Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In this Valley they say you are going….

The Rouge Valley that is! This past weekend, Rich and I discovered something so truly amazing and beautiful that we were literally puzzled we hadn’t known about it before, since it was only minutes from our home!

Well – we knew the Rouge Valley was there and there was “a trail”, but we didn’t realize that we were surrounded by over 47 square kilometers of some of the most beautiful hiking/walking trails! We had tried to walk part of what we thought was a small(ish) trail last fall, but it was so wet and mucky that we had to turn around.

So out we went again on Saturday, to pick up where we left off, and ‘lo and behold, we were opened to a whole new world of hiking grandness! As we walked into the forest, the beauty and depth of the trees and sun sparkling through the branches, took our breath away! We even stopped to literally “hug a tree” and it felt so great (although a little silly at first…but if you’ve never hugged a tree, I highly recommend it!)

Anyway – onward we went – up elevated rock cliffs, with tree roots and rocks providing stepping stones and onto open areas with rolling hills, and along geese-filled ponds, with wildflowers of purple, yellow and white growing all around us – from trail to trail we hiked, sometimes we ran – it was one of the best workouts I’ve had in a long, long time.

Being outside in the sun - surrounded by beautiful nature – hearing all the insects and the birds and the river rushing by – stepping over stones and roots and climbing over huge tree trunks that had fallen down across your path – running up hills, walking hand in hand – stopping to smell the flowers and even share a kiss (aw) - it truly made you glad to be alive. That may sound a little dramatic for “just a hike” – but it wasn’t just a hike – it was one of the best days I’ve ever had.

Fourteen (yes that’s right – 14!) kilometers later, we were back in our car to head home and relax for the rest of the afternoon. Not only was this day great for me physically – it was even better for me mentally. If you’d like to check out the trails for yourself, see here and enjoy! www.rougepark.ca

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchen Reno is Under Way!

Yesterday marked day 1 of the ‘actual’ renovation of our kitchen. There has been a lot done in preparation (we took down a wall – hooked up new electrical – re-jigged some plumbing and bought new appliances) but our old kitchen remained in tact through that all.

When I got home from work yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see our walls bare, our sink out, our countertops gone and some new lower cabinetry already installed! Needless to say we ate pita bread and hummus for dinner last night (our stove is gas so had to be un-hooked) but….it will all be worth it in the end. So exciting and a long time coming!

On the health front – things are great! My energy level is pretty high these days. The other night I was lying in bed – it was around 9pm and Rich and I were watching tv, and I started doing bicycle crunches. And then I had this weird urge to run! I wanted to run! (I didn’t run because I was in my jammies and it was late and dark out), but…I wanted to! Rich said that it was good – that it meant my energy level was improving. (I think it was from that piece of chocolate I’d had about 30 minutes before!)

Oh! and I bought those "skinny" jeans I was talking about before! BUT - they are going back today. I turned around in the mirror when I got home and my butt looked like it had been stung by 400 bees. Maybe a little too soon for the skinnies!

Anyway – that’s that. Later Peeps!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My Happy Place

What a way to cap off the summer. Our 5-day camping trip to Killbear Provincial Park exceeded my expectations. I’ve been going there since I was a little baby girl, and that park holds so many amazing memories for me, and I’m so happy to still be going there now, with my husband and family, to create more memories each year we are there.

And let me just say – the weather was FANTASTIC! Nothing but sunshine for 5 glorious days. Given the summer we’ve had – I was a little nervous. Nights were cool – but we were in our bathing suits and swimming everyday.

Rich’s sister, brother-in-law and their little girl (who’s almost one year of age) came up to spend a night there, as well as my brother and his wife, and my parents were with us on our site. My aunt and uncle even stopped by for the day. When one family member knows someone is up there – they usually make the trek up! It’s that beautiful of a place.

I’m also happy to say that being at Killbear has actually shown me how far I’ve come with respect to my fitness level and health. There are lots of hiking trails at this park. Acres of rocks and hills and lots of great places to do some climbing. There is one trail in particular – Look Out Point Trail – that has always been challenging for me in the past.

You can probably guess from the name, that it is an elevated trail that leads you high up onto the rocks and hills to overlook the beauty of the islands in Georgian Bay. It’s a rugged trail that has always left my breathless as I would make my way up. I usually had to stop a time or two to catch my breath.

But this time….I FLEW up the trail!! I felt like I could have run up it if I wanted to. I felt so light on my feet and the best part was that I didn’t have to stop once, and when I reached the top, I was not out of breath at all! It was truly one of the best feelings. I’m not at my goal yet, but this was a major milestone for me.

So thanks Killbear Park – you are my happy place, and once gain you’ve renewed my spirit and my soul. I can’t wait to see you again next year, where maybe I WILL run up that hill!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The "Skinny" on what's new

Hi there. Labour Day weekend is fast approaching – a little bittersweet. Great to have a nice long weekend, but it does remind us that Fall is just around the corner. And honestly – this summer has SUCKED ARSE weather-wise!

But aside from that – things with me are going great! Since my last post I’ve been truckin’ along and feeling good! One of my new favourite things is listening to Podcasts on my iTouch. I have downloaded a bunch of them (all free), most of which have to do with health and fitness. Some of my favourites are the "Fit Cast"; "Fat 2 Fit Radio"; "Ask Leigh"; and "Yell at Your Fat".

Usually when I’m doing my running intervals, I enjoy fast, upbeat music, but when I’m doing my walks or slow climbs, I love the Podcasts. They are very motivational and full of great information. Lots of listeners write in with questions, which the hosts answer in a Q&A segment and I find lots of these questions are the same things I would ask. The woman who does "Yell at your Fat" has lost 139 lbs just through proper nutrition and exercise. She’s just a "normal" housewife, who talks about her journey and the obstacles she faced and what helped her to get through them. She offers great advice and is pretty funny too! I enjoy her. The others are a little more technical in nature, but still provide lots of helpful info.

I haven’t been weighing myself very often because the fluctuations can drive me crazy! What I do notice though is that my clothes are fitting better, and one thing that made me really happy was just last week I tried on a pair of "skinny" jeans in Petite, in a size smaller than I usually wear, and guess what!? They fit! I didn’t buy them, but it felt great getting into them!

So – changes are happening. Slowly but surely – and that’s the way I like it. I can live like this. We are going camping soon so I will pack up my healthy foods, with some good treats (rice cakes, pretzels, etc.) and do lots of swimming and hiking. The weather forecast is looking good – knock on wood – hope it stays!!

Happy Labour Day Weekend Everyone!