The one about inspiration…

This week I really needed some inspiration and I am thankful to have gotten it.

I haven’t talked much about my training lately because honestly I always have a lingering fear of failure in the back of my mind. I worry that if I’m too vocal about what I’m doing and then fail, I’ll have to be accountable for it. I’ve come to realize though that talking about it just means there are more people there to support and encourage me which makes it easier to succeed. So, upon the suggestion of a peer friend, I will be sure to update more often with my training progress.

I’m one day shy of finishing the fifth week of some fairly intensive strength training and I won’t lie, I’m starting to get tired. I’ve been fighting off a cold for a week and although working out regularly has kept my immune system high enough that I haven’t fallen completely into the grips of illness it’s still left me feeling a bit drained.

This week kicked off with two really terrible workouts. Monday morning I did an hour of lacklustre weights and was about halfway through my cardio when out of nowhere my engine sputtered and stalled. I had totally run out of gas. That would normally be the point where I would push myself to just make it through the rest but I couldn’t. I can’t recall the last time I felt like I had nothing left like that. I left the gym literally sick and tired. I went home, ate, and relaxed for a bit and did manage to have a much better cardio session later in the day.

I was desperately in need of some motivation and it came in the form of a simple Twitter notification.

If you remember from this post, she is one of my biggest fitness idols. I randomly replied to one of her tweets and she started following me because she thought the name of my blog is funny. It might seem silly but her follow on Twitter reminded me of what I’m trying to accomplish. Some day I want to be as inspiring to others as she is to me and I don’t think she would let a couple of bad workouts or some sore muscles stop her from reaching her goals. She is to me what Sidney Crosby is to every TimBit hockey player in Canada.

I kept those women that I mentioned weeks ago in the back of my mind as my alarm went off at oh-dark-thirty the next day and I powered through my workout. By Wednesday I was feeling better (albeit still trying to kick some chest congestion) and Thursday I felt more like myself again.

I workout alone most of the time so I don’t have another person driving and motivating me from five feet away. For me, I need to surround myself with strong, positive influences while I’m not in the gym and use them as my inspiration. I might not know Emily Stirling beyond Twitter (though maybe one day I will, I don’t want to speak too soon! lol) but she inspires me to push through one more rep the same way that trainer Cathy does for me when we are able to find time together.

I followed up that excitement by meeting with that friend I mentioned up at the top who told me I need to talk more about my training. She gave me some really great advice that I am definitely going to take, and likely blog about later. 🙂 I thought I would kick off my new trend by listing my current goals. Maybe getting them out there will help me make them reality.

Goals (as of March 2012)

In the next six months:
1. Finish my advanced diploma in public relations (five projects and one internship remain!)
2. Work out six times a week (six strength – three cardio)
3. Eat clean
4. Be able to finally give trainer Cathy that chin up she’s been demanding for years

In the next year:
1. Get a communications job in a health/fitness focused organization
2. Earn my personal training certification from CanFitPro
3. Compete in a fitness competition

Wish me luck!

The one about breakfast…

You might be eating lunch about now but it’s never a bad time to reflect on breakfast. What did you have to get your day going? I have a tendency to eat the same thing until I get tired of it but it always includes eggs! Right now I’m on a protein pancake kick.

There’s a few delicious variations but this was today’s special:

1/2 cup quick oats (carbs are important!)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (for muscle growth/recovery)
4-5 egg whites (I use the substitute because I hate wasting yolks)
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce (for moisture)
1 packet stevia (equivalent to 2 tsp)

I usually make one giant pancake but you could easily make two decent sized ones with this mix.

– Swap the vanilla powder for chocolate and the applesauce for half a mashed banana for a delightful treat!
– On rest days cut out the protein powder and applesauce and add an extra egg white since you don’t need as much carbs/protein. (When I make it this way I will cut it up into strips and dip it in applesauce in place of syrup!)

Add some delicious toppings, maybe even a touch of real maple syrup and you’ve got the makings of a protein packed start to the day! 🙂

Om nom nom

The one with the road trip…

I can’t believe I didn’t blog at all last week. I’m sort of ashamed of myself, to be honest. It’s not that I didn’t have things in my head that I wanted to write about but I was recovering and trying to catch up on life after a road trip.I always rolled my eyes when my parents quoted Danny Glover from the Lethal Weapon movies and proclaimed, “I’m getting too old for this shit!” because you’re only as old as you feel, right? As it turns out, it’s not as easy to be the fun, free-spirited kid that I am inside with all this obligation on the outside. (School, work, this strange desire to sleep for 8 hours a night…)

Some friends and I took a very short trip down to Boston, just for three days. Anyone who is familiar with the Maritime provinces knows that getting most places from Nova Scotia is a bit of a challenge so although things look close on the map, you have to take a very roundabout way of getting there. If I had a boat I’m sure I would have been in Massachusetts in no time, but I don’t. We needed to pick up a friend in New Hampshire on the first day so we expected about a 10 hour drive, two hours short of Beantown. We left at five in the morning, drove through to Bangor where we stopped at WalMart (I had to stock up on Truvia since it really is a superior Stevia product and we don’t have it here) then went on to my friend’s place.

This is where I encountered the first of what would be a reoccurring issue through the trip: I eat clean. It’s not a mystery to my friends that I do, they all know it but I don’t feel that I can expect anyone else to change their eating options just for me. Especially when there are four people involved. A lot of people view my diet as restrictive but I just see it as structured but enjoyable. I love the food I eat, it’s delicious and in eating 5-6 small meals a day I am never for want of food, I’m ALWAYS satisfied. I had brought along a bunch of homemade protein bars, some protein shakes and things like that but I couldn’t bring any fresh food over the border and I had no way of making food. I was kind of stuck in a predicament and felt that I would just have to accept the reality that was eating not-so-great for a couple of days.

The first night we had pizza and immediately my body was telling me something was not right with what I was eating. It tasted delicious, don’t get me wrong. It was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life, but given that my system had been free from processed foods for a while it was sort of a shock and I felt it. That night’s pizza was followed by a hamburger the next day at lunch (again, delicious gourmet burger that luckily had a small option) and pizza AGAIN for dinner.

I didn’t tell my friends this at the time (though given this blog post they’ll likely know now :P) but I felt terrible. In trying to limit the amount of unhealthy foods I was eating I wasn’t taking in nearly enough calories to function normally. I felt lethargic, sluggish and simply exhausted. Couple that with another 12 hour drive back home (24 out of 72 hours of this trip was spent driving) and I couldn’t help but say “I’m getting too old for this shit!”

I need to find another solution. I know that my diet makes me a minority when it comes to eating in groups and I’m not afraid to say “Sorry, I can’t eat with you,” I just need to figure out a way to make my food travel.

It took me a week to recover from a three day trip and that is just not cool in my book. I want to have my organic, buckwheat, protein pancakes and eat them too!

Ok, so I'm already eating them...

If you have any suggestions on how best to stick to a healthy diet while travelling in a group I’d be happy to read them! In the meantime, if I never look at another pepperoni pizza again I’ll be a happy camper. (Hmm. Speaking of which… camping will be another challenge I’m sure.)