Not Ready to Go Grey

Back to brunette for this cat
Back to brunette for this gal

Yeah… so, I feel a little embarrassed about my last post. I was all gung-ho to show my premature grey hair to the world but I am just not ready. I lasted one month. One. I had the worst PMS of my life and I partially attribute it to looking like something the cat dragged home. First off, I can’t pull off blonde in my opinion. It’s too harsh on me. I only dyed it that colour to ease the transition to grey. However, the hair at the back is actually pretty dark still, so that really showed. I do wonder if I will ever be able to pull off grey gracefully? Why does George Clooney look so amazing?

 

 

 

 

George Clooney - need I say more?
George Clooney – need I say more?

I digress. None of this really matters. Hair is hair. But feeling good about yourself on the outside does affect you on the inside and that is important. We don’t need to have the most expensive clothing and makeup but we should do what works for us. For now, for me, that means staying brunette for awhile longer.

 

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Erica

 

 

 

 

 

Transitioning to Grey Hair Before 40

Taking a break from dying my hair every two weeks!
Taking a break from dying my hair every two weeks!

I had another fun-filled year as a supply teacher and enjoyed an amazing summer with my boys. For the past few years I have been toying with the idea of letting my true hair colour flow free but societal norms have prevented me from actually following through with it. You see, I started going grey when I was 16 years old. I remember those first few silver hairs like it was yesterday… and not fondly! The old wive’s tale of for every hair you pull out, 10 more grow in seemed to definitely apply to me. I decided to get a box of Natural Instincts henna and I believe my first colour was cinnamon or tea or something to that effect. By 20 I had to use permanent dye lest I be the gal walking around with a sexy skunk-line at her roots. When I was 25 years old I went to Afghanistan for three months and dyed my roots three times in a steel bathroom contraption. There was one other woman who I caught doing it as well. Nobody else saw us at 4 in the morning. Looking back on that, I think it’s really funny that I was so concerned with my grey hair showing because I didn’t wear any make-up the whole time I was there and I dressed like a bum in the evenings…

Anyway! A few years ago I posed a question to my “friends” on Facebook about what they thought of grey hair on women. Only my female friends said to go for it. The men said they considered it aging. I took to Pinterest and Google to see if there were women out there who looked good with silver hair and I was shocked to find plenty. There has been a huge trend over the past few years for young women and girls to dye their locks grey/silver and it looks amazing in my opinion.

Me being a "rebel" using Clairol's Born Blonde
Me being a “rebel” using Clairol’s Born Blonde

Close to three weeks ago I decided to try growing out my greys “for real!” I had tried several times in the past but it was the stark line between the dyed brown and the silver that sent me running for another bottle of Garnier Nutrisse (number 50 in case you need a good dye) every time. I did something drastic! I purchased two boxes of Clairol’s Born Blonde and my hair went a disgusting shade of orange. I knew that was a very good possibility so I put a hat on the next day and bought two more boxes. Same thing but lighter orange this time. I watched a YouTube video from a Clairol rep and he said that the most important thing after using Born Blonde is to tone your hair. (NOTE TO CLAIROL: PUT THAT ON YOUR BOXES!! Instead of the pictures showing your brown “before” hair turning a perfect blonde “after,” you should have a Step 2 as part of the process. You would also sell more products, I’m just saying!)

Ahhh, third try's a charm! Thank-you Garnier Nutrisse #81
Ahhh, third try’s a charm! Thank-you Garnier Nutrisse #81

Anyways! I ended up getting three boxes of Garnier Nutrisse Medium Ash Blonde and that did the trick! I was now ready to grow out my natural hair without the horrid demarcation line. I got a great hair cut and have used lots of conditioner to keep my hair soft. I eased up on the washing and am using more dry shampoo for the roots. So far, so good. I hope I am able to stick with it but only time will tell…

 

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Erica

Back to School 6-Day Workout Program

Back to School Time
Back to School Time

Hard to believe it’s nearly that time of year. The Staples commercials are in full effect and Walmart line-ups are reaching an all-time high. My boys have their new backpacks and lunch bags ready to go and I’m mentally preparing myself to get back into supply teaching full swing. I have to think about school Lunch and Snack Ideas for my lads again.

How did you do fitness-and-health-wise this summer? Did you gain a few vacation pounds? I did better this summer and maintained my weight. I tried to keep up with some light workouts and I’m thankful that I did because my knees are pain-free. Really, I think it’s the stretching at the end of a workout that’s key. I don’t really stretch unless I’ve exercised, which isn’t good.

Anyways! If you’re looking for a challenging gym workout, here’s one that you can do in 4-6 days (just remove one or two of the cardio days if necessary). If you only have 3 days a week to workout, try my 3-Day Workout Program.

Here’s the Program (modify as you see fit):

Monday: Legs  

Superset #1

  • Seated Leg Curl 3 sets 15 reps
  • Squats 3 sets x 15 reps

Superset #2 –

  • Reverse Lunges 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Leg Extension 3 sets x 15 reps

Superset #3 –

  • Plie Squat – 3 x 15 reps
  • Split Squat (see pic below) – 3 x 15 reps

Tuesday: Cardio/Abs

  • 25 mins HIIT Cardio or 35 mins Steady-State Cardio and Abs

Wednesday: Back/Chest/Shoulders and 15-20 mins Cardio

Giant Set #1

  • Barbell Row 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 3 sets x15 reps
  • Seated Shoulder Press 3 sets x 15 reps

Giant Set #2

  • Single Arm Dumbbell Row 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable Crossovers (or Dumbbell Flies) 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Lateral Raises 3 sets x 15 reps

Thursday: Cardio/Abs

  • 25 mins HIIT Cardio or 35 mins Steady-State Cardio and Abs

Friday: Arms/Cardio

Superset #1

  • Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Triceps Push Down (or Kickbacks) 3 sets x 15 reps

Superset #2

  • Standing EZ Curl Bar 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Lying Down Triceps Skull Crushers 3 sets x 15 reps

Superset #3

  • Seated Hammer curl 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Triceps Bench Dips 3 sets x 12 – 20 reps

Saturday: Glutes and 15-20 mins Cardio

Superset #1

  • Glute Bridges (see pic below) 4 sets x 20 reps
  • Kick Backs 4 sets x 20 reps per leg

Superset #2

  • Deadlifts 4 sets x 20 reps
  • Wide Stance Squats 4 sets x 12 reps

Sunday: Day off 

Split Squat (source: crossfitzone.ca)
Split Squat (source: crossfitzone.ca)
Different Types of Glute Bridges (Source: http://losing-every-extra-pound.tumblr.com/)
Different Types of Glute Bridges (Source: http://losing-every-extra-pound.tumblr.com/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you like the program. Let me know what you think!

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Erica 

Tone It Up – 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous Review

214461Yesterday I wrote a review about Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis Method and it was a bit negative. Today I want to share with you an A-MAZING workout program created by Katrina Scott & Karena Dawn. I purchased their book Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous when school ended and I did their program over the month of July. I missed a couple of days here and there but I really enjoyed the book. I don’t have one negative thing to say!

 

 

Positive Points: 

 

047891_TIU_771) This book is UPLIFTING. Each day there is a Word of the Day and a Mantra which are inspiring.

2) The women are happy and healthy and REAL. Their pictures throughout the book make you want to get together with your BFF and frolic in the ocean.

3) The workouts are totally do-able and challenging. They progress weekly and include cardio workouts (follow theirs or do your own), HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and Circuit Training. You can choose your own weight based on your ability or do some exercises without any added weight.

 

black_blue_angle_photoshop4) I did the workouts while camping one week. All I needed was a mat, two sets of weights (I brought 10 lbs and 5 lbs), and my GymBoss timer. A timer is helpful and I recommend getting one. You do not need a gym membership to do this program – it can be done in the comfort of your own home or while travelling.

5) There is no diet included but there are wonderful healthy eating tips. I admire the women for not creating a cookie cutter diet to go with the plan. Bravo!!

 

I rate this book a 10 out of 10 because it follows my personal philosophy of healthy living.

Yours in Health and Happiness,

Erica

Tracy Anderson Metamorphosis Method Review

Hi there. It has been a ridiculously long time since I blogged and I feel a bit awkward getting back into it. It’s like that first moment when you see someone from your past and you don’t know how to start the conversation. How are you? What have you been up to? How’s the family?

Okay, niceties aside, I feel compelled to do a few fitness guru reviews (try saying that 10 times fast). Today I’m going to give you my opinion of Tracy Anderson. I don’t want to be negative and I realize that karma can be a real you-know-what when you put others down but I’m writing this from a health perspective entirely.

Womens-Health-June-2015-Gwyneth-PaltrowFirst off, I purchased the June 2015 Women’s Health magazine with the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow gracing its cover. Gwyneth looks lean and healthy and happy and she says that she feels more comfortable in a bathing suit now than she did 20 years ago thanks to Tracy Anderson. She began working out with Anderson in 2006 and now the two women are business partners. The magazine article was just so positive that I Googled Tracy Anderson and purchased her Metamorphosis DVDs.

The DVDs arrived in the mail last week and I was so excited to try them out… inside the package are several pamphlets and a tape measure that my boys broke in about 2.5 seconds. One pamphlet is entitled, “Let’s Get Started,” and on the first page is a message from Gwyneth, herself. It is extremely positive and ends with, “Her program might seem a little tough at first, but stick with it. Have faith in Tracy – she transformed my body and I know she can do the same for you.” Lovely.

tracy-anderson-coverNext page is Tracy’s message… First sentence is: “Perfection is possible.” Uh-oh. I don’t like where this is going. Right off the bat that is such a scary message. What exactly is perfection? Tracy goes on to say, “Picture your ideal body, whether it’s a sexy celebrity body, or a friend that you have always admired. My Method allows me to design that dream for you.” Honestly, I can’t believe how horrifying it is that somebody can make a delusional promise like that. I probably would have believed that crap in the past. A better message is this: Be the Best YOU. Don’t try to be/look like somebody else or you will set yourself up for failure. 

Okay, this brings me to the next pamphlet, her “Dynamic Eating Plan.” Holy smokes, there’s nothing dynamic about it!!! You basically starve yourself for 90 days. Not basically, you DO. And no wonder she can make guarantees about weight loss when you aren’t putting proper nutrition into your body. First off, Tracy does not provide a daily calorie count. I’m 5’11” so no cookie cutter diet is EVER going to work for me. If you starve yourself, you actually mess with your metabolism. Anderson says, “I’ve spent years researching nutrition and its effects on the body – both good and bad. I’ve developed an eating plan that’s healthful and delicious, promotes weight loss, satisfies cravings, gives you mental clarity, and offers a path to physical transformation.” Bull$#%^!!!!

I wanted to see if anybody else had researched her bogus diet and I found out that the daily calorie count for the first week is 700 calories!!!! I also found out that many other women have shared the same thoughts about this program. One woman had a tough time not vomiting up her “Power Juice.” Needless to say, I’m not into dieting anyways, so I decided to just jump into the workouts and see what I thought.

The Metamorphosis Method is a 90-day program with 6 days working out and 1 day rest. Every 10 days the “weight” workout changes but you have to do the same half-hour cardio dance each time. I found the dancing pretty fun but I can’t imagine doing it every day. BORING!! Tracy gives a bit of a pep talk on her cardio DVD, and tells you that “Even if every family member has had big hips for the past 17 generations, you don’t have to.” Wow. What about that minor thing called bones? And again, she states that if you do everything she tells you to do, you WILL have a perfect body.

The “weight” routine. Notice the deliberate quotation marks. Tracy says that you never need to use more than 3 lb weights because unless you can keep up with weight lifting, you’re just going to end up with saggy skin when you’re older. Wow. I say lift what you can because your muscle mass decreases after age 35 and personally, I want to be able to get up when I fall without a broken bone when I’m 80 years old, thank you very much. There is nothing wrong with a dancer’s body, and I think Tracy looks stunning, but I find muscle on women to be equally, if not more, attractive. To each their own. No shaming, no judging.

side-dip-and-high-lift-400x400Tracy begins the routine with some arm lifts, which are slightly challenging with the 3 lb weights due to the arm positioning (and the fact that I have long monkey arms). She then does standing and floor ab work, and finally, she moves on to the gruelling butt/hip work. I purchased the Hipcentric DVDs so I can only imagine what the Abcentric ones are like… I have to do 5 different leg exercises on my hands and knees for a total of 220 reps on each leg. There is NO rest. I feel compelled to do the workouts because I spent $140 on it!!! I did the workout twice last week and three times this week. The only body pain I have is in my neck from being on my hands and knees for so long!!

Final thoughts: I think this workout is okay if you don’t mind repetitiveness. I might incorporate these workouts in with others just to keep my body guessing. I don’t agree with the diet at all. That’s all for today. Talk to you soon.

Yours in Health and Happiness, 

Erica