Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Playoff Spinoffs

This past Sunday kicked off the last week of Ultimate playoffs for the winter indoor season, and nothing beats getting a new pair of superawesomecool cleats than digging them into some turf and zoom-zooming around!

But first, let me walk you through a typical game for an elite Ultimate Frisbee athlete such as myself:

What I think we look like...

Everyone knows awesome Ultimate players can do disc tricks.  I am not an exception!  Who me? Oh, why yes, I can spin discs on my finger.  Just ignore Tav there.  He's CLEARLY jealous.  Or he had to close his eyes in complete AWE at the awesomeness of my skills.  Wait...

What I actually look like...
Sometimes being elite doesn't always come naturally.  It takes hard work and concentration.

Once your hands and wrists are warmed up and you've gotten comfortable with handling a disc, it's time for a team meeting.  Now, note: just because you're super elite doesn't mean you don't listen to the captain.  You have to listen very carefully and very seriously.  A sign of a really good player is one who can listen and follow directions.  It's all about team work.

Yes, I see what you're saying.  Today's strategy is that you want the girls to handle the disc.  While I mull this over, clearly Melissa is against this idea.  When I'm done mulling things like this over, the result is that I am also against this.  It goes against my Frisbee DNA. 

Basically, the handler is the main person who touches the disc.  Whenever our team is on the offensive (ie. trying to score a point - it took me forever to figure this out!), there's one main person who takes the disc and controls it.  As in, picks it up and decides where and who it goes to next.  The handler is typically understood to be the strongest/skilled thrower.  This is not typically myself.  So this would be the main reason why I'm against this tactical decision. 

BOOM!  This is what a cutter looks like! Zoom zoom!

Since we started out on the team last year, I don't know if it's a Disc Pigs strategy, but mainly the girls on the team are what's known as the cutters.  If you read my Frisbee 101 manual that I put up in a previous post, you'd know what I'm talking about.  But in case you didn't (I forgive you), cutters are the people who do the most running.  And they're supposed to run so fast they effectively cut the grass as they run. : voila, cutter.  So, it's pretty much been programmed into me that I am a cutter.  The Frisbee gets D'd by my team and my first instinct is to RUN!  Even if I'm right beside the downed Frisbee, my elite Ultimate Frisbee brain says RUN!  So you can see my conundrum when all of a sudden I'm told I must pick up this disc.  It was a learning curve. 

What it looks like: Me handling the disc
What actually happens: I freak out that I'm holding the disc that I usually just throw it away and there's a turnover
But a good Ultimate player must learn to adapt.  If we are called to handle the disc, we must handle the disc.

Sometimes an elite Ultimate player is called to make the ultimate sacrifice and take one for the team in the name of keeping possession of the disc or scoring.  Basically, a handler is in charge of getting the disc to the end zone, but cutters also have responsibility.  In order to maintain possession of the disc, a handler can't always throw the disc directly to a cutter or anyone else on their team.  Because clearly, whoever is stalking the cutter can anticipate this and interfere and smack the disc down, thus causing a turnover.  In order to avoid this, cutters and handlers need to work together and the best way to do that is for handlers to throw the disc in a spot just beyond the cutter and it's the cutters job to GET to the disc.  Sometimes, the disc can go a little bit beyond the cutter's reach and normal players would usually let it go.  Elite Ultimate players layout.

What I think I look like
THIS is what a layout looks like.  It's intense and painful and requires sacrificing your body for the good of the team.

What I actually look like
Or you know...if you haven't gotten a chance to actually layout, you could practice.  But whatevs.  Same diff.

Sometimes, the intensity of the game could cause even the best of us to...lose their shit, per se:

What I think losing my shit looks like and what it actually looks like
On good days, regardless of little hiccups such as this, good teams such as that of the Disc Pigs usually manage to pull a win.  Why? Because we're bosses.

Badass pose if I ever saw one!  We RUN this field!
And winning ALWAYS calls for a victory pose:

So that's your typical Ultimate game, pretty much.  It was actually this past Sunday's game to close off the Sunday league winter season.  Disc Pigs pulled an awesome win to secure third place!  And that's definitely nothing to scoff at considering last year when we first signed up, we finished in dead last and were happy about it! *LOL*

In all honesty, it doesn't matter what place we finish in.  The whole point behind Ultimate Frisbee that gets highlighted more than winning or losing is what's called the "Spirit of the Game".  It gets made fun of a lot by the people at the office since I may have conveyed it incorrectly.  But basically, since Ultimate is a self-refereed game, it relies a lot on the attitude of each player and the hope that each player fully abides by the "Spirit of the Game" which in a nutshell is just making sure that you play hard, but you play fair.  This attitude transpires into "spirit points" for each team after every game.  Maybe the "spirit part" gets a bad rep because I keep doing spirit fingers every time I say spirit points.

What?! You don't know what spirit fingers are!?

But basically, all those little parts of the game make it why I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!

This Wednesday evening will be our last game for the Wednesday league and I am SUPER pumped.  We're playing for 5th place (out of six teams *LOL*) but again, that is no laughing matter, yo!  Wednesday league is a more intermediate league than Sundays and we play it without our main handler that plays on Sundays.  The rest of the team looked at this as an opportunity to play more advanced teams with the hopes that with each game that we play, we learn to get better and play together as a more cohesive team.  The next intermediate season, I reckon (did I seriously just use the word 'reckon'?!) that we'll give some teams some serious run for their money.

In the meantime, Spring/Summer season starts in June which is played outdoors with a little change in pace since it's 7-on-7 as opposed to 5-on-5 with MUCH more field space.  I am SUPER pumped to play and for the in-between month of May, Melissa and I have signed on to play for Mondays and Wednesdays just to make sure we don't lose our edge in the month wait-time!

If you haven't already signed up for an Ultimate team, I have no idea what you're waiting for!  Sprinting full out before grinding to a complete stop and then doing it over and over and over again for a full 55 minutes until the game is over or you vomit is CLEARLY the most awesome thing ever!

Who knows....we may just come face to face on the field *squinty eyes*

Remember: When in doubt, layout.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Everything but the kitchen sink...

My favourite picture of me so far.  Pretty much encapsulates who I think I am *LOL* A bright, knee-sock wearing, jumping picture fool! #aintnoshameinmygame
So I'm kind of all over the place today and hopefully you'll bear with me - I mean, if you want to!

I'm currently at a banquet hall with fifty or so other ladies at an all-day scrapbooking retreat.  *LOL*  I used to have a scrapbooking/papercrafting blog once upon a time (Confessions of a Scrapaholic) before I moved into my baking and cake decorating blog (Sugar 'n' Sweets).  If you can't quite tell, I'm a little bit of a blog whore.  It's like I have this incessant need to ensure that the world knows I existed on it at one point in time.  I guess my problem is that I kept tailoring my blogs to specific topics so that when I moved on to my next obsession, I had to leave that blog behind.  When I started this blog, I had every intention to make it more general so that I could make it my home and start nesting and all that.  I wanted it to be a place where I could talk about whatever I wanted, regardless of what I was in to - hence "other shenanigans" in my tagline.  I gave myself a loophole after I couldn't think of anything else to call this blog besides "Cardio Confessions" - specific again.  Bah!

For those whose eyes are already starting to gloss over, just know that if you had more time to sit and chat, I would tell you that this morning started off a bit rocky and lazy but it's getting better now even though I got pissed when I looked outside and saw SNOW on the ground.  In April.  And if you're just about to move along, just know that tomorrow is Ultimate Sunday and I have no intentions of losing again!  And I've got super awesome brand new cleats (I'm aware there should be commas in there somewhere, but I don't care) to help make it happen!  You can't see them though because you're only reading the abbreviated post! *LOL* Take that, Andre!

For those of you with a little bit more time on this cold, spring Saturday, the rest of the post is basically a recap of the week via IG photos and other random pictures from my iPod:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Living is Learning

The abbreviated version of my post:
(For my short-attention-span and most of my male readers, ie. Andre and Josh-o)

"This is a throw-down, a showdown
Hell no, I can't slow down
It's gonna go down, first offense on the mix
down, go on and break
- Maestro Fresh-Wes

Last week, while I was hard at work, diligently typing away with all the dedication and passion of the employee of the month that I am (if my work HAD employees of the month), it occurred to me that my new mission in life is to become a breakdancer.

I know, right?!  Why didn't it occur to me before?  Too much valuable time has already gone by in which I could have been perfecting my b-boy style moves.

Luckily, one of the IGers (Instagrammers) I follow - Chalene Johnson (of TurboKick and ChaLEAN Extreme fame) herself - just happened to post a quick tutorial on how to do a b-boy pose and so of course I had to try it out to gauge where I'm at skill-wise.

Yep.  Obvi I'm on the right track.  I mean, that's my first time and it already looks like I'm a natural at it.  Like I have this built-in, innate ability to just bend my limbs at will and turn tricks hold b-boy poses down.  If we're out and about, just beware...anywhere, everywhere, anytime is a good time to dance off.  I am confident that if I ever get challenged to a dance off, nobody's gonna see me coming!

If you've got a little bit more time to stick around...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Never too soon to stop and say THANKS!

For my male readership who have mentioned that they visit here and then kind of just stop reading after the first paragraph because my blog posts are too long, this section is for you: THANK YOU :) For putting up with me and my weight-loss/lifestyle change journey in real life AND for even clicking on my blog link in the first place.  You guys are the best :)

For everyone else who doesn't usually mind that I can ramble on for quite a bit...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ultimate *insert popular brandname disc here* Post!

I've noticed that I mention that I play Ultimate frisbee here quite fleetingly and I today during clinic, we were also hosting a "Learn How to Play" series and thought it might be a good time to talk about my journey into this game.

To start, I never really know what to call it, which is why sometimes, I refer to it in different ways - though, I usually just call it ultimate frisbee.  The thing that makes it so complicado is that Frisbee is actually a trademarked name for a type of disc made by a company.  So, the sport itself can't really be called Ultimate Frisbee without plugging that company.  So on Wikipedia and all that jazz, they just shortened it to officially be called Ultimate.  Which I kind of think is crap because it gets confusing.  One time, while out and about in my Ultimate gear, someone asked me if I just finished playing a sport or something and I replied with a yes, I play Ultimate. And they just stared at me blankly and are like, "ultimate what?" and I"m like, nothing.  Just Ultimate.  And then they usually start getting irritated because they think I'm being all sassy until finally I break down and say Ultimate Frisbee and then they understand that I play an actual game/sport and I don't just walk around looking like a tool.

CONFESSION: I accidentally dropped that word in front of Tiana Banana and she totes went and asked her dad if he could explain to her why someone would be a tool.  #BestAuntFAIL

Confession: Sometimes I do try to wear the weirdest outfits possible that I think I can get away with in the name of playing Ultimate

CONFESSION: I've since resorted to custom-made game shirts.  It's this weird sickness of mine.  After playing for a year, I now have over 10 green T-Shirts.  And I can't stop.  Every time we're out and I see a flash of green out of the corner of my eye, I have to investigate whether or not it could possibly be a new Ultimate shirt for me.  I don't know why.  I have issues.  I guess that's a different post or help-group altogether...

I'm getting ready to walk down frisbee memory lane so clearly this is probably going to be a long post.  I'd played a few times over the last five years but never really got into it.  For the most part, I tagged along with Melissa when a team she'd signed up to be on would play and needed an extra person.  Being overweight and a complete stranger to cardio, you can see how it never really stuck with me.

Basically, it's running up and down the length of a football field really fast, zigging and zagging with the added bonus of having flat, hard, plastic discs zooming towards your face.

Source: http://tronic.tumblr.com
What did I tell you about the proper "gear".  You gotta look the part!

Later on, Melissa mentioned that in an effort to get out there and be active and social and meet new people who we would normally ignore if on any regular given day, she was going to sign up for an Ultimate league in her neck of the woods.  I understood that she wanted to meet new people and bust out of her comfort zone, so it took me at least three minutes before I invited myself to join, too.  Unlike her goals, I don't like meeting new people.  I just like hanging out with her.  She could meet anyone she wanted so long as she remembered that I was her faaavourite friend! *LOL* Yes, I am truly 6 years old on the inside.  I will totally cut someone if I hear them refer to my best friend as their best friend.  ...Again, I guess that's more issues that belong in a different help-group....I digress...

I figured it was a good thing to do.  It got us out of the house and interacting around other humans and bonus for me, it would get me moving and my heart pumping in this thing called cardio.

Yeah, first day out we totes got yelled at.  We were told that we weren't running enough and if the disc was moving and we weren't running to get off the field.  Hot damn!  Frisbee people are like dance moms.  With less tutus.  Of course, being brand-spanking new and having ZERO idea what the hell was happening, my standard attitude/tone that Tara says that I get was nowhere to be found.  What the heck can I say?  I just got on the field and all of a sudden everyone was running around like chickens with their heads cut off!  And DUDES, I'm TIRED!  That was like, at LEAST a minute of running.  REALLY fast!

Top L-R: Bart, Joyce, Steve, Pete, Sharon, Me
Bottom L-R: Mel, Sean, Tav, Kev

I don't really even know how it happened since we talked about quitting, but somehow, Mel and I made it back the next week.  And then the week after.  And then the week after that. Still scratching my head at how that happened since for at LEAST the entire day before a game, we'd be whining and complaining about how our lives have amounted to this and we would rather barf all over ourselves than all over the frisbee field and could we PLEASE not go this game?

Eventually, I was finding I was able to run a bit more.  Instead of wishing I could die during the middle of a play, I would be able to make it long enough to stumble off the field, slap my sub's hand and then wish it would all just stop.  Somewhere in all of this, Bart joined our team and now it was both of us trying to keep up with these weirdly aerobic people.  Yet, we still powered through.

First my goal was just to be able to run around and keep up with whoever it was I was supposed to be guarding.  And then once I was able to get a somewhat decent handle on that, my goal was to at least be able to touch the disc since no one ever wanted to throw it to me because the person guarding me as always on me like white on rice.  This meant - yep - more frickin' running.

Source: http://tronic.tumblr.com

Now it's three seasons into the league and we still haven't quit.  We're still complaining every night before it's time to go, but we lace up our cleats just the same.

Everyone once in a while, we'd actually win a game.  That was exciting times, yo.

We braved the cold and played outdoor fall league - and this was around the time that I had begun my new journey into this mystery called weight-loss.

When gloves are needed, there just shouldn't be any games!

It was around this time that I started getting the disc thrown to me more often because I was able to run more and get away from my "stalker".  However, that was just the running aspect down after four seasons.  I still had to work on the catching part - and when it's negative temperatures, you don't really want a hard, plastic disc flying fast at your fingertips.  In my defense.

Source: http://tronic.tumblr.com
I totally did number four ALL the time.  It's not without irony that I'm 100% positive that I was also someone's number four. 
Outdoor season finally ended and indoor winter season is about to start.  Complaining and whining aside, we've made it to one year in the Ultimate league and we're still powering through - and no longer getting yelled at. On top of that, we've also managed to recruit not only Bart, but Mel's (now) husband Rory and a couple of friends.  HA!  Everyone was all judging frisbee thinking it was the easiest thing ever to chase after a flying disc.  IN YOUR FACES!  It was seriously a joy to watch them all on their first game out.  That'll teach y'all to think you can hang just because I'm playing it! *LOL*

For me, indoor was a bit of a game changer.  It was around this time that I was well on my way through the lifestyle change I had embarked upon and the weight-loss was happening.  With this meant that I was a bit lighter on my feet and while I may still be someone's number four, I enjoyed making them huff and puff after me and read it on their faces when they would realize that following after me might not necessarily be a cake walk.

Source: http://tronic.tumblr.com
FINALLY 7'd it and starting to regularly knock some discs down!

This was also around the time that I started getting a little bit more confident on the field.  I was actively going after discs and not just following my mark around like a lost little puppy waving my arms around madly if they happened to get the disc.  Heck, I even know what a mark is now!  Conveniently, this was also around the time that we started winning more games and Mel and I stopped complaining about having to go and run around the field.

See that team at the back? They're currently in first place for this season.  I hate them, but that's probably because I'm not on their team.

People are now coming up to us and commenting on how far we've come since last year.  And we feel super proud - we know how we played like last year - especially me!  Lately, we've grown very accustomed to winning games, so we kind of have attitude now when we lose, whereas before, we were all of the "it's not about winning, it's about how you play the game" or something lame like that.  Of COURSE it's about WINNING.

We are now currently up to playing two leagues a week, the Wednesday of which is the "intermediate" league (Awwww, YEAH!) of which I am currently the captain of.  BOOM. (Don't get too excited, it was only be default and in this league, captain is also synonymous to "secretary" or "she who emails out game reminders") but still, I'll take it!

I know this is insanely long and I'm hoping that the pictures have been able to provide enough distraction that I can go on for a bit longer, but I've allowed myself to dedicate this much space to Ultimate because all joking aside, it's really important to me.

Not just because, rocky start aside, we've gotten better at it, but because it has been a big part of this crazy journey that I've been on.  In more ways than one.  First, in that we didn't quit.  After the disastrous first day out, we wanted to quit.  We were encouraged to quit and we knew that nobody would blame us if we did.  But we didn't.  We didn't let a couple people stop us and all of a sudden, they're looking back at us now after we've played a game with them and they're acknowledging that no, we are no longer those two n00bs that randomly joined a league just because we got a crazy idea in our heads.

Besides numbers on a scale, Ultimate has been a real qualitative measurement of how far I've come.  From just standing around just letting my mark score so that I could sub off, to jumping, diving, sliding and enduring turf burn to get a disc.  I can see that things have changed.  I have changed.  And by sticking with it, it has helped in the healthy lifestyle I've been working towards.  It's also opened more avenues to me when I realized all of a sudden that from hating running with a passion, I may possibly be growing a passion for running.  All because of those quick start-stop sprints that I hated so much in the beginning.

And another surprising thing - considering I still don't really actively like pursuing other human interaction.  I've made friends and acquaintances.  I know people who I wouldn't have otherwise have ever really met, let alone gotten to know.  I've become part of something and let's face it, old Catherine never wanted to be a part of anything.  Surprisingly, new Catherine likes it.

I don't really know how to end it here without waxing any more afterschool special anecdotes.  But be it Ultimate or dodgeball (which I still want to line up one day!) or any thing else really, sports-related or not - sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and make some changes if you want to SEE some changes.  I chose Ultimate and it just so happens I'm also cultivating a wicked forehand flick and I'd like to think I look pretty badass on the turf.

Or you know....at least I think I do...


Winter 2013 Indoor Ultimate League: Disc Pigs

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Do you even lift, bro?

First off:

*cries* No, no I don't!

Remember at the end of yesterday's post how I was kind of bragging about how I went and lifted?  No, you didn't get that far down because you got tired of me going on and on? Or was it the American thing and being scary dance moms?

Yeah, well, I got a little over-excited about it I guess and what happened?! This girl would have cried herself to sleep if it wasn't for the extra strength *insert name brand pain killer here*.  Holy lanta, what part of me didn't hurt!?

I was T-Rexing today at ultimate frisbee and I didn't even care.

Source: http://trextrying.tumblr.com/
I don't even know who I should blame it all on.  I think probably Shaun T. for making me feel all Insanity badass that I could just walk up and lift weights, no big deal.

I have to do it again, don't I?

Yesterday, I stuck to the stationary machines because those were the least intimidating.  Not that I'm saying they weren't.  I think I circled my first machine a few times all casual-like before I determined a few things:

One. That nobody was looking at me clearly thinking I had no idea what the heck I was doing
and Two. Walking around it trying not to look like I was reading the picture instructions so I could just walk up to it later and act like I always knew what to do with it when I got there.

While I was sitting at the machines, I was covertly trying to watch the ladies at the free weights without looking too much like a creepy stalker.  A couple times, my eyes met one of the girls lifting in the mirror and it was all awkwardsauce while I looked away real quick and pretended that obvi, I'm SUPER into my OWN weight lifting to pay attention to what she's doing.  But seriously, I was trying to commit what she was doing to memory.

After walking around and doing other machines, I finally got up enough nerve to try the assisted chin-up/dip machine and looked like I complete loser after clambering up the steps and getting my knees onto the pads and then hanging on for dear life only to find...nothing.  I forgot to change the weights on the side of the machine so I was just kind of kneeling there mid-air doing nothing and trying to look like that was all part of the plan before slooooowly climbing back down and fiddling with the weights.

I am a completely n00b with weights, y'all and I need HELP.

Later, I was "stretching" on the mat but really I was trying to download a weight training app onto my iPod but the connection was too slow and wouldn't load.

For my strong girls out there, help a sister out, won't you?  What are some actual legit free weight exercises that I can feel confident doing without wondering if some girl back there on the treadmill is cocking her head to the side while looking at me wondering wtf it is that I'm doing with the weights!?  Better yet, why don't you come WITH me?  I also want to try that long bar across my shoulders and do squats with it.  I went near it twice, but no amount of walking around it trying to look at the picture instructions was helping me out.  I figured if I even tried, I'd probably drop it across my neck.

Do you lift?  How did you learn?  Know of any good step-by-step exercises (preferably with photos - or heck, just go ahead and send me a YouTube link) for a newbie?  What's your favourite move to help pump you up to get your guns blazing?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lazy Saturday


I'm currently doing nothing.  And it feels fan-frickin'-tastic.  But don't tell anyone because once the word is out, that's usually when I start getting asked to do stuff and I apparently don't know how to say no.

Actually, that's not really true.  I usually always want to say yes to things, but I always get carried away and say yes before checking my calendar and that's when Bart and I end up having a million things to do, places to go, people to see.

Except for TODAY.  Somehow, this Saturday slipped under the radar and I found myself without any plans.  Actually, I had to be up at 6:30 this morning so I could head over to my parents house to help get my niece, Tiana Banana, ready for her dance competition.

Holy lanta.  Dance competitions.  My mom and my brother usually do all the work to get T-Pot to her competitions, but hair and makeup always fall to me.  When my mama first recruited me to do T's hair and makeup, I said yes without even thinking (hel-lo, it's my little doll of a niece and we'll be playing with hair stuffs and makeup! What's to think about?) and then I was told that practice makeup session would be at the dance studio and I was like, hold up, whaaa? Practice makeup session?

I get there and there are chairs all set up in the circle and the makeup "artists" ie. parents, etc. are on the inside facing their little dancers and the dance dad's are at the back of the room making comments and trying hard to appear manly in the face of tutus and lace.

Okay, this makeup practice session took TWO flipping hours, people.  And it was a hostile environment, man.  Competitive dance people are scary, y'all.  I mean, I've seen a few episodes of those reality dance shows, but I thought that was just Americans (sorry, man, Marti and Ann learned how us Canadians picture Americans - don't get all offended, I know you think I'm typing this from inside an igloo while a moose lays at the end of my bed warming my feet.  Don't lie.)  So yes.  Competitive dance people are legit intense.  And looking around, I guess I can see why they would want to have a practice makeup session with some of the people.  Apparently, looking at a picture and just copying what the picture looks like is lost on some people.  You want to know what else competitive dance is, while I'm on a roll about it?  It's EXPENSIVE!  Holy cow!  You can't just go out and buy your own makeup and fishnet stockings (yes, little girls in fishnets...I have no words...) everyone has to get it from the same place so everyone has the SAME of everything.  And when this happens, the company that EVERYONE is getting EVERYTHING from goes nuts.  I had one lady say oops because she accidentally swiped too much foundation onto her little girl's face and the dad about flipped out and was like, "that's $5 a swipe!!!"

Wow, this post totally got away from me.  Anywho, final word on that: competitive dance = that shiz is cray, yo.

Aaaaanywho, so I went and got girlfriend ready and BOOM. Done. She was good to go. Gotta be back there again tomorrow morning, this time at 6 am to get her ready for Day 2 of competition (like I said, shiz is cray).

Now here I am left to my own devices.  I've got my gym bag and yoga mat in the car and I'm already wearing gym gear.  All I need to do is haul ass to the gym to get my sweat on.  Except...I don't get to this part of town very often...so I think I'll hang around.  Pop in and see what's at the Walmart here.

I've been looking high and low for a lunch tote.  Yes, I said it. A lunch tote.  A nice kind with long straps that I can get over my shoulder and big enough to fit all the crazy things that I end up dumping into a plastic bag because I don't ever want to run out of food/options.  Apparently, it's hard to meet all this criteria. But my mom told me she found really nice ones at Walmart, so it was off to get me a lunch tote!  The one I found there is actually really nice, but I also heard there were nice ones at Costco....hmmm.  Well, I picked that one up and then thought I'd head over to Costco just to check.  You know...for research purposes.

Prior to heading over there, I may have picked up to almost identical running outfits.  I say almost identical because they're technically just opposites.  I got neon green running shorts with a black technical running jacket.  And the second outfit is black running shorts with a neon green technical running jacket.  They are currently shoved in the trunk of my car because Bart was home when I got home.

CONFESSION: Okay, I don't really technically have to hide things that I buy from my husband.  Without trying to sound like I'm explaining myself too much in that I'm trying to convince myself more than I am you, I can buy things.  It's just that in the last few days, I've gotten quite a lot of fit gear and even though he won't think it, I guess I feel like it's a lot lately, so I'll just wait and naturally incorporate these new items into my closet.  Honestly, I don't even know why I'm being all shady about it, the last time we went out for a run we had to slow down 80 times because my pants were falling and I needed to hike them up.

...okay.  Clearly, I made myself feel all shady and sound like a binge shopper so I went and hauled the stuff out of the trunk of the car and practically threw it at Bart and was like, HERE. I BOUGHT THIS! I'm not hiding it! *LOL* OMG, he looked at me and was like, why are you throwing it at me? And yelling?

*Breathes* Well, now that we've cleared all that up...I can Instagram my new outfits later!
Edited to add the mix and match fashion show!
I totally forgot what I was talking about and this is STILL not where I meant to be going with this post!  My friend Josho said I talk too much in my posts.  That's when I BRB'd him on GoogleTalk and never came back that day. *LOL*

Oh right! Costco!  Found they had LOTS of cute lunch totes - urban lunch totes, I should say they call them.  For the modern woman who can't afford to buy lunch erryday...that may not be the exact tagline that they use.  Of course, on my way to the registers, I had to pass by the clothes and totally randomly grabbed this shirt.  I have been on a strips/sailer/yacht look kick lately and I thought this looked like something I would wear on a boat.  I took a gamble and grabbed a medium and figured I could try it on at home and return it - which gave me an excuse to come back to Costco later on this week.  But LOOK.

It's weird.  Back in the day when I was larger, I used to have a picture of the teenager me in my head whenever I'd be out buying clothes.  Meaning, I'd always look at smaller sized clothes and think it would fit me and then be totally scandalized and freak out in the dressing room when I couldn't even get it on.  Now I have the opposite effect.  I look at clothes and everything just seems too small.  Until I try them on and then they either fit or they're huge.  I've still been buying large sizes only to be surprised when I get home and try them on and they're too big.  When I was bigger, I couldn't accept that I was big, and now that I'm smaller...I can't seem to accept that I'm no longer bigger.  Weird things going on with my perception.  Or I guess I still can't really believe that I'm in the midst of succeeding at something like weight-loss.  It's always been something of a holy grail mission to me.

I also picked up my first ever cookbooks.

When Bart and I first got engaged, I made sure I was very clear on the fact that I don't cook (or clean for that matter LOL).  But the cooking part moreso.  I don't really know if it's a Filipino thing or if it's just in my family, but all my family members (my dad has 10 brothers and sisters) on both sides of my parents - it's the men that cook.  So I've always been used to my dad being the one who cooks.  And I come to the table and eat. Clearly my parents weren't doing Bart any favors *LOL*

Technically, I can cook.  It's just that I'd rather not.  Until lately.  One of the main reasons how I got myself so overweight was that I never cared to cook and we were always eating out.  Like, every meal.  All day, every day.  It had to take it's toll and I had to reach the moment where that just wasn't cutting it anymore.

For the last six months, we've been doing a lot more cooking at home and I've been trying out different recipes that people have given me or that I've found on the internet and while at Costco, I thought it was high time that I had some cookbooks of my own.  I stood in the cookbook section for a LONG time.  There was a lot to choose from.  To narrow it down, I decided that I wouldn't choose a cookbook with the word "DIET" in the title.  I'm not dieting.  I don't want to eat a particular diet.  I just want to eat WELL.

I was able to flip through the Looneyspoons book a bit (before I fell asleep - Saturday afternoon cat naps are AWESOMESAUCE!) and I'm happy with my first two choices.  I don't particularly enjoy Janet and Greta on TV, but I like this cookbook.  It's funny and corny but it also has random nutrition and health tips and the recipes sound really good.  I busted out my colorful post-its to flag down the ones I'd like to try.

While I lounge lazily in bed watching Saturday pass me by (and not feeling even a BIT guilty about it!) I was also able to get some much blogging bonding going.  I LOVE having blogs to read.  Thing is, if I'm really particular about my LUNCH bag, you can guess I'm kind of particular about the blogs I read.  So I guess I should say I LOVE having AWESOME blogs to read!  Today, I was able to find a few and hunker down and get some reading done and get to "know" a few awesome ladies out there.

My coworker Anna passed along SkinnyMeg's and MamaLaughlin's Instagram accounts and blogs to me last Friday and I was able to go in and I heart them already.  I know my blog posts are long to read and can get pretty lengthy, and they're not for everyone, so I guess it's no surprise that I like blogs that are similar to mine.  With actual content.  Funny, witty writing and pictures and just actual chit-chat.  (I just re-read this part and it totally sounds like I'm saying my blog is funny and witty and awesome, which isn't what I meant but I'm too lazy to fix it.  Meh.)  I like to think that blogs, while they are accessible for everyone to read, it's still really for myself.  It's my space to get down what I'm thinking and I LOVE being able to look back on posts and read what was going on during that part of my life.  Is it also bad that I find myself entertaining? *LOL*  Needless to say, I like reading blogs of a similar nature when it's not all about sponsored ads and reviews of product or plugs for product.  I like getting to know the person behind the blog, too.  Since I pointed out two blogs I'm currently enjoying, I should also highlight my friend Courtney from Treadmill Runway because she's amazeballs and I heart her blog.  My blog wants to be like hers when it grows up.

Anywho, talking about long posts.  This is probably getting up there and Bart's starting to pull the blankets away from me in an attempt to get me out of the house.  We are currently debating movies, bowling or laser tag!  Hope you all have an amazing rest of your weekend!  Do you have any date night ideas to bust out of the same ol', same ol' dinner and a movie?

P.S. I got all carried away, but I'd like to mention that I did get myself to the gym eventually! *LOL*

This girl did WEIGHTS!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Have a Purpose...

I can say that I have definitely gotten into the spirit of the Happy5K.

"Have a purpose. Push yourself."

I guess I've been living it for the past six months without realizing it and the Happy5K has just been able to give me a name for what I've been doing.

So how am I making sure I don't quit or fall off the wagon - especially now that I seem to have the beginnings of a mini runner blooming inside previously chubby me?

Sign up for races!

I am currently working on my race schedule for 2013 and it's looking pretty dynamite if not a bit overzealous for a newbie.  But of course, I've got things in my head and I wouldn't be me if I didn't get carried away!

A few years ago, I saw some pictures pop up on my Facebook newsfeed from some friends.  In their pictures they were dragging blocks of cement and running through open flames.  And the last few pictures, they were posing and wearing medals.  They had me at MEDALS. 

Of course I'm clicking through like a fiend until I finally find out what this is all about.  They did a Spartan race.  Being a big fan of 300, I was definitely intrigued but medal or not, I knew thought I didn't have it in me to sign up and complete a race like that.  But there it was, the little obstacle race seed planted in my head.  It took a while to take root and bud, but a few years later, I think I see the beginnings of a sprig popping up.

Now that I'm running 5K and don't really have any intentions of running much more than that, I figure I have to do something to change things up or else I'd get bored of running - especially knowing I wasn't the biggest fan of it to begin with.  Then the Spartan Race came back to me and consider my fire lit. 

....except, reading about it has me seriously thinking I am not ready for it and that perhaps I should be taking baby steps into the land of obstacle racing.  Like, here's me knocking out 5Ks and all of a sudden I think I can do anything? (Which, is actually pretty AWESOME because I actually feel that way since at one time I couldn't even get CLOSE to doing a 5K and now I can - it's a great feeling!).

But look at that logo, alone! I TOTALLY wanna know at the finish line! I want to be a SPARTAN!!! Aroo!

However,  doing more research, I came across this obstacle race and put it out there on Instagram and starting reading reviews and comparisons of the two.  And it's pretty unanimous that the Spartan Race came out on top as the harder of the two races.  Which tells me that perhaps, since I'm having a few doubts and misgivings about the Spartan Race, maybe I should start on a smaller scale and try being a warrior first. 

Melissa did the Warrior Dash last year (or is it already a couple years ago?) and she said it was really fun, and the cincher?  The Warrior Dash location is really close to Tara's trailer so we're going to make a weekend of it!  OBVIOUSLY if we do the dash, that just means we can drink and eat lots of sliders at the trailer after!  Done deal, consider us registered to become Warriors in July!

But theeeeen, as I'm posing questions about Spartan vs. Warrior, my friend Courtney asks if I want to do the Badass Dash in September....in town.  That is a big, fat YES!  While the logo doesn't really feel all that badass to me, I know for a fact that I totally want to be a badass warrior in 2013!  I was okay with the Warrior Dash because it's close to the trailer and we can make a weekend of it, but I'm not really the biggest fan of traveling too far to get to a race.  Badass being in town is a no brainer and I'm really pumped for it - though it being at a ski resort has me worried that there'll be a LOT of uphill running (*barf*).

So that puts me up to 4 official races for 2013 at the moment.  Warrior Dash in July, Badass Dash in September, and the 5K and the 2K in October.  And then if I go ahead and sign up for the runs I usually do every year, that'll bring me up to six 5Ks for 2013 and I don't think that's at all excessive.  They're 5Ks after all!  Can't miss the CIBC Run for the Cure which is also usually in October and then the Resolution Run on New Year's Eve to close out the old year and welcome in the new year on the right foot (and with a nice, new running jacket to boot!)

Tara and I discovered something today though.

HOLY MOLY, I WANT TO DO THIS!  First of all, it's in DISNEY WORLD, second of all, you get to wear costumes and OBVIOUSLY I'm meant to do this run wearing a tiara and a pink tutu and THIRDLY:

My eyes are still round as saucers every time I see these!  I want that medal around mah neck!

Clearly all the sparkly bling is blocking out the fact that this is a half marathon and I can barely entertain myself with my own thoughts during a 5K but who cares? For a medal like that AND running it in Disney World which is the happiest place on earth, I feel like the time would just fly by!

Sadly, we missed 2012 and are very upset that we didn't know there was even such a thing as runDisney, but now that I've got it in my head, I really have my sights set on this run for 2014.  Too bad, there are other plans in the works that will most likely make us unable to go, but who knows, I haven't written it off just yet!  If I'm going to ever run more than 5K, then it might as well be in a tiara and a pink tutu and for one of these medals!

Whatever races I eventually end up, all I know is that I am very excited and pumped and looking forward to participating in these events to celebrate the fact that I can!  I am LOVING this feeling and at the moment, I am feeling unstoppable!  Now someone hand me a tiara!

P.S. I would also like to do the Color Run as well :)

P.P.S. I have also updated my progress pics as the last time I had taken any pictures was in January on my birthday! I can't believe almost three months have passed by!

Tomorrow will mark the last day of the Happy5K virtual race and I'm going to celebrate it by running my 5th 5K in 5 days :)  Have a purpose. Push yourself.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Be H.A.P.P.Y!

An AWESOME mantra to live by on a day to day basis, I'd say!


Just getting back into the blogging groove, I'm not sure if I mentioned that Tara and I signed up for the Happy 5K.  The biggest enticement that got us?

CONFESSION: Okay, okay, besides the glittery medal that they told us all finishers get

- and also besides the fact that the run benefits supporting the search to find a cure for blood cancer - specifically leukemia and lymphoma - as if those two reasons weren't already enough reasons to get registered:

It's a VIRTUAL race!

Meaning, that runners don't have to gather in one specific location.  Meaning that nobody is left out due to the fact that they can't travel to the race.  You run where you are.  You run where you want.  When you want.  Heck, even how often you want!  It's that simple and that AWESOME!

The fact that the race is over a long period of time, you have the opportunity to run it once any time between the time frame you're given, or you can complete 5K over and over again, as each week there are different focuses to share.  Even though you only get one medal for the first 5K that you share, it's just such an awesome cause and awesome concept that I've been motivated to run 5K quite a bit over the last couple of weeks!

And if you like the sounds of ALL of that?  You still have time to get in on it!

Visit: http://www.rememberhealthy.com/happy5k to get more information about this awesome run/cause and to register and you have from now until April 12 to run, walk, crawl, skip, heck, I even saw someone swim their 5K and share it.  Your post gets you your medal and each post and subsequent ones thereafter get you further entries into awesome weekly prizes.  It's a win-win situation all around.  Not to mention that the endorphins make you feel pretty darn good after completing it - which is probably where my perky post is coming from!

Goal setting: have a purpose, push yourself.  When you apply these principles, it's hard to not come out a winner no matter what.

This week, our E-Mail asked us to share what pushes us, drives us, gives us purpose to run each week.  What gets us lacing up when all we'd rather do is snuggle down into some fluffy covers.  Or tuck into a hot, comfort meal.

I'd love it if I could wax poetic about my purpose being for the pursuit of health and well-being and I just want to run for the sheer joy of it, but well...perhaps that may not be true yet.  For right now, I'm driven by numbers and accountability.  Nothing pushes me forward more than thinking about the numbers I'll get to post afterwards.  Why would I want to post run stats showing I ran 3K when I could post run stats showing that I ran 5? *LOL* Right now, it's that simple and I'm hoping that drive will lead to other more noble examples of motivation.

Besides that, this also helps fuel the fire pretty well:

About 35 minutes before I posted this, I happened to glance at it and noticed I was in second place where yesterday I was in first. Whaaaat? Oh no she di'nt! *finger snaps* Nike Plus knew what they were doing when they started up those leaderboards.

Tara is the best motivator for me and I'm hoping it works vice versa.  When we first started with our FuelBands, it was afternoon fuel checks that got us up and out of our chairs for a break and adventures got us even running around the building and up and down stairs before getting back to paperwork.  It had us messaging each other for fuelchecks and jogging or jumping jacks in place before bed.  It may not work for everyone, but it sure works for us. 

Tara and I first started our running adventures three years ago and while we were on our run on Friday afternoon, it was really fun to look back on how far we've come and it's hard not to feel proud of ourselves for that.  We both got each other where we are today (running-wise) and it feels good knowing that because we both keep each other accountable with a good, healthy dose of competition, we have been able to progress with quantifiable stats.  We like getting medals, but we love knowing that we EARNED them :)

Jumping around a bit, I was thinking thoughts while I was on the treadmill today.  Looking back when I first started the C25K program and felt like I cheated by finishing the program on the treadmill, it's funny how different my perspective is now.  I felt like I cheated by running on the treadmill because it felt easier.  And now, I can't stand running on the treadmill and would rather be outside if I could.  I was musing on this little table turn thinking that running outside for me now is just what I think it's supposed to be.  Running.  Moving my body.  Getting from point A to point B.  Running on the treadmill...I feel like it has less to do with running or exercising my body as opposed to exercising my mental ability.  Running on the treadmill...sometimes I can't be 100% sure that I'm going to win against the part of myself that just wants to stop.

When I'm not focused on trying to get somewhere, there isn't really much else to focus on.  All of a sudden, my mind is focusing on things that perhaps aren't really even there.  One second I could be running and all of a sudden my mind will be trying to convince the rest of me that my knee hurts - even when it doesn't.  But the mind...she's a special thing.  Once she gets onto something...she can convince the rest of my body to go with that she thinks...where one second my knee wasn't hurting...next second I could start feeling a twinge....basically, during a treadmill run, my mind pretty much does a body checklist.  Focuses on each part of my body and tries to convince me to stop.  If I don't bite, then it moves on to the next body part - 'your hair hurts, you should stop', etc.

Anywho, I don't really know where I was going with that...it was just one of the random things that I was thinking during my run and it stood out for me long enough to blog about it.  Huh.

For record-keeping purposes and because playlists change in availability in streaming, I did up a Playlist section/tab with my current playlists written out.  So far I've got my running playlist up and a yoga/stretching list.  Feel free to check it out and definitely feel free to let me know if you think there should be songs on there that I have to have!

Have a good night everyone!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Run to the Beat

Now that I've undergone this transformation in which I perhaps have become a "runner", I decided I should probably compile a running playlist in order to be prepared for the time that I morph into a runner who listens to music.

Up until now, I'm not very keen on having music playing while I run.  I'm not sure if it's because for the most part, I did a lot of my running indoors and being in a fixed spot is already difficult enough as it is, I couldn't have music playing either.  Most people say that they like running to music to zone out so that it makes the run feel like it's going by faster, but for some reason, it has the complete opposite effect on me.  I'll be running and it will feel like I've been running for a long time but then my hopes would be dashed when I tune into the song that's playing and I realize it's still the SAME song that was playing when I first started.  Then I start comparing the song to the length of time I've been running and just start getting angry that I still have to run for at least 4 or 5 more songs before I can stop! *LOL*

Whew, stressed me out thinking about it!  Perhaps I'm not a "for the love of running" kind of runner just yet!

Without further ado, here is what I've come up with so far.  It kind of fluctuates between current pop songs before I regress back into the 90's.  If you have any songs that you consider a MUST for running, definitely let me know!  Minus Eye of the Tiger...I can't do Eye of the Tiger *LOL*

Running Mix by Catherine B. on Grooveshark

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Musings of a...runner?

So, apparently I'm a runner.

Who would have thunk it?!  I'm technically still in disbelief despite the fact that I've got some charts to actually prove it!  ...Although I don't really know why I'd be in any kind of shock considering it took about three and a half years to get here.  Technically, I should be mad it took this long! *LOL*

For some background info, I should mention that three years ago, my friend Tara and I got it into our heads that we would complete the Couch to 5K program over our lunch hours.  I ended up cheating and doing most of the program on the treadmill and I was more focused on just being able to run for half an hour as opposed to actually running 5K, so colour me surprised when I actually hit the pavement and wanted to die before getting even close to running a kilometer, let alone five of them! 

Even after I was able to finish the program and run a continuous 5K, like I mentioned, it wasn't even close to a 5K and it was always a constant STRUGGLE.  I mean, struggle is such a tame word for what I felt when I was running.  Imagine running and looking desperately for a car to jump in front of just for an excuse to lay down and rest.  THIS was my relationship with running.  Tara and I would huff and puff by smiling blonde ladies happily prancing down the sidewalk in their cute little outfits not even breaking a sweat or we'd kind of stumble by that tall, lanky-legged man who effortlessly jaunts around the track like it's no big deal.  This was us as runners.  We would talk to other people who said they never used to be runners and then all of a sudden tried it and just fell in love with it.  We could not relate.  We HATED it.  

Signing up for some runs -

CONFESSION: The only runs we would sign up for involved receiving medals or free running jackets as part of the package, otherwise we wouldn't even consider it

- just to make sure we would stay accountable, we were able to finish them with finishing times that are nothing to write home about.  Basically, before a run would start, I would look for the biggest, slowest person I could find - CONFESSION: okay, okay, sometimes I may have looked for a pregnant person - and I made it my goal that I would at LEAST beat that person.  That was pretty much the extent of my ambition.  Beat the big, pregnant lady.  This was cause for celebration when I actually did it - and yes, there were times that I didn't.  Freakish pregnant runners!

Eventually, even finishers' medals couldn't hold me.  The runs tapered off until I pretty much just stopped running and accepted the fact that I was one of those people who were destined never to be runners.  And I was cool with that.

Instead, I focused my efforts on getting better at ultimate frisbee that my friend Melissa and I signed up for just to give us something else to do besides sit around at home or decorate cakes (we also took that up around the same time). I say that I focused my efforts on this instead because we - or I guess I should speak for myself and say I - was TERRIBLE.  As in, on the very first day, we got yelled at for not running enough (or at all).  So I took my goals a little bit at a time.  First goal, not to get yelled at during a game.  It took a while to fully attain that goal.  Second goal was to catch a frisbee, which involved running around enough to be able to escape my stalker - er, I mean the person who was guarding me.  My next goal was to "D" a frisbee, which means I have to be able to run enough and fast enough to be able to keep up with the person I was guarding and smack the disc away from them if someone were to throw it to them.  Last goal was to score a point.  Which is just like the second last goal, but to actually catch it in the "end zone".  I systematically worked through this and about a year later, I was able to check off all of those goals.  Boom.  All of a sudden I was an ultimate frisbee player - and now...a captain no less.

CONFESSION: Okay, before I let you be all impressed, I should point out that you don't really have to do anything special to be a captain.  You just sign up a team and being captain means you're in charge of entering the scores at the end of the game and sending out E-Mails to people to make sure they actually show up to play on time at the right field.  But whatevs, technicalities!

Somewhere in there, I finally had enough of what my life had become - which was an endless trip to fast food restaurants, drive-thrus and perhaps small stints of crying in changerooms with clothes that were increasing in number.  I definitely enjoyed the poor eating part, but inevitably, there comes a time when you look down at your taco that you've eaten for the third time in a week and you think to yourself...there's got to be more to life than this.  I finally hit this moment and it pretty much started this foray into not losing weight, but changing up our lifestyle.

I finally said to myself that we couldn't keep on going like this and eventually when we had kids, we would want some semblance of health, to be able to teach them to eat well and to actually have money to raise them as opposed to blowing it all on eating out at restaurants.  With that lifestyle change came a bit of longevity.  It's only been six months, so perhaps I'm speaking up too early, but I think because my original goal wasn't just to get skinny however I could doing whatever I could, it's been the difference between sticking it out and quitting and going back to the same ol', same old.

Fast forward to a few months ago and my friend Courtney is raving about these shoes.  For anyone that knows me, I like looking the part and basically just having fitness "stuff".  So I'm looking at those shoes and I'm thinking I want them.  But shoot, they're running shoes and I don't run.  But I want them.  Needless to say, once I got it into my head, I had two pairs pretty much the next day.

Well, what the heck am I supposed to do with these running shoes?  I figured I would try them out and take a picture for posterity.  Then I could be justified in owning them because Instagram saw me use them once for what they're actually made for.

HOLY MOLY, I ran 5K.  Seriously.  I was in shock.  I had originally dragged out the treadmill from underneath a PILE of junk and then spent a LOT of time looking for all the plugs and parts I needed to actually get it to work before I even got on it and then I went and ran 5K?  I only meant to be on it for a few minutes so I could take a picture!  What the heck happened?!

The next couple of days, I got on the treadmill and tried it again to see if the first time wasn't a fluke, and there it was again!  3.2 miles flashing up in little LED lights.

Of course, I attributed a lot of this new mileage I was now logging to my Skora shoes, because there's no denying that my feet have never felt that good while running.  Tara had front row seats to the suffering of my feet when trying to find shoes that would work with my feet.  I'm pretty sure I blew through more than a couple hundred dollars spending money thinking that I get what I pay for and that one of these days, I would find the shoe that would just make all the difference.  It took three years, but here they were now finally on my feet!!!

Of course, I'm not saying that just buying a pair of shoes (however AWESOME they are, and trust me, Skora's are AWESOMESAUCE, my friends) will turn anyone into a runner of any sort.  The second attribute I had to give a nod to was my foray into ultimate frisbee. 

I think because we got yelled at on that first day and I made it my mission for that to never happen again, I got really into ultimate - not to mention the fact that it's super FUN - especially now that we're actually winning games and stuff! 

It's not actually going out and playing frisbee that I think turned me into a runner, but what it entails.  Basically, ultimate is pretty much 55 - 90 minutes of super quick sprints coming to a dead stop, pivots and flat out running and or jogging for long amounts of time or in short bursts.  I think I had read somewhere that sprinting helps long distance running and here I had put it to the test.  It was a very slow, uphill battle, but I knew I had improved quite a bit from that first day on the turf, but I didn't realize that this new skill translated into efficiency elsewhere until I finally got back on that treadmill with the help of some beautiful, bright white, pink, blue and lime green Skoras.

The final test before I finally admitted I was a runner was getting off the treadmill and taking my Skoras outside.  Living in Canada, it was a while before I could actually do this and Mother Nature is actually conveniently forgetting what she's supposed to do once spring hits since it snowed again this morning, but that's beside the point.  I was able to go out and I had some reservations about my 5K abilities since I learned firsthand that treadmill running is nowhere near equivalent to running outside unassisted with a moving belt.

Except, there it was again...5K - and the surprise?  I run faster outside compared to running on a treadmill.  Go figure!

So is this really it?  Me?  Catherine?  A runner?

Sure looks like it, doesn't it?

Going to cut myself off here because it looks like my hiatus from blogging is coming back to create the longest blog post ever!!!  If you've made it this far with me, *HUGS* thank you for your time!

Anytime you ever feel like going out for a run...give me a call...chances are, I might actually say yes and throw on my shoes and join you :)
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