Monday, June 30, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 18

Current Weight: 152.2 lbs (12.8 lbs lost overall)
BMI: 23.8

Well, last week I was complaining about a spike in my weight and this week I found that I am down almost 3 lbs!! I was definitely retaining some water or something. Yay! And as for the comments- yes I DO have a measuring tape and I do take measurements sometimes, but I often just forget or don't have time. Since February my bust has gone down 2.5", my natural waist 2.5", my widest part of my waist 3" and my hips about 1"! 

This week I was pretty good with exercise and eating- trying to get rid of that 155 on the scale. I had boot camp on Monday, then I worked out on Wednesday at the gym because boot camp was cancelled, and on Thursday I rode my bike home from work. Friday I was prepared to ride my bike to and from work and then get in a few good runs this weekend (I was given Monday off so it's a 4 day weekend for me!), but I woke up with a COLD on Friday morning! Right before a beautiful long weekend! I am working hard to beat it down with all my home remedies, but I am just drained of energy. I did go for a nice long walk Friday after work, though!

Thankfully, I do not have a stomach flu or there would be more swearing in this post

On Saturday Cam and I went up to Wasaga Beach for the day! The traffic was horrendous getting there, but we had a nice afternoon of a long walk down the beach and relaxing in the sun. I got in the water a couple of times, but it was coooold. Then I started to get a pretty bad earache from my head cold so I napped away most of the evening. Fun date I am :)

The biggest bummer from getting sick, however, is that I finally bit the bullet this week and bought some new running shoes and they came the day I started sniffling! My old ones were definitely not doing a good job anymore. I have no idea how many kilometers I ran in them, but they don't feel as supportive, and not to mention they are filthy from all the boot camps we've had on rainy days.

Hopefully I feel a bit better soon so I can take my new runners out for a test jog. I ended up buying the exact same shoe (Asics GT-2000), but my new ones are pink and orange. For some reason these darn shoes are always so expensive ($160!), but they are supposedly the best for weak arches and overpronation and I'd rather spend a little extra on shoes so I can run without pain!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Would You Like a Sample of Hair?

No? Doesn't sound good? Well I was excited to get one this week! The sample of hair for my new custom wig came in the mail this week! I had a general idea of what it would look like because I tried on this exact colouring at my fitting. I think it is 30% auburn and 70% medium brown or something like that.

The sample is also sent to me so I can check out the level of curl (I ordered a light, natural wave I think) and I believe this is also the length that the hair will be. It might not look that long, but keep in mind this is the length attached to the top AND nape of the wig cap- the wig is made with layers because long hair is rare and expensive. My understanding is that this wig will be a few inches longer than my current one.

I actually find it is very similar to my current wig colour! Check out the photo below- the sample is on top

It is a tiny bit darker and less red, though my current wig was actually MUCH darker and less red when I bought it, but 3 years of washing and sun exposure lightened it up.

So what do you think? Does it suit me? :)

I am so excited to get my new wig (should get it late August/early Sept)! The sample feels sooo healthy and soft. The wig I have now is virgin European hair and was once super soft too, but because I can't really get regular trims and it doesn't grow and get natural oils, etc...well it just looks like damaged hair now.

Also- it should be noted that the only appropriate time for duckface is when you need to hold up your new fake mustache. #fact

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 17

Current Weight: 155 lbs (10 lbs lost overall)
BMI: 24.3

Umm....what the heck is that 2lbs weight GAIN doing there? I certainly hope it is just a fluctuation! I didn't get to weigh myself on Sunday morning, as I was in Niagara Falls, so I weighed myself on Monday. I know I did indulge on the weekend, but certainly not to any sort of extreme!

It is also a little depressing to be 4 months in and really not see the scale shift as much as I'd like. I've been eating around 1400-1600 calories per day (usually on the lower end), and working out 3-4 days per week between boot camp and running, so it is kind of frustrating that my body has quite happily settled into the mid 150s.

However, I will say that all the shopping in Niagara Falls last weekend was encouraging and worth all the work, though! I was often picking up size 10 pants and medium shirts (I was a size 12 to 14, and a solid size large before). Heck, in one store I even gave a size 8 skirt a go- it was too small, but it actually did up, which would have been unheard of 4 months ago. Plus I was really fitting well into the clothing and looking good! I am so excited to bust out all my new clothes and show off my tinier figure! My old work pants were definitely feeling looser and not as flattering as my new stuff.

I kind of wish I had been seeing a proper trainer so I could have more stats to mark my progress- like body fat content. Maybe I am not losing weight because I have been replacing fat with muscle. I really have no way of measuring that so I can't be sure. However, at the end of the day, I have been doing this whole journey by myself and for free. The only thing I have paid for was boot camp and that was only $29. I think it is pretty empowering to know that I CAN do this weight loss thing on my own and that the only thing holding me back before was a ton of excuses. I might end up looking into a personal trainer in the fall when the nice weather ends, but for now it is an expense I don't need. I also think it is more important to focus on my eating habits now, because paying for a trainer would be useless if I can't get that under control.

Overall my eating has been okay. I think I snack too much, because according to my My Fitness Pal app I eat about 900-1100 calories in meals and about 300-500 cals a day in snacks! I love snacking, but that is adding up so I am going to try and eat better meals and limit my snack intake. Or try and switch more of my snacks to veggies and fruits vs sugary foods. I also need to cut back on the Coke Zeros again because my consumption of those has skyrocketed again (and diet pop makes me snacky and I think makes my weight wildly fluctuate).

I knew I would find it harder to stick to my daily calorie limit in the summer, what with all the inviting patios and pitchers of beer around, so I think I need to be more conscious about what I am consuming and cut back- but not eliminate- my patio sessions. I am much more in control of my eating when I am the one preparing my foods and drinks.

So there I am this week- 2 lbs up, but a pants size down. I am still feeling good about my progress and I am going to work hard this week so that hopefully next week I can show you guys some better scale numbers!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Niagara Falls

This past weekend my friend and I took a girls' road trip down to Niagara Falls for some rest and relaxation! We left Saturday morning and arrived at the new outlet mall just outside Niagara Falls around 11am. The next 3-4 hours were devoted to shopping, shopping and shopping. It is what we do best :)

At 3pm we checked into the Courtyard Marriott Hotel and then scooted right out to our spa treatment at Sweet Escape Spa. The spa is a little bit out of the way, and the hotel it is in seems kind of sketchy, but OH MY GOD it was so good. We each got the mini sweet escape package, which included a full body massage, an aromatherapy facial, and a foot mask. The massage was a glorious hour of relaxation. I wasn't expecting much of the other two, but the facial was so relaxing- exfoliation, essential oils, mud mask, and facial massage and the foot mask was also pretty awesome with a hot stone massage and creams. The whole treatment took almost 2.5 hours and was only $140. Perfect way to relax after a long day of shopping.

Not Pictured: Mud Masks

For dinner that night we went down to the Keg as our hotel package included a $40 gift certificate and a coupon for two free cocktails. I ate a ridiculous amount of food. I probably gained back all my lost weight in that one meal and I couldn't even finish it!

After dinner we walked along Clifton Hill and had some fun at the arcade. We ended up winning about 740 tickets at various games, which won us two stuffed animals and some stickers. Oh ya, we know how to party! We also decided to be touristy (even though we've both been to Niagara Falls before) and went to the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum

Sunday we filled up on breakfast buffet (also included in our hotel cost!), and then went for a walk down to the falls. On the way back we stopped for some delicious nerds ice cream that I had been craving since I saw the stand the night before (Steph got Dip'n Dots). Then we left Niagara and stopped in at another outlet mall on our way back to the city. Because, you know, one day of shopping isn't enough for us.

It was SUCH a fun and relaxing weekend- though I think my Visa got quite a workout with all that shopping and spa-ing. Also, I think I have enough pants now for life. Don't let me buy anymore pants!

Niagara Falls is such a perfect weekend getaway as it is only about an hour and a half from Toronto! Plus the weather was just perfect this weekend (the outlet malls were at least outdoor let's pretend we were actually out enjoying it). There are so many fun things to do! And our hotel was only about $150 with parking included, but we saved $70 through the coupons they offered in our package (and basically didn't eat elsewhere), so without the shopping and spa it would have been quite the budget weekend away from the city. Great way to start the summer!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Pizza Burrito

It is no secret that I love food. And five times a week I need to feed myself lunch at the office! There is not much in terms of takeout near my office, so I try and get creative with what I can make in the office. We are lucky enough to have to a microwave, a toaster oven, and a Big Boss Grill and my boss pays for any food items we want to eat. It is awesome!

The other day I really wanted pizza, but there are no pizza options anywhere near my office- even if I was up for a walk! I have always been a big fan of pita pizzas so I decided to wander to Shopper's Drug Mart to see if they had the ingredients. Unfortunately they had everything but the pitas...however I did find 6" tortillas. And thus the pizza burrito was born.

Making one is fairly simple. Assemble ingredients on a baking pan. I happened to top this one off with some smoked sausage that we had in the fridge.

Bake in oven or toaster oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

I try to dab off some of the oil as I hate when it drips out all over your fingers. Let your pizza cool for 5 minutes, then fold in the sides to make your burrito. If you hold it closed for a minute the sauce and cheese will bind it. I've never tried folding it before cooking- I don't know how I would keep it closed?

There is a hole in the bottom of this one because my tortilla was a bit stale and less nimble than usual.

The final step is to eat your pizza burrito and high five yourself on your awesome lunch choice-making. And for the record, a pizza burrito is only about 250 calories!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I've Got a Sweet Rack...

...on my bike :)

And I installed it myself- booyah!

Originally I had bought a rack at Canadian Tire, but upon opening the package and attempting to install it, I learned that it didn't work with my type of braking system. So I returned that one and then planned to buy one at the bike shop when I brought my bike in for repairs a couple weeks ago (and getting the guys there to install it for me), but I was so rushed dropping it off that I had no time for that.

I ended up picking this one up at Mountain Equipment Co-op last week! I just wanted something simple as my dad had gotten me a couple of pannier bags for my birthday that will attach to it. It took me awhile to install the bike rack because it had a about a billion pieces. Also, I couldn't figure out how to attach it to the seat stay braze on mounts (they were too wide), so I had to use the extenders that it came with, but I couldn't tighten the bolts on it because there was NO finger room. hmmm....

Red is where it is supposed to attach (braze-on mounts), green is the extenders
I might get my coworker, who is good with bikes, to take a look at it. However, the rest of the rack was easy to install and on there good in tight, so I am not too worried about it going flying off at any point. I think my bike is honestly a little weird- stuff never is easy to attach to it! I even walked around and looked at other bikes with rear racks and they all looked much more straight-forward than mine.

I would like to add, for anyone looking to add a rack to their bike, that this seemed to require a lot of tools. I was glad I brought my whole toolkit down because I ended up using two different screwdrivers, a wrench, and a ratchet.

On Tuesday I decided to bike to work, so I loaded up my panniers (happy to find out my purse and bike lock fit easily in one and my work clothes and shoes fit in the other), and took off! It was a tough ride- my thighs were clearly out of practice and according to my app it took me 55 minutes to complete the 12km ride. But the bags stayed on! I have no idea if I attached them right. I just kind of made it up.

And yes, I bring my bike into my office. Especially when the afternoon calls for severe thunderstorms :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 16

Current Weight: 153.0 (down 12 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.0

My weight was all over the place this week- I think at one point the scale read 155.8?! But then on Sunday morning it told me 153 and I always try and stick to my Sunday weight so that's what I am reporting! Hurrah!

I want to talk today about boot camp. 

Because I kind of love boot camp. I haven't missed a class yet- even though some days I really, really, really don't want to go (I am a lazy girl at heart). However, I am not lying when I say it is great. I go every Monday and Wednesday for a 1 hour workout and they really push you, but I rarely feel like I can't complete the given exercise. Plus the class is all different levels of fitness. Some times I am dead last in a routine and some times I finish first. But no matter how the class went, I always leave feeling like I got a good work out. 

I am often so sore the day after the class- I am finding out about muscles I never even knew I had! And all because some tiny fit girl tells me to crabwalk up a steep hill and I listen. I even pay her to boss me around like that. It is a strange world we live in.

I like that my class has a good vibe- we have an "all in this together" kind of Disney movie vibe and it makes it fun. We groan and moan together about how tired we are- but we also push each other to finish. There are roughly 20 people each day, which varies, but there are a lot of familiar faces and we chat before class about what muscles seem to be broken in us. Good times.

The only downside to this is that I am SORE Monday-Friday, which means I am only running on the weekends, and I have my 15Km run coming up in just 2 months! So I won't be signing up for another round of bootcamp when this is over because I really need to get in more running time during the week or I am going to die on that run :)

For the record, I am going to the UrbanCore outdoor boot camp in Christie Pits Park. I paid $29 for 6 weeks through a livingsocial deal (which seems to never stop being offered online!)

PS- The Blogger Joggers are meeting up this Thursday at Mount Pleasant Cemetery for another run! If you want to join us, just send me a note!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Project Block

You might have noticed that I don't post as much as I used to. When I started this blog I used to post 5 days a week- sometimes more! And then about a year ago it became 4-5 posts. Then 4. Now it seems like a good week if I get 3 posts out.

I feel like I have run out of creativity. I am loving my condo's look right now and I have a handful of projects that I would still like to complete- but they are bigger projects that require materials and time and I don't seem to be able to get them done. Part lazy, part lack of time. I am super busy right now with boot camp two evenings a week and Cam lives pretty far so I only get to see him on weekends and I don't feel like working on things when he is over. Also, the weather is so nice after such a long winter so I want to be outside, not working on things inside (darn lack of a backyard).

I know things will eventually ramp up. My crafting/painting/whatever mojo will come raring back and no surface in my home will be safe. Not to mention I am still seriously considering selling and moving to a 1 bedroom condo in the fall, which will mean a whole new place to get my hands on and decorate. Oh and for the record- this blog makes negative money so I am not silly enough to move my home just to create new content. Does anyone else feel some big bloggers do that?? I still have lots of research and saving to do before I will be ready to sell. I am still lost on whether to sell or buy first and I need to talk to my bank about financing. However my summer is really busy and I have two big expenses coming up (new wig and trip to Iceland), so I am in no rush to get into the real estate game.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. Life is really good right now and I am just in a good, laid back mood while I enjoy it. Though, not really laid back physically because those boot camp classes are kicking my butt. Some days I feel like just doing a bunch of lifestyle posts, but I really don't think my life is that exciting to anyone, so I've been trying to just do that on Mondays with my diet update.

What do you guys think? Have you ever hit this point in your blogging experience?

PS- it's Friday the 13th AND a full moon today- good luck to us all! :P

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Let's Get Down to Bedness

I have a question for you guys- it's about beds and bedding. Now, I know that everyone had different upbringings and therefore differing opinions on things like how long to go between washing pants, or switching out your wardrobe with the my question is about bedding and the age old art of being comfortable while sleeping.

I love my big fluffy duvet. I grew up with duvets and comforters and never switched them out with the season. My parents always kept their home quite cool so maybe this wasn't a problem growing up, but I am generally a cold person so I keep the air conditioning at a minimum and therefore some nights my big fluffy duvet is just too warm! Not to mention I have a memory foam mattress topper and memory foam pillows- and apparently memory foam retains heat, compounding the issue.

My big marshmallow of a bed

So my question is- how do you deal with this issue in the summer? Do you switch out the duvet for a cooler-rated one? Do you replace the entire kit'n kaboodle with a quilt or blanket? I am not sure what makes the most sense for me as some nights I am still pulling that big duvet up to my chin and the next night I'll be kicking it off! I also don't really want to go through the effort of storing my duvet somewhere all winter. I think I am just interested in what other people do with different seasons and bedding :). Spill the beans.

Also- how often do you wash your jeans??

Monday, June 9, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 15

Current Weight: 153.6 (down 11.4 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.1

Yay! I finally broke into 153! This was actually my Saturday morning weight, as I forgot to weigh myself Sunday morning. And I am pretty sure my Sunday morning wouldn't be quite so nice as I spent Saturday lying in or by a pool and eating copious amounts of delicious BBQ and treats. I even made rainbow cupcakes!

All the tutorials online seemed rather complex, but I just dumped scoops of pink, yellow, and blue icing at random into a icing applicator thing that I have with a star tip and I think they came out great! The randomness of the colours is awesome.

Anyway, I was talking to my Mom on Thursday about how my diet was going and I was lamenting how I've been stuck at 154 for a long time (until now!!). She asked me what my trigger was for finally sticking to a diet and exercise program after years of half-assing it (Not that she cared what I weighed, but just that she was a witness to my various failed attempts over the years).

It was a really good question, and I am not sure I have an exact answer for it. I weighed in the 150s in high school and university, and at some point after I started living on my own it crept up to 170 in 2012. I managed to lose about 5-10 lbs in the winter of that year and started training for my first 10K in 2013. I loved that run and kept up the running semi-regularly for the next year. My weight never really shifted out of the 160-165 range because I still wasn't really watching what I ate. However, I was still happy with my appearance for the most part. I am pretty well proportioned so I still looked fine in the mirror.

However over the past year I started noticing I was going up a size in pants and that I didn't like how I looked in photos. I could see the potbelly when I was sitting. A double chin had begun to show up. And I started to worry that it would be harder and harder to shift the weight as I got older. 

One day I think the light switch just turned on and I committed. I tracked, I learned my habits, I started working out more, and I just started to work towards the big picture. I'm not perfect at it (hence the slow pace of weight loss), but I have way less "cheat moments" now and I am working out like never before- and it is showing! Just this week I bought a pair of size 10 shorts from Old Navy. Last year I bought size 12 from that store!

And oh yes- I made myself accountable on this blog :). I also told my family and friends and they are all totally supporting me. That is probably the biggest factor! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Freedom Wig Mold!

On Monday I came home to a note in my mailbox saying I had a package at the concierge desk. I was very confused over what was in this small box, and chiding myself for my excessive internet purchasing, when suddenly it dawned on me what it was- the mold for my new wig!!

As you may remember, last month I got fitted for a new custom wig. The next step after my fitting was to send me a plastic mold of my head to make sure it fits properly. My new wig will stay on with suction, so it needs to fit perfectly. Hence they send the plastic mold to make sure they have the fit right (Don't worry- the actual wig won't be plastic inside). I wasn't expecting it for another month so it was a total surprise!

The blue line is my part and the star is the crown of my head. The wig manufacturers put extra hair around that area. They will also direct the hair away from the line so it flows naturally off the head (you could actually pick the angle at which they attach the hair). I chose a side part :). It is in the same spot as my current wig.

Before you mention it, yes, I do have a fabulously shaped head. I actually get compliments on it.

I tried on the cap and it seems to fit fairly well. It suctions on really well, but one ear flap won't stay down (you can kind of see in the above photo) and there seems to be a bubble up by the crown of my head and at the back. However, the Freedom Wig people are awesome and you have a personal rep who helps you through the process, so I sent her some photos and asked for some advice. Some bubbling is normal, so I want an opinion on mine because this is my first time wearing a clear plastic headpiece. haha. But they can make adjustments- that is the whole point of this fitting.

The next step after this is I mail the mold back with any changes that I need- and then they send my wig! Well, technically they send it in 9-12 weeks (from New Zealand, so maybe longer?). At some point during the next month I should receive a hair sample of my actual wig too so I can approve the colour, and you know I will share that with you guys too.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Casey Gets Fit: Week 14

Current Weight: 154.6 (down 10.4 lbs overall)
BMI: 24.1

A tiny gain this week of 0.2lbs, but I actually had a pretty good week of eating and exercising so I think we an chalk this up to the evil diet lords :). On Sunday I ran 6.5Km, and on Monday I ran 5Km. I took Tuesday off as a rest day.

On Wednesday I had boot camp class! There was a LivingSocial deal a couple weeks ago for $29 for 6 weeks of twice-weekly boot camp classes (the deal is still on!). My friend Veronica and I signed up and Wednesday was our first class. It was TOUGH! It was like Jillian Michaels for an hour straight!

I was so sore from my workout and on Thursday the Blogger Joggers were meeting up! We actually ended up just having a long walk about Mount Pleasant Cemetery and then getting donuts :). We are hoping to meet up again in a couple weeks so let me know if you would like to join! Though, be warned that we do plan on actually running next time.

Friday is when the pain from boot camp really showed up so I didn't work out! I bought some muscle relief pads for my trapezoids that were supposed to heat up, but ended up just smelling like licorice. It was really weird. But they must have worked because on Saturday I felt great and ran another 6.5km! I think during boot camp I will only be able to run on weekends. Too painful during the week!

Saturday was my only bad-eating day this week (even that donut on Thursday was accounted for!). I ended up going to Pickering and my stepdad and mom took Cam and I up for a flight! The original plan was to fly over Newmarket, then over Lake Simcoe, then land in Lindsay for gas, then head back to Oshawa. But I got horrible motion sickness over Newmarket so we just flew straight back. Bleh. But then we ordered pizza and had homemade cookies!! :) Worth the diet break for SURE.

Then this Sunday I went to a Jays game! My friend got box seat tickets from work and invited me. It was also Country Day, hence the hats. The box seats came with free beer and food so I sure was glad I had a long run on Sunday morning to help me burn through some of it because I am not just gonna much on veggies when I have free ballpark food ;)

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