Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Day For The Giveaway

Today is the last day of November and, therefore, the last day to comment on the Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway! Please, if you haven’t yet left a remark on the post consider doing so now! We are more than two-thirds of the way to reaching our goal, but there are still lots of opportunities for people to help make my, and the other four generous donors’, wallets a little slimmer! If you missed out on the explanation, every person who leaves a comment on this post means that $5 will be given to help the less fortunate. Also, if a person links back to the post from their blog (and returns to leave a second remark) another $5 will be donated. A few seconds of writing is all it takes for you to make a huge difference, so please think about commenting to help reach the total goal of $500. Thank you!

Atta Girl!

I received the Atta Girl Award from Diane at Fit to the Finish today! What a fantastic badge to be recognized with… I am honoured that someone thinks I have or will make a difference with what I write on this blog. Thank you, Diane!

I did a lot of running around earlier in the day, but once I got home I was working on Christmas presents for the majority of the evening so I didn’t move off the couch too much once I settled in. I finally realized that it was starting to get late and that I had not worked out yet - just like yesterday, when the whole day kind of escaped me - so I told myself that I needed to get active.

I am tempted here to say that sometimes my inner sloth still wants to take over, but I think that it is more a case of me getting busy again with the approaching holidays and not properly budgeting enough time to get everything done. At least, that is what I am telling myself. I am taking the gentler approach with me tonight!

I have lots of things floating around in my head - none of which are particularly related to this weight loss journey - and I have found it a bit distracting the past few days. The main thing I was able to decipher from the jumble of thoughts, when out with my husband this afternoon, is that I am having trouble getting excited about Christmas. That may not seem like too big of a deal considering we are still technically in November, but I am normally the very first person to start being energized by the approaching season. I love this time of year - absolutely love it! But, I haven’t yet been able to embody the spirit like I have in the past. I just wish I could capture the essence of midwinter for more than the few fleeting moments I have managed here and there over the last couple of weeks.

Anyhow, I don’t mean to ramble on about a non-health related issue, but I guess it is really bothering me. I wonder if there are any Santa lead aerobics videos online? That would certainly get me into the swing of the season while staying focused on the weight loss plan. I always knew multitasking served a grand purpose!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light peanut butter and light strawberry jam
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 8 pieces of a dynamite sushi roll with soy sauce
- 1 mug of steamed eggnog mixed with steamed soy milk
- 1 banana
- 2 cups Caesar salad with fat free dressing and croutons

- 35 minute walk with jogging intervals

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poor Performance

Wow, did this day ever get away from me… I am all out of time, all out of excuses, and all out of the ability to think up something clever to write. It is what it is.

I just did a set of stomach crunches to not feel like the day was a total write off. I’m not sure how tomorrow will go either, unfortunately, because I have a very early start and am unlikely to even have the time to post in the morning. Yeah. This certainly won’t ever make the top of my list for days I feel contributed to my overall weight loss. What a waste…

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 Mandarin oranges
- 1 cup of canned peaches
- 1 sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced deli chicken, cheese, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 2 egg omelet with red and yellow peppers
- 1 glass of caramel macchiato soy milk
- 1/2 cup fat free chocolate pudding
- 1 celery stalk with tzatziki yogurt dressing
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk

- 50 stomach crunches

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Weigh-In For Week 16

Well, I honestly was not expecting to lose so much this week given the slow start, but I am totally thrilled to report a five pound drop! I weighed in this morning at 195.4 which means that I have shed just over seventy pounds from my highest weight and just about sixty in the past three and a half months! November 25 was the day I actually slipped into onederland, but today is the first time I am putting an official number on my sidebar that starts with a ‘1’. Sometimes it’s the little things that make this journey so exciting and satisfying!

Speaking of exciting and satisfying – no, not that! *wink* – I would like to profusely thank Kimberley for also offering to match dollar for dollar whatever is raised for the Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway! The donation has more than doubled in size since yesterday and we are currently exactly half way to reaching goal. With Kimberley's contribution, along with the other three fabulous donors and myself, you now have the potential to help raise up to $500 for those less fortunate, so if you haven’t yet commented on the post, please check it out! Each new commenter basically helps commit $5 to the cause at no cost to themselves!

Together we can reach all of our goals!!!

Challenge Check-In And Scribbling Away

A big thanks to Dawne from 365 Days To A New Me for bestowing the Superior Scribbler Award unto me! I just love these things! Not only do I feel as though some wonderful honour has been given to me whenever I receive something like this, but I also generally get to pass on the accolade to other worthy recipients!

The guidelines for this award are set out as follows:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass the award on to five most deserving bloggers.
2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author and the name of the blog from whom s/he has received the award.
3. Each Superior Scribbler must display the award on his/her blog, and link to The Scholastic Scribe, which explains the award.
4. Each blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List (I actually couldn’t figure out where to add my name so if you do please let me know). That way, they'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives this prestigious honour.
5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So I happily offer this fun badge of recognition to a small number of the wonderful bloggers out there:

1. Diane at Fit To The Finish
2. Jack at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit
3. Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink!
4. Sean at The Daily Diary Of A Winning Loser
5. The Whole Team at Cranky Fitness

Onto another fun blogging element, it is time for those participating in the Looking to the Future Christmas Challenge to leave remarks confirming their continued participation and offering up some updated statistics. I know a few of you have had a hard go of it this last week, but stay strong! This challenge is much more about keeping focused and the support we can give to one another than about a specific number. Remember that the weekly check-in comment you leave is one more entry to win the dream catcher.

I did manage to get in a really great, long, dry walk today, but the workout video I was contemplating just didn’t happen. My back is killing me for some reason (I have a pillow behind me as I type this to try and relieve it a bit) so I figured continuing to exert myself was not the way to go. I am one of those people who get random aches and pains every now and then, but they tend to not amount to much at all so I am hoping this ache will be gone by tomorrow. I am off to bed now to try and get a good night’s rest prior to weighing in come morning. Here’s hoping I turn out to be a loser!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light peanut butter
- 1 banana
- 1 sandwich on whole wheat bread with sliced deli chicken, cheese, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 cup strawberries
- 3/4 cup fat free blueberry yogurt with 1/2 cup canned peaches
- 2 celery stalks with tzatziki yogurt dressing

- 2 hour and 15 minute walk

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snow: A Musing

There are still lots of chances to swing by my giveaway post! Joanne has also very generosity offered to join in, matching the donation dollar for dollar, so we now have an opportunity to raise $400! Keep those comments coming, people!!!

The day is dry, although the cloud cover does look rather threatening, so I am planning another trek outside as soon as I am able. I am not a huge fan of walking in the rain although I will do it, but it is the approaching promise of snow that really lets me know my days of enjoying the great outdoors may be limited. I am not exactly the most graceful of beings and the white stuff – though lovely in its own right – just doesn’t tend to agree with my footing. I am hoping that it stays away as long as possible since I do not foresee myself venturing out much at all in streets covered with a layer of glittering snow.

I don’t have a whole lot else on the agenda for the day. Depending on how the walk goes, I may try and get in an exercise video as well. As far as food is concerned, I think that I am doing well and staying on track. Weigh-in day is tomorrow and I am feeling optimistic about that; we will see how it actually pans out.

Also, I only have one more week until my next progress picture and measurements. I am not nervous about it, but I am also not expecting to see huge drops since there has only been four weeks since the last update, rather than the nice cushy five weeks that I had the luxury of enjoying between October and November. I know that I had a slower time moving past the onederland milestone, so my weight hasn’t dropped as significantly as it has in the past either. There are still eight days until then though, so hopefully I can pull off a little magic!

NSV's Galore

First of all I would like to note that you still have lots of opportunities to comment so that you are counted in the Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway. Originally I stated that you can earn $1 for the less fortunate by leaving a remark on the giveaway post and another $1 by putting an entry on your own blog linking back to it. Actually, there is a slight change in the dynamics of this unique concept. Thanks to the generosity of Barb and Dawne, who have offered to match dollar for dollar whatever is raised in a donation to their local areas, your comments can now help raise up to $300! That’s three times the amount of the original goal sought after in these efforts! We are 16% of the way there, so – if you haven’t already commented – please feel free to drop a line or post an entry about this to make up the other 84 remarks needed to reach this goal! One last thing… I would also like to thank Leslie for finding the spirit of this endeavor great enough to move her to donate to her own local food bank!

I have a whole bunch of fun non-scale victories which I have accumulated over the past couple of days. One of the few remaining friends who had not yet said anything about my loss finally told me yesterday that I look great and that my drop in weight is really showing. Yay! Nearly everyone has acknowledge the difference now; it’s so great to have people notice and remark.

I have recently noticed that my favourite pair of workout pants just aren’t fitting right - in fact, they are starting to fall off when I exercise. Now I know that this is something to be happy about, but I have to say that I am sort of dismayed about this! I have a few things I can be active in, but this pair of pants are so comfortable and they actually look fairly stylish. Really, they are the only bottoms I was confident wearing out in public if I were to attempt activity with an audience, yet I am almost certain that I will have to permanently retire them within the next week or two. Boo! They will be the very first clothing item that I am sad to part with and they definitely served me well over the last several years. A lot of my shirts are now starting to look frumpy too since they are so large on me. Sheesh! I never expected to be annoyed with losing weight, but I really don’t know how I will be able to replace everything! Oh well, I’m not really complaining… I still count this all as another NSV.

I have noticed that my calves are smaller! My mother has affectionately referred to them as tree trunks in the past to illustrate the fact that they are not terribly shapely – a shame, really, as I had great pins back in high school – but I am just now realizing that my ankles are shrinking and bringing more of a sense of definition to the rest of the lower leg. Also, my wedding and engagement rings have been clanking against one another a lot lately. I am certain that I will have to have them sized soon, but I am putting it off as long as possible since they aren’t close enough to falling off that I am concerned. Furthermore, today I had to go to a chocolate shop to purchase a small gift of appreciation for another friend, and when I was offered free samples by the cashier I turned them down. Not only that, but I didn’t feel like it was a big deal and I left without buying even a single bite of anything for myself.

Here’s an interesting one: I used to visit public restrooms and hope for the wheelchair stall. I know that statement is probably being met with a round of disapproving gasps, but it is true. I was careful to look around before entering to ensure that I would not be taking it from someone who actually needed it, but I felt that it was a necessary move since I did not properly fit in the normal ones. Perhaps, more accurately, I felt that I could not maneuver properly within the confines of the average sized stalls. At any rate, I have stopped doing that. Within this last week I realized that I have no need to continue with that practice since I am able to move around adequately within the regular restroom cubicles now. I guess this is a strange NSV, but I am still happy about it!

My very favourite non-scale victory from this bunch has to be the following though! My darling husband went to hug me this morning, and as he wrapped his arms under my own and around the top part of my torso he exclaimed, “look at the overlap!” He was able to grab his own elbows while he was hugging me!!! That was truly a moment to remember!

Whew! I hadn’t realized that so much had happened over the past couple of days – I just kept jotting down notes so that I would remember everything. It is a great feeling to write it all down properly and really take stock of what has gone on. I love NSV’s!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 2 cups spinach salad with small cubes of cheese, tomato, dried cranberries, croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 1 cup grapes and apple slices
- 1 cup lasagna
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 pear
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup Maple Nut Oatmeal Crisp cereal
- 2 celery stalks with 1 Tb. light peanut butter

- 1 hour and 55 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (45 minutes long, 50 minutes long, and 20 minutes long)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Excited To Continue The Journey

I am so excited to be on this next leg of my journey! When I started this blog, I don’t think I ever actually believed that I would get this far, so quickly. I had failed so many times in the past, and I think there was a part of my mind which doubted me from the start.

But, I have remained committed and continued to work hard, and I know that there is just something different about this time around. This is it! Finding a way of life that will work for the rest of my life has payed off tremendously. I now believe that diets simply do not work long term like making permanent changes do… the innumerable stories which I have found online - as well as my own - are proof of that.

If some of you missed my last post, please check it out. I am having a different type of giveaway and am hoping that all of you fabulous folks will show your interest. I am off to take advantage of the very untypically dry weather which is coaxing me from outside my window. A nice long walk sounds fantastic right about now!

*Edit: A very, heartfelt and special thank you to Barb, who has generously offered to match dollar for dollar (within her own area) whatever is raised in the giveaway. I love how my faith in humanity is always lifted this time of year. Truly, Barb, thank you!*

Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway

A special thank you to Sarah from Ethereal Endeavor for suggesting yesterday that I have a “fabulous giveaway” to celebrate the fact that this blog now has one hundred followers. Her comment started my mind working overtime and it has developed something unique which I hope will be pleasing to the masses and beneficial to many.

I was out walking to meet my husband this evening, mulling around all of these different ideas that I have, when I finally hit on what I want to do. Not only will the unconventional concept - which I will describe momentarily - help me rejoice in the fact that I have so many wonderful individuals watching my journey, but it will also acknowledge my decent into onederland this morning. Sometimes my timing is just right, and in the case of having two notable achievements - both concerning the magical one hundreds - I would say that today it was impeccable!

So I am opening up the comments section on this post for everyone to have an opportunity to enter the Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway! There is a catch though: you don’t actually have a chance of winning anything. Instead of offering a single person a prize, I thought that I would do things a little differently. In acknowledgement of the Thanksgiving celebrations of my neighbours to the south, and in the beautiful spirit of giving which always accompanies this time of year, I would like to donate something to those less fortunate in my area.

So on behalf of anyone who leaves a comment on this post, between now and the end of this month, I will put $1 of my own money towards purchasing food for the homeless. I will also put another $1 towards this project if you post about this giveaway on your blog and link back to this site (and then leave me a separate remark here letting me know). Unfortunately, I have to place a maximum of $100 on this. I wish that I could do more, but times are tough and I really felt like it was necessary to put a limit on the amount that I can afford to spare in the name of this cause. I am hoping to get enough comments to actually reach the maximum donation though!

So, that’s my idea! When this giveaway is over I will buy, prepare, and hand deliver food - I am most likely thinking sandwiches and other easily packaged items - to those who simply do not have as much as others. I figured that this was a nice way to tie all of my thoughts together into one relatively cohesive concept, and I hope that you will agree that being a part of a group working towards a goal such as this is much better than winning a more tangible prize as an individual. At any rate, I hereby declare the Celebrating The One Hundreds Giveaway underway and I will report back on the results on the first of December. Thank you so much in advance for the role you will all play in this!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 mug of decaffeinated tea with milk
- 2 cups spinach salad with small cubes of cheese, tomato, dried cranberries, croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 1 violet flavoured mint
- 1 pear
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with ham, grated cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 orange
- 1 celery stalk with 1 Tb. light peanut butter

- 2 sets of 15 squats
- 2 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 2 sets of stomach crunches
- 45 minute walk
- 2 sets of 2 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Walking In A Winter Onederland

I knew today would be the day! I knew it last night before I went to bed; I think I even knew it when I weighed in yesterday morning. And I couldn’t wait to come on here and shout it from my metaphorical online rooftop:

I WEIGH 199.6 POUNDS!!!!!

There is no more - and there never again will be - a ‘2’ starting off my weight! I have never been in the one hundreds in my 30’s and was only in them for a very short time in my 20’s, but I am there now! I can rest assured that I weigh less than most of my male friends and even less than a couple of the females I know. I will never again walk into a room and wonder if – and then know that – I am the larger person in it! I will never again weigh over two hundred pounds!!!

It’s so funny to think about how this latest stretch of this journey unfolded. During my last weigh-in I was so sure that I would be in this new weight category that I actually wrote the post the evening before with both a ‘no’ ending and a ‘yes’ ending, but I did so feeling certain that I would be using the latter. The following Sunday I was sad to see the scale go up too as I had shifted my thoughts to believe that would be the day instead. Even before my weigh-in, on Friday, I was so confident that I would break the barrier a day early that I seriously debated not weighing that morning to allow myself the pleasure of being able to see and record the significant number for the first time on my official weigh-in day. Well, we all know how each of those endeavors turned out!

But today it finally happened! Apparently, sometimes the body will simply do what it’s going to do. Fortunately, it is finally doing the the thing that I have been hoping to note for about a week now!

I spent a bit longer in this last ‘decade’ of weight than I did in any of the others since beginning to walk this path to better health. It was definitely the one that I have felt like I worked the hardest within. I do think that there was a tiny voice inside of me warning me about the scary, unfamiliar territory which I was about to enter, and I believe that it is possible that it held me back just the tiniest bit. The thing is though that I paid very close attention to the writings of other bloggers on this topic; I was prepared. Overall, I just ignored that voice to the best of my ability and remained focus on the goal - both my long term one and the efforts required to simply move past the two hundred mark.

As I slide over this important threshold I know that this is still just the beginning for me. There is a lot of ground left to cover and I am excited to get going! I now have under fifty pounds left to lose until I reach my official goal - wow, I just realized that! Woo hoo! This new number also means that my ‘secret’ goal of weighing half what I started out at is now at it’s midway point; I have successfully lost more than sixty-six pounds!

There is no time for sitting back and resting because of the progress I have made. There is a lot left to do and I am more determined than ever to get started on the next leg of this journey. There may not be any snow on the ground just yet, but - with the consistently cold weather and fast approaching holiday season - I feel pretty good saying that today is the perfect day for continuing along this path by taking a nice long walk in my own personal winter onederland!

Significantly Appreciative

Diane at Fit to the Finish has awarded me with my very own Significant Milestone Award for gaining one hundred followers on this site! Yay! A huge thank you to Diane and to everyone who leaves comments, has joined my blog, sits silently in the wings, and just occasional checks in. You all add to this journey, and my enthusiasm to keep at it is strengthened knowing that I have all of your cheering me on!

Complying with the requirements for accepting said award, I did indeed feel pretty great about myself once I had spent my time reflecting on the significance of my accomplishment. I have come such a long way in the weight and health departments in a relatively short amount of time and it feels phenomenal to really mull over what I have achieved. I have finally implemented activity and good foods into my life in a way that makes me feel proud, and I have a fantastic group of people online who deem my journey worthy of watching. I have lost weight, inches, and insecurities and – in return – have gained confidence, energy, and an extended life expectancy. I am feeling so happy, but I am not done yet!

I think that this is a great opportunity for me to pass this accolade onto a fellow blogger who I know has recently finished a six month long project in a continuing effort to stay fit and maintain a loss of over one hundred pounds. Congratulations to Lori at Finding Radiance for completing the New Rules of Lifting program!

- 12 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light peanut butter and light strawberry jam
- 4 whole wheat crackers
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with canned ham, grated cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 small bite of a sugar cookie with icing
- 1 mug of steamed light eggnog
- 2 celery stalks with fat free rancher’s choice dressing

- 3 sets of 15 squats
- 3 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 3 sets of 2 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm
- 3 sets of 50 stomach crunches
- 30 minutes on the recumbent bike
- 3 sets of 7 push ups
- 35 minute walk with jogging intervals
- 30 sets of walking up and down stairs (not all at one time)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Great Mood!

That’s one… one hundred followers, wa ha ha! Sorry, I was channelling my inner Count from Sesame Street! I am so excited to have reached the triple digits when it comes to those fabulous people who are interested in this blog. I know I say it a lot, but I am sincere every time I do: thank you all so much for being such a huge part of my motivation!

I am feeling pretty great today and I am hoping to put that heightened energy towards some good exercise! I suspect it will be a mix-match of activities since I don’t have anything specific planned, but I will be giving it my all regardless of what I decide to do. I will also be trying to get in the workout stuff earlier than I normally do because I know that I have items to check off my ‘to do’ list later in the day. Here’s hoping it’s as great a Tuesday as I think it will be!

Internet Down

Our internet was not working last night, so I wasn’t able to blog. Just for accurate record keeping, I am posting my food and exercise now.

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 3/4 cup fat free lemon chiffon yogurt
- 6 inch ham sub on a brown bun with cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and pepper
- 8 large pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 2 1/2 cups spinach salad with grated cheese, tomato, dried cranberries, croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 3 strawberries

- 30 minutes running in place

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking For A Little Consistency

The scale has been up just a tiny bit these past couple of days since my last official weigh-in. I think I am starting to see a pattern emerging, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I weigh, spend a couple of days seeing a small gain, and then drop before the next Saturday. I'm not complaining about the fact that I am losing, but I would really rather get back to the consistently tiny losses that added up so nicely at the start of this journey. It was simply less stressful. Maybe a little later I'll look over the past couple of weeks' food and exercise records and see if I notice any trends which may be contributing to this irritating change.

Shimmy On Out Of Here

We had a family member’s birthday dinner this evening. I always find it toughest at these sit down functions to eat as well as I would like because I am concerned that I will hurt people’s feelings if I don’t gorge myself on what they made. I also sometimes worry that I will be looked at strangely for demonstrating such a different approach to festive eating than I used to display. I think that I did pretty well though; I kept my portions down and took it slowly, making sure that I put my fork down a lot in between bites. It’s all about retraining myself – not to consume different foods at these events per say, but rather to change the way in which I actually go about eating.

On a totally different topic, I just had the absolute worst workout of this journey! Wow, it was simply awful! Over a year ago a friend and I were in a store and I pointed out a bellydancing DVD set that I thought looked interesting. This particular friend has dabbled minorly in bellydancing and thought that it looked good enough that she bought the videos and promptly lent them to me. I was thrilled but, being the procrastinator I am, I let them sit for quite a while before finally attempting the introduction one. I remember that I was not overly impressed when I eventually tried it, but I was exercising in a very small space and my heart just wasn’t into it, so I put the set away to try again another day.

Today was the day and… well… it sucked. I am woman enough to admit when something is difficult and I am not too proud to embrace my own limitations, but neither of those have to come into play here whatsoever. This DVD was horrible! I am not sure if they were trying to sell a date with the bleach blond bombshell who was ‘demonstrating’ the bellydance moves, or if the film editor just had a series of embolisms when he was doing his job, but I really did not need to see more close-ups of that woman’s face than shots of the actual dance. Seriously, at least half of that tape must have been of her smiling as she slowly counted, “…sssixxxx, seeveennn, aaannnd eeeiiight.” They even went so far as to throw in a couple slow motion shots of her, akin to something I would expect to see in a late night phone sex advertisement when the camera pans across one of those high-haired, pouty-lipped girls! It was ridiculous!

The worst thing was that they didn’t actually show the majority of the moves! The camera focused so much on her upper body that I still have no idea what most of the leg movements are supposed to look like. It’s as if the people involved thought that half the fun of an introduction video is letting the viewer guess whether or not they are doing things correctly. Plus, it didn’t even get my heart rate up at all, and I just ended up feeling like I wasted forty-five minutes of my life.

(Note that everything I have stated before now was written a little earlier in the night, and this paragraph is actually an edit done prior to posting.) Since I am a sucker, and because I wanted to ensure that I was being completely unbiased in my harsh review of this entire exercise set based on just a single video, I popped in the second one to give it a try. Now in all fairness, initially, I was pleasantly surprised that it was different enough from the first one to warrant continuing the workout and not just ripping the DVD out of the player in frustration after the first two minutes. The concentration on the blond’s face was somewhat minimized and they had done a much better job of providing wider screenshots to allow the viewer to actually see the majority of what was being demonstrated. However, the teaching was still poor and rushed, one of the most important elements continued to be the wardrobe changes, and it inevitably left me wanting to smack the woman by the end.

The sad part is that I have always thought that bellydancing looked like it would be really fun to learn, but these videos have kind of dampened my enthusiasm to pursue it right now. I honestly feel that they did a disservice to a normally beautiful form of artistic expression. I’ll tell you one thing… I am so glad that I wasn’t the one who spent the money on that DVD set. I was feeling pretty guilty about having kept it for so long – not that my friend ever asked for it back – but now I’m thinking that I was doing her a huge favour!

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light strawberry jam
- 1/4 cup unsalted cashews
- 2 slices of mustard and brown sugar glazed ham with mustard
- 1/4 cup canned corn
- 1 white dinner roll with butter
- 2 sweet pickles
- 3/4 cup scalloped potatoes
- 2/3 cup rainbow sherbet
- 1 coconut shortbread cookie
- 2 1/2 cups Caesar salad with fat free dressing, dried cranberries, and croutons

- 1 hour and 25 minutes of bellydancing videos completed in 2 sessions (45 minutes long and 40 minutes long)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I have thought about it a little more since I woke up, and I believe I know at least part of why I was feeling so off last night. I think that I was letting myself get a bit stressed out about the upcoming holidays. Specifically, I am having a hard time getting ready for Christmas as far as getting organized with gifts goes.

Normally, I am one of those people who has almost everything completely finished by the time the end of November rolls around, but as those days inch closer and closer I am becoming woefully aware of the fact that I have almost nothing done. I know that as the festivities get nearer there is a greater chance of having last minute plans dropped into my lap and, as December 25th is now barely a month away, that there is an increasing possibility of not having enough time to finish all the things I have not yet even started.

At an initial glance I am aware that this may not appear to have anything to do with my weight loss journey, but it actually does in two very important ways. First, I think that it is partially the great diligence and care that I have given in regards to these health efforts that have led to a decrease in the time I would normally have dedicated to Christmas preparations by now. I have been so committed to my healthier lifestyle that I have neglected – to some degree – the fact that extra energy and time are also required to make the season successful and memorable. I very much dislike the thought that I have depleted my stores to such a degree that I have yet to get my act together in preparation of celebrating with family and friends.

The second factor which concerns me about this particular revelation is that without fully knowing it I suspect that I was unconsciously starting to sooth myself with food yesterday. It certainly was within reason – I still think that I did well with my eating, especially since I stuck with healthy items – but I am now wondering at the motivation behind my increase in carbohydrate intake. Is this a precursor to a relapse? I despise the thought of these types of behaviours still lurking within myself. As the holidays approach I am reminded that I need to be prepared for this default of mine to rear it’s ugly head and childishly demand Christmas cookies and boxes of chocolates.

For now, I will make sure that I am more able to strike a balance between keeping on top of this journey and on top of the not-so-daily activities which this time of year tends to bring. I will endeavor to divide more evenly the time that I have available amidst all of the tasks which I must do, and I will remember that perfection is folly. I will also attempt to remain aware of the eating trap which I can be led into by stress. I may have already developed healthier eating habits which can be a cushion for the occasional pull to consume more carbohydrates, but the slippery slope that can lead back to weight gain is too real to ignore. Dissecting why I feel the way that I do – like I have here – will surely give me a sturdier foothold when facing that particular mountain.

I am very happy that I thought this all through and that I have reached the conclusions that I have. These types of introspective examinations are what will help me get through this season with minimal damage. Knowing ahead of time what challenges I will likely face allows me to formulate a plan of resistance that I can be ready to pull out at a moment’s notice. Preparation is key!

Off Kilter

My mood has been up and down this evening and I also feel like I have been on a bit of a carbohydrate kick all day. I’m not sure if one is related to the other or not. I think it is best if I just go to bed; hopefully sleep will get me back to more of an even keel. First, a quick hello to Jujulime – a brand new blogger – who decided to join the Christmas Challenge today. Thanks again to everyone for signing up!

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 6 inch sub on a whole wheat bun with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, black olives, light mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper
- 1 small mug of gingerbread steamed soy milk
- 1 bite of a calorie reduced chocolate chip banana loaf
- 1/4 of a ham sandwich on brown bread with cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup fat free strawberry yogurt
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 3 1/2 cups of low fat butter flavour popcorn
- 2 scrambled eggs

- 1 hour and 35 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (15 minutes long, 20 minutes long, and 1 hour long)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Too Funny!

If you need a laugh, go here now! Seriously!!! I found this on Cranky Fitness who posted it from another site... Wow... just go watch!

Weigh-In For Week 15

Well, what do you think?

Do you think I made it?

Has the question kept you up all night?

Are you quivering in anticipation?!

Do you REALLY want to know?!

Did I make it to ONE-DERLAND?!?









Sigh... 200.4. Oh, well. There’s always next week.

Official Start To The Christmas Challenge

I wasn’t very hungry today. I tried to eat in a fairly balanced manner even though I was not consuming quite as much as I normally do. I am not really sure what was up with that, but I eat both when I am hungry and to keep my metabolism up, so I got most of the day’s food because of the latter factor. My body is really strange sometimes.

I went for a long walk this evening since it was finally not raining, but about three-quarters of the way through my stroll it suddenly started to pour! And then it hailed! And then there was lightening! Needless to say I was soaked and I am fairly certain that Mother Nature thinks she is a pretty funny gal right about now. It serves me right for trusting the weather this time of year.

I finally went and got myself that massage that I said I would get for going from a level two obesity rating to a level one over a month ago. Sometimes it takes me quite a while to get around to myself; there is usually so much going on that it’s hard to remember that I count too, but I am working on that! The massage was really nice and I tried to spend the time thinking about all that I have accomplished on this journey. The mind tends to wander, but I did focus on it for a little while. It was nice to pamper myself and I think that the next reward will be a weekend away; I need to save up though so we will see when that happens…

I am going to make this the official starting entry for the Looking to the Future Christmas Challenge. Due to my being further west than most others, and because I have a fairly odd schedule, I know that I often post much later than everyone else. To me, this is still Friday night. I would hate to think that me not giving people an early enough opportunity to leave their beginning comments was reason to slack on the first day! Ha! Anyhow, I hereby open the floor to all fourteen participants (including myself) for their starting statistics and statement of official goal, as well as to anyone else who may decide last minute that they want to partake in the fun – and possibly win a cool prize. Good luck everyone! Let the games begin!!!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 3 cups green salad with spinach, tomato, mushroom, onion, red pepper, broccoli, cucumber, grated cheese, and fat free Caesar dressing
- 1 small mug of herbal tea
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 3/4 of a ham sandwich on brown bread with cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup fat free apricot and prune yogurt
- 1 cup of celery

- 2 hours of walking completed in 2 outings (1 hour and 35 minutes long and 25 minutes long)
- 45 minute step workout video
- 60 stomach crunches
- 7 push ups

Friday, November 20, 2009

Welcome All!

Whew! That took me a while to go through all the fabulous new people, check out their blogs, and read all the comments left on my posts! But it is a great feeling to know that there seems to be a lot of excited and dedicated individuals out there ready to meet this challenge head on! So to Amazon Runner, Amy Christine, Amy H., Dawne, Fab Kate, Kelly, Leslie, and Sandra I send a special thank you for signing up! And to the other newbies who are now following this blog I offer you my sincere appreciation and bid you a warm welcome!


Whoa! I just logged in to write a quick post saying that I am a bit short on time and will have to update later, but I discovered that I have five new followers since last night! Yippee! Plus, I have a bunch of comments from these fabulous individuals stating that they would like to join up for the Christmas Challenge! Double yippee! I will have to mention names and reply to the remarks left on my posts a little later, but for now please know that I am extremely grateful for all of your support! You are all so wonderful!!!

Bits And Pieces

First off, I would like to thank Kathryn for deciding to join the upcoming Christmas Challenge! Just another day or so left until it starts and I am very excited to get going on my continued commitment to lose weight – even through the holidays – alongside all of the great people who have signed up to participate so far.

I went to bed last night with a little bit of a headache and it was still there when I awoke this morning. It didn’t last long after I got up and started going about my business, but I made sure to get all my water today since I know that dehydration can sometimes lead to that type of pain. Headaches are relatively unusual for me, so I am hoping that it is gone for good.

It was another bleak, rainy day so my exercise was almost all indoors. I really pushed myself during the step video and am starting to think I may need to begin using my more difficult workout DVD because even the higher step I have implemented doesn’t seem to pose too much of a challenge with the more familiar routine. I have only done the harder one once before and it really kicked my butt, so I am slightly trepidacious. However, I think doing it a time or two will provide me with more confidence when I start to know the moves, and I will likely enjoy it after it starts coming a little more naturally.

I noticed yesterday that my forearms are smaller. I was reaching for something and did a bit of a double take because they seem so much leaner. I actually thing they look longer too now that they have lost some of their girth. It’s so weird to see the parts of my body that are changing in ways which never even occurred to me as a possibility. I also realized this evening that I am able to shave my legs much easier than I have been able to for years. Gaining flexibility is such a great weight loss bonus!

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with flaked canned chicken, grated cheese, lettuce, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 2 Mandarin oranges
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge, grape tomato, and pepper
- 1/2 cup fat free chocolate pudding

- 45 minute step workout video
- 2 sets of 7 push ups
- 4 sets of 50 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 3 sets of 15 squats
- 2 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 3 sets of 2 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm
- 30 minute walk

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 100

Today marks the one hundredth day of this journey for me! I started this blog back on August 12th and, at that point, I had no idea where this path was going to take me. I would love to say that I knew from the start that this would be the time I finally lost all the weight and accomplished my goals, but the truth is I had no idea what would come from this particular pilgrimage to better health. There were so many times in the past when I was certain that I could stay on track and lose the weight, but those strong feelings obviously did not end up being accurate.

Ironically, I am now very confident in stating that I do know that this time is it. More than three months in, and with a completely different attitude and perception framing this experience, I am positive that I have found what will work for me. I have never had any weight loss program last for this long – whether food based, exercise based, or based on utilizing both elements – and I have never thought of the changes I made to my lifestyle as one that would be permanent and sustainable.

After little more than three months of eating cleaner and being more active, I have accomplished a lot! In one hundred days I have:

1. Dropped over fifty pounds.
2. Developed much more confidence in my appearance.
3. Lost more than eight points from my BMI reading.
4. Had most of the people in my life take notice of my efforts.
5. Gone from a 24W to a size 18 jean.
6. Significantly reduced my chances of a heart attack or stroke.
7. Found that I have ninety people I’ve never met cheering me on.
8. Experienced many epiphanies about how to make this long term.
9. Discovered a sense of pride from my progress photos.
10. Collectively taken off thirty-two inches from my body (when considering bust, waist, hips, both arms, and both thighs).

There are so many more things that I could list here, but I thought that these touched on a lot of the biggest achievements. I am so proud of how far I have come in such a short time. Some parts of this journey have been surprisingly easy and other areas have given me much greater difficulty. There has been a lot of hard work involved in getting to this point, but also a lot of great times along the way.

The best part is that this is still just the beginning. I have so much more to learn and share and, really, this won’t ever actually be over. My life has drastically changed for the better because of a decision I made one hundred days ago, and I am truly excited to see where the next one hundred days take me. And after that? I look forward to discovering the gifts and challenges of the next one hundred weeks, and then months, and maybe even years. Who knows? This journey has certainly taught me that absolutely anything is possible!

Sweet Dreams

I finished the dream catcher – pictured below – which I will be giving away to one lucky participant of the Christmas Challenge; I think it turned out pretty nice! It measures about five inches across the width of the circle and about seventeen inches top to bottom (approximately four of those inches are from the hanger). If there is anyone else interested in joining up and having a chance to win this little prize, the challenge still doesn’t start for another couple of days! I did well on the eating front today with one delicious exception. I made cinnamon buns very late in the evening and ended up sampling one a short time ago, with only about an hour before bed. I usually avoid snacking this late, but they looked so good and gooey – plus they are calorie conscious – and I just couldn’t resist having a couple of bites right after they came out of the oven. Mmmm… it was so worth it!

One thing I am particularly proud of tonight is that I was feeling pretty angry about something that happened, but rather than turning to food or just sitting and sulking in front of the television, I did my workout instead. I actually felt a lot better after sweating away my frustrations and am happy that I will be able to go to bed without having the issue still weighing so heavily on my mind. It’s nice to be able to get rid of negative feelings in such a positive way.

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 cup red grapes
- 2 cups Caesar salad with fat free dressing, dried cranberries, and croutons
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with flaked canned chicken, grated cheese, lettuce, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 slice toasted whole grain bread with reduced calorie strawberry jam
- 6 whole wheat crackers
- 1 taste of reduced fat cream cheese icing
- 2 bites of reduced fat cinnamon bun with icing

- 45 minute step workout video

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Scattered Thoughts

I woke up this morning and my calves were killing me! I think that the couple of sets of running on the spot that I have done this week are what has caused the pain. That probably means that it’s working, but I will definitely be taking a break from that particular exercise for at least another night or two.

I would like to send out a hearty welcome to Tammy and Billie who have also decided to take part in my Christmas Challenge! So far the odds are pretty good for each of the participants to win the prize since there are currently four people signed up, so if you would like to join and try your luck let me know. The official starting day is this Saturday!

The weather here is pretty grim and wet so I doubt that there will be any outdoor activity planned for today. I am thinking that my workout DVD is a good option, but I will likely raise the level of my step as I have the routine down and am finding it rather easy as of late. With my sore calves though I will have to make sure that I stretch properly since I am not usually great for following through on that front.

I saw a friend yesterday who commented on my shrinking waistline. He said that I am looking skinnier than I ever have (which isn’t actually the case, although it has been years since I have been at this weight), and that my efforts are really noticeable. I’m so pleased to know that my hard work is paying off!

A Couple Of Challenges

Thanks so much to Daisy and Dee for being the first two committed participants in my Looking to the Future Christmas Challenge! If anyone else is interested in joining there are still a few days left to make up your mind since it doesn’t start until this Saturday – and to be clear, you don’t need a blog to participate. You could win a homemade dream catcher for the price of just a few comments and the determination to stay true to your weight loss plan through the holidays. It’s a win-win!

In other news, I had the best mushroom soup I have ever had in my life this evening. Unfortunately, I am thinking that it was so wonderful because it was very rich and, therefore, not the best choice for staying on track. It almost tasted like really great thinned out Alfredo sauce. I ordered it because I had already had a salad today and wanted something small. I figured that the mushrooms in it meant that it was a healthier option – which it probably did – but it was so very yummy that now I don’t even want to think about what the calories must have added up to. Do accidental overindulgences count as being off plan?

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 cup red grapes
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with roast beef, grated cheese, lettuce, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 2 cups Caesar salad with fat free dressing, dried cranberries, and whole wheat croutons
- 2 cups cream of mushroom soup
- 1 Mandarin orange

- 1 hour and 35 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (45 minutes long and 50 minutes long)
- 7 push ups
- 2 sets of 50 stomach crunches

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking To The Future

I snuck over the ten thousand mark on my site counter this morning! Thank you to everyone who reads my blog! I know that I often say it, but I really value everybody who comes by, checks in, comments, follows, etc. This journey would not be nearly the success that it has been without the knowledge that this supportive online community seems to steadily have my back. Thank you all so much!!!

I have been mulling over an idea for some time now, and I think that the best thing to do is just toss it out into the open and see how people respond. I would like to do an online challenge!

The Looking to the Future Christmas Challenge is designed to encourage weight loss bloggers to work on meeting their individual goals through the holiday season. The main focus of this online event is to weigh less at the finish of the challenge than at the start. There are no upper or lower limits on how much a person taking part should try to lose; everyone should set a goal that they feel comfortable striving for and which they believe to be realistic. If an individual who wishes to participate is not currently attempting to lose weight, they are welcome to offer an alternative objective to take part in this fun contest. Meeting the final goal is not mandatory although it is always nice to feel pride for completing a particular undertaking, so trying your best is encouraged!

The challenge will run a little longer than a month from Saturday, November 21st through Saturday, December 26th. Participants should be prepared to weigh themselves on the start and finish dates, although it is suggested that they also check their weights on the Saturdays in between to help them stay on track. To assist people with staying focused, those taking part should check in weekly by leaving comments on the contest related posts which will appear on this blog. This activity is meant to provide motivation for individuals to get through this hectic time with a sense of purpose, a feeling of pride, and a little less weight. I do hope that some of you out there will join me!

For myself, I am setting my goal at ten pounds. It is a nice round number and I am confident that I can achieve it, plus it does not allow me to slack off too much during the holidays. There is a little breathing room, since I do not expect perfection from myself, but I believe it will still keep me pushing forward on a fairly regular basis. So, based on whatever this Saturday’s weigh-in shows, I am committing to being ten pounds lighter come Boxing Day.

I would also like to note one final, fun thing: there are two bonuses for those who decide to join up. First, anyone who comments on their progress on the weekly check-in posts will receive one entry per post for a draw to win a small, simple homemade dream catcher, and those who reach their goal will receive five additional entries for this prize. I haven’t actually created this particular craft project yet, but I will attempt to do so in the next week and I will post a photo when I have completed it. The winner will be randomly drawn from a hat, have their name posted on December 27th, and be given until midnight of December 31st to send me their postal address so that I can mail them their dream catcher (if we hit 2010 without the prize being claimed, a redrawing will take place). Secondly, anyone who decides to participate gets to post this on their blog – if they wish to, of course – to show off their dedication to getting through the holidays with a sense of pride and happiness for all they will accomplish!
So, if you are interested please let me know what your goal is and feel free to display the Looking to the Future Christmas Challenge badge on your site. And if you aren’t interested and just want to leave a comment, as usual, I am honoured! Good luck, everyone!

My Sugar-Coated Drive-Through Experience

This evening I went to a mall and tried on a few winter coats. I didn’t buy one – the prices were a little too high for right now, with Christmas approaching – but I still really enjoyed the experience. I tried on an extra large and a couple of larges and they all fit beautifully!

About three years ago I purchased the jacket that I was wearing today. It is a 2XL. Back in January through March of this past year it was fitting very tight, but it was near the end of the chilly season so I figured I would hold off on a new one until about this time of the year. Now that it is here, I am amazed since I never imagined that I would need such a smaller size!

It feels great to be on this downward trend with my weight, measurements, and clothing sizes. Even better, I can sense that things are changing on a permanent level now. I am becoming a little less worried about messing up and reverting back to my old, unhealthy habits.

Today, for example, my husband and I were on our way to a friend’s house but were running a little behind. We hadn’t had a chance to eat before leaving and knew that we had to get food on the way or go hungry. Of course, since we were late, the best option was a drive-through. So… McDonald’s it was!

Usually (not that this is a normal course of action for us now, but even the mere contemplation of fast food leads me to the following) this would do one of two things to me. I would either begin salivating at the thought of all the greasy burgers and fries that I longed to sample, or I would start to mentally prepare myself for staying strong and sticking to the plan. This time neither occurred.

We pulled into the drive-through, ordered our food, and drove away without me so much as blinking an eye over the potential ordeal. I did enjoy the smell of the chicken nuggets my husband got, but I was totally happy with my light Caesar salad and water. I was so surprised!

This is becoming my reality. I will likely always have some little voice in the back of my head reminding me that I have to watch my weight – and I am okay with that. In fact, it is probably for the best since I do not want to become cocky or nonchalant about what I am eating and how much I am exercising. But sooner rather than later all of the elements of this journey are going to become habit. They will be a part of my daily routine and regular components of my everyday life.

Whether the victories that I see today are the momentary celebration of a smaller size or the monumental realization that I am heading towards sustainability in my healthier lifestyle, I am so happy to be doing this. There will be many ways in which I will see progress over the coming months, and many reasons to rejoice as I continue to work at changing myself for the better.

- 11 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 pear
- 3 cups Caesar salad with light dressing, bacon bits, Parmesan, and croutons
- 2 perogies with light sour cream
- 1/2 cup pork tenderloin with sauce
- 1 cup vegetable casserole with cracker crumb and cheese topping
- 2 cups spinach salad with grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 1 cup red grapes

- 25 minutes of running in place
- 2 sets of 50 stomach crunches
- 7 push ups
- 2 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 15 squats

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Will Sail My Vessel

I’m not stupid. I know that I have had great success with my weight loss so far and I am so, so thankful that things are progressing as quickly as they are. I have a hard time sticking with things when I don’t see fast results – I might suggest that I am an instant gratification kind of person, but really it just boils down to the need for validation – so the fact that I have been able to drop my weight so drastically in just three months has been a motivator that keeps me very focused.

But there have still been a couple of tiny bumps in the road which make me a little sad to know that I haven’t quite met my own expectations. Believe me when I say they are minor, I learn and then move on from the disappointments quickly, and I return to the gratitude that I have for all that has been accomplished thus far.

So when I didn’t get to under the two hundred pound mark by my two hundredth post yesterday I did have a quiet moment of ego deflation. It was a new mini-goal, conceived less than a week ago, but I had still hoped to meet it since I was closing in on onederland. But after the week of weird weigh-ins, I knew that I was not going to make it happen.

But it doesn’t matter! Regardless of what hiccups occur on this journey the point is to continue walking the path. Don’t give up! I know that my small let down was exactly that: small. It is nothing compared to the setbacks that I could have faced since beginning this blog. However, I also believe that I would keep going regardless of larger difficulties because I want so badly to drop these extra pounds and become a healthier person.

I know how very lucky I have been steering this weight loss ship through calm seas. Yet, at this point, there is a determination inside of me that would not be dissuaded by even the roughest of storms. Off in the far distance I can see dry land, and I am confident that I can navigate my way past all the rolling waves, sea monsters, and pirates that may want to throw me off course as I head for the buried treasure. One day soon I will uncover that chest of gold and receive my reward… ironically, as I sail towards that particular shoreline I am working to relieve myself of my own booty.

Waging War With Winter Weight

I have been reading quite a few posts about how holiday eating is right on the horizon and it is wise to think ahead. A lot of the bloggers whose pages I frequent are recommending putting a plan in place now before the first tempting cookies are put out and the crackers and cheese are offered at every house. It is not a call to panic, but rather a sensible alternative to the countless times I have found myself overindulging during this festive season.

So tonight I spoke with my husband about exactly that. We talked about how I was feeling confident, but that those types of emotions don’t necessarily last in the face of Christmas baking. We discussed what his own challenges would be – which mostly consist of remembering that a special occasion doesn’t extend to include all thirty-one days in December.

We also went over our strategies for getting through the coming weeks with minimal damage to our new healthier lifestyle. I asked him to keep me in check when out at the homes of friends and family, and I promised to do the same for him. I even went so far as to suggest he type a kind message on his phone and show it to me in a subtle manner if he saw me eating too many treats. The logic here is that it ensures there are no awkward situations, as wells as avoidance of the topic, when speaking privately is not an option.

Exercise was even touched upon this evening as we chatted. We devised a simple plan to have him encourage me to complete my workouts early in the day – and for me to try and remember to do so myself – rather than waiting for it to be too late due to nighttime commitments and last minute arrangements. The holiday season will quickly become extremely busy, and I do not want to feel guilty about not exercising enough nor stressed about having to find the time to be active when I should be sleeping.

What it boils down to is that I have no intention of letting the losses I have fought for become regrettable regains over the course of the next month and a half. However, we all know how helpful good intentions are apt to be. So I am making a plan. I thought that this was important enough to take the time to agree on some pre-determined actions between my husband and myself so we can further guarantee our continued success at living healthier. I want to ensure that I have provided myself with the best chances of coming out of this holiday season unscathed.

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin with light peanut butter
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/3 cup mashed potato
- 1 1/2 cup steamed cauliflower with margarine
- 2 small slices pot roast with gravy
- 1 Smartie
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 3/4 cup low fat piña colada yogurt with 1 cup Life Multigrains cereal

- 25 minutes of running in place
- 2 sets of 50 stomach crunches

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I am getting cranky... This morning has been busier than I expected - hence, the late post - and I haven't had a chance to eat anything other than a banana so far. I don't tend to do very well when I am feeling hungry. Anyhow, my husband is currently toasting me up an English muffin, so hopefully I will be able to get rid of this grouchiness soon.

I Was Going To Write A Good Post, But...

I am up way too late and feeling much too sore! I did lots of walking today and my legs are not very happy with me. I think a fast soak in the tub before bed is in order.

One neat thing I will quickly share is that I realized today’s weigh-in means that I have knocked almost exactly ten points off my body mass index reading from my highest weight. Plus, I only have twelve more pounds to lose until I am no longer in the obese category, but rather wonderfully, gloriously, and simply overweight!

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 1 mug of gingerbread steamed soy milk
- 1 wrap on a whole wheat tortilla shell with egg white, feta cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomato
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 10 hand-shelled peanuts
- 9 pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 3/4 cup low fat piña colada yogurt

- 2 hours and 45 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (45 minutes long, 30 minutes long, and 1 hour and 30 minutes long)
- 7 push ups

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weigh-In For Week 14

As I have mentioned before I weigh myself every day. I like how it helps me keep track of my progress and I am one of those people who are able to do so without generally having an emotional meltdown when they see something they don’t like looking up at them. I don’t keep these numbers recorded anywhere – I simply change them on a computer document each morning – so the information I will give you here is remembered and may not be totally accurate since I have nothing to reference. However, I am confident that I am recalling this quite accurately and I thought I would post it to show what a strange week it has been:

Oct. 7 – 205.4 (Very excited because of a great weigh-in!)
Oct. 8 – 207.4 (Whoa! How did I gain two pounds overnight?!)
Oct. 9 – 207.6 (Uh… okay, go away water weight.)
Oct. 10 – 207.8 (Seriously?)
Oct. 11 – 207.6 (Come on!!!)
Oct. 12 – 206.8 (Right direction, but I’m still over Saturday’s weight!)
Oct. 13 – 204.8 (Finally under my last weigh-in, but this could go either way tomorrow.)
Oct. 14 – 203.0 (Phew!!!)

Normally I have some gains and some losses throughout the week, but they add up to a pretty consistent downward trend. So far, because of this, I haven’t really worried too much going into my weigh days, but I really did not know what to expect today. This whole week I have felt bloated and a little slower than usual. It wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling; I was just a bit off. Needless to say, I am actually very pleased with today’s number. It is a bit lower than my average loss, but it’s not the all time smallest one I have had. Plus, I was honestly not sure what the scale would say today. Until yesterday, the numbers showed a gain every time since last Saturday and they seemed determined to basically not budge for over half the week. All in all, I am pretty happy!

Significantly Impressed

I am finally totally caught up on my blog reading and I am extremely happy to report that there are several people who deserve a standing ovation for their efforts these past couple of weeks. Well, I am not one to let somebody’s accomplishments go unnoticed, so I think it’s time to pass around some more of my version of validation!
"Created with weight loss blogs in mind, but not necessarily limited to only them, The Significant Milestone Award has been designed to be handed out to those who have reached a noteworthy marker on a journey of personal betterment. It may be given to a blogger who has recently achieved a meaningful accomplishment such as a ten percent drop in body weight, a twenty-five pound loss, or reaching their final goal. Anyone who has already received this award may pass it on to another blogger when they feel that it is warranted, provided that they take the time to ensure that they are presenting it for a truly exceptional and important feat. The only stipulation that is attached to accepting The Significant Milestone Award is that the recipient must take at least one full minute to really think about what they have achieved and to feel good about themselves."

A hearty congratulations and an enthusiastic well done to the following:

1. Chris at A Deliberate Life for recently reaching the fifty pounds lost mark!

2. Diane at Fit To The Finish for reaching five thousand comments on her blog, where she works at helping others become healthier!

3. Fat Daddy from Fat Daddy Rants for recently reaching the one hundred pounds lost mark!

4. Kari from Fat(free)Me for recently reaching the seventy-five pounds lost mark!

5. Laura from One Hundred In Twelve for losing 10% of her total body weight!

6. Lynn from Actual Scale for losing twenty-five pounds since starting her blog and fifty pounds from her highest weight!

7. Tammy from From Fat To Fab for losing enough weight to ride roller coasters for the first time in twenty years!

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1/4 cup pumpkin spice soup
- 1 banana
- 3 cups spinach salad with grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, whole wheat croutons, and fat free rancher’s choice dressing
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli turkey, grated cheese, spinach, dried cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 2 cups of grapes
- 3/4 cup fat free blueberry yogurt with 1 cup Life Multigrains cereal

- 1 hour walk
- 45 minute step workout video

Friday, November 13, 2009

Winds Of Change

It is a blustery day out there! It definitely makes me want to curl up with copious amounts of hot chocolate and comfort foods. But, alas, I shall not partake! My weigh-in is tomorrow and I am feeling quite dubious about the outcome as it is.

So I will settle for a nice spinach salad right now and maybe treat myself to a cup of tea later. Perhaps I will even brave the winds and attempt to work up a sweat from walking in this disagreeable and extremely chilly weather.

Having a weekly weigh-in really helps me to stay accountable, and I am thankful for that. Knowing that I will be posting my numbers in less than twenty-four hours keeps me in check yet again. Now if only I could apply that same principle to the other areas of my life within which I generally demonstrate procrastination…

Half Victories

I made my way to the local thrift store to try and find a cheap pair of jeans, but to no avail. I did try on a couple of pairs that I deemed okay when they were on the hanger, but once I was wearing them it was obvious that they just were not in good enough shape to purchase.

When I was in the change room though, the oddest thing happened. I looked at myself in the mirror and noticed that my legs are different. I don't glance at myself very often in the single full length mirror that we have at home, so I suppose the experience has eluded me simply due to a lack of opportunity. But it was so odd... I swear there is less cellulite on these pins! Don't get me wrong, they are nowhere near what I would call an attractive pair of legs, but somehow I think I saw fewer lumps and bumps.

Of course, this got me examining other body parts while in the stall (good thing there wasn't a lineup of angry frugal shoppers awaiting their turn) and I found the same thing occurring on my backside. Yes, I am certain that my rear is looking a little smoother! My stomach? Well, that's another story. There is this small, sad little pouch of loose skin gathering at the underside of my tummy. It's not very big, but it is a shame that I will probably always have the extra tissue that I stretched across my ever-expanding body all these years. Oh, well. For now, at least, I see it as a strange sort of badge - I worked hard to earn that ugly patch of skin and when I look at it I will feel pride for all I've done these past three months.

Anyhow, I did manage to find a fairly inexpensive pair of jeans from a department store and, I am happy to announce, they are regular size 18's! I got rid of that 'W' and am still working my way down in the sizes. Yes, they are slightly snug, but definitely less so than when I tried on the other 18's a couple of weeks ago. I am so happy that my pant size keeps on slipping lower and lower!

When I got home from my mini shopping trip, I decided that I was feeling confident enough to try on a dress that I have not been able to wear in six years. This particular gown was actually purchased over a decade ago, but never worn out at that time due to my quickly expanding waistline. Back in (I believe) 2003, I had a brief - but temporarily successful - brush with losing weight and managed to drop down enough so that I was able to fit into this stunning dress for one glorious night.

So, this evening I decided to give it another go. Ha! Not a chance! I took a peak and the label says that it is an 11/12. That's what I get for being cocky! However, I took it completely in stride and I have absolutely zero issues with not fitting into it yet. This is because I know that the 'yet' at the end of my last sentence is completely accurate. I will get into that dress someday soon. I managed to pull it on today - something I am positive I couldn't have done in August - and the zipper was only separated by about four inches of skin. To some that may seem like a lot, but less than 100 days ago I would never have even known that the divide was closer to a foot since I wouldn't have been able to pull the garment up over my hips or down past my chest.

There is progress here: so much so that it sometimes threatens to overwhelm me. But these small victories, the ones that don't amount to much on their own and which are not necessarily complete in and of themselves, bring me comfort. Things take time. But before too much more time has passed - I'm hoping another two or three months - I will be making my husband take me someplace nice just so that I can show off how far I've come while wearing that beautiful, sexy red dress!

- 12 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1 banana
- 3 cups spinach salad with grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, whole wheat croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 wrap on a whole wheat tortilla shell with egg whites, feta cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomato
- 2 cups grapes
- 1/2 serving homemade reduced fat blueberry crème brulee

- 1 hour and 20 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (15 minutes long, 25 minutes long, and 40 minutes long)
- 2 sets of 7 push ups

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This morning I tried to pull on one of my size 22 jeans - since I have been trying to get by with wearing whatever I still have available - but they are pretty much falling off of me. So, I am officially down to only two pairs of pants: the 20W’s (which are loose themselves) and the 18W’s which are still fitting quite well. Yikes! I mentioned the deficiency to my mother and she generously gave me $20 towards a new pair. What a great mom!

My day appears to be fairly low key at this moment, so I am hoping that I will finish catching up on the blog reading. It feels so great to be back in the loop for the most part, and I love hearing about how great everyone seems to be doing. I am so proud of and thankful for this online community!

Where Do I Find The Strength?

I did well on pushing myself with the exercise today. Time wise, it wasn’t as long as a lot of my workouts tend to add up to, but I am pleased that I went with jogging intervals. Keeping the body guessing tends to pay off for me and I am hoping that will be the case with this evening’s activity.

As for what else is going on in my world right now, I need to get a little personal for a minute… My husband is going through a little bit of a difficult time – there are a lot of pressures on him, both from external sources and from within himself – and I would like to take a moment to publicly recognize how much his support means to me, particularly on this journey.

There were a lot of ups and downs for us over the years as I tried to lose weight and get healthier in the past. I asked him for help many, many times as I began each new diet and exercise regimen, but things always ended up not working. When all was said and done, neither of us were ready to make the necessary changes. But this time around, we were; both of us committed and have come such a long way already in the process.

Even with everything that he is going through right now, he still found the energy and self-sacrifice necessary to go with me on my walk/jog tonight. In fact, he was the one who finally came and gently pulled me away from catching up on my blog reading when he knew we were running out of time to make that particular plan happen.

My husband even came to me just a day or two ago and very seriously told me, “I want to make sure that you know I never thought you were fat.” I know. I know with all my heart that he never, ever believed that. His ability to see me as no one else ever has is a gift that I treasure now and always.

I owe the man so much. He is my hero and everything that I need in life, and I just really want to make sure that he knows what his actions and words mean to me. I never would have lost this first sixty pounds without the strength that he lends to me, and I know that his support will help me to reach my final goal. Thank you, my love, for everything!

- 12 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 Mandarin oranges
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli turkey, grated cheese, spinach, dries cranberries, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 5 whole wheat crackers
- 2 1/2 cups spinach salad with dried cranberries, croutons, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 2 egg omelet with mushrooms and pepper

- 50 minutes of walking with jogging intervals

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Short And Not So Sweet

My scale is still being very uncooperative, the blasted thing! Hmmm… not sure what I am doing wrong. I feel like I have been on track with the food and exercise, but maybe I am fooling myself and missing something? Grr! I am just going to stay focused on my normal plan and keep my fingers crossed that this works itself out by my next weigh-in.

Playing Catch Up

I spent a large portion of time today going through a lot of the blogs I follow and am still only about half way caught up. I am hoping to get further tomorrow, although we will see what the day holds.

I would like to take a moment to thank Fitcetera for linking to my site yesterday! Her blog and attitude are both great and I am honoured that she deemed my journey worthy of attention. Thanks so much for the shout out!

Also, from what I have seen so far, it appears that most people were pretty good when it came to surviving Halloween. Way to go, everyone; I am proud of you all! The candy just didn't seem as sweet as it did in the past, did it?

I am so happy to be making my way back into the loop. I was really itching to read the blogs that I follow and I am feeling better now that I have made my way through a bunch. I find that reading daily helps to inspire me and keeps me feeling connected to a group of individuals who are on very similar paths. I have missed that the last couple of weeks!

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 1/2 cups Caesar salad with light dressing, croutons, and Parmesan
- 1 banana
- 3 cups of spinach salad with sliced deli turkey, grated cheese, dried cranberries, and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
- 6 inch sub on whole wheat bun with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, black olives, light mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper
- 1 mug of gingerbread steamed soy milk
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 3/4 cup fat free black cherry yogurt with 1 cup Life Multigrains cereal

- 6 sets of 15 squats
- 6 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 2 right, and 2 left)
- 6 sets of 5 push ups
- 6 sets of 15 lunges for each leg
- 35 minute walk

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Never Expected To Feel This Way

There is a drawback to losing weight. At least, I have suddenly become very aware of something that I am unhappy with due to my loss of pounds and inches. I never thought I would feel this way, but a part of me is very sad about the changes I see in the mirror.

Really, this all started with my last progress picture. I can see the differences. With my September and October photographs I had a hard time identifying the fruits of my labour; I couldn’t see how major the changes were that my body was going through. Now, I can.

And I actually feel sort of awful about it. I look at the image of myself from the beginning of this blog and compare it to my recent one and I realize just how far I have come… which also shows me just how far I had let myself go. How could I have ever let myself get to such a neglected state?

As long as I was not seeing the differences, I was alright. I could lie to myself and reassure the internal me that I carried it well. Unconscious thoughts like, “hey, look, I’ve lost forty pounds and can’t really tell! Guess I couldn’t have looked too bad to begin with,” must have been floating around in my head all the time before. And now? Now it makes me want to cry when I see what drastic alterations I have brought about with only three months of work.

I am not saying that this has been easy. I am not saying that I want to revert to the old me. I am, however, saying that it makes me sad to see what I did to myself when I look back at the proof.

My wedding pictures - and many other precious memories captured on film - will always be those of the fat bride and woman. The experiences from the last fifteen plus years will forever be marred by the limitations I imposed on myself because of this overweight body. I will have never been anything but technically obese in my twenties. These are unalterable realities.

Yes, I am making the changes now and I feel great about that, yet I can’t help but also feel a sense of loss for what I had never known I was missing. Losing weight is hard in so many ways.

That's Not Going To Solve Anything

I feel like I ate quite a bit today. I was definitely feeling munchier than usual, but I didn’t realize that I had actually consumed so much until I just wrote it all down for my records. As I mentioned earlier the scale is not exactly being friendly towards me, and this type of eating is not going to be very helpful in rectifying that particular difficulty! Ugh!

- 10 glasses of water throughout the day
- 3 cups of Caesar salad with light dressing, croutons, and Parmesan
- 1 mug of fat reduced steamed eggnog
- 1 wrap on a whole wheat tortilla shell with scrambled egg, spinach, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomato
- 1 slice of homemade egg bread with butter
- 1 cup of chili with grated cheese
- 1 cup of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot with homemade hummus
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 cup of broccoli and sunflower slaw
- 3/4 cup of creamy seafood salad

- 30 sets of walking up and down stairs (not all at one time)
- 2 sets of 5 push ups
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 2 sets of 2 minutes of weight lifting with 5 lbs per arm
- 2 sets of 15 squats

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grumblings And Mumblings

Harrumph! The scale is not being my friend right now. Not at all. I’m pretty sure it is water retention, but we will see. The dang thing seems to be hating on me for some reason or another, but I suppose I can just suck it up for a couple more days and hope things straighten themselves out.

The weather is pretty dismal today so I am doubting the chances for a walk. It will probably be all about the indoor activity this evening which is fine; I think it’s good to mix things up and keep the body guessing at what you’re going to throw at it next. There’s not too much on my mind this morning, so that’s it for right now…

Here, Taste This

I indulged… I ate the individually packaged peanut butter cup that a friend gave me a week ago. It was sooo good! I ate it so slowly that my husband actually exclaimed to me when he noticed I was just finishing it off, “you’re still eating that?!” Ha, ha! I was definitely savouring the taste!

It’s interesting to consider the different manner with which I eat things now compared to before beginning my quest to a thinner, healthier me. I actually take the time to enjoy what I put into my mouth these days whereas I used to just wolf stuff down without really tasting it.

When I was gorging myself I almost never took the opportunity to really relish the food and beverages that I was consuming. Often, I would throw something down my gullet and move onto whatever was next. Sure, I looked forward to certain things and did savour the occasional first bite of something I was particularly excited about having, but I mostly just opened the hatch and poured in the feed.

I was so concerned with getting the food into me – often because I had gone too long between meals – that I just ate too quickly to become very aware of what was passing by my lips. This wasn’t always the case; I certainly had my share of moments where I felt as though I were entering some hypnotic state based on the euphoria I was experiencing from a particular piece of chocolate or slice of cheesecake. But, many times I would find myself finished whatever I had been eating without having really tasted much of it at all.

Now things are different. I eat much slower than I used to, for starters. I take the time to let every bit of my palate become aware of what I am consuming. This allows me the chance to undertake the second part of my altered method of eating: I consider. I think about and contemplate the flavours and sometimes even what the food is doing for my body or how it is helping me get to goal. I am now a conscientious eater.

Everything that I put into my body I now do with thought. Nothing is eaten or drank without considering it’s appearance, texture, scent, flavour, and nutritional value. I love that I do this and that I am getting a much richer, fuller appreciation for foods than I ever had when I was simply tossing them into my mouth. I knew before I had my first bite that the peanut butter cup was going to be good but, because of my changing relationship with food, it was so much better than it ever would have been three months ago.

- 8 glasses of water throughout the day
- 2 1/2 cups beef and broccoli
- 1 Mandarin orange
- 1 wrap on a whole wheat tortilla shell with scrambled egg, spinach, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomato
- 5 corn bread crackers
- 1 toasted pear with cinnamon
- 8 pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 1 mug of vanilla pumpkin spice steamed soy milk
- 1 chocolate and peanut butter cup

- 1 hour and 30 minute walk
- 4 sets of 30 stomach crunches (2 straight, 1 right, and 1 left)
- 2 sets of 5 push ups

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Enjoying The Ride

I am in a great mood! I had a wonderful day yesterday and some fun things planned for today which I am looking forward to as well! I am so excited to continue with this journey and I have several significant numbers to slip past on my way to goal still, so that is just feeding my motivation right now. Next stop: one-derland!

I am going to take advantage of this wonderful feeling and do my best to convince my husband to take a really long walk with me a little later. It is okay weather for now and I am hoping that it continues to hold off on the rain so that we can get out and be active. If not, I will simply substitute my workout video or recumbent bike. I just love the walking though and it always leaves me feeling refreshed and like I accomplished a specific task when I am done, so I really hope that works out.

Other than those plans, there is not too much on the horizon. I am enjoying the weekend with my darling hubby and just sort of playing it by ear. Christmas is right around the corner and I know that there will be plenty of time to focus on really specific plans then. For now, I’m just enjoying the ride!

Survey Says...

The poll I was running that looked at weight loss challenges closed today so I thought I would let everyone know the results. Twenty-four people voted on what their particular difficulties are and, of those, nobody picked the options for ‘a lack of support’, ‘a lack of amenities’, or ‘physical limitations’. The other seven categories that were available to choose from showed the following:

10 votes for 'food' accounted for 41.7%
1 vote for 'exercise' accounted for 4.2%
1 vote for ‘time’ accounted for 4.2%
1 vote for 'stress’ accounted for 4.2%
6 votes for 'a mix of a few things' accounted for 25.0%
3 votes for 'a mix of everything' accounted for 12.5%
2 votes for 'other' accounted for 8.3%

Obviously food accounts for the largest portion of hardships along this journey and I am willing to bet that the ‘mixture’ votes were at least partially composed of people who have this same issue. It’s good though to be able to identify what challenges we may come across and what our individual triggers often are. It is an excellent step towards being successful on this road to healthier versions of ourselves.

On a more personal note, I am so excited! Today, one of my closest friends asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! I am honoured to stand up next to her when she gets married and I am very close with the groom as well, so I am totally thrilled to be a part of their special day!

One of the big reasons that I set my weight loss goal for completion in July of next year is that I have two nuptials to attend that month… and now I am going to be directly involved in one of them. Back in August when I decided to commit to this, the thought of arriving at these two weddings as a fairly normal sized woman was a big motivator for trying to make my dream come true. Interestingly, many different things have taken priority over this vision and I have discovered lots of other reasons to work at this. Looking nice for the weddings somehow fell to the wayside.

But now it is good to remember that I want to look great for these events. It is still quite a ways off, so I am feeling surprisingly optimistic about my chances of getting to goal before the celebrations. And now I have even more of a reason to work hard since I will actually be standing up in front of people and I don't want to feel awkward or out of place – although, I am positive everyone will be paying more attention to the happy couple!

- 9 glasses of water throughout the day
- 1/2 cup of grapes
- 3/4 cup fat free black cherry yogurt
- 1 mug of eggnog flavoured steamed skim milk
- 1 wonton dumpling
- 3 cups of beef and broccoli
- 5 corn bread crackers
- 3 cups of Caesar salad with light dressing and croutons

- 1 hour walk