Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weigh In - December 30

Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
Current Weight - 214.7

Weight lost gained in 2 weeks -  3.5 lbs
Weight lost so far in 2012- 20.3 lbs

Well, it's no surprise that after a week at my Mom's house over Christmas that I gained weight.  I didn't over-indulge, but I did enjoy myself.  And now I'm home and almost ready to get back into the swing of things.

Hilary bought me a new step/calorie counter for Christmas and Sarah got me a Fitbit Zip.  While it might seem silly to use both, I like them each for different purposes.  I am very motivated by seeing the numbers climb over the course of the day and will try to get in those few extra steps around the house to make my goal.

TaeKwon-Do starts up again this week.  I'm planning to test for my yellow belt at the end of the month so I need lots of practice.

Tribesport is also giving me lots of motivation when I sign up for challenges of exercises I can do around the house with little to no equipment.

Liam got a punching/kicking bag that I'll be setting up for him today.  It's a lot of fun and I think we will both get a lot of use out of it.  I don't think I'll be using his new chin up bar... not only will I have to install it low enough for him to reach, but I don't have the arm strength (yet) to lift my own weight.

So overall I'm ready to face a new year.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Resolutions for 2013

I’m not usually one to make resolutions, or even to set long term goals, but I’m going to give it a go this year in the hopes of having commitments to help keep me on track.

  1. I want to work towards getting at least my Green belt in TaeKwon-do this year. I will test for my yellow belt at the end of January, so that would mean moving up 2 more levels over the course of the year.
  2. I want to try to run a 5K run for a fundraiser for Liam’s school in June. Considering I can’t run the 0.5K that we do as part of our warm up in TKD, I have a lot of work to do for this one.
  3. I want to continue to log my food everyday in MyFitnessPal.
  4. I want to lose at least 30 pounds this year. This still doesn’t get me to my desired final weight, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on to hit that magical number.
  5. I want to bike more in the summer.
  6. I want to continue to get fit.
Six goals (really 5, since the first 5 all feed into #6) seems reasonable.  So here's to a happy and heatlthy 2013.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weigh in - Dec 16, 2012

Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
Current Weight - 211.2

Weight lost this week -  2.3 lbs
Weight lost so far in 2012- 23.8 lbs

I am getting back into the habit of weighing myself regularly.  I stopped weighing myself sometime towards the end of the summer and  I now realize that not seeing both the progress and the backslides is detrimental to my success.   I am truly motivated by the numbers and need to focus on them so that I have something to work towards.

Knowing that I've lost almost 24 pounds this year is great.  Looking back from when I first tracked my weight in April 2010 and seeing that I'm down 48 pounds from then is even better!

One pound at a time, the journey continues.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Motivation , Accountability and the Internet

Tribesports: Are you ready for the challenge?

Getting fit, eating right and working out can be hard.  Having people in your corner cheering you on can be the difference between sitting on the couch and getting up and moving.  I have amazing support in Hilary.  She helps with making good food choices by planning healthy meals and having fresh, great food in the house.  She also reminds to me exercise and go for walks and puts up with my hula-hooping on the Wii Fit in the living room.

In other parts of my life, the internet has been an important way for me to meet people, talk about topics that are near and dear to my heart and learn from people who have already been there and done that.  So it makes sense that I turn to the internet for weight loss and fitness (even though the fitness part seems counter intuitive) 

I track my calories on the MyFitnessPal website.  I really like the site as they have a great database of foods. But their forum never really appealed to me for a place to chat and get support. 

I joined the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans and for awhile they seemed like an okay place to hang out online.  They sponsored an opportunity for me to participate in the Healthy Wage Matchup.  But they never seemed to follow through on things  and the discussions weren't what I was looking for so I strayed away from them.

Then this week I stumbled upon a fairly new site, Tribesports.  While I don't consider myself a sports enthusiasts like some of their members do, that doesn't seem to be an issue.  I can track my fitness progress there, participate in discussions from weight loss to fitness to how my day is going and they also have exercise challenges that you can participate in.  The more active you are on the site, the higher your ranking.  But it's really the people that keep me going back to it.  I can post that I did 25 lunges and within minutes 3-4 people have "encouraged" me or left a comment telling me what a great job I'm doing. The instant satisfaction of knowing that  someone else is encouraging my progress is great.  I also feel accountable to complete the challenges I've signed up for, because people will see whether or not I have posted each day with what I've done.

This week alone I've been motivated to get up every morning and stretch, stay off Facebook, do lunges, planks and wall push ups.   And I feel great!

Tribesports encouraged this

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Weight Lifted

Jut over a month ago I had some medical/health issues that were concerning enough to send me to the Doctor, who then sent me for tests.  I had the tests yesterday and got a clean bill of health!

What I hadn't realized was how much the concern about the possible outcomes of the tests had been weighing on me.  I think part of my inability to get back into the swing of diet and exercise was the dread of what the tests could have turned up.

Now that I have put this behind me, I feel lighter and freer today.  Ready to focus on my healthy-health and not worried about bad results and scary diagnoses.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I will

I WAS able to lose 30 pounds.

I WAS able to track my calories every day.

I WAS able to drink 2 liters of water every day.

I WAS able to exercise for 30 minutes every day.

I WAS able to enjoy treats without overindulging.

I WAS able to measure out my food and have portion control.

I WAS able to make good food choices.

I WAS able to monitor my weight loss and gains.

I WAS able to blog regularly about my journey.

I WILL do it all again.

*I think this makes an excellent 100th post for this blog.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Coffee... how I love thee!

Or alternately titled "Why do I do this to myself?"

I started seriously drinking coffee when I was 14 years old.  I had my first job working as a nursing assistant in a retirement home.  I worked 2-3 evenings a week till 9:30.  The dining room always had 2-3 pots of coffee brewed, just ready for the taking. Within months I was up to drinking at least a pot of coffee a shift.  Amazingly caffeine has never interfered with my sleep.  Quite the opposite actually.  It seems that the soothing heat of a hot cup of coffee late at night will lull me to sleep instead of keeping me up.  That being said, it certainly wasn't much help when I was cramming for exams.

I started drinking coffee with milk and sugar, but in my early twenties I switched to black.  But then I developed hypo-glycemia and had many fainting spells from low blood sugar.  I also smoked at the time.  After too many instances of feeling woozy (or passing out completely) I finally made the connection that if I smoked while drinking black coffee I would pass out.  Who knows what was so special about that combination, but adding milk and sugar back into my coffee solved the problem (and no, at the time the idea of quitting smoking never even entered into the realm of possibilities).

I continued on with my love affair of coffee, drinking several a day.  Until I decided to get serious about losing weight.  When I looked at my overall diet, the quickest hit for cutting out calories was to cut back on my coffee intake.  A medium double double from Tim Horton's is 230 calories.  That is currently 17% of my daily intake.  It seemed like a no brainer.

Cutting out coffees on the go was easy.  Cutting back on my morning coffees at home took a bit more work, but eventually I got down to just one a day.  I'm not willing to give it up completely.  And so for the past 9 months or so, I've enjoyed a single cup of coffee before work.  But every now and then, if I have a bit more time in the morning, I figure that I will splurge and have that second cup.  We don't use cream at home, and the cups are smaller then they are at Timmie's, so from a calorie point of view, it's not that bad.

The problem though?  My body seems to have gotten used to a single cup of coffee and the second one now has me doubled over in pain, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  And yet do I learn?  Of course not.  It's not until I'm sipping the last drop and the pain in my upper rib cage starts that I have a D'oh! moment. The pain lasts for about 30 minutes and nothing seems to help it move along any faster.  I'm such a slow learner that I think I need to put a post it note in the cupboard by the sugar bowl that reads:

Why does the lure of good food always win out over common sense?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weigh In - Sept 19

Challenge Starting Weight   204
Current Weight                     201.7
Weight lost to date                   2.6
Percentage lost                       -1.1%

Today I hit my lowest recorded weight yet!  After feeling stuck for so long now, this made for a great way to start my day!

The biggest change that I've done in the last week is to start drinking water again.  It is quite amazing the difference it can make.  I usually drink close to 3 liters of water a day, but since my vacation in August I got away from it.  My mom lives with a hand dug well and boils all of her drinking water, so I felt that I shouldn't be drinking all of it on her every day.  And I honestly don't like bottled water.  It will do in a pinch on a hot sweaty day if I'm out and about, but given the choice, I prefer tap water.

You would think that I would at least like the brand of Aberfoyle Bottled Water.

Our natural Spring Water that is bottled right at the source, from a natural spring originating deep within our 125 acre parcel of protected land in Ontario.

    Why should I like this one?  The natural spring that they are using is the same one that my mom's well pulls from!  The processing plant is just down the road from my mom's farm.  Yet somehow they manage to alter the taste of her fresh crisp water when they bottle it. 

    So for now I'm back to drinking tap water.  And this week it has made a difference on the scales for me, so I plan to keep it up.

    Thursday, September 13, 2012

    Weigh In - Sept 13

    Challenge Starting Weight   204
    Current Weight                     202.6
    Weight lost to date                   1.40
    Percentage lost                       -0.69%

    I took the last 2 weeks of August off and simply enjoyed my vacation.  I found though that when I got back I could not get myself motivated to eat right, exercise or even really care about weight loss.  I've finally turned that around and seem to be back in the swing of things.

    My frustration right now is that I cannot seem to get out of this current weight rut.  I first hit 205 lbs back on July 18th.  And since then I have bounced from as low as 200 to right back up to 205, never really being able to maintain the low for very long.  I started September back at 205, and since then have managed to get back down to 202.5. 

    My goal now is to focus more on how I feel and how my body moves then what the specific number is.  Though I know myself; I won't be able to completely step away from checking the numbers.  While I don't hyper-focus on the small changes, I do find that it motivates me to make better food choices throughout the day. 

    The good news is that I find that I can push myself further with exercise than I ever have before.  Case in point:  last night at TaeKwon-Do I was able to run all 10 laps of the gym without having to walk a portion of it.  That is a first!  My pushups are coming along as well.  While I can't get all the way down, I can at least support my weight with my arms.  I can also run for the bus without being winded, climb the flight of stairs at work and still be able to talk and I just generally feel better.

    And so the journey continues.

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Weigh In - August 16

    Challenge Starting Weight   204
    Current Weight                     202.6
    Weight lost to date                   1.40
    Percentage lost                       -0.69%

    A small loss this week.  I really seem to be stuck at the 202 mark.  Up a bit....down a bit. I had really hoped to be under 200 by my birthday.  With only 3 days to go, and a diner party (that I'm cooking for) on Saturday, I don't see it happening.

    Next week Liam and I are leaving for 10 day vacation to my Mom's place.  So I am taking a break from weighing in and tracking my food till I'm back in September.  I've been tracking my food for more then 2 years now so I'm confident that I can still make good food choices without writing everything down.  And maybe it will be the mental break that I need to kick start the next level of weight loss.

    So Happy Vacation everyone, and I'll see you in September!

    Wednesday, August 8, 2012

    Weigh In - August 8

    Challenge Starting Weight   204
    Current Weight                     203.25
    Weight lost to date                   0.75
    Percentage lost                       -0.37%

    Well that was sure a lousy week.  I gained 1.75 pounds and I'm almost back up to my starting weight.  Lack of exercise, lack of willpower and lack of motivation have been my enemies.  Enjoying the day out at the buskers festival with Liam didn't help either.

    This is only the 2nd major blip that I have had in the last 3 months, so it's not the end of the world and I know that I can (and will) get back on track.  We have TaeKwon-Do again tonight and we only have the car till Saturday.  I'm working a late shift on Thursday, which usually means that I go for a nice long walk in the morning, and I have a vacation day on Friday, so hopefully I can get in a work out there too.

    My biggest struggle is weekends or days at home.  At the office it's easy to not indulge, since I pack  lunch and make sure not to take any money with me, so the vending machine is out.  But at home, even if I plan my meals out ahead of time, I find myself snacking at the first sign of hunger.  I need to padlock the cupboards!

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Farm Fresh Lunch

    Growing up we always had a huge garden.  From July till September we had something from the garden with every meal.  Some of my most favorite meals were ones that came exclusively from the garden.  As a kid it was not unusually to see me sitting in the cucumber patch eating my fill right off the vine, or taking my bowl of sugar and dipping fresh rhubarb in it while I played in the sandbox.

    While I love reaping from the earth, I hate the work that goes along with it, so Hilary and I have never really had a successful garden.  We've had occasional tomato plants that would yield one or two fruit (if we could harvest them before the dog ate them straight off the vine).  We tried a garden our first summer at this house, since the bed was all set, but really... weeding?  watering? eh... it's just not for me.

    I really do miss the food though, so every year I try to find local produce at the market so that I can have a taste of childhood memories.  And today I found my 3 most favorite things:  Corn, cucumbers and yellow beans.  That combo was often one of our garden only meals, and it is my lunch today.  I plan on enjoying every last morsel.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Weigh In Day

    Challenge Starting Weight   204
    Current Weight                     201.5
    Weight lost to date                   2.5
    Percentage lost                       -1.24%

    One pound lost this week.  Considering I'm getting less exercise then normal, I figure that isn't too bad.  The Healthy Wage challenge is in full swing and I'll be checking in with my team mates today to see who everyone else has made out.

    We have a long weekend coming up and I took Friday off too, so 4 whole days off!  WOOT! The problem is that there is no TaeKwon-Do on Saturday or Monday.  EEK  That is my only scheduled exercise.  I really need to make a plan to do something on my own.  If I can get really motivated I will be moving furniture and boxes up the stairs to Liam's old room.

    I also have conflicting interests happening this weekend.  I also belong to a cooking group, The Daring Kitchen.  It's been a great way to learn some new cooking techniques and to get comfortable in the kitchen.  Each month they post a new challenge and you have until the 14th of the following month to cook it, photograph it and blog about it.  We've done every thing from homemade pasta to Julia Child's Beouf Bourguignon.  The recipes aren't always diet friendly.  I can't share yet what this month's challenge is, but I will be making it for dinner on Friday or Saturday.  It could be diet friendly, but I don't think the version I have planned is going to be!

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012

    Car vs. Pedestrian

    Don’t worry, I haven’t been in an accident. But I do have a car for the next 2 weeks. Usually I am a pedestrian. In fact, I haven’t owned a car in over 20 years. And being a pedestrian is a great way to sneak some extra exercise into your day without really noticing it.

    To get to my work every morning I can either take 3 buses and get there in an hour and a half, or I can take one bus, walk 30 minutes and still get there in an hour and a half. So I choose to walk. It may only burn 154 calories, but every calorie counts. The difference with having a car?  I can drive there in less then 15 minutes.

    So now that we have a friend’s car for 2 weeks, I’m not walking 30 minutes every day. I’m not even walking the 2 blocks to the mall if I need something. The convenience of hopping in the car and getting somewhere quickly is too strong for me to say no to. You would think that with all the time I’m gaining back by driving places would mean that I have more time to work out or even gasp! go for a walk. But somehow that doesn’t seem to be what happens.

    I need to find that happy balance….. Enjoying the handiness of a car without sacrificing my goal of getting fit.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Weigh In

    Challenge Starting Weight   204
    Current Weight                     202.3
    Weight lost to date                   1.7
    Percentage lost                       -1%

    So this is my first weekly weigh in since the Healthy Wage challenge started on July 20th.  And so far so good!

    We had to have our starting weight verified by a gym, trainer or doctor.  Luckily someone I work with is a trainer, and we have a scale at work for the Weight Watchers meetings.  The only thing was that I weighed in 3 pounds heavier then I had been at home that morning!   I went home and re-weighed myself and sure enough, I was up by 3 pounds.  I'm attributing that to clothes and having eaten during the day, since I normally weigh in first thing in the morning and with very little clothing on.

    This challenge is about 12 weeks long.  I would love to be able to lose 2 pounds a week, but I don't think that is very realistic.  That would put me at 25 pounds lost or 13% of my overall starting weight.  Since it has taken me 7 months to lose 35 pounds so far this year, I don't see this happening.  I would be pleased to keep going at a pound a week, getting me to 189 or 7%.

    Either way I will be shrinking!!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012


    The Healthy Wage Dream Team Challenge has me STOKED.  Here`s how I`m feeling about it overall:

    But I`ve also been feeling a lot like this lately.

    I'm trying my hand (or I suppose legs) at running.  I really want to do well on this challenge, so any extra exercise I can do is great.  I've woken up early the last 2 days, and instead of wasting time on the computer while I grumble in my coffee cup, I've laced up my shoes and headed out at 6:00 AM to run around the block.  It's only half a mile, and I end up walking half of that, but it's a start.  Once I conquer this block, I'll add another, and maybe even another after that!  

    Overwhelmed is another feeling that is coming up a lot in life.  Not just with fitness and weight loss, but parenting and work.  So I'm going to try this approach:

    So how are you feeling today?

    Meet the Dream Team! Come on over to Facebook to follow our progress and give us some encouragement!

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    Show me the money!

    The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans has paired up with  Healthy Wage for a 3 month weight loss challenge that gives the winning team the chance to win $10,000.  They offered the Shrinking Jeans 2 team spots to participate.  Shrinking Jeans has filled one team with staff members and held a draw of anyone who was interested in joining to fill the other team.  I threw my name in the hat and I got picked!

    What is Healthy Wage?

    Healthy Wage designs and organizes weight loss challenges and contests in which participants can win money for losing weight. They’ve been featured in the NY Times, Time magazine, Fox News, ABC News, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and countless other media outlets. Healthy Wage is sponsored by corporate and government clients who have a stake in wellness, healthcare costs, and disease prevention.
    Healthy Wage hosts several kinds of weight loss challenges including the Matchup Challenge (which is what we’re doing) with $18,000 in prizes for the top three teams. Yes, you read that right! The Grand Prize for the top losing team is $10,oo0! So far, Healthy Wage has given out over $430,000 in prize money and more than 866,000 pounds have been lost. AMAZING!!
    So for the next 3 months I'll be doing my best to do my team proud by losing weight and getting ever closer to being the healthiest I can be.  And just maybe I can win some cash too.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Today's Weight - 205

    So no change this week from last week's weigh in.  I do weigh myself daily, so I do know that I got as low as 203.9, but I couldn't sustain it.  That's all right, it gives me something to work towards.

    While I'm not really setting a goal for myself right now, I do have it in the back of my head that I want to be under 200 by my birthday.  That's just over 4 weeks away.  So I'm really focusing on my calories and trying to get moving more than I have been.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh in

    Today's Weight - 205


    I FINALLY made it to 205. A week of painting, moving furniture, 30 degree heat and fending for myself all contributed to my success.

    I'm feeling great these days.. I'm sleeping better, not feeling hungry, I have more energy and I'm not as sore after working out.  I think things are finally coming together.  And the exciting news is that I'm fitting into some old clothes that have been hiding at the back of the closet for a very long time.

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Today's Weight - 206.8

    We are between challenges over at Shrinking Jeans.  And I've decided not to set a monthly goal.  I've set the goal of 205 so many times and have never made it that, I'm just going to go day to day, week to week and see what happens.

    Hilary asked me the other day what my end goal is.  I try not to think of that because the pounds I need to loose to get there seems like such a big number.  I am going to talk to my doctor at my next appointment to see what she thinks, but based on my height and build, most of the indexes say I should be around 165.  I was thinking 175.  Not too far off.

    I am still struggling with exercising at home.  I have all these great intentions, but can't seem to get my butt in gear.  Any great suggestions?

    Saturday, June 30, 2012

    Final June Weigh in

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    Today's Weight - 206.4
    Challenge loss -4.8

    Once again I didn't make my goal of 205, but I'm still very pleased with a 4.8 lb loss for the month of June!

    I don't know what Shrinking Jeans has in mind for July, but I hope that it is something that will really help me get over this hump.  With the elusive "Onederland" just around the corner, I'm feeling very motivated to stay on track, get moving and get fit.  I feel so much better these days then I did even 6 months ago.  I even went running of my own free will this week.  And I'm considering doing it again.

    So here's to  finishing well and starting a new month with a great outlook, an achievable goal and the plan to have fun.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    Today's Weight - 209.2
    Challenge loss -2

    So last week I was excited about losing 2 pounds.  Guess what?  I gained them back this week. While having my mom here did help me make good food choices, exercise got dropped in lieu of spending time with her and visiting.    And I probably consumed a wee bit too much alcohol.  So I don't regret the 2 pound gain at all.  Sometimes you just have to let go and live a little.

    Starting yesterday I am getting back on track. (I wonder how many times I have said that on this blog......) I had a mostly good day yesterday, even if there was still no exercising.  The hardest part for me this week is going to be the lack of TaeKwon Do.  The class is cancelled tonight because they are doing testing (Liam is testing for his second stripe, I'm no where near ready to think about testing yet).  And then the Saturday and Monday classes are cancelled because of the Canada Day long weekend.  So that is a whole 9 days with no TKD.  I MUST do something else instead.

    Hilary and Liam are leaving Sunday morning for a 10 day trip to BC to visit Hilary's parents.   So I will be on my own. My plan is to redo Liam's room while they are gone, so I'll have lots of physical activity - painting, moving furniture - to keep me going, but I'm going to also make time for working out.  I'm not worried about eating, as I tend to eat less when I'm on my own.  I can't be bothered to cook for just me, so I'll probably load the fridge up with fresh veggies and have lots of salads for the week.

    Be sure to check out my partner Traci over at Blissful Bedlam.   She's feeling frustrated right now and could use some support and encouragement!

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    Today's Weight - 206.8
    Challenge loss - 4.4

    I'm very excited by my 2 pound loss this week!  And I'm so much closer to my goal of 205.  I was really beginning to think I was never going to get there.  My Mom is here this week and we are making great food choices to help her with her struggle with diabetes.  We are still enjoying things like homemade cannelloni and sweet potato enchiladas... just with good portion control.

    Exercising is going well with TaeKwon-Do 3 days a week.  On the other days I try to walk more and sometimes get in some WiiFit strength training.  I'm considering getting a kettle bell to try kettle bell swings, but Hilary is worried that I'll take out a window with it.

    Be sure to go check out my Shrinking partner over at Blissful Bedlam to see how she is doing too.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    Today's Weight - 208.8
    Challenge loss - 2.4

    I'm up by 0.2 this week.  No big surprise there since I spent the weekend on a 3-day trip with Liam's class.  We were VERY well fed the whole weekend with things like turkey or ham dinners, homemade scones, homemade chocolate cake and apple crumble.  There was no portion control and lots of encouragement to help ourselves to seconds.  Which I did.  Too often.

    I'm back on track now that I'm home and hopefully I will see the scale moving in the right direction again soon.

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Weigh in

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    Today's Weight - 208.6
    Challenge loss - 2.6

    WOO HOO!  I finally broke free of the 210-212 range!  It feels so great to be back on track and to see some real progress.  Having a great partner, Traci from Blissful Bedlam, has been so helpful during this challenge.  Checking in with each other and motivating each other really makes a difference.  She's had a great week too.

    I have not been doing the June Tone-up exercises, but I really do want to get into the habit of doing even 15 minutes of exercise every morning before work.  Somehow I just can't get my act together.

    I'm glad the challenge is off to a great start and I plan to keep it up for the whole month!

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    June Tune Up

    Starting Weight - 211.2 on June 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by June 30th, 2012

    This month's challenge at Shrinking Jeans has us teaming up with someone for a partner challenge.  I've teamed up with Traci from Blissful Bedlam.  She's a stay at home Mom to 2 cute looking kids.  Together we are going to Tune-up and Tone-up in June!  Check out the calendar on the right - we'll be doing Squat Knees, Wacky Jacks and High Knees this month.  I hope my knees can take it!

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by May 31st, 2012
    Current Weight - 210.7

    Weight lost this week -  gained 0.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 24.3.1lbs

    Ever since reading the Hunger Games, I have embraced the saying “I’m having a hollow day”. You know those days that you wake up hungry and no matter what you eat, you are still hungry? The last 2 days have been like that for me. I finished my lunch by 10:30 yesterday, including the fruit that I usually save for an afternoon snack. Today I caved and bought myself a bag of chips, and then ate that AND all my lunch by 11:00.

    I feel that I have fallen off the healthy eating/weight loss wagon and I’m having trouble finding the motivation to get back on. I hit a low of 210.1 this week, but could not maintain it.  I'm still not exercising on non-TaeKwon Do days, and it shows.

    So I need to kick myself in the butt, get moving and just. stop. eating!  My mom will be here for a visit in 2 weeks, so I'm going to focus on being under 210 (and maintaining it) by the time she gets here.  She is a great inspiration, having lost a lot of weight and kept it off as well as struggling with diabetes.

    Saturday, May 26, 2012

    Week 20 - Find your purpose

    How did I do with last week's change?

    Week 18: Raise your heart rate
    Doing okay with this one thanks to TaeKwon-Do

    Week 19: Eat fruit
    2 fruit every day?  No problem!

    The Change: Find your purpose in life and live it everyday.

    This week is a very deep, introspective challenge.  To help us delve into things, here are some suggested questions we can ask ourselves:

    1)What do you want? When I look back on my life when I am 70 or 80, what do I want to see? What do I want that children to think of me? What do I want my grandchildren to think of me? If I did, what would my eulogy say, what would people say about me? What in my life would bring me the most pleasure, fulfillment and make me most content and satisfied?

    2)What are your passions? Thing that bring me joy and happiness, things I do out of love and not guilt and with no need for recognition.

    3)What are your strengths? What do I do best? What are my talents? What do I do really well?

    4)What matters to you? If I had to attach myself to a cause, what would it be? Is there something that creates a fire in my belly?

    Wow.... the good thing is that our host is away next week so we have 2 weeks to work on this change.  I've been reading the questions over and tossing some answers around in my head, but I'm going to need some more time before I can put anything together in real words.  Stay tuned.

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Week 18 and 19

    How did I do with last week's change?

    Week 17: Get five squares
    Since this challenge involves snacking I would have to say that I'm doing great!

    Not only am I behind on blogging, The 'Hood  fell behind by a week too.  So let's catch up with 2 changes this week.

    Week 18 The Change: Get in aerobic exercise by raising your heart rate to 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate for thirty minutes, three days a week.
    TaeKwon-Do anyone?  My heart sure is racing 3 times a week.  My favorite (and most hated!) part of the warm up takes only 5 minutes and makes me feel like my heart is going to explode.  We do 30 seconds of marching/punches, 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of double punches while jumping and then another 30 seconds of marching/punches.  Rest for 1 minute and do it again.  I have yet to be able to fully complete it without pausing at least once.  The double punches while jumping is the hardest!  One of our instructors also likes to randomly toss in jumping jacks throughout the hour just to make sure your heart is still pumping.
    Week 19 The Change: Consume 2-4 servings of whole fruit per day. (One serving = 1 cup of berries or other fruit; 1 medium sized fruit or 1/2 banana or grapefruit.)
    I love fruit almost as much as I love vegetables. I take at least 2 fruit in my lunch every day - usually an apple and whatever else we have on hand.  Living in Nova Scotia, fresh fruit (other than apples) can be hard to come by in the winter.  I really don't like canned fruit, and frozen is okay to bake with, but not to eat.  But winter is over and soon we will have a huge variety of fruits to choose from. I can't wait for fresh peaches, apricots, raspberries and strawberries.  I'm hoping we can get out to some U-Pick farms again this year and enjoy our fruit straight from the vine.

    Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by May 31st, 2012
    Current Weight - 210.3

    Weight lost this week -  0.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 24.7.1lbs

    I have been a bad blogger of late.  But that doesn't mean that I haven't still been focusing on getting healthy.  The scale has started to move in the right direction again, even if only by small increments.

    When I started this journey in January I was very gung-ho to exercise everyday, even if it was just 30 minutes on the Wii after work.  Now I can't remember the last time I used the Wii.  I'm still doing TaeKwon-Do 3 days a week, but can't seem to get motivated to do anything else.  Yesterday it was beautiful out, so I decided to get out walking.  I love to walk and need to find make the time to do it more often.

    My goal this week is to exercise 30 minutes on non TaeKwon-Do days.  This weight isn't going to melt itself off without some work on my part, so I need to put on my not-so big girl panties (and new great workout bra) and get moving!

    Wednesday, May 9, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 205 by May 31st, 2012
    Current Weight - 210.7

    Weight lost this week -  2 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 24.3.1lbs

    The scale FINALLY says 210! (I'm ignoring the point 7 part)  It feels good to be moving towards my goal and being in sight of setting the next goal.

    It has really been a matter of keeping my calories at my target level each day.  Even with 1 day out of the week going over, I find that my weight stays where it is, even with exercise.  I love that I can eat whatever I want, I just really have to watch my portion control and not consume more calories then I should.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 210 by April 28th, 2012
    Current Weight - 212.7

    Weight lost this week -  2.2 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 22.3.1lbs

    A much better week!  Things are getting back on track.  I'm feeling energized and finding I'm less hungry during the day.   That really helps the cause!   I'm not as tired this week either, so hopefully things are leveling out.  I have not been doing any workouts other then TaeKwon-Do 3 times a week.  I really want to get back to doing more, and maybe now that I'm not so tired I will.

    It's another month of not hitting my goal, but since I'm still going in the right direction, I'm okay with that.  Instead of setting monthly goals, I'm going to stick with aiming to lose 5 pounds at at time.  So I'm still aiming for 210!

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Week 17- Get Five Squares

    How did I do with last week's change?

    Week 16: Laugh Out Loud
    I've been kinda grumpy in the evenings, possibly from being tired lately, so I haven't been laughing as much as I could.

    The Change: Develop a regular eating schedule that keeps you satisfied throughout the day.

    This is a timely change for me.  I track my food in MyFitnessPal and had always put it in as 3 meals and 1 snack every day.  But just this week I changed it to 3 meals and 3 snacks.  It hasn't changed the way I eat, but it lets me see how my food is being divided up throughout the day.  The one thing that is important to me on this weight loss journey is that I always have lots to eat and don't feel that I'm deprived or wanting.  Of course, I try to make healthy food choices.  I love having small snacky things throughout the day instead of big meals.  I think this will be another change that quickly becomes a part of my day to day life.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 210 by April 28th, 2012
    Current Weight - 214.9

    Weight lost this week -  0.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 20.1lbs

    Not my most stellar week, but I seem to be getting back into the swing of things. 

    One thing that I'm finding lately is that I'm I am ready for bed by 9:30 every night. While the extra sleep is great for me, I'm hoping that my body levels out. It makes for a very short evening when most nights Liam is still awake and reading in bed as I'm falling asleep.  I suspect that the tiredness is coming from all of the extra exercise, so maybe as I get into better shape my body won't find it so hard to recover.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Principles to live by

    We are taking a break from 52 Small Changes this week, as the woman who heads up the group over at the 'Hood has had a family crisis.  We are going to keep focusing on bringing laughter into our lives for another week.

    It turns out that TaeKwon-Do isn't just about exercise and getting into shape.  It also has a whole lifestyle side to it as well.  As part of his first test, Liam has to know the 5 tenets of TaeKwon-Do, so we have them printed next to the computer and he and I review them throughout the day.   I also try to find situations in our day to day life that I can show Liam examples of each.  Like last week on our bike ride, when he didn't think he could make it up the last hill.  I shouted "Perseverance!" and "Indomitable Spirit!" at him as he peddled.  I don't know if it helped him get up the hill or not, but he at least understood what they meant by the time he got to the top.

    So my small changes this to incorporate the 5 tenets of TaeKwon-Do into my day to day life.

    There are five tenets defined in the ITF.

    Courtesy (Ye Ui / 예의) Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang (도장) (designated training area).

     Integrity (Yom Chi / 염치) Although it may be similar, this form of integrity takes on a more wider role then defined in the common dictionary. In Taekwondo, integrity means not only to determine what is right or wrong but also having the conscience to feel guilt if one has done wrong and to have the integrity stand up for what is right.

    Perseverance (In Nae / 인내) One will persevere time and time again until they have achieved a result which is adequate towards what one was trying to achieve.[9]

    Self-control (Guk Gi / 극기) This means to not only have control over one's physical acts, but also their mental thoughts and actions.

    Indomitable spirit (Baekjul Boolgool / 백절불굴) To have indomitable spirit means to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what odds you are up against, and to always give 100% effort in whatever you do.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 210 by April 28th, 2012
    Current Weight - 215.3

    Weight lost this week -  1.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 19.7lbs

    I seem to be losing and gaining the same 2 pounds. It was nice to see the scale start to go back down again this week, after the right off that has been most of April.  Now I just need to stick with it.   However with only 9 days to go to my current goal date, I'm not sure that I'm going to be able to lose the 5.3 pounds that I want to.  But I'm sure going to give it my all!

    Week 16 - Laugh out loud

    How did I do with last week's change?
    Week 15: Choose whole grains in lieu of those that are refined

    I did eat 2 whole wheat buns this week... does that count?.

    The Change: Laugh out Loud
    I love this week's change!  I try to make sure to laugh every day, but it can be hard.  Work, homework, housework, bedtime routines can all be downers if you let them.  My favorite time to laugh is while cuddling Liam before bed.  Luckily he's a kid that can get all riled up and still go to sleep.  We have some of our best ticklefests during cuddle time.

    I hope everyone is laughing this week.

    A day without laughter is a day wasted.
    Charlie Chaplin

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 210 by April 28th, 2012
    Current Weight - 216.7

    Weight lost this week - gained 1.8 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 18.5 lbs

    I really thought I would have gained 5 pounds or more based on this past week's activities:

    • Someone brought the B.E.S.T. fudge ever to the office.  There was no will power that day.
    • I had to travel over night for a work conference, so that meant extra coffee in the car, eating out for dinner and breakfast, having a catered lunch and more coffee for the drive home.
    • My MIL was here visiting for the week, so we ate out, made fancier meals (lobster anyone?) and I did not exercise for 6 out of the past 7 days.
    • Easter chocolate.....'nough said.
    So while I hate to see a gain, it's not the end of the world.  I enjoyed myself all week, and didn't let myself feel guilty about falling off the wagon.  I'm back on track today.  I went for a 20 minute walk at lunch and Liam and I will go to Tae Kwon Do tonight.  He and I did get out for a 45 minute bike ride yesterday, and it felt really good to be active again.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Week 15 - Put the Whole in Your Grains

    How did I do with last week's change?
    Week 14: Keep it Clean and Green

    This is more of a long term goal then a weekly one, especially since with the Easter holiday and a visit from my MIL, I didn't really clean anything this week.

    The Change: Choose whole grains in lieu of those that are refined.
    I'll let you in on a secret... I hate whole grains.  I don't like whole wheat bread or pasta and I loathe brown rice.  I think the only ones I do like is quinoa and corn (on the cob or in a can!)

    The good side to this is that I don't eat a lot of refined grains anyway.  I might have crackers with my lunch a couple of times a week, but I don't eat toast or cereal for breakfast, it's rare that I have a sandwich or bread product for lunch, and we don't eat a lot of pasta or rice.  And since I'm trying to lose weight, I don't eat a lot of baked goods for desert.  I'm not sure if these means that I'm not eating a well balanced diet, but it seems to work for me.

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 210 by April 28th, 2012
    Current Weight - 214.7

    Weight lost this week - 3 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 20.3 lbs

     Not a whole lot to say this week, other then YEAH! I made my March goal.  Now on to the next goal of hitting 210 in the next 4 weeks.  If I can avoid the Easter chocolate this week,  I might actually be able to do it.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Week 14 - Keep It Clean & Green

    How did I do with last week's change?
    Week 13: Eat your Breakfast

    I actually had a protein rich breakfast twice last week, but mostly I am sticking with my veggies.

    The Change: Eliminate toxic chemicals in and around your home by using greener cleaning solutions.
    We don't use a lot of chemicals around the house, but we haven't gone as far as making our own soap just yet.  We try to buy green products when we can but it hasn't always been a priority for me.  Often price will win out if I have the choice to make.  There is still a part of me that loves to clean with bleach and to have that bleach smell in the house. 

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    I did it!

    My goal for March was to get down to 215.  It wasn't looking like I was going to make it, but with lots of exercise yesterday and really watching what I ate I weighed in at 214.7 this morning!

    I'm ready to face off with the next five pounds and have reset my goal to 210 by the end of April.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Spring In2 Action

    The gals over at Shrinking Jeans have come up with our next challenge.

    Spring In2 Action Challenge
    Over the next 6 weeks, if you follow our ACTION plan, you will see results. Real results that you can feel good about, results that will stick because you are not just losing weight, but changing yourself from the inside out.
    • Analyze your goals – decide what you want to accomplish over the next 6 weeks.
    • Commit to a plan – how are you going to achieve your goals? Put it on the calendar! 
    • Track your progress – Journal, journal, journal. Whether it’s on your blog or on paper. 
    • Inspire yourself and others – Supporting other people will inspire you to do your best. 
    • Overcome your fears – Face them head on, and realize you’re strong and can do anything. 
    • Never give up – Enough said. Quitting is not an option.
    Here is how I'm going to tackle the next 6 weeks:

    Analyze your goals 

    • My goal is to lose 5 pounds per calendar month.  But if I don't lose the full 5 pounds in a month, the extra will get carried over.  So my goal for April is going to be to lose 7 pounds.  
    • My goal is to feel healthier and to have more energy.  I really do feel better on the days that I exercise, so I need to keep reminding myself of that.
    • My goal is to feel great about how I look.  This is a new concept for me, and I still find myself wanting to hide behind bulky sweaters, but as I start to feel healthier, I'm starting to want to show my progress more and more.

    Commit to a plan

    • I will continue with Tae Kwon Do 3 times a week.  I have fun, Liam has fun and it's a great workout.
    • I will continue to work out at home on the days that I don't go to Tae Kwon Do.
    • I will continue to make healthy food choices, while not restricting myself so much that I fall into the old habit of binging on junk food.

    Track your progress

    • I will continue to use MyFitness Pal to track my food and my exercise.
    • I will continue to blog about my journey, so that I can look back and see my progress.

    Inspire yourself and others

    • I will need to work on this one!

    Overcome your fears

    • Tae Kwon do continues to be a bit of a fear for me to over come.  
    • My fear of failure is an area that I need to address.  It's so easy to get caught up in thinking that I've had a bad week, so I should just throw in the towel completely because I've already failed.

    Never give up

    • This ties in nicely with overcoming my fear of failure.  
    • I will not give up!

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 215 by March 31st, 2012
    Current Weight - 217.7

    Weight lost this week -  Gain of 1.3 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 17.7 lbs

    I had made it as low as 216 last week but have gained 1.3 pounds this week. It's not really a big surprise since we celebrated Hilary's birthday this past weekend.  That meant a lovely steak dinner with mashed potatoes and garlic bread and of course birthday cake!  And it also meant 3 days with no exercise. Based on that I'm okay with having only gained just over a pound.  I don't think I will make 215 by Saturday of this week though.

    Overall March has been an okay month but not as good as I had hoped.   I gave up on the Six-Pack March challenge somewhere around day 13.  That was around the time I started Tae Kwon Do.  We do push-ups as part of the warm up and I was so sore after the first few days, that something had to give.  I almost made my goal of doing some exercise every day, but blew it this past weekend.

    The Shrinking Jeans will be posting a new challenge for April and I look forward to it.  I like being accountable and it helps to have a great online support group.  I'm not going to beat myself up about March, but embrace the fact that I can now run 7 laps of the gym before TKD without having to walk, I did an actual push-up on Monday, I have another pair of jeans that are too loose and people continue to comment on how I look!

    Tuesday, March 27, 2012

    Week 13 - Eat your Breakfast

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day - 
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
    Week 3: Keep off the couch - 
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  X
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
    Week 8: Eat your Veggies-
    Week 9: Enjoy time alone-
    Week 10: Take time to stretch- 
    Week 11: Read the Box-
    Week 12: Breath Deep- Not so much

    The Change: Start every day with a healthy breakfast.
    I kinda of do this one already, but not in the healthy way that they mean.  People talk about a healthy breakfast being full of protein to fuel your body for the day.  My breakfast is far from full of protein.  In fact, my breakfast is mostly full of water since I eat a huge bag of vegetables every morning.  But after seeing this week's change, I had my Greek yogurt first thing (new flavour too, Key Lime, I highly recommend it!).

    Did I feel any better for starting the day with protein?  Not that I noticed. Maybe it has a more cumulative effect.  I don't know if I will switch my yogurt to being my first food every morning, but I will make an effort to have a breakfast with a bit more gusto to it before I dive into my beloved bag of veggies.

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 215 by March 31st, 2012

    Current Weight - 218.9

    Weight lost this week -  1.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 17.5 lbs

    The scale is not the only way to measure your success in weight loss.  Sure you can also notice it in your clothes or energy level, but I have a new favourite way of knowing that I am moving in the right direction -   having people that I barely know at my office (I work on a floor with 100+ people) come up and tell me how great I look or "Congratulations" on losing weight.

    This has now happened to me 5-6 times in the last week.  It's such a great feeling!  My hard work is paying off to the point that other people have noticed.  That to me spells success a lot more then the numbers that go up and down on my scale.  And it really motivates me to keep going.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Week 12 - Take a Deep Breath (3-19-12)

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day - 
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
    Week 3: Keep off the couch - 
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  X
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
    Week 8: Eat your Veggies-
    Week 9: Enjoy time alone-
    Week 10: Take time to stretch- as part of working out, or sometimes at the office
    Week 11: Read the Box-

    The Change: Once a day, dedicate five minutes to breathing deeply.
    I'm not a big fan of breathing deeply.  More often then note it makes my lightheaded and dizzy.  But Christy over a the 'Hood might be on to something "Or wait until you get into bed and shut the lights off. I don't think there's any harm in doing in while lying down!" That might actually work for me and it would be a great way to relax as I fall asleep.

    So I'm going to add a 12th small change to routine.  I'm doing well with most of the others, but I do worry that we are going to soon have so many that it will be impossible to keep track of.  But I guess the point of these all being cumulative is that they simply become second nature, a part of your day to day activities that you don't even think about them.  That is certainly true for me for drinking water and keeping a food journal.  The rest aren't quite ingrained yet.

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Over the shoulder boulder holder

    For Otto Titsling had found his quest:
    to lift and mold the female breast;
    to point the small ones to the sky; 
    to keep the big ones high and dry!*

    As most women know, when you lose weight you have no control over what area of your body that weight comes from.  Sure we can plank to build our ab muscles or do squats to tone our butts.  But ultimately the weight will come from where the weight wants to.  And 99% of the time it starts with the breasts.

    I have had a love-hate relationship with my breasts for most of my life.  I was well endowed by the time I was 13 and by my early 20's I had back and shoulder pain and could only buy speciality size bras that were very expensive.  Then in my early 30's I had a breast reduction.  I lost 5 pounds in the course of 2 hours, when they removed 2.5 pounds of breast tissue from each side.  

    But in the past 10 years I have put on a lot of weight.  And while my breast never got as big as they once were, they certainly gained too.  Now that I'm losing the weight, it seems to be melting right out of my bras.  So I went off on a quest to buy new bras.  Having large breasts has always meant that I had to shop in the utilitarian bra section.  Not very pretty, but VERY functional.  At best they come in two colours - white and beige.   Yesterday I decided to take the plunge and check out the rest of the bra section.  Armed with nearly a dozen styles and sizes I headed to the change room.  I'm never going to be an A cup but I did manage to find new bras that not only were affordable, they are actually nice to look at.

    My first ever "pretty" bra!

    *Lyrics from one of the BEST Bette Midler songs ever.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 215 by March 31st, 2012

    Current Weight - 218.9

    Weight lost this week -  0.4 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 16.1 lbs

    This hasn't been my most stellar week, with the least amount lost so far.  I did have some not good choice meals (fried chicken, taters and a mini blizzard for desert!) so I'm not all that surprised.  I'm still aiming to hit 215 by March 31st, and I am still confident that I will.  This week also coincided with my Daring Kitchen Challenge, which was braised pork belly.  Very yummy, but not very calorie conscious.

    The good part of this past week, which probably accounts for the slight loss even with consuming all of this great food, is that I have started Tae Kwon Do classes with Liam.  I've only been twice now, each time for an hour.  What a great work out!  A full hour of Tae Kwno Do burns approx. 1000 calories, which is nearly my full days allotment.  I currently track each lesson at 40 minutes of time to account for the down time and  warm up.  The warm up is about 20 minutes and has everything from stretches to running drills across the gym.  They are a great supportive group and cheered me on while I dragged my butt across the floor when we were supposed to be doing crab walks.

    I'm still working on the Six-Pack March Challenge.  I'm up to 45 sit ups, 17 push-ups (or at least my version of a push-up) and was supposed to do a 70 second plank..  My legs, arms, shoulders and back are very sore from Tae Kwon Do Monday night, that I had to skip the challenge yesterday because I was having  with walking or being able to sit down and stand up again.  My plan is to do it twice today.  I did yesterday's counts this morning, but my arms are still sore and I only made it to 60 seconds of the plank before collapsing.  I did manage 45 sit-ups, but I have to pause after every 10 to catch my breath.  The last 5 were HARD and I had to use my arms to pull myself all the way up.  It doesn't make me feel very confident that I will be able to do 100 situps by the end of the month. 

    I'm hoping to have a better week, though we are having dinner at Pizza Delight tonight as we have Liam and his Big Brother's one year review.  I'm planning on having one of their salads with chicken, which seems to be the best choice from their menu.

    I hope everyone else has had a great week too.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Week 11 - Read the Box (3/12/12)

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day -
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
    Week 3: Keep off the couch -
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  Haven't remembered this one all week :(
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
    Week 8: Eat your Veggies-
     Week 9: Enjoy time alone-
     Week 10: Take time to stretch- I'm not doing so well with this one, but I try!

    The Change:
    Learn how to read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel on packaged products so you can make healthier choices.
     I read labels a lot more these days, but mainly to read the calorie content and the serving size.  Who knew that serving sizes could be so deceiving?   It's been a real eye opener to check the labels of things before I buy them. The good thing is that we don't eat a lot of pre-processed food, so I don' t have to worry too much about what is in things.  Most of the processed foods that we do eat, I already know are bad for me (cookies, chips, candy....)

    This week we also have an assignment with our small change:

    1. Go to your pantry and pull out the first three things you see. Look at the labels.

    2. How many ingredients are in each item? Can you pronounce all of them? Do you know what they are? Fat and sugar have many aliases. List a few of the ones you know.

    3. What is the serving size? Go and measure or weigh they items and see if you're normally getting more than a serving. What is the outcome? 
     1. My three items, things that I eat fairly regularly:

                      a) Lipton Cup-a-soup Chicken Noodle
                      b) Vegetable Thins
                      c) Snack Pack Chocolate pudding

    2. Each has a minimum of 10 ingredients, with the crackers having more than 20.  I was surprised to find MSG in both the soup and the crackers.  The soup has 2 ingredients called "disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate" and the crackers have "soybean oil with TBHQ".  I have no idea what any of these things are.  Even the pudding has a mysterious ingredient - "carrageenan" which doesn't sound good at all.

    3.  I'm good with the serving sizes for these items.  The puddings and soup come pre-measured, so those are easy.  The crackers' serving size is 15 and I do measure those out when I take them for lunch, since I am counting calories and need to know what I've eaten.

    I eat these items because they are low in calories - soup = 50, crackers = 80 and pudding = 90.  But looking at them holistically,  they probably aren't the best choices that I could be making.  Thanks to this small change, I will definitely be paying more attention to labels.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Wednesday Weigh In

    Starting Weight - 235 on January 1st, 2012
    Current Goal - 215 by March 31st, 2012

    Current Weight - 219.3

    Weight lost this week -  2 lbs
    Weight lost so far- 15.7 lbs

    I've decided to set a smaller goal for March of only losing 5 pounds.  Since I've already lost most of one of them, I may overshoot my goal, but I'm good with that.  For me, 50% of weight loss is playing mind games with myself.  If I don't focus on my goal every minute of every day, I will simply fall back into old routines.  So having a small, obtainable goal will boost my self esteem when I hit it, and help me with the momentum to keep going.

    As I've mentioned before, this is the longest stretch of time that I have kept my focus and made progress.  The best thing?  I feel GREAT about it.  I have more energy, I feel really good about myself (especially when people notice the weight loss and comment).  I'm getting lots of support from Hilary at home, which is invaluable!  I'm even enjoying the working out.  Challenges like the March Six Pack or  Shrink Yo Self  from the Sisterhood, really help me to stay focused and feel that I have commitments that I have to do.

    The downside (if you can call it a downside) is that my clothes are all too big now!  Which is great, but I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe, especially since I plan to keep losing.  I'm down to having 3 pairs of jeans and no dress pants.  I put on a pair of the jeans this morning only to find that they are now baggy too.   I'm going to try to find a pair or two of interim sizes on sale, or even from Frenchy's to get me through.  I don't mind my sweaters being baggy, but once the weather warms up I will have to re-evaluate my summer clothes too.

    So overall, things are still going great and I look forward to another fantastic week.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    Week 10 - Take time to stretch (3/5/12)

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day -
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
    Week 3: Keep off the couch -
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  I remember about 50% of the time... need to work harder on this one.
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
    Week 8: Eat your Veggies-
     Week 9: Enjoy time alone-

    Stretch a minimum of 20 minutes three times a week to maintain flexibility.
    Hmmmm... I need more hours in my day!

    One thing I discovered yesterday was that I liked doing Yoga and Strength exercises with Wii Fit right before bed.  I`ve been having trouble staying asleep because  I get a strange restlessness in my legs that make me feel like I have to flex and stretch my legs compulsively, thus keeping me from falling back to sleep.  However, since I`ve been doing more exercise, I have noticed that it has been less.  So I think that 20 minutes of stretching right before bed might just be the thing I need.

    Friday, March 2, 2012

    Six-Pack March

    A new challenge went up today over at Shrinking Jeans.   It's a daily challenge that gets harder as the month goes on, made up of sit-ups, push-ups and planks.

    Because I am determined to not only lose weight but get into shape too, I have decided to give this a go ON TOP of my commitment to work out for 30 minutes every day.  Crazy!

    The only problem that I foresee is that I have NEVER been able to do even a single push-up.  I can sorta/kinda do the kind on my knees, but even then, it's not really a push up.  Maybe after 31 days and attempting up to 35 of these at a time, I'll actually conquer how to do them!

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    In like a Lion

    While the weather is still pretty cold here, March certainly did not come in like a Lion today.  But I've decided that I'm going to face March head on and conquer the lion!

    My challenge to myself is to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes EVERY SINGLE DAY this month.

    See that new calendar over on the right?  I am going to keep myself accountable by publicly displaying my success.  And hopefully you will call me out if I fall behind.

    Along with my exercise goal I am setting a goal to reach 215 pounds  by March 31st.  That means losing 6 pounds in just over 4 weeks.

    I will do this.

    What are your goals for the new month?

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012

    Shrink Yo Self - Final week

    Starting Weight - 230 235
    Current Weight - 226.3 221.3
    Goal Weight - 220
    Weight lost so far- 13.7 lbs

    I was successful and not successful in this challenge, but I am very happy with the results no matter what!

    My original goal was to lose 10 pounds in 9 weeks, going from a weight of 230 to 220.  Then I discovered that the scale I had been using was 5 pounds off and I was really starting at 235.  I was successful in losing more then 10 pounds but I'm still 1.3 pounds shy of 220.

    Having a clear goal and number of weeks to reach it was key for me.  This is the first time, ever, that I have been so focused on losing weight and getting in shape.  And the scale is reflecting that.  Not to make excuses, but I might have been successful in hitting 220 if we hadn't had our big Oscar part this past Sunday!  And I have been struggling with a sinus cold for the majority of the past 9 weeks.

    All of that means that I can will be even MORE successful with the next challenge and goal!

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Week 9 - Enjoy Time Alone (2/27/12)

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day -
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - 
    Week 3: Keep off the couch -
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  I remember about 50% of the time... need to work harder on this one.
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no
    Week 8: Eat your Veggies-

    Carve out a minimun of half an hour for yourself on a daily basis.

     Ahhh... alone time.  That coveted dream of many parents (and some non-parents too I'm sure!)

    I do try to find time for myself:

    • I purposely get up 30 minutes before Hilary and Liam so that I can be alone.  That is as much for their safety and well being as it is mine.  I am NOT a morning person and need that alone time with my coffee before I am ready to talk to others and start the day.
    • When we aren't in the middle of a bus strike, I consider my hour long bus commute "me-time" because I can throw on my iPod, listen to music of my choice and read my book.
    • I've been trying to exercise for 30 minutes after work each day, so that is some time by myself.
    • I also head to bed before Hilary so I get some "me" TV time then too.

    I'm hoping once the weather warms up to be able to get out for walks or bike rides. I would love more time to read or blog, or chat on the phone with friends, but alas, there are only so many hours in the day.

    I'm sure I could do better and I will certainly start making the effort.

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    Shrink Yo Self - Week 8

    Starting Weight - 230 235
    Current Weight - 222.5 220.9
    Goal Weight - 220
    Weight lost so far- 14.1 lbs

    So. Very. Close.

    Since I'm using the Wii for weighing myself I get my weight in kg and have to convert it to pounds to having any idea what it means.  But it does mean that I get a more precise measurement, so I am fully embracing the .9 because that means that the first three numbers are my goal numbers! 220.

    I truly believe that a good percentage of weight loss strategy is playing mind games like this with yourself.

    There is 1 week left to go on this challenge and I have 0.9 lbs to lose.  So far this week it's not looking good.  I am sitting here typing this while I'm full to the gills from a huge sushi feast we had at the office. I know that an occasional slip here and there isn't going to completely derail things.  However, we also have our big Oscar party this coming Sunday.  For us, the Oscars are as much about the food as they are about the show.  There will be 10 of this year and Hilary and I are putting together a Mexican feast.

    So I have some extra work to do this week.  This is the first time that I have managed to lose weight every week for a sustained amount of time.  To make my goal by next week would be amazing!

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Week 8 - Eat your Vegetables (2/20/12)

    To recap:
    Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day -
    Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - Yeah!  I'm finally sleeping well.
    Week 3: Keep off the couch -
    Week 4: Keep a food journal -
    Week 5: See the glass half full - Working on it
    Week 6: Multi Vitamins -  I remember about 50% of the time... need to work harder on this one.
    Week 7: Keep the outside out - 75% yes, 25% no

    Consume at least four to six servings of fibrous vegetables per day. (One serving = 1/2 cup of non-leafy vegetables or 1 cup of leafy vegetables.)

    This one is almost comedic given what I eat for breakfast every day.  I've never measured it out in cups, but I would guess that I average 6-8 cups of raw non-leafy vegetables every day just for breakfast.  Add in that I try to eat a salad every day (and usually a big salad, 4-5 cups of lettuce or spinach plus lots of other veggies) and that we have vegetables with dinner every night and I think I might actually be going overboard on my vegetable consumption!

    I love raw vegetables, no dip required.  I snack on them like chips over the course of the morning and they fill me up.   My favorite is raw zucchini, but I really do enjoy them all.  Except raw broccoli, but that is more of a texture issue than taste.

    I don't think I can add anything to make this week's challenge any better!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Shrink 'Yo Self - Week 7

    Starting Weight - 230 235
    Current Weight - 222.5 222
    Goal Weight - 220
    Weight lost so far- 13 lbs

     This past week has been pretty awful!  I had a cold last week, but by Wednesday night it had gotten the better of me.  I called in sick on Thursday and crawled back into bed once Liam was out the door to school.  Since then I have gotten better.... but not completely well.  It is mostly in my sinuses, with a bit of a cough.  And I am JUST. SO. TIRED.

    So the concept of exercise is pretty laughable right now.  I did get in 40 minutes of Wii step while I watched an episode of Lost (my new current addiction... re-watching from season 1) one day this week, but that is it.

    And I have made some pretty lousy food choices this past week: chocolate bar, chips, wine, Ah Caramel.... and that was all in one night!   Then we had a Valentine's Day pot luck at work and I couldn't stop myself from grazing on these yummy cream cheese pinwheels.  And of course I HAD to treat myself to a Skor desert bar. And there seems to be little chocolates everywhere that are so easy to say, "Sure... just 1" eleventy-billion times a day.

    While it does show that I lost a pound this week, my weigh-in day for myself is Sunday.  Now that it's 3 days later and I've eaten a tonne of crap, I'm pretty sure that pound is back on and it probably brought a friend or two with it.

    I vowed to get back at it today.  I did great all day at work... till I started sampling Valentine's Day chocolates at 3:00....but I did limit myself to only 4 little ones.  For supper I made a great choice of a huge fresh salad.  And I drank all of my water!  And I walked 20 minutes to and from the mall.

    and then I ate FIVE homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

    I was so close............

    Onward and upward..... I start again tomorrow.  There are 2 weeks left in this challenge to get myself to 220.