Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Gloves

The under layer
A co-worker who has had Raynaud's for years, said she found her Burton mitts to be the best. I thought if I was going to spend $100 on hand protections, gloves would be better for me and my life. I selected "arctic" as my climate and ordered Burton Baker two in one.

I have worn them about 3 weeks and here are my thoughts -

The good: 

  • It was easy to figure out the correct size on the website
  • They were shipped in a timely fashion

The glove

The not so good:

  • The fingers are extra long (and have been very stiff) and I find it impossible to pick up things with them, so I end up having to take them off a lot while out. 
  • They are not warm enough to stop me from having Raynaud's flair ups, even when it is only about -10C/14F. 

The verdict: While I will keep these gloves, I am likely going to have to explore heat packs to go with them to stop flare ups. Perhaps mittens would have been an better option.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Week Of Dinners

Given I am blessed with an amazing personal chef, aka Sam, I thought I would share a week's worth of dinners today. 

Duck, risotto, brussel spouts

Roast beef, mashed potatoes, carrots and arugula salad

Left over roast, left over risotto, asparagus and more salad

Forgot to take a picture on my plate - Valentine's Day Curry (leftovers made a great lunch later int he week)

Wednesday nights I am on my own so I did sweet potato toast and homemade guar

Thursday was a night out with one of my community groups, so I took the last of the risotto to have

Stuffed pork loin (cheese and asparagus), homemade sweet potato fries (with a fancy dipping sauce) more asparagus

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Training For Two

Sam and I have now trained together 5 times. Since his rocky start it has gone well. I admit I didn't love the exercises we did last week, but mostly that was because I had to do stupid machines because of my ankle. I kept breaking one of the machines and finally convinced F'in Alex he should just adjust it so I stopped breaking it. He did try and call me a princess for this, but I did point out that  I was sure I was paying him to do this, and that he couldn't argue with me about!

The biggest thing I have noticed with training for two is that I haven't been as sore after. I think this is for several reasons. First, we have done a lot of new things so I don't know what my max weight is for them and it can take a bit to figure out if something that feels really weird is heavy enough or not. For example, it took me two sets of the farmer walk with kettle bells to realize they needed to be heavier. Second, because I don't always have F'in Alex standing over me, I can get away with not doing as heavy (he doesn't notice things are a little light). I do tell him sometimes . . . . I am not being totally lazy, I did beat my personal best for pushups by 3 on Thursday and there is nothing I hate more than push ups. Third, we couldn't do everything 'normally' because of the ankle. This week will be the same because it just isn't getting better as fast as I would like.

My goal this week is to try and push myself a little more and not be a lazy gym goer. I am paying a lot of money to get stronger and only have 18 weeks left. Let's hope my cold is gone by today and my ankle is better to help with this!

Sam sent me this. I laughed - a lot!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Who Knew It Was A Thing???

I was working at home yesterday and texting my sister. She told me about this amazing thing - sweet potato toast. It is so simple, you simply cut the ends of the sweet potato and then cut it into 1/4 inch slices the long way and put it in the toaster. The internet suggests flipping it and toasting it at least twice (more depending on your toaster/thickness).

I thought this is something I can cook, so I gave it a try. I topped mine with homemade guacamole (that I actually made). I have to say, it turned out really nice. I am no cook, but this is something I can see having regularly. You can put anything on it. (I did do a quick internet search and saw lots of ideas).

Here is a picture of my sister's lunch the other day (used without her permission or knowledge, but I forgot to take a picture of mine and I am sure she will be cool with it):

She had sweet potato bruschetta, veggies and hummus.

If you try it or have tried it and have favourite toppings let me know!

A note about the gloves I ordered. They are Burton's. They have been shipped and should be here in a day or two and once I have tried them I will let you all know if they are worth the money!

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Cold Hands . . .

I would like to end that with warm heart, but instead I will end it with means you might have Raynaud's disease. Last Thursday, I was diagnosed with Raynaud's. For those who may not have heard of it as described by the Mayo Clinic is a "disease causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers and toes — to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud's disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas (vasospasm)".

You can see the white finger tip on my index finger
This winter, I started to get numbness in my fingers/hands while driving. A couple weeks ago, it was so bad when I got home for about 30 minutes I couldn't really use my right hand. It felt asleep and was white with blue fingernails. I was suspicious it was Raynaud's as I have a friend who was diagnosed within the last year or so.

The treatment is rather simple unless it gets very severe - keep my hands warm by wearing great gloves and maybe getting a steering wheel heater. There are medicines I could take if it gets really bad, but I would prefer not to go that route unless it becomes very serious. My $100 gloves are in the mail! A coworker who I didn't know had it, recommended this brand. We will see if they work. She said they were expensive, but it is a small price to pay to prevent disfigured fingers. That is what can happen if it is not treated. 

I did ask my doctor if training could be to blame for this. She said unless he had me lifting crazy weights, like over 100 lbs, no. Darn! I did read that to protect my hands during training I should make sure they are warm. 

My symptoms had only been in my hands until I had to ice my sprained ankle on the weekend and then they started in my foot. So icing is out.

It feels a little frustrating that I am doing all of this awesome stuff to be the healthiest me ever and I am diagnosed with a disease. My doctor said these things happen, so I will try not to be frustrated and keep going. 

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Week 20 of 40 training with F'in Alex is done or will be done by 9 am this morning. I have made it very clear to him that I am "breaking up" with him on June 22nd. That is how I word it.  This does not mean that I will not be working out. It just means that we are going to build the gym we want in our house and I will train at home.

What I always wanted was the creation of a home program. Because I was completely clueless to exercise previously, I did need someone to teach me. I honestly feel that at this point I could run a program at home myself. I did ok on the ship. However, I will be in an even better position to train myself in another 20 weeks.

The reasons I want to move training to home are simple: it will be way cheaper (I don't want to sustain the expense indefinitely - I am not saying it hasn't been worth it, I just don't think it needs to continue) and far more flexible. In my work life it is hard to never be available until 10 am on Tuesday or Thursday morning.

I know there are many people who wouldn't have the discipline to train twice a week at home. I know I do. Once it is a rule I will do it.  The only thing I won't be doing is the evil pushups. I hate them too much to ever do them again. June 22nd will be the last day I ever do one!

Keeping in mind my goal has been strength - in 20 weeks (plus the 3 I was on vacation):

I have lost 14 lbs - one clothing size (I am fearful another one may be lost) and one bra size
Lost 2.5 inches at my hips
Lost 3.5 inches at my belly button
Had to squat into a chair and now am doing 3 sets of 15 squats with 30 lbs
Had to hold on to lunge and am now walk lunging with 8 lbs
Could do 0 push ups and now am doing 3 sets of like 12, 8 and 8
Could hold a plank for 37 seconds. My record is 3 minutes and I can regularly do several reps of about 2 minutes
Started my chest press weight at 5 lbs and now do 25 lbs
Started my standing row weight at 5 lbs and now do 30 lbs

In my daily life I notice lifting things is easier. I notice opening containers is easier. When I am not hurting too badly, I notice I feel better. My mind is clearer. I am handling stress better (and I have a lot of that). So for as much as I hate the process, the benefits are clear.

To another 20 weeks!