New personal best

September 16, 2009

I set a new personal best on my 5K run last night!! My previous outdoor record was 32:15, although this was with waiting for traffic lights because I forgot that I could pause my Nike+ while waiting for them (oops). So on this run I did the 5K in 30:51!! I even walked for a minute on a long hill just so I could catch my breath a little. I’m so excited!!

I have my 5K coming up on October 4th and I would LOVE to have a time under 30 minutes. I feel like I’m well on my way there with less than a minute to shave off. If I work on my endurance and don’t have to take any walking breaks I know I could do it!

Oh and other good news about the 5K… I surpassed my goal of raising $150 and have now raised $185 with 18 days to raise even more!!

On another note, with training for this 5K I feel so much better about myself overall. My goal has become fitness and I’m really focusing on fueling my body properly to work out rather than worrying about calories and how my body looks. I really like the shift in focus and I think I’m going to aim for fitness goals from now on. Hitting the 5K mark and then improving my times has been such a boost in my confidence and self-esteem since it feels great to reach new personal bests and see how much I’m improving. And I feel strong and I’m appreciating that my legs are muscular and can allow me to run 5K rather than focusing on them being too big, or too this/that. It’s really made my appreciate my body in a whole new way and I love it!

Well, I’m off to finish getting ready for school. I have class at 11:30 this morning so I’ve got to get a move on!


Back to the books

September 14, 2009

It’s that time of year again. Today was my first day back to class.

It was a pretty uneventful day. After all, I’m only taking three classes (it’s all I need to finish my undergrad), two of which are on campus while one is online. Somehow I still have to be on campus four days a week, for a 1.5 hour class each day. Boo! I guess on the bright side it means that I’m not stuck in class for hours each day and I still get Fridays off!

Anyway, class this morning. I forgot that everyone turns into a super keener on day one and arrived five minutes before class started to find about 5 empty seats. Yikes! For some reason we’re packed in a classroom that’s too small for the number of students. I hate hate hate that classroom too. It brings back bad memories of research methods and my prof who clearly hated his life for the 50 minutes 3 times per week that he had to lecture us about correlation and random sampling. Thankfully this prof seems more upbeat about the class, though it kind of sucked to not receive a hard-copy course outline. Apparently making the students print their own is a money saving tactic. Great.

After class I proceeded to work for a meeting and then proceeded to slack of for a little while before actually doing any work. Just a normal day in the lab!

Tomorrow I have my other on campus course. We have five students. Yeah. Seriously. I’m surprised they didn’t cancel it but it’s a core class for the research stream that I’m in so they’d better not. It’ll be a busy class and I’ll be hating APA by the end, but I think it’ll be fun too!

I’ve taken a peek at my online class. Thankfully that was before WebCT suddenly decided that our discussion board should be in Chinese. I guess I should be thankful I could log in at all because it was being pretty spastic about working earlier. Yeah, I really have no idea what’s going on with that thing sometimes. I’m almost going to miss it in a weird way. Hating WebCT, the school email, and Loris (the online course registration system) is all part of being a student at my school!

In other news… I ran my first outdoor 5K ever on Saturday night. And are my quads ever hating today. Ow, ow, ow. It probably didn’t help that I went for a walk on Sunday night and then decided to walk 25 minutes home from school today (I left campus at 3:45ish which means dealing with an excess of high school kids on the buses which I try to avoid whenever possible). Anyway, I tracked it on my Nike+ and it gave me a time of 32:15. Not the best, but also not bad considering my previous personal best was 31:53 on the treadmill and I know a lot of people say running on the treadmill is way easier. Oh, and the 32:15 time included some time spent waiting at traffic lights because I blanked out on pausing the Nike+. I kind of realized I could have done that after I’d gone for the run. Ooops! Oh well! I’ve mapped out a new course near my house that has a) no traffic lights and b) less hills (my Saturday run route pretty much started with a hill in the first kilometre and I really started feeling that later on).

But I’m proud of getting it done and I’m feeling super amped about the Run for the Cure! I’m up to $135 in donations so only $15 to go before hitting my goal! I found out the other day I get a custom run t-shirt. I’m running for the Lakehead University team, which, by the way, is not my school but a friend goes there so I managed to get in on it. I’m from the same town as one of their satellite campuses so I’m sure that counts for something, right?

So the plan for the 5K is to run outside 3-4 times per week depending on how much time I have. I want to do my 5K loop a couple more times to get used to it before really working on my time and distance. I think I would die of happiness if I could post a time under 30 minutes on the day of the 5K!

Anyway, I’m off to poke around on WebCT and see if I can do anything about my one course being in Chinese since I might like to get started on learning about Freud for the seventh time in my undergrad!


CIBC Run for the Cure

September 5, 2009

Happy Saturday everyone!

I just signed up for the CIBC Run for the Cure. It’s a 5K run to support breast cancer research. This will be my first 5K and I’m already so excited! It’s next month, October 4, 2009.

I just thought I’d write a little about why I’m running. My mom’s best friend lost her mom to breast cancer when she was in her late teens. Years later, when my mom’s friend was in her 40s, she was diagnosed as well. It hit my mom really hard and of course, knowing my mom’s friend well, it was difficult for me and my dad too. She’s been really strong throughout the whole process and I’m happy to say she’s doing well with it at this point, but there have been some scary moments. So it means a lot to me to be able to raise money in hopes that it will help people like my mom’s friend and all the others out there who have breast cancer.

I’ve set a fund raising goal of $150, but I would love to be able to raise even more. If anyone on BTL would like to sponsor me, it would be greatly appreciated! It’s a great cause and whatever you can donate is fine. Every little bit can help! If you go to the link below, you can donate online using a credit card.

Click here to go to the donation page.

Thanks so much to everyone and I can’t wait until next month!


Wedding weekend

August 31, 2009

I went to a wedding this weekend for my friends that were getting married. It was a great day. The ceremony was outside and it was raining ALL day, but before the ceremony, it cleared up and the sun came out! How perfect is that? It was so nice – my friend’s dad is a minister so he married the two of them. Half of her bridesmaids were in tears through the ceremony and one of my friends who was a groomsmen is still denying that he cried even though we all saw!

The reception was great too. I got to catch up with a bunch of friends that I haven’t seen since high school. It’s so crazy to think people my age are getting married and finishing school and starting their own lives.

I took a ton of pictures (104 according to the Facebook album I made). Here’s a sampler:

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Pre-wedding, posing in my dress!

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Josh & I at the reception.

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Josh, me and my best friend Jason. I’m not sure how we all managed to end up with the same facial expression but it was NOT planned! lol!

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So excited to be singing “I’m on a Boat”!!

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Group hug at the end of the night!

It was an epic night. I actually danced. And I never dance. But it all started with ‘Jump Around’ by House of Pain. Seriously, how could I not head out on the dance floor? Josh isn’t much of a dancer, but we did dance to a couple slow songs and I’m pretty sure he along with nearly all the other under 25-ers came out when ‘Yeah’ started playing. The rest of the time I danced with the bridesmaids (who were dancing ALL NIGHT) or Jason – we even danced to ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ from the Lion King because we’re both mad obsessed with that (and all other Disney movies). I think we were both hoping the DJ would bust out ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’ or ‘Circle of Life’!

I think I burned off all the birthday treats I indulged in on Thursday & Friday (I had a free dessert when I went out on my actual birthday and then my mom was super cute and made cupcakes which I’ve never had on my birthday before!!),  as well as the piece and a half of cake, 3 beers and glass of wine I had in addition to the dinner at the wedding. But, despite being lucky with no gain to speak of, I’m right back into healthy foods!


Note to self

August 24, 2009

Note to self: Even though you can eat a daily serving of cheese and eat yogurt a couple times a week despite being lactose intolerant to a certain degree AND having a milk allergy, doesn’t mean you should push your luck and eat a couple servings of frozen yogurt several days in a row in addition to the usual dairy consumption.No matter how tasty it is. It does NOT end well.

Sometimes I hate having to learn things to hard way!

Now I’m stuck at home feeling gross today even though I have a million errands to do: picking up a few groceries, returning my spring term distance ed movie (which sucked, btw, I should have not even bothered with it), picking up new distance ed materials (meaning more movies that will probably suck.. lol), paying my tuition, picking up my new Visa card AND getting a criminal record check for the lab/whatever placement I get this fall if it requires one. Ugh, I just realized how much school is already ruling my life and it hasn’t even started yet! Funny how it managed to do that!

Speaking of school, I logged on to the online registration system and noticed a heading for parking permit application status. I was very intrigued and looked at it. Turns out my application was not successful, but that’s okay because I didn’t submit an application (MLIA? haha). I live half a block too close to the school allegedly (I learned this in second year). But since I can’t park on campus, it gives me a good excuse to get some extra walking in. It’s about 25 minutes to the side of campus where all my classes are (thankfully). So I can either walk to or from, or walk both ways if I’m feeling really ambitious. I’ve done it before and in previous years, I typically walked home each day (because walking TO school requires getting up about 15 minutes earlier than if I’m taking the bus). So maybe it works out for the best!

Well, I’m off to relax today and hopefully get feeling better. I have a busy week coming up: errands tomorrow, job fair on Wednesday, my birthday on Thursday, my friend’s wedding rehearsal on Friday, the wedding on Saturday and then our new roommate is coming on Sunday (from Russia… cool eh?). I’m super excited for everything even though I know I’ll just want to sleep come Monday!


PETA is at it again

August 22, 2009

I came across this article today about PETA’s new billboard. I know that PETA is known for being controversial but before I even listened to the audio interview, I was appalled by the billboard (which is pictured in the article).

It’s essentially saying that being a vegetarian means you’re going to “lose the blubber”, a.k.a. lose weight.

I listened the the audio interview and actually felt angry at this PETA spokesperson. She’s claiming that eating meat (her words: “their addiction to eating meat”) is responsible for the high levels of obesity in America. Because, you know, eating tons of sugar and products loaded with high fructose corn syrup obviously has nothing to do with it. Or the lack of education about proper portion sizes and nutrition in general.

While I think being vegetarian is a good thing, you still have to make proper choices. I’ve seen vegetarians simply cut meat out of their diet without replacing the protein they’re no longer getting. They don’t add in beans or tofu. They simply just don’t eat an adequate amount of protein. Maybe that will make you lose weight, but is that healthy? Not really. Or they’re losing weight because they’re simply not eating enough calorie-dense foods without having those protein sources. They’re living off vegetables and fruits.

While going vegetarian has been linked to losing weight and having a lower body weight, you could say the same for clean eating. This still involves eating meat, but choosing leaner cuts, and choosing whole, rather than processed foods. How can PETA claim that it’s unhealthy?

I also know several vegetarians that lost absolutely no weight when taking meat out of their diet. I know one that gained a lot of weight, despite eating a good amount of protein from non-animal products.

The ads just seem unnecessarily harsh and I felt offended as I’m not a vegetarian. I lost weight while still eating meat. 42.5 pounds to be exact AND I’m at a perfectly healthy BMI. While I do eat some vegetarian meals, or occasionally have vegetarian days, I’m not fully vegetarian and eat one to two servings of meat products each day. According to PETA I should be obese and/or unhealthy but I feel healthy as I eat a clean diet and pay attention to nutrition.

I think the mistake people make which can lead to obesity is not paying attention to nutrition and portions sizes. I don’t believe it has much to do with eating meat, unless you apply the incorrect portion sizes argument to it, but then, really, almost any food could be labeled as “soley responsible”. People who are vegetarians CAN be just as uninformed about proper nutrition as those who eat meat. Like I said before, I know some that simply cut out protein and others who gained weight because they still ate too large of portion sizes.

Overall, I doubt being offensive is going to bring loads of people over to PETA’s side. I doubt a billboard calling non-vegetarians fat is going to make them skip the meat. It certainly doesn’t bring me any desire to become a vegetarian. Perhaps if they really were trying to care and bring awareness to people eating too much meat they should have gone about it in a better way. Such as, you know, presenting actual facts instead of having a spokesperson skew them on Montel’s show (which he obviously didn’t fall for and then called her out on it). If anything, I could see this campaign resulting in people just skipping out on meat because of the “I might get fat” fear, and then their nutrition will not be any better than it was before.

I think the bottom line is proper nutrition rather than abandoning a particular food group. If you want to be a vegetarian, that’s fine, but be properly nourished, etc. The same goes for eating meat. It’s about moderation and choosing the proper portion size. In the end, I think that makes a healthier diet and would fight obesity much more than an anti-meat campaign.

Alright, so soapbox away! I’m off to help my dad drywall our downstairs bathroom, which should be interesting considering the fact that I can barely use a hammer, let alone put up drywall!


Organizing makes me happy

August 18, 2009

I’m not a naturally neat person, or a clean freak in any way. But I do love to be organized. It’s a weird combination. I’m obsessed with making to do lists and putting every little appointment or deadline on my calendar, and my school binders are always neatly labeled and organized but for some reason, I have a difficult time keeping my room clean! And my closet? I think my dad (who is a major cleaning nut) would have a fit if he saw it.

Over time, a mountain of clothes slowly grows in whatever empty floor spaces I  have. My dresser gets taken over by empty or almost empty bottles of different products (I have THE worst habit of starting to use a new bottle of product before the old one is entirely gone and I don’t want to throw it out because it still has some left). My bed is made… 10% of the time if I’m lucky and my nightstand has a million different things on it. My desk ends up swamped in papers, usually thanks to school. It’s awful.

Even though my room gets messy, I have a hard time motivating myself to clean it. So, it ends up getting pretty messy. I’ve decided to put my foot down though and keep my room tidy. I just feel so disorganized when it’s really messy and since I LIKE being organized, it really bothers me, even though I dislike cleaning my room.

So I cleaned it. Thoroughly. I vacuumed everywhere, even along the baseboards and window sill. It was a wonder my allergies haven’t been going nuts this year with all the dust I got rid of (I’m severely allergic… which also meant drugging myself up on Aerius partway through the clean). As I was cleaning, I started to think that since I was dragging everything out from the walls to vacuum behind, I might as well rearrange my room the way I’ve wanted to for months now (the mess always stopped me before since rearranging would mean serious cleaning). So, I dragged everything around in my room. Maybe not the best idea considering it was 31C outside before factoring in the humidity (I think the humidex was a disgusting 39C… yuck!) but I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop or my room would be stuck in a half-clean, half-rearranged state of transition for months.

It’s rearranged now and it seems bigger, which is nice! And it’s CLEAN! Seeing how nice it can look when it’s clean makes me really want to try to keep it tidy. I’m going to clean it weekly. For real. Because I love how it looks and I feel so organized, which makes me feel happy and far less conflicted! Yay!

I’ve also been organizing in other areas of my life – drawing up a budget for when I’ll (hopefully) be working full time starting in January to see if a car will be in the future (I have one, but it’s 9 years old and has been in the shop way too many times since it’s 7th birthday), looking into prices for a short trip to England or Scotland with the boyfriend next year and figuring out what the heck I want to take in grad school. I always get so excited doing this! It’s overwhelming yes, and sometimes I think about what if it doesn’t work out, but it really makes me look forward to the coming year! Car + trip + figuring out grad school would be sweet!

I’m off for some tea – I’ve been up since 7:15 and after getting 6.5 hours of sleep I’m fading fast now that it’s 12:30pm! I may post later this week on my maintenance progress and how I handled a small weight gain from my weekend home last week!