I Got a Personal Trainer (Cue Panic)

pain-gain-arnoldI decided to try this new thing where I start my Saturday off with the feeling of impending doom. No, I’m not running away from a murderer (although sometimes it feels like I am).

As I venture further down the road to better health and wellness, I decided it was time I sign up for a personal trainer. I was convinced (yes, by said personal trainer) that in order to improve my workout and step up my game, I needed to take drastic measures. Personal trainer it is.

Now, along with the physical journey, there’s also a mental component. I’ve discovered there are 10 stages to mentally coming to grips with the fact that I now have a personal trainer (and might die). Allow me to share this roller coaster of emotions.

The 10 Stages of Having a Personal Trainer

1. Regret

After you sign up for your first personal training session, you may second guess your decision. You may start thinking you made a huge mistake and you’ll start making excuses. For example, the expense is more than your budget can handle, your schedule is full enough as it is, etc.

2. Pride

Next comes pride. You may think to yourself, “I don’t need a personal trainer. I’m fine. There’s no need for anyone else to push me. I’ve been doing a basically fine job for years. Yes, I look the same, but still…”

3. Justification

With pride comes justification. I mean, the internet is basically like a personal trainer and it’s free. The people on the internet never tell me I’m doing anything wrong. I realize they can’t see what I’m doing (or if I’m even exercising at all). However, they’re very encouraging. We’ve never met, but I’m sure we’d be best friends.

4. Panic

Once you come to grips with the fact that you indeed have a personal trainer, the panic starts to set in. You realize that impending doom is approaching. There’s no escape. Crap.

5. Increased Heart Rate / Sweat (Not the Exercise Kind)

After you’ve moved past the panic and stress, you want to dive right in. You don’t have to sit around and stress about the what-ifs anymore. Let’s rip this bandaid off already!

6. Impatience

Why hasn’t my personal trainer gotten back to me with a scheduled session?! Doesn’t he realize I’m trying to fix myself?!

7. Relief

You make it through day one and totally nail it. You can totally handle this. Piece of cake!

8. Anxiety

Wait…that was just the assessment?! More anxiety…

9. Pain

Everything hurts. You’ll drop a pencil and take a significant amount of time contemplating whether bending over to pick it up is worth the inevitable pain which will ensue. I think my personal trainer is trying to kill me. This better be worth it. Can’t there be gain without the pain??

10. Acceptance

This is the stage where you fully come to terms with the fact that you’re one of those people who has a personal trainer. I mean, celebrities have them and you wouldn’t say that they’re not smart enough to work out by themselves. Now, I haven’t actually reached this stage myself, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get there…eventually.

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What To Do With Your Day Off (When You Have No Money)

1004331.pngStaycations aren’t nearly as rejuvenating as far-away-cations. A change of scenery can do wonders. Throw in a beach and an endless supply of beverages in carved out pineapples, and I’m set! Now, how do you explore a change of scenery if your vacation time and budget leave much to be desired? Continue reading.

Pretend You Work Downtown

Got a couple days off and you’re not sure what to do with them? Head downtown. Now, this one really only works if you don’t already work downtown. Explore the joys of commuting into the exciting downtown financial district without worrying about being late for an important meeting. However, if you walk with purpose, those around you will think you’re heading to an important appointment. For those of you who already work downtown or don’t live near a booming metropolis, pick a nearby suburb (or the closest thing you have to a booming metropolis).

Where Do You Go?

Now, seeing as you don’t have an actual downtown job to head towards, where do you go? Find a trendy hipster coffee shop and plunk yourself down. Pull out your computer and pretend like you’re working on an up and coming screenplay or blog of some kind (Bonus points if you actually have a blog to work on). No one needs to know you’re actually catching up on your online shopping.

Take Yourself Out to Lunch

Find a trendy lunch spot (yes, trendy is key) and enjoy a meal for one. I understand that many are hesitant (including myself) to sit alone in a restaurant. However, the best time to try this is during lunch on a weekday, especially near office buildings. Lots of people grab quick sit down lunches by themselves. Still hesitant? Pull out that handy laptop and enjoy a (fake) working lunch. Books and news publications can also be utilized to create the illusion of a productive lunch (extra bonus points if you actually learn something from your Time Magazine).

How to Make the Winter Less Blue

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Well, we’re right in the think of winter and chalked full of grey days with little to no sunshine. How to you keep yourself from crawling into bed and waiting for spring? I’d say reading this blog is a pretty good start. Right, more steps.

Change of Scenery

I’m not talking about taking a trip (although, if you can, I highly recommend it). I’m simply referring to getting your butt off the couch and going somewhere. Anywhere. Sitting by yourself and wallowing in the dark gross day is not going to help you. Where do you go? I recommend going where other people are. However, if you’re not an extrovert like myself, this may not be very beneficial. Plunk yourself down at a coffee shop or a book store with a bunch of people (you don’t have to talk to).

Bring the People to You

I find one of the hardest things about the winter months, is forcing myself to go out into the cold world and do things. Well, have I got a solution for you. Don’t do it. Bring the event to you. Throw a dinner party or a movie night or whatever type of low-key, low maintenance event you prefer. I also suggest inviting people that can bring things and/or are frequently known to bring hostess gifts.

Plan Events to Attend

The easiest way to force yourself to socialize with the world is to put it in the calendar. If it’s booked (and you already paid for a ticket of some kind), you’re more likely to go. If you wait for the weekend to arrive before you start thinking of what to do, chances are, the planning will appear to difficult and you’ll settle for a sweat pants party for one.

Preparation is Key

Buy yourself a good winter coat. One that goes past your butt and will keep you warm even if you’re sitting in a cold place. I also like to keep a small blanket in my car to keep me warm until Ole Betsy warms up. I’ve also found that once I finally spring for a warm coat or a good pair of boots, it starts to get warmer and I have less need for them…

Freedom: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

vpi07wI recently ventured out on my own and am renting my very own grown-up apartment. With this venture into fierce independant living, I have discovered the meaning behind what the late George Michael so eloquently sang about, “freedom”.

Freedom is…

  1. Washing dishes by hand…a lot of dishes…because you thought it would be a good idea to wait until you ran out of mugs before doing the dishes. P.S. Dear Dishwasher, come back to me!
  2. Coming home and not discovering that someone surprise washed your dishes…because you live alone/are fiercely independant.
  3. Defending the fact that scrambled eggs and toast for dinner counts as cooking.
  4. Realizing that maybe you should learn how to cook something that’s not a form of eggs.
  5. Waking up to your car buried in snow… because you live in Canada and no longer have a garage.
  6. Having to wake up early so you have time to dig your car out of the winter tundra before work.
  7. Dropping a pen and realizing that no one’s cleaned back there…ever.
  8. Not being able to blame the hair in the shower on someone else.
  9. Endless loads of laundry.
  10. Being reminded that you started a load of laundry before you went to bed…because you were awoken by the crazy loud buzzer you can’t figure out how to disable.

Be Like Cory

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As the cycle of fashion dives deeper into the 90s, I thought I would make a suggestion. We should all dress more like Cory Matthews. Now, I’m not talking about present day “Girl Meets World” Cory Matthews. I’m talking about Boy Meets World, Season 1 Cory. As the seasons progress, his look loses its edge and gets too mainstream.

core_vests

Invest in statement pieces. Try a vest.

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Want to wear a t-shirt, but it’s not quite hot enough? No problem. Just layer it over your hoodie. Still too cold? Throw on a vest, preferably one with another hood so you can double that up.

cory-yellow

The more bright colours the better. Try a pop of yellow.

core-double-flannel

How to Drink Wine Like You’re Fancy

konzelmannwinery4I recently attended a wine tour/tasting. I highly recommend it! Apparently I’ve been drinking wine incorrectly my whole (legal drinking-age) life. Here I thought you simply pour it into a glass and drink it. Wrong. There are way more steps involved than I ever realized. Don’t worry, I’m here to share them with you so you don’t continue to make the same mistakes.

Step 1: Balance Your Wine

If you’re one of the many who hold your wine glass in order to keep it from falling over when you drink, you’d be wrong. Apparently, if you’re cupping your wine glass in your hands, this warms the temperature of the wine to that of your hands. This is wrong, according to the experts. Hold the glass by the stem as though you’re trying to balance a basketball on a pencil. Your wine-drinking experience is already more exciting, right? This balancing act can be increasingly difficult with those large, (it’s been a long week) glasses.

Step 2: Tip to See Film (Check for poison)

Lesson #1: Trust no one, even your waiter. Tip your glass ever so slightly to see the layer of film on the top. Yeah, I didn’t realize my wine had a film on top either. Apparently that’s a good thing. Are there any floaties on top or beneath the film? If not, excellent. You can proceed to step 3.

Step 3: Smell (Again, check for poison, or wine gone bad)

I’ve learned that being a wine connoisseur includes being increasingly paranoid. Don’t just slightly waft the aroma to your nose. Really get your nose in the glass so you can get super close to the wine. If your nose is actually touching the wine, you’ve gone too far. Back up a smidge. Do you smell that rich bouquet of flavours? Me neither. Just nod and agree with the wine snobs around you.

Step 4: Swirl

Now don’t get carried away. It’s not an aggressive swirl that can spin your wine right out of the glass and splash on your neighbour. Ever so gently, until you’re a real pro, swirl the wine around in the bottom of the glass. Your friends should be really impressed with you by now. Apparently, this helps to release the flavours.

Step 5: Swish It Around

Take a sip and swish it around in your mouth. Now, you don’t want to gargle it like mouthwash. You’re supposed to swish it around to get rid of whatever tastes already exist in your mouth. Now, you don’t have to spit the first sip out (although that’s what the “experts” suggest). Just don’t judge the whole glass by this sip. Cleanse that pallet so you can taste your wine from a blank mouth slate.

Step 6: Slurp It

This doesn’t involve slurping it from the glass. Sip the wine and then slurp it from within your mouth for about 30 seconds before swallowing. Yeah, I don’t really understand how this is supposed to work. I just pretended I was doing it and moved on to the next step.

Step 7: Smell it Again

I know what you’re thinking. You already smelled the wine. However, you just swirled the wine around and now it smells completely different. Again, nod and agree with the wine snobs.

Step 8: Drink Away

Yes, finally, if you’re not completely exhausted, you can drink your wine. Now, I’m not entirely sure on this, but I think you can just drink your wine normally from here on out. At least the wine that’s already in your glass. Pour another glass and you’ll have to start at step 1 all over again.

My Personal Take on Ice Wine: It’s not worth it. It’s crazy expensive, comes in a small bottle, and tastes like syrup (not the good kind). Save your money.  

Canadian Thanksgiving: Where Thankfulness Began

efaeeb16dbe5393ff1f2f353f0c633e5Hey, Canadians, wasn’t that turkey fantastic? I just love Thanksgiving. Sorry, Americans, you have to wait another month or so. I mean, this was your choice. You could’ve adopted our holiday, but no, you had to do something all your own. No matter how ridiculously close to Christmas it is.  Although, I’m not quite sure why it took so long for Americans to catch on. That’s right, the first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1578. The first American Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated until 1863. Who are the trendsetters now, eh?

Sure, the origins of our Thanksgiving aren’t quite as glamorous as discovering America and making peace between the Pilgrims and the Natives. We just wanted to eat …… and be thankful, of course. Personally, I think that eating is a good enough reason to get together with family. And taking time to be grateful for our many blessings, including our neighbours to the south, is pretty cool too.