Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A strong finish

Today was very interesting for me. Tomorrow is my second weigh in following a full week of eating well and exercising.

Gone are the weeks were Fri-Sunday are a write off and I have Mon-Wed to try and obtain a weight loss before I weigh in.

For 2 weeks now I have tracked everything that I have eaten. I have also worked out harder than ever before.

Last week the results were amazing. I am excited to see what happens tomorrow.

Temptations are going to continue to be everywhere. There were amazing (looking) cupcakes at the office today for yet another birthday, but I stayed away.

I was running late this morning and did pack a lunch, but I bought a salad.

I ended up working late, but took a quick trip to the Grocery store to purchase a frozen healthy dinner.

Even though there are challenges around me does not mean that I have to give in. I strong, intelligent and capable of anything. Weight loss is not rocket science and I have certainly been up against bigger challenges in my life. I am no longer to whine and complain about how easy it is for me to gain weight and how hard it is for me to lose. I am just going to work hard and enjoy the results.

I need your help

To all my fellow Canadians who read my blog. First thank you.

I need your help to win a contest for my kids.

Step 1. Like the Page Clarence Dental Group
Step 2. Like the Picture Shown Above
Step 3. Share this link with all of your facebook friends.

Thank you for your continued readership and my kids and I thank you for your help.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Change of Seasons

As the weather starts to change I have started to see some comments on Facebook about friends starting to try on Summer clothing.

This has always been a challening time of year for me. It causes anxiety as I try on clothes to see which summer wardrobe I would be wearing for the season and panic if nothing fit.

I am happy to report that due to my success so far in losing 14lbs I am not worried about having no clothes for this coming summer. I actually believe that I may be able to get rid of some of my larger items. I have learned that under no circumstances will I be keeping those (just in case clothes). I have no intentions of every having reason to wear them again.

The question remains do I buy new clothes or wait?

I think right now I will have enough clothes for the next couple of months. During that time I am really hoping to drop another size. As the nature of my blog has been full diclosure I am going to talk about my clothing size goals. This, like some other topics is very sensitive for me and it is a big move for me to be able to comfortably talk about it.

The largest size that I have ever worn regularly is size 20. There have been some items that due to their brand have been slightly larger or bought while I was pregnant, but generally speaking this was my heaviest size.

I am now comfortable in disposing most of the pants and clothing that I own in this size. I am comfortably wearing size 18 and most of these pants have some room in them. This is great news as size 18 is the smallest size that I have worn in the last 7 years.

It is my goal to be wearing at least a size 16 by the July 1st weekend. While this may not seem like an extremely challenging goal - 1 size in 2 months, it will mark my most successful weight loss effort in my adult life (or 12 years) In actuality I will be striving to lose as much weight as possible each week and I would love to hit this landmark sooner than July 1, but it is good to have a realistic goal and for me this is it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Dinner - Part 2

NO this not an actual AFTER photo.

On Friday my blog was titled Easter Dinner - Part 1. This blog talked about my plans for the 2 Easter Dinners that would occur during my weekend.

Tonight's blog is about the results of that plan.

My current plan is for a 2lb a week weight loss before exercise so basically 1000 calories are removed each day to achieve this result.

First of all I tracked everything that I ate, absolutely everything including the small foil chocolate eggs that I ate. Did you know each of those has 33 calories in them?

The Results:

Saturday - I stayed true to my plan. I brought my own side dishes for the turkey dinner, I weighed my turkey and I drank only the wine that I had planned for.

What needed improvement, I did not account for any snacks so I did eat 150 calories in chocolate and had some low calorie chip type snacks, but I also walked (leisurely) for about 20 minutes.

The end result - I went 232 calories over the plan.

Sunday - Sunday proved to be a bit harder. Breakfast went exactly as planned with the turkey bacon that I brought from home and my Weight Watchers toast.

Lunch was planned to be on the road. I assumed we would stop at Subway, but my husband said he was sick of it. I know that I could have asked him to stop for me, but I didn't and ended up eating pizza pizza with them. I did come home and looked up my calories. My lunch ended up being 480 instead of the original 300 I had planned.

Dinner - By this time I had eaten a couple of foil chocolates and I was starting to feel like I should give myself the day off. When I arrived at my sister in laws I actually left my food in the car. I tried hard to ignore the cheese and cracker tray, but I ended up eating some goat cheese and crackers. I did ask for the box so I could see the calories for tracking purposes.

After eating the goat cheese I decided that I better bring in my potatoes and stuffing rather than trusting myself.

I still weighed my meat and did my best to duplicate yesterdays success. I did end up swapping some ham instead of turkey and couldn't resist just 1/4 cup of candied yams. 

I passed on the amazing looking chocolate cupcakes, but did come home and look up absolutely everything and tracked it all.

The end result - 472 calories over budget

So what does this mean. It means that while I did struggle to remain within my plan to lose 2lbs a week over the weekend I did keep my calories in check with a weight loss plan.

Saturday I remained on track to lose 1 1/2 lbs a week
Sunday I remained on track to lose 1lb a week.
Also even after my weekend I remain over 2000 calories under for the week.

I am going to call this holiday weekend a success.

Update - Despite this being my day off from exercise I was really struggling with the outcome of today. I did ride my bike for 10 minutes burning about 86 calories, but was about to fall asleep on the bike so I had to stop after that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Dinner - Part 1

Holidays are always a difficult time of year to stay on track with any weight loss plan. The meals themselves are higher in calories, not to mention all the treats that are available.

I have decided that I am going to not let Easter derail my progress. This afternoon I opted to make my own stuffing and mashed potatoes. They are now measured with the calories tracked. I also have my own package gravy so I can track those calories as well.

I do plan to eat my exercise calories which is not something that I regularly do, but this is a special occasion after all. I was expecting to have a really hard time fitting everything into my calorie allowance for the day, but I put it all on a chart and added up the calories and believe it or not I can actually eat everything that I want and with those exercise calories I also have enough calories to drink up to an entire bottle of wine. I don't actually plan to do that, but the fact that I don't have to measure my wine glass makes me happy.

For anyone who is interested this is my plan for Saturday. I still have to do Sunday's plan which may be a bit trickier as I'm not sure if I will be able to exercise, but no wine for Sunday that may help.

Calorie Allowance - 1616
Exercise - 450 cal burned
Total - 2066

Breakfast: Egg 74, Toast 90, Milk 31

Lunch: Soup 199
Dinner: Broccoli 31, Potatoes 225, Stuffing 200, Turkey 178, Gravy 20

Dessert: Light Cheese Cake 250

Snacks: Dip 30, Carrots 53, Cuccumber 16

Wine: 635
Balance: 33

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finally Figured Out What Works

For those of you who have been following the blog for the last little while you will be familiar with my frustration about loosing weight at a snails pace.

It did not seem to matter what I did, the scale continued to move only a fraction at a time. There have been days when my frustration has gotten the better of me and I've made some bad food choices as a result.

Last week following a gain at the scale my sister suggested getting back to basics. Logging and measuring every thing that I ate and exercising regularly. I said that I would give it a shot and she introduced me to a new website where I could easily track and it would email her a daily summary of my progress.

So for the past week I have documents everything that I have eaten and I have documented every calorie that I have burned.

I worked out every day and pushed myself as hard as I could.

The result - 3.8lbs loss at the scale.

I was very excited and I think I told everyone I saw.
I had a private moment when I was changing for the gym where I was almost in tears.

I know that I worked really hard for those pounds (for arguments sake, lets just say 4), but on the flip side I never felt that I was deprived or that what I did was beyond what I was capable of.

Yes I had some really good gym days where I burned around 1000 calories, but I did that by combining my lunch hour work out with a reasonable time at the gym. I don't feel that I deprived myself of any foods that I really wanted and I feel that I got to see my family and didn't have to live at the gym either. In short, there is really no reason that I can't put in that same effort every week.

I know that I am capable of losing weight, yes I do have to work really hard at it, but I can lose weight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It wasn't worth it

Today was the first day in a week that I ate out at a restaurant. I was really nervous at first because I was doing really well at tracking, but the plan for my lunch out did not include a restaurant that posts nutritional information.

I did really well. I was able to find the menu online so I had a good idea of my choices before arriving. I had a lighter breakfast than usual and I also had a snack at 11am so I would not arrive starving and make a poor choice because I was so hungry.

My lunch choice was a house salad with a grilled chicken breast, dressing on the side and a single piece of the restaurant's famous celery bread. I figured that the piece of bread would be my indulgence.

After lunch I got to the task of tracking my food. The salad and chicken were not a problem because I even knew the size of the chicken breast, but I was at a loss for the bread.

I did some quick research and was able to find some recipes. Basically the bread was made of bread, butter, celery seed, salt (and maybe a couple other spices) My single piece - roughly 400 calories.

I was not impressed. It was good, but not that good.

I tracked it and accounted for it and planned the rest of the day having eaten those calories, but even so I vowed to work off the bread at the gym.

. . .  that equaled 39 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Yes 39 minutes to burn 400 calories or 1 piece of celery bread.

My biggest problem, I only got a little piece of bread. I could have had a giant bowl of frozen yogurt or a number of other things for the same amount of calories.

I think that working off the bread really put the choice into perspective and will help me in the future when temptation is in front of me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There Must Be Something Wrong with Me

Something really weird happened today. I knew that I was on call tonight so I decided to work out at lunch in case I wasn't able to later on. This evening on my way home from work I got a text from my sister in law asking if I was going to the gym. I responded no, I had already worked out. I then had a really weird feeling, I was jealous that she was going to work out and I wasn't.

I went home, had dinner and stared to watch tv. I still couldn't stop thinking about working out. I knew at that point that there really must be something wrong with me. It was when I started snacking that I realized that I needed to go back to the gym.

Two hours later I am home from the gym and I feel better for going a second time. I know that this level of motivaton and excitment may not last for ever so I am definitely going to take advantage of it while I can.

About a month ago my sister made a comment that when she sees someone out running she feels jealous that she can't be out running too. At the time I laughed and made a comment about her being possibly switched at birth. I guess I may have spoke too soon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scales, Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons

I've always seen weighing and measuring foods as an absolute pain. I really didn't think that it made all that much difference whether or not the portion was weighed or measured. or if I just eyeballed the size.

Clearly from my lack of success my version of a cup and the real version of a cup (especially when talking about ice cream) were seriously different.

I've said before that I was going to measure my food, but within a couple of days that stopped. So what is different this time?

First of all I now have the tools. Before when measuring I ended up still guessing half the time because I couldn't find the right measuring spoon or cup. Now I have my own set of spoons and cups very similar to the ones pictured above.

I also have a very simple small food scale. It cost me $7.00 and I don't know how I would survive without it.

For example tonight I was making pasta sauce. The nutritional information on the ground turkey I was using said per 100grams. How I am supposed to know what a 100g looks like. I grabbed my little food scale and it was no longer an issue. I looked at the nutritional info again and saw that it also said (about 1/2 a cup) I realized that because I steamed my meat and lost all the fat that I actually got more for my 100g than if I had just settled for 1/2 cup.

I am also finding it fun to track my calories burned and see how many calories eaten that I can erase.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I did it

Today was a major challenge for me today because we decided that since the rain and snow (yes snow in April) was not going to stop, we would take the kids to the movies.

So far, no matter how well I have done on my weight loss journey I have not been able to resist movie theatre popcorn. I have written entire blog entries on the rationale behind my decision to eat this treat.

Today the decision was made even harder by my effort at the gym this morning. My high calorie burn at kick boxing class made eating the high fat treat possible while still remaining within my calories.

The problem, I didn't work out that hard for an hour and half just to undo it by eating popcorn.

So the dilemma - popcorn or no popcorn.

We usually buy our movie passes at costco because they come with 2 drinks and a popcorn. I knew if we did this there was no way that I was going to be able to turn down the buttery goodness. So we only purchased the kids passes at costco and bought ours at the theatre.

The next challenge, try to go through the movie with nothing to eat or try to find an ok alternative.

My research shows that a medium movie theatre popcorn has approximately 720 calories and countless grams of fat. This was just not a number that I could justify today.

The solution - bring my own.

Now I know that this is not allowed, but my guilt was reduced for two reasons.
1. It was not because I did not want to pay for the snack, but that what I could eat was not offered
2. We purchased both my children popcorn combos so the concession stand still got a considerable amount of money for me.

The outcome. I got to eat popcorn throughout the movie without the guilt of burning through 40% of my calories for the day. My popcorn (and there was alot of it) 280 calories.

Another Fear Conquered

There have been a number of things at the gym that have always intimated me. One by one I am trying to over come those fears. The first was the spin bike. Now it's a weekly activity. The second was the weight area of the gym, now I'm there almost every day.

I picked up a gym schedule earlier this week and checked to see what the Sunday morning class way. I was immediately discouraged when I saw that it was cardio kickboxing.

To me that meant really fit people doing high impact activities. I had some friends who used to do a kick boxing class, but I really did not feel comfortable trying to participate, but that was then and this is now.

I know that I have not gotten results doing the same old stuff and now was the time to start trying new things.

So this morning I got up and went to the 9:15am cardio kick boxing class. When I got there I realized that it was taught by a guy which just made the whole situation that much more intimidating, but I stayed.

The results - what an hour. I was sweating withing the first 5 minutes and I didn't stop. I kept up with everyone and the only thing I could not do was burpees (which I am ok with). The verdict - I loved the class and will definitely be back next week. If I keep this up I may have to invest in my own gloves because I think I used hand sanitizer 50 times while I was there.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I want to dedicate today's blog to two very important people. Without you guys I am positive that I probably would have given up at least a few times by now, but because of your love and support I am still going stronger than ever.

First to my baby sister.
Thank you

I am very proud of you and all of your accomplishments and am so happy that you are there for me every day, pushing me and not letting me give up. I brag about you all the time. Your guidance and killer spin classes and training sessions have motivated me and have got me to really enjoy working out. Thank you for being available and for being so respectful of my weight struggles and my journey.

To my husband Scott. 

Thank you for your support and for not complaining each night when I go to the gym and leave you with the kids. I know that I am going to be a healthy mom for them because you have allowed me to have this time for me.

Thank you for supporting my weight loss, for eating all of the different foods I have made (except scallops) and for never doubting me. 

A big thank you for not questioning the sometimes ridiculous things that I ask, like going out to get pancake mix for me instead of heating up the ones in the freezer because I told you I can only eat them if I know how many calories are in them.

I love you both.

My 285cal breakfast. I couldn't believe how much food I got.

Friday, April 15, 2011


After 3 1/2 months of trying to lose weight I have decided to completely surrender my free will. Lets face it, after the first few weeks my weight loss has been painfully slow. Clearly I am not equipped at this time to do it completely on my own.

This blog has given me some accountability, but unless I post everything I eat, my food choices still remain a secret, a secret that has not been helping me.

Yesterday my sister a.k.a trainer, a.k.a the devil (just kidding) introduced me to She advised that she uses the site daily. It's actually pretty simple. You enter your weight and how much you want to lose per week and it tells you how many calories to eat. Then you enter every single morsel of food that you eat as well as all of your activity.

Now in theory this is very similar to Weight Watchers which I have not been doing all that successfully so why is this any different. #1. I gave my sister my password for the site so she can check up on me and the site emails her a daily report #2. I need to be accountable this week for every calorie because my weight loss has been so slow so I wanted to take away the complications (for now) of weekly points allowances and free veggies and fruit. Don't get me wrong, I love weight watchers, I just need to shake things up a bit.

So now my food choices and my actual exercise is out there for her to see. No hiding. It is the last piece of myself that I have put out in the open in the effort to lose weight.

Obviously I need this and while it scares me to be a) that accountable and b) that vulnerable, I am at a point right now that I need to either go all in or give up - and giving up is not an option.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My first big gain

Weigh in was a few minutes ago and I experienced my first big gain at the scale in 4 months. I am up 1.8lbs.

I have a bunch of excuses, I ate a very high sodium lunch yesterday, I've been working out like crazy, but while those things may have placed a part I also need to take responsibility that my food choices have not been great this past week.

I think I have justified too much thinking that all of my working out will offset the food. The reality is that I need to keep on track with both to have success.

So rather than thinking of this week as a negative experience I am going to consider it a learning experience. I need to stay on track all day every day to get the results that I want. If I don't, I'm not going to see the results.

Ok, off to get a healthy lunch.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To Measure or Not to Measure, that is the question

In the last few weeks I have had a number of people ask me if I have been tracking my measurements. With the exception of my daily assessment of how my pants fit the answer is no.

I know that there are lots of good reasons to track measurements during weight loss, the most important being that measurements can show inches lost that the scale does not show. So why the hesitation to break out the measuring tape?

For me the scale is pressure, often because it can be a challenge for it to go down. While the measuring tape may offset some of that pressure by showing other losses, it too comes with the pressure to lose inches.

I like that people are commenting that I look different and that my clothes feel different. I love that I can buy a smaller size shirt and that my dress pants were literally falling off of me today. I also love that the actual number of inches that I have lost is a mystery because it takes the pressure off. I love that I am going to the gym now with the simple goal of challenging myself more than the last time. I am finally getting to a place where this is about health and not just aesthetics, but lets be honest, I'll take those changes too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Its a New Week

As much as I find the process of getting back on routine on a Monday hard I also welcome the familiarity of the structure of the week.

I have found that Mondays are often my best day when it comes to follow through. I am often motivated on Monday either because I have more energy or because I want to make up for a bad weekend.

I've taken advantage of this by scheduling my most difficult work out on Monday evenings. I find that this helps me set the tone for the coming week.

Last week I successfully managed all challenges and was able to work out Mon-Sat straight. I took Sunday off as a recovery day, but by last night I hurt more than if I had actually worked out. I guess my muscles realized that I took the day off and were punishing me.

I did not get off to a great start this morning as I skipped breakfast. Not by choice, but just a series of events. I did not let that distract me from eating a healthy lunch.

I really let me self go off program this weekend. I didn't eat a lot of stuff really bad for me, but I really didn't pay attention either. Last night my body made me painfully aware of this decision with both a stomach ache and a headache. I'm actually glad that this happened becuase it made me acknowledge the decision and deal with the consequences.

I was at the mall this weekend and actually felt good because while my pant size has not changed yet my top size is now an XL instead of a plus size. That meant that I could actually go into most stores in the mall with the intention of shopping in them.

I can't wait until I can try on both tops and bottoms.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I know that this is a very odd post title, but I do have a purpose.

My thoughts turned to hamburgers yesterday when my husband sent me a text message stating that my son wanted them for dinner. I worked late yesterday so I didn't give it much thought since I wasn't going to be eating with them anyways.

This morning I was listening to the radio on the way to work when they started to talk about hot dogs. I don't know why, but my mouth was salivating for hot dogs at 8:00am. After work tonight we were at the grocery store and I was told that since hamburgers were not on the menu last night they continued to be requested. My response, sure, why not.

The deal was though that if we were having hamburgers they were going to be good hamburgers so I put back the 4oz lean burgers in favor of the 6oz Sirloin. Trust me you don't want to know the fat content and the calories. I am only glad that we bbq them instead of frying them which I am convincing myself helped a bit.

So after consuming this 6oz hamburger I figured that I should waste no time going to the gym. Not only did I need to do my regular work out, I needed to burn off a hamburger.

A friend asked me yesterday if I had ever felt sick to my stomach while or after working out. My answer yesterday was no, today however I have a different answer.

Number 1 I'm sure I ate too quickly
Number 2 I'm sure I worked out too soon after eating
Number 3 my body is definitely not used to consuming that type of food anymore.

On the way home from the gym (after a 90 minute work 0ut) the light bulb went out. I didn't need to eat a whole burger. I split one in half for the kids, I could have easily done the same thing for myself and added a salad.

Sometimes I guess we have to learn the hard way. I can tell you that the other half of the burgers will probably be staying the freezer for a while.

Good news of the day my weigh in was good - down 1.2lbs - enough to cover the bit that I gained during my plateau as well a new loss.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I love compliments. I think that they are one of the most significant motivators for me.  The problem is that for the last month I haven't felt like I have deserved those compliments. The first reason is because the scale has not been moving and also because I know that there have been many days during the last month that I just haven't been motivated especially when it comes to my diet.

People though have consitently been telling me that I look better and look smaller so while I don't completely buy into the concept of the scale not moving because I am gaining muscle I have accepted at this point that my body has continued to change ( a bit) during the last month even if the scale has not reflected it.

I am going into my weigh in tomorrow having missed 2 (I was away) and feeling strong. I feel confident in my work outs and feel a renewed sense of energy with my diet.

So no more minimizing any compliments that come my way. I had one today from a male coworker and I point that out because guys don't usually notice this stuff. Compliments are part of what fuels me and rather on dwelling on why I don't deserve them on any particular day I need to learn to say thank you and move on.

Today I feel good. I knew I would be working later and therefore would not get to the gym. Last week this meant no gym, not today. Today I worked out at the gym at work at lunch and even at the end of the day where I had a gap a time I returned to the gym to do more cardio and work on my abs. I'm sore, but it feels really good.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What doesn't kill you does make you stronger

This famous quote of Friedrich Nietzsche feels appropriately fitting today as the this week has already brought me two experiences that fits this quote very well.

The first I can't provide a lot of detail about, for those who know me you will know why. What I can say is that I learned that someone who does not like me very much had developed a name for me, that name was in relationship to my weight. This was the first time in a long while that as an adult I had been called a name related to my weight.

This was initially a very stressful experience because it brought back lots of situations as a youth when I was made fun of because of my weight. I felt that I had two choices I could a) wallow in self pity and eat ice cream or b) take control of my life and this situation and make changes so that no one would ever be in a situation where they could realistically use my weight to ridicule me in the future.

Lets be honest, a few months ago I would have gravitated quickly towards options a) and last night I put some serious thought to it. The good news, it was Monday night and my sister and spin class were waiting for me. So the decision, off to the gym.

That brings us to situation number 2. As I was feeling particularly motivated I arrived at the gym early so that I could complete my upper body weight routine before spin class. I had been instructed to arrive early because we were going to start spin early. After my weight routine I was working on my abs when I learned that spin would be pushed back 30 minutes because a class that had not run for the last month was going to run today.

My options: do 30 min of cardio, sit down for 30 min or do the class. The class was a 30 minute total body conditioning, I can handle that - I thought. Let me remind you that I had completed an hour of weights. Within minutes I was sweating, but I made it through. Enough anyone after a killer day, but no, it was time for spin. 40 minutes later I was finally done and ready for bed.

So this is my quote for the day. I like and I believe it. I do believe though is that it is what we don't let kill us that makes us stronger.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The question of the day - How hard am I willing to work?

Let's face it, if I put in a mediocre effort I am only going to get mediocre results, its not rocket science.

I have initiate 2 rules for the week. These rules encompass my two biggest challenges during the week so I am hoping that abiding by these two rules will help me stay on track.

Rule #1
Bring lunch to work
Lets face it, the options available to me when I am purchasing lunch are not great. The options available to me when I have to eat while driving are even worse. The best solution is to bring my lunch every day. Bonus effect of this is that I save money.

Rule #2
No eating after 7pm. Many a day has passed where I have made excellent choices throughout the day only to complete erase the effort after 8pm in front of the tv. If I'm bored my choices are to exercise or go to bed. Only water and herbal tea is allowed after 7pm.

I got back on my exercise bike tonight. I have been so focused on spinning and the gym that I almost forgot about my bike downstairs. I also did some cardio boxing on my xbox 360 kinect. 

My cruise is in just less than 5 months. I have goals that I want to meet and I can no longer say that I have plenty of time and I can get back on track tomorrow or next week. Soon enough its going to be August and I'm still going to be in the same place.

I am not going to be perfect, but I can try every day. No more taking off weigh in day or Friday or Saturday or the whole damn weekend. I put in an effort every day and we will see what happens.

I pulled out some of my summer clothes today and my goal is that by July 1 most of them are too big and need to be replaced. That's about 20lbs in 3 months. Lets see what I've got.