Sorry For The Silence

Hey guys! I know I’ve been quiet this week but I am currently on vacation in lovely Alberta, the “sunniest province in Canada”.

I owe a foodie pen pal post (I was spoiled, it was amazing) and the general nonsense I produce but right now I’m enjoying myself too much to turn on the computer.

Promise to wrote a real post tomorrow.



Vacation Plans

Vacation countdown – 3 more sleeps!

I haven’t been away since last April, and Shawn and I haven’t been away together since last January.  This vacation is definitely due.


We sure know how to pack a lot into 8 days. We are visiting Radium Hot Springs, mountain biking and hiking in Banff, hiking to a tea house in Lake Louise, and I plan on going to CrossFit Calgary for a WOD too, as well as trying to see all the friends we have in the area.

I was a little worried about maintaining my workouts and eating habits (such as they are) while on vacation.  Now that we have planned it out a bit more, I shouldn’t have a problem with exercise, what with the hiking, biking, and CrossFit.  I’d like to run while I’m out there, too.

As for eating – our hotel does not offer breakfast, and while there are restaurants near by I don’t want to rely on eating out for all 3 meals every day for a week.  To combat this, I have decided to:

- bring my Magic Bullet blender to make smoothies
- bring protein power for smoothies as well as a snack between meals (and while hiking)
- stock the fridge in our hotel room with fruit, yogurt, granola bars and other healthy snacks
- make good choices while eating out

I know that I could not workout for the week and eat whatever I wanted and it would still be ok, but I know I won’t feel well if I eat like crap 3 meals a day and since we’ve planned such an active vacation, I want to make sure we are fuelled properly for 3-4 hours hikes in the mountains.  I’m not a perfect eater (really, who is??) so if I’m at least thinking about it while I’m away I have a better chance of not going off the deep end completely. 

What are your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on vacation?

Sometimes You Just Gotta Rant

Let’s talk about responsibility.

Specifically, let’s talk about responsibility and fitness.

There’s been lots of talk about CrossFit lately, especially since Reebok came out with their “Sport of Fitness” campaign.  For this I’m happy – now I don’t have to explain what I do nearly as often as I used to.  But of course, with greater visibility comes not only greater success but more criticism.

The big thing the critics of CrossFit seem to have a problem with is form, or rather CrossFit’s perceived lack of emphasis on form.  They describe countless injuries stemming from high rep weight lifting movements, lifting improperly and with poor form, or lifting weight that is too heavy.  And to some extent I agree – I’ve seen it online, and I’ve seen it in my own gym.  Guys who are so used to going fast that they lose their form, for example, or the new guy who says “if I go slow I can keep my form, but if I go faster it falls apart”.

This, my friends, is where the responsibility comes in.

While I understand one of the elements of CrossFit is speed, as well as competition, these things should NEVER come before proper form.  Learn how to do movements properly.  Keep doing them properly, even at the detriment of your time or your weight or whatever.  No one is forcing you to have shitty form.

I’m one of the slowest people in my gym to finish a WOD.  Generally it’s because I suck at the movements that make up the workout (I’m part Ukrainian, I’m built to plough fields not be a gymnast) but if it involves weights at all, I take my time to make sure I set up properly, and execute the movement as was intended.  Sure I get tired and my form might start to suffer – but that’s when I take it upon myself to stop, reset, and if needed I’ll remove weight. And I’m lucky enough to have coaches who will yell at me to get my chest up, lower my ass, use my hips, or stop arching my back like an angry cat – because they don’t want to see me hurt. (I hope, anyway….)

I’m no hero in the gym, and you shouldn’t be, either.  You have a RESPONSIBILITY to yourself and your body to make sure that what you are doing is safe for you and your body.  I’m sure there are gyms out there, CrossFit or otherwise, that don’t give a crap about how well you do a clean, or what you look like when you deadlift.  But should you really belong to that gym?

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My point is – take responsibility for yourself in the gym.  Stand up for yourself even if it means you have to say no to your coach or trainer, or have the slowest time on the board, or use lower weights than you want.  Don’t blame your trainer because you have an injury from overuse – it was your decision to ignore the nagging pain and keep pushing.  Don’t blame CrossFit because you couldn’t keep your form while finishing the WOD first – you had every opportunity to slow down and fix it before you hurt yourself.

In this society where it seems to be the norm to blame others for our own downfalls and short comings, stand up for yourself and take responsibility for you and your body – ‘cause it’s the only one you get.

What I Love Wednesday (On Thursday)

Ok, it’s a day late – so I can’t call it What I Love Wednesday. So maybe today we’ll call it – Things I Love Thursday?

1. This kettlebell necklace from Fashletics.  All of their jewellery is lovely, and I love their socks too! One day I’ll order something from them!

2. The new all day hydration from Nuun.  It’s a great idea – less “stuff” than the regular Nuun, so it’s great to drink all day long and not just to replenish during or after exercise.  Can’t wait till it’s available in Canada (or they start to ship from their website to Canada!) Really want to try the grapefruit-orange.

3. This. I always love this <3

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4. Iced mocha, skim milk no whipped cream from McDonald’s.  After working there for 5 years, and after my body transformation, I don’t eat there anymore, but I AM addicted to their iced mocha.  So delicious!

5. This weather! How can you not love summer? So many people are complaining about the heat, but they are the same people that complain about the cold and snow.  This is Canada, people – in Southern Ontario we have cold winters and hot summers! I for one am very happy with the warm weather, although it means early morning runs to beat the heat.

What are you loving today?

Tri Training Tuesday #4–What To Wear?

If you missed any posts in the series:

Tri Training Tuesday
Tri Training Tuesday #2
Tri Training Tuesday #3

Last week was a bust. I don’t want to talk about it. This week promises to be much better. 

I got a run in this weekend (check out the vlog  here or here) and it went really well.  I’m starting to get my running groove back, and building a base, which is great since in July or August I’ll have to start training for my half marathon in October. 

This poor guy sat in the garage all week.

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I can’t say why I never pulled him out, other than being tired I really have no excuse.  He looks so sad, too. (See why I need a road bike, and why I’m so slow? haha)

Now, onto the big question – what should I wear for my tri?

Again, it is very short – 375m swim, 10km bike, 2.5km run.  It is June 16, so it the water wont necessarily be very warm, and I’m not sure if I’ll do another one so I don’t want to invest in a wet suit or tri kit until I find out if I really like doing  triathlons. 

These are the options I have come up with:

- shorts and a sports bra for swimming (throwing on a tank for the bike and run)
- shorts and a tank top for everything
- bathing suit for swimming, throw on shorts and tank for bike and run
- invest in a tri kit (not really an option at this point I don’t think)

I’m stuck and have no idea what to choose!

Help a girl out – what should I wear for a short triathlon? In Canada, in June?

The Weekend in Pictures

…and video, too!

It was (and still technically is!) a long weekend in Canada, and Shawn and I were both lucky enough to have Friday off.  We piled the dogs in the car and headed up to the cottage early Friday afternoon for a few nights.

There was swimming.

And sleeping.



And some stick chewing.


There was also some running (please be kind! It’s weird talking to myself)

On Sunday we headed home late morning in order to head to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to see my first NASCAR race.  We stayed for about an hour, and watched probably only 10-15 minutes of the race (they do go around the same circle for 51 laps!) but it was definitely more interesting than watching it on TV.

There were pretty cars.






LOUD cars.

BBQ pulled pork for Shawn (I had fries – I like my pigs alive!)


The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and planning our front garden as well as our veggie garden! I’m going to stop by the garden centre today to pick up the perennials and some of the veggies we want to grow from plants.  Last year we planted too many tomato plants and it kind of went wild.  Hopefully this year the garden is a little more controlled!

How was your weekend? If it’s a long weekend for you, how are you spending it?

#SweatToStreet Sunday #2

Sweat to Street has been created as a place to link up your favorite outfits of the week as a new Sunday blog feature. The idea is to have some fun and change it up! Each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

Sweat to Street Sunday is hosted by:

Family and Life in Las Vegas (Emily)

Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)

Running and Cupcakes (Samantha)

MCM Mama (Erika)

Boobs, Barbells, and Broccoli (Tenecia)

Week 2! Not all that different from Week 1!


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Photobombed by Scout!

Lululemon Cool Racerback Tank
Lululemon shorts – unsure what style, my mom gave them to me
Bad Ass Knee Socks
My Sauconys


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Photobombed by Rocky!
I call this look “cottage chic” haha

T-Shirt from Bluenotes
Shorts from Joe Fresh
Old Navy flip flops

How To Go From a Size 16 to a Size 6

**Warning – this post talks about weight loss and weight issues – if this is a trigger for you please don’t read or read with caution**

Warning #2 – this post contains copious amounts of pictures of me when I was, um, larger.  This may be offensive to some. Proceed with caution (and please don’t make fun of me too much!)**

Our wedding in 2007 – approx. 190lbs

At my heaviest weight I was 209lbs.  That I know of, anyway – I didn’t weigh myself before that, so for all I know I could have been heavier.  I steadily gained weight after high school – from 160 to 193 and finally to 209.  The weight gain was slowish, slow enough that I never really seemed to notice in daily life, until I saw a photo of myself or went to try on clothes.  320_69287935353_547645353_4000657_9965_n
At my heaviest. And my super awesome brother

There was no specific trigger that got me to lose 30lbs initially.  I decided to start following Weight Watchers without joining – my mom gave me the information for the points, we guessed my point value for the day, and away I went.  Of course I was also going to the gym a lot – mostly spin and yoga.  And some weight came off. My lowest at that time was 173.


I fell off the gym and Weight Watchers wagons and went back to my old lifestyle, and what do ya know – I gained weight again.  In December of 2010 I was back up to 190, and with a wedding and a vacation happening in the next month or so I started buckling down on the eating again (eating healthy, not restricting) and amped it up at the gym.  I was still going to spin and yoga, but added Body Pump into the rotation as well.  And again, the weight came off.  Before I left for vacation in January of 2011 I was down 7 lbs, and somehow managed to lose 3 pounds WHILE on vacation.

(183 in December 2010 and 169 in April 2011)

After plodding along for a while on my own, I bit the bullet and officially signed up with Weight Watchers online.  This spurred even more weight loss, and my  interest in healthy eating continued to grow, as did my interest in weight lifting.  In May of 2011 I quit Goodlife and joined CrossFit – and I have to say that this has had the biggest impact on my weight and body than anything I have ever tried before.

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Weights CHANGE your body.  They change the way you look, the way you feel, the way your body works.  They give you confidence, they give you mental strength, they give you peace.  And they make me happy.

Everyone asks how I have done it, how I do it, what my secret is.  You want to know what the secret it?

Hard work. Determination.  Will power. Healthy eating. Lifting weights.

There it is.  That’s how I went from 209 to 148, from a size 16 to a size 6 (ok, I know I’m more of a size 8, but those shorts I bought yesterday are a 6 so I’m going to run with that for a while).

There is no secret, no magic pill, no special diet that will get you where you want to go.  You have to WANT it and be willing to work HARD every single day.  You have to make it a permanent lifestyle, and not an “until I reach my goal weight” lifestyle.

So there you have it.  How to go from a size 16 to a size 6. Work hard. Eat right. Lift heavy.

What I Love Wednesday #3

In case you missed a post:

What I Love Wednesday
What I Love Wednesday #2

1. Saucony Kinvaras. No I have not tried them. But I am enamoured by my Progrid Guide 4s – they are the shoes I went to after my injury and they have treated me pretty well so far. Plus, they are pretty.


I like pink, ok? I hope to try a pair of the Kinvaras some day, as I still dream of progressing towards a more barefoot style of running.

2. Erin Condren Personalized iPhone cases.  Just how CUTE are these? I want so many of them! Alas, my wallet does not wish for me to have many let alone one.  But a girl can dream.

3. Richard Cheese – he takes popular rock, hip hop, pop songs and turns them into jazz/lounge songs. So. Freaking. Hilarious. Please watch. It makes me so happy. (For those that don’t know, this is a cover of the Rage Against the Machine song, “Killing in the Name Of”.


4.  My brother’s cat, Ginsberg.  He plays fetch (ohh now THAT would have been a good video) and is just very sweet.

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5. The fact that in TWO WEEKS I will be on vacation! I cannot WAIT!


What are you loving most today?

Tri Training Tuesday #3


In case you missed one:
Tri Training Tuesday #1
Tri Training Tuesday #2

I didn’t get all the workouts in that I wanted to last week. I know, clearly I’m not as dedicated as I should be, but life does get in the way sometimes around here – which I don’t always mind truthfully! 

My bike ride was better last week, my runs were pretty good (except I need to find a backpack made specifically for running – the over the shoulder one I used on Friday chaffed my shoulder), and my swim was WAY better than the week before.  I didn’t panic while trying to breathe, and I swam 4 more lengths for a total of 400m.  I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to string more lengths together, and do some 100m repeats. Fingers crossed. 

My favourite workout was definitely the 3.4km run to the pool, my swim, and then the 3.4km walk home in the most beautiful spring weather.  The walk had me really appreciate the beauty of my neighbourhood.  We have a lot of greenspace around here!

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Very pretty!

This week training kind of looks like this (kind of because this weekend is a holiday here in Canada, and that involves cottages and race cars and various other things so I need to be flexible with my workouts):

Monday – Off (mental health day! haha)
Tuesday – CrossFit
Wednesday – Off or CrossFit
Thursday – CrossFit + Swim
Friday – Bike + maybe CrossFit
Saturday – Run
Sunday – Run

Looking forward to swimming on Thursday – I definitely think I’m going to keep up with swimming after the triathlon.  I’d like to get better for one, and two it’s great cross training for everything else I do.

Hope your week is going well!

Do you sometimes take a mental health day? And are there backpacks made for running?? Help a girl out!