Tag Archives: workout

All Aboard the Gill Train

Sadly, I have officially finished my sessions with Gillian. For anyone who missed my first post about this, a personal trainer in the midtown Toronto area, Gillian Thomas, contacted me a little while ago and asked if I would be interested in complimentary personal training sessions with her twice a week for four weeks.


I said yes please. So I had eight sessions in total (it ended up being over five weeks), four times in her studio, Inspira Athletica, and four times at the track near both of us. The studio is just north of Yonge and Lawrence, so just a quick subway ride away from me. It was pretty convenient.

I really enjoyed my sessions with Gillian, a lot more than I thought I would. And I was surprised how much I still liked her while she was making me do exercises that made me want to cry (I almost did cry once, though she told me I must have a pretty good poker face because I kept looking at her and smiling so she thought I wanted more). I didn’t know it was possible to hate what she was making me do while liking her so much. She was just really awesome to hang out with. Sometimes I was just excited to see her, so then when I got there and she put me to work it was a rude awakening that I actually had to work out. Rude, Gillian. Rude.


I have also definitely been seeing some improvement over here. I still can’t do a proper push-up (all in good time, my friends), but I am getting better. And the first time I did a plank for her I could only hold it for 36 seconds. By the time I finished my sessions with her I could hold my plank for a full two minutes!

I think 2.05 was my longest time. Not too shabby! I was very proud of myself, and it’s motivating to see results like that.

I have also discovered that I have a new least favourite exercise. The inchworm. You start standing, then bend over and walk your arms out until you are in a plank, and then you bring your arms back in. If you are a visual learner like myself, perhaps pictures will help you. It basically looks like this.







I was supposed to do 12 of them and I could only do 8 before I nearly collapsed. When Gillian did it she made it look so easy.

I have also discovered that kettle ball swings make me feel like this:


I don’t hate them, but by the end I wanna die.

I was sore after each workout (which I always think is a good sign because to me that means it’s working) but I was never as sore as I was after the first time. Which, good thing, because not being able to walk properly for three days wasn’t very practical. But all of her workouts were intense, and there was one particular studio workout where I was the sweatiest I have ever been in my entire life. I left Evan at my pad while I met with Gillian and I came back all red-faced and sweaty and he looked at me and said “I feel like Gillian is taking your workouts to a whole new level…” I felt like that too.

So I guess the two main questions here are, can I feel/see a difference in myself, and am I going to continue with it?

First of all, yes to the difference. I haven’t weighed myself in about two years because I really don’t care to get obsessed with that number, and I am tall and big boned anyway so I am always going to weigh a lot. When I was at my most fit I didn’t really lose any weight, I was just noticeably more toned and I dropped a couple sizes. So in that regard, I have definitely been feeling more svelte lately. I seem to be fitting into my clothes better and my muffin top has not been spilling out all over my pants quite as much. So good news! I think the most noticeable differences are in my limbs though. I thought that might be my imagination, but the other day I was wearing shorts around the house and out of nowhere Evan said that he could tell my legs were looking more muscular. I hadn’t even asked his opinion. It was nice that someone else noticed and confirmed what I thought might be happening. I may have started strutting around after that.

And I can notice a difference in my strength. I mentioned the plank thing, but my squats and lunges were far better by the end, and I could lift a lot more weight with my legs.

Now…will I keep up with it? Many of the circuits Gillian put me through used only body weight resistance, so I can do them right in the comfort of my own home, which is very awesome. In theory. Have I done them in my own home? Nope. Apparently it only works for me if someone makes me do it. I may have been cursing Gillian’s name during my workout, but after each session I would feel so incredibly motivated that I couldn’t wait until my next one. But then that feeling faded and the next day I just wanted to leisure. It’s difficult to keep that motivation going. I’ve had a lot going on this week, but when things simmer down a bit my plan is to regularly start hitting the gym.

The personal training thing is nice because all you really have to do is show up and someone is there to kill you in the best way possible. If you are in the area and are looking for one, I highly recommend Gillian. She really was awesome.

Gillian does have drop-in boot camp classes on Sundays at 10am at her studio ($15 or 10 classes for $100), so I want to start going to those. If anyone wants to come along with me I am all for that! We can have a bootcamp party.

Overall it was a really great experience and I am sad it’s over. But I know Gillian and I will remain friends.


So I am looking forward to seeing her in a more leisurely setting!


Pumpkin Pie Yogurt and a PDR

Bonjour mes amies!

So for the past couple of days I have felt a little funky. Not sick, and not depressed, but just not quite like myself. Just a bit off. I doubt anyone noticed, and I can only describe it as having kind of a foggy brain. Do you ever feel like that, like you’re functioning in a cloud?

I thought maybe it was because I was tired from the weekend, so I went to bed early last night hoping that I would feel back to normal. I was a-okay this morning, but after lunch the cloud set in. I felt unproductive and just slow at doing things.

In an effort to lift the fog from my brain, when I got home from work today I immediately changed into my running clothes and headed out for a run.

It was perfect weather. Beautifully sunny, and about 20 degrees C (why couldn’t it have been this nice on Sunday?!). I felt good as soon as I started running, which is rare for me. I didn’t have to talk myself into it, or trick myself to keep going. I didn’t have to play “I WIN“, or fantasize about what I was going to eat for dinner. I just ran.

I was feeling good at the street I would usually turn at if I wanted to do 4k, so I kept going. And then I got to the street that I would turn at if I wanted to do 5k, and I was still feeling it, so I decided to just go with it.

I ended up running for 7 kilometres. That, my friends, is a personal distance record. I did it in about 45 minutes, and I only stopped running once at a traffic light. I never, ever thought I would be able to run that far.

I felt a million times better when I was done. My cloud lifted. I felt energized, even though I was fatigued. And best of all, I felt like I had accomplished something!


You are just one workout away from a good mood. It is so, so true. I feel so much better now. What if I had just given in to the funk and laid around on the couch? I would probably feel worse. I am so happy I got out there, and then kept going.

Pumpkin Yogurt?

I would  just like to take a moment to highlight my mid-morning snack…

What is This?

Pumpkin pie yogurt. How gross does that look? It looks like baby food, or worse, I know this, but it was DELICIOUS. I actually may now be obsessed with pumpkin. How did I not eat it for 15 years?! I am craving it all the time now! I love it!

In my pumpkin yogurt is PC Honey Greek yogurt, a few spoonfuls of canned pumpkin, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and a bit of brown sugar. It needed something a little crunchy, like granola or nuts or something, but as-is, it was GOOD. I promise you. And it was ridiculously filling!

I’ve seen a ton of other bloggers doing the pumpkin yogurt thang, and I used to cringe when I saw it…but I am so glad I tried it out.

Off to do some weekday chores. Hurrah.

Have a great night!

Do you ever feel like you’re in a funk? How do you get out of it?


Spinning Party, Take 2

Well friends, I made it through my first spinning class tonight! After work I rushed home, threw a couple giant spoonfuls of cottage cheese in my face (I knew I wouldn’t make it without eating something), and headed to the gym (after triple checking that I had my shoes ;)).

Three out of five of us made it to the group gym date tonight, which is a pretty good turnout. I think I probably missed a phenomenon last week when I had to ditch our spinning date, because all five of us making it to the gym at the same time is probably going to be an extremely rare occurrence. Ohh well.

Spinning was definitely intense. I totally felt like I wanted to die during, and twice I thought to myself “I’m not gonna make it! I can’t go on!” But somehow I did. Thinking about dinner helped get me through (I’m not kidding, this always helps me through a tough workout), and the instructor was super motivating. I really liked him. Another thing that helps is the intervals. Because I know the torture isn’t going to last forever, I can push myself and power through.

I was a sweaty BEAST afterward, probably comparable to hot yoga. I did feel like I just gave birth (it was an accurate description), and my legs were all jelloid, but I also felt proud of myself and exhilarated :D. It was worth it. It was a really good way to start my weekend.


I was a hungry hungry hippo after spinning, and in the mood for some homemade ‘za!


(Sidenote: The first person I ever heard call pizza “za” was my friend from South Africa. He said something like “It was late, and we were eating ‘za.” and I said “Oh, is that some sort of crazy South African dish?” And then everyone looked at me like I was nutso. Who knew?)

Homemade pizza is the easiest thing ever. I used to buy a frozen pizza almost once a week for a speedy, easy dinner on the fly, but then I discovered that homemade is not only better, it’s easy and it actually cooks more quickly.

I buy the PC thin crust and top with pizza sauce (or sometimes just Prego pasta sauce), shredded mozzarella, turkey pepperoni, and whatever veggies are kicking around. Tonight it was green pepper.

Before Bakefest

Since I was a gross swamp monster after spinning, Andrew prepared this while I showered. We then baked it in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 6-7 minutes.

My Pizza Plate

I went back for a fourth slice ;).



Spinning Party Pooper

I was looking forward to this morning’s workout all week long. I am lucky enough to be a member of the same gym (Goodlife) as four of my good friends, which means I always have a gym buddy at my disposal! It’s a great motivator.

We have been planning a group gym date for a couple weeks now, and our plan was to all hit up the gym together this morning and take a spinning class!

I have never tried spinning before, but all the avid spinners I know rave on and on about it. I particularly like hearing “it makes me feel like I wanna die” and from my friend Dawn yesterday: “You will feel like you just gave birth.” Excellent. I was really anxious to see for myself, and get through the torture class together with all my gym buddies!

I happily dragged myself out of bed bright and early, ate a good breakfast (oatmeal again, I’ll save you from having to look at more pictures of it) and made my way to the gym, gearing myself up for a good spinning time. We had to go to one of the bigger co-ed Goodlife’s for the class, so I had to go a bit further than usual, and it wasn’t until I got all the way there that I realized my running shoes weren’t with me.

I always leave my shoes in the car so they are ready for my next gym sesh. But nope, no shoes. It was the same gym I went to last night, so I thought maybe I had left them in the changeroom. No dice. I searched high and low, and had a couple employees help me as well. No shoes. They must have been stolen! I couldn’t do the class without them since I was wearing Uggs, which obviously are not ideal spinning footwear. And so, the party went on without me. I headed back home, all the way wondering why someone would steal my shoes? They’re not even very nice. Who steals gym shoes?

Well, apparently no one, because when I walked in the door, I saw this:


Ohh well, at least they weren’t stolen. I was disappointed that I missed out on the spinning party with my girls though, but not to worry! We’re planning a second spinning date next week! I did end up completing some cardio early this afternoon since I had to go grocery shopping and my regular gym is inside Superstore (kind of makes it difficult to come up with an excuse not to go when you’re already there). I ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill, followed by 15 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical while flipping through some mags.

Then it was time for lunch. During my run I thought about what I wanted to eat, and decided to make grilled cheese for Boyfriend and I when I got home.

Grilled Cheesus

I added tomato to my grilled cheese, and also enjoyed some grape tomatoes on the side (and lotsa ketchup, because grilled cheese is not grilled cheese without ketchup, in my opinion :))

(I also used light Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese, if you were wondering.)

A few possible articles of interest for you:
12 Foods Your Dentist Won’t Eat (via Eat This Not That)
Where’s the Fruit in Fruit Products? (via Cooking Light Magazine)
Break the Rules to Lose (via Shape)

S’later! Enjoy your Saturday!