Monday, May 30, 2011


I know that I have been absent. 
This is probably the longest that I have been away from the blog since it started. It really wasn't on purpose, life just took over.

I've had some reflection time during the last week even if I haven't had time to write it down and I've even written some blog posts in my head, but again they just didn't make to my computer screen.

This past week has been tough. Add that to the experiment over the long weekend and its been a rough 10 days.

I think there are a lot of factors at play including, but not limited to: Stress, time, hormones, boredom (of doing and eating the same stuff). Today and this past weekend I was just ridiculously busy. I'm really not one of those people who complains how busy I am, anyone who knows me knows that my regular life is busier than most people, so trust me when I say I'm busy, I'm really busy, talking worked 15 hours this weekend last minute and not 8-5 hours either.

Now is the time that I need to figure out where to go next.
I know that I am enjoying the weight that I have lost. The problem is getting the motivation to get to the next step. I can be easy to get lost in the compliments and the good feeling about a smaller size and new clothes and forget that I am still 80lbs overweight and I have a long weigh to go. I don't know if there is harm in taking a break before I keep going, but do worry that if I'm not continuously strict that I am going to slip and have more than the occasional treat or day without tracking.

The same time as easy as it is to count calories and as effective as I have gotten at burning 500 calories at the gym in a short period of time, this is really hard work both mentally and physically and I think my body or my brain or both has fighting back for the last little while with both cravings and frustrated feelings about how hard this can be and how strict I have to be.

I still am making 80% good choices especially breakfast and lunch which I have down pat. Dinner is not bad, but snacks can creep up on me pretty quickly and I need to reign in on them.

I do want to go back to tracking, but when I stopped working at 11pm and that was only because I wanted to write this and go to bed it does seem to get put on the bottom of the priority list.

I don't really know what to do. I'm not giving up, but I have always been honest in my writing and I'm not going to stop now just because its hard and I'm confused. 

The reality is that I'm not going to solve these problems tonight and I need to go to sleep. Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a trip to the gym.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Experiment

So to recap from Friday - I got home from work feeling frustrated that I was about to embark on the first long weekend of the summer and I was going to be stuck following my weight loss program, measuring, weighing, exercising and counting calories.

I should have known better immediately when I found my mind taking the the position that I was going to be depriving myself of something. As soon as that became my mind set I knew that I had lost before even putting up a fight.

So I gave in and decided that I was not going to restrict myself and I was going to "enjoy" the weekend. That was the experiment.

The good thing about experiments is that we learn. My hypothesis (and you thought I wouldn't retain anything from Science Class) was that by allowing myself to eat anything I want I would be happier and have a better weekend.

By Sunday I was feeling tired, lazy and completely unmotivated. By Monday all I wanted to do was eat and read a book sitting on the couch. I believe that the increase in sugar and simple carbs that I was eating along with a ton of diet pop was having a significant impact on my body and I was noticing the impact really quickly.

Even though I started to notice this Sunday and Monday I was not able to pull myself back on track, despite knowing that if I ate better and moved I would feel better, I just couldn't motivate myself and so the cycle continued.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning. Prepared by breakfast and packed my lunch for work, every calorie accounted for.

I feel 100% better already and now I know that by following my healthy diet I may not eat junk, but I actually prevent depriving my body of energy and motivation for activity which really should be the focus of the long weekend, not food.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I just don't want to.

Here in Canada today is the start of a long weekend. To me long weekends signify, relaxation, bbq, spending time with family and friends. Long weekends do not signify calorie counting, long workouts at the gym and stressing over food choices.

Driving home tonight I sent a text to my husband. The wording was simple - I don't want to diet this weekend. His response - LOL. I asked what was so funny, he hasn't answered me yet.

I am in no means abandoning my weight loss efforts, but I have to be honest, when it comes to this weekend, I just don't feel like it.

I don't mean that I plan to gorge myself or eat everything in sight, but I want to make food choices based on what I feel like having, not how many calories I have left.

I have noticed a 30 day pattern with my diet behavior. I followed clean eating faithfully for about a month before I fell off the wagon, weight watchers about the same. I have now been counting calories with great success for about a month and I can tell that I am getting bored.

I'm not sure exactly what to do in order to get past this mental plateau. It does not help that this week has been crazy busy and I am really tired. Perhaps a weekend of relaxation (I am on call, but fingers crossed) will help put me in a better place to move forward.

Will I count calories this weekend? Honnestly, I don't know, but I will be conscious of what I eat, I will make it to the gym and I will not give up the journey.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seeing Red

Today's weigh in was frustrating. I know that I should now be past the point where a single weigh in on a single day can frustrate me, but I'm human and it still bugs me.

I was up half a pound today.

I know that a day or two from now that 10oz will be gone, but I still wanted to see success today. I know that I have not worked as hard this week because of my birthday this past weekend, but I still worked hard and I wanted to see some result.

I know that there is nothing that I can do about it, but I'm still upset and mad. At first I was made that I ordered the bacon/alfredo pasta on my birthday, but then I remembered that I also watched what I ate all day and said no to dessert. I made that decision and was happy with it and I am not going to regret one meal out of 21 for the week.

I am going to continue to work hard and go to the gym and weigh myself in a few days at which time I hope to write another blog with a happier tone.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Told you this week was going to be tough

So it's Wednesday, I'm on call for the second time this week and I am really wishing it was Friday right now.

As I write this I am procrastinating cleaning which is something that I really need to do. I'm not quite sure how such small people (children) make such a big mess so quickly, but I do know that keeping up with them is a full time job all on its on and I have full time job on top of that.

The time is 5:35pm. My husband is not yet home from work, I am trying to get dinner thawed out while trying to decide if going to Zumba while on call is brave or stupid all the while thinking that I should be spending the evening putting the house back together.

What I am not going to do is allow this stress to cause me to eat. I feel so overwhelmed right now that when I was on the phone (work stuff) my 3 year old used this opportunity to bring me the package of cookies knowing (he's pretty smart) that he had a better chance of getting one while I was on the phone. The problem, I seriously can not remember if I ate one, I don't think I did, but I can't be sure and this only happened 15 minutes ago. I can easily see this snowballing if I don't take control right now.

So the chicken breasts on defrosting and I am going to make a salad and some veggies and I am crossing my fingers that my husband walks through the door before my cell phone goes off again because if he doesn't I may end up with an empty package of cookies and no idea how it happened or any recollection of eating them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Am I up for the challenge?

This week is going to be a challenge. The good news is that I have figured this out already and at least won't be caught off guard.

The first challenge is that I'm on call twice this week plus this weekend which could/will impact my ability to get the gym at night. The solution - try to work out as much as possible at the gym during my lunch hour.

The second challenge is that I have told myself that I want to accomplish a lot around the house this week before the long weekend. Also since I'm on call so much we will be staying home which makes it a perfect time to clean and organize. The solution to this problem is the same as above.

The other side of these challenges is to make sure that they don't negatively impact my food. Last week I had a late night work thing and had to go out in the middle of the night. I ended up eating a 400 calorie muffin when I stopped for coffee. Then since it was the middle of the night I had to figure out which day to count the calories for. - Solution - pack a snack if I have to go out at night.

I think just being this busy is going to have the potential to impact my success this week, but unlike weeks in the past I am aware of the challenges and prepared to deal with each one.

I have increased motivation as I did allow myself some additional calories this weekend for my birthday which means I need to be even more focused this week. I did start right on track this week even though a wonderful dairy milk cake was brought into the office to celebrate my birthday. I even cut the cake and did not eat any of it.

Here is to a great week and for those Canadians out there a long weekend at the end.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Lulu Dilemma

All I wanted for my birthday was to shop at lululemon. I had an experience in March where I tried on a jacket in lulu and it fit. Since then, purchasing a lulu sweater/jacket has been something that I really wanted, or so I thought.

Yesterday was my birthday and since my family was well aware of my birthday wish each gift I opened contained either a lulu giftcard or cash to shop there. I could hardly wait to go shopping. Problem is that the closest lulu store is an hour away from my home.

Since the long weekend next weekend is sure to be busy and the 2 hour round trip is too much for a week night I decided that today was the day to shop. I was a bit disappointed that I seemed destined to go on my own. Both my sister and mom were out of town and it was a bit last minute to invite friends, but I really wanted someone to be with me for this experience. This was not just birthday shopping, but rather a reward for my hard work to date. I was pushing for my husband to come along, but my 3 1/2 year old son kindly reminded me why taking 2 kids to lululemon was not my best plan. I ended up going with my daughter for a girls shopping experience.

During the hour long drive I started to have a panic attack, would the clothes fit, would the staff look at me like I shouldn't be shopping there, what if they told me the clothes wouldn't fit. I had completed turned this positive trip around in my head. I was in full panic mode by the time we arrived.

I calmed down a bit going into the store, but was still overwhelmed. I quickly realized that my size (12 the largest lulu carries) was the most popular size and finding items in that size was proving to be difficult. The jacket I tried on a month earlier was no wear to be seen and the few that I tried on could be successfully worn, but were tight and I was having a hard time spending $100 on a top that looked, well, tight.

Feeling a bit defeated I remembered a conversation that I had with my sister. She had told me that there was another store just down from lulu that sold similar clothes, but sold sizes up to an 18. Since just over half of my spending money was cash I thought I would give it a try.

The store was very lulu inspired. The clothing was similar and the store's phrases even poked fun at the competition, one bag had the phrase "This is no lemon".

I started to look around still feeling a bit on edge, but when I started to find clothing from 0-18 I started to question my focus on obtaining the lulu jacket. Did I really want to buy something that didn't fit well? Was wearing that name more important than feeling comfortable in the clothing.

I was pleasantly surprised in Titika. Since they went up to a size 18 I didn't feel out of place and since all the clothes were 0-12 I wasn't stuck in a plus size corner of the store.

I immediately fell in love with a green top which could be worn both at the gym and also just as a casual top.

I decided on that top and a pair of athletic capris which cost together the same price as the ill fitting sweatshirt. The best part, I felt great.

Since I still had gift cards to spend I went back to lulu feeling much more in control and happy. In addition to a sweater my other coveted lulu item is a gym bag. Lucky for me this item is only available in one size so all I had to decide was the colur.

I'm not saying that I still don't want a lulu sweater, but I do know myself well enough that I would rather wait than try to squeeze into something that neither my body nor my mind is ready for. I ended up with the best of both worlds and felt so good about my purchases that I allowed some photos to be taken as there have been some requests for new pictures. This is a big deal for me as I hate having my picture taken. As you will see in the pictures I still have a long way to go in my weight loss journey, but I have to date lost 21lbs and I feel great.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Birthday Weekend

Tomorrow is my birthday and while I am excited to celebrate with friends and family I am also more nervous about this weekend than I have been about any celebrates to date.

Intellectually I know that this weekend is not going to present me withy any challenges that I have not already met head on, but I am worried not so much about the situations themselves, but my attitude this weekend.

The activites start tonight with a trip to the movies.
Tomorrow I am shopping with my mom and sister followed by dinner out.

I don't want to just throw my plans out the window because what would be the point of my hard work already this week, but I also don't want to spent the entire weekend and the activities stressing about my food choices and opportunities to get to the gym.

It's a good thing that I recently wrote about achieving balance because I am going to have to take some notes from myself for this weekend.

I do commit that whatever decisions I make this weekend I will work out at least once between Saturday and Sunday and I will log my food choices (even if I don't want to admit to them)

I will also look at the nutritional info the menu before going out to dinner so I can make an informed decision (we all remember the celery bread incident)

My biggest fear for the weekend is that I promised a friend that I would take and post an updated photo of myself for the blog.

I hate getting my picture taken so regardless of the success I have had I still dread this more than anything. It's a good thing we use a digital camera because I am a big fan of the delete button.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


My body does a pretty good job of letting me know when I am at my limits. Today I was definitely there.

Operating on only about 3 hours sleep I had a full day at work, by the time I got home I was in my pajamas in about 2 minutes.

Dinner was the last thing I wanted to think about making so using McHappy day as an excuse I sent my husband and the kids off to get happy meals.

My husband returned with my requested happy meal and stated "I guess you are not going to the gym tonight" My response was no, I could barely keep my eyes open and it was 7:30pm.

After he left and I had eaten my cheeseburger and fries I started to feel guilty about not going  to the gym, but I also knew that I had very little energy to give.

I did get dressed and I went. I put in a strong 25 mintues of cardio and then had to call it a night for fear of falling asleep on the machine, possible on the bike, but not the stairmaster.

I'm happy with this decision because I kept up with my routine, burned 250 calories and came home when I knew that my body couldn't take it anymore.

Tonight what I am looking for is a good nights sleep.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Achieving Balance

I have never in my life paid so much attention to day to day activities. This journey has really forced me to stop and reflect on each day of my life and each time I do that I see something different. 

I've spent a lot of time making excuses, my number 1 - I work too much, my job is too unpredictable and way too stressful. That has for the most part kept would be commentators on my life at bay. The funny thing is that when I decided that this journey was worth being a priority, all the excuses, well, I would love to say they just disappeared, but I still work too much, I still get stressed out at work and I still struggle to balance me time and time with the kids after putting in a full week at work. The difference, there's a few:

1. I am willing to be more creative. Today because of an unexpected situation at work I didn't take lunch which caused stress because I had an event tonight with my daughter and I had planned to work out at lunch. The solution - I ended my day early and took the time owed to me for lunch, instead of going straight to daycare I went to the gym. My kids still got picked up at the same time and I was able to enjoy my daughter's activity tonight without being stressed about working out.

2. I am not letting myself make excuses. I am the queen of excuses and rationalization, but I don't allow them anymore. It's a holiday, we are out to dinner, I had a stressful week, I will work out tomorrow, I will eat better tomorrow were all statements that I would make on at least a weekly basis. Now its very simple. I eat the calories I am allowed to eat and I work out 6 days a week - no room for rationalization or negotiation and now that the edict has be laid down I don't look for those excuses anymore, probably because I have found that by sticking to those 2 simple rules, I am still able to live life and have fun.

3. I am a priority. Are there days when I look back and think that I could have spent more time today with the kids, yes, especially on work days, but then I think when the weekend comes and I am out playing with them because I actually have the energy does that make it ok, the answer is also yes. When I am active and playing with my grandkids because I am healthy, does that make it ok, yes. My kids know that when I leave in the evening that I am going to work out and going to get healthy. On Mother's day my daughter was talking to my sister and someone mentioned that Aunt Jacqui goes to the gym everyday and my daughter replied - Mommy goes to the gym everyday too. I can't believe that someone can actually say that about me, it feels great

4. I am seeing results. It's been easy in the past to fake diet (you know what I am talking about) You sign up for the program, you weigh in every week, but you don't actually follow the rules. What ends up happening is that you don't lose any significant amount of weight, you get discouraged and you quit. This time when that started to happen I got through because I knew that every day people were reading this blog waiting to hear what was happening. That gave me the strength to push on until I found something that works, thank you. Now I see results each week both on the scale and in the closet and that helps me to keep going each day.

5. Nothing is off limits. Last night I had pizza, tonight we were pressed for time so dinner was hot dogs. No food is off limits and that really helps get through tough days. I even stopped on the road today at DQ because quite frankly I had a rough morning and wanted ice cream. Now I ordered a small plain cone instead of a large sundae or blizzard and I came home and looked up the calories, but I was able to eat the ice cream.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

All I want for Mother's Day is a slice of pizza

Since we had brunch plans this morning to celebrate mother's day with my mother and grandmother my husband asked me what I want for dinner. My first thought was one of my favorite's, Pad Thai, but I became discouraged when I couldn't figure out the calories. Then we thought about going out for dinner, but I also knew that bread baskets and salad could easily lead to more calories than I bargained for. Then out of the blue I looked at him and said "I want pizza". He immediately started talking about thin crust, multi grain dough, I interrupted and repeated, no I want real pizza. He double checked to make sure I was serious and then ordered pepperoni pizza from pizza pizza.

Now many of you (including my sister for sure) are thinking, are you kidding me, you measured out rum, but are going to eat pepperoni pizza. A few weeks ago I learned that pizza pizza has all of their nutritional information online. Also since I had been very careful planning brunch knowing that my dinner may be higher in calories.

So, I got my pizza and ate all 3 pieces with dipping sauce and I stayed very close to my calories. I did not exercise today so as of 7pm I am over by 130 calories, but I can easily work that off with 20 minutes on the bike which is where I am heading now. - update - The thought of the bike bored me so I am combining exercise with a social activity and going for a walk with a friend.

I still can't believe sometimes that I can have days like today, days with 3 pieces of pizza, and still be on track to lose weight, but then I realize that I can do anything I set my mind to.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A day to be proud of

Today has been a great day all around.

It started with my 3 year old jumping on my at 6:45am and while I would have preferred a later wake up call, this ensured that I was off to the gym for spin class by 8:15am.

After spin class I showered and got dressed in one of my new (smaller) outfits. My daughter and I enjoyed lunch together (Subway) after dance and then we went to run some errands.

I have family visiting tonight and I am making a healthy BBQ dinner.

Tonight I have been invited to a grown up party. This particular party usually spells trouble for me as there is always lots of alcohol and lots of yummy party food. I am going, but I have a plan. After doing some research I decided that the best thing for me to drink is rum with diet coke. I purchased a very small bottle of rum to take with me (the whole thing is 430 calories) and I have also bought a small bag of baked cheddar and sour cream chips. Depending on how much I eat at dinner I may bring some other snacks too.

I am really enjoying the ways that I have figured out how to live and enjoy myself and social situations while continuing to lose weight. I was never someone who could go for a long period of time just saying no to snacks or eating out or whatever so a pure will power strategy was not good. The other option which is saying just %$#@ it whenever a fun activity came up was also not a strategy that gave me results. This meets both of those needs and it is working.

Happy Mother's Day tomorrow to all the mom's reading my blog.

Friday, May 6, 2011

If it fits, buy it . . . . . in every colour.

My shopping experiences may not have been quite as limited as I suggest in the title, but for the last 8-10 years my clothing shopping has followed a very predictable pattern.

1. Does the store sell my size?
2. Does the clothing item fit?
3. Is the price what I am looking for?

Questions about style, fit, and whether the outfit flattered were really secondary. This was primarily because my options were so limited that if the outfit wasn't great, there really wasn't much other choice.

What developed was a very simplistic shopping pattern. I chose 2-3 stores where I knew the clothes fit, I would go to one of those stores when I needed something to wear. I would pick something out in my size and buy it. I didn't usually try things on because if it fit, nothing else really mattered.

Today I found myself with some time to kill. I decided to wander around a local mall and saw that one of the stores that I regularly shop in was having a sale, a big sale, 50% off lowest clearance price sale.

I realized that this might be a good opportunity to pick up a few items to replace the stuff that was started to get to big.

Since I wasn't quite sure what size to buy I was forced to start trying stuff on. What I found surprised me. Both my top size and bottom size had gone down 2 sizes. In tops I was no longer wearing plus size clothing which opened up my options by about 75%.

Today I actually started to think about whether the cut and colour of a top flattered and the thoughts of "its cheap and it fits ok" never entered my mind.

The goal for the weekend is now to clean my closet. I am going to get rid of everything that doesn't fit and/or does not flatter and I am going to start replacing these items with my new clothes.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Things that weigh 9lbs

- newborn babies
- a cat
- bowling ball

To date my most successful efforts at weight loss have been the last 3 weeks. During this time I have lost a total of, you guessed it, 9lbs. I don't think its been any one thing, but a combination of great support, tracking, exercise and good food choices.

I am exciting to continue on this journey especially now that I have a good handle of what works.

The gym was tough today. I have been doing a lot of structured classes so going in today with the plan of doing cardio machines felt long and boring. There are no good classes in Brantford on Thursday so I may consider going to Burlington for Thursday night Zumba.

Interesting experience tonight in the one of the instructors recognized me and stopped to ask me how I liked last nights class, dare I say I'm becoming a regular - lol.

I apologize for the small blog tonight, but Greys and Private Practice are starting and I have definitely earned my tv time.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is it a Habit yet?

Some time ago I wrote an entire blog post devoted to forming new habits. It is now May and I think that it is time to take a look at the habits that I wanted to form and see how I am doing.

Exercise: I think that I have this one covered. I am currently working out an average of 6 days a week. I was concerned when I got sick and missed the gym for 4 days that I was going to revert back to old habits, but I am happy to say that I went back as soon as I was healthy enough and haven't missed a day this week.

Water: I'm still working on this one and its a day to day challenge. I remember to drink water when I am exercising and I do well with the 10 calorie vitamin water, but they are expensive and I can't drink 4 of those a day. I am hoping that the warmer weather will encourage me to drink less coffee and more water.

Tracking: I've gone back and forth on this one for the last 4 months. I have now logged consistently for 3 weeks (with some give on my sick days) I have found a format that I like and I think this is well on its way to being an ongoing habit

Weighing/Measuring: Another habit that has had good weeks and bad weeks. Like tracking, I have figured out what works and I am proud to say that the scale, measuring cups and spoons all get used daily.

Constantly Weighing Myself: This was a habit I wanted to break rather than make. There are no more daily weigh ins (just too much stress). I have started to weigh myself again more than once a week, but its really because I've been having good success and I'm excited to see my progress ( I will continue to strive to find a happy medium)

Blogging: I think its safe to call this one a well ingrained habit. Since January 1 I have written 109 blog posts that have been viewed 15 347 times. This is an average of 6 blog posts a week.

So tonight I was at the gym and again could not resist a mid week weigh in.  On Monday I was down 3lbs from Thursday and tonight I was down another 1.4lbs for a total of 4.4lbs this week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tonight's Interesting Experience

Tonight was my second encounter with the evil exercise class known as Boot Camp. To make matters worse, the instructor was being re certified so we had an observer the whole class and he was trying extra hard because he was being marked. This all spelled trouble for me.

Before the class started a group of us were standing around when two young women walked in and said they were trying it for the first time and asked who was the class. Hard, but good was the response from the room. 

Looking at these girls, they were clearly in better shape than I am, but they kept looking to me through out the class as they struggled to keep up. They ended up leaving about 1/2 way through. It was a very weird experience for me to not to be the person struggling the most in the class.

I even saw some improvement in my ability to do burpees, push ups and other crazy exercises that are the mainstay of the class.

While I never thought that I would be a regular in a class that starts with running, has skipping in the middle and burpees and push ups everywhere you turn, but I think that may just be what is going to happen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

One on One Time

Normally I would be a big fan of any type of one on one attention, but I was a bit concerned tonight when I realized that I was the only person to show up for spin tonight which meant that it was only my sister and me.

I warned her ahead of time that I was still not 100% recovered from being sick, but that did not stop her from telling me to keep the weights I had used in my previous class. (yes despite being sick I made it to both spin and total body work out).

The big surprise - I think that I did better tonight than I have in previous classes. Since it was only Jacqui and me I felt more pressure (good pressure) to keep up with her. So every time she went up a hill, I went up a hill, when she sprinted, I sprinted. Our normal class - 40 minutes, tonight 45min and then abs.

While there are some moments during that 55minutes that I truly think she might be trying to kill me, the other 53 minutes were actually rather enjoyable time with my sister.

The night at the gym ended on a high note when I did a mid week weigh in and had very happy results, but since its only my unofficial weigh in I'm not going to share until Thursday.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I apologize f0r my absence from the blog, but for the last 4 days I have been sick. This has been really tough for me as I have been forced out of my diet and exercise routine.

I have tried my best with my food choices, but have not been to the gym since Wednesday.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get back to my regular routine, I want nothing more than to feel like normal. Listening to my kids, I am a bit worried that the germs are going to stick around the house for at least a little while.