Sheryl Jesin


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Hammer and Chisel – My One Month Results

Recently I completed 4 out of the 8 weeks of the new home workout program I am doing called Hammer and Chisel.

My main goals for this program were to increase my strength, and lose a bit of fat in stubborn areas, such as my lower belly, upper arms and upper back.

Also, I wanted to clean up my eating a bit more…I’m usually a clean eater but over the winter break my sugar intake went up and my healthy food intake went down.

4 weeks into the program, I’m happy to report that I have made great progress towards all of the above mentioned goals!

I started the program at 132.8, and on day 30 I weighed 130.  At one point I had gotten down to 127, and when that happened I changed my nutrition plan a bit.  It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to actually build muscle instead of just losing weight, so I moved up in my daily calories.  This was tough for me mentally…as women we tend to want to lose weight, rather than gain weight.    It took me a couple days to get over the mental block, and now I am enjoying the extra food.

I always tell the women in my challenge groups that the scale is just one tool to measure progress…and that measurements, pictures and how our clothes feel are also really important things to consider.

As for my measurements, let’s compare day 1 and day 30

Chest – Day 1 – 33.5, Day 30 -33

Right arm – Day 1 – 10.75,  Day 30 – 11

Left arm – Day 1 – 10.75, Day 30 – 11

Waist – Day 1 – 28.5, Day 30 – 27.5

Bellybutton – Day 1 – 33, Day 30 -32

Hips – Day 1 – 34, Day 30 – 34.5

Right thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 30 – 20.5

Left thigh – Day 1 – 21.25, Day 30 – 20.5

It is interesting to see that I lost inches all over, except for my arms where I gained a bit.  I feel like my arms actually look more toned and they definitely are stronger, so that increase was due to an increase in muscle mass, I believe.

I always find that pictures tell the truth….sometimes I don’t actually feel like my body is changing, but a picture shows me otherwise:

 It can get easy to get caught up in the numbers and the pictures…while I like the challenge of sculpting my body and building muscle mass….these aren’t the true reasons why I love working through a program.

My workouts are “me time”.  They are my mood boosters.  They make me happy and they give me energy, and they help me focus during the rest of the day.  They are the one thing I give to myself each and every day.  As a mom I’m always giving, giving, and giving and it feels good to give something back to myself!

I love the challenge of working through a program and the sense of completion I feel as I move towards the end.  It feels good to accomplish something and it makes me feel like I can tackle anything that comes my way!

Can’t wait to see what month 2 has in store for me!

I’m putting together my next 21 day health and fitness challenge.  We start February 29th.  If you have been wanting to start taking better care of yourself – this is the perfect opportunity!  Join my supportive community of women who help each other on their journies towards better health.  Be a part of our group – work out everyday for 30 mins from the comfort of your home, learn about portion controlled clean eating and enrich your mind, body and spirit!  If you want more info, please shoot me an email at sheryl@ikor.com  or PM me via Facebook and I will get back to you ASAP with the details about the challenge. 

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Running in the Rain

Today’s contribution to Marathon Week will be about running in the rain.  For two weeks prior to my half marathon, I obsessively checked the weather app on my iPhone many, many times each day.  Each time I checked, the forecast remained the same – RAIN!  The good news was that the prediction was that the day would be warm (high of 18 degrees Celsius, starting out at 10 degrees at 8:30 am, when the race began).

I have run many times in the rain, and I actually find it quite enjoyable.  The rain keeps you cool when running.  You feel like a real runner when you run in the rain, not just someone who jogs occasionally on the weekend if the weather is nice.  So, I had some experience with inclement weather, but I had never completed a long run in the rain.   21km in the rain terrified me.  I worried about blisters on my feet, staying warm enough (it was expected to be a windy day), and I worried about chafing from my wet clothing.

In the end, the rain was not a problem at all.  It was pouring when I left my house, and it continued to rain while I waited in my corral.  The rain slowed down to a drizzle as the race started and luckily pretty much stopped after the first 15 minutes of the race.

Here’s what I did to tackle the rain:

  • I slathered my feet with vaseline in the morning before I put on my socks.  My shoes were soaked within minutes of getting out of my car before the race.   They stayed wet for the next 3.5 hours, but I didn’t get one single blister.
  • I put coconut oil on my body in areas where I was worried about chafing.  This included my arm pits, and a number of areas under the edges of my sports bra.  I didn’t chafe at all!
  • I kept warm and dry before the start of a race by bringing a large throwaway umbrella with me, and by wearing a garbage bag, which I took off just before I crossed the start line.  My clothes barely got wet and I stayed warm.
  • I didn’t worry about puddles.  My feet got soaked as soon as I stepped out of my car.  It would have been very hard to try and run around puddles, and it likely would have wasted a lot of energy.  My feet were wet, and I just accepted it, and enjoyed splashing through puddles.
  • I wore a running hat with a brim, which kept the rain off my face during the first part of the race when it was drizzling a bit.
  • I wore a running technical t-shirt and a running skirt.  I did not wear a waterproof running jacket, and I did not wear pants or capris.  The fabric of my clothes was wicking and quick- drying (gotta love Lululemon!)  I knew that the high of the day would be 18 degrees and any extra layers would have overheated me.  I saw a lot of people with jackets on at the start, and pretty much everyone took them off.  I saw a lot of people wearing long sleeves and long pants and they were sweating profusely.  They were really overdressed.

Have you ever run a race in the rain?  Do you have any tips to add?


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Half-Marathon Training – Weeks 7, 8, 9, 10

Half-marathon training has been progressing nicely, even though I haven’t been very good at blogging about it!

I’ve switched from running 4 days a week to running either 3 or 4 days a week, depending on how I’m feeling.   I find that my legs really need that extra day off running to rest and recover.   In lieu of the 4th run, I’ve been cross-training with either Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD, or a workout from my Nike Training Club App.

Here’s what I’ve done the last 4 weeks:

Week 7 – 2 miles, 9 miles, 4 miles

Week 8 – 3 miles, 4 miles, 4 miles, 2 miles

Week 9 – 2 miles, 10 miles, 4 miles

Week 10 – 3 miles, 11 miles, 2 miles (planned), 6 miles (planned – Yonge St. 10k)

As you can see, my long run has progressed to 11 miles.  I ran the 11 miles today.  I don’t want to say it was easy, because it wasn’t, but it was definitely manageable.  I find the long runs to be empowering, and they give me a sense of accomplishment.   When I’m feeling stressed during my daily activities (kids won’t go to bed, kitchen is a disaster after dinner) I often think back to my run and think that if I can run 9, or 10, or 11 miles then I can certainly get the kids to bed or clean up the kitchen!!

The long runs are also draining.  I find I am energized and have a runner’s high after a 3 or 4 mile run, but after 11 miles, I’m tired.  And it doesn’t really matter that I’m tired.  It’s not like I can put my legs up for the rest of the day or have a nap – I still have my kids to chase after, groceries to buy and dinner to make.  Oh and I’m not complaining.  I chose to run the half-marathon and I’m still glad that I’m training for it and doing it.   I’m just saying it’s draining.   Because it is!  I have new found respect for every athlete that is also a mom.

While the long runs are tiring, I’m grateful that I can do them.  I often run through a beautiful cemetery near our house.  Here’s one of the stunning views I experience on my runs:

There is something very humbling about being able to run through a cemetery.  I’ve witnessed a truck digging a grave a few times, and I’ve also run by a few funerals.   There’s nothing like being reminded of death to make you think about life, and what you want to make of it!  As Steve Jobs so eloquently said in his 2005 Standford commencement address, “Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent.”

So I will end with that deep thought.  Goodnight!