Not what Orange Theory expected!

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The other day the good folks at Orange Theory fitness asked us all to write a “bucket list” item on a sticky note and place it on the board for all to see. I am almost certain they wanted us to write stuff like “fit in my wedding dress again” or “wear my old college jeans” but those are not anywhere on my bucket list.

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I made this bad boy! Thanks Orange Theory!

Once they handed me my square of paper what I wrote next was a no-brainer! I have always wanted to make a vinatarta cake! This is a very special cake to me. As a kid it was the very first cake I ever ate a wedding, Lynn and Larry Henry’s wedding to be exact. I remember it so clearly and how we got a little piece to take home to slip under our pillows (it was wrapped in cling film) with the promise  you would dream of your future husband/wife. I am not sure if mine ever made under the pillow because it tasted so damn good. I always thought I would have vinatarta at our wedding but didn’t, perhaps for our 25th anniversary.

For years I have built up in my head that making this cake would be impossible and that you needed special tools imported from Iceland to make it properly. Today I said “To hell with it Odlum, today you make this cake!” After a little Pinterest search I discovered no special tools are required, just a lot of patience! Here is the recipe I used – Vinatarta Cake!

Long story short, tackling the “unbakeable cake” or breaking an 8 minute mile or all that other stuff you think you can’t do…it’s all a joke because you can! Plus, your house will smell amazing afterwards #Almond Extract!

Fun:

If you have 1 hr and 5 minutes then check out Patton Oswalt’s new comedy special “Talking for Clapping” on Netflix! It’s funny, timely and his bit about “My Pretty Pony” is hilarious!

Fitness:

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from: redefiningstrength.com

Jumping Jack Push Ups are BAD ASS! I know they sound terrible but hot damn they are effective for an end of work out burn out exercise! Start with 6 and add 2 every time. We did these at the gym today and I can already feel them in my shoulders.

I tried out a power lifting gym this week and it was cool but I wasn’t sore at all afterwards. I will give 2 more tries before I make a decision.

Food:

I think I covered off food above 🙂

But taking suggestions on what should be my next baking challenge…macaroons? Floating island? Baked Alaska?

Fashion:

jacketI am so happy that for fall jean jackets are still in and so are these green safari-style jackets! They literally go with everything and yes, I am dreaming of fall. The weather here has been unbearably hot for the past 2 weeks and I miss cozy sweaters and my sweet, sweet sweatpants.

On my shopping wish list: black ripped jeans and the perfect loose fitting camel coloured t-shirt.

 

 

 

Be Great!

F

cake funny

 

 

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Channeling my inner Adell!

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This week has been all sorts of fun – it started with the Country Music Awards of Ontario at the Flato theatre in Markham. It was a super cool night, good music and interesting people. what I wasn’t expecting was a lack of cowboy hats and people complaining they had run out of wine glasses and had to drink beer…YOU ARE COWBOYS!

graffitiThen on Wednesday we had friends in from Canmore – Cam and Karina (also important to remember for later)! We went to Gusto 101 for supper and Sweet Jesus for dessert. I got to dinner a little early and was able to wander around “graffiti alley” which is essentially an instagramer’s wet dream!

Then we on Thursday we went to the Balmy Beach Canoe club and had a lesson in kayaking – we were certain we were going to be pros but didn’t realize it was “competition style” kayaks and not Canadian Tire specials. We both capsized into pretty gross, goose poop filled water but n the flip-side met some truly awesome people.

Then on Friday…stay with me..I am getting to Adell…we met up with friends from Winnipeg for supper at Pizzeria Libertto and then went to Roselle‘s for dessert! It was so great seeing our friends even if it was only for a couple hours, it’s nice being around people who just get you.

So, Adell…this week I had some personal high’s and low’s and we all have that friend who is always ready to get into trouble with you, fires you up, who agrees with you  whenDelly you say “that bitch was crazy right” and makes the most mundane things so much better like the 45 minute car ride home every day! Well that is my Adell – and what she doesn’t know is this week when I wasn’t really channeling my warrior spirit, I would say under my breath “Get your shit together and channel your inner Adell” and just like that I jumped into a limo instead of taking my car to the CMAO’s, laughed off falling in the water and most of all didn’t cry when I saw my friends. Thank you my sweet Adell –my much braver,  funnier, kinder person than I will ever  be and on top of it all, with the superior rack, I couldn’t ask for a better friend/doppelganger/secret motivator!

Fun:

My friend Susan (pictured above also cradling Adell’s bosom) told me recently that I had slipped into isolation madness for what I am about to say but I stand by it…Call me Fitz is a funny Canadian show that didn’t get it’s day! It’s true, I am biased because I worked with one of the cast members (Huse Madhavji back in the A-Channel days) but Jason Priestly is very funny in the series and it’s quirky — the complete series can be found on CraveTV

Fitness:

My fitness has hit a bit of road block these days – so I am struggling to find something to write here — I have been plagued with aches and pains and a fickle lower back. I have been trying to foam roll every night (ok, every other night) but it’s not working. I am finally going to go to the doctor tomorrow where I fully expect them to say I have gout — well, that is what Derek and Dr. Wikipedia say is wrong with me. TBDmilk

 

Food:

When waiting in the epic line at Sweet Jesus with Cam and Karina, Karina told me that she makes her own almond milk – at first I thought “who has time for that?” and “that is some next level hipster nonsense” ….so ya, I did it and it is AMAZING!!! It is a little bit of work but the end product is better than store bought and it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream! Do it, do it now and tell your friends!

Fashion:

Summer has officially hit the T-dot and my little production booth at work is essentially a hot-box and I sweat constantly. It is super unattractive and I am severely stressing about August and under-boob sweat –besides back pain, under-boob sweat is the leading reason why I would get a boob job. So, I am in search of the perfect professional tank/sleeveless top. Any suggestions?

In the meantime, I am opting for skirts to try and minimize butt sweat — I am not joking when I say it is hot in that unventilated room with direct sun!

I bought this skirt from Joe Fresh at $24 it’s a steal, and this skirt from Mountain Equipment Co-op (yup MEC), it was pricey at $59 but it is so crazy soft and made of organic cotton. Plus, I plan on buying some Birkenstock sandals this summer to fully revert back to my 90’s ways.

 

Be Great!

F

boobs

Cracks in the foundation – return to Sociology class

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I have been deliberately not writing my blog in fear of just writing about how incredibly sad I feel 24/7 and getting placed on a psych hold or worse, writing about how my life is super-awesome which would be a lie.

Here is the deal, I have cried almost every day for the past 3 months – change is hard and new is exhausting. It’s not that Toronto is the worst place on earth, far from it, it’s just I have been bogged down with guilt over leaving Manitoba, consumed by a death in the family coupled with major family stresses and then I got injured (dislocated my hand and put my back out)…it hasn’t been great.

So, how do I rally back? Thanks to a sociology class I took in 1992 at the University of Manitoba I have all the tools I need to re-group – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the rescue! When times have gotten tough in the past  I have always returned to this pyramid to find me.

maslows-hierarchy-of-needs

Here’s how it works – you make a list of the actual basic priorities you need to create balance in your life, you start with the base (the biggest part of the pyramid) and start building up. My basic needs are: good sleep, healthy food, working out, prayer and friendship. Once those are in place I add in adventure, sex and creativity (They are all exclusive of each other, easy does it you perverts! LOL) and so on. Then hopefully confidence and inner potential will return (I miss you old friend). None of this happens over night but it will work – here comes strict bed times, good nosh and consistent workouts, then phase 2.

Just a note to anyone who I may have lost at “prayer” -if you are a none believer that is totally cool – just try, just once, laying in bed and thinking about all the things your are thankful for – no amen necessary! It feels good to think of good things before you sleep.

On to other business!

Fun:

I went Axe throwing today and it was super BAD ASS! It was harder than I thought it would be and actually a good core work-out because while you are laughing your butt off! Ok, I will admit I was a little jacked up because they had ACDC on blast and you know that fires me up!

Food:

Apparently the new super food trend to watch for is “Lucuma”. It is a fruit from Peru which looks like if a mango and an avocado had a baby.  I bought it in powder form from pulpa-de-lucumaBulk Barn ($13) and it has a very caramel-like flavour. You can use it as a sweetener in smoothies, baking and to make ice creams.  It has a super low glycemic index so insulin spikes won’t be a concern. I liked it, didn’t love it, haven’t given up on it yet.

Fitness:

I have been working out at home a lot lately which is fun because I get to play MY music crazy loud but it’s also a little lonely – I can’t wait for spring and daylight lasts past 5pm! But at the moment I am obsessed with the dumbbell squat presses. It gets me super sweaty and works the whole body!

Check out this video for technique:

Fashion:

I am in love with the white blazer with ripped jeans look! The best one I could find was at Le Chawhte blazerteau, it is a bit of budget buster at $139 but it is totally gorgeous!

http://www.lechateau.com/style/jump/Ponte+Open-Front+Blazer/productDetail/Blazers/345274/catwfr10030?navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryNav=true&selectedColor=Off+White

Oh and as I am heading to the Cayman Islands soon I have become obsessed with rompers! Yes, rompers! It’s all in one and they feel like pajamas! I bought my first one from Old Navy http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=112879022&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdkw=jersey-knit-romper-P112879&brandCvoSid=MDA2DT2764ZZ&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oldnavy.com%2Fproducts%2Frompers.jsp

My search for a Toronto hairdresser specializing in big hair is my task for the week! I need this mane tamed!

Be great!

F

fighter

 

The pictures are in!

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How fitting on the last day of the year I get to share with you a handful of the pictures from my Aspire Fitness P2P photo shoot day.

It feels like it has been ages since the photo shoot. I feel even more committed than before to losing weight and getting Tracy Moore bad ass arms! Eating paleo over the holidays was surprisingly easy and when time got tight I did my work-outs in my little home basement gym. I had family stay with from the Cayman Islands for a couple days before Christmas so I had a 5 year old work-out partner. He was great and actually that little man was super motivating “Yes, Jon, I can do more lunges, let’s do it again!”.

It was also super nice having Derek home for a couple days. It was tough sending him back to Toronto and yes I did the “crying wife” scene at the airport (insert crying face emoji here).

Anyway, that is not why you are here…you wanna see the pics!!! Here we go! Pics taken by Kelly Morton, hair and make-up Pureessence!

My ladiesLewi my love!Elle est forteHappy head shotLBD and little black dogsSide profileProfessionalHappiness is...

What are your 2015 goals? Mine are simple – 1. Get a job in Toronto 2. Actually listen to my voicemail messages (UGH! I hate voicemail) 3. Drop 15 pounds between now and March 1st and 4. Way more hugging, kissing and….get ready DT ❤

Have a GREAT 2015 y’all and let’s attack this year beastmode style!

Be good!

Fiona

Are you talking to me??

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Another week is in the books and I can hardly believe that we are almost at the half way point of P2P (Push-ups to Pin ups!). Definitely feeling as if progress is being had…ps. for the record, when your trainer says “I think your butt is getting firmer” it is probably not something you tell your husband. DT is super cool but it felt a little weird rolling off my tongue when I said it! But damn, tight buns!!

Some pretty great things have been happening lately. First off, I can’t believe how much I have fallen in love with my wardrobe! I know it is a ridiculous thing to say when there are much bigger things going on in the world right now (I am looking at you Ebola) but it is true. I am down about 12 pounds now and my clothes feel so much better. You know that feeling at the end of the day when you can’t wait to get your pants off because they have dug into your tummy for 8 hours? Ya, I don’t have that any more! Hallelujah! Secondly, I have become a full on “gym rat”! I freaking love it! I count down the hours until I can get to the gym and on the days that I can’t make it, I am not beating myself up over it!

overweight woman

But here comes the real awesomeness of the week! I was out walking the dogs the other day and my neighbor came running out her front door and yelled at me “Fiona! You are getting so skinny!! You are just wasting away”!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? It was amazing, unexpected, super nice and completely motivating! It has been in my head all week and it has been glorious!

My new mantra at the gym has been “Tracy Moore! Get Tracy Moore arms!” If you aren’t sure who she is, she hosts Cityline and her arms the best thing on Canadian television! Plus, she seems like a pretty cool lady! Girl crush — engage! She is aware of my non-life-threatening feelings as we work for the same company and I may have emailed her once or 5 times!

Best arms in the biz!

Best arms in the biz!

In other news, I still haven’t had any pumpkin spice related drinks yet. Every time I think about it the line up at Starbucks is way too long and I bail. Gotta get me some pumpkin this weekend! I know life is really hard when this is your biggest issue. We went last week and finally got to see “Gone Girl”, it was AWESOME! But what wasn’t so great was the couple next to me drinking their smuggled vodka and proceeding to get crazy hammered. Always keepin’ it classy! This weekend we have so many movies to see, “Birdman” looks amazing (side note: have you seen Zack Galifianakis? Damn boy! He has lost some serious lbs!) and we want to see “Fury” — do I smell an Oscar nom for Shia??

So here are the goals for this week: squeak in more cardio when possible and I gotta go vote! Come on Winnipeg, it’s election time, let’s get out there!! I will also have something pumpkin and I will return the awesome karma to someone else in my neighbourhood and yell something nice at them too!

Be good!

F

 

Light switch moment!

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It has finally happened, I have crossed over the resistance bridge! Over the weekend, I had a bunch of commitments which required me to eat…eat really yummers food (Shwarma, Harvest supper, Pizza party x2, gorgeous desserts) and while I was able to make modifications to all of the events (expect one of the pizza parties) I think I did pretty great. Part of the P2P (push-ups to pin-ups) program is to eat paleo – where I agree with the basic foundation of eating paleo, which is essentially eating beautiful unprocessed foods, I do believe that certain grains are still good in moderation (oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice).

For this 12 week challenge I have committed (in my brain) to cut out processed foods, fast food, pastas and breads – so far it has been surprisingly easy….when I am at home and have time that is, when I am on the road or working 16 hours in a day things get really tricky! A woman can eat only so many apples in a day and please don’t suggest eating raw veggies because they just repeat on me all day. Any, it’s all about baby steps!

But where does the light switch come? Well, that belongs to one Ms. Katie Couric and her movie Fed Up. It’s all about how obesity is killing Americans at a staggering rate, that everything is being puppet mastered by big business and that if you wanna beat the odds and stick it to big business you gotta start cooking at home! I just saved you an hour and 38 minutes of your life. I actually do recommend it, very interesting!. But cooking you say? Why didn’t you say something before!

 

FEd up

 

 

This week-end I have been cooking up a storm and even though I said I wouldn’t make paleo baking – I went there (sort of)! I found a super/cool/easy paleo recipe for pumpkin protein pancakes which taste like Starbuck’s pumpkin spice lattes. Recipe is here: http://lexiscleankitchen.com/2013/09/29/chocolate-chip-protein-pumpkin-pancakes/. I figure if I keep looking for scrummy healthy recipes then I think we will be rocking and rolling with this whole paleo eating business!

Other eeek-end highlights:

Bought a super cute cardigan from Target (they do a good ‘cardi’ and they are currently 20% right now), finally went up to the farm (haven’t been up there in MONTHS!), had a great couple work-outs, watched the movie “Mortified Nation” and it is hilarious http://mortifiednation.com/ , I also went to Tiny Feast Stationary (I spent so much money, cringe/love it) http://www.tinyfeast.com/ , AND most importantly I cleared our the cupboards of all processed snacks (don’t tell DT -eek)!

Here is to a G-R-E-A-T week!

 

 

Day 2 – Who me, a pin-up?

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Ok, so here is the deal, I won’t be posting everyday but I might, who knows. No, seriously I have no idea what I am doing here!

Anyway, it’s late and I am already starting to ramble…here is what happened today:

Got up, went to work, left work early (prearranged, I didn’t just skip out), went to the gym where I did my second P2P work-out and that is when it hit me…I am no pin-up! I am a guys girl, I am the one who tells really gross fart jokes (ya, my mom raised a classy lady over here), what the hell am I doing being anywhere near something girly? The gym is covered with beautiful photos of past P2P participants where 80% of them have pretty much zero on, while others are very modestly dressed. Either way the entire process is designed to have you thinking with one goal in mind – the photo shoot!

I am not those women and while yes their photos are seriously works of art, I can’t visualize myself up on the “wall of incredible achievement”! I want to be there but more importantly I want the picture to really reflect who I am. Jason (owner of Aspire) had suggested I do my pictures with my dogs and while yes they probably will squeak in there somehow I really want my picture to reflect the person I lost a long, long time ago…Fiona, the athlete. That doesn’t mean I will posing in a Jets jersey, I want to wear a tank top and have defined arms, a defined waist (I don’t need abs to feel like I succeeded) and damn it, I want smaller boobs (sorry ladies and gents but I do).

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Coach Brian Dobie and me

This feeling and break through happened because part of my job today was to go and interview the head coach of the Bison football team, Brian Dobie. A 100 moons ago I was a Bison athlete and it was a great time in my life, I was strong, healthy and I made a bunch of life long friends. Being surrounded by that same energy today was exactly what I needed to find my focus and inspiration. Thank work!

So to celebrate my new found focus, I splurged and bought locally grown organic strawberries from Cramptons and munched on them while watching Big Brother which was kind of a let down tonight but who cares – fresh strawberries baby and here’s to being an athlete (again)!

football 2strawberries