Tuesday, August 31, 2010

2 week at home update

I can't believe I've been home for over 2 weeks already. I have to admit I miss Fitness Ridge so much and all the wonderful people I met during my stay there. I've been able to stay in touch with most of the people I met there through email or facebook so we can keep up to date on everyones progress.

My first day home I spent grocery shopping for all the wonderful foods I ate during my stay at FR. I spent a lot time going through the cookbooks I bought while I was there and planning my week with what food I was going to eat. I spent a lot of time cooking up a storm so I would have meals ready to eat for the week. With my marathon training schedule I run 2 nights a week with my running group and normally don't get home until after 8:00 p.m. at which time I normally would just eat whatever was in sight but the new me has meals ready for me to eat when I get home. My husband Jamie has been great with trying the food I've been making. He's not 100% sold on the ground turkey but he is coming around. I've been very good at tracking all of my calories which is the key for me. I don't have a gym membership but I have been doing my free weights at home and have even been trying to get up in the morning at least once a week to get a morning exercise in. I much prefer to exercise at night as I like my sleep in the morning and exercising in my basement by myself isn't as exciting as those breathtaking hikes we started every early morning off with at FR.

I completed the Mid Summers Night 30km run in Toronto last weekend and I was so happy to have had a great run. I got all my long training runs in while I was at FR but I have to admit they were very painful. After working out for as many hours I did and then have to do a 30km run on a Saturday morning just wiped me out. I completed the run in Toronto in 3 hours and 15 minutes. I felt amazing and had more in me to keep going. After this run I was confident that I should have no problem completing my marathon in 4 hours and 45 minutes.

One of my biggest fears of coming home was dealing with all the junk food at work but to be honest I don't even desire that type of food anymore. My body craves whole foods that will help fuel my body and I have noticed a major difference in how I feel, my energy level and my skin has even cleared up. My co-workers have been amazing as well and there has been no junk in the office since I've returned. Halloween is fast approaching so I'm sure the candy bars will be making an appearance sometime.

It's amazing how truly simple calories in vs calories out truly is and how so many struggle with this basic math. I used to be one of those girls who would weigh herself every morning to see if I had lost or gain a pound. Since returning home I no longer step on the scale on a daily basis because I know how many calories I'm putting into my body and how many I'm burning. I did jump on the scale today so see if my math was correct and it was......another 2 pounds lost since returning home for at total weight lost of 13 pounds. I put a pair of pants on today and was reminded again the change in my body. I think a shopping trip is in order soon for some smaller pants which is always exciting.

My advice for all of you is to start tracking your food......you will be surprised how many calories your actually consuming when you don't keep track. Also when eating out check out the nutritional info before eating out. You will be surprised to see how some of the foods you think are healthy choices are not at all. Plan your food for the week and track and you will be on your way!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Yesterday was a very long day for me as it was my day to travel back home. The shuttle was scheduled to pick me up at 7:20 a.m. at Fitness Ridge so I booked myself for my test out appointment at 7:00 a.m. I could tell I had lost some weight and toned up as my clothes were fitting a little big but I was really shocked and so happy with what I was able to accomplish in my 2 weeks at Fitness Ridge.

Here is a breakdown of my results:

Total weight loss: 11 Lbs

Chest: Lost 1.5 inches

Belly: Lost 3.5 inches

Hips: Lost 1.75 inches

Body Fat: Lost 3.2% body fat

Now my journey continues at home. I have spent today grocery shopping picking up all the foods I require to plan my meals for the week. I have spent most of the night making some of the amazing meals I ate while at Fitness Ridge......so far I have made the turkey chili, the granola and the stuffed peppers. I have tracked all my calories in and have a plan of the meals I will be eating this week and my exercise schedule. I have worked so hard to get where I am and I want to continue improving my health and getting stronger. Tomorrow is my first night back at run club and I'm so excited to start running with the group again. My friend Alicia and I have signed up for a 30km taking place in Toronto this Saturday so I'm looking forward to it.

I miss all my friends at Fitness Ridge who are still there this week and I found myself looking at my watch a lot today thinking of them and what class they would be doing at that moment. This has been such an amazing experience and I hope to return to Fitness Ridge again at some point in my life. If you haven't checked out their website for more information here is the link.


I would highly recommend this experience to everyone as it has changed my life and so many others already!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 14 - My Final Day

I still can't believe today is my final day here. Catherine and I had to get our long 29km run in this morning so that's what we did. We had mapped out a 6 mile route the other night that we were just going to repeat 3 times. We both finished our run but I have to be honest it was painful for me. I mentally wasn't into the run and my body was worn out from the week. I took my time and completed it but I know I will be much stronger with a couple days rest and I will be as good as new.


After my run I opted for stretch class. I was already stiffing up so it was great to spend 45 minutes on just stretching my whole body out.

After stretch class it was time for lunch.


Since Saturday's are only a 1/2 day Catherine, Daniel, Robert & I took a little trip to Zion National Park. It's about an hour away from Fitness Ridge so we had the afternoon to spend there. Here are a few pictures of the park............it was absolutely beautiful.

We made it back just in time for dinner and graduation. A lot of people are leaving this week so we all got to say our goodbyes. They produced another video of a bunch different clips form over the week that we watched and it was a wonderful reminder of all the accomplishments that have been made by everyone here.

I know I'm going to miss this place and I know next week when I'm back at work in the office I will be thinking of all the guests at Fitness Ridge and saying to myself I should be in a cardio interval class right now. I'm exciting to get home and continue living this healthy lifestyle. I feel amazing and I'm so happy that I decided to do this for myself. I believe in myself more and know that I'm capable of great things if I put my mind to it.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to continue this journey at home. I have my test out tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. where I will get my results. Once thing I have learned here is the number on the scale doesn't matter.......what matters is how you feel and I feel amazing.

I have a long travel day tomorrow and I will be put to the test when I'm forced to make good food choices in the Vegas airport!

Thanks everyone for following me on this journey. I will post my results when I get back home so probably not until sometime Monday as I have a feeling I have some sleep to catch up on.

Day 13

I know I'm a couple days behind updating this so I apologize to all of you who have been waiting to hear about my daily activities. This morning was an early morning as I booked myself in for a 5:30 a.m. appointment to get my RMR test done. This test determines how many calories your body burns on a daily basis just to function. My body burns just under 1900 calories per day just to function so if I were to stay in bed for a whole 24 hours my body would still burn 1900 calories without me doing anything. The test took about 10 minutes to complete (thank goodness) because they plug your nose with a clamp and then you have to breath into a tub. I panicked at first because I wasn't able to breath out of my nose but I focused on something in the room and that got me through the test. Once the test was complete it was time for me to start my final full day of activities.

Here is my schedule & meal plan for the day (sorry I forgot to take a picture of the menu board but I remember pictures of the food)!

6:20 a.m. Hike Descriptions

6:30 a.m. Leave for Hike
Well today was our day to repeat the stop sign route. Last week I was able to make it to the top in 57 minutes. I really wanted to beat my time so I push myself hard on this run. I'm happy to report that I shaved 5 minutes off my time and finished in 51 minutes. I was hoping to finish under 50 minutes but I was at the front of the pack and had no one around me to keep my going but myself. I think if I had someone beside me pushing me a little more I could have made it. I told Catherine I need to stay here another week so I can repeat the stop sign route and get under 50 minutes because I know I can do it. Catherine rocked this route today and I can't wait to she her time for next week.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast

10:15 a.m. Open Gym
A bunch of us went to the park and played kickball. This is such a fun group activity and it allows us to get a little break from the intense classes in the gym.

11:15 a.m. Cardio Intervals
I opted for a bike today as my one leg is always a little tender after a treading class. I still find when I really push myself my body doesn't like me right after but I know I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This is a saying they use here at the Ridge.

12:25 p.m. Lunch
Before lunch I had another test done to test my VO2 Max. This test determines at what heart rate level you burn the most calories. This is great information that I will be able to incorporate into my training for my marathon.

Potato Broccoli Soup
Sloppy Joes......another favourite of mine.

1:15 p.m. Budget Review
All departing guests had another refresher on Calories In vs. Calories Out. It's simple math and if you follow it you will be successful. I have the worksheets we used to bring home to share with my friends and family so don't worry I will share all the knowledge I have learned here over the past 2 weeks with you.

2:30 p.m. Zumba
Once again, I suck at Zumba. The routine was the same as last week so I remembered a few steps but over all I suck and I will not be adding this to my exercise program when I get home.

3:30 p.m. Liquid Moves
Since it was Friday afternoon we got to enjoy a game of pool volleyball, which was lots of fun.

4:30 p.m. Circuit Training
This was my last circuit class here at the ridge. I pushed it hard and got a great "last chance" workout I guess you could say.

5:30 Dinner

My taste buds must be changing because this salmon burger was amazing!

After dinner Catherine, Daniel, Robert & I went to see Eat, Pray, Love. Going to the movies now is quite funny when all of us are guessing the calories that are in the popcorn with 3 layers of butter added. I was good and took an apple and ate that as my movie snack. I don't have a desire for any of that junk food anymore as I realize how long and hard you have to work to burn those calories off.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 12

6:20 a.m. Hike Descriptions

6:30 am. Leave for Hike
Today was such a fun hike. We had the main hiking guide with us this morning which was wonderful because she had us doing all sorts of fun stuff and was able to provide us with so much information about our surroundings. Here's a fun picture of my hiking group at one of the fun sites we climbed to.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast

The hot muesli wasn't that tasty so I had to add some cinnamon so I was able to eat it. This is one dish I won't be making at home.

10:15 a.m. Nutrition Workshop
I found it really hard to concentrate in this workshop so I really didn't take much away from this one today.

11:15 a.m. Stretch

12:15 p.m. Lunch

The mushroom soup was another great hit!

I was only able to eat 1/2 of my turkey sandwich as I was stuffed. Both the salad and sandwich were tasty.

1:15 p.m. Workshop: Planning Strategies
This is a workshop that all departing guests of the week need to attend. We went over our plans for when we return home and Jen the Life Coach here at Fitness Ridge provided us with some useful tools for us to be successful when we get back to normal life.

2:30 p.m. Treading
I picked the treadmill again for this exercise and had a great workout. I've definitely improved on this exercise since last week as I was able to run at a faster pace and for a longer period of time. This is a great workout to get your heart rate pumping and you burn a lot of calories as well.

3:30 p.m. Total Body H20

4:30 p.m. Ball Works
This class made my arms burn like crazy. We did a bunch of different exercises with the ball and some free hand weights.

5:30 p.m. Dinner

The stuffed peppers were amazing!

I didn't eat the Vanilla Pie for dessert and opted for an apple.

6:15 p.m. Menu Planning
This was another lecture that all departing guests needed to attend. Emily the nutritionist provided us with some meal plans for when we got home and answered any questions we had on things we still weren't sure one. We have all the tools to be successful so now it is up to me to put them into practice when I leave Fitness Ridge on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 11

I can't believe I'm halfway through my second week already. Today was another jammed packed day of exercise. I had more energy today but was fading after lunch. I had a little nap outside under the gazebo after lunch which helped get me through all my afternoon classes.

Here is my schedule & menu for the day:

6:20 a.m. Hike Descriptions

6: 30 a.m. Leave for Hike
I loved our hike this morning. It was a nice route without any sand and lots of interesting things for us to stop and see throughout the hike and take lots of fun pictures. Below is a picture of me at the cliff hanger site that we passed on our hike.


9:30 a.m. Breakfast

I was so excited when I saw we were having the Strawberry muffin for breakfast. One word.....AMAZING!

10:15 a.m. Stretch

11:15 a.m. Circuit

12:25 p.m. Lunch

When I saw we were having beet soup I automatically said I'm not going to like it. I hate beets but I decided to give it a try and to my surprise it was very tasty. I think the 2 hearts they put in my soup had something to do with it!

BBQ Chicken Pizza......I couldn't finish it all as I was stuffed from my soup and only one of these....I know hard to believe.

1:45 p.m. Open Gym
I decided to do some more cardio during this time as I needed to burn some more calories. I ended up running on the treadmill and using a new machine that I can't remember the name of. I felt great and was able to burn another 350 calories during this class.

2:30 H20 Circuit
We had four stations that we rotated through in the pool, which were a combination for cardio and strength training exercises.

3:30 p.m. Kickboxing
Koli from the Biggest Loser joined us in this class this afternoon. He was working it pretty hard in this class and was great at it. We had a great instructor and once again my arms were ready to fall off. I guess I'm getting what I asked for when I said I want nice arms.

4:30 p.m. Mountain
This was our last class of the day. I picked the treadmill again to do this exercise. I felt great and one thing I'm noticing is how much faster I'm recovering after we work at our max for a few minutes. I was exhausted after this class and happy we were done for the day.

5:30 p.m. Dinner

This cafe salad was amazing. I ended up eating it as a wrap as it had rice, black beans, chicken and so many other tasty things in it. I was so full after this.

The mango sorbet was very yummy and it even came with a pretty flower I could wear in my hair for the rest of the night.

After dinner I did a load of laundry since I'm going through several workout outfits in a day. Catherine & I needed to find a 29km route for us to run on Saturday morning so our friend Robert drove us around the neighbourhood until we found our route. We found a great 6 mile route that we will run 3 times that passes by Fitness Ridge just in case we need more water or the bathrooms. This route is also great because we will pass each other at some point since it's a out & back route since we aren't the same pace. It will be great to see each other to keep us going since we will be running this on our own.

Tomorrow we have a tough day but it's nothing we can't handle.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 10

I didn't have as much energy today and it seemed like a lot of other people were feeling the same way today. Here is my schedule & menu for the day!

6:15 a.m. Hike Descriptions

6:30 a.m. Leave for Hike
So I have another great hiking group this week. A lot of the same people are in my group but we have some new additions and they are wonderful. I wasn't really into the hike this morning. my left leg was bothering me and I think it was from pushing myself so hard on the treadmill yesterday. I was fine when I was climbing up the mountains but found it hard to climb down as it caused a little discomfort in my left leg.

Here's a picture of me, Daniel and Catherine at the top of one of the mountain we climbed this morning.

Me in the middle of our climb

9:30 a.m. Breakfast

The tropical smoothie was amazing!

10:15 a.m. Emotional Growth Workshop

11:15 a.m. H20 Circuit

12:35 p.m. Lunch

I really enjoyed the squash soup today.

1:00 p.m. Calorie Challenge
Once again we had to guess how many calories were in certain foods. Today the topic was desserts at restaurants. Our table didn't do that great with our guesses but seeing how many calories are in these items and knowing how long it would take to work these off on a treadmill will be something I will be taking into account the next time I want to order a dessert that is 1400 calories. I know how fast I can eat one of those things and I now know how long and hard it is to burn that many calories. It was a fun game and got everyone working together.

1:45 p.m. Open Gym
Catherine, Daniel & I rode some bikes over to the tennis courts at the park a couple of blocks away and played some tennis. I'm not the greatest at this game but it was fun.

2:30 p.m. Cardio Interval
I picked the eliptical for this class today and it was a great workout. I was sweating like crazy but it felt great.

3:30 p.m. Total Toning
This was a killer class today. The instructor really work us and although it was tough it felt great when we were done.

4:30 p.m. H20 Intervals
This was my 2nd time in the pool today and we had another good class.

5:45 p.m. Dinner

Baked Penne was so tasty!
I could eat these every night of the week.

I think I bunch of us are going to watch a movie tonight and relax. Only 4 more days of this then it's back to the real world......scary stuff!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 9 - Back At It!

Hard to believe today was the start of my second week here. My one rest day went too fast that's for sure. Here is my schedule and menu for today.

6:15 a.m. Hike Descriptions

6:30 a.m. Leave for Hike
Since today is the first hike for all the new guests today's hike was another assessment hike to determine which group everyone will be put into. Since I was a stay over guest my group this morning was all stay over guests. I didn't care for our hike this morning as it was again miles and miles of walking in nothing but sand. I didn't burn that many calories either on this hike so that was kind of a downer for me. I got through the hike and tried to keep positive talk in my head and keep all the negative talk away.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast

This is the green frittata we had for breakfast. I enjoyed it and it as really filling!

10:15 a.m. Mountain
I kicked butt in this class today. Once again I picked the treadmill as my cardio machine for this exercise. If you don't remember mountain is where we have 12 levels and we have to increase our speed every level. I felt really strong running during this exercise and was able to run at a fast speed for a much longer time today which was so exciting. I felt great after and hope to push myself even more on Wednesday when we repeat this class.

11: 15 a.m. Stretch

12: 15 p.m. Lunch

This corn bread was amazing. Again the old me would have eaten 3 or 4 of these with a bunch of butter on it!
This chili was amazing. I will be making this at home as it filled me up and was so tasty.

1:45 p.m. Open Gym
Now that I'm in my second week I don't have to attend the lectures that take place during this time. Open gym is meant for us to pick any activity we want to do and use this hour to do that. Catherine, Daniel and I decided to go on a bike ride since they have bikes here we can use. We toured around the neighbourhood and had a great time. We biked at total of 12km which was great!

2:30 p.m. Core Training
We had a new instructor for this class today and I didn't find the exercises that we did as tough as last week. Don't get me wrong my abs were still killing but I preferred what we did last week instead.

3:30 p.m. Deep Water Suspension
Our instructor killed us in the pool today. My legs were on fire and my arms too. I'm starting to enjoy the pool exercises a little more now as it still gives you a great work out but is easier on your body and joints.

4:30 p.m. Circuit Training
My favourite class was saved until the end today. I burn a lot of calories in this class as we integrate cardio and weight lifting together. I've upped my weights today to push myself a little more.

5: 30 p.m. Dinner

Dinner was chicken with mustard potatoes, which were delicious!

Pineapple skewer for dessert!

Michael, Ashely & Koli from season 9 of the Biggest Loser arrived today. After dinner tonight they each spoke and answered any questions any of the guests had. They gave some really great advice and all of them look amazing.

From left to right: Koli, Michael, Ashely

I sat across from Ashley at lunch and introduced myself to her. She asked if I was of the trainers here which was a nice complement. None of them are in my group for the week so I won't be working out with them but I will be seeing them around the site that's for sure!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 8 - Rest Day

So today was my morning to sleep in since today was a rest day for us. We had a pretty wicked storm last night and the power went out around 3:00 a.m. I believe and didn't come back on until 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. The walls are paper thin here so you hear everything your neighbour beside and above does so it's easy to wake up. I woke up around 5:30 a.m. and was in and out of sleep until 7:30 a.m. when I decided to get up. I've been told they normally serve a waffle for breakfast on Sunday mornings so I was so looking forward to a waffle and real maple syrup. Since we had no hydro it was cereal and rice milk this morning for breakfast.

After breakfast a bunch of us just sat outside under the gazebo and read our books and magazines. It was overcast and started to rain for awhile but cleared up and the sun came out around after all. A bunch of us wanted to get off the site for the afternoon and go see a movie. So Robert one of my friends here rented a car for the week and took myself, Catherine and my friend Daniel to the movies and Costco this afternoon. It was so nice to get off the site and just do some normal things. I have to admit it was very hard walking into that movie theatre this afternoon and smelling that popcorn and not being able to buy any. We all took an apple and munched on that during the movie. I found it also difficult to pass up all the samples at Costco but we all did. It was a good test for all us use and a reminder of how hard it's going to be once we leave this safe place. We did find a lot of the food products they serve here at Costco so I will be making a trip there when I get home to stock up on all these yummy items.

On Sunday's for lunch we are provided with a brown paper bag lunch. This lunch consisted of some soup, some chicken salad on a sandwich thin, an apple and some carrots and cumber.

Dinner tonight was wonderful. We had broccoli with chicken spaghetti squash, which would be a typical meal I would make at home for sure.

I didn't eat the dessert tonight as I didn't like it very much

Tonight was also the first meal where we got to meet all the new guests. Everyone seems really nice and I look forward to getting to know them more over the next week. Since we are stay over guests we didn't have to say for the lecture after dinner so we decided to take in another movie.

It has been a great fun day and hopefully all this lightening that is still going on outside clears up in time for our hike in the morning. I really don't want to be stuck on a cardio machine for 2.5 hours if the hike gets canceled.

Now time for bed so I can get ready to push myself to the limits again this week.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 7

Today was a nice 1/2 day of exercise. Here is my schedule & meal plan for the day:

6:30 a.m. Leave for Hike
On Saturday's you have a choice of signing up for a hike or staying back to do a 2.5 hour cardio workout in the gym. Catherine and I decided to sign up for the West Canyon hike as this is a trail about 8 miles long that we could run. We needed to run 12 miles this morning as part of our marathon training. We were planning on running the 8 at West Canyon and then finish the last 4 on the treadmill. There was a lot of lighting this morning so the hikes got canceled, which meant we ended up running our 12 miles on the treadmill. My knees were very sore today from all the hard work I have done that past week so I really slowed my run down this morning. After about 25 minutes my legs felt much better and was able to speed it up a little but I still wanted to have a slow long run. Happy that is over with for the week!

9:30 a.m. Breakfast

This is the granola cereal they make, which is served with almond milk. I will be switching to almond milk when I get home so yummy and healthier for you.

10:30 a.m. Total Body H20
We ended up playing volleyball in the pool. We had lots of fun and was a great team game.

12:30 p.m. Lunch

I didn't like I would like the Roasted Red Pepper soup but it was very tasty and not spicy.
The Asian Chicken Wrap was wonderful but I didn't like the salad that was served with it. The soup and wrap filled me up so I wasn't worried.

1:00 - 5:00 Free Time/Rest Time
Finally I was able to take a nap this afternoon. I slept for about 1.5 hours which felt amazing. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon outside enjoying the weather reading magazines and chatting with some of the friends I have made her.

5:30 p.m. Dinner

Tamales.......it was ok not my favourite meal

Banana Cream Pie for Dessert

6:00 p.m. Graduation
Every week they make a video of different highlights over the week. They have a videographer who goes around all week taking footage of us doing all the different activities. People can also submit their pictures they have taken to be added to this video. We watch the video and it was wonderful to see again so for the amazing moments that had happened over the week and all the hard work that we all went through. Each of us get a copy of this dvd as a keepsake which is great. Also guests who attend every class and lecture get rewarded with either a t-shirt, hat, gym bag or jacket depending on what week your on.

After graduation a bunch of us went and played laser tag in town. I was wonderful to get of this site and go and do a fun activity with everyone. It was a way another work out because you sweat like crazy in that place as your running around the whole time.

Lots of the friends I have made here are leaving tomorrow morning so we had to say our goodbyes tonight. One of my friends Pam lives in Chicago so we are going to try and meet up when I'm in Chicago for the marathon in October. With a lot of people leaving in the morning that means their will be a lot of new faces arriving tomorrow. I found out yesterday that Michael, Ashley & Koli from the latest session of the Biggest Loser will be arriving tomorrow and staying for the week. I'm so excited to meet them and spend the week working out with them.

Tomorrow is a rest day so I won't be doing much and I'm really looking forward to it.