Health & Well-Being

Confessions of a Fitness Addict

I’m a fitness addict— a fitness junkie. Exercise is my drug of choice and I crave for the pain and intensity it causes. I feel the best when I’m dripping with sweat after thinking I was going to get a heart-attack from a hardcore workout. That feeling lasts all day, all night until my next workout where I die for an hour or so and then I feel amazing again. That is the high of a fitness addict.

Confessions of a fitness addict:

  • When I heard my cyclist-coworker’s wife gave birth to their first child, the first thought that came to my mind:

    “Omigod. He won’t be able to cycle as much anymore…”

  • I can get up at 5am for a workout no problem but for anything else… good luck. It’s usually me screaming at boyfriend to wake the fuck up for our early rides or workouts but on other mornings, it’s usually him unsuccessfully trying to drag me out of bed. Or him jumping angrily out of bed after I’ve snoozed my alarm for 2 hours. He always complains how I have such a hard time getting up for anything except working out.

I have found iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me. It never runs. Friends may come and go but two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength, Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, its impossible to turn back, the iron never lies to you.

  • Naps are fun. After working out early in the morning, I may get to work early, power nap in the car until 10am then I will drag my groggy-self into the office and microwave my Americano that got cold during my nap. Sometimes, I’ll come back in the afternoon and take another power nap in the car.
  • I crave for pain. Being in my current mindset, I sometimes don’t understand why other people don’t find excitement in doing the Grouse Grind or biking/running up a really steep hill. Whether I am planning to do the Grouse Grind, go for a long, hard and hilly bike ride, 100 burpees or a Crossfit workout, it’s that painfully satisfying feeling that I’m constantly craving for. If my mind is set on working out, it better be hard or I won’t be satisfied!!
  • I think 6-packs and huge muscles are overrated. Too many people I know train to get big and buff but then they go out and party, drink, smoke and do drugs like no tomorrow. This really proves that just because you are ripped does NOT mean you are healthy. People who live a healthy and balanced lifestyle inspire me— not their bodies.
  • Social media is a dangerous tool. It saddens me when people gain so many followers because they post images of themselves working out and eating clean but again, they are constantly smoking, drinking, partying and doing too much drugs. Not to mention the those who are sickly skinny and only workout occasionally but aren’t really committed into the lifestyle for the right reasons. I understand that people like to show off their progress but it makes me sad how naive the world is. Uneducated people (and people who only want to be skinny) should not be the center of influence just because they occasionally workout. On the other hand, nice bodies DO motivate people to get fit and be more mindful of what they eat… so it really comes down to how stupid or not stupid you are in finding your own way to do it right.
  • I spend too much money on workout gear. Because I’m afraid of running out of clean clothes on the days I get too lazy or forget to do my laundry. You can never have enough sports bras, bike shorts, tank tops and socks. But it’s the most well spent money ever!
  • I really learned my lesson this year and have been very careful about over training and recovery. I use to ignore random pains and continuous aches but now I get them treated by making sure I make my physio and RMT appointments and taking rest days. I’ve been battling with a tight IT band and knee pain for the past couple of months and it was not fun.
  • I’m boring because health, fitness and cycling is what I live for. Sometimes when I’m supposed to be socializing, I don’t want to be talking about anything except for health, fitness and cycling. Sometimes I feel like I cannot connect with people because we have such different mindset and interests. I don’t care about boating, beaching, tanning and designer purses. All I want to do is ride my bike, lift some weights and eat poutine.
  • I think I am somewhat of a judgmental fitness snob. But I don’t care. There are so many things wrong with the fitness industry.

Are you a fitness addict? What are your confessions?


    Pink Road Army: Do You Hate Pink?

    I will get offended if you call me a girly girl. I hate chick flicks, chit lit and romance novels. When a sappy scene in a movie comes on, I usually pick up my phone and go through my social media feeds because sappy sweet talk is so ZZZZ. What about those scenes when the world is about to end but a couple just has to stop and make out for 5 minutes?! That stuff drives me crazy and I’m sure Boyfriend is sick of me yelling, “omigod! they need to die” every time. Yes, I know I am cold-hearted and have no appreciation for sappiness. I didn’t even watch The Notebook until last year and thought it was meh (actually, I forgot what it was about already).

    Don’t get me wrong, I love dressing up and LOOKING girly …but my girly is usually a mix of edgy so that it’s not all frills and lace, which definitely does not suit my personality at all. That goes with workout gear as well.

    Forever Cycling

    I owned a number of bikes growing up and they were mostly pink. I definitely did not DRESS as a girly girl though. Mom should have just gotten me a psychedelic rainbow bike… that probably would have suit me better back then.

    Remember those days when we were little girls and rode Barbie-pink and white bicycles with floral decals, tassels on the handlebars and a pretty basket? These days, I have to admit I would rather look more aggressive on the road, with gear that is dominated by more masculine colors and blacks. Why is that? Sometime I wonder if I am sub-consciously denying my femininity because cycling is such a male-dominated sport. I mean I LOVE my bright pink tops when I’m at the gym or when I’m running I use to run— but why not when I’m on the road. It really just doesn’t seem like a “roadie” thing. Why??!!

    Is it because pink is unfortunately associated with weakness and passiveness? With Barbies, blonds and airheads? And since cycling is a male dominated sport, is it because I feel as if I need to fit in with the masses?

    There was an article published a couple of weeks ago on The Guardian, Why must cycling companies saddle women with pink? which argued that all the pinkified cycling gear saturating the market is leading to a less assertive riding style for women which is also compromising their safety.

    Why do girls need to prove that they fit in with the guys?
    Why do girls feel the need to assert their femininity and separate themselves from the guys?
    Why do some girls hate pink?

    T-Mobile team and some guy in pink spandex.

    Look Ma! Guys wear pink too!

    I don’t think the problem here is pink, rather, it’s choice. Clothing is a form of expression and there simply isn’t enough choice for women when it comes to cycling gear. Everyone has different styles, some love pink, some hate pink, some are indifferent.

    But the market is saturated with pastel pinks, baby blues, lilacs, florals, psychedelic swirls and PINKS and although there are neutrally designed gear for women, there are not many choices or they are ridiculously expensive, especially for a casual cyclist just looking for something functional to wear. I’m sure there is a market for both so companies need to start catering to all women.

    Me? I am NOT anti-pink! I love embracing my femininity and I do love wearing [certain shades of] pink. Although I prefer to wear more neutral gear when cycling, I will usually have a subtle hint of pink on my cycling jersey or gloves, a pink or red sports bra peeking out or maybe even pink socks. And the problem is maybe that I’ve never seen the perfectly-fitted jersey in the right shade of pink yet either.

    I’ve never noticed it but sub-consciously, I think I do it to stand out in a male dominated industry— I only wear pink when working out but I don’t have pink in my daily wardrobe. I don’t want to be one of the guys nor that girly girl but somewhere in between; I’m female after all and have no shame in embracing my vain girly self. And when on the road or at the gym with a bunch of guys, it’s great to be visible as a woman who can lift as much or bike as fast as they can… or even more. Harharhar.

    Hints of Pink

    Hints of pink at the gym and on the road.

    Here are my thoughts to companies that develop women’s cycling gear:

    • Don’t stop producing pink gear! Some of us still embrace pink even though there are those that think “pink is not cool.” Not everyone feels the need to be cool. *insert sad face here*
    • The shade of pink really matters. Pale and pastels  ain’t that great yet hot, bright pinks are awesome and bold. They are still feminine yet shocking. Love it.
    • Floral designs, swirls, psychedelic prints are harder to sell but I’m sure there is a small market for it. Just because I’m the kind of girl who says, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that” doesn’t mean I’m speaking for the general population. But again, design has to be thought out carefully and not just plastered on a jersey just because it looks good. As a designer, I am biased but some companies obviously need to hire better designers.
    • Pinks can be extremely shocking— great for visibility on the road but not psychedelic enough to cause accidents.
    • Pinks can be integrated into designs more tastefully. Especially if balanced out with more neutrals or if hinted subtly.
    • Aside from pink, women loves all colors as well from bright yellow, orange to lime green, red and blue.

    And since we are talking about cycling, my dream bike would be matte black with hints of shocking pink and bright yellow or lime green. All black bikes are too masculine, don’t stand out enough and I dislike red and blue bikes. I can’t hold in my inner girly self! Also, my favorite workout tops are my bright pink Under Armour and Nike tanks and long-sleeves and I wish they had back pockets so they’re more functional when I cycle. Those tops are perfectly fitted and a nice, shocking pink that’s not pastel or pale. What about you?

    As a blogger, all my #VainMirrorPics come in handy. it helps my blog entries look a tiny bit more interesting. Perfect reason.

    As a blogger, all my #VainMirrorPics come in handy. it helps my blog entries look a tiny bit more interesting. Yes, perfect reasoning for my vain-self.

    Pink is just another color and I’ll continue wearing it because I think I look good in it (at least way better than the clown costume). After writing this entry, I think I’m going to start wearing my pink tops more often when cycling (except that it doesn’t match my bike… Sigh. Must not be vain. Must not be vain.). In the end, if you feel good in something and it gives you confidence, fuck what everyone else says and just do it!

    How do you feel about pink?


      How to Not Waste Your Time at the Gym

      I Fucking Love Fitness

      Smile (or not)! Shameless gym-selfie time. I took this picture to write about how weak I got because of not being consistent with my weightlifting. I was struggling with 24kg kettlebells. Sigh.

      Summer is over and fall is officially here. To me this means saying goodbye to my lazy summer ways and welcome with open arms: new projects, new contracts, back to hardcore workouts at the gym, absolute commitment and no excuses whatsoever. I’ve been mentally preparing myself for the craziness that is coming ahead, which starts the next week so this means I don’t have much time to finish my new obsession on Netflix: Battlestar Galactica (best TV show ever, by the way).

      I live by the cliché, work hard, play harder because even though work  sometimes drives me crazy, I love it! I know if I can get all my shit done quickly and efficiently, I can still live life to the fullest and don’t have to make any major sacrifices. I guess I’m lucky to have a career I’m passionate about and even though it’s flexible, a busy schedule means major commitment, careful planning and knowing what my priorities are. I do spend more time in the gym in the fall since the weather isn’t deal for outdoor workouts and frequent bike rides but my workouts are shorter and more efficient yet they are still as effective and beneficial.

      How to Not Waste Your Time at the Gym:

      • If your friends distract you in any way, do NOT workout with them. Don’t feel bad— you need to get your shit done and so do they. Friends are allowed to ignore each other at the gym.
      • In fact, you are allowed to ignore everyone at the gym. Just throw on your headphones and your music doesn’t even have to be on but as long as no one is talking to you, it’s working! And no, it’s NOT rude. You need to get your shit done, remember?
      • If you are talking to someone at the gym, do not talk about work or life. Only talk about workout and fitness related topics. The gym isn’t time to talk about babies or shoes… it’s time to talk about beastmode-y stuff (and yes, you are allowed to rant about the smelly B.O. coming from the treadmill area).
      • Create a complete workout plan that not only includes what you are going to do but how long you are going to do it for. Keep your eye on the clock, stick with the plan and get out of there by your pre-determined time. You’ll be surprised at how much harder and faster you will work out if you have a goal in mind.
      • Or schedule a massage right afterwards like I sometimes do. You don’t want to miss that massage, huh? Then stop slacking off at the gym!
      • Take a class so you don’t have to plan a workout and so you will know how long you will be working out since the class length is always pre-determined.
      • Take as little breaks as possible in between sets and exercises to keep your heart rate up. Unless you are a body builder, split-training or weight lifting with long breaks in between each set isn’t beneficial to you. Waste. Of. Time.
      • Instead, do full body intervals with a combination of everything (weights, sprints, plyometrics, etc). Note, if you don’t know what you’re doing, hire a trainer.
      • AMRAP. As many rounds as possible. A couple of months ago, I discovered how hard I push doing AMRAPs because I always set ridiculous goals for myself and usually meet them. One of my favorites is a 12 minute AMRAP of 5 Clean + Press + Front Squat + 15 Hollow Rocks (or some other core exercise).
      • If you do need to take breaks, make them productive breaks. Jog on the spot, do some mobility exercises, etc. I love to stretch my hip flexors, ITB and calves in between sets when I’m lifting heavy and need more rest.
      • Do compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups along with high intensity cardio for the most efficient and fat-blasting workout in the shortest amount of time.
      • Don’t take your cellphone with you. Oops.
      • Don’t take shameless gym-selfies. Oops. Guilty.