Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Fu's 'Yellow Brick Road'

Before I blog about my decision to compete in a 'Figure Competition', I thought I would share with you some Highs, not so Highs as well as a few FUnnies (at least I think they are worthy of a few Ha Ha's or Ewwws - which ever way you see it) through my last year in training.

This lifestyle change in my becoming of an 'athlete' would be similar to Dorothy's path on the 'Yellow Brick Road' (depending on your interpretation of course, and minus the red shoes). A road leading her in a new direction with many self-discoveries along the way.

In my journey of becoming 'FiT', my 'Yellow Brick Road' had and continues to have its twist and turns (sharp turns!), its uphills and of course, its downhills.

With that said...


There was never, for one second, a moment of ReGrEt to pursue my life in fitness!

Of course, there were times when I felt discouraged but I never expected this to be easy (you wish it could be, but where's the excitement in that?!). I enjoyed the challenges (perhaps not entirely then) and I really liked the fact I was able to go beyond what I had ever thought possible, for me. This has truly been a life changing year! A year filled with new beginnings, great friends, shared smiles, laughs and countless memories. Through the good and the not so good...

I've grown into becoming who I am today as a Healthy and Fit Baby Fu!

Like I've stated in previous posts, I've never felt better about myself and I wouldn't trade what I've achieved for anything.

Who would trade in health and happiness?! Not me! :)

Here are some of my memories of the past year I would like to share with you:

1. Guess who's Cookin'?!

As I began cooking for myself and SuperFit, I took a big interest in finding FUn recipes that were healthy and delicious. I came across a Mango/Tomato Salsa of some sort. Pretty easy I thought:


 Baby Fu Choppin' Away...
 More specifically my Fu'in Finger!
The Doctor thought I'd need Cosmetic Surgery on my Finger.
I healed surprisingly well...I thank the Protein. Seriously.

The best part of this was the fact I was quietly calling (what seemed to me like yelling) for SuperFit when the tip of my finger fell down the drain. After a good 10 minutes, SuperFit finally heard my so called 'whispers' for help. He was outside building a deck....he thought I wanted some company while cooking up a storm...He wishes ;)

 I look back on this and laugh. It wasn't FUnny then. 

2. What I won't do for a CuPcAkE!

After having completed one of my intensive 'diets', I decided to throw a CuPcAkE PaRtY (trust me, I've learned how to cheat really well!).

I was out of town, when I came across:


How could anyone resist?!

Of course, I would need to bring these back home (from one CuPcaKe LovEr to another, you'd do the same!). On the day of my departure, I went back to the bakery to pick up 6 CuPcAkEs... I left with 11. The Baker thought I was crazy as I kept increasing the number of delicious CuPcAkEs I was going to bring back with me. I wanted to share the Sugary Love! Don't worry, I just had 1 (okay 1 1/2) and I shared the extras with other CuPcAkE FaNs!

The trip back was stressful...I did everything to keep these babies safe:


 Bag 1 - They weren't safe enough in this one!
So I placed them in Bag 2 with scrunched up paper to keep them in place during the flight.
This is not SAD! lol

They went on a Fairy Ride, through Security, faced on-lookers Drooly Mouths, they endured Turbulance on the plane, and a passenger Throwing (I'm not kidding) my CuPcAkE bag on the floor to reach her coat! The flight attendant even told me she's not responsible for any damage to them (you mean you can't sue for CuPcAkE Damage?! lol)

One stressful trip later, our guests arrived with a jug of milk and we endulged in these moist, sugar-filled and ever so decadent treats:


 YUMMY!!!
Guilt-free :)

The stress was worth it. I'd do it again. And, again.

3. "How Low Can You Go?"

Throughout various stages of training and 'dieting', I will sometimes hit a low. That's just the reality of it all (at least for me). There are times when I feel extremely irritable, down and simply not the same ol' Baby Fu. When I go through these phases (they don't happen often, but I won't pretend like they don't!), my body says:

"Baby Fu, take a rest" (this is something that is very, VERY important to do!)

I train hard and I work hard to achieve my goals. When my body says "Slow Down!", I need to listen to it because it will result in a burn out. Sometimes, I find I am hard on myself and it's in moment like these I need to relax. I need to enjoy the path I am leading in this new fitness lifestyle of mine and there is absolutely no rush or urgency to achieve the goals I have set before me. I've already achieved beyond my wildest dreams in my journey of
"re-discoverying my physical side" and,

I have so much to be proud of! (eating right, weight training, cycling, cooking etc...)

I'm learning how to take a step back. I'm Learning how to:

BREATHE (give myself a break when needed) and appreciate what I've accomplished! (more specifically, giving myself a pat on the back - not literally!)

                                              Relax and Breathe (my Zen)

I find we are often hard on ourselves and/or pick at our imperfections, (who no one else can see but ourselves). I know, from a personal point of view,  I am sometimes a victim of my own self. There are days I don't like the way I look and/or I wish various body parts looked a certain way. With that said, I'm learning how to embrace myself because this is me. This is who I am and that will never change. I will continue working hard and I will continue my path along my 'Yellow Brick Road' :)

In the end....

We have to learn to bpatient in our progress, stay positive and congratulate our efforts!

One day at time.

4. Baby Fu as a SpIn InStRuCToR!

After my first cycling season and spinning right into the Fall 3-4 times a week, I taught my first ever SPIN CLASS!!!! The best part about this was the fact it wasn't planned. It was a result of a controlled flood, which SuperFit needed to handle, immediately! His words to me were the following:

SuperFit: "Baby Fu, you're teaching tonight's Spin Class?"
Me: "Hmmmm, O.K"
SuperFit: "Get ready it starts in 5 minutes"
Me: "O.K." (I was bursting with excitment on the inside, I swear!!!!)

I saddled up and gave my first spin class! I was scrambling to make the perfect playlist and I was a bit nervous (just a little)! Thankfully I paid attention to several intervals taught in the countless classes I had taken with SuperFit, The Masta and 007 (I don't always have *CaNdY* on the brain!), but am often distracted should they be in my presence (I get SuGaR EyEs....many people know this look now).

Back to my story....(see how easily I get sidetracked by *CaNdY* !)

As the hour was coming to a close, I was soaked and so was everybody else (PHEW!). I received great reviews (WOO HOO!). I was really happy to know I was able to give a good workout!

I had the ability the make people sweat and thirst for WATER!

Coincidentally, I taught my second class this week!!!



From thinking I'd never do a Spin Class to actually Teaching one, now that was a BIG SHOCKER!

5. DeLiCiOuS Moments!

There isn't a day I don't crave peanut butter. I have a habit of buying PB simply because it's in front of me. When they are on sale, I'll buy two. I don't know why. We have over 8 tubs of Peanut Butter at home and at the moment, I can't have any (it still won't stop me from buying it!). When I get a cheat day, there is no doubt PB will be involved. I've shown this picture before but I'm a real PB JUNKIE!


I'm not giving these away!

On my birthday, I received PB as a gift (trust me, that is sufficient enough for me!) and I endulged in many desserts:

          007 and Baby Fu (I am not spoiling my dinner with a forkful of PB!) 
                                   It's ALLLL MINE SuperFit!
                                                        *CaNdY* Eyes for
                                                       Peanut Butter M&M's
Enjoying every moment....until the last bite!
Bday Cake #2 (DQ Ice Cream Cake!)
Bday Dessert #3
I couldn't wait to take a bite b4 the picture (who could?!)
 (La Maison Chaloin - I picked a chocolate macaroon, 1 truffle and a scoop of raspberry sherbert!!!)
Following my Bday!!!
(Not really, iPhone App lol)

I did cardio 7 days straight prior to my bday so that I could enjoy all of this 100% Guilt-Free (note, my cheats are usually 1 meal not 3 days worth of cake lol). 

Sometimes, even eating rice is a treat when I'm off carbs. This photo was taken at a Vietnamese Restaurant. I was coming off of 5 days no carbs. This was Heaven!

Mmmmm...Rice!

One last photo. This was taken before the beginning of the 2011 'Diet'. I made the most of my last dessert for while:

Chocolate Mousse Cake with a side of Bananas and Grapes covered in
Toblerone Chocolate Fondue

Although I have many more stories to share, I thought I would start off with these as they seem to be the one's immediately coming to mind. All to say, this past year has been incredible and it has opened my eyes to a whole new world.

It is possible for anyone to achieve ANY level of fitness! (just go out and get it!)

This is coming from a former non-athletic person to another :)

Stay tuned for more on *CaNdY FiT*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby Fu's Spinning! (and not in circles)

During my weight training months, I decided to try something new; group cycling class


I remember beginning my cardio training and vocally stating to anyone who would suggest I try it out:

"No way! I'm happy with my elliptical! I'm not doing a spin class, ever!" (Bok Bok, I was chicken...I know!)

But at this point in my training...

I was ready for yet another FITNESS CHALLENGE!

Of course, we all know at this point I keep doing what I say I won't do so, it was time to put my fears aside and start spinning in circles! From what I heard and based on pure observation, SuperFit gave an extremely tough class....

My initial thoughts were:

1. I would fail;
2. Pass out;
3. Quit half way through; and
4. Pretty well suck at it! (But I was ready for it!)

*Others would object to my thoughts, I'm sure*

I must admit after watching people spin, I became curious about the class. It was always packed (there's often a wait list) and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, despite the intensity. Each class was sync'd to great, up-tempo music (who doesn't enjoy that!), so I decided to give it a try - because I like music of course ;) 

Perhaps this would be something I would like and, that would offer an another alternative to my weekly cardio routine. Either way, I was ready for something new, even if it would physically kill me (obviously I wasn't psyching myself out)!

The Masta, who also teaches at Florida Fitness Aylmer, and SuperFit gave me a 'calming' pep talk:

1. You'll be fine! (ya, obviously you have to say that!)
2. Just do the best you can (I don't even know what I'm in for!)
3. Adjust your resistance to your own ability (how the hell do I do that?!)
4. Suck it up Baby Fu (I seem to be doing this a lot)

**Of course, I got the 101 on how to use a spin bike (it literally took less than a minute)**

Spinning right along...

My first class would be on a Sunday morning....


Cofffffeeeeeee!

I made sure to get on a bike as far back and as far off to the corner of the room as humanly possible. I didn't want to be seen (is it that obvious?). I was nervous because I had no idea what I was in for, aside from getting my A*S Kicked (and I have a mean sidekick)!

 I was saddled up and ready to get my Spin On! (yee ha!)

SuperFit made sure everyone knew the basics of his class and offered help to anyone needing a little adjustment on their bikes before he began teaching.

Giddy Up!

There I was on a spin bike, pedalling. I was following SuperFit's instructions and watching everyone else around me (to make sure I was in line with the level of difficulty). I soon learned the class was taught in such a way whereby a mixture of intervals would come into play. The intervals would go from easy to moderate to difficult to what Buzz would say, "To Infinity and Beyond!" (Please tell me you know Toy Story). It varied in pedalling speeds -  2, 3 and 4 (slow to fast). I realized I couldn't stay in the fast lane the whole class as the difficulty of each pedal stroke grew with each turn of the dial (this is what you use to control your tension on the bike). It also incorporated seated and standing intervals....

My 'caboose' wasn't ready for this! (I'm being a baby, it wasn't thaaaat bad)

This is what I felt throughout various stages of the full hour class:

Warm-up:
  • This isn't so bad...
  • Easy, Peezy..
Interval 1, 2 and 3:
  • Full turn up?!!! My legs are going to hate me tomorrow!
  • Is it break time?
  • There's still 35 minutes left.
  • I love this song!
  • BREATHE.
  • Suck it UP Baby Fu!
Break:
  • Water, water, WATER!
Interval 4 and 5:
  • I can do this!
  • I can actually do this!
  • I'm really doing this!
  • 10 minutes left! Yahoo!
Cool Down:
  • OMG, I made it!
  • This wasn't so bad after all!
  • I'm drenched...
  • I love group cycling class!
  • Sign me up for another!

** I should point out group cycling at Florida Fitness Aylmer is an important part of the gym atmosphere. It is offered 5 times a week and is taught by various instructors, whom are all cyclists. SuperFit not only specializes in Fitness but also specializes in Cycling; he is an Elite Cyclist! The classes tailor to those wanting to challenge themselves in their cardio (or mix it up), become better cyclists by training efficiently throughout the cycling off-season or become a new cyclist as a whole! Each class is a mixture of New Comers, Spin Lovers and from what I believe, Prestige Cyclists from in and around the City! It's really worth a try!** 

From this point on...

I spun 2-3 times a week and I absolutely LoVeD it! 

Soon enough...

I would find an interest in cycling (on the road!). With SuperFit being the Elite Cyclist that he is and The Masta, who is also an impressive cyclist himself, it was, without a doubt that I would eventually want to get into the sport (right?!).  To be honest, they were both shocked...I wasn't only surprising myself, but everyone else around me :) I really enjoyed this form of cardio and from mere discussions with various cyclists, I wanted to give it a try (another challenge lol)!

And I did...

Before I got my first bike, SuperFit and I went for a test drive to see if I would actually enjoy it as it would prove to be more difficult than a Spin Class. I used one of his road bikes and borrowed his cycling shoes - obviously too big but I'd be clipped in. In the first 5 minutes, I fell (in front of house)...

 Sports Injury (never thought I'd have one)
Or two...
or Three!!! (my poor finger)

After my first 25km, I died...

Out cold.

When I came back to life...

I wanted to go again! (well, in a couple of days...)

In less than a month (after my amazing first experience), I got my first road bike from The Cyclery in Ottawa. We would be assembling my bike, each part at a time. Of course, SuperFit and The Masta were there...I could only offer my help with the colour selections and my body for sizing purposes...

I have a large head, not all helmets can accommodate this PuMpKiN of mine! 

I must say, the staff at The Cyclery were extremely knowledgeable (experts), helpful and offered an atmosphere that made you feel comfortable (I didn't know Part A from Part B, but I didn't, for a second, feel like a Fu'in idiot!). The Cyclery Team, SupertFit and The Masta selected and created a gorgeous masterpiece tailored just for ME :)

 I called her The Asian Express
Fuuuu Fuuuuuuu!

My first season out with The Asian Express was amazing...including the falls (Ouch!). Just so everyone is clear, most of my falls were a result of my inability to clip and unclip my shoes from my pedals....I fell countless times and have many stories I could share (I'll save those for another time)!

Here are some photos of my first ride out with my new bike:


It's much easier looking the part ;)


Asticou Ride. 
Organized by The Masta.

Group shot
(We are a mixture of Advanced to Beginner Cyclists)


Father and Daughter :)
The Masta never thought he'd see his daughter on a bike.
Proud Moment xo

SuperFit trained me throughout the cycling season (he is an all-round amazing trainer!). By the end of the summer, I was routinely climbing to the top of the Gatineau Park (The Champlain Lookout). This is roughly a 68km ride from home and I didn't die!!! 

It was a big achievement for me and I was PROUD of myself! 

Also, during the summer months, The Masta and I became closer as a result of this shared interest in cycling. That meant a lot. He always made sure to give me helpful tips on positioning, pedal strokes and breathing (I have a tendency to hold my breath when I work hard). I remember SuperFit telling me The Masta went to the gym immediately after a Father and Daughter Ride (still in full kit), simply to tell him how amazing he thought I was doing. The Masta was proud and I was really happy to hear it!

From this point on he knew I wasn't about to quit my new lifestyle in Fitness....and as a result,

The Masta got on board The Asian Express!!! (He believed I was dedicated.  He did not literally get on my bike, although he could since we have the same bike measurements lol)

Now it was time to get talking about...

Baby Fu's Figure Competition!

Stay tuned for more on *CaNdY FiT*

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pumpin' Iron like a FU!

My first day 'Pumpin' Iron' was definitely one to remember. Why? Because I never realized how weak I was until I was introduced to dumbells and muscle building machines. It's surprising I was even able to lift my purse!

I went to the gym ready to make friends with what would help me turn into 'THE HULK' (minus the green skin tone and topless attire, oh and the anger management issues)Needless to say....

I was ready to become a lean, mean, muscle building MACHINE!

Well, not so fast. I needed to learn the basics of my new training 'circuit'. This would involve training each muscle group once or twice a week, such as:

1. Head; and
2. Shoulders;
3. Knees; and
4. Toes
( knees and toes, knees and toes)

Seriously, it would include the following:

1. Legs
2. Chest
3. Shoulders
4. Arms (biceps, triceps)
5. Abs (ABS?...I have those?! Well, they've been hiding for 25 years)

I went to Florida Fitness Aylmer and met with SuperFit who guided me through the basics of each machine. He showed me what I would be doing and how I would be doing it (easy enough I thought). Not quite! I quickly learned I hated a few machines right off the bat because they proved 'impossible' for me to even lift/push.

#07....ohhhhhh #07, the Shoulder Press Machine:


#07 ...You showed me who's Boss!

We didn't get off to a good start because...

I had troubles lifting 15lbs!!! (That's almost as much as my Mom's toy poodle!)

In any case, it needed to be done and I needed to start with the basics if I want to get stronger (for some reason I didn't react to spinach like Popeye did - so much for that idea!).

I must say, there was a lot of giggling during the first little of while of weight lifting (this is what happens when I'm shy). I was laughing at myself mainly because I never imagined doing weights and being so incredibly weak!!! In all honesty, it still makes me laugh at times because I never thought I'd be training this hard.

Continuing on...

I was now an expert on the elliptical machine (well, not really) = and it was time to add some strength training into the mix (I was going to be THE HULK and that was final)!

This new experience made me feel like the first time I entered the gym - not knowing where to start or how to use anything in site. It's a good thing SuperFit runs through the equipment with his members (I probably would have injured myself within the first 5 minutes).

Debbie L. (007), who has won multiple titles in Figure Competitions (such as her latest provincial title of Quebec Masters Figure Overall Winner), introduced me to Training Gloves!

My poor, delicate, untrained hands were beginning to blister! (Yes, I'm a bit of a Princess!)

She also helped me along the way in my 'circuit' training (she actually helps a lot of members at Florida Fitness Aylmer - she's a true inspiration!). And trust me, I would definitely take advice from her....

Just look at this MACHINE:


007 winning her title! (2010)

As time went on, 007 always commented on how strong she believed I was...

"Baby Fu, you're going to be strong, I know it!" (HA HA HA, I thought. Right...sure I will!)

After having done my circuit for a few months (and absolutely loving it... I could see my biceps growing!), I wanted to play with the BIG KIDS. I wanted to graduate from my 'circuit' training and start breaking my major muscles groups apart, focusing on building each area one day at a time (over the span of 3-4 days, while still maintaining my cardio).

I 'graduated' in 4 months :)

Baby Fu and 007 (also notice Popeye in the background)

SuperFit and 007 never ceased to encourage and support me through my HULK building days. They always pushed me to train harder and to push with all my Baby Fu Might. And I did. I would later shock myself by lifting 90lbs on the despised Shoulder Press AKA #07 !!!

007 wasn't surprised and I could see SuperFit's smile when he trained me later on (he was proud, I could tell).

**Note: Lifting 90lbs on #07 didn't happen over night. This came with continuous weight lifting**

During the beginning of my weight training, 007 often commented on how she believed I had what it took to compete in a fitness show. For months I laughed at this idea and said...

"NEVER will I do a competition!" (not because I didn't appreciate the sport but simply because I never, in a lifetime, would have imagined myself doing something like that!)

She obviously proved me wrong (again) as my passion for the sport grew with time...

Go Figure! (no pun intended)

I felt absolutely amazing about myself and I could see my body was changing. I was becoming toned and my little 'HULK' muscles were popping out! So, it was now time to get reacquainted with the skinfold calipers to see how I was doing, on paper.

My results were as follows:

I started with 25.6% BF - No muscle
5 months later I was 18% BF with 8lbs of Pure Baby Fu Muscle!!!

I was blown away! 8 POUNDS OF MUSCLE!!! Holy S%*T!

 I was 'THE HULK'! (let my imagination flow lol)


Baby Fu as The Hulk....Scary eh?!

My results proved that all my hard work and dedication was paying off!

I was LOVING my new look and all my progress!!!

No one could stop me now! :)

**My next blog post will be about my first attempt at spinning and how it would lead me into getting my first full blown road bike!!! As exciting as this all was, my first couple of times on the road (okay..multiple times), proved to be quite 'bruising'. I have pics to prove it! I should have worn a big caution sign "Watch the FU out!"** 

Some FUn Recipes :)

As promised, here are a few things I like to include in my 'diet':


Spinach and Basil Egg White Omelette:



Ingredients:

6 Egg Whites

Spinach leaves

Basil leaves or Basil purée (in the herbs section of the grocery store)

Chili Flakes (if desired)

Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

- Over medium heat, in a fry pan, pour in the egg whites

- Add spinach leaves and basil

- Add chili flakes (if you like it HOT)

- With a spatula, fold the omelette into a half moon (I'm not the best when it comes to this step - in the picture below, the omelette actually broke...I just 'glued' them together for picture sake).

- Cook both sides

- Salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Protein FUflé (Of course I have to use FU):



I like to add yogurt as a topping or on the side for dipping!

Ingredients:

1 Scoop of Protein Powder (flavor of your choice)

1 Egg White

Dash of Cinnamon

Water (if mixture is not moist enough)
How to:
- Mix everything together until moist (in a plastic container or bowl)

- Microwave on high for 1minute and 40seconds

- The FUflé will Fluff Up, then Fluff Down

Enjoy! 

Protein Pancakes (FUcakes lol):


Making my Breaky before heading to Work.

Yummy! :)

Ingredients:

6 Egg Whites

3/4 cup of dry Oatmeal

1 tbsp of Cinnamon

How to:

- Blend all together

- Spray fry pan with Pam or Blue Menu Spray Butter

- Over medium heat, pour mixture into fry pan (make your pancake as little or as big as you want)

- Flip pancakes to cook both sides

**When I can, I love to include half a banana to the mixture. When I'm able to cheat....2 tablespoons (if not more) of Peanut Butter as a topping (unnatural type...yup, I love the unnatural!)**

And of course, Enjoy :)

I'll post more recipes in future blogs...
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