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Thursday, July 28, 2011

I See Change A-Comin

push upsImage by sun dazed via Flickr
Good evening my faithful readers! This post will be quick and to the point...I hear a shower and my bed a-callin. There are going to be some changes coming starting Monday. It's the start of both a new week AND a new month so the timing couldn't be better! 

My blog will be changing may even have a new design...we'll see if I have time to include a re-design. I won't give you specifics yet, but my posts will be consistent (I hope) and with a wider range of topics. I will still include my weight lifting entries to keep me on track and accountable. So, Stay tuned for the exciting changes coming! Saturday's entry will include a sneak peak at the new schedule. 

On to tonight's workout, that I didn't feel like doing. After supper my throat started to get really sore. It's still not happy with me, but I forced myself to workout anyway. Here's how I did:

Reverse Lunge: 
2 sets of 45 lbs x 5 reps/leg
2 sets of 35 lbs x 10 reps/leg
NOTE: I'm still having some balance issues with my right leg...funny how I'm right handed but my left leg/arm are stronger.

5 sets of 10 reps
NOTE: I'm back to knee push-ups (aka the girlie ones). I think taking a week off added to not feeling well and I just didn't have it in me to do 50 regular push-ups. The knee ones were still very challenging.

Inverted Row:
5 sets of 12 reps
NOTE: Please kill me now...I hate these!! Okay, please don't REALLY kill me. I love my life, I just really hate inverted rows. They're still VERY challenging and I'm doing a modified version still! 

Alright, that's it for me. I'm in dire need of a shower (I stink!) and desperately need sleep. Have a good night! See ya'll Saturday.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

KaliAndrews Dance Company on Your Ottawa Region

Hello, loyal readers of Being Elle!

My name is Deirdre, or you may have heard Elle call me Dre. I am, in fact, Elle's little sister. Or at least I might as well be. She is my very best friend in this entire world and has been for more years than I can count. She has very generously invited me to contribute to her blog, to talk about something that really matters to me: KaliAndrews Dance Company!

KADC is my family business — a dance studio here in Ottawa that specializes in acrobatics and circus arts (but of course offers ballet, jazz, tap and much more!). As you may remember from Elle's recent post, KADC recently came home with a ton of trophies including 1st place at this years National competition. And Ottawa has been paying attention!

We've recently been featured on Your Ottawa Region. You can watch the video here:

Michelle Nash also wrote a wonderful piece about our studio's win. You can read more about it here: Dance School Flying High After Win

For more videos, check out our YouTube Channel!

I'm thankful for the opportunity to share news and events about KADC, and I look forward updating you all again next week.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back in Full Swing

Weight and height are used in computing body m...Image via Wikipedia
Hullo my luvs! I'm back on track. I took a week off to recover from a heavy period. I'm feeling a lot better now, although it still took a lot to get my butt in gear and workout tonight. Thankfully I met up with a friend tonight and we had a venting session. Sometimes that's all a girl needs is a good vent to release some of the stress from daily life.

I started the KISS Total Body - a workout from Becoming a Beautiful Badass. I enjoy the total body workouts instead of focusing on upper/lower. I'm used to the previous program I was following so this will take some getting used to. Here is tonight's workout and then I'll explain more:

Barbell Squat:
2 sets of 65 lbs x 5 reps
2 sets of 45 lbs x 10 reps
NOTE: It's a bit of an adjustment doing all heavy sets to splitting it with heavy and light sets. I almost feel like it's too easy. I'm sure if you ask me tomorrow I'll tell you I can really feel it.

Standing Overhead Press:
2 sets of 55 lbs x 5 reps
2 sets of 45 lbs x 10 reps

2 sets x 5 reps
2 sets x 10 reps
NOTE: I'm still working on getting new equipment and I'm still not strong enough to lift my body weight. My solution is to stand on a box, grab a beam, pull with my arms (as much as I can) and lift with my knees. So far it seems to work well - I feel quite weak by the 10th rep. 

For the most part I'm on track, I still have my moments or bad days. The last time I weighed myself I was at 228.6 lbs! I can't tell you how great it feels to be under 230 (and not by just 0.02 lbs). I've asked my husband to hide the scale for 2 weeks. I'll weigh next on August 8th but progress pics I'll wait for a full 4weeks and post around August 22nd.

My goal is to weight train 3 times every week and to add 1 or 2 days of hill sprints. I'm reluctant to do hill sprints because I'm afraid to look foolish. When I weight lift I'm at home in my basement...hill sprints means the's silly I know. I have to get over myself and just do it. Funny how that one sentence holds so much truth for my life. I really need to take my own advice and put it into practice in many areas of my life, but that in itself is a whole other post. 

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Friday, July 22, 2011

PMDD Rears It's Ugly Head...Again

Good evening folks. Sorry I haven't posted in a while. For those of you who've followed my blog for a while you know that I have Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). For the most part it's under check by taking the birth control Yaz, but from time to time I get a really heavy period that leaves me completely exhausted. 

This was one of those months. I've been on edge, extremely "crabby" (which is putting it politely) and totally exhausted. I haven't had a bad month is quite a while. Sometimes I forget that I have PMDD and then a bad month creeps up and I'm left completely drained. 

For those of you who are wondering what the heck PMDD is - let me explain. It's like PMS to the extreme. Take all the symptoms of normal PMS and multiply it. Before being on the pill it was like I was depressed and completely crazy for 3 out 4 weeks every month. Doctors suggested I take anti-depressants but I'd always ask them how many people with depression get a week off every month? It's not just the hormones that are worse, it's also physically worse. My periods last longer and are a lot heavier than the norm. 

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia that explains PMDD more clearly: 
PMDD is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Like less severe forms of PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder always follows a predictable, cyclic pattern. Symptoms always begin in the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (after ovulation) and always end completely shortly after menstruation begins.
Emotional symptoms are always present, and in PMDD, mood symptoms are dominant. Substantial disruption to personal relationships is typical for women with PMDD. The cardinal symptom—always surfacing between ovulation and menstruation, and always disappearing within a few days after the onset of the bleeding—is irritability. Anxiety, anger, and depression may also occur. The main symptoms, which can be disabling, include:

  • feelings of deep sadness or despair, possible suicide ideation
  • feelings of tension or anxiety
  • increased sensitivity to rejection or criticism
  • panic attacks
  • mood swings, crying
  • lasting irritability or anger, increased interpersonal conflicts; typically sufferers are unaware of the impact they have on those close to them
  • apathy or disinterest in daily activities and relationships
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • food cravings or binge eating
  • insomnia or hypersomnia; sleeping more than usual, or (in a smaller group of sufferers) being unable to sleep
  • feeling overwhelmed or feelings of being out of control
  • increase or decrease in sex drive
  • increased need for emotional closeness

I can't imagine how my family puts up with me when it's this bad. I'm blessed and thankful that they DO put up with me. I think they must chalk it up to being "Mommy's crazy week". Needless to say, I have not worked out this week. I just couldn't do it. Having said that I will not use this week as an excuse to completely stop working out. Expect a post from me on Monday after my workout. 

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Goal Completed!

Good evening. It's been a few days since my last post and I'm happy to say that I did workout. I've been so tired the last few days I just didn't get a chance to write. Of course, now that I'm finally ready to post I have SO much to share with you. 

Thursday's workout: 

Reverse Lunge: 5 sets of 40 lbs x 5 reps

Push-up: 5 sets x 5 reps
NOTE: I was able to complete all of the sets doing REAL push-ups, not the knee push-ups! This is a HUGE accomplishment for me!!!!!

Inverted Row: 5 sets of 5 reps

Side Plank: 1 set x 16 seconds/side
1 set x 20 seconds/side
1 set x 15 seconds/side
NOTE: I had a hard time with side planks this time...for some reason it's easy on my left arm and really hard on my right arm. 

Tonight's workout:

Barbell Squat: 5 sets of 55 lbs x 5 reps

Weighted Bench Dips: 5 sets of 5 reps

Bent-over Barbell Row: 5 sets of 55 lbs x 5 reps

Do you know what this means? I HAVE COMPLETED PHASE 1! I've worked out 3 days per week for 4 weeks! I'm so proud of myself for sticking to it! I've even inspired my husband to start working out again this week. 

Here is my progress after 4 weeks. I gained a pound, but I'm not worried. I've built a lot of muscle.  There isn't a drastic change in my body but there are a lot of subtle changes I've never seen before. 

Next week I'll start another program and focus more on my nutrition. It's after midnight and I'm extremely tired. I think I had more to say but it's hiding behind my eyelids. 

Have a great Sunday!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

KADC brings home 1st Place Ultimate Shine Award


KaliAndrews Dance Company, undoubtedly the most unique dance school in the Ottawa region, has swept away the competition at Shine Dance 2011 Nationals in Deerhurst, Ontario, bringing home the top scores in nearly every dance category along with countless awards, trophies and honorable mentions!

KaliAndrews Dance Companythe only dance school in Ottawa specializing in advanced acrobatics is the proud winner of 29 Diamond Awards, 17 Platinum Awards, 9 High Gold Awards and 39 Overall High Score Awards, including the number one scores in Lyrical, Contemporary, Open, and Hip Hop dance categories! The studio also achieved the 1st Place Ultimate Shine Award in the 13-and-Over category as well as the 2nd Place Ultimate Shine Award in the 12-and-Under category.

Yet another stunning accomplishment comes from Keira Sweeney, aged 16, who took home first place in the Senior Title Competition for her lyrical solo, earning her the title of Miss Shine Dance 2011!

Watch here on YouTube as the KADC Team accepts one of many awards! For an in-depth look at what these incredible dancers can do, take a look at the team’s YouTube Channel — Dances such as Polymorphia and Welcome to the Doll House will blow you away.
“Our success as a team has brought endless tears of happiness to our faces and goose bumps to our arms as we have watched our dancers accept their well-earned awards!” says Kali Wegg, Creative Director and principle choreographer of KaliAndrews Dance Company. “How did we come this far in such a short amount of time? How did we obtain this wonderful team of young dancers?”
Lyndon Andrews, Executive Director, added, “I am astonished and thrilled with the results from not only our last competition of the season, but from our first National Competition ever! I can only imagine how our competitive team must feel right now and I hope that the memories of this season will stay with our dancers forever.”
About KaliAndrews Dance Company
Only two short years ago, a young husband and wife team put their dreams into action and worked tirelessly to bring the KaliAndrews Dance Company to life. Their doors opened to the Ottawa public for the first time in September of 2009, introducing a unique twist from the usual styles of dance in the form of Acrobatics and Circus Arts. Acrobatics — better known as Acro — is the latest trend in dance, incorporating classical dance techniques with high precision acrobatic maneuvers.

Although the term may sound new, the dance is not. The most visible display of Acro can currently be seen in the world famous Cirque du Soleil. Acro is an intensely challenging dance technique that requires grace, precision, and flexibility. It is a physically demanding discipline requiring the highest level of fitness. KaliAndrews Dance Company is the first in Ottawa to specialize in this mind-blowing circus-style dance.

Certified professional dance training programs in Advanced Acrobatics, Limbering, Stunting, Tumbling, Contortion and Aerials are open to all — from the beginner to the most serious dancer — who want to learn this challenging dance technique.

KaliAndrews Dance Company also offers dance classes in Tap, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Lyrical for ages six to adult. Children aged five and under can be introduced to dance through the Little Steps program. The school is now accepting registrations.

For more information, contact Kali Wegg, Artistic Director or Lyndon Andrews, Executive Director at 613-601-5254. KaliAndrews Dance Company is located at 2664 Lancaster Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1B 4W8.

Original Press Release:
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Deload Week - Day 1

So, this is my last week of Phase 1. At the end of the week I will post my progress. Tonight's post will be quick and to the point as I've got something special to post after. 

This week is my deload week, where I lift 70% of last week's weight for 5 reps instead of 6. Let's get down to today's workout:

Deadlift: 5 sets of 50 lbs x 5 reps

Chin-up: 5 sets x 5 reps

Standing Overhead Press: 5 sets of 45 lbs x 5 reps

Plank: 2 x 35 seconds, 1 x 30 seconds 

Have a good night and stay tuned for news from KADC.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Superstar Workout

First time using 25 lbs plates (75 lbs).
Best Workout Ever!!!!!! What a great way to end week 3!!! I lifted 75 lbs! This was the first time I've ever used my large 25 lbs plates. I'm so excited and proud of myself I had to do a little dance when I was finished! I never thought I'd ever be able to lift 75 lbs. I do see that I really need better equipment if I'm going to continue lifting heavy.

It was quite a challenge getting 75 lbs up and over my head. I looked at the prices of power cages and they certainly aren't cheap, though I'm sure they're worth the money. At this point I'm not sure what I'll end up with but I'll keep looking around. 

Here is tonight's workout:

Barbell Squat: 5 sets of 75 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: I'm a superstar!!! 

Parallel Dip (Weighted Bench Dip): 5 sets of 6 reps
NOTE: Still challenging but went a lot better than the first 2 weeks.

Bent-over Barbell Row: 5 sets of 75 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: I'm a superstar!!! 

So, next week is my deload week, where I lift 70% of this week's weight. At the end of next week I will take a progress picture and weigh myself. I'll probably take measurements too since I haven't done that in a long time. Well I'm off to shower and grab a snack. Have a great night peeps!!
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Archnemesis - Reverse Barbell Lunge

BarbellImage via Wikipedia
Thank Goodness It's Friday!!

As you know I missed Tuesday's workout but made up for it Wednesday, I briefly considered working out yesterday but knew that would be overdoing it. So, I shifted this week to Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

As promised I finally decided on my next training program. I decided I like simplicity and I'll be doing the Beautiful Badass K.I.S.S. Total Body program. I'll still be working out 3 days per week instead of 5 sets of 6 reps I'll be doing 2x5 (heavy), 2x10 (light). It's an 8 week program, although I can continue on with it beyond the 2 months. If I'm able to purchase some new equipment I'll probably look at another plan. I will finish the phase before moving on.

Here is today's workout:

Reverse Barbell Lunge: 5 sets of 55 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: I have a love hate relationship with lunges...I love that they work so many muscles, especially my glutes, but I hate doing them. I still struggle a bit with my balance and I find any exercise that is done on each side just feels like yo're doing so much more.

Push-up: 5 sets of 6 reps
NOTE: As usual I did knee push-ups. To test myself I did 3 real push-ups although I wasn't able to go all the to the floor.

Inverted Row: 5 sets of 6 reps
NOTE: Same as last week.

Side Plank: 2 x 20 seconds and 1 x 15 seconds
NOTE: I used an actual timer..this was a major struggle today.

I'm gonna sign off for now, I'm really very tired tonight. Have a good night!
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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From Failure to Superwoman

Superwoman (Kristin Wells). Art by Gil Kane, 1983.Image via Wikipedia
This has not been my best week for nutrition and fitness. I skipped yesterday's workout to visit with a girl friend I don't get to hang out with often. I figured I'd just workout today instead...only today my temper is at an all time high. I think it's been a culmination of stress that's just built up to this extreme frustration. If you've ever lived pay to pay you'll know what I'm talking about. While we technically had food to eat, it felt as though there wasn't. Of course, the first thing you do when you finally have money is over-spend on food...or at least I do.

Thinking back I think week 3 has always been where things start to go wrong. I seem to let obstacles get in the way. Well, not this time. Even though I really didn't feel like it I made sure to work out. I have to tell you I feel 1000 times better! Logically I knew I would feel better but still couldn't bring myself to work out earlier in the day. 

At 7 pm my husband bathed the kids and I worked out. When I was putting the plates on the barbell I decided to add more than 5 lbs. It's amazing what 10 lbs can do for a girl's morale! I'm feeling like superwoman now that I've finished my workout!

Here is tonight's workout:

Deadlift: 5 sets of 70 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: Last week my deadlift was 60 lbs

Chin-ups: 5 sets of 6 reps
NOTE: I'm in love with the newly forming muscles in my arms! My forearms are solid, my biceps are curvy and getting harder. Who knew I could be such a geek with weight lifting!!! FYI - I'm still not able to do a full chin-up, I'm still doing my version.

Standing Overhead Press: 5 sets of 55 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: Added 10 lbs, last week I was lifting 45 lbs.

Plank: 3 x 25 seconds ( the last one was 27 seconds)
NOTE: Previously I was counting - this time I used an actual timer so I'm quite pleased that I can do 25 full seconds!!!!

I haven't decided which program I'll be doing once my 4 weeks of Phase 1 are over. Stay tuned I will make that decision this week. 
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Monday, July 4, 2011

A mishmash of random thoughts

Exterior of a typical Sobeys store, pre-"...Image via Wikipedia's been one of those days. The kind where all you want to do is crawl into bed and wake up tomorrow. It's been a long weekend which has been both good and bad. As usual it's the last few days before payday and we're completely tapped out. We managed to scrounge up enough food to scrape by but payday is TOMORROW...not today. In fact I'll be staying up till midnight to go get groceries...thank you 24 hour Sobey's!!
Today was our great aunt's funeral, I think the service was really nice - the parts I could hear and understand. The funeral was in a French Catholic church. I was excited when I realized the service would also include English (I was certain the whole thing would be in French). Then I realized I couldn't understand the English either - no I wasn't having a stroke or an episode -  the speaker system wasn't very good and everything came out distorted. The only thing I heard clearly was the minister clearing his throat. The cemetery was short but sweet and the lunch after was nice. Auntie Margaret lived to be 99 years old. She lived a good long life. I'm going to miss her lots, but I know she's happier where she is now. I'm sure she's smiling down on us.
Riley is at that age where she refuses to nap...I can't even get her to fall asleep watching tv anymore. She's also at the age where she really wants to assert herself so there's been a lot of yelling lately. When she really throws a fit she stomps up the stairs slams her bedroom door, opens it up sticks her tongue out making a raspberry noise and slams the door again...all the while screaming at the top of her lungs. Man, I just don't know where she gets it
I have to say one of the biggest pluses to being laid off in February is that I've gotten to know my neighbors better. In fact, I've gotten to know a couple ladies really well and I'm honored to call them friends. I haven't stayed anywhere long enough to really get to know people since I was a kid. You should see our area when we all get together. It's a complete obstacle course to maneuver through our sidewalks. There's usually 3 trikes, a gaggle of boys beyblading, pieces of sidewalk chalk strewn about, and lawn chairs on any given lawn - depending on the time of day and where the shade is. It's a riot and I love it! This morning I strolled over to one neighbors yard and joined her and her family for breakfast - yes I was still in my pjs. It doesn't get much better than that! I guess my point is better when you GET TO KNOW the people around you! On that note I've realized I still haven't had supper. I'm gonna go warm up some fajitas my neighbor gave me. Thanks Mel!!
Join me tomorrow when I decide which Beautiful Badass program I'll be doing once I've completed week 4!
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Little Easier

Canada Day fireworksImage by powerflyd via Flickr

Happy Canada Day Weekend! It was such a beautiful day today that I put off working out, but I managed to get it done this evening. Of course, I feel fantabulous now!!! It's so encouraging that I can feel the body weight exercises getting easier! I've never stuck with anything long enough for it to get easier!!

Tonight's workout:

Barbell Squat: 5 sets of 60 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: I think next week I might try 70 lbs as 60 almost seemed easy.

Parallel Dip: 5 sets of 6 reps
NOTE: I'm still doing the weighted bench dips, but it was a lot easier to do this week! Don't get me wrong, they are still quite challenging, but it's awesome to see the difference.

Bent-Over Barbell Dip: 5 sets of 60 lbs x 6 reps
NOTE: I think I'll increase by 10 lbs for next week too, as these seemed almost easy.

All in all I had an amazing workout and I'm proud of myself for finishing week 2 so strongly. I'm looking forward to Tuesday!
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