Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good Versus Evil

I managed to fit a very short visit to the mall into today. I bought a cute shirt and a new pair of jeans in sizes medium and 10, respectively. I love being able to try on tops that are more than just completely plain or covered in random sequins - I think I might even be developing somewhat of a sense of style! And I can not believe that I am fitting into size 10’s! I am so excited!

I have just been buying one pair of pants as I get to each size because I simply can’t afford to purchase more. This means that I end up rotating between one pair that is really loose, one that more of less fits well, and a third that is slightly tight. Then, as I lose more weight, I grow out of the biggest pair and buy more to repeat the process. It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s all that my wallet can manage right now.

Anyhow, I recently had to phase out my 16’s and was holding off on new ones for as long as I could. Today, however, I noticed that my 14’s were feeling quite loose themselves so I knew I had to bite the bullet. My 12’s are still doing great, but now I have a pair of 10’s that I can use for the day to day too! Those 14’s are going to have to just be for around the house now because I am constantly having to pull them up. Next stop: single digits!

But before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to recognize something that I did today that was just plain bad. I ate a lot today specifically because I was procrastinating. I didn’t even realize that I was doing it for that reason – I just chalked it up to being extra hungry – but when I was chatting with my husband tonight I suddenly came to appreciate what I had actually done.

I’m not proud of this. In fact, I am actually pretty disappointed in myself. Normally, I think I give myself adequate slack when it comes to slipping up a little, but today I am unimpressed. I had something that I wanted to put off and in order to avoid it I choose to overeat. There are so many things wrong with that sentence!

I know that I can do better than this – and I will – but I just wish I had figured out what I was doing before the end of the night. I don’t like the fact that I wasn’t observant enough to recognize that it was not genuine hunger I was feeling.

At least I am conscious of all the issues that seem to be cropping up for me lately. I know that thinking stuff through will only serve me better in the long run. It’s hard sometimes because I really thought I had a good grasp on the mental stuff – that I had dealt with it all before I even started this journey – yet these types of issues seem to be more and more of a struggle for me lately. I will get it together though. I know I will. Size 8’s, here I come…

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 1 pear
- 4 cups of spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, yellow pepper, mushrooms, green onion, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 3/4 cup fat free mango-passion fruit yogurt with 1 cup Vector cereal
- 2 cups red grapes
- 3 cups celery with 1 light Laughing Cow wedge
- 1/2 cup corn with margarine
- 1 cup steamed asparagus with margarine
- 1/2 cup steamed potatoes with margarine
- 2 slices mustard and brown sugar glazed ham with mustard
- 1 mug toffee nut steamed skim milk
- 1 apple with cinnamon

- 15 minute walk
- 40 minutes of the C25K program (Day 2 of Week 9)

Sitting Down On The Job

I have one big project on the go that will be keeping me busy pretty much from now until bed time. The worst part is that it is the type of task that requires me sitting all day. It’s funny to think that before I would have jumped at the chance to stay stationary for as long as possible, but now I find it almost intolerable. My, how things have changed…

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I got to see my best friend from elementary school this afternoon. It was wonderful to visit with her and to catch up. We talked for much longer than I had thought we might and it was only because I had to leave for dragon boating practice that our conversation had to end. It was just really lovely to reconnect with such a sweet individual!

Seeing her today made me remember the last time that I ran into her. It was sixteen months ago, at the very end of November of 2008, and I was quickly edging towards my highest weight. I was probably around 260 pounds at that time. I saw her when I was reporting for an echocardiogram at the hospital where I had just spent the night in emergency.

I have always had very minor heart palpitations – my doctors have run all the necessary tests, on a couple of different occasions, to ensure that it is nothing serious. Basically, it has always been attributed to stress and has been viewed as nothing to worry about. But when you are over 250 pounds and starting to have daily concerns about your own mortality, heart palpitations become a lot more.

By that point, because of my severe lack of fitness and high level of obesity, I was convinced that I would soon die. There were a lot of nights where I would curl up on my husband’s chest as I went to sleep, vaguely comforted by the thought that if I didn’t wake up that at least I would pass away in his arms. Any tiny palpitation I experienced turned into a major episode because I would immediately become scared that it was something life threatening, which in turn would make my heart beat even faster because of the fear. It was a vicious circle that left me miserable and emotionally exhausted.

Then, one night, I just couldn’t get the terrifying thoughts out of my head. My heart was beating for all it was worth and I could not get to sleep because I was certain I would never again rise. I asked my husband to drive me to the emergency room and we spent the next several hours within the confines of the hospital. I can recall that one of my reoccurring thoughts at the time was, “at least if I have a heart attack now there are lots of doctors around to try and revive me.”

Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing. It was that same circular fear rearing its head in a monumental manner. They ran many tests and had me wired into monitors to check everything and all the results came back normal. But they decided to send me for an echocardiogram just to be sure.

So I went back to the hospital a day or two later, ready to learn about whatever cardiovascular disease I was sure I would be diagnosed with. That’s when I ran into my friend. She worked there, in the department I was reporting to, and was probably as shocked to see me as I was to see her. I don’t embarrass easily, but that encounter easily ranks near the top of my life’s worst moments.

She wasn’t the one running my tests and we only had a moment to say hello. It was brief but something that I will never forget. The echocardiogram turned out fine. All was well. And I (inexplicably) returned to the lifestyle I had created for myself – albeit working slowly on the mental aspects of this journey – for another eight months until I began this blog.

So when I last saw this particular childhood chum, I was at one of my absolute lowest points. And I still wasn’t ready to dig myself out of the early grave I had been creating. Yet, this afternoon I showed up to see my friend carrying very little extra weight, no signs of being unfit, and a huge smile plastered across my face. We talked, caught up, reminisced, laughed, and discussed. We got along as only old girlfriends can. It really was great to see her.

It was even better to see myself.

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 4 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, red pepper, mushrooms, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 1 mug toffee nut steamed skim milk
- 2 small Mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cranberry granola bar
- 6 pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 5 pieces of a dynamite sushi roll with soy sauce

- 1 hour and 5 minutes of walking completed in 3 outings (15 minutes long, 15 minutes long, and 35 minutes long)
- 1 hour and 5 minutes of rowing a dragon boat

Appearances Can Be Deceiving

I realized last night, when I was thinking about how I would be meeting up with an old friend today, that this is the first time I have not felt awful about how I would appear when seeing someone I hadn’t gotten together with in a long time. Even though I was already overweight in high school, my figure continued to drastically swell over the years and, consequently, encountering people I didn’t often see always left me feeling like I had really let myself go. Even over the last few years, I still did this when seeing past colleagues, or others I have known, since I knew I just kept getting bigger. It was like each time I ran into an old acquaintance I would have an immediate ‘before’ image pop into my head – one that reflected the ‘me’ they had last seen – and that picture was always much, much smaller than the version standing there.

But not today. Today I am looking forward to seeing my best friend from my elementary years. We quickly drifted apart when we went to secondary school, but were fortunately able to reconnect a little online over the last couple of years. I briefly ran into her once just prior to the Christmas before this last one and it was exactly the type of mentally embarrassing situation I mentioned above – worse even, given those specific circumstances. Yet this afternoon, when I see her and we have the chance to finally catch up, I look forward to not feeling like I am less than I may have been in her eyes because of my weight. I am certainly not saying that is how she (or anyone else, for that matter) would have seen me in my heavier days! It is simply the image that I was worried I was portraying.

No more! Today I will not be concerned about how I look; I won’t think twice about how my long lost friend might perceive me. Instead, I will enjoy catching up with a great person and will savour one more moment of normalcy that I withheld from myself for far too long.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Feeling Fabulous

Today was a fabulous day! I had a lovely, long chat with my wonderful mother, was granted a meeting with a woman I really respect and whom I think may be presenting me with some exciting and interesting opportunities in the future, and was even able to see my loving husband briefly for a very quick lunch break. It was just one of those afternoons that leaves one happy, contented, and inspired!

My eating was decent although I did somehow manage to sneak in a couple of celebratory chocolates. The exercise was good though! I am going to try to turn in at a decent time tonight in yet one more attempt to slip into a more regular sleeping schedule. One night I’ll get it right!

- 7 glasses of water
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 1 mug toffee nut steamed skim milk
- 6 inch sub on whole wheat bread with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, green pepper, black olives, light mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper
- 1 ice wine chocolate truffle
- 1 orange cream chocolate
- 2 mugs chai tea with honey and milk
- 1 pear
- 1/2 cup corn with margarine
- 1 skinless chicken drumstick
- 1 cup macaroni and cheese with pepper
- 2 small Mandarin oranges

- 25 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (10 minutes long and 15 minutes long)
- 40 minutes of the C25K program (Day 1 of Week 9)

Three Days Grace

The Three Day Jump Start Challenge is over and I am so glad that I did it! It was very good for me to have something that kept me focused over this long weekend and I am feeling more confident going into the rest of the week. In the past couple of months, I have slowly started to feel like my resolve was slipping just a little when Fridays came around, but this endeavor really kept me on track with the eating and the exercise during my most difficult part of the week.

A big thanks to my co-sponsor Lainey who also brought a lot of enthusiasm to the project! My appreciation also goes out to FoolsFitness, LauraLynne, Leah, Leslie, and Lisa for joining us on this excursion into a triumvirate of health focused days! I hope that you all feel like this helped you out and that you can continue the patterns you just set up in the days yet to come. Feel free to sport the challenge badge on your own blogs if you wish – you should all be very proud of what you accomplished!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

For Whom The Bells Toll

I was behind schedule this morning and had to rush off so I simply didn't have a chance to post until now! On the plus side of busy I got in a good workout and was able to maintain a great eating pattern throughout the day.

In other news, I am posting the last in my series of personal playlists for the C25K that I created from my own collection of tunes and a free no-music podcast. This means that I am nearing the end of the program! My husband (I can't believe he stuck with it this whole time) and I will be starting on the final week tomorrow. I am really proud of how far we have come!

I will definitely make sure that I post my thoughts on the program as a whole when I have completed it, but for now you can simply enjoy laughing openly at my ever odd musical tastes. If I had to pick just one song from this set to suggest for your own listening pleasure, it would be the Family Force 5 version of Carols of the Bells (yes, I am aware that it is not even remotely close to Christmas). Not only does it make me laugh every time I hear it - just because of the principle - but it actually has a really great beat that remakes my favourite holiday melody into something unexpectedly current which I am anticipating will be excellent for jogging to. Enjoy!

Week 8:
Over The Rainbow And Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Baby Got Back (I Like Big Butts) – Sir Mix-A-Lot
Stuck In The Middle With You – Stealers Wheel
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Proclaimers
If It Means A Lot To You – A Day To Remember
Someday – Nickleback
Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meatloaf
Beautiful Day – U2
I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack

Week 9:
Requiem For A Dream – Clint Mansell
Let The Spirit Move Me (Tara’s Song) – Xena Soundtrack
Friends In Low Places – Garth Brooks
Weapon Of Choice – Fat Boy Slim
Bad Day – Daniel Powter
Feel Good Time – Pink
I Love Myself Today – Bif Naked
Carol Of The Bells – Family Force 5
Spybreak (Short One) – Propellerheads
Bring Me To Life – Evanessence
Christina Aguilera – Beautiful

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli ham, grated cheese, dried cranberries, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 2 cups celery with light peanut butter
- 3/4 cup fat free raspberry yogurt with 1 cup Vector cereal
- 1 pear
- 4 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, green onion, tomato, mushrooms, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 egg omelet with grated cheese, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and pepper
- 2 gala apples with cinnamon

- 1 hour of walking completed in 2 outings (35 minutes long and 25 minutes long)
- 1 hour and 10 minutes of rowing a dragon boat


I had an excellent day which started off with me going to a Middle Eastern dance bizarre where I found a beautiful new belly dancing scarf and got to take part in two free workshops. I liked the first one better than the second because I felt like the instructor for the later class jumped in to the choreography much too quickly. A lot of people seemed to be having trouble keeping up with the fast pace at which she was teaching. I did have a lot of fun at both, but I definitely preferred the earlier class, which was run very well and featured much more of a traditional style of dance.

I also stuck to eating well for the second day of the Three Day Jump Start Challenge. One of the reasons I really like this little endeavor is because I have noticed I loosen up my boundaries on my eating routine just a touch when the weekend rolls around. Having this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday be dedicated to getting really focused about my healthy eating plan is making a difference to those couple of days I usually get slightly lax.

We actually ended the night at the house of a couple of friends and I was able to turn down offers of chips, licorice, and cheesy crackers without much effort at all. Nothing that was up for grabs was all that bad, but knowing that I was sticking to this plan really did help me to stay committed more than I might have on a different night out. Plus, the challenge kept me away from indulging in a flavoured steamed milk (or two) this afternoon!

- 10 glasses of water
- 2 cups heated tuna salad with grated cheese, onion, zucchini, fat free Miracle Whip, seasoning, and pepper
- 3 cups Caesar salad with bacon pieces, Parmesan cheese, and croutons
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup corn with butter
- 1 cup pasta salad
- 1 cup steamed broccoli and cauliflower with butter
- 3/4 cup pork tenderloin
- 1 slice homemade cinnamon bread
- 2 1/2 cups strawberries

- 50 minute shimmy belly dancing workshop
- 40 minute tribal fusion belly dancing workshop

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weigh-In For Week 33

After adamantly sticking to my plan these past few days and having that nearly five pound mid-week gain in the back of my head this whole time, I am excited to report that I have lost a grand total of 0.2 pounds from last week! It may be a teeny, tiny loss, but I am so hugely thankful that I managed to pull it off! I really was expecting to see a gain today and was prepared to just keep working at getting off whatever else remained, but continuing my downward trend (no matter how minuscule) makes me very happy!

This is one of those weeks where I can say that I earned every ounce – both when the number went up and as it slowly came back down. I am really proud that I didn’t just ditch all of my hard work as I probably would have in the past, and even more pleased that I finally seem to be moving past the all or nothing attitude that was a self-sabotaging mechanism of prior weight loss efforts.

The loss I am reporting today may be barely worth registering compared to my other weigh-ins, but it represents a lot more to me than most of the bigger numbers I have seen during this journey. It’s true what they say. The best things really do come in small packages!

Ask And You Shall Receive

I had a number of comments on my last post asking for a picture of my new skirt and I am happy to oblige! I have to say I thankful for all the requests because it makes this a really simple post, and with me so tired right now putting up a photo is probably all I could have managed at this point anyhow. Enjoy!
- 8 glasses of water
- 1 pear
- 2 egg omelet with grated cheese, orange pepper, onion, mushrooms, and pepper
- 1/2 cranberry and almond multi-grain bar
- 4 1/2 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, orange pepper, mushrooms, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 3/4 cup fat free mango-passion fruit yogurt
- 1 banana
- 1 small Mandarin orange

- 40 minutes of the C25K program (Day 3 of Week 8)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Skirting The Issue

First of all, I want to send out a big welcome to Lisa and Leah who have decided to join the Three Day Jump Start Challenge! I’m so excited to have people join Lainey and me for this brief excursion into reestablishing good, healthy habits!

I also wanted to mention that I bought a skirt yesterday! Now, that may not seem like a very significant venture to anyone else, but I can’t remember ever owing something like this. There’s nothing really special about it… except that it comes to above my knees! For me, this is a huge deal. The only ones I have ever owned in the past have been very unstructured and quite long, and even those were only pulled out to wear on extremely rare occasions.

But this new skirt is red, relatively body hugging, and adaptable to wear as either a shorter, high-waisted option or to be worn just above the knee. When I was in the store buying it, I mentioned to the sales person that my husband would be blown away by the fact that I had purchased such a garment and, sure enough, when I modeled it for him later he commented about how he has never seen me in anything quite like it. I think it looks really cute and just the simple fact that I thought to try it on – let alone buy it – is a big non-scale victory for me. I will be wearing it tonight and feeling fine!

I also had a bonus experience to go along with buying the skirt. I needed to get some stockings to go with the newly acquired piece and ended up buying some cheap one-size-fits-all hose, and I actually had no problems getting into them when I tried them on at home! For anyone who has ever been obese it is no secret that one-size-fits-all is generally known to be a complete lie, so I was skeptical. But apparently I can now categorize myself as one of the masses because they fit just fine. Sometimes it’s nice to be average!

Sugar And Spice

Yesterday, I was awarded the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award from Elizabeth at Lose 100 Pounds In 365 Days… for helping her to see blogging as a means to stay accountable. I am always floored when someone thinks I am worthy of these badges! I was given this accolade just a few days ago, so I am going to use that recent post to ensure that I am complying with the guidelines of this award. Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for thinking of me!

First thing in the morning I will be beginning the Three Day Jump Start Challenge. Lainey and I have joined forces to promote a long weekend of healthy choices. So if you would like to join us, and introduce a little recommitment and excitement into your next three days, please feel free! Thanks so much to Leslie, LauraLynne, and FoolsFitness who have already decided to sign-up for this fun adventure! The more the merrier!

- 11 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup blueberry yogurt
- 4 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, orange pepper, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 cups red grapes
- 1 3/4 cups strawberries
- 2 1/2 cups heated tuna salad with grated cheese, onion, zucchini, fat free Miracle Whip, seasoning, and pepper
- 1 apple with cinnamon

- 40 minutes of the C25K program (Day 2 of Week 8)
- 35 minute step workout video
- 1 hour and 15 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (35 minutes long and 40 minutes long)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jump Start Your Life

Alright, who wants a challenge?! I have conspired with the fabulous Lainey over at Shrink to come up with the fun Three Day Jump Start Challenge! My co-sponsor and I hope you will join us in lighting a fire under our slowly diminishing, and still in progress, behinds!

So, what do you have to do to join in on the excitement? Recommit to your healthier lifestyle for three days. That’s it! There are no specifics, no pressure, and no grand expectations. Starting tomorrow, just focus on what works for you – we all know that the plan designed for the individual is the one that works the best – and do it well for three days.

Less structured downtime can be so hard and that’s why we decided to run this challenge on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you can get three of the toughest days under your belt hopefully that will lead into a great week, and maybe even a nice long run of success! We suspect that the focus you may discover during this long weekend will spur you (and us) onto long term triumphs. Sometimes all it takes is that first step – or leap!

Lainey and I really hope you will accept our invitation to join in on the Three Day Jump Start Challenge, and as extra incentive we created this little badge for those participants who wish to display it on their blogs. It says, “That’s right, I jumped in with both feet and I liked it!”

The Mental Process - Part Two

I feel like I have developed the ability to eat intuitively. I know that is basically an oxymoron, but that doesn’t negate the validity of my statement. Just like trying out for dragon boating and discovering that I have some talent for it, I finally found out that I am pretty good at making proper eating choices. Yet that does not mean that it is an innate mechanism. If I had never tried the sport I would have gone my whole life without knowing I could row, and – likewise – had I not focused on working towards my weight loss goals I would never have cultivated my aptitude for making healthy decisions about food.

I don’t think, however, that this scenario is the same for everyone. It seems that there are a lot of people who are fortunate enough to have more of a built-in disposition – something that comes very naturally to them – to never really overeat. Without getting into a debate on nature versus nurture, I believe that some of us have always had a harder time accessing those good habits when it comes to our food intake.

This is at the crux of one of my biggest frustrations and is the second half of why I think I binged the other day. When my mental stores are depleted I have a really hard time not wanting to return to my own natural state. For over thirty years I shoved whatever I wanted to in my gullet and didn’t worry about the consequences. That’s obviously oversimplifying things since I expended a lot of time, effort, and money on all sorts of different weight loss programs in the past, but it speaks honestly of my most basic behaviours when it came to food.

And that’s where a certain, twisted comfort lies. Wanting to do what comes naturally feels very uncomplicated. This? Being on this journey and relearning a lifetime of behaviors – while extremely rewarding and generally easier than I ever dreamed it might be – is still really hard. So in those few weakened moments, when I feel like the fight has completely gone out of me and my mind drifts to the ‘why bothers?’, I just want to feel normal.

What it boils down to is that I don’t want to have to think about it. I don’t need the stress or worry and I can certainly do without the self-admonishments if I find myself tempted to overindulge. So should I just give up?

It could be nice to retreat to my old ways. I think I might actually find some comfort still in eating mindlessly. It would be lovely to sit for days on end without worrying about exercise.

The one element that really gives me the answer to my question, though, is how I chuckled inside my own head when I wrote it out. There is no turning back. It’s not even an option. This is for life and there is no requirement of perfection nor for purity of thoughts. I will not be sent back to my obese cage just because of a little slip-up or for merely internally reminiscing about the numbing freedom that I imagined myself to previously have.

So, I will continue. It may not always be the clearest path – and, indeed, some obstacles may be harder to find my way around than others – but it is the right one. I know many people have used this trail before me, and countless more will tread it yet. Some travellers seem to navigate all the twists and turns without batting an eye and others veer off the main avenue and wander aimlessly for a time through the forest, either finding their way back eventually, discovering some other route to explore, or simply becoming lost amid the growth. For me, I hope to follow this road home. I may take a detour now and then, or perhaps just curl up and have a break before forging on, but ultimately I know that this is the path that will get me to where I need to go.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Mental Process - Part One

I have been thinking a lot about why I binged on Monday. As much as I am comfortable with putting it behind me and moving forward with this journey, I also believe that it can really help me in the long run to examine why I had so much trouble a couple of days ago.

I really think that what it comes down to is that I was tired. It wasn’t just about being physically worn down, but also about the mental exhaustion that eventually sets in when I have those lowered energy stores. I believe that it is that combination of factors that really triggered my overeating.

When I look back at the one other time during this journey that I feel like I succumbed to too much food, I see a similar pattern. I was sick with a cold at that point – again, run down physically first – and just couldn’t get enough of a mental battle going to prevent the binge. Obviously, I really need to figure out a way to prevent the slide from bodily fatigue into mental lethargy, as that seems to create an apathetic mindset that is doing me no good.

So I have come up with a short list of things to try if I start to feel the shift from physical to psychological tiredness. Hopefully, if I manage to apply these techniques before I find myself face down in a cheesecake, I can curtail the tendency towards overindulgence.

- take a nap
- manicure my fingernails
- go for a short walk
- catch up on emails and blog reading
- have a bath
- give myself a facial
- ask my husband for a massage
- play a board game
- paint my toenails
- practice my belly dancing routine

Note: I have a second part to this little introspection that I will post in the morning. It is along the same line of self-examination, but it covers a different topic so I want to keep the thoughts separate.

- 11 glasses of water
- 1 toasted English muffin with light peanut butter
- 1 banana
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup Vector cereal
- 2 gala apples with cinnamon
- 9 pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 4 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, orange pepper, mushrooms, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 cranberry and almond multi-grain bar
- 1 1/2 cup asparagus with margarine
- 4 cups low fat butter flavoured popcorn
- 2 mugs of chai tea with honey and milk

- 1 hour and 10 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (10 minutes long and 1 hour long)
- 25 minutes mowing the lawn

Tired Of Being Tired

After a week and a half of being on this new schedule, I am still having a hard time adjusting. I think my big problem is just that I am putting off going to sleep until the last possible moment, so I am shortchanging myself on my rest when I still have to get up early. Right now I really want to have a nap, but I know that if I do I will just mess myself up even more. Ugh! I am dragging.

I am still on plan and working to slowly counter the damage from Monday’s binge. Food has been good and there is fresh produce in the house now which should help even more. I already got a good walk in today and the C25K is tonight. I’d like to squeeze something else in there too, but we will see what there is time for.

Overall, I think I would be feeling a bit more positive if I wasn’t so sleepy, but I am doing well. Not all days are going to be stellar, but at least I am trudging along – fortunately, not reluctantly – with quiet resolution pushing me from behind.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back On The Horse

After my monumental stumble yesterday I am moving forward, trying to regain some of the ground that I lost (or should that be 're-lose some of the pounds that I gained'?). Whatever the case may be, I am leaving Monday's binge where it belongs - in the past - and I am continuing on with what I know works on this journey. I am planning on trying to work in some extra exercise for a few days in an attempt to hasten the shredding of the consequences of my actions, but otherwise I am keeping this simple and just doing what has brought me success thus far. Why complicate things?

I think that in the past I would have made this recent overindulgence the catalyst to sabotaging myself. I would have either shut down completely and immediately reverted back to my old habits causing me to spiral ever further into the regaining nightmare that I have been a part of again and again. Or, I might have attempted to punish myself by limiting my food or by trying to perform unrealistic workouts beyond my comfort zone; this would inevitable lead me to give up altogether because I simply can't live up to those sorts of expectations.

One day. I messed up just one day. It won't undo all that I have done and it doesn't really make sense to drastically change anything at this point. I am doing well and I simply have to stay the course in order to see the results that I want.

I will eat clean. I will be active. I will be kind to myself. This works and it is for life!

- 10 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 2 scrambled eggs with spicy cheese, frozen spinach, and pepper
- 3 1/2 cups celery with light peanut butter
- 1 small Mandarin orange
- 1 cup spicy rice
- 2 slices brown sugar and mustard glazed ham with mustard
- 1 pear

- 40 minutes of the C25K program (Day 1 of Week 8)
- 40 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (both 20 minutes long)
- 1 hour and 5 minutes of rowing a dragon boat

Mid-Week Weigh-In

Time for a reality check. 158.4. That’s almost five pounds up from my last official weigh-in, just three days ago. Due to yesterday's binge some of it is from bloating, but some of it is a genuine gain. I have no idea if I will be able to get it back off by this Saturday, but I am going to try.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Slippery Slope

I am actually feeling a bit concerned right now. Both today and on Saturday I gave into some poorer eating choices, but I am having little remorse over the decisions I made. I feel like these types of days have been sneaking back in just a tad since the start of the year, and I really need to make sure that this is not the start of a trend that will send me back into an unhealthy body.

I want this! I have come too far and worked too hard to let myself lose sight of my goals. I don’t want to start losing my footing on some slippery slope that will see me falling face first into a deep-fried, full-fat, high-calorie, no-nutritional-value-whatsoever, all-you-can-eat dessert and fast food buffet. I have dug my way out of that hole already; why am I risking behaviors that can lead me back into the dark?

I need to get my act together. I know that I have done well so far and that I have nothing to complain about in regards to my weekly weigh-ins, but I am also positive that I could be doing better. I am getting lazy. I know myself, and the habits I have allowed to trickle back into my routine will eventually begin to accumulate – both as an impediment to my general progress and on the scale.

It’s time to recommit. I have to refocus and figure out what my motivation is right now. Why is this important to me?

There have been so many good habits that I have adopted over the past seven months – and most of the time they get me through the days that I lack enthusiasm – but it really helps me to have underlying reasons to accomplish my goals. I must rediscover what those factors are for me, or at least find new ones to help me through the next little while. I have to figure this out…

…and here’s the worst part: I wrote all of the above a couple of hours before posting, knowing full well that I was about to go to the kitchen to hunt for more food in an attempt to round off this bad eating spell prior to admitting to it. I figured that if I was bringing attention to the problem in an attempt to counter it that I may as well enjoy a few last bites before I tackled the issue. This is the same attitude that I had when I used to stuff my face the night before going on a diet. Plus, at one point when I was standing there eating and then heard my husband coming, I turned towards the sink so that he wouldn’t see me continuing to stuff my face with chocolate smeared across my mouth. I even had a couple of tears roll down my cheeks when I caught myself justifying more and more food even after just eating and, again, when I realized I had given myself a stomach ache from consuming so much.

I hate posting this – it feels awful to confess to these behaviors and I actually want to bawl right now – but I have to make sure that I am holding myself accountable even when I am doing something I am far from proud of. I normally feel like I have worked through the majority of my food issues. I think that, by and large, I am finally coping with eating in a regular manner that exemplifies moderation. Then there are days like today.

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 4 cups Caesar salad with baby shrimp, Parmesan cheese, and croutons
- 6 yam fries with spicy mayonnaise dip
- 6 bites garlic focaccia bread
- 2/3 banana pastry dessert with whipped cream and 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 1 bite chocolate brownie dessert with vanilla ice cream
- 3/4 cup fat free strawberry yogurt with 1 cup Vector cereal
- 1 cup green frozen beans, broccoli, and onions
- 1/4 cup mashed potatoes with margarine
- 3 slices brown sugar and mustard glazed ham with mustard
- 3 white chocolate covered strawberries
- 1 slice of homemade coconut fudge bar
- 2 mugs of chai tea with honey and milk
- 9 pieces of a California sushi roll with soy sauce
- 7 large whole grain crackers with cheese
- 4 bites of a Double Decker chocolate bar
- 1 toasted English muffin with 2 light Laughing Cow wedges
- 1 Tb light peanut butter with chocolate chips

- 30 stomach crunches

Low Gear

It’s going to be a low key day today. I am tired and feeling sore (arms, legs, posterior, you name it…), plus there is not too much on the agenda. I have stuff that needs to get done but most of it requires little to no energy. That’s probably a good thing considering my nearly non-existent verve this morning.

Gimme Some Sugar

Today I found out that I am one of the very honoured recipients of the Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award from both Onewhocares at Cornwallfitgirl and Matt at Lots To Lose! I really appreciate that you nominated me for this new accolade; I am touched! Onewhocares choose me for this award because of my ever-changing progress photos and for having a tendency to write about a lot of normal stuff, and Matt picked me since I have shown a consistent loss each week on the scale since beginning my journey back in August. Thank you both for thinking that me and my journal are worthy of this nod of recognition!

As with most such blogger awards there are guidelines to follow:

1. Thank the person who gave you the Sugar Doll award.
2. Write why you were given the award.
3. Pass the award on to 5 bloggers who have made your life a little sweeter and write how they have done it.
4. Notify them of the award.

I love this part! I am thrilled that I have the privilege of passing this fun badge onto the following along with my congratulations:

1. L. at 100in12 makes me laugh a lot and generally has really fun, youthful energy that comes through in her writing.
2. Dawne at 365 Days To A New Me! feels like a bit of a kindred soul as we are travelling very similar paths started quite close together.
3. Diane at Fit To The Finish has consistently thought-provoking posts which carefully examine the many different aspects of weight loss and healthier living.
4. Tammy at From Fat To Fab is the most determined woman on the web and I find her tenacity a constant source of inspiration.
5. Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink / Bump Grow is an excellent writer whose intelligent and honest tone examines the day to day battles of living healthier.

- 3 glasses of water
- 1 toasted English muffin with light peanut butter and light strawberry jam
- 1 banana
- 2 scrambled eggs with grated cheese and frozen spinach
- 4 cups salad with ham, grated cheese, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, black olives, and honey mustard dressing
- 2 bites caramel and chocolate apple
- 1 mug coconut steamed skim milk

- 1 hour of rowing a dragon boat
- 25 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (15 minutes long and 10 minutes long)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Run Ragged

Last night’s C25K jog sucked. Ugh! What a horrible run! I felt bloated and slow for most of it and even got a couple of stitches in my side towards the end. I came really close to slowing down to a walking pace a few different times in the last five minutes or so. I really have no idea how I managed to finish it off without stopping because – I have to say – it was hard!

Sometimes things are just rough, I guess. And sometimes things are made rough by our own actions. I know I didn’t create the best running circumstances for myself given that I initially put the program off for a day – which meant I was committed to doing the jog on an evening that I knew I had a family supper to attend. Plus, I overate at said dinner which left me feeling extremely heavy even after several hours of digestion. Sigh…

Lesson learned (I hope).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Luck Of The Draw

I admit it… I overate tonight. But, oh man, was the food ever good! I did not have things that were really horrible for me (alright, maybe I’m ignoring the coconut fudge bar on my food list when I write that), but I did eat past feeling full. I had a wonderful time out at a family dinner this evening spending quality time with people I love, and so I wasn’t focused enough to avoid overindulged in the incredibly great tasting food that my talented mother-in-law made. Oh, well. Sometimes life is simply meant to be enjoyed!

On the complete flip side of that coin, my extremely caring father-in-law made a point of gently asking me if I was planning on continuing to drop more weight. I could tell that he was probably becoming concerned and I assured him that I just carry it well. I didn’t get the impression that that was comforting enough though so I confided that I still weigh over 150 pounds. That seemed to do the trick! I think actually hearing a number that proved I am not as light as he believed put his fears to rest. My mother and I just had a similar conversation where I told her my weight and she admitted that she thought I was closer to 130 or even 120 pounds. It amazes me to know that the people in my life have that perception of me because I still have a hard time remembering that there are significant changes in my appearance some days!

It’s time to announce the winner of my Luck Of The Irish Giveaway! I placed all the names of the people who commented on the giveaway post into a hat and had my husband randomly draw one, and the winner is Beckie from Confessions Of A “Pleasingly Plump” Single Mommie! Congratulations!!! Email me your mailing address and I will find you a fresh four-leaf clover in the next day or two (or dig up one of my older pressed ones if I have too much difficulty), tape it to some card stock for safe shipping, and send it to you as soon as I can! Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this fun little contest! Just to prove I actually can find them… this is one of my pressed four-leaf clovers (shown much larger than actual size).

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1 toasted English muffin with light peanut butter and light strawberry jam
- 1 toffee nut steamed skim milk
- 3 cups Caesar salad with Parmesan cheese, bacon pieces, croutons, and light dressing
- 1 cup green and red grapes
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes with butter
- 1/4 cup canned corn with butter
- 1 white dinner bun with butter
- 3 sweet pickles
- 3 slices brown sugar and mustard glazed ham with mustard
- 1 cup fruit salad with bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, and grapes
- 1 slice of homemade coconut fudge bar
- 5 white chocolate covered grapes
- 3 large white chocolate covered strawberries

- 35 minutes of the C25K program (Day 3 of Week 7)

Weigh-In For Week 32

I can now officially say - with the help of these most recent three - that since starting this blog a little more than seven months ago I have lost over 100 pounds! I can barely believe it, but I have dropped three digits in the last 220 days! Technically, I saw the milestone passed a day or two ago, but I always enjoy being able to put the statistics up on my side bar; it makes it feel more real when I record the numbers for my weigh-in days.

Wow! What a great way to welcome in the spring! I feel like I am blossoming just like the colourful flowers that I see popping up in gardens and amid tree branches lately! I have dropped over 110 pounds in less than a year – the majority of it in these past thirty-two weeks – and I am feeling so great! I am quickly closing in on the first goal that I set for myself and I couldn’t be happier!!!

Edit: Wow... just looking at the "starting weight" and the "current weight" on my side bar really drives this home!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Nothing Can Hold A Torch To This Feeling

I am so tired! But I had so much fun! I took my Paralympic torch down to the city centre late this afternoon to let people hold it and take photos with it. We ended up with a steady stream of both tourists and locals for about six hours (taking one quick break for food and another to use the washroom). Everyone seemed so excited to have their time with the torch and one woman, who works for the big museum downtown, even told my husband that I was quite the ambassador!

After placing a number of phone calls this week, I finally got to speak with someone official today who was able to tell me that going downtown in my relay garb with the torch is definitely being encouraged. I am completely exhausted, but that won’t stop me from returning tomorrow and on Sunday! I have never had the opportunity to make such a large amount of people so happy at once and I just can’t pass it up!

I do have to admit to one drawback… I am so beat that I decided to put off doing my C25K session until tomorrow. It doesn’t put me behind at all, but I feel a tiny bit guilty that I am opting out because I am essentially too tired from playing! Oh, well! I suspect that I burned a lot of calories today from simply walking around and flexing those cheek muscles due to all the smiling I was doing. Good moods burn fat, right!?!

Remember, this is the last chance to enter my giveaway!!!

- 7 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 2 egg wrap on a soft tortilla shell with grated cheese, frozen spinach, and pepper
- 6 inch sub on a whole wheat bun with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onion, black olives, light mayonnaise, mustard, and pepper
- 3 small Mandarin oranges
- 1 sip of gingerbread steamed soy milk
- 1 cranberry and almond multi-grain bar
- 1 gala apple with cinnamon

- 30 stomach crunches
- 15 lunges for each leg
- 15 squats


Hmmm… I’m just sort of staring at the computer screen right now. Apparently I don’t have much to say at the moment. I have a pretty busy day ahead of me, so I think I am simply having trouble focusing because I know I need to get at it.

It should be an on-plan day today; there is nothing that I know of that is likely to get in the way of quality food and exercise. My sleep patterns still leave a little to be desired though as this is the third day in a row that I have woken up from a bad (and violent) dream. I wish I could get into the groove of this new schedule a little more.

Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter my fun little giveaway!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sign Me Up!

My mom did something amazing for me today! She handed me a cheque to cover the cost of joining the dragon boating team we have been rowing with and told me to sign my husband and myself up. She said me that she is proud of me for losing the weight and for keeping it off… I was so touched to hear her say that! Her overwhelming generosity is certainly welcome and appreciated, but so, too, are her words of encouragement. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful mother!

So, it appears that the decision has been made for me. We will, indeed, be joining the dragon boating team and I am very excited by that! Last time we were there my husband remarked to the coach that I was doing awesome at picking it up and the team leader seemed to be pretty emphatic about agreeing with my man. I’ve never felt like I was really good at any type of sport, so this is all totally alien to me… but it does feel great to think that I am actually contributing to the team efforts. I can’t wait to officially sign up!

- 6 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 2 egg wrap on a soft tortilla shell with grated cheese, red pepper, and onion
- 3 sips amaretto steamed milk
- 1 mug coconut steamed skim milk
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup sweet and sour chicken with sauce
- 1/2 cup corn with butter
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli, carrots, and celery with five cheese dip
- 1 small glass homemade fruit smoothie
- 1 cup strawberries
- 3/4 cup red grapes

- 30 stomach crunches

It's All In My Head

Last night I wrote about how, “I now have thoughts, feelings, and dreams that - a year ago - I didn’t even know could exist.” I typed out those words fully believing them, but before I crawled into bed I was humbled by the raw honesty that I rediscovered in them such a short time after their initial composition.

My husband and I are working towards jogging an entire 5K. We are now on Week 7 of the C25K and will shortly be looking into doing an official race to actualize the culmination of the program. (According to my darling man – who has challenged himself every step of the way along this particular path – said race will be the last time that he partakes in any running activity. Ever.)

Last night, when we were discussing the upcoming pinnacle of this endeavor, I asked him a question. “What do you think of me participating in a 10K?” Even writing that right now brings me back to the moment and I am fighting to keep the tears from coming. I always knew I had lofty aspirations, but never for these types of undertakings.

We talked about it and, in his typical encouraging manner, my husband has me nearly convinced that it is something I could and should look into. I know that there is such a race coming up in May; it’s big, but it’s local. I suspect that I would have to walk for quite a few parts of it, but the fact that I am contemplating it at all is what is amazing to me right now.

As we chatted, I confessed that I still have a picture in my head of what I used to look like. I have a really hard time understanding how that person even thinks that they are capable of the challenges they have actually been rising up to meet. Look at her! She weighs 266 pounds, eats horribly, and never exercises. There’s no way she could ever participate in a 10K! Why would that thought even cross her mind?!

The fact is that it never did. I’m not the exact same individual that I was seven months ago. I have shed countless pounds, many inches, unhealthy habits, insecurities, and mental blocks. And I have bigger dreams.

The image in my head looks a lot different from the woman I now see in the mirror. I need to remember that today’s hopes and desires belong to the individual who appears in the latter… and that she deserves to see them through. It makes me a little sad to know that I never before gave myself the chances that I am these days – that my weight apparently held me back so much more than I ever suspected – but I'm happy that I am finally experiencing this unsuppressed illumination. Nothing can get in my way now… not even myself.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beyond Limitations

My schedule is just swamped right now! I really want to do more on the exercise front in particular, but I am coming up short on my free time. It is really just a couple of bigger projects that are filling my days, so hopefully when those are done I will settle back into a longer workout program. When I started I was managing an average of probably a couple of hours of activity per day, but lately I am struggling to do any more than thirty minutes.

On the plus side, I have to say that a half hour of exercise is a lot more than I ever used to do! A very short time ago, I would have balked at the thought of doing any type of workout every single day, much less enjoying them and wishing I could do more. It’s incredible to think about just how far I have come on this journey when considering the mental aspects of it.

The different perspective that I currently have is very freeing; I can not even begin to imagine returning to the restrictive confines of my previously obese body! I now have thoughts, feelings, and dreams that - a year ago - I didn’t even know could exist. I am so happy to be in this place! I know that I will never return to the many impediments I placed upon myself by covering my body with layer upon layer of fat and limitations.

If you missed it, I am doing a small but fun giveaway in honour of Saint Patrick’s Day and the way I seem to be exhibiting the luck of the Irish in the weight loss arena!

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli ham, spicy cheese, dried cranberries, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 golden delicious apple with cinnamon
- 2 cups red grapes
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup Vector cereal
- 6 pan-fried cheese and potato perogies with bacon, onion, and light sour cream
- 2 cups heated blueberries with cinnamon and sugar

- 35 minutes of the C25K program (Day 2 of Week 7)

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Saint Patrick’s Day! The sun is actually shining here and I am feeling great! Fabulous and healthy food, exercise, and temperament are all on tap (as is, perhaps, some Guinness for later on this evening) for the day!

I was thinking that it might be fun to do something different in celebration of the fine festivities that this holiday is known to inspire. I, myself, do have a partially Irish ancestry and that may account for the fact that I am forever finding four-leaf clovers. Truly, if I were to wager a guess, I might estimate that I have plucked up nearly a thousand of these tiny plants over the years, and have even found several five-leaf and a few six-leaf ones too.

At any rate, because it is Saint Patrick's Day, and due to the fact that I am fully aware of how fortunate I have been to lose nearly one hundred pounds in just seven months (hard work and determination being the main factor, of course), I would like to spread the luck of the Irish to one fabulous reader! So feel free to leave a remark on this post if you would like to be entered for a chance to win a four-leaf clover!

At 11:59pm on March 19th I will put the names of all the commenters into a hat and randomly draw one happy person to whom I will send this symbol of good luck. (Note that it I will be permanently affixing it to a piece of card stock to ensure the integrity of the item through the mail.) I hope you all enjoy this little bit of Saint Patrick's Day fun, and I leave you to your celebrations with the following:

“May love and laughter light your days
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
With joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours!”
~ Irish Blessing ~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pain In The...

Dragon boating is hard! I always knew that it would provide a good arm workout, but I was not prepared for the way that it requires the whole body to commit to the activity. The most surprising part is the way that my behind has been in agony for the last three days!

When I tried this sport for the first time they told me that if I rotate my hips just right and engage myself properly that I would have sore glutes afterwards. Well, when we were done I didn’t really feel like that part hurt any more than the rest of me so I assumed that I needed to work on my form. The next morning showed me that I must be a natural (which, incidentally, is what a couple of people on the team have kindly told me). My butt was so sore!

Right in the centre of each cheek it ached like crazy! Wow, was it ever tender… I even found myself standing up more often, rather than sitting for long periods, in an attempt to avoid putting pressure on the sensitive area. This lasted for about three or four days and eventually I was good to go again.

Then, a week after my first attempt at dragon boating, I had the opportunity to go out on the water again this past Sunday. Cue the reappearance of my prior pain! This time I felt it before I went to bed, but I was at least happy about the fact that I was still doing the rowing correctly. Yesterday and today there was no relief in sight for my poor buttocks, and then this evening I went to another training session! Yikes!!!

Oh, the hardship (all puns intended) that my poor, unsuspecting derrière has suffered! I would turn the other cheek, but – alas – one is feeling as bruised as the other. I may become the butt of many jokes for saying this, but I feel like I have hit rock-bottom… like I am behind in my healing and will remain so until this form of exercise begins to sit right with me. On the other hand, paddling may initially leave me tender, but it also strengthens my fundamental base as pain takes a backseat. I do hope that if this injury begins to affect my stroke that my teammates don’t think I am just resting on my haunches, as nothing could be further from the truth! I really am putting out a maximus effort!

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 pear
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 2 golden delicious apples with cinnamon
- 3 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, red pepper, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 small Mandarin oranges
- 1 glass of rye and diet coke
- 1 lemon and rosemary game hen breast
- 2/3 cup coleslaw
- 2 cups pasta, broccoli, green beans, and onion with Alfredo sauce

- 45 minutes of walking completed in 2 outings (15 minutes long and 30 minutes long)
- 45 minutes of rowing a dragon boat

Significant Progress

I thought it might be time to hand out some new Significant Milestone Awards! As usual I am humbled by the vast amount of success that I see people achieving and I hope that these little nods of recognition assist the recipients in some tiny way to stay the paths they are on. My most heartfelt congratulations go out for the grand and inspiring accomplishments of the following:

Jo at 282.5 for losing over 25% of her original body weight and moving from Class 2 obesity to Class 1!

Carla at MizFit for running in a half marathon!

Matt at Lots To Lose for dropping 10% of his body weight since the beginning of the year!

Chris at A Deliberate Life for making it into the ‘overweight’ category all the way from starting out ‘morbidly obese’!

Beth at Bought For A Price for being able to stop biting her nails after nearly five decades of succumbing to that habit!

Too Late

Ugh! This whole getting to bed at a decide hour thing isn't working out that well so far. My inner night owl is refusing to play along! The Not So Secret Life Of A Not So Super Together Mom just featured a couple of posts last week on the importance of getting a good night's rest. Maybe I should go back and reread those to try and drill the necessity of sleep into this thick head of mine.

- 8 glasses of water
- 3 small Mandarin Oranges
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
- 1/2 cup corn with margarine
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes with margarine
- 2/3 cup meatloaf with catsup
- 1 pomegranate and raspberry whole grain muffin
- 1 pear
- 1 cranberry and almond multi-grain bar

- 35 minutes of the C25K program (Day 1 of Week 7)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sitting, Sleeping, And Snacking

I think today will be fairly low key. I have a lot to do, but nothing that requires too much running around. I will probably be stuck sitting on my behind for the majority of the day, but I will be sure to get in some proper exercise at some point.

I have to admit that I hit snooze on the alarm clock a few too many times this morning. I hope transitioning over to this new schedule doesn’t raise too many issues. I think it will probably just take me a couple of days to get used to it, but I am usually such a night owl that it feels a little like I am going against my natural body rhythms right now. Proper sleep is an important part of living a healthier lifestyle, so I hope that any problems I have with this change are short-lived.

Food should be on plan today. I am not anticipating any obstacles in that area. It’s nice to finally be at a point where what I eat is more of a natural process than anything else. I really feel like I have successfully altered over thirty years of bad habits. There are definitely days where I struggle – and there have been a few where I downright rage against the changes I have made, sometimes still succeeding and occasionally experiencing setbacks – but overall I know that I have developed patterns that will keep me healthier for the long term. It feels great to be reaching a place where such an important aspect of this journey has actually become an inherent part of me.

Daylight Savings And Then Some

My sleeping schedule is significantly changing – and it’s not just due to the clocks being moved forward an hour – so from now on I will be posting at different times than I normally have. Until this point, I was generally putting up journal entries in the mid-afternoon and around two or three in the morning, but now it will likely be sometime in the morning and prior to midnight.

Through these changes I will continue to strive for writing two posts each day. I know that it is not something that I am likely to be able to maintain forever, but I really like how it focuses me early in my day and allows me, at the end of my night, to think about whatever happened throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. I feel like it especially assists me when preparing to face challenging moments and when I am assessing what went right or wrong with my plans to continue with this healthier lifestyle.

I have to say that blogging is a much bigger part of this journey than I ever would have guessed it might be. It is an amazingly useful tool and I am so thankful that I discovered it and its amazing counterpart: this outstanding online community.

So, due to my drastically altered schedule I must now head to bed because I am actually up a bit late, even though it is really early to me. I hope I don’t have too much trouble switching over to a new sleeping pattern. It’s probably a really good thing that I made sure the tea I had an hour ago was decaffeinated!

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with ham, spicy cheese, dried cranberries, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 2 small Mandarin oranges
- 3 cups celery with homemade hummus
- 2 packages reduced-sugar apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal
- 1 pear
- 8 whole wheat crackers
- 1 large mug decaffeinated tea with milk
- 1 cup strawberries

- 1 hour of walking completed in 3 outings (all 20 minutes long)
- 1 hour and 15 minutes of rowing a dragon boat

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Jumping Ship

This has to be a quick post since I am on my way out. I’ve been invited back to another training session for dragon boating by the coach of the team I practiced with last week. It’s nice that they are being so accommodating while my husband and I try to figure out if it is something that we are able to financially accommodate. I would love to pursue it, but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am thrilled that they are allowing me to come out and row with them again!

Cookie Monster

I had a chance to relax a tiny bit for a change today. More accurately, I made myself just sit for a moment because the last couple of days have been so unusual that I wanted to give my brain and body a second to reboot. It was nice to lounge around for a short while before I had to start working on editing a manuscript for a friend. I never really seem to have more than a few minutes of down time…

My eating trend continued to be peculiar this evening until I realized what the problem was. I found myself returning to the kitchen again and again – sometimes grabbing something to munch on and sometimes not – feeling like I could eat anything in sight. I couldn’t figure it out until I realized that what I really wanted was something sweet, but I did not have anything that fit the bill in the house. It was definitely a case of overcompensating with somewhat healthier options to avoid the sweet treat, so I decided to indulge in what I actually wanted to stop the calorie count from continuing to climb with filler foods.

So my darling hubby went and bought me what I was craving: a box of lemon cream cookies. I had four out of the package and haven’t had anything else to eat since. I may have had two helpings of sugary, fat-laden cookies, but I would rather that and be satisfied then continue to graze on things that are not going to allow me to move past a craving.

I will send the remaining treats out of the house in the morning and I already feel confident that my eating will be back on track tomorrow. In my opinion, sometimes – as long as I'm careful to really analyze the pros and cons and make sure that I am not creating bad habits – it really pays off to make these types of compromises.

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with ham, spicy cheese, dried cranberries, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 1 golden delicious apple with cinnamon
- 5 cups low fat butter flavoured popcorn
- 4 slices of a French baguette with margarine
- 3 1/2 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter wrap on a soft tortilla shell
- 1 mug chai tea with honey and milk
- 4 lemon cream cookies

- 35 minutes of the C25K program (Day 3 of Week 6)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weigh-In For Week 31

The scale flashed 156.6 up at me this morning. I had thought that I would possibly see a gain this week since it had been showing me higher figures than my last weigh-in up until just yesterday. I am happy that the number is still going down, but, honestly, I can’t help but wonder if the drop would have been a bit less had I eaten more on plan amid all the excitement in the last twenty-four hours.

I am really pleased that I have gone down another two pounds and it feels like I earned it still since I thought the scale was being a bit temperamental throughout the week, but I am just not sure if I earned it all since yesterday. Maybe I am examining this too much, but I guess it makes me nervous that perhaps next Saturday I will have a harder time seeing a drop. I suppose I am wondering if some of these two pounds represents a false loss.

At any rate, I am glad to see the downward trend continue. I just want to make sure that I am being honest with myself about the reasons for it and, like I said, this feels like maybe the loss would have been less if I was better about my food intake on Friday. Nevertheless, I will take it! I may be the type who contemplates why, but I am not the sort to shun a most welcome result!

Say Cheese

I had such a long and busy, but wonderful, day! Whew! I am ready to drop!

I was invited to a ceremony celebrating the Paralympic torch relay and I had a great time there, and then my husband and I attended the opening ceremonies which were absolutely amazing. Surprisingly though, those two major events were not what comprised the majority of my day…

For the celebration they asked us to attend wearing our uniforms and carrying our torches. I came fully decked out and between chatting with people at the first event, doing a couple of interviews, and posing for hundreds – yes, very literally, hundreds – of photographs throughout the afternoon and evening with people wanting to pose with the torch as we made our way through the streets, it would be an underestimate to say that it was a full day.

It was a blast! I had the time of my life as I smiled for picture after picture with the continuous stream of people, excited for the chance to touch the spot that had held the Paralympic flame. Seriously, my cheeks hurt I was grinning so enthusiastically for so long! It was incredibly fun and left me feeling in awe once more of how everybody is a part of these games. It was awesome to make so many people happy by simply taking the time to pose for a photo or by handing over the torch for a few seconds. I felt like I was spreading joy!

My husband and I actually went to the main cauldron at the end of the day to take just a couple of photos for ourselves, but we ended up staying there for over an hour because so many people wanted their time with the torch. That’s what it was like the whole time we were downtown! I even had a couple of really nice people try to convince me to go back to the city centre every day during the Paralympics. I think that at first they thought that I was an official volunteer; they didn’t realize that I was just walking around on my own. They mentioned that they had not seen anyone else doing what I was doing and that I had such a great attitude and a nice smile that I should return daily. I love the suggestion, but I don’t know if my cheeks could take it! (I have to admit that they did make me consider it though; I absolutely loved contributing to so much happiness!)

Oh, and one of the especially fun points of the day was at the torch relay celebration when we were all gathered together for a group photo. I just felt that spirit overwhelming me and had to let it out, so I started a “Go Canada Go” chant! I’ve never done that before! When that died down a woman behind me said that someone had to then begin singing “Oh, Canada”. I waited a moment to see if she or someone else would, then I shrugged and started it myself. Everyone immediately caught on and the whole big bunch of us torchbearers spontaneously sang the national anthem! It was great!!!

Sigh… but there was a very slight downside to the day. My food intake was pathetic. I don’t think I have had a day this bad since I started this journey! It all boiled down to the fact that there was no time; I just couldn’t pull myself away from the excited crowds long enough to find the time to properly fuel myself. Not good. I am lucky that the spirit of the day helped maintain my mood, because normally eating as little as I did would have had me getting pretty grumpy.

Also, the lack of time resulted in me having no real opportunity to exercise today. I will, however, say that holding the torch for as long as I did has left me hands and forearms completely worn out. My biceps are hurting a bit too. So, even though I’m not sure how I would ever record something like that as official activity, I have confidence that my upper body got an incredible workout today. Cheeks and hands… I am going to be sore in some pretty odd places tomorrow.

- 7 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 2 small Mandarin oranges
- 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 coconut steamed skim milk

- 30 stomach crunches

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Spark

It. Was. Amazing.

I can’t even put into words how incredible it was to carry the Paralympic torch. I am utterly in awe of what I just did and of the scope of the event that I just had the incredible fortune to take part in.

The whole thing seemed to go very quickly, but from start to finish it was actually more than a three hour experience. I showed up, changed into my torchbearer’s uniform, and got signed in. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face and I felt like my enthusiasm was contagious! Everybody who talked to me could tell that I was really excited! I was able to meet with the people who would pass the flame unto me and to whom I was to transfer the fire to after my run. We had our briefing and then loaded up onto a shuttle bus that was to take us to our drop-off points.

I was the first off our bus and when we arrived at my starting station I went up and down the aisle and high-fived every other person before I stepped out onto the street. I saw my family and friends standing there, and a few other people who had assembled, and just felt the anticipation continuing to build! I had the chance to chat a little with everyone and to take some photos before the relay procession came into view. I was gifted the flame and I cheered my heart out as I turned around in the gathered circle, arms raised and torch held high!

It was a feeling of pure joy as I ran around to each person there and brought them even further into the moment, giving them high-hives and cheering them on as they did for me! Just thinking about it now has the tears springing up in my eyes! I started to jog as I was determined to say that I had run – and not walked – with the torch, but it was the absolute slowest I have ever moved in that fashion. I am sure I have actually walked faster than I was running, but I wanted to draw the experience out as long as possible so I kept my pace as slow as I could and just kept on cheering – with a huge grin plastered across my face – the whole time!

It was over so quickly! I came to the end of my leg of the relay, brought the tip of my torch over to the next one, and watched the flame jump alive for the next participant. They quickly extinguished my fire and then tried to load me back onto the shuttle. I paused long enough to run around – still cheering for all I was worth – and high-five all of the people gathered at that location too! Then it was onto the bus where they decommissioned my torch and handed it back to me along with a cover and a box to keep it in. We drove behind the Palalympic flame – with one other car ahead of us – picking up torchbearers as they finished up their individual portions of the relay. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to extend the experience for a little while longer while we were in the vehicle and to watch the famous fire burn from that unique perspective.

Finally, we returned to our starting point and unloaded from the shuttle. I met up with my husband and mother and – after I said a few heartfelt thank you’s to the staff – we decided to go to the nearby miniature cauldron that had been the focal point of the day’s celebrations. We got the chance to take a few more photos and then I was thrilled to be able to lend my torch out to a whole bunch of random people who wanted to hold it and take pictures with it. It was a perfect end to a perfect evening and I really felt like I got to share in something special!

When we were talking about the experience after it was done, my husband told me, “You fueled us all!” The driver who dropped me off even made a point of coming over to me to let me know that people like myself inspire him to play songs about sunshine! I kept getting comments like that from people! Like I already said, I think that my enthusiasm was pretty evident and was passed onto those around me, and I feel really good about that!

I felt like I got it. I believe that I really and truly understood what this relay was all about. Yes, it was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for me, but it was also exactly that for every single person gathered there tonight! This was about so much more than just my own experience with the torch. My carrying that flame tonight was just one small thread in a vast and rich tapestry that has been woven by each spectator, staff member, torchbearer, athlete, organizer, sponsor, volunteer, and casual observer. Everyone was a part of this!

I found something out this evening that made me even happier than I was going into this. The way that I got this unique opportunity was by entering a contest that required me to write a very short essay on why I wanted to take part in this relay. When I was contacted and told that I had been chosen I was still unclear on what that process entailed – I didn’t know if my name had been drawn or if I had been picked based on what I had written. Tonight I found out that it was because of my story. I am so touched to know that it was not simply a luck-of-the-draw prize, but rather a purposeful selection based on the reasons I gave for wanting to participate that resulted in me being offered this unique experience.

I thought that perhaps the few paragraphs I wrote for my contest entry would be found of some interest here so I am posting my entry below (one of the details noted in it, in particular, is obviously from when I wrote it back in January). I am so happy that I got the chance to do this! I can’t believe how lucky I feel to have been a part of something so significant.

I think I’ve been running on pure spirit for the past hour or two so I really have to turn in now. I have a very full day ahead tomorrow and probably won’t have the time to post in the morning, but I will, of course, be back in the evening. I will have sweet dreams tonight… vision of flames, excitement, camaraderie, and smiles will be with me as I drift off to sleep with a grin on my face and a new found spark in my soul.
At the very end of my run, just after lighting the next torch. I'm the one on the left.

“As someone who has worked in the child care field in some capacity for over ten years, I am dedicated to ensuring that equality and diversity are embraced by the next generation. The values we instill in the children of today are comprised of our actions, our words, and our own beliefs – we need to impress upon the younger individuals of this world the importance of providing opportunities for all and of treating others with the same basic respect we would ask for in return.

When we open our minds and hearts to the simple understanding that we all want the same things, we can finally realize that the spirit of humanity is unquenchable. Take me for example… I have recently lost over eighty pounds. It has been hard work and taken a lot of determination, and I have certainly hit my share of bumps in the road along the way. Even now, I am not yet done my journey, but I am doing it. I finally understand that each and every person has something that they are trying to overcome – something perceived by the world in general, or by themselves, as a flaw which can ultimately be the thing that spurs that individual onto greatness.

A spirit in motion. This is who I am now and how I know every other person on the planet has the potential to see themselves.

Thank you for this opportunity. I would be honoured to be chosen to carry the Paralympic torch.”

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 nectarine
- 1/2 celery stalk with homemade hummus
- 2 mugs chai tea with honey and milk
- 1 homemade dark chocolate cranberry walnut cluster
- 3 cups spinach salad with cubed cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, orange pepper, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 golden delicious apples with cinnamon
- 1 cup steamed asparagus with margarine
- 1 pan-fried banana and light peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread
- 1 large mug coconut steamed skim milk

- 35 minute step workout video

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Passing The Torch

I am SO excited!!! Tonight – or, technically, tomorrow morning – I will be carrying the Paralympic flame! WOW!!!

I'm scheduled to start my short trek at 1:00am. It only lasts for a minute or two, but I am feeling so privileged to be a part of this amazing event! I know that some of my family and friends are supposed to brave the cold, dark evening to come and watch and I don’t doubt that some of you will also be cheering me on (from the warmth of your beds)! It's an incredible thing to be involved with!

I am going to be an official Paralympic torchbearer. I still can’t completely believe it! What a surreal concept! I'm so happy that I get to do this and I hope that the emblazoned spirit that I feel rising within me spreads to all of the athletes set to compete over the next week and a half. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I can not wait to make Canada proud!!!

This, That, And The Other Thing

I didn’t get in all the exercise I had hoped to today. The evening in particular just got really busy all of a sudden and the workout video I had planned on doing fell by the wayside. I think that has been happening more and more lately; I really need to make the activity more of a priority. It isn’t that I am not working out, because I am! I just think that I should be able to fit more of it in like I was back when I started this blog. Given the flexibility of my schedule right now, I know that I can do better than just a half hour of exercising.

This past week, my food intake has got me totally confused. The first three or four days I felt like I was too munchy, and now the past few lists show that I have been eating less than I normally do. My guess is that my body is trying to balance itself out, but I just feel a little off my routine right now. My biggest concern is that the scale has been up from Saturday’s weigh-in every day so far and I am back to wondering if I will be noting the end of my losing streak in a couple of days. I know that I am probably due, but I would really love to keep seeing the downward trend I have maintained thus far.

Teaser: Do you know why I am looking forward to tomorrow?

- 9 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli ham, chicken breast, cheese, dried cranberries, spinach, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, and pepper
- 3 1/2 cups spinach salad with cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, red pepper, mushrooms, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 1 homemade dark chocolate cranberry walnut cluster
- 2 cups grapes

- 35 minutes of the C25K program (Day 2 of Week 6)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

It’s time to reveal the truth about my list of possible experiences that I posted as a response to the guidelines for receiving the “Creative Writer” Blogger Award. Thanks again for passing that fun badge onto me, Jenn!

1. I have eaten a grub. – True! Edible cheese flavoured dried worm larvae provide all the protein you could ever want. I’ve also had chocolate covered ants.

2. I have hugged a whale. – True! I once got to do an interactive beluga whale experience and waded into the water with the beautiful cetaceans. Their melons feel like hard boiled eggs.

3. I have broken a horse. – True! When I was in my young teens I visited my aunt and she utilized my patience to help halter break a foal.

4. I have worn a beard of bees. – True! Just this past summer, I was able to volunteer to do this with about 3000 of the flying insects walking around on my chest and neck at one time and another 2000 in the booth with me.

5. I have crouched with a tiger. – True! I have a photograph of a friend and me from years ago when we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of these huge, amazing animals.

6. I have kissed a sea lion. – True! I used to work at an aquarium and was close friends with one of the trainers. Daily behind the scenes work meant that I often got to hang out with the pinnipeds.

7. I have handled a tarantula. – True! On a couple of different occasions I have had these large critters crawling on me. Somewhere I have a picture of me with one on my head.

8. I have cuddled a python. – True! Again, I think I have done this a couple of times. Snakes don’t bother me at all, and the biggest one I handled was probably about fifteen feet long.

9. I have ridden a bull. – True! (Sort of.) It was an electric bull, but I don’t personally know anyone else who has ever done that so I still feel special saying I did it. Mechanical or not, it was hard to stay on.

10. I have tangled with an octopus. – True! Once, when I worked at the aquarium, I was with an aquarist showing a friend an octopus and it decided to try and climb out of the exhibit and onto me. It took about ten minutes to get it off because every time we would peel one arm off of me another would immediately attach.

11. I have trained a hawk. – True! I took part in a incredible falconry experience and actually got to be a part of the training process for an eagle and an owl too.

12. I have licked an anemone. – True! On more occasions than I care to admit I licked the tentacles of a sea anemone for educational purposes. You should have seen the reactions I used to get when I explained about the location of the single digestive tract.

So, there you have it! I have done all of the above! I just couldn’t resist playing with the concept of the award a little. I have to say I was especially impressed with a couple of the commenters who guessed that the bull was a mechanical one and that I had perhaps done more than one of the above activities. I really enjoyed this fun award, so thanks for playing along! By the way, I don’t recommend licking the next sea anemone you come across. There is a small chance you could go into anaphylactic shock due to the cnidocytes, or stinging cells.


I will let you all know in the morning what the truth is in regards to my last post; if you haven’t yet had a chance to voice your thoughts on what weird things I may or may not have done feel free to do so now. Also, I wanted to note that I am fortunate to have reached two hundred followers today. Thank you so much to everybody who reads this blog – I feel so lucky to have so many people along for this journey!

My last belly dancing class was tonight. There are no further courses with that particular instructor until the fall, which is too bad since I really liked her style of teaching. I have really enjoyed getting outside my comfort zone with these lessons and it makes me sad that I probably won’t be continuing with them in the foreseeable future. Hopefully I will be able to pick them back up at some point.

I am pretty tired right now so I think I will leave you with the next series of playlists that I created for use with the C25K program. I am really glad that I was able to use the no-music podcast that I found because it has really brought a more personal touch to the tunes that I listen to as I am jogging. It makes the workout much more enjoyable when you actually like what is coming through the headphones!

Week 6:
Superman’s Song – Crash Test Dummies
Good Riddance – Green Day
Closer – Nine Inch Nails
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
Mary Mac – Great Big Sea
Diva Dance – Fifth Element Soundtrack
Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy – Big & Rich
Jailhouse Rock – Elvis
Believe In You – Amanda Marshall
Hands Down – Dashboard Confessional
I Miss You – Incubus

Week 7:
Braveheart Theme – Braveheart Soundtrack
Rainbow Connection – Kermit The Frog
If I Din’t Have You – Amanda Marshall
Beautiful – Social Code
I’m A Believer – Smash Mouth
When The World Ends (Oakenfold Remix) – Dave Mathews Band
Jump Jive An’ Wail- Brian Setzer
Black Horse And The Cherry Tree – KT Turnstall
Self Esteem – Offspring
Another Lonely Day – Ben Harper

- 8 glasses of water
- 1 banana
- 1 wrap on a soft tortilla shell with deli ham, cheese, spinach, and calorie-wise three cheese ranch dressing
- 3/4 cup fat free peach yogurt with 1 cup Force Active cereal
- 3 cups spinach salad with croutons, dried cranberries, red pepper, and calorie-wise Greek feta and oregano dressing
- 2 mugs chai tea with honey and milk
- 1 1/2 cups heated tuna salad with onion, fat free Miracle Whip, mustard, seasoning, and pepper
- 1 small slice apple caramel cake

- 1 hour Belly Dancing For Fitness class

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's The Story?

I am doing my best to pull myself out of my funk. It started yesterday with just a general bad mood and then I actually started to feel a bit better when I was at my dental appointment because the staff were so excited to see all the weight I have lost. (An abundance of compliments does wonders for one’s mood.) Then I found out that all of the work that is needed on my husband’s teeth is going to cost us four digits. Yeah. Goodbye, improving attitude; hello, doom and gloom. I honestly have no idea how we are going to swing the cost for that considering we were already somewhat struggling with a number of big expenses that we have coming up in the next six months. We will figure it out, but it’s all just a bit overwhelming and I had a really hard time getting past it as the day wore on. On the plus side, I did get my results back from my doctor and everything looks great, so at least things are checking out positively for me on the health front. Onto the much brighter side of news, I have received a new accolade from Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink. Thank you so much, Jenn! I have to admit I have seen the badge for this new “Creative Writer” Blogger Award floating around online and have been admiring its fun, unique qualities. The guidelines for accepting this are:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate seven “Creative Writers” who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

So, in regard to my creative writing I may have gone a little overboard, but I am curious to see what things people think I have actually done. Let me know in the comments section which of these you think was a real life experience for me:

1. I have eaten a grub.
2. I have hugged a whale.
3. I have broken a horse.
4. I have worn a beard of bees.
5. I have crouched with a tiger.
6. I have kissed a sea lion.
7. I have handled a tarantula.
8. I have cuddled a python.
9. I have ridden a bull.
10. I have tangled with an octopus.
11. I have trained a hawk.
12. I have licked an anemone.

Now for my favourite part! I get to pass this onto other bloggers to see what they will come up with! I can’t wait to see what fun facts are learned from the following:

1. L. at 100in12
2. Dawne at 365 Days To A New Me
3. Larkspur at Am I Really That Fat?
4. Lori at Finding Radiance
5. Jack at Jack Shit, Getting’ Fit
6. Lainey at Shrink
7. Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit Also, I wanted to mention that the fabulous Shelley has posted a recap about Blogger Run Day. I had a lot of fun participating in this at the last minute and I hope that it becomes an annual event. I love these types of challenges!