How Low Can You Go

I Focus On Positive Thoughts and My Body Responds

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

     I cannot believe that it is the end of November.  Where did the month go?  Tonight is my last 30 days of hot yoga class, I am so happy that I did it!  I think I am going to treat myself to a little something, any suggestions?  Maybe a 15$ iTunes card so I can download some new workout tunes or a lululemon headband?...Tomorrow I am going to do a final detailed wrap up.  In one of my posts from the last few days, Tim asked if I would do this again,  I would have to say YES!  I have really grown in my yoga practice and I do see improvements, not just in yoga but in other areas also such as weight training, running and general posture.

Hope that you all are having a great day!


I Have Faith, Optimism, and Perspective

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2011

     30 Day hot yoga challenge is almost done and I am caught up with all my classes (I pulled a double last night).  I have one class today and one class tomorrow and I will have done! 30 hot yoga classes in 30 days, woo hoo!!  On Thursday, two ladies from hot yoga (one of them happens to run with me also) and I are going to dinner to celebrate.
     I weighed in this morning at 216.4 yeah! Down from last week.  I am not going to get too excited, because I am still searching for 211 (that is the weight when I say that I have lost 60 pounds since March 2008, so I am always happy there).  From there I am going to work my way down trying to get there by the year end.
     I decided that I am going to do the half marathon in February and then another in May 2012 (I have to put my new shoes to work after all).

Thanks for reading!


I Welcome This Day Full of Opportunities and Challenges

>> Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Monday Mes Amis!
     What a weekend!  The 30 day hot yoga challenge is winding down to an end in the next few days, but my work is still not done.  Since I was away last weekend I have to make up for those four days that I missed, I have come this far I am determined to do 30 classes in 30 days.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday I attended 2 classes each day.  Today I will also have to do two classes and then I will be fully caught up.
     I went to a CFL Grey Cup party last night (CFL= Canadian Football League, think of it as the Canadian Super Bowl) and I was really impressed with myself, I enjoyed everything in moderation. I also ran 9k yesterday (oh crap, just remembered that I am racing on Saturday,  the Santa Shuffle 5k).  Good thing I got a new pair of shoes!!!!!  So excited.

They were on sale AND the store was giving 20% off, so I saved like 60$!

They are so comfortable and light.

I hope that everyone had a great weekend, catch you later!


Photos From Last Weekend

>> Thursday, November 24, 2011

All ready for a night out

The flash was SOOOO bright!  I look uber surprised!

Brunch the day after.


I Am Thankful For My Life As It Is Today

     What a coincidence that this is today's positive affirmation and it is Thanksgiving in the US.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING! To all my US followers, have a great day!
     Remember that episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte decides that she is going to tackle her dating life like a job?  Well, I decided that that is how I am going to tackle my workouts.  It is going to be like a part time job and I am going to give it 110%.  I have been slacking on the weight training since I have been doing the 30 day hot yoga challenge and I feel like I am losing my strength, so I am going to start back doing a bit of weight training daily, even if it is 20 minutes. 
     I entered a holiday weight loss challenge:

Dates: November 23rd - January 4th (6 weeks)

Plain and simple, biggest loser style, it will be % of body weight lost over the holidays. This competition should serve as a reminder to everyone to mindful of their consumption over the holidays. Moderation is key!

If you are looking for a challenge check it out!

My Starting weight is 218.2 (yeah I am going back down), let's see 6 weeks, 2 pounds per week would make 12 pounds leaving me at 206.2 and 5% body fat lost at the end of the 6 weeks.

I am back to running tonight doing a cool 3k and then I am heading to hot yoga.  I am getting sad because the 30 day challenge is almost done and I don't know what I am going to do with myself.  The good news is that a few months ago I bough t a Groupon for 20$ for 30 days of Bikram yoga, so I think that I am going to try and challenge myself AGAIN in the month of December, but this time try and go 6 days a week instead of everyday.

I have been paying really close attention to my food intake, trying to get more vegetables and protein and less cupcakes.  This year have a student from Northern Quebec that hunts caribou with her family and they brought me caribou meat because I expressed interest in trying it.  This weekend I am going to stir fry that baby and let you know how it tastes.

Have a great day!


Today, I Am Taking Control of My Life

>> Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    Thank you for all your kind words yesterday.  I really appreciate your support.  I picked myself up, dusted myself off and headed to Athletic Training followed by hot yoga last night.  Since I was away in Toronto I have four classes to make up so that I can say that I did 30 classes in 30 days.  I will be doing a few back to backs on the weekend to make that happen.  Because I have been busy with work I have not been running, it has been over a week.  I am going back tomorrow, luckily we are doing an easy 3k. I have to get back at it, because I have the Santa Shuffle 5K race the first weekend of December.

     As for food, I am going to try hard to write down what I eat, and plan my meals better.  Trying to stick to protein and vegetables for most of my meals.  I will have to get some fish to season and cook for lunches next week, as well as prepare my yummy quinoa stuffed peppers (I added the recipe at the end of this post).   I also have to get back into the habit of drinking water I find that I am really not getting enough water.  I drink about a litre a day, when I really should be drink double that minimum.

A for the scale, I am sorry but that is one thing that I cannot let go for now.  I have to get on each morning to check my daily "progress", when I get back down to 211, I will then proceed to lighten up a bit and step on every other day.

Wish me luck!

Quinoa-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers
1 pepper (237 cal)
For all my Weight Watcher folks each pepper is 4 points!

2/3 c quinoa rinsed and drained
6 bell peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
¾ c diced carrots
½ red onion
1 10 oz pack frozen spinach thawed and drained
1 15 oz can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 tsp chilli powder (can add more)
½ c grated partly skimmed mozzarella
Garlic and garlic salt
*I found the original recipe a bit bland, so I added garlic (fresh and salt) to taste and more chilli powder

·         Preheat oven at 350F
·         Boil 1 1/3 c water in pan add quinoa
·         Reduce heat, cover simmer 15 mins, keep covered set aside
·         Remove pepper  tops, stems and seeds
·         Bring a large pot of water to boil
·         Add peppers boil for 5 mins and drain
·         Heat oil in a skillet over med heat
·         Add carrots cook for 3 mins
·         Add onion cook for 5 mins
·         Stir in spinach and beans
·         Remove from heat and mix in quinoa and chilli powder
·         Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and place on a baking sheet
·         Sprinkle with cheese
·         Add just enough water to form a thin later at the bottom of the dish. Bake 20 min ENJOY!


I Am Concentrating on Top Priorities

>> Tuesday, November 22, 2011

   I know that I can use a little positivity  in my life today.  I stepped on the scale and almost cried, to the point that I had to step on again and then again. 223.  Up 6 pounds from last week.  I don't know what to say, writing this just makes me angry, sad, hopeless.  I don't know what to do anymore, I am trying and I am failing.


I Am Moving Onward and Upward Today

>> Friday, November 18, 2011

   FRIDAY!!!!!!!!  I am heading to Toronto to get some friend time in, I am really excited, when I am with these girls we always have a BLAST.  I swear we could be stuck in a hole and we would still have a great time.

    I have a confession to make, I stepped on the scale today *hangs head in shame* and I am seeing a loss.  I needed this to affirm what I need to do this weekend while I am away, STAY FOCUSED!

Got some new hair and I love it and everyone loves it, mother.   Honestly, she can be such a pain in my side sometimes.

Have a great weekend!

P.S.  Since I am missing 3 days of hot yoga due to my little trip I am going to have to make up for it!  Yikes!


I Have A Positive Attitude Today

>> Thursday, November 17, 2011

     Having a positive attitude can be hard. Especially when the day is not working to your favor.  I really try to have a positive attitude as much as possible, as a teacher negativity is picked up by students so quickly and can spread like wild fire, even if I am having a bad day I really try and compartmentalize my negative thoughts and build on the positive in my life.  I always try and look at the bright side of things, I have been told that is one of my strong suits.

    Last night I did not go to running, I was feeling light headed and did not want to run.  I didn't want to go to Day 16 of hot yoga either, but I forced myself to do that (class was at 9 pm) and you know what?  I am so glad that I went.  I am really improving and I am so happy.  The night before when I did the power yoga I told the teacher that it was my first time and she said, "Really?  I would never have known and I can usually tell when it is someone's first time!"  I was so proud of myself.  

     This weekend I am heading to Toronto to hang with my friends,  I am really going to try and control myself and continue with the progress that I am making. I will have to make up for the 2 or three days of hot yoga that I am going to miss next week.  The good news is that my friend that I am staying with goes to a wicked bootcamp, so we are going to head there Saturday morning.  I am excited to try something new.

I am also going to the hairdresser for a new do tonight.  I am giving my hair a little break and going to put a weave in.  I will post a pic and show you, I love getting a new look!

Happy Thursday, Friday is just around the corner!


Woooo! We're Half Way There...

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    I Celebrate Today With Success!

Last night was Day 15 of my 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge! Half way there! #winning.  I did a 75 minute power class:

A challenging and innovative flow class inspired by Baron Baptiste. Very cardiovascular, you are constantly flowing through poses.  Power Flow integrates more advanced postures and sequences give the class a challenging and dynamic flavour.  Prepare to get sweaty and have some fun!
Ha! "Get sweaty" is an understatement, I was exhausted by the end.  I was once again humbled.  Just when i think that I am getting a handle on hot yoga, I am put in my place. I was suppose to go to Athletic Training class after, but I was finished so I just headed home.  Tonight, I have running we are doing a quick 3K and then I am going to head to hot yoga.  Although I am training for the Half Marathon in February, I am not sure if I am going to run it.  I am open to any comments/suggestions.  I guess my main worry is that is WINTER here, there will be snow and running for two hours and a half when the temperature ranges from -3C to -13C is just not appealing, even if my body is ten degrees warmer when I run.  I have placed a survey at the right of my blog, please vote.  I have to register by Dec. 1 to get the early bird price, I would love some advice.

Have a great day!


This Is An Important Day In My Life...

>> Tuesday, November 15, 2011

...That is today's positive self talk affirmation, smile, look in the mirror and say it three times.
  I succeeded in keeping myself off the scale for the week *pats self on back* and when I stepped on today I was at 217.8 not bad, that is down 1.6 from last week.  Still reaching for my 211 would be nice to get there by the end of the month.  I am going to keep trying to monitor my calorie intake and record my numbers, since that seemed to work this week.  This is week two of my 30 day hot yoga challenge and yes, I have been everyday so far, 14 days in a row *pats self on back again*.  I also took measurements last week and compared them to today:

Last Week                                Now
Bust: 42"                                 Same
Waist (at belly button):38"         36"
Hips: 44"                                  43"

Total loss of 3 inches that is great.  I read somewhere that each inch you loss translates to a pound.  I wish I had lost 3 pounds though...

Tonight I am going to head to hot yoga (Day 15!  Yeah I am half way there) and then try to make it to Athletic Training class.

Happy Tuesday!


Le Weekend

>> Monday, November 14, 2011

     What a wonderful weekend!  I experienced another great running moment.  Before I tell you what it is, let us take a look back, remember my first 5K ? Remember my first 10k? Remember my first half-marathon? Well last Saturday, I ran another 10K race and broke my record from the week before!  1:04! An HOUR AND FOUR F**K'N MINUTES! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!  I am still ecstatic! 
     After the race, I had to get in my "30 days of hot yoga challenge" class (Day 12 by the way).  I went to a yin class;

Yin is both a gentle and challenging yoga practice and is often called a "moving meditation".  Yin Yoga targets the connective tissue of the hips, pelvis and lower spine.  Poses are held for 2-5 minutes to stretch deep muscle tissue and fascia.   This is a great aid for opening up the body and increasing flexibility and range of motion.  A great compliment to your regular practice. Suitable for all levels.
     Don't be fooled.  This description makes it sound so all nice and easy.  But it was really hard, I had trouble holding the poses for the full time and had to let them go for a bit.  I enjoyed it because I got to really stretch out my legs after the run, I will definitely try this class again now that I know what I am in for.
     Sunday, I headed to a baby shower and let me just say that I ate WAY to much cake.I woke up this morning and I am still full.

I found a list of Positive Self Talk Affirmations and I will be listing one each day:

Positive Self Talk Affirmation of the day: Today is a winning day for me



>> Friday, November 11, 2011

   Yesterday was the first day of calorie counting and it wasn't bad.  I finished with 2000 calories, not bad for my first day.  I am really trying to stay in the 1700-1800 range, just like anything else it is going to take practice.  I am back at it today.  Man, I never realized how calories can add up so quickly, especially in drinks.  I am going out for coffee with a friend later and we are heading to Starbucks so I went to the Starbucks website and they had a section called "drinks under 200 calories".  this is what they had to say;

Hot Drinks (Tall)CaloriesFat (g)
Brewed Coffee50
Brewed Tazo® Tea00
Nonfat Tazo® Green Tea Latte1500
Nonfat Cappuccino600
Nonfat Caffè Latte1000
Nonfat Caramel Machiato1401
Soy Tazo® Chai Tea Latte1702
Nonfat Caffè Mocha – hold the whip1702
Skinny Vanilla Latte900
Steamed Apple Juice1700
Nonfat Vanilla Crème – hold the whip1500
Caffè Americano100

Good to know.

I have noticed that my stomach is feeling a little flatter since I have been doing hot yoga.  But I still have the lower part of my stomach that I find sticks out a lot.  I really have to find a way to reduce this part of my body, it is really starting to bother me.  Since I have lost weight I find my lower stomach hangs.  Does anyone else have this issue?  How do you deal with it?

I was at the Running  Room and there are two pairs of shoes that I have my eye on:
Nike Lunar Eclipse 139.99

New Balance 860 109.99
They are both super comfortable, so I am going to have to decide in the next few weeks...

LA commented:
Haneefa, thanks for the tips on working up to an 8k race. Since your post, I've been running outside; however, it's soooo much more challenging to run outdoors than on a treadmill. I've realized that I can barely do 2 miles outdoors (with running up hills etc). When you train, do you train outdoors for races, or how do you transition from running on the treadmill to successfully running outdoors. I feel as if it would be so much easier to run the 8k on the treadmill, but outside it seems nearly impossible. Thanks!

I run 95% of the time outside.  On occasion I will run on the treadmill.  I like the treadmill to work on speed, because I can control the speed, so I will sprint for 30 secs -1 minute and then I will run at a normal pace for a minute or two.  The only suggestion I have for you is that when you run outside try to pick a place that has minimal hills, (save the hill work for a separate day).  Also try and go at a regular pace, you should be able to talk.  Save the race pace for another day (NOT a hill day).  Take you time.  Slowly build up and I know that you can get to your 8k outside.

Have a great weekend!


Trying Something New

>> Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Thank you for all your comments yesterday.  I have put the scale away until next Tuesday and I am going to calorie count and stay around 1700-1800 for the next two weeks. I did a little research and they say that you should take the weight that you want to be (around 172) and multiply it by ten to give you your calorie intake. I am also going to try and eat more fish and go back to my wicked stuffed pepper recipe (which I will post later next week) for next week.

 Last night was Day 9 of the 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge and I have to admit that the classes are getting easier. There are a few poses that I could not do when I started and not only I am getting them and able to hold them for a short period of time I am starting to feel more confident in my practice.  I am taking the rest of the month to really improve on the poses that I can do (hold them for the whole time required) and to get a  handle on the poses that I still cannot do (bow is REALLY a struggle for me, I can usually reach one leg but not the other). I have also noticed that the room does not feel as hot as it used to.  I also find that the time goes much faster and the class is done before I know it.

     Did I mention that I am doing another race on Saturday?  This one is also a trail race, but the group of runners in more elite.  So even if I finish in the same time as last week, I will probably be one of the last ones to finish.  We are also competing as a team, THE RUNAHOLICS  (thanks Ro!) I will let you know how that goes.

Have a great day!

That's me, racing last Saturday!



Putting The Scale Away

>> Wednesday, November 9, 2011

     I have retired the scale until next week.  This is really hard for me, since I am obsessed with getting on it everyday (and sometimes night) to see where my weight is at.  
  I am trying to cut added sugar out of my life. Last night I went to Bulk Barn and bought; dried cranberries, unsweetened shredded coconut, walnuts and almonds to add to my oatmeal in the morning.  I usually add brown sugar , but I want to get away from that.  When I had it this morning for breakfast it was delicious and very filling.
   Tonight I have running (3K steady) and then I am going to head over for DAY 9 of the 30 Day Hot Yoga challenge.   
    I have a random question; does anyone cook bok choy (aka chinese cabbage)?  DO you use the whole thing or just the leaves?  Thanks in advance.


30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge: Week 1 Done!

>> Tuesday, November 8, 2011

     As of yesterday, I have done 7 straight days of hot yoga (accompanied by other activities) and when I stepped on the scale today I saw...a gain of 0.4 (219.4).   This is really frustrating that I have been working really hard, but I am not losing the weight that I want to loss.  I know that I have to be more careful with my eating.  I eat well 90% of the time, but then I will have ONE meal (out or at a party) that is fried of fatty and I will gain 3 or 4 pounds over night!  No joke.  I do not know what to do.  Why is it that I cannot have one meal a week that is not "one plan" without ruining everything that I have done for the week?  I was down to 215 last Thursday and then Friday I went out and everything was done.  I cannot even say that when I went out to eat it was all that bad.  I watched my portions, but the food was obviously not as healthy as if I would have eaten something at home.  I am really trying to analyze and understand my body and I am starting to see that I have to "be on" all the time.  I don't know/think that this is realistic for me, but I really have to get rid of these 20 pounds so that I can get until 200.  I am starting to think that this may never happen.  Now marks 3 years and 8 months that I have been working on this and I am sitting at 52 pounds lost.  Last year at this time I weighed 208 (granted i just had surgery and could not eat), all I am trying to say is maybe I can't get any smaller.  I already work out almost everyday and i have been doing this even before I started to watch my weight.  maybe my body knows this and can't do anymore...  I don't know.  I really just want to be rid of this fat and back to living life.
     The plus side of this week of hot yoga is that my stomach feels flatter and I know that my balance has greatly improved.  I was in an aerobics class yesterday and we had do do some balancing possess and I was much better than I was a few months ago.
     I also need to stop being such a slave to the scale this week I am not going to step on the scale until next Tuesday. This is going to be really hard for me since I do weight myself daily.  I also think that tomorrow I am going to take my measurements and keep track of those on a weekly basis also. I am curious to see if my waist is getting smaller or if it is all in my mind.

LA left a comment in my last post asking about race training advice (I still can"t believe that people are asking me for advice!).  

  • Try and run at least three times a week.  In your comment you said that on average you run 3.5 miles (about 5.6K).  One of these runs should be a long slow run.  Try this week to have a 6k run (3.7 miles) , a week from then try a 7K (4.3 miles) and then finally a 5 mile (8K) run.  you should try and run the race distance at least once before the race.  Remember that you should take these runs S-L-O-W.  Don't be nervous about your first race, you can only improve from there.  Also if you feel the need to walk, there is no shame in that.  Last Saturday during the 10K race there was a monster hill.  I tried to run as much as i could but i had to walk the rest of the way to the top. Once I felt like I was really (about 2 minutes)  i started running again.
I hope this helps!


Boo-Ya!:A New Personal Best

>> Monday, November 7, 2011

   This past Saturday I ran a 10k race in Oka national park.  The trail was beautiful and luckily the weather was perfect, not too cold and nice and sunny (although I could not keep my sunglasses on because my face was so sweaty).  All I wanted was to beat my last 10k race time of an hour and eight minutes and guess what!?  I did it in 1:05:07 THREE WHOLE MINUTES FASTER!  WOOHOO!  I was so excited.  This Saturday and I am doing another 10K race and I am aiming to get the same time or better. 
     In hot yoga news, today I am on day 7 and I have been going everyday (yes, even after the 10K race on Saturday).  I am noticing improvements in my possess and I am able to hold posses that I was not able to do a few months ago.  I am also noticing that I am not finding the room as hot as I used to.

I hope that everyone is having a great week and take care!


Fit To Fat To Fit

>> Friday, November 4, 2011

   On my way home from work yesterday, I was listening to the radio and they were doing an interview with a guy who was a personal trainer and was aiming to gain 100 pounds and then lose it again.  This guy (I am sure that you can Google to find his name) was about 190 pounds and a personal trainer.  He decided that he wanted to gain weight so that he could see what it was like for his clients who were struggling to get healthy and lose weight.  In the last 6 months he has gained almost 80 pounds.  He stopped exercising and ate like the "average American"; macaroni and cheese, white bread and pasta, fast food once a week and soft drinks two or three times day.  Now he is going to start to lose the weight, first by watching his diet and then incorporate exercise.

What do you think about the notion of gaining weight just to lose it again?

In 30 Day hot yoga challenge news, last night was day 3 and it went well.  I went for a 3k run before hand.  I am excited about my Half Marathon clinic and there are some familiar faces in my group.  Tomorrow is my 10K race, I better get a good night sleep tonight!


30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge: Day 1 and 2

>> Thursday, November 3, 2011

I have been participating in the 30 Day hot yoga challenge for 2 days now and things are going well, but I am tired.  I am still running and yesterday we were suppose to do 4k but we ended up doing 5K and then I went to hot yoga so I was exhausted.  The same thing is going to happen tonight, since I am starting my Half Marathon Clinic tonight, thankfully we are only running 3K. 

So far, I am seeing weight loss, but I am not going to report until next Tuesday.

My big race is on Saturday, wish me luck!



>> Tuesday, November 1, 2011

     Today I am going to begin my 30 day hot yoga challenge.  I am so excited, I am heading to a  moksha flow class tonight.  Moksha flow focuses more on breathing during the class.  Here is the excerpt from the website on the class:
Emphasis will be on the synergy between breath and movement to help you deepen your practice. This class is always moving.  It is great for upper body strengthening and improving cardiovascular health.
  I am really excited.  I am starting the challenge at 219, in 30 days I would like to be at 209 or lower.

I am also starting to train for another half marathon in February.  I am not sure if I am going to actually do the race in Feb., but I am definitely going to run the Ottawa half next May.  I really like the teacher than is leading the training clinic at the Running Room and I know that we are going to have a great time.  In other running news I am going to be running a 10K on Saturday.  I am hoping to beat my time from last winter of 1 hour and 8 minutes.  I have been training and I feel really confident about what I can do.  Nevertheless, it all depends on the day and since they are calling for snow here on Friday, the trail may be a bit slippery, which can be really dangerous.  Also since it is a trail run I know that here are a lot of roots sticking out of the ground and people have tripped on the roots in the past and gotten hurt, so I am really going to have to be careful.

I now challenge all of YOU to be active for the next 30 days!  It doesn't have to be yoga it can be anything, zumba, walking, whatever.  Also if you really can't for 30 consecutive days try to beat what you usually do.  If you exercise 3 times a week try to exercise 5 times for this month!  LET'S GO!

I love this quote from Arthur Ashe:

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

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