Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Taekwon-Do Makes Me Happy

If you're a regular reader here (not that I have a long history with this blog... yet) or a long-time reader of my other blog Dani : Black Belt Stitching Wizard you know I've been involved in Taekwon-Do for many years.  I first tried out a little bit of a class back in 1997 when I was visiting a friend in Texas who was taking TKD.  I must admit I was intrigued.  When the opportunity arose I tried out a school here at home, and well I have to admit I never looked back!  So this May will be my 14th year in TKD.  Now there have been a few breaks here and there over the years but I've always found myself going back.

On Monday evenings I teach the "Little Tigers" class, I have the most adorable group of 4-6 year old boys.  Yes girls are allowed, but for some reason I have no little girls in my Monday class.  I have to admit that yesterday by the time I was leaving work I was in the WORST mood ever, I was frustrated, angry and upset over a few things that were going on that really were beyond my control.  Then I received a call asking if I could teach all classes last night.  That would mean besides working a 7 hour day I now had to teach for 3 hours from 6-9PM.  After the day I had at work the last thing I wanted to do was teach three classes in a row (4-6 yrs, 7-13 yrs, and adults).  All I could think was if the kids acted up boy oh boy thins would not be good, there would be sit-ups and push-ups in their future.  I also, I really had no plan.

I have to say I was never so happy when my little guys came into the dojang.  The minute they came in and said hi to me and asked to go in the dojang my bad mood instantly lifted.  It was like my bad day had never happened!  Bless those little guys!  By the end of the night I felt like a million bucks, all my classes went so well, I think my students enjoyed it and I know I enjoyed teaching.

If you're not familiar with Taekwon-Do, it is full of protocol (which I love).  One of the first things we do, before entering the dojang itself (the training area) besides taking our shoes and socks off we bow to the room.  This bowing represents leaving your job, your family, your life, your day behind because you are there to open yourself to learn TKD.  Nothing proved this more to me than yesterday.

After the morning session, colour belts and black belts in attendance

This past Saturday Senior Master Lu hosted a full day patterns seminar.  Its the first event like this I've attended since returning to Taekwon-Do after my injury a few years ago.  It was a fantastic refresher and I enjoyed the day!
The Almonte Taekwon-Do contingent with Senior Master Lu (center)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week in Review February 4-10

Once again I started the week with good intentions, yet again but it didn't go well. The scale can certainly attest to that. Those three pounds that crept on at the beginning of the week stayed put with me by weigh-in day on Friday. I've been good enough though to stay off of the scale for now. So I'm now up to a point where I don't like to be, and I can feel those extra pounds on my body. I'd really like to try and get rid of the 4 lbs I've put on in the last two weeks before this upcoming Friday... before I go to the Dominican Republic. I won't be sunning myself on a resort beach with a buffet and umbrella drinks, but on a third world experience with students from my school. I did this trip last March and the week I was away and the following week I put on about 8lbs and it took me until August 2010 to have a weigh in where I didn't have to pay at Weight Watchers. So I'd like to take care of a few pounds this week... if I can!

I didn't make it into a Weight Watchers last week, getting ready for this "field trip" has taken over my life! I also had a Taekwon-Do seminar all day on Saturday which is my usual meeting day. I am pretty sure I won't make it in this week either. If there is any day where I'll have the time, it'll be Wednesday and I should try my best to go.

Here's a snapshot of my week :

The Good :

  • As promised, I did something for myself (see my previous post, Taking Care of Number One) a good haircut is always uplifting
  • I got myself to the doctor and talked to her about how I've been feeling. I'll be getting some blood work done, and I now have a new migraine medication.

  • I exercised 6 out of 7 days! I got to the gym, to Taekwon-Do, ran and a bit of a walk on the night I got my hair done (had to park quite a few blocks away)
  • By Wednesday I started feeling "back to normal" and have been this way since
  • I only had one migraine
The Bad :
  • I did not eat as well as I would of liked
  • I am still not dealing with treats and temptation very well
  • I didn't cook one "real" meal all week long
  • Still not tracking 100% honestly
The Ugly :
  • Obviously my weigh in, I am currently above my 2lb allowance from Weight Watchers
  • Chocolate, need I say more?
Upcoming Challenges This Week :
  • Continue to get myself back on track
  • I'd like to drop 3 lbs before I leave the country
  • Find the time to exercise, even if its just 10 minutes on the treadmill
  • Get ready for my trip
  • Spend some time with Todd before I leave, and hopefully make us one descent meal!
  • Control my impulses to grab food/treats when offered
  • Chocolate
I wish many of you the best of luck with your Valentine's Day temptation(s), Todd knows better and he doesn't buy me chocolates.  Actually he already got me some lovely flowers and a card... perfect.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taking Care of Number One

Sometimes we just have to put ourselves first, its a really hard thing to do, especially  if you have a family to take care of (which I don't but I still spread myself thin sometimes).

As many of you know I've been down in the dumps lately, its probably winter, and a little bit of myself feeling sorry for myself.

Before my haircut

One of the things I was going to work on this past week was something for myself, and I did!  Back in November I got my hair cut by a new hairdresser and well I hated it... really, I did.  I pretty much have had my hair pulled back since then.  I finally bit the bullet, picked up the phone and called my hairdresser got an appointment for this week.  Why did I not see her in the first place back in the fall?  Well her salon is downtown and I live outside of the city so its a considerable drive to go see her.  But I sucked it up, drove downtown and circled the block to find some parking!

Work in progress!

I really splurged and got my eyebrows waxed (something I normally do but kept putting off), my hair highlighted and cut.  I was there for HOURS!

I'm very happy with the results!  Why do I do this every few years go and try someone else when I know Azra is the only one who can cut my hair just right!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting My Act Together

I've been bad in more ways than one, I've been feeding my emotions and I've been hopping on the scale daily lately.  Since Friday I have watched my weight creep up from 145 to 148 as of this morning and I have I really been doing much about it???  I'm slowly starting to try to turn myself around, I'm having moments of success and failure I'm hoping the successes will slowly outweigh the moments of failure.

As you see from my above chart from my Nike+ sensor I got in a good run tonight at the gym I also got in a run on Sunday!  It felt good, and I ran a little longer than usual.  You can tell from this chart that I'm doing intervals, running 5 minutes, walking one minute.  This seems to be my way of coping with the treadmill boredom lately, I am dying to run outside but there is still no sign of spring (my hair which was still damp after my shower at the gym was frozen after my short walk to the car!).  I downloaded a great free app on my iPhone that I use to time my intervals instead of doing the math in my head looking at the treadmill timer its pretty much called Interval timer it allowes you to set different times for low/medium/high intensity.  I'm using this in conjunction with my Nike+ app but this Interval Timer will also play you music as well.  Did I mention its free?

I got a fun surprise in the mail tonight!  There are incentives when fundraising for Run For the Cure, last year I raised enough money to get a brand spankin' new pair of New Balance runners.  Of course they're pink with the pink ribbon on them.  I'll have to slowly break in these new shoes!  (Excuse my pasty white legs they should be nicely tanned when I head to the DR next Friday for a week!).  I've been wearing a Brooks Dyad for years now so we'll see what my body thinks of New Balance.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekly Meeting Topic Week 5: Stick With It

I made to my regular meeting for this week, and weighed in for the month of February.  My weigh in was not as awesome as my January one, because of the crappy week I allowed myself to have.  I know on several occasions I caught myself feeding my emotions.  Also because I went out for Indian food Friday night and I find I'm always up after Indian (I'm guessing the salt... but it was VERY good!).  I really wanted to get this month's Weigh In out of the way as soon as possible for several reasons, I'm going to be very busy!  I have a Taekwon-Do all day seminar to go to next Saturday so I won't make my regular meeting, then the following Friday I'm getting on a plane with 11 students from the school I work at and we're going to the Dominican Republic for 1 week on a third world experience.  I did this trip last year and I found my body didn't seem to handle the carb-rich diet very well (gained about 4lbs) so I'm trying to mentally plan for a gain when I return (though I'd like to try to avoid one).  So that's pretty much February done and dusted!

Now onto this week's meeting topic... sticking with it!  This is a timely topic for myself and for many, as we are a month after New Years and this is when resolutions start to wane.  Like I've mentioned I'm having trouble coping with EVERYTHING lately so I need a pep talk myself (still need it).  We pretty much reviewed the Helpful Habits/Tools for Living this week.

Helpful Habits
  • Positive Self Talk/Manage Your Thoughts: You have to be in the right frame of mind to loose weight, if you think you can't do it or talk yourself out of doing it... guess what?  You are going to fail.  Positive Self Talk is something I really need to take advantage of at the moment, I am struggling to get out of bed, to go to work, to go exercise, even to accept invites.  I just want to stay home.  I need to remind myself that yes I can do this, can continue to do this!  Boy did I have to constantly self talk myself through my gym workout Friday night!  I kept telling myself you're not feeling great, its okay to stop, but in the end I talked myself into seeing it through.  Did I feel better in the end, no.  I normally do after a workout but not this time.  We need to use words such as can, will and should not can't, won't, and no!
  • Anchoring: An Anchor is a thing, image, thought, gesture... a reminder that you can use to bring you strength, inspiration, and or empowerment.  An anchor can be anything, a ring to remind you not to grab that treat or an image that will make you say no, or something that will remind you of a day/time/event where you felt great, powerful, etc.  An anchor can help you visualize that feeling and give you strength.  Sadly I don't have an anchor, nothing cool or inspirational to share with you there.
  • Learn From Experience:  My meeting leader put this in the best words "screw ups are opportunities to learn from" also that there is no such thing as failure, learn from the times you fall down and figure out how to make it better.
  • Ask for Help: You NEED a support system!  This can be family, friends, fellow WW members or your WW leader.  Also there is a support system out there others don't consider and that's the online community you can really connect with others who understand out there on the web!  There are different ways to ask for help (and this is a hard thing for me to do because I like to think I'm independent and proud).  Ask the people around you to help you avoid or not bring trigger foods, and if you need something use the worlds "I need".  I need to eat earlier I can't get too hungry, I need help, I need your emotional support.  Its hard but we all NEED something at some time.  I know right now I need help, I need support I don't know how to put into words what is bothering me, what is making me unhappy, what is making me feel like crap all the time.  Its very unlike me not to want to get up and face the world.  I'm not sure yet who I need to talk to, what kind of help I need, or even how to truly put into words what is wrong.  Maybe this is a start.
The long and the short of it is no matter what journey you're on, setbacks will happen its what you do with them that truly show your strength.

I saw this on one of my local Church's billboard about a year ago and its so appropriate!
"Setbacks lead to comebacks"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week in Review January 28-Febrary 4

Boy, did I start last week with really good intentions.  Intentions to get my workout schedule, back on schedule and get life "back to normal".  That didn't happen, it was another rough week in a row of many lately.  So let's just get to it and hash it all out.

I was getting very close to finishing a large Cross Stitching project of mine this past week so what did I really want to do all week?  Stitch of course!  I am very happy to report that I finished Art Deco Sprits at 11:30 last night and it sure is beautiful!  Also my mental state really lent itself more towards sitting at home and stitching than going out, getting to the gym and getting to Taekwon-Do classes.

Friday's weigh in was not conductive towards getting to my healthy BMI, I gained 1 lbs this last week.  Am I upset or angry over this?  No, not really, I earned this gain in more ways that one.  My drive to get in some exercise just plain sucked, I made it to the gym on Friday and to Taekwon-Do on Monday, that's it that's all.  I was feeling so rough that by  Tuesday I bumped my once a month massage up by two weeks and went in on Wednesday.  I beleive my massage therapist's words were "who poured cement on your shoulders?"  Like I said ... rough.  Then I had a huge issue with chocolate this week.  I wanted it, and I wanted it BAD.  The thing is it had nothing to do with hormonal cravings.

Here's this past week at a glance:

The Good:
  • I did exercise twice.  I did intend to exercise on Tuesday and Thursday (but didn't)
  • I took after myself and got a massage because I desperately needed it
  • I indulged in my hobby and finished a big project
  • I discovered a new recipie (Thanks Amy!) and it'll become a part of my cooking repretoire
The Bad:
  • I did not get back to my usual exercise routine.  On Tuesday I was invited to have dinner with Amy before Tuesday stitching, and I accepted the invite (and still don't regret it), also knowing that I would work out every other day that week.  Wednesday due to my massage I wasn't going to throw away the efffects and my money by going to Taekwon-Do, which got cancelled due to the storm we had that day.  Thursday, well I just decided to go shopping (and bought nothing) and then home to relax.
  • I did not track everything accurately last week
The Ugly:
  • One word: chocolate.  I hit one of the candy dishes at work pretty hard this week.... I can always count on it having chocolate in it.  I wanted chocolate badly, desperately, and worse than my "monthly" cravings!  When shopping on Thrusday I stopped in at Laura Secord to get my favourite chocolate bar (mint), because if you're going to indulge have that thing you absolutely love.  Well the chocolate bars were 2/$3 so the irrational side of me took 2 bars to the cash and once in the car I proceeded to eat BOTH of them!  They were good, I did enjoy them and I counted my points.
Upcoming Challenges This Week:
  • Get Back On Track!!!!
  • Do my best to resume my workout schedule
  • Do something to help me feel better.  I've been feeling blah, meh, whatever.  This has resulted in me being bitchy to the ones I love, lethargic, not happy or even my usual self.  I'm having headaches/migraines, and I'm exhuasted physically and mentally.

Weekly Meeting Topic Week 4 : Start Moving! Keep Moving!

Sorry that this post is a week late!  Week 4 actually ended last Saturday and I did go to my meeting but I never felt like getting online to share my notes from the meeting with you.  But I suppose, better late than never!

Week 4 focused on activity, which I know I have talked about before in the past.

Activity is crucial to weight loss and maintenance, yes you can loose weight without exercising.  However are you really going to get the body you want in the end?  Exercise has so many physical benefits four our bodies and psychological ones too.

Benefits of Being Active:
  • Helps Weight Loss
  • Critical for weight management
  • Tones the body
  • Allows us to eat a little more and still loose
  • Improved health
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Increased metal focus
  • Encourages us to make better food choices
On the Weight Watchers Points Plus program we earn "Activity Points" when exercising.  The number of points is based on current weight, duration of exercise, and perceived intensity (low, moderate, high).  Its very important when starting an exercise routine to start out slowly.  If you do too much too fast, you can end up discouraging yourself and quitting, or even worse injuring yourself (my constant fear, I've had a bad injury and I never want to go back there).  On the PP plan it is recommended to start out trying to earn 2 Activity Points per day and work up to 6.  The beauty of AP's is that you can choose to eat them or not, also you don't have to eat them on the day you earned them either.  However, AP's don't roll over to the next week, you either use them or loose them.

Another crucial point to moving more is that you do need to eat a little more too.  When you do a lot of exercise and don't re-fuel your body, you may not loose any weight despite all the hard work you're putting in.  In the past I've been absolutely crushed when I know I've worked my ass off at the gym, running, or Taekwon-Do earning over 30 AP's a week only to have a gain at the scale!  It seems to be a tricky balance, exercise and food consumption.  So if you're hungry and you need to eat something, go ahead eat a few of thos AP's!

As we are calculating our AP's on a perceived intensity level I personally suggest not eating all of your AP's each day.  Sometimes what we might think is a high intensity activity may really be moderate, and if you eat the points you think you earned you could be affecting your rate of loss.  My suggestion is if you're going to eat your AP's eat only 1/2 of them.  The only way you can really know the true intensity level is to wear a heart rate monitor, I don't know about you but I don't really want to shell out the money for one.

So what do I do to earn my Activity Points?  On an average week (and the last 2-3 weeks have not been average for me) I go into the gym 2-3 times a week.  Two of my gym visits will consist of a 10-15 minute cardio warm-up, 30-40 minutes on the weight machines, then 21 minutes of running followed by 8 minutes of walking.  If I go to the gym 3 times in a week, one of those visits is taking a spinning class (which earns mega AP's!).  Usually at least 2 times a week I take a 60 minute Taekwon-Do class.  On a good or average week I'm earning well over 30 AP's.

So if you haven't done it yet, go find an activity you love!

My meeting leader ended with a great quote I wanted to share with you :
"There are only 2 options, there is progress or excuses the choice is up to you."