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Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
2:40 pm
I guess I should post a little update on the whole workout thing, especially since I've apparently suckered a couple of people into getting the DVD.

I haven't been as regular about doing it as I hoped, but better than I usually do with these things. I probably averaged 2-3 times a week in March, and as previously noted, I did notice a little bit of firming up in places that seriously need it. I don't feel like I've lost any weight or even inches though, but since I don't have any actual numbers, I can't prove or disprove that.
I should track something though. So since I don't own a scale, I will measure myself tonight when I get  home so I will have something to compare to when I do another update like this.

the workouts are doing something though. Throughout the month, it's been getting easier to do the modified pushups to the extent that I'm starting to throw in some 'real' pushups. Considering the fact that last month, I could barely do the modified ones, and I can't remember a time when I could do a 'real' one, I'm calling this a big victory. I've also upped my weights to 3lb hand weights. The soup cans just weren't cutting it for things like the bicep curls, but the weights are definitely on my outer limit as far as things like the lat raises are concerned. I'm also getting deeper in a lot of my squats and lunges.

I am still on level one, but I will probably be moving up to level 2 within the next week or so. It scares me a little, so I am putting it off.
Tuesday, March 24th, 2009
1:50 pm
Now that the weather is turning, I'm looking for somewhere in Leslieville to get my bike tuned up. I went by Cycle Therapy on Queen and it looks like they are gone. Does anyone know of another good place in the area to take my bike to?

Friday, March 6th, 2009
11:31 am
    So I've done the workout the last 2 nights and it is hard. Both times I felt like crying at about the 6 minute mark. It's the first time I've ever been happy to start doing ab crunches.  I'm waking up sore. Going up and down stairs is no fun at all. 
Despite all that (and in some respects, because of all that), I'm really happy with the workout. The amount of time spent on each section seems perfect. Just as you've decided that you are never ever going to do another jumping jack / push up / lunge again in your life, you're told to move on to the next exercise. And for me, the hardest exercises are done right off the top. This leads to the aforementioned crying six minutes in, but then I seem to cruise (relatively speaking) for the rest of the 20 minutes. (of course this might just mean that I'm doing them wrong.) And I'm really proud of myself that I can last the length of the workout.

The coolest part is that I think I'm already seeing tangible results. This morning, as I felt up my roll of fat, I realized that it was definitely firmer than it was yesterday. (I made Joe verify this for me) It hadn't decreased or anything dramatic like that, but my body is clearly already changing.

Also, two days in a row, I've woken up and gotten out of bed within 10 minutes of  my alarm going off. Usually I doze for at least a half hour before dragging myself out of bed, but I'm waking up bright eyed and bushy tailed these days. I'm getting up so early, I can do a 20min yoga stretch routine before work as well as some bits of housework.

Let's hope I can keep up this momentum through the weekend when my schedule tends to get screwed up.
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
9:39 pm
I warned you
here's the threatened promised 'before' pic:

3:16 pm
Ok,  maybe the Health Measures Survey has motivated me.  Either that, or I've completely lost it.
I ordered  the  Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred  DVD a couple of days ago after reading a couple of posts from Motherhooduncensored (actually, I was reading her I'm a shredhead blog) and thought 'I could do this'. We'll see if I was right. It's supposed to be a killer workout, even for people that are in good shape, and we all know that I don't fall into that category.
I've been pretty good with my DDR these last couple of months. (well, I was sick for a couple of weeks and didn't get to it, but other than that...), but the amount of calories burned doesn't seem to be a lot. At least not when I only do it for 20 to 30 minutes. I've been telling myself that at least it's more calories being burned than if I was just sitting on my ass watching tv, which is true, but I really want to feel in better shape and I don't think that it's cutting it.
Anyway, the DVD came today, so I will hopefully be starting tonight after Z goes to bed.
I'm supposed to share some 'before' stats, so here goes.

a) before pics - I'll take them and post them when I get home, you lucky LJ people you!
b) tagline -  What have I gotten myself into?! or a more positive version: 120lb Joyce here we come!
c) weight - 151lbs. I don't have a scale but this is what they told me I weigh when I did that survey.
d) goal - have more stamina and to just all round feel better (long term goal - 120lb Joyce)
e) diet plan - smaller portions that's it. Hell, the reason I want to do more exercise is so I can keep eating everything I'm eating now.
f) personal rules - Do some sort of physical activity that I wouldn't normally do, every day.
g) shred plan - Level 1 with soup can weights (I don't have hand weights and I'm not sure I could even manage 3lb weights yet) 3-4 times a week alternating with yoga and DDR.

What do you think?

Thursday, February 26th, 2009
1:19 pm
Random thought for the day:
When is it ok to start digging up graves and putting them on display? Is it a time thing? 1000 years? 2000 years, 5000 years?
Is it when the civilization has disappeared and there's no one around to complain?
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
12:36 pm
Yesterday I had a fitness assessment done as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Our address was randomly picked and I was the lucky one in the house that got to have the survey done. I already had an hour long interview where they asked many many questions about my lifestyle and general health.  That was painless.
Yesterday was not. It wasn't really painful in the physical sense although they did take blood and make me do some exercise. The damage was mostly psychological.
I've done tests like this before, either at my doctor's or whenever I join a new health club. But in those circumstances, they definitely try to put a positive spin on any results. Not so with this. They didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but to just be told flat out that I'm overweight and out of shape and both these things are damaging my health was not easy to hear.
I'm trying to get more exercise and eat better these days, but that doesn't help me when I read the results from the tests. I'm trying to make it motivate me, but really, all it does is depress me and make me want to crawl under the covers with a bag of chocolate.
Friday, January 30th, 2009
1:34 pm
I'm thinking of checking out Wintercity tomorrow at Nathan Phillips Square with the little one, but I'm kinda scared.
She's a bit too young still for the arts and crafts that they do and if it's too crowded, it'll be difficult to handle her.
I guess I could just go, check it out and if it's too much, I can just head over to the Eaton Center and let her play in the Indigo there.

Anyone else going?
Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
12:33 pm
Why did I just join Twitter? I can't even consistently blog here or on my other blog. What is wrong with me?
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
12:40 pm
I usually don't do new years resolutions, but coincidentally, I made a few lifestyle changes around new year and it would be good to write them down so I don't forget.

1. Menu plan and cook dinner at home more often.  Joe and I are in our second week of menu planning and it is going really well. On Sunday we plan the dinners for the upcoming week and go grocery shopping for the ingredients. This means that I don't have to pick up ingredients on my way home from work, which means I can get home by 6:30 instead of after 7pm, which means dinner is on the table before 8pm!

2. Bake more. I really love baking and I used to do it all the time when I was a kid. Since moving out of my parents house years ago, I pretty much stopped doing it except for the yearly orgy of christmas cookies (the ginger snaps and the orange cookies were great by the way).
 Last year though, I found a great recipe for banana bread and I love Nigella Lawson's chocolate cake recipe (it was Z's birthday cake!). There's really no reason why I can't start doing more of this.

3. Exercise. I've been a total slug these last couple of years. Breastfeeding has kept my weight in check but since that will probably end sometime this year, I've got to find something else. Before I got pregnant, I managed to buy a used copy of Dance Dance Revolution and a dance mat for pretty cheap. I was convinced that this was going to be the thing that would help me lose my extra pounds. Unfortunately, within a month of getting it, I found out I was pregnant and my doctor didn't think it was wise for me to be doing so much jumping. The game got put away and then our playstation 2  broke. But then, for Christmas this year, Joe bought me Dance Dance Revolution Universe 2 for the Xbox360. I've only just started to play it regularly. I try and go for half an hour before I go to bed and if I wake up early enough before work, I try to squeeze in another 15 to 20 minutes. I'm sure I won't be able to keep that up once my enthusiasm for it wanes, but if I can manage half an hour 4 times a week, I will be satisfied (and hopefully, lighter).

4. Hang out more with my friends. This is something that I keep telling myself. My natural tendency is to give in to apathy and just stay home in my jammies. In fact, I totally bailed on a couple of friends this holiday season for no good reason. (sorry Maria, sorry Jean)  I still have the excuse that our place is a bit of a mess (although it is getting better) so I don't want to have anyone over. This has to change! I will start inviting people over no matter what shape the place is in! 
I also have to get out of feeling guilty if I go out at night without the kid. I feel bad because Joe has her all day and I know she can be a handful sometimes. But I need to socialize without her sometimes. To that end, I'm going to try and get out to Drunken Knitters without her and to make it down to the Lettuce Knit SnB at least once a month without her.

12:26 am
So I decided to totally copy Jaquie in her personal sock club venture. (I didn't join the group though.)
I couldn't find enough sock yarn in my stash for 12 pairs, just 10, so it won't be a sock of the month, but a sock every 5 weeks or so. That's better anyway since I don't think I've ever finished a pair of socks in a month. Then again, I don't think I've ever finished a pair of socks in 5 weeks either so I still may have bitten off more than I can chew.
I packaged up each socks worth of yarn with a card with a pattern name on it and sealed them in individual paper bags.
here they all are on top of a bookshelf so I can&quot;tget at them.
here they are at the top of a bookcase where I can't get at them.
And to add a little more randomness into it all, Joe will be the one picking a bag every 5 weeks (or however quickly I can churn out a pair of socks)
We started tonight since I just finished the pair of socks that had been languishing on my needles for the last few months. The yarn that was picked was Socks that Rock - Gingerbread Dudette

and the pattern was supposed to be Diamante. But when I looked at the pattern closely, I realized that the original yarn had way more yardage than the StR and since I just went through major heartache running out of yarn with the last pair of socks I made, I decided to switch the pattern to Pomotomus. I may still seek out someone with a super accurate scale once I finish the first sock to make sure I have enough to finish the second one.
The yarn is now in a nice ball ready to be cast on tomorrow on my commute.

Thursday, December 11th, 2008
10:54 am
The Internet was so helpful with my previous sweater question, here's another one for you all.

Ok, it's time to talk cookies.
I have a cookie exchange to go to on the weekend and thusly, I have to make some cookies. Problem is, I don't know what to make.
When I went through this last year I bought the Taste of Home best loved Cookies and Bars magazine so you'd think I wouldn't have that problem anymore, but I do! Just with a twist. Now I have too much of a choice!

Help me out, should I make:
minty meringue drops, (meringues with mint chocolate chips)

Italian Christmas Cookies (straight up cookies with ricotta cheese and some butter icing)

Orange cookies (orange flavoured cookies with an orange glaze)

Amish Sugar cookies (pretty straightforward with lots of sugar)

Peppermint twist kisses (peppermint flavoured swirled cookies with a hershey's kiss on top)

Gingersnaps (plain, regular old gingersnaps.)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008
5:18 pm

The Life Experience Test

Overall, you have partaken in 91 out of 169 possible life experiences.
Your average life experience score is therefore 54%.

The average score is 52%, making your experiences more than 54% of the people who have taken this test.
The average for your age group (36-55) is 56%.

Broken down by category:
Art: 6/17 (35%)

Career & Work: 10/13 (77%)

Civics & Technology: 3/7 (43%)

Crime & Disarray: 5/11 (45%)

Education: 6/18 (33%)

Fashion: 4/10 (40%)

Fitness, Health and Sports: 4/7 (57%)

Life in General: 8/14 (57%)

Relationships: 10/14 (71%)

Religion & Politics: 1/4 (25%)

Social: 13/22 (59%)

Travel: 10/20 (50%)

Vices: 11/12 (92%)
Take the test and see how YOU compare
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008
1:42 pm
For the knitters out there, a question.

I just treated myself to 10 balls of Rowan Calmer yarn from the sale at Village yarns. Now I just have to figure out what t want to do with it.

I would love to make Audrey from Rowan book 35, but I'm not sure how body hugging 2x2 rib would look on my very un-Audrey like body. 

Other options are Still, also a Kim Hargreaves design. I really like the square neckline of this one, not too fond of the sleeves.

Phyllo (a photo of the sweater from a random flickr account) from Norah Gaughan.

and Baby cable and big ones too. My neighbour  And she knits too just did this and it looks amazing on her. This one doesn't call for Calmer, but it should still work out gauge wise.

What do you guys think? Any other suggestions?

(sorry about the lack of photos of sweaters. I'm at work and loading them would be problematic.)

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
1:23 pm
The fan in my office has been on for 3 days straight. It alternates between cool air and warm air.
I think it's making me sick.
I know it's making me crazy!
Friday, October 31st, 2008
11:07 am
Wow, things are looking up. A least a little bit.

We got our estimates for the furnace last night and decided on the guy that was slightly more expensive but also seemed more upfront about the things that needed to be done. Also he was extremely helpful in regards to the $1200 in rebates we are eligible for from the various government agencies.
Because we are going after the rebates we have to have a heating audit done of our house. He's trying to fast track it (It can take up to 2 weeks but since we have no heat right now and it is getting colder that really isn't an option) and says he should be able to get the new furnace in place before the end of next week. 

And this morning in my in box I got a note from the foodtv.ca blog saying that I won some cookbooks! Hooray for winning stuff!!

Thursday, October 30th, 2008
10:22 am
The joys of home ownership! Last night around 11pm we found out we need a new furnace. We knew when we got the place that the furnace was old, but we were hoping to get at least one winter out of it, but no.
We had been trying to turn it on for the last week, but couldn't. So yesterday evening a very nice man came over (at least the reports are he is very nice, I was already in bed when he arrived after 10pm so I have no firsthand knowledge.) and turned it on for us. It stayed on for 10 minutes and then turned itself off. After trying it a couple more times, the conclusion was that it wasn't venting properly. That's when the carbon monoxide detector went off.  The gas was quickly shut off. Apparently instead of blowing nice warm air into the house, the furnace was spewing horrible poisons into the air instead.
So today we hopefully have a couple of guys coming over to give us estimates on a new furnace.
Oh, and one of the walls in our nice finished basement is not to code and is much too close to the furnace. Nice.

So Joe got very little sleep last night thinking about this and I was so preoccupied by it on my morning commute that I missed my stop where I change from the Queen car to the King car. So I decided to take the Queen car all the way to the Dufferin bus. Not knowing the route very well, I got off THREE STOPS EARLY!

Things better start looking up soon.
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
11:13 am
Thank you everyone for helping me stay strong in my moment of weakness. I'll try and make you all proud of me.
Monday, October 27th, 2008
11:34 am
Is it wrong that even though I absolutely hate the idea of facebook, I'm tempted to join today just to give me something else to look at on the internet here at work?
Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
10:10 am
East end boys and West end girls
So we've been in our new place for just over a month now, and I'm still a bit disoriented. I've lived in the west end for so long that the move across the Don river is causing me some culture shock. I'm still not accustomed to not being able to walk to Kensington, and just not being close to the vibrant street life of Little Italy, Chinatown and the Annex. The area feels very small town in comparison to the other places I've lived in the city.           
The weirdest  thing right now is the fact that the closest bookstore is a 20 minute walk away at Danforth and Logan. (If you know of one closer to Dundas and Jones, please, let me know!) This is a big adjustment from having a Book City and the giant BMV a 5 minute walk from our house.

Joe and Z are faring a bit better than I am. They have now joined the crew of regulars at the local park and every day she and Joe take long walks around the neighbourhood. But since I really only get the weekends to do any sort of exploring, it's difficult. It's just a strange feeling for me to not know things like where the dry cleaners are, and which is the good pizza place, and which coffee shop I can go and relax and knit or read in.
Don't get me wrong, I really like the new 'hood. I know I'll find my place in the neighbourhood soon enough and I really like exploring it and finding its quirks. It's just  taking longer than I thought to get comfortable.
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