Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Episode 32

Wow - I have really been slacking off where posting is concerned! Sometimes life gets in the way and blogging is the last thing on my mind.

If you follow my podcast, you will know that I have been having issues with Podbean and getting episodes to upload. Podbean was having site problems, and I'm so unsavvy that I couldn't figure out if it was me or Podbean. For a while it looked like they just wanted more money from me, and since there are other free hosting sites around (Mevio) I decided to move.

I think everything is sorted out now, and both episode 31 and 32 should be available for download. Technical problems are my least favourite part of the internet.

So - since I posted last I have started a Half Marathon training program. I'm using the run/walk plan from John Bingham's Marathoning for Mortals. I own the book and I think it's a reasonable plan for me to follow. There is one race here in London on May 5, but I'm holding out to see if my fave running store has one in April. They have better swag and the races are more fun. It's all about the free stuff for me!!

I have registered for the Resolution Run on December 31 - it has 5 and 10k options - I'm not sure yet which one I'll do. I'm in it for the experience and also for the fabulous jacket that comes with the entry fee. This will be my 3rd Resolution Run, and the jackets are really good quality and worth way more than the fee. This year's jacket is bright yellow.

I have decided to not go back to Crossfit for now. As soon as the date approached for my return I started with the anxiety and panic and over-eating. I want so badly to compete and keep up with everyone else in the gym that I make myself crazy. I can't keep up with 20 year olds. I was exhausted from trying - so much so that the day after a crossfit workout I was so exhausted I just didn't have the energy to run, and running is where I want to be. Ideally, private crossfit sessions would be best for me - but it's just too expensive. I am keeping up with all the things I can do at home - situps, burpees, squats, dips, pushups, skipping and anything I can do involving my own body weight. I have made a promise to myself to never slack off on that.

Hopefully, my problems with Podbean are over and done with and my podcasts will be showing up regularly again. Thanks to everybody who tried to download - I hope I didn't lose you as listeners!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Episode 28

I haven't posted anything for a while because I have been treating myself to a days' long pity-party.

I made a huge mistake at the beginning of the summer. I decided that I was doing so much exercise and feeling so good from the endorphins that the exercise produced, that I could cut back on my anti-depression medication. By mid-August I was completely off them and feeling pretty good. However, I started bingeing again in a big way - almost always at night and always in secret.

It finally dawned on me, that while the exercise was lifting the depression, it wasn't doing anything for the underlying anxiety. Anxiety is what makes me binge - on bad carbohydrates that provide the seretonin boost that make my brain quiet and make me feel better - which is exactly what the anti-depressants do. DUHHHHH. I'm back on them.

I expect it to take a month to six weeks to start feeling the full effects of the medication, but I'm already noticing subtle differences.

I've never given up on exercise, and I'll never give up on finding the right balance for me where food is concerned. Bless my sister for opening my eyes to the fact that I never allow myself to actually 'enjoy' anything I eat. It's never too late to learn and so I'm starting a new page in life and on we go.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Episode 26

Another fantastic week in the exercise department. I'm feeling good about the progress I'm making at Crossfit - I'm doing things I never dreamed of doing and each week is an adventure in forcing my body to do things it would rather not!

On the sidebar there is a link to a workout called 'Fight Gone Bad.' We did that on Tuesday and I was ready for the basket by the time I finished. That workout is done in every Crossfit gym all over the world at least once every 6 weeks or so, and it kind of makes me happy to know that I can do the same workout that a working soldier in Iraq is doing - albeit with a lot less intensity. There is something very validating about pushing your own limits.

Canadian Thanksgiving was a blast for Reg and I - we spent time with our grandchildren, and there isn't anything better in my mind. We had a lot of laughs - a lot of food - and I thought of several new things to be thankful for this year. If you have good health, you have everything, and we could all spend a bit more time making sure we keep our health.

Free health care is great - I'm thankful that I rarely have to use it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Episode 25 - Believe in Yourself

I don't usually title these episodes, but this one deserves one. I learned a valuable lesson last week - it is a huge mistake to discount your own ability until you try. If you try and find out you can't do something - fine. BUT - don't decide in advance of trying that you can't do something. If you don't try you will never know.

Thursday's daily workout (WOD) at Crossfit was to row 2 kilometers, and then push press a weighted bar for 5 sets of 5 reps with a one minute break between sets. As soon as I saw the 2k thing on the board I started to panic. Oh no! I can't do that! The most I'd done before was 500m at a time - take a break to do something else, and row another 500m. That was tough. So I just knew I would never be able to row 2k. Why that's...that's...wait 'till I get my converter - that's 1.24280 miles! Never gonna happen. Said I.

I groused around about it for a while, and finally Coach Dave said - OK - how about this - we'll set the timer for 10 minutes and see how you do. I agreed to that.

At the 10 minute mark I had rowed 1,875m - 125m short of the 2k. I could have easily done the 2k (and did finish it outside the time) but I made up my mind before I started that I couldn't do it.

That is not going to happen again. I will never assume that I can't do something until I try it. (Except bungee jumping - I'm never going to try that.)

One thing I have learned since I started doing Crossfit is that the human body is capable of way more than we think it is. I have done some things that I never dreamed possible, and I know there is a lot more to come.

Nike says Just do It. I say - Just Try. ( I don't run any sweatshops so who you gonna believe?)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Episode 24

This is the CrossFit gym that I work out at, and the guy is Dave - my trainer. He doesn't look so scary does he? He isn't really, but he will rarely take no for an answer. He's an excellent motivator, and he knows how far he can push.

I thought he was letting me off way too easy this week with the WOD (workout of the day.) It involved a lot of situps, situps with medicine balls, leg raises, and knees to chest maneuvers, as well as overhead squats. I really didn't feel like I had done enough when I finished. I really didn't feel anything the next day - in fact I did more situps and a bunch of squats.

On the third day I rested because I had no choice. I couldn't walk upright. It hurt to stand up and it hurt to cough. Everything from my shoulders to my hips was tight. My abs (yes, I know there are abs under that roll of fat) feel tender to the touch. I definitely did enough.

I am no longer a vegetarian. I have been eating chicken and fish regularly since I started working with Dave, and while I can't say that I love it, I'm getting used to it and I'm recovering from workouts faster than I used to. I was never into it because of ethics - I just don't like meat. My mind is open to almost anything, so on we go.

Major accomplishment of this week - I cut Dexter's toenails and we're both alive to talk about it.

Peace out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Episode 23

This was a pretty fantastic week. Great weather - lots of sun and blue sky, and nice warm temperatures that we never got all summer.

The photo is my poor elbow after I fell again on the trail at Fanshawe Lake. I wasn't even running at the time, but standing at the top of a steep gravel-coated downhill, trying to take a picture with my Crackberry. I lost my footing and couldn't stop the slide. My elbow, knee, and left hip got the worst of it - especially my hip which is now a lovely shade of black/green.

I came home and promised Reg I wouldn't go running out there alone anymore. I have other options for trail running, and once Thanksgiving is over and the main park closes for the season, I can run the trails there without fear of falling over the cliff.

I'm going to be making a big announcement on next week's show - so stay tuned. It's big for me - won't be for any of you. HA!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fifty Counting Down Episode 22

This is the Killally Road Hill. I have ridden my bike down it several times, but I always take an alternate route home because it's VERY steep and since I have been afraid to try to change gears on my bike I knew I would never get up it in the gear I normally use.

Sunday - I rode the hill and conquered it. It wasn't anywhere near as difficult as I thought it was going be, once I got into the right gear. I practiced changing gears for a while before I got onto the hill road and then just decided to let 'er rip and get 'er done.

Somehow, this photo doesn't do the hill justice - it really IS steep at the top end, and my poor old heart was pounding like it never has before. I stopped to let it come back to sort of normal, even though I might have been able to continue without stopping.

I feel like I really accomplished something this week by riding that hill, and from now on I'm not going to be afraid to push myself a lot harder than I have been at running.

My heart can take it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Episode 21

This has been a good week for me - a few stress-related food issues, but that's on ongoing problem that I may never be rid of.

I had two great sessions at Crossfit - one with just me and Dave doing running drills, and one with 6 other people in a group class. I love/hate the group for various reasons, and I'll definitely go back. I think twice a week will be good for me for now. Nobody leaves a Crossfit class thinking they didn't work hard enough!

I ran 3.5 miles this morning using the Pose method - I still have to concentrate on making sure I'm not heel-striking, but it's coming along and it's definitely a lot less tiring than the way I have been running. I expect it to come naturally before too long!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Episode 20

I never really thought I would make it to 20 episodes, but here I am, sharing experiences and trying to keep myself accountable. This has been another really good week - I'm feeling better than I have in a long time and I know my running mojo has returned.

I got up Monday morning and made a conscious decision to spend more time running and less time talking about it. Since I started Crossfit, my mileage has suffered because I've been afraid to get myself too tired out. That, my friends, is a big ole cop-out excuse.

So...I ran 2 miles of intervals on Monday, 5k yesterday with a killer hill in the middle, and 4.32 miles this morning, interspersed with bench dips and squats. Making myself understand that it's ok to take breaks while running is hard - but I'm working at it. My actual running time is still hovering around a 13 minute mile (curses on you extra damn 30 pounds) but I do have spurts of 11 and 12 minutes. My goal has never been to run fast - it has been to run far. I want a marathon before I'm 65. The photo is of the river this early morning - so beautiful and peaceful. I wanted to sit down and just watch fish jump for a while, but then two kingfishers got into a very loud squabble over a fish - so I moved on.

Check out the links on the sidebar of Good Mornings, and air squats - two of the exercises I'm doing at Crossfit that are really making a difference in my overall fitness. On to kettlebell swings next, and tomorrow I am going to CRUSH my previous time for a 500m row.

Peace out.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Episode 19

This has been a darned fantastic week. The boring details of my exercise program will be recorded on my podcast - the fun stuff - well, it was just FUN!

Thursday, we took our grandchildren and daughter to Stratford to see West Side Story at the Festival Theater.

We met for lunch at Kelsey's - Renee arrived hotter than a burnt cookie because Hunter and got into the truck with no shoes on and she didn't notice until they were almost in Stratford. Fast trip to Zellers for replacements where it was impossible to buy cheap summer sandals or flipflops because of all the back to school hoo ha. Hunter was typically unfazed by the whole ordeal - just get me some shoes if you have to and let's go eat!

The boys totally got into the musical and loved any minute of it. No boredom at all. It was a good first experience for them because it was action-packed and not a lot of girly stuff. I won't hesitate to take them back. It's a shame that theater tickets are so freakin' expensive!

Note the link on the sidebar to 'Sugar Stacks' - it's a real eye-opener.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fifty Counting Down Episode 18

Looks like I didn't post anything for Episode 17. Oh well - life got in the way and to be honest I just forgot!

This has been a very good week for me. I feel strong, healthy and just generally good, even though the temperature has been high and the humidity level is off the scale.

I mentioned to my daughter on the weekend that it was very foggy when I got up - she said it wasn't fog - it was steam! I think she was right. I worked all weekend in a small town right on the shores of Lake Huron. It was torture to look at the beautiful blue lake, and not be able to get into it. I work with teenagers, and the logistics of getting special permission for them to go swimming just aren't worth the aggravation and I would never forgive myself if anything happened to them while they're in my care.

If you have listened to Episode 18, you will have heard my interview with Bill - the fellow in the photo above. What a character! He's riding across Canada to get away from a bad marriage. I felt privileged to be able to talk to him for a while.

I never would have met Bill if I hadn't gone on a bike ride to search out some info for Steve Chopper from the A Mile With Me podcast - so thanks Steve, for asking to do that.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fifty Counting Down - Episode 16

This episode once again centers around my love/hate relationship with Dave and Crossfit.

My clothes are getting looser, and feel more like my clothes - rather than sausage skins. I rode my bike up a hill this week that I wouldn't go near a month ago, and didn't struggle to do it. My legs are getting stronger.

I've cut back on running mileage, but have increased my overall workout time.

I can do almost endless situps from the floor, where I struggled to do one and needed assistance the first day at Crossfit. That's progress I can really brag about.

I'm generally feeling stronger, and I'm sleeping much better. I'm not getting up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom - something that hasn't happened for over 10 years.

I'm not getting on the scale until I know there will be a significant drop. The fact that my clothes are looser is proof to me that I'm shrinking - and that's a good thing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

25 Things about me.

A friend from Twitter read these 25 things on an old blog, and I decided to move them over here.

1. It drives me crazy that I am mentally incapable of controlling my weight. My mind is my only interference - I'm physically doing everything I need to do.

2. I have had totally silver hair since I was 35.

3. I was terrified of high school - even though I hung out with a popular crowd I was always afraid they would find out I was a fraud.

4. I married my first husband for fear of being old and single. (I was 22)

5. I left my first husband because I didn't want my daughter to see me become old and miserable.

6. I would like to go back to school and learn everything there is to know about computers and technology.

7. I have published a book of erotic poems. (Approximate Value of Love)

8. I am a fiercely loyal friend.

9. I am afraid of my brother.

10. I have learned more about my father since he passed at age 52, than I ever knew about him while he was alive.

11. I love all animals and can't ever imagine eating one - although I understand why people do and don't fault them for it.

12. My partner is my best friend and confidante, and I should have found him first.

13. I don't lust after material things and nothing that I own matters to me beyond being convenience.

14. I was a terrible mother (at times) but I'm a fantastic grandparent.

15. I wasted way too many years drinking too much wine and looking for escape in a bottle.

16. I'm a hard worker, and put my all into anything I do.

17. I don't like to cook.

18. If I let myself, I could live on corn chips, candy, and bread.

19. I have run a half marathon, and I will run a marathon before I'm 65.

20. Finding exercise has saved me from sinking into the sewer of depression.

21. I admire my sister and wish I could be more like her.

22. I really enjoy 'connecting' with people online - if were as easy to bring so many interesting people into daily life I would do it - but I think we'll have to wait for time travel to do that.

23. My musical tastes move forward - I hate being stuck in a musical rut.

24. I'm addicted to apples. (hate red delicious - all others fair game)

25. I am constantly trying to improve myself through meditation, exercise, reading, blah blah blah - you get the idea.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Episode 14 - Cross Fit

When I decided to hire a trainer to whip my butt into some sort of shape, I chose a tiny gym near my house. I didn't want monthly fees - I just wanted to pay by the hour and walk away when I felt like it. The tiny gym near my house is a CrossFit gym - known all over the world for training excellence, and used by professional athletes, armed forces, and ordinary folk like me. I borrowed this blurb from a CrossFit website:


  • Why we do CrossFit!
    Why do we do CrossFit? Who really relies on the results of their fitness to preserve their lives? Soldiers, Police and Fire fighters. What is being adopted throughout the Special Forces communities, Secret Service, US Marshals, FBI, ATF and many other people who rely on fitness to preserve their lives? CrossFit. When it comes to an endeavor where being weak costs you your life, they do CrossFit. Most of us do not require that level of fitness in our daily lives. Why train this hard? If you look at a continuum when on one side is residing in a nursing home and the other end the decathlete (or similar well rounded capable individual), ask this simple question: Which side do I want to be on? Time, aging, and lifestyle conspire to put us in long term care homes and alike. The harder we pull toward the elite side of the continuum, the less close we are to the nursing home. If teaching a 57 year old women to dead lift 200 plus pounds seems extreme, think of the grandmother who can't pick up her #20 grandson. Which place do you want to be in? Very few of us will get to the level of being on the CrossFit website for some outstanding physical feat. We CAN all work diligently to achieve the best effort and results our age and ability allow us to achieve. Much of what we do is based on functional exercises, executed at high intensity that are varied to the point of near randomness. Why? Our goal is to create people who are capable in ALL aspects of fitness. When the SEAL Teams and Special Forces adopt Swiss balls as a major tool to keep them alive when it counts, I will buy them. Until that time, we will do CrossFit.
I'm heading out for my 4th session with Dave - and I know I'll come away feeling a bit stronger, and a bit amazed that I did something I never dreamed I could do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Episode 13- Trainers and Trail Shoes

These are the beatiful trail shoes I won from the Run Run Live Podcast. The photo really doesn't do them justice - they're much bluer than they look.

Since I've never had trail shoes before, it's difficult for me to rate these, but their performance on my trial run was excellent, and I have nothing bad to say about them.

The laces are super. Non-slip - won't likely ever come untied. The tongue is integrated into the shoe sock, so there are no seams or bumps cause foot discomfort. They made my feet feel very stable, even when twisting from side to side on rocks. The soles have superior grip power - I felt comfortable going both up and down steep hills. The downhill slopes on my trail felt very slippery to me in regular running shoes - not so in these puppies.

The shoes are Patagonia Release made by Vibram (the Five Finger people.) When these wear out I won't consider looking at other brands.

So - I decided to get really serious this week. I hired a trainer. His name is Dave and he owns the CrossFit gym a couple of blocks from my house. When I first noticed the gym I said it wouldn't last more than a couple of months because of its size, location, and proximity to other chain establishments. I was wrong.

CrossFit is and Elite Fitness Training Center without the Elitist attitude. They focus on training the whole body - not just parts of it. There are no gimmicky gadgets in this gym and the only aerobic equipment is a non-motorized rowing machine. I was very impressed with my first workout, and very sore the day after. It's an insidious thing that sneaks up on you. I'm planning for two sessions per week for now.

Dave told me to not go near my scale for one month. That is going to be very difficult for me, but I'm going to give it a shot. Since my first workout my diet has been clean and sugar-free. The first few days were hard, but I perservered and I'm not going back there.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Episode 12 -Counting back in time

While listening to the Runner's Round Table last night (found on the Talkshoe Network most Wednesdays at 4pm) my friend Cewtwo posted a link to my blog and my podcast. Toni Harvey was pleased to hear about another podcast and thought that mine must be about counting back age.

When you think about it - runners do that. They start with a body age, and the more they run the younger they feel and the fitter they get.

For myself, this is so true. Before my oldest grandson was born I felt like an 80 year old woman. My knees hurt, my legs hurt; and I had zero energy. I dreaded summer because I knew the heat was going to do me in.

The advice I got from almost everybody when I started running was - don't do it. The theory was that my already bad knees would get worse and I would be crippled. Fortunately for me, I didn't listen to the advice and I got my knees and hips back.

It's true that body parts wear out from lack of use. Get them moving and they will reward you with renewed life.

I would be lying if I said I never get any aches or pains. Of course I do. But they don't last and I don't spend cash on anti-inflammatories and muscle rubs. I rarely take anything - ice will usually do the trick if I'm feeling a bit sore.

So - this blog (and podcast) has new meaning. Not only am I counting down 50 pounds (and not well at the moment) but I'm also turning back the clock on age.

You can do it too. Get MOVING!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Episode 11

Busy, busy week. Canada Day fell right in the middle of the week (it's always celebrated on the day - not on the nearest Monday) and it kind of threw everybody off a bit.

We have had buckets and buckets of rain in the past week. I haven't really done any what I would call 'good' runs - most have been walking, shuffling, dodging rain, and generally whining about bugs. On to better things next week.

I spent some time with my grandchildren. We visited the town of Stratford, home of the world-famous Shakespearean Festival. It was so much fun to view the town through the eyes of little boys. They have a totally different, and completely fresh view of life.

It looks like we're headed into a much drier week. I hope so, because cutting the lawn every other day wears thin after a while! I must say that my yard and garden are looking pretty fantastic though.

A la prochain!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Episode 10

This is a very short episode. I figured out how to add the voice mails to the podcast, but the sound is still not as good as I would like it to be.

If folks are kind enough to call in, they deserve to be heard. I just hope everybody can hear these.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Episode 9

The 7.5 pounds I gained last week are only partially gone. I lost 4 this week which means I'm carrying 3.5 pounds of salty pretzels around on my hips.

This has been a very trying week - lots of rain, no biking, and only a few short runs. Lack of regular exercise makes for a cranky me.

My summer has officially begun now that school is out. I can get out for exercise as early or as late as I want, with no time constraints.

The best part of this week is that my yard and garden are looking great! I swear I have the biggest hostas (don't even bother with the jokes - I already did a mental filter and decided it's just too '12 yr old boy' to comment on), and the milkweed I have allowed to grow along the wall is already attracting Monarch butterflies. Did you know that milkweek is essential for them? We've become so weed-whacky as a society that the Monarch is in danger of dying off because their food source is being eradicated.

Don't forget to click on the 'You Are What You Eat' link on the sidebar. The information on that website is excellent for everybody - not just vegetarians.

A demain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Disaster Strikes!

I am up 7.5 pounds this week, which negates any losses I have made thus far, and so I am back to Fifty Counting Down. I know the 7.5 pounds isn't fat - it's water retention caused by the metric tonne of salt I consumed over the weekend in the form of monster bags of pretzels. The gory details are available for your listening pleasure in my podcast, Fifty Counting Down, available free through the iTunes store.

There is a link on the sidebar to a free e-book on Sugar Addiction - not often you get anything free, and the book, written by Karly Randolph Pittman, is a very interesting read for folks like me who can't stop once we start eating sweets.

I've had a week of trail running, a few bike rides, a couple of short sidewalk runs, and one weights workout. It's time to get my ass in gear where my mouth is concerned and maybe duct tape it shut for a while when the urge to pig out hits me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fifty Counting Down - Episode 7

How pathetic does this face look? I'm not sure which is my favourite part - the dirt on the end of my nose, or the blood streaming down my chin that looks like it was painted on. I assure you, it's real blood.

I am a trail runner! I've walked this particular trail many times with my dog, Dexter, but I got it into my head last week to try running on it as a diversion from the cement I usually run on.

I LOVED it! There is no boredom involved - there's always something happening in the woods, and there is no traffic noise. The fact that I tripped and fell over a tree root is inconsequential. Call it a right of passage if you will.

My return trip a few days later was much better as far as falling was concerned, but it started raining at the half way point of my run and the rain turned the trail to a slick surface that wasn't suited to my good Asics running shoes. I'll be investing in some trail shoes very soon, because I plan to keep this up.

I'm getting better at biking, and much more confident at riding on the road. I'm still sticking to quieter streets, and country roads, but it's all about the distance for me. I'm not interested in speed, but I really enjoy distance, whether running or biking.

On my podcast this week I read an excerpt from the book 'Conquer Your Food Addiction' by Caryl Ehrlich - a very good read for anyone who has ever suffered from binge behaviour or food addiction. See the link on the sidebar to Ehrlich's website.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Episode 6

I was feeling very down after my last episode - couldn't find my mojo and was generally very whiny. I think it was a combo of rainy weather, allergies, and some springtime blues. Fortunately, the feeling didn't last past Friday and I'm back to my usual sunny self!

I worked all weekend and instead of sitting in the van while the kids were out canvassing, I got out and did wall-type pushups, or walked a block and back (can't get too far away from the van), or stretched my legs and back. Sitting in one position all day long is not a good thing and sometimes I feel like I'm totally siezed by the end of the day.

Monday was a long run day for the Half Marathon Training. The photo at the top of the blog is from a road underpass that used to be covered in nasty graffiti. A city works program let a bunch of kids from the neighbourhood paint it last summer, and it really is quite spectacular. There are various scenes from around London depicted along the length - very nice work. Since I've never gone 5 miles on that route before I had not seen this before. Just shows what you can see when you get out and walk around your own city.

I'm getting braver with my bike. I attempted to ride to Thorndale on Tuesday (about 25 miles round trip)but I only made it half way because I chickened out when faced with a HUGE hill on the secondary highway. I wasn't sure I could make it up the hill and I'm still very leery of traffic. I'll do it - probably within the next couple of weeks as my biking ability increases.

I listened to this book on Audible last month: http://www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307266309 and I highly recommend it for anyone who runs or wants to run. I'll be buying a paper copy so I can 'read' it, rather than listen. Good stuff!

Had a lot of requests on Twitter for this recipe - so here it is. I am not a 'measuring' kind of cook - free-form and Zen-like is me so use your imagination and make it suit your own taste:

Quinoa/Mango Salad

Boil one cup of rinsed quinoa until done (will look like small beads with white ring around outside) - drain, and refrigerate for about an hour. You should have about 2 cups of cooked quinoa.

Peel and chop a large mango - add to quinoa
Chop, slice or dice a very large red pepper - add to quinoa
Thin slice a whole vidalia onion - add to quinoa
Cut the ends off a handful of snow peas, and steam until just bright green - do not over-steam - you guess it - add to quinoa.

Toss everything together and sprinkle with a little sea salt. If the mango is not overly ripe and isn't really juicy, you can add a bit of lemon or lime juice.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Episode 5

I do a little interview with Reg about why he has quit running. Since the man is incapable of being serious, it's really just a bit of fun.

Allergies are still making me feel like I'm plodding through molasses, and I have no energy to do anything but eat.

A surprise phone call from UltraDad really make my day - we haven't heard from him since he decided to take himself off the social network and concentrate on his family. He's doing well and training for a 10k. He says he may call in again - I hope so.

It's absolutely pouring rain today - and I mean coming down in bucketfuls. A few weeks ago I learned that the little girl Idrive to school was going to be excluded from a class trip to a farm because she needs one on one supervision. She's hearing impaired and has several behaviour problems. I get along with her very well, so I volunteered to go with her because I hate to see a child left out. Today's the day. We're going to a farm and we're going rain or shine. I'm thinking I'll wear Reg's full body rain suit. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Episode 4

This week I talk about the need for added fat in our diets, half marathon plans, free iPhone apps that rock, and enjoying the summer weather.

Monday is the day I choose for my long run of the week, and I will always do it on a bike path that runs beside the river. Last Monday I was lucky enough to see these deer getting a morning drink and generally cooling off. They left as soon as they saw me, and have no idea how much joy they gave me. On my return trip I saw a herd of about 8 deer in the woods, but they too took off as soon as they were aware of me. Amazes me how they can run so quickly and make so little noise.

I got some road tires put on my mountain bike, and I plan to crank in a few miles of biking for cross-training - something I have never really done. Cross training is boring - running is fun. I think biking can probably be fun too. Only time will tell.

Have a listen to my podcast on iTunes - just search for Fifty Counting Down and you'll fine me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

WooHoo! Forty-five Counting Down!

That's right folks. I lost a whole half pound this week. Soooooo sloooow - but in the right direction.

On this week's podcast I talk about the need for enough water , how to figure out your BMR, and the advantages of taking Buckley's Mixture.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Half Mara.thon Plan.

Over the winter and into this Spring I have been running what many would call 'junk' miles. They aren't junk to me, but they haven't been doing me much good. I haven't had a plan.

In my quest to get my weight under control, I also need to get some control over my running, in the hope that I won't be exhausted by the end of the week, and my body will have a chance to ditch some of the fat I'm carrying around.

I don't have any race plans at the moment, but I'm going to start running and training as if I do. I've decided to go with John Bingham's Run/Walk Half Marathon, which seems like a sensible distance to train for when I'm not really going to do an actual Half. Although...there is that World Wide Festival of Races in October and it would be good to be ready for that.

The Bingham plan is simple and can be found in his book Marathoning for Mortals, co-written by Coach Jenny Hadfield, M.A., CPT.

Week one starts with two 35 minute Run 3 min/Walk 2 min. - repeat 7 times; 2 days of 30 minutes of cross-training, 1 long run day - first week is 3 miles; and two rest days.

Times and distances increase each week until the Half Marathon is Run 4 minutes, Walk 1 minute throughout.

This is much more sensible than running every day for 4 or 5 miles and taking walk breaks as needed, with only one real rest day.

My plan is to finish this program, and that start right into it again, with the thought of doing marathon training next Spring (2010.) I want to complete a marathon before I turn 65, and that will be in February 2011. I have lots of work to do. Join me.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I am now officially a podcaster. It just seems like so much more fun than typing. My first attempt is up on iTunes - you can find it with the same name - Fifty Counting Down. It's raw, and plain, and very short. I plan to improve it in coming weeks as I learn to use the podcast creation software. I also plan to keep it to about 15-20 minutes because that's about all the information my brain can spit out at one time!

Big thanks to Chris Russell for giving me a blurb on his show - Run Run Live - which can also be found on iTunes, and to everybody else who has been so generous with tips and tricks and general information.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Week Whatever

As of this week I am 46 and counting down. I know it has been a looong time since I posted anything, but I have lots of excuses.

First - I broke my scale. I didn't do it intentionally. I put it up on the dryer while I was washing the laundry room floor and it fell off and pretty much destroyed itself. Maybe it was trying to tell me something. I tend to become a tad scale-obsessed, and I really should stay away from them, but we all know how difficult that is.

Second - I bought a new scale. Of course it gave me a different weight than the old one did, and it was a weight I did not like. I decided to wait a couple of weeks until I could see a definite change on the new scale, and move on from there. It's only a number, but I like to see a downward trend.

Third - I got a wicked awful chest cold that just about did me in. Ever since childhood I have had at least one bout of chest cold/bronchitis that lasts about 3 weeks. Doesn't seem to matter what I do it's with me for that long and it's time I gave up fighting it. Sometimes it's just best to give in, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and bitch about the crap that's on tv.

So - the trend is still moving down, I feel good about what I'm eating now that I've ditched bread in any form - including pita, tortilla, flat, bagel, sweet, homemade from all the best grain money can buy, and ezekial. I can't eat it. It sets off a trigger in my brain that tells me to run to the nearest store and stock up on candy (at least the trigger has me running.) I give in - eat the junk, and then feel awful for several days afterward.

Watch this space for less of me. 46 counting down.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week Two

Down 2 pounds this week!

I have to convince myself to be happy with that, even though it's a struggle. I always want to lose 5 pounds per day when I pay close attention to what I'm eating, and while I understand intellectually that is not feasible, the child in me wants it to be so.

The biggest challenge I faced this week was breakfast. I always eat breakfast, but I don't always eat it first thing. I'm up between 4 and 5 am, and I was in the habit of eating breakfast around 9 am - long after exercise. Yes folks - I was running on an empty stomach, which wasn't really a problem on short runs, but anything over 3 miles left me feeling very tired and definitely with an empty fuel tank.

I'm trying to eat within an hour of getting out of bed - sooner if I'm going out for a run. A piece of high fibre bread with a little peanut butter, or a cup of oatmeal with a few blueberries seems to do the trick.

I'm eating every 3 hours - small portions but nutrient dense. I'm not going to waste any of my calories on fluff.

Finding the right balance of food and exercise has always been a struggle. I picked up a very interesting tip a few weeks ago from my friends at Fat to Fit Radio - a fantastic podcast by two guys who have been there and know what they're talking about. Their suggestion was to figure out your BMR for the weight you want to end up at, and then eat for that BMR. It's very simple advice and takes the guess work out of 'how many calories should I eat?'

I've been serious about lifting weights this week - 3 sessions with my home gym and lots of free weights. I concentrate on upper body, and do squats for my legs.

I've been sitting on a stability ball while at the computer to engage my core muscles - try it for a day and you'll understand that it really does work. I have muscle ache in places I didn't know I had muscles.

The weather has taken a turn for the better in these parts - I'm hoping to get my bike out soon and do some biking for cross-training. I just have an ordinary old bike - definitely not a racer, but I enjoy riding it and will crank in lots of miles once it comes out of the shed.

For now - I'm 48 Counting Down, and looking forward to the coming week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Week One

<--This is what I looked like when I weighed over 300 pounds.

--> And this is what I look like now.

When I was my fat self, I had no self-esteem, and I thought about losing weight all the time. I tried so many different diet plans that the diet industry should have been paying me to test them all. I always lost weight, but it never stayed off until I finally bought the clue that I had to change my lifestyle too. Which I did. And I got thinnER.

I taught myself to run, and trained myself to the point where I was able to run a half-marathon. That was possibly the proudest day of my life. I set out to accomplish something and I did it.

At that point I wanted to lose 50 more pounds. It never occurred to me that I wouldn't lose it.

Something happened in my head when I finished that marathon. I had nothing else to train for even though I was running regularly, and I was at the point where I looked 'normal' for the first time in many years.

Complacency has set in folks, and I have been content with the way I look. But I'm not really content. I want those 50 pounds gone, and I want them gone this year.

That's where the title of this blog comes in - Fifty Counting Down means I'm starting at 50 and I'm counting back to zero. I may find that I need to lose more once I get there, but for now I'll be happy to shed the 50.

Monday is weigh-in day. Each week I will be reporting how much I lose (or gain god forbid) and I'll be accountable to myself and you, gentle reader. I'm considering podcasting on this as well - I know I'm not the only binge-eating, control-freakin', obsessive compulsive, all-or-nothing food addict out there.

See you next week with an update.