days), and there are some very, very cool people posting on there about a variety of topics, often ending in back-and-forth jabs and grade school name-calling, but amongst all the bullshit, there’s a thread called “Get Off your Ass and Exercise you Lazy Fucks”. I’s got 82 pages, 3,247 posts, and 33, 259 reads. There’s a lot of good motivational stuff going on there. Who knew that a bunch of indie dufuses could be so into exercising? It’s one of the very few things that makes me really lament that I’m no longer living in Toronto. I could so do with some kick-ass fitness buddies. ya prucks

Anyways, I successfully made it through the entire day yesterday without a visit to the FAT table in the office. It’s looking like my colleagues did a tidy job of ploughing through most of it anyways.

Tonight, I go to Zumba.