Monday, February 28, 2011

I wish I saw myself the way that others see me.

There are few things that boost your self esteem as much as unexpected compliments from the people around you. These unsolicited messages of support are sometimes exactly what I need to help me make the next good choice.

So thank you to everyone who has stopped me over the last couple of weeks to comment on how I look or on my success, please know that I took what you said to heart and it really made my day. These comments and compliments also force me to take a more critical and sometimes less judgmental evaluation of how I see myself. It is easy to be overly critical on a day when your jeans feel tight or you gave in and ate a bagel, but hearing from others that they see your progress can be just enough to get you back on track.

My weight watchers leader told us tonight to think about where we want to be on Canada Day. I started thinking what goals do I want to have achieved before July 1 (4 months away)

1. I want to loose another 20lbs (average of 5lbs a month)
2. I want to fit into my summer clothes that were too tight last year
3. I want to continue blogging 5-6 times a week

I have other goals - shop in the regular clothing section, throw out my plus size clothing, walk around proudly in a bathing suit, but I don't feel comfortable putting a timeline on these goals just yet.

My best decision today - making a almond butter and banana sandwich on 12 grain bread while the rest of the family ate frozen pizza

Decision needed the most improvement -  picking at my foster son's birthday cake when I got home from work.

Goal for tomorrow - no bagels

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another weekend over

As much as I have complained about how the weekend presents an ongoing challenge to my routine I really could not live without them.

I know how lucky I am that Scott and I both work Monday-Friday jobs so that we get to have the weekends together as a family. Now often I am on call those weekends, but generally we are together.

I worked all day yesterday so there was a disruption to my weekend and now on Sunday night I don't feel like I have had my proper weekend to rejuvenate for the next week. I think it will definitely be important tonight to relax and focus for the week ahead.

I think this is one of the reasons why I have gravitated to the Monday night meeting at Weight Watchers, it helps me get back on track after a rough weekend which is great since my Weigh In Day is Thursday.

We made a cake for my foster son's birthday today and I ate a slice. I have not had cake in over two months, I have said no to it at least 5 times in the office over the last 8 weeks, but tonight I cut myself a small piece really without even thinking. I really wish I had stopped to think because now after eating it I am a) glad it was a small piece and b) feeling that I really did not enjoy eating the very rich chocolate cake. The only good news is that the cake is causing me to drink lots of water right now to rinse it down.

My vacation south is now 180 days away and I continue to be committed to ongoing life changes for the next year. Some days are good, some are a great and a few aren't so hot, but every day I at least think about the choices I am making which is more than I can say for my life before this journey.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Something to Celebrate

I wish that I was writing this blog telling everyone that I have something big to celebrate. This, however is not the case. Today I am writing about the importance of finding something to celebrate even during the weeks that are not so good. 

Today I went into my weigh in with realistic expectations that I would not have a big loss. It's not that it has been a particularly bad week, but let's be honest I haven't seen big losses during great weeks and this was not a great week. I could also tell when I looked in the mirror that I might be retaining a bit of water right now as I can usually see this in my mid section. What I am celebrating is that I did see a loss on the scale 0.2lbs to be exact, but nevertheless a loss.

What I am celebrating today is that my weigh in marked two full months of losses on the scale. This is an achievement that I have never had before. This actually got me thinking about my slow weight loss. I asked myself if I lost 0.2lbs a week how long would it take me to loose 100lbs? The answer is that it would take 5 weeks to loose a pound which translate to 10lbs a year and 100lbs in 10 years.

So I asked myself if every week for the next ten years I weighed less than the week before would I be happy? 

Would I be loosing weight at the speed I want, no, but would I be happy? 

The answer is that if the worst case scenario is that for the next ten years I continue to weigh less and less I can handle that. It took me about 15 years to put this weight on and if a decade is what it takes to take it off well . . .  The good news is that is worst case scenario; my small loss today is by no means a preview of the weeks to come. So my worst case scenario is something that I can live with and this is not even the most likely scenario. That is something that I can definitely live with.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I decided today that bagels are my nemesis. I believe that this started more than a decade ago. I remember going to the mall as a teenager and getting a bagel from The Great Canadian Bagel. The cream cheese was as thick as the bagel itself.

At home bagels do not hold much appeal. I have weight watchers bagels in the cupboard and low fat cream cheese, but in the morning I am just as happy to eat my plain oatmeal with cinnamon and almond slivers.

So why is it that when I drive by a Tim Hortons that I have an uncontrollable (this may be a little exaggerated) craving for a bagel. I think that there is a part of me that has focused on the bagel as the healthier alternative to the donut. While there may be more nutritional to a 12 grain bagel and than a chocolate dip donut there are also more calories. Please don't tell me to eat half the bagel - its not going to happen.

I don't want you to get the impression that I can't drive by a Tim Hortons without buying a bagel, I do have some self control. My problem is when I am starting to get hungry and am craving a carbohydrate and then I drive past one. Yesterday I exhibited extreme self control by actually leaving the parking lot and buying a banana. Today, well, we can't be perfect all the time.

I will continue to take some level of pride that instead of a 20 pack of timbits, I age a 12 grain bagel light on the butter. I do know however that if I want to continue to see a good amount of success I am going to have to break up with the bagel, perhaps Tim Hortons entirely for a while. Hopefully in a while after the feelings have diminished we might still be able to be friends.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back to Clean

Today was my first day back to 100% clean eating. I've gone back to this more strict way of eating because I find the simultaneous structure and flexibility helpful. The program is very structured as it is clear about what food as ok (clean) and what foods are off limits. The program is flexible as you can eat what you want within those parameters. 

I've found over the few weeks that the flexibility of weight watchers allowing to fit anything into the program for me is the beginning of the end as I can easily justify an unhealthy meal with a plan to eat less later. Clean eating forces me to make a good choice every time I put something into my mouth.

Case in point. Today I found myself in a Tim Hortons parking lot in a small town. It was close enough to the end of the day that lunch was far behind me, but not late enough for me to consider an early dinner.

In similar situations over the last couple of weeks I would probably end up going in and getting a bagel with a plan to have a smaller dinner. In reality, dinner would be normal and I would never make up those calories.

Today with my resolve to eat only clean foods a bagel with either cream cheese or butter was off the table. I also did not think I could make it through the day without eating. My solution was to drive out of the Tim Hortons parking lot (still can't believe I had the will power to do this) and I drove over to the small local grocery store where I purchased a bunch of bananas, problem solved.

Todays Meals
Breakfast - plain oatmeal with cinnamon, honey and slivered almonds
Snack - clementine, preventia bar
Lunch - weight watchers pita, low fat hummus, raw veggies, half a chicken breast, orange
Snack - banana
Dinner - whole wheat spaghetti, extra lean ground chicken, tomato sauce with veggies, whole grain bread.
Snack - herbal tea and clementines

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time to Focus

I feel that for the last few weeks I have lost focus. I have continued to make progress, but that initial motivation is gone and each day and each meal feels like a challenge.

I am going to try to get some of that back by putting more control into my environment. No more lunches out and no more grabbing breakfast on the go. Those are some of the biggest struggles for me and the most likely places for me to over eat.

I also feel that I have fallen off the clean eating wagon which is disappointing because it worked so well for me. So as the title of today's blog says, time to focus.

I am making use of the day off today. I rode my exercise bike for an hour at a tension level higher than I normally ride. I am having a clean high protein snack and a clean dinner planned.

The diet coke is gone again and no more justifying other things that I should not be eating. If I am happy with my current rate of half a pound a week than perhaps I could keep doing what I am doing, but I am going on a cruise in 6 months and I'm sorry, but at 1/2 lb a week that is only 12.5lbs more off before the cruise and that is not going to cut it.

My After workout snack
Egg whites with red bell peppers and mushrooms

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Long Weekend

I've written before about how tough weekends can be. 2 days away from your predictable schedule as well as looks of challenges that you don't see Monday - Friday such as family events, eating out and activities that take you away from the security of work and home.

Long weekends are that and so much more because a long weekend typically signifies a holiday. Holidays mean family gatherings and usually food.

I actually like Family day because so far it not been associated with eating. What other holiday can boast that? Now you might think that Cananda Day and Labour Day and Victoria Day do not signify food, but I want you to think back to what you have done on these holidays during the last decade. You are likely going to come up with answers like: camping, drinking, bbq. See - food is everywhere.

Family Day, however emphasizes spending time together. I also just realized that anyone who reads this blog and does not live in Ontario is probably wondering right now what the X#%^# is Family Day. Family Day is a new holiday that was created a few years ago in Ontario to provide a paid holiday during the winter. It acts much like any other holiday in that lots of people get the day off, and lots of people still have to work. Schools and stores are closed . . .  you get the idea.

So what is my plan for this long weekend which because it takes place during the middle of a Canadian Winter is likely to mean a long weekend indoors?

My plan is to not stress out, to make the best decisions I can and to fit in activity where ever I can. I do not expect the weekend to be perfect, but that does not mean that I need to make it a lost cause either. For example today I have made excellent choices for breakfast and lunch and am going to make steak for dinner. I am making it at home so that I can control how it is cooked and what I eat with it. I have bought the kids snacks for tonight and have purchased some baked potato chips for me.

So to those of you joining me for this long weekend, Happy Family Day, for those of you working (at least you don't have to stress about staying on track during the long weekend.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


So finally after 2 weeks of small loses at the scale I have seen some much needed improvement. My weight loss this week was 1.4lbs bringing my total in 6 weeks to 11.7lbs. This weight loss success was a welcome relief knowing there were definitely challenging days during the last week. I also really needed to see the scale move in order to further motivate me to keep going as it can be really hard to get motivated when you don't feel that you are seeing results.

I continue to think that even the small choices that I make are having an impact on my weight loss. Even when I don't have my best day (I don't track, have an extra snack or eat a bagel from Tim Hortons) I am still very conscious of my choice and try and limit myself to just that choice. I have been saying no to cake at the office (which we seem to have a lot) and if I do want a snack such as potato chips it is baked chips only.

It is very important to figure out what snacks/treats are important to you. I was having a chat with someone close to me today who commented on my decision to get popcorn with butter while we were at the movies and how I could have saved that for something big. For those of you who have been following from the beginning you will know that movie popcorn is big for me and that I would rather forgo other things like dinner out or cake for this treat. For the person that I was talking to movie popcorn woudln't be worth it, for me it is and we both have to do what is best for us individually in order to meet our goals. If I used someone's elses definition of "worth it" I woudl continue to feel deprived and would likely stray further from my diet.

So here is a list of some of the things that come to mind in the worth it/not worth it debate.

Cake at the office - Not worth it
Sugar in my coffee - Not worth it
Cheese on my sub - Not worth it
Cream in my coffee - Not worth it
Baked potato chips - Worth it
Dark Chocolate - Worth it
diet coke - sometimes
movie popcorn - worth it

You may agree or disagree with some or all of the above, but that is ok because you have to develop the list that is right for you.

Goals for this week include: daily exercise, tracking what I eat, water

Next goal is 15lbs lost.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Other Stuff

During the  last 6 weeks I have been so focused on the scale that I have not really taken an opportunity to explore the other stuff. I'm talking about the other benefits that come along with loosing weight and eating healthy.

I have talked about the joy of putting on pants and realizing that they are too big. This happened again today, by the way, but not the other changes that I have been noticing.

I have always been someone who regularliy puts on their makeup before leaving the house, I find that when I don't my face looks red, the colour is not consistent and I am generally unhappy with the way I look. Lately I would say that I have only been putting on full makeup 50-60% of the time and many times I just put on mascara and lip gloss. I've noticed that I have a more even skin tone, less reddness and fewer blemishes. All that from eating better food, I'll take it.

Another benefit that I have been noticing is related to my energy. I actually find that I have the engergy to exercise in the evening and I'm not ready to pass out by late afternoon. I actually find that this benefit can vary even daily based on what I am eating and I do find that when I make poorer choices I don't feel as energized.

I can't tell you that I have noticed any difference with my hair b/c it has always been thick and lets be honest, most days I put it up in a bun and ignore it, but I'm sure if I took the time to blow dry it and style it, I would notice a difference there too.

Now to the most important thing. I feel good. Yes we have talked about my engergy levels and my skin, but I am actually proud of myself and even though I am far from my goal, the steps that I have taken and the positive feedback that I have received have already contributed to benefiting my self esteem. I am hoping that this benefit will help to end the cycle that has led to my weight gain and show lasting improvements in how I feel about myself.

Now to the one negative thing that I realized today. All of the clothes that are becoming too loose are my newer clothes so for the time being I am going to be stuck wearing my older clothing. The good news I only plan to wear it temporariliy which is why I am not going to buy anything new just yet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Ok for all the parents out there you know what a wonderful tool stickers can be for positive reinforcement and motivation. You may or may not have known that the power of stickers also works with adults.

I first became acquainted with stickers during a weight watchers meeting a number of years ago. When a group member would share a weight loss, a milestone or a success the leader would reward them with stickers. How I treasure the stickers, I put them on my weight tracker and I see them as a tangible measure of success even when the scale is not cooperating.

I had an experience with stickers last night at a Weight Watchers Meeting.

I was sharing with the group about my experience that day at lunch, I had explored this a bit in yesterdays blog, but what I failed to mention was that I had actually pulled into Walmart to run errands and realized that if I went in, I would likely eat at McDonalds so I actually pulled out of the parking lot and then went to a grocery store to complete my errand and purchase lunch food. Upon hearing this story the leader unrolled her stickers in a big swoop and handed me half the roll.

I was already proud of myself for that decision, but something about someone else acknowledging the effort and will power it took to do this really hit home. The fact that they showed this acknowledgment with stickers, even better.

So what is the point of today's rant. First of all it is to remind all of us to reinforce the good choices that we are all making on a daily basis. The second is to remember that little things like stickers or a note or a well done can have a tremendous impact on someone and really can brighten their day. Those stickers are still rolled up in my purse and whenever I see them I am reminded that that strong decision that I made and it may just help me through the next one.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Instant Gratification

The last week has been with out a doubt a real struggle for me. I’ve found myself slipping back into old habits and figuring out ways to justify my behavior. Why? I thought about this for a bit and the answer came to me today during a conversation with my husband.

We were text messaging each other and he said that he felt back that because we had made a commitment to save money he had not purchased me anything lavish for Valentine’s day. I corrected him and said that he I had bought him a cruise for Valentine’s day. This definitely lighted the mood as he replied “what a coincidence I bought you a cruise too”. My next comment was were the light bulb clicked on. I advised him that the cruise really is our gift to each other, its just delayed gratification.

A few hours later I was driving into town on my lunch hour to run a few errands. I was hungry and was approving what I like to call Drive-thru alley. It is a row of every fast food place known to man in a line down the street. In my head I started the rationalization; the conversation went something like this:

-          I only had a granola bar for and two clementines for breakfast
-          I can start trying tomorrow
-          If I get a happy meal its not that bad
-          I can eat a small dinner

Then I started to think about the discussion that I had with Scott about delayed gratification. If I can forgo a dinner out or flowers for a cruise why can’t I forgo a Happy Meal for a better body? I didn’t have a very good answer to that question.

So I skipped Walmart (where there is conveniently a McDonalds inside) and went to the grocery store across the street. I picked up the few items that I had come into town for and I grabbed a red pepper, bananas, clementines, weight watchers pita, and some low fat hummus to eat for lunch.

I know that I have lost some of my accountability as I have stopped posting what I eat as well as photos. Lets be honest, I have not wanted to post some of my choices, like said happy meal or wine etc. That ends now. I am returning to posting all of my food choices as well as photos of anything exciting.

I am not going to succumb to instant gratification b/c the problem with instant is that while it is quick it is not lasting and I want something that is going to last.

Happy Valentines Day

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Family Dinner

In honor of my first weekend in a month that I am not on call I decided to make a big Sunday night dinner. Figuring out what to make wasn't as difficult as I first thought. It was easy to take traditional foods and just watch how I prepared them.

Dinner consisted of roast beef (trimmed of fat) with corn, carrots and rosemary roasted potatoes.

The best part of the whole dinner was that even after all that cooking my kitchen is still clean. That honestly is the best part of a Sunday, a clean house (well the main floor at least).

I am starting this week with a renewed sense of motivation about my ongoing weight loss journey. I know that willing the weight to come off faster is not going to work, if I want this I am going to have to keep working hard for it. The scale will move, my clothes will feel bigger and I will be healthier. 

I have done some hard reflection about some of the areas that I have been slacking during the last week. Two particular areas come to mind; breakfast and lunch. I have not been consistently making a clean breakfast at home which has led to either eating too many calories in the am or too few and being famished by lunch. This leads to area number two; lunch. I don't think that I packed a lunch last week at all and this has definitely had an impact on my lunch choices. 

So after my self reflection I headed to the grocery store to stock up for the week ahead. I have no excuses (well I could probably come up with a few) why I should not have both a healthy clean breakfast and lunch. I have let myself stray from some of the principles I set up at the beginning of the year and I think that my best shot at good progress is going back there. 

So here is to a good week and a good weigh in.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Off the Wagon

Unfortunately the last 48 hours have been struggle starting with my weigh in on Thursday. I celebrated that I was down again, but it was only just over half a pound and my frustration continued about my incredibly slow weight loss, despite all of my food and activity efforts.

What followed was a slow and steady decline which has led to my blog this am. I did not write Thursday or Friday. I did not intend to stop blogging, but one thing led to another and I didn't do it. I also felt my food choices slipping though the last 2 days. 

I did not decide to wage war on my diet or on healthy eating, but I did feel that making the right choices was a bit of struggle. It felt like what's the point? The result, mostly good choices with a few that were controlled, but my best effort.

This morning I got up and my husband suggested that we take the kids to the market. This activity, while on the surface a healthy activity, ultimately led to this morning's demise. I did not eat breakfast, I was starving and walking around a market place, that while full to healthy nutritious food, was lacking in things healthy and ready to eat. What I was surrounded by were free samples of toffee, caramel popcorn, cheese and even more items for sale; cupcakes, cookies, candy. I held on to my strength purchased the items that I came for, but then another voice took over and stated the following "Let's go grab breakfast". 

I actually feel a bit sick as I write this because know what I ate was not good for me and it does make me feel good. Yes I chose whole wheat bread and ham over bacon, but I still ate eggs which were likely (definitely) cooked in grease and home fries and butter on my toast. I actually took a picture and was going to post it on my blog as part of my confession, but honestly I don't want to look at the food.

So time to crawl back up on the wagon. I don't want one greasy breakfast to be my downfall which is why the first thing I did when I got home was turn on the computer to write. I feel in some ways this blog is the equivalent to attending a 12 step meeting. Hi my name is Dawn and I made a bad choice.

What am I going to do now. I'm going to spend the day with my kids, pick up more healthy food at the grocery store and keep going because I have to.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Twas the Night before weigh in

Twas the night before weigh in , when all through the house
Not a morsel was eaten, not even by a mouse
The scale was sitting on the bathroom floor with care,
In hopes that a smaller number soon would be there.

The food was nestled, all snug in the fridge,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in my head
And Scott with his snack and me with my carrot
Had just settled our brains to watch a funny show.

When down in the tv room there arose such a clatter,
Scott sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen he flew like a flash,
Turned on the light and threw open the fridge.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen food
Gave the lustre of mid-day to cakes and cookies below.
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature cake, and eight tiny cookies.

With a sneaky eater, so lively and quick,
He knew in a moment it must be me.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now cookies! now, cakes! now, chips and Ice Cream!
On, soda! On, pizza! on, on chocolate and candy!
To the back of the fridge! to the top of the cupboard!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the cupboards the coursers they flew,
With the plate full of fat grams, and calories too.

And then, in a twinkling, he heard downstairs
The crinkling and pawing of each little wrapper.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the staircase my husband came with a bound.

He was dressed all in pjs, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with crumbs and loot.
A bundle of snack food I had flung on MY back,
And i looked like a baker, just opening his pack.

The cakes how they twinkled! the icing how merry!
The fondant roses and the candied cherry!
The boxes of chocolate tied up with a bow,
And the icing sugar was as white as the snow.

The twinkie i held tightly in my teeth,
And the smell it encircled my head like a wreath.
He told me if I ate I would have a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when I laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He said "do you want to be chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,"
And I laughed when I heard him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And took all my treats, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the staircase he rose!

He sprang to the fridge, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he walked out of sight,
"Happy weigh in to all and to all, and to all a good-night!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


1. a)The act of pivoting to face in the opposite direction from the original, especially in a military  
    b)A military command to turn clockwise 180°.
2. A total change of attitude or viewpoint.

This is what happened this evening. 
It all started when I received a text message from my husband at 3:45pm stating that he was working in Brantford, this meant that once he finished for the day he would not have his usual 30-40 minute commute and would technically be "home early". This let me to me deciding to take the last hour off of work so that I too could be home early.

We met at home before going to pick up the kids and started the usual discussion of "what's for dinner". I don't know if it was the novelty of us both being home before 5pm or that we had each had a busy day, but the conversation quickly switched from what is in the fridge? to where should we go?

As I was on the computer googling searches such as "kids eat free Tuesday" I stopped myself and asked the question "What I am doing" I knew that there was an entire package of chicken breasts in the fridge that was planned for tonights dinner and that I had specifically gone to the grocery store to pick up a non processed sauce for a stir fry, yet within a few seconds I was willing to throw it all away for a dinner out. 

I realized then how quickly we can fall into old habits; the conversation above was a perfect example of a regular night at our house before we started this journey. It would end at us at a restaurant eating meals that are too big and full of fat. 

Now I am by no means against going out, but one of the things that I have tried to maintain on this journey is balance and we had just got out last weekend for dinner. Tonight there was no rhyme or reason that we needed to eat outside of the home, but we were bored and tired and it was the easy way out. The easy way out unfortunately is how I got into this situation in the first place.

So I grabbed the chicken and the vegetables out of the fridge and my husband left to get the kids. By the time he returned a healthy, inexpensive dinner was ready on the stove. This is one about-face that I can proud of.

Tonight's Dinner:
Chicken stirfry with veggies and brown rice

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Goodbye

Today was the first of what I hope will be many Happy Goodbyes. I got up and got myself ready for work, however about an hour or so later I realized that the dress pants that I was wearing did not fit properly. The good news, they were too big.

Now I like a bit of room in my clothing and I am not a fan of items that cling, however these pants are now loose in the waist, bottom and legs, The extra room made them hang lower on me so they were actually getting wet when I was walking outside.

I have made a decision that I will not be purchasing any new clothes until I reach my 10% target which is fine because I have many items in many sizes to get me through until then.

These particular pair of pants however are going to be retired. I have made a commitment that I am not going to hang on to the clothing that is too big for me, I don't want that crutch in the house allowing me to go back to the way that things were.

While I am never one to want to go give up clothing I am definitely happy for this goodbye.

Today was crazy, I was running out the door this am and could only grab fruit for breakfast. I felt that this had a negative impact on my day and I was starving by the time that I popped into the grocery store at 4:30pm. I realized that I definitely need to store more granola bars and almonds in my bag for times like this. I also want to pre portion some protein powder for situations like this so if necessary I can just buy a single serving of milk and make a protein shake.

A friend has decided to join WW tonight so I am going to go with her to the meeting. I will continue my at work meetings, but I like the idea of some extra support mid week and having someone else following the program can only be a good thing.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You don't have to love the game to eat the food.

So today is Superbowl Sunday.
While I am definitely not the biggest football fan out there, I do find myself getting into football mode as the game approaches. More than anything this mode usually has something to do with food.

This presented as a particular challenge this year with our determination to eat as clean and as healthy as possible. So this begs the question, How do you make healthy Superbowl Food. Some of the obvious foods were out such as fried wings, chips and anything high fat or deep fried. Chili came to mind as a very strong possibility because there are so many variations on how to make this dish.

So the decision was to make a healthy chili following as many clean eating principles as possible. Were we successful, I think so as even the kids liked it. I can't say that I am watching the game right now, but the food certainly was good.

Dawn's Chili - makes one giant pot
2 cans no salt added whole tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes (I could not find this salt free)
1 can brown beans (rinsed off the tomato sauce)
1 can kidney beans - rinsed
1 can black beans - rinsed
1 can chick peas - rinsed
1/2 green lentils (partially cooked)
1/2 cup diced onion
diced bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 can no salt added corn
1/2 pound steamed ground beef
1/2 pound steamed ground chicken
2 packages chili seasoning (this was not clean, but I felt it was needed)

All Good Things Must Come To An End

I woke up this morning with a startling realization. Yesterday was the first time since January 1, that I did not write a daily blog.

I had thought about writing earlier in the day, but decided that I would wait. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we got home later than expected.

Last night my husband and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary. Now technically our anniversary is in early January, but the proximity to the holidays as well as our desire to get centred in our eating habits led us to the decision to wait a bit before going out.

It is interesting to think that I am (being only 30) am at a place in my life where I have been in a relationship where I have been married for 8 years and with this person for almost 11 years. I think that it is the strength and comfort of this relationship that is helping me on this journey. A person whom you have only started dating is not going to ask you what your food choices are for the day and they are definitely not going to ask you if you lost any weight this week. So Happy Belated Anniversary to my Husband who I love and who I appreciate for his help in support in all areas of our lives, but especially for his support of my journey. He has decided to be a part of this journey as well and to date has last 13lbs. Together we will become the Shrinking Mommy and Daddy.

So my best laid plans on Friday night fell short of what I was hoping for, however the additional calories came from vodka and not from food. With another evening out planned for Saturday I needed to bring a bit more focus to make sure that the weekend would not be a write off.

I started my being very aware of my choices through out the day so that I wasn't going into dinner with the majority of my food already consumed for the day. We decided to eat at Sotiris, a Greek Restaurant. I ordered water to drink ate my salad and brought home a little more than half of my entree. I definitely felt that good choices were made and I consider my first "date night" on this journey to be a success.

Depending on how the day goes I may end up writing again tonight to keep up with my attempts at daily posts, but we will wait to see how the day goes and if I have anything to write about.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Social butterfly

The Month of January was a very quiet month for me in the sense that following the rush of the holidays we had very few social engagements planned for the month.

This led to a nice easy entry for me into my weight loss journey because I did not have the added stress of managing social situations and food. Most of my meals have been made at home and my exposure to outside food, especially to snacks has been fairly limited.

Tonight I am going to my first social outing since starting this journey. The good news is that it is not a meal, but rather an after dinner party. The bad news is that I am sure there will be food there, you know the type of food, it is placed in trays on tables within your reach and taunts you the entire time you are sitting there challenging the commitments and promises that you made not to eat it before you left. There are usually a few veggies, but also deserts or other equally high fat options.

Do I have strategies for tonight? Of course, I always go in with a plan, I’m just not sure yet what it is going to be so whether or not my plan is successful or not is yet to be determined, but trust me there will be a plan.

I am excited about going out tonight because social outings are a part of my life and the sooner that I learn to fit them into my weight loss journey the better equipped I will be to handle them in the future. The other positive part of this is that I am a social person and I enjoy spending time with friends so having opportunities to see friends and spend time with them helps to put me in a positive frame of mind and the more positive that I feel, the better my decisions are.

The other positive element is that this is the only planned social outing I have this weekend so whatever choices that I make tonight will be limited to tonight. I will not hate myself in the morning and I will have enjoyed the time with friends. I may also find myself on the bike for the remainder of the weekend if things go really bad.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whatever Keeps You Going

Today I needed some motivation. Despite having a weight loss at the scale today, the remainder of the day was a challenge. I thin that it stemmed from feeling as those I should have seen more of a loss at the scale after following my programs really well and exercising all week. The loss was .4lbs which brings my Month one total to 9.7lbs.

Since the weigh in I have been toying with the idea of forgoing points for the week and just focusing on my clean foods. There is an option with WW to forgo points and restrict the type of foods that you are eating and this closely resembles the clean eating principles.

I actually think that counting points may have caused me to eat more than I was eating previous weeks, but I can't be sure.

So in my quest for motivation I went visiting. My visit was not to a person, but to a store. I went to visit the regular size clothing. Currently and for about the last 10 years I have worn mostly plus size clothing with the occasional XL. Today I went to visit the S, M, and L clothing that had just arrived in the various spring sizes and colours. I held up some of the items to their XXL counterparts to really look at the difference. After I went to the plus size section and noticed how uniform and boring the clothing was compared to the rest of the store. Before I left I also went to visit the bathing suit section. Surprisingly this did not cause me to have an anxiety attack or become depressed, but rather gave me clarity and focus on what my goal really looks like.

This experience helped me to put my weight loss into perspective. Today was mentally and emotionally rough, I felt that I was putting more effort in than I was getting out in results. This resulted with me struggling with my food choices for the rest of the day. I made it through lunch, but did allow myself to make a not so great choice at dinner. I felt that I managed this ok as I ensured that I ate the smallest portion of the food that I chose and kept it within my points range for the day. 

I have realized that as long as I continue to travel down the road of weight loss it is ok that some weeks I might travel slower than others, but as long I as I am continuing to follow the road I will get there. It also helped me to think that it is ok if I run out of gas, need to stop and ask for directions or stop for a scenic detour (snack) as long as I get back on the road.

Ok, I am done with the metaphors for today. I am very excited, there is a new Grey's Anatomy on tonight so I am going to treat myself to a night off after a 12 hour day at work.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I have been watching way too many weight loss reality shows lately and I think that this has skewed my expectations around weight loss. After some self talk and inner contemplation I think I am good and have realistic expectations about my weight loss. I thought that to keep control on those reasonable expectations I should set some goals for myself. The rules for my goal setting is that they need to be obtainable, but not set so low that it allows me to slack off.

I know that I would love to set a goal that would see me wearing a bikini on my next vacation, but I know that setting this goal is only setting me up for failure and honestly even when I loose the weight I don't know that I want to or that others would want me in a bikini so we are just going to put that on hold for a while.

So what are realistic goals. I previously talked about my formal red dress that I wore on my honeymoon. At 3 sizes smaller than what I currently wear, this could be obtainable by August.

For me my first big goal is to get below the lowest weight that I have been since having kids. For me that will break the cycle of yo-yo dieting and bring me to a new frontier of sizes that I have not seen in the last 7-8 years. This will also get me to a point that puts me at wearing the smallest size of clothing that I own in any variety and really motivate me to get to the next level.

So that goal is currently about 25lbs away.
I don't know exactly what my weight was when this photo was taken, but I do remember looking back at these pictures and not being embarrassed looking at them. This seems silly to me now as I was still clearly about 75lbs overweight, but looking at those photos remind me of a small period of time when I was successful at weight loss. Unfortunately that loss was the result of a pregnancy where I was very sick and only gained 10lbs and a period of nursing that helped me keep that weight off. Once I returned to work and stop nursing the weight slowly crept back on. This time my weight loss is true, it is due to lifestyle changes and exercise and not because I was sick to my stomach for 9 months and had a baby pressing on my stomach keeping me from over eating.

This time I will know how to handle stress and challenge and I will meet my goals.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Machine

I was watching a new series on TV last night called Heavy. The premise of the show is that every week they take two morbidly obese people and send them to a program for a month to learn how to eat and exercise. Then the show follows them for a total of 6 months to document their weight loss.

As a viewer the nice thing about this show is that it shows you a person's transformation in a condensed 60 minute framework. A person goes from obese to fit in a mere 60 minutes. I know that for those individuals those 6 months felt like forever as they went through the journey, but as a viewer it is easy to become frustrated watching someone shed pounds so quickly on tv. Sometimes I just want a time machine so that I can jump ahead 6 or 12 months just for a quick glimpse to keep me motivated.

I am so proud of the success that I have experienced so far, but day to day it can be hard to remain motivated as it takes a while before your clothing feels dramatically different or you reap the benefits of increased health and fitness. When I look in the mirror I see the same silhouette that I saw last month and it is easy to think that it will always be like this.

I know one day I will look back at my weight loss experience and I do will be able to see in over a 60 minute timespan, but day to day the challenge is to keep faith that this elusive day will come and that it is important to just keep going forward.

When I take a minute to really look at that reflection in the mirror I do see changes. I see a thinner face and pants that hang a bit looser around the thigh. I also feel room in my waist band. I feel stronger after a work out and I feel proud of myself each day when I reflect on the past 24 hours. It can be easy to be lost in the silhouette, but I do have to stop and remember that a silhouette does not show the details, and the details are important.