Saturday, November 27, 2010

Zen Moments of Road Rage.

Yesterday it was slow at work so we decided to call it a week a few hours early and left the office at 3 o'clock. This meant that I had plenty of time to get to the 4p yoga class. I wasn't strung out or stressed - in fact I had been having a pretty chilled out day at work.

I made a pit stop at the fabric store and picked up some supplies to make a Christmas gift for someone, and then off to yoga I went.

The class wasn't packed, the temperature was perfect, and the instructor was fabulous. I felt great when I walked out the door and into the rain. I will admit that I was pretty hungry but not to the point of starvation.

I got in my car and started to pull out of the parking lot. When I got to the stop sign there were 2 cars that had obviously been in a VERY MINOR fender bender pulled to the side blocking the traffic. The people from the car's were in the Wendy's parking lot - not one of them was smart enough to actually pull their car into the parking lot with them to let traffic go by at 5p on a Friday.

The car in front of me was obviously baffled at exactly how he/she was supposed to use the steering wheel to maneuver around the parked cars. I mean there were only 3 lanes and we had a green light - it's pretty complicated I know.

Then came the guy who pulled into the middle of the intersection and just sat there through our green light instead of pulling around the parked cars. We sat at the intersection like this for 3 full rotations of the light cycle before..... I finally lost it.

All of the calming breaths. All of the downward dog sighs. All of the inner peace in shavasana. Gone. I laid on my horn. I didn't just press it once. I put my fist to my horn and kept it there until all the cars moved. Then I rolled down my window and shouted at the people in the parking lot.

Probably not my most yoga-inspired moment - but it felt just as good as the class I had just finished! 

- Brianne

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Moaner.

I am still rockin' my hot yoga 5 days a week and lovin' it. I had a brief lapse in class attendance due to conflicting social engagements but I have returned with a vengeance - and although I won't hit my 20 class quota this month I am still going to give myself a little bit of LuLu for beating last month's record 16 classes. I think that's fair.

I've been trying to work on blocking out the other people in the room - with marginal success. I have stopped looking around the room so much and try only to look at myself or at nothing - but there is still one thing that can make my blood boil -

* The sign on the door says "This is a SILENT room" - so when people come barging in the room having a full-on conversation while everyone is lying in shavasana it makes me want to hit them. This might be the kickboxer in me coming out, but seriously most time I have to force myself not to sit straight up and glare at them like they were stealing my cookies.

The other day the woman in front of me kept flicking her toes together while we were in shavasana - I call her the fidgiter. After a few moments though I was able to drown out the sound of her toes flicking together by my head - gross. I made sure to get a good look at her and her mat so that I can stay away next time.

I really think that yoga has been helping me relax, among many other things. I feel better and I don't stress as much and I sleep great. But last night I was schooled by the woman 2 mats over on yoga-enjoyment. I call her the moaner.

It started during salutations with an "ahhhhhhhhhh" on the exhale. A bit much, but not entirely absurd. By the time the warrior series was over, her exhales had become more like "oooooohhhhhhh" - still a little weird, but maybe she was getting in some good stretches.  The weirdest parts came during pigeon and final shavasana... the moans that ensued would rival any climax scene from your favorite porn film. The humming of the "mmmMMMmmm" had me laughing so hard on the inside I had to bolt out of the room after class so I could full on laugh.

I love my hot yoga. But apparently not as much as The Moaner.

- Brianne

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Billy Miner Pie - Brianne

Last night we had dinner with Carrice and Toby at The Keg.  We had gift certificates that were burning holes in our pockets so we spared no expense.

It isn't often that I will order dessert at a restaurant.  Usually I am so damn full from the ridiculous portion sizes that most restaurants have - but the portion sizes at The Keg are actually pretty realistic. You don't get a lot of meat, but you get some fan-freaking-tastic meat.

After I devoured my garden salad (vegetables first) and then my Filet Mignon topped with crusted blue cheese - there was still room for dessert. In hind sight there were probably at least 800 calories in this monstrosity - and I ate the whole damn thing save for 3 bites at the end.

No guilt. No regrets.

Monday, November 1, 2010

One small step for Brianne....

One giant step for my waistline! 

This morning I slipped into a pair of Levi's jeans that haven't fit in a long while. They aren't quite my skinny jeans, but they are a huge step in the right direction! Next I will conquer the Silver jeans, and then finally the Guess jeans that haven't fit in 3 years. That's right "skinny clothing drawer" - I'm coming for you!

What surprises me is that 1) we had a pizza and poutine dinner on Friday night 2) I drank an entire Growler to myself on Saturday and baked up some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and 3) last night we scarfed down halloween candies while watching the Sunday night HBO lineup. 

How is this even possible? I am going to give full credit to Hot Yoga. And since it's been working so well for me, I am also going to take up my yoga studio's "30 Day Challenge" for the month of November. Last month's sticker count was only a whopping 17 - I can do better than that.

The Moksha Yoga studio is challenging its members to come to all 30 days worth of hot yoga classes for this month and I am going to giv'r shit. My goal is to do 25 at least - and for reaching this goal I am buying myself whatever I want from Lu Lu Lemon. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Rule

New Rule: don't complain about your car smelling like B.O unless you're fully prepared to bring your yoga mat inside the house every day after hot yoga and wash it. 

Yesterday I was on my way to a trade show and I could fully smell the B.O wafting from my yoga mat and I had a sudden and urgent thought: what if the B.O sticks to my clothes and hair just like that episode of Seinfeld! 

Evan refuses to drive in the car now because of the smell.

Monday, October 25, 2010

the Yogi Squat --- Brianne

I am a big fan of doing squats. Over the years squats have helped me re-gain strength in my injured knees and have been the driving force behind what I like to refer to as my "powerful thighs".  I even love the squatting powerful pose in my hot yoga class... I'm sick and twisted, I know.

So... obviously it irks me to no end that I cannot do this yoga pose. Try as I may to squeeze my powerful legs to hold myself upright - I cannot flatten my feet to the ground without falling over on my butt. This is my 2010 challenge (or what remains of my 2010 challenge). By the end of this year I want to put my feet flat on the ground without falling over and do the proper yogi squat!  Is anyone able to do this? Is it genetic? Is it secret? Is it safe?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hot Yoga – Meditations Beyond the Mat

I started going to hot yoga at the beginning of the summer when I was looking for an alternative to running. Don’t get me wrong, running is still my preferred activity, it’s just been throwing a wrench into other (ahem) goals and well, I need to cut back on my mileage. When a hot yoga studio opened in my neighbourhood, I took it as a sign.

When I lived with Bree in Ottawa, I used to do a lot of Ashtanga at lunch with my boss and co-worker. It was the perfect yin to my running yang. But being prone to heat stroke, I was never all that interested in practicing hot yoga. Although I tried to get into hot yoga it a few times in my mid-twenties, I shied away from it because I wasn’t (and am still not) all that great at bound poses. In particular, how anyone gets their foot wrapped around their standing leg in the Eagle pose is a real mystery to me. Now that I am in my early thirties, I think this is how I got hooked - I don’t like not being good at something.

As you’ve probably already guessed, I’m competitive by nature. Really competitive. Try-to-race-you-from-three-treadmills-over-at-the-gym competitive. I think it comes from being born between a genius and a beauty queen, but I digress – I’ll save my Freudian analyses for another day. I know my competitiveness is not a very attractive trait and negatively impacts my desirability as a gym partner, so I’ve been trying (with varying success) to turn the competition inward. With hot yoga, I’m forced to turn the competition inward. If I look at anyone else while I’m trying to get into a pose, I will fall. Today I learned that if I try to look at myself in the mirror, I will also fall (with a very loud bang, I might add, out of my crow pose and onto my face). There’s vanity for you. The only thing I can do in yoga is think about breathing. When I’m immersed in the rhythm of “breathe-in-lengthen-breathe-out-get-deeper-into-the-posture”, I don’t think about anything else and my mind is silent. No to-do lists. No questions about whether I have any food in the apartment. No wondering whether anyone can see my muffin tops.

The funny thing is, now I think about my breath at other times. It’s so simple. Breathe in, breathe out. We do it all day without even thinking, but I’ve noticed that when I am really stressed out at work, I hold my breath. I once had an instructor tell me that class is a practice for life; that what we do on the yoga mat extends into the everyday. At the time, I took her comment literally and thought it was just hippie drivel - I definitely wasn’t propping myself up into shoulder stand in my cubicle. But as I think more about breathing and this absence of breath, I can see that she was right. Be present. Breathe in and out. Keep your focus on your own mat. These are all things that help me like my life more; no matter how far away I am from getting that foot wrapped around my calf.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nope. Not Vegan.

Skinny Bitch = vegan for profit. I wonder what kind of sponsorship this "brand" is getting from mega-corporations that are a part of the 30+ BILLION a year US soy bean farming industry?

Sorry guys but this book was terrible. It was biased. It was full of brand promotion. It was full of contradictions. It was used as a marketing tool. It was vegan propaganda disguised as a diet guide.

What did I like about the book? Chapter one - the few pages that were not geared toward promoting their vegan diet. But, unfortunately, none of that information was new for me.

YES you should eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
YES you should buy foods grown without chemicals or drugs (and local when available).
YES when you buy meat, eggs and dairy these rules should also apply!

That is the message that I was hoping this book would send out. Not even close...

Do I think that their depiction of our current farming systems is true? Yes.

Do I buy that their solution (veganism) is the only solution? No.

Do I believe that not being vegan means that I will never be healthy and skinny? Fuck No.

The thing I disliked about this book the most was that if you didn't agree with them that you were a "fucking moron". And that if you didn't buy into their program you would be a "fat pig" forever.

Do we seriously still live in a world where this type of negative motivation is still okay?


OH! And I am officially down 11lbs today. And I eat meat and dairy. And I hate tofu.

--- Brianne

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've learned over the years that when it comes to fitness and losing weight that it is best to confess your failures and move on. Otherwise you end up dwelling on them and feeling guilty. I am here today to confess.

My name is Brianne and for 3-4 days every month I am a chocoholic.

My promise to put away the Kitchenaid was kept - sort of. I attempted cookies but my butter had gone bad and the cookies were a FAIL. The cookies went in the garbage - phew! Perhaps that was my Kitchenaid telling me that I should learn to keep my promises.

I wish that were the end of it. I must also confess to a box of Junior Mints - not the little box, the big box. And also a binge purchase of a tub of chocolate cappuccino frozen yogurt at the grocery store. Okay, at least I didn't get the full fat ice cream! However, I did eat the whole tub of frozen yogurt myself over the span of a few days. Bad girl.

I will also confess to 2 beers, but I had family in town so it was mandatory. Oh, and I was too busy to go to the gym yesterday and might not make it tonight due to errands.

Okay now that I have completely confessed I feel better and am ready to recommit - big time. Some of you may remember my "Sugar Free Summer of 2007" - it sounds bad but it was really good. Allie definitely remembers, and so does everyone at the Laalo wedding that summer who witnessed my "one cheat day for the wedding" with me sticking my fingers in the chocolate fountain. 

Anyway.... my point is that I have been contemplating a Sugar Free August - not just cakes and treats, but anything that contains sugar. This will include anything with an ingredients label that has "sugar" "glucose" "fructose" "corn syrup" etc. listed, and all simple sugars like anything made from non-whole grains.

It's kind of like a cleanse, without the actual cleanse kit. It seems extreme, but if anyone has done a proper cleanse before you will know that it's actually not THAT extreme. However most cleanses are only 1-2 weeks long.

Anyone feel like giving up sugar for August? You know you wanna!  Your digestive tract, your teeth and your belly will thank you :D

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Training Day #3

One word and one word only: Pain.

Although I've discovered that the best pre-workout snack for me is the Nature Valley's Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars. I'm not a breakfast eater and I go for my workouts at the strike of noon so if I don't eat something (which I failed to do last week), I nearly die during the workout and become so hungry that all I can think about is what I'm going to get for lunch instead of focusing on my lats. Oh man, these granola bars have come a long way from when I first started consuming them about 7 years ago - the extra addition of extra peanut butter seems to really do the trick for me. Mmmm, crunchy, delicious granola bars. I crave these things now -especially since I don't have much of a sweet tooth. These have become delicious candy for me in the morning and provide me with just enough of the energy I need to really work out with my trainer. Oh man, now I want another one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Muffin Tops

I’ll admit it, I’m a workaholic. Worst of all, I like money. Both of these factors have led to my extremely sedentary lifestyle. I wasn’t always like this. In fact, if you scroll down, you can read about my marathon training or how I was addicted to Group X classes at Goodlife. But since getting my first real job in January 2009, one with billable hour targets and utilization bonuses, I have been getting progressively “softer”.

In fact, I now have muffin tops. I’ve been in denial for a while, especially because they are still fairly easy to hide (if I’m vigilant of where my pants hit my waistline). But it’s dawning on me that this is how it starts – a little muffin top here, some butt cellulite there and before you know it, you are in a floral print moo-moo wondering how your fingers got too fat to dial for take-out.
In the past when I wanted to slim down, I would launch an obsessive work-out regiment, which is currently incompatible with my insane work schedule. Instead, I’m going to start with some baby steps which I will record here (along with the pictures of my muffin tops) for a sense of accountability and try to move toward a balance between work and life. Here are my goals for the next month:
  1. I will stop working by 7 pm.
  2. I will exercise 4 days/week for at least 1 hour
  3. I will substitute my glass of wine with a hot yoga class to distress after work.

  4. I will read this blog for inspiration.


Move Over, Hot Yoga

Last evening, during the first year anniversary of our house, I decided it was a good idea to DDR it up. To the Max!

Oh the Humidity! When we bought the house, the agent didn't tell me that it came with a built-in Hawt DDR studio. I was very impressed to learn I have such a studio but also with the heat and humidity that it was able to achieve. DDR says I burned 214 calories, but I feel it was more like 400+ due to the Hawt DDR Studio.

So, all those raving about Hot Yoga, I challenge you to try Hawt DDR.


ps. As a total random 'going on in Halifax' thing.... John Corbett is in town shooting a movie!


I tried to go for a run on Sunday - after about 5 minutes I was so exhausted from the heat that I made a final executive decision.  I jumped in my car and went down to the Dartmouth Sportsplex and bought myself a one year membership.  As it turns out the membership wasn't that expensive - and it comes with a lot of amenities.  Including a huge blast of A/C.

The concierge told me that the summer schedule is very light and then mentioned a kickboxing class that starts in the fall.  My hopes are high.  There is also Zumba which I swore I wasn't going to do but it might be my only current option.  Currently I am sticking to the cardio machines and weights.  My only complaint so far is that the weight area is full of 20-something men who hog all of the equipment and look at me funny when I ask how long they will be on the weighted squats bar.  Like a woman can't squat 100lbs.. sheesh.

The best part about my membership is the access to the rink and the pool - along with the steam and sauna rooms.  Oh and let's not forget the all-access pass to the Pirate's Cove:

A total of 4 water slides - all with varying lengths and heights.  Apparently it's "the bomb" and as an adult I will NOT be frowned upon for doing a cannonball when the green one spits me out 10 feet above the water. 

Now THAT is what I call a good ending to a workout!  Woot!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Shame shame shame... it's been too long.  Stevie thanks for the nudge :D

SO here is my dilemma - for the last 2 years I've been hopelessly devoted to Kickboxing (in Sudbury) which I loved more than words.  I now live in Halifax and there isn't really a kickboxing place, but there's a boxing place but it's not close by.  Here are the pertinent details:

1) My transportation is unreliable.  Although we have a car, Evan works nights half the time so I am without wheels.  I do have a bike however I have found my resolve lacking when it comes to biking anywhere more than 2km because of the extreme upward incline most of the roads take...

2) After several years of trying to motivate myself, I am now resolved to the fact that if left to my own devices I am more likely to stay home and read/knit rather than work out.  Therefore I need some sort of facility that motivates me

3) The boxing gym is accross the harbour - not within biking distance due to the fact that if I had to bike all the way there I would likely not go. 

4) There are 2 option in my neighborhood - the Dartmouth Sportsplex which is awesome with its pool/track/arena/gym etc however it is $100/month.  My other option is to join a karate school but it would only be once a week.

So there we have it.  I have been debating this with myself for over 2 months now... and I still haven't made a decision.  All I know is that I need an adrenaline output immediately before I spontaneously combust - I am used to daily kickboxing workouts where I can punch and kick things hard.  Really hard. 

Ladies, I need someone to tell me what to do so that I can finally make a decision!