Jan 30, 2010

Day Off

Today I am checking out of my life.  It's Saturday. Usually full of housework, bulk cooking and organizing, errands, bill paying and some quality time with "the boys" and a quick run to meet a girlfriend or two.

Today - nothing. I am still in my pajamas. I am not getting out of them - unless its to take a long hot bubble bath.  I got up this morning and found myself starting to clean the bathroom before I'd even had a cup of coffee - I put everything down and left it. It can wait one more day or someone else can do it.

Today I'm taking care of just me. I'm going to watch my beloved food porn on TV all day, I'm going to read my new Clean Eating book, my new mystery novel and do nothing else. There's lots of stuff in the fridge that the guys can throw together for meals. I made myself a pancake and a cup of coffee and that's as much effort as I am putting into today.

I haven't been well the last few weeks. It turns out I am severely iron deficient and to a lesser degree, Vitamin D3 deficient. This has caused extreme exhaustion and severe muscle pain for the last month.  I've started taking iron supplements and upped my Vitamin D3 and should be back to normal in a few weeks. It's amazing how much our mind affects our physical state. Even though I know its not possible for 2 days of supplements to fix the deficiencies, I feel so much better already - just knowing that I am doing what I need to do to get better.  The other part of my doctor's orders are to sleep as much as my body wants to and rest for at least two weeks.

Unfortunately, I have to work but I can fit in rest periods here and there. I've decided today will be one.

Hope your Saturday is wonderful!!!

And totally unrelated, this is my new favourite "feel good" song. The first time I heard it was on the Canada for Haiti telethon. I can't believe I've never heard this before. I play it over and over, I can't imagine ever getting sick of it:  Wavin' Flag by K'Naan.

Jan 29, 2010

Day 31 - The Beck Diet Solution

On Day 31, Beck talks about alcohol.

She says if you decide to drink alcohol then to be sure to fit into your plan.  She also wants us to realise that these are not only empty calories, but that alcohol may make it harder for you to stick to your diet and make good choices if your inhibitions are weakened by alcohol.

Personally, I have never acquired a taste for alcohol and don't drink it, so this chapter was a bit of a throw away for me.

Jan 28, 2010

Coming back.

Hello everyone,

Once again, thank you for your kind messasges. You are all so nice to me!!!

I'm feeling better, a few weeks til I am myself again, but I am definitely on the right road.

I'm going to try and blog a little each day to get back into the habit. I've been reading all your blogs and you are all doing great!!! I am so proud of all of you :) You give me inspiration, motivation and smiles every day.

Jan 25, 2010

MIA.....sort of

Thanks for your kind messages and emails. I'm ok. I'm here. I've had some health problems the last week and am just not feeling well. Hopefully all will be well in a few days.

Jan 19, 2010

Day 30 - The Beck Diet Solution

On Day 30 Beck focuses on Eating Out and sticking your diet.

I don't have my book with me so I don't have any quotes for you, but I can give you a pretty good overview.

Beck says not to avoid eating out. Like everything else she has tried to teach us, she wants us to practice eating out in a non stressful situation, with a friend or family member where we won't feel any pressure.  She also recommends practicing ordering food the way you want it, so you will build confidence and not feel intimidated by servers or pressured by your dining companions.

Her recommendations are pretty much what I've learned at Weight Watchers through the years. I'm adding a few of my own techniques in here as well.

  1. If possible, review the menu ahead of time and decide what you're going to eat and then you don't even need to look at the menu.
  2. If you can't review the menu, make a decision about what you will order in a general way, i.e. fish and salad, pasta with tomato sauce - that way when you are faced with the menu you are only looking for food that fits your criteria.
  3. Don't eat any bread brought to the table. If you want an appetizer, have a clear soup or a salad with dressing on the side and dip your fork into it rather than pour it over your salad.
  4. Eat a small meal before going so you won't get hungry while you're waiting for your meal. In large groups, you can wait up to an hour for your food to actually arrive.
  5. Be assertive, but polite. Order your food the way you want it, i.e. grilled with no oil, vegetables without butter.
  6. Eat only half the portion. Either take the rest home for another meal, or leave it.
  7. Order two appetizers instead of an appetizer and an entree.
  8. Share a dessert with 2 others and have two bites only.
  9. Focus on eating mindfully, eat slowly and stop before full.
  10. Plan to eat up to 25% more calories for the eating out meal than you would for the same meal eaten at home.
  11. Drink lots of water to help flush out the excess sodium in restaurant food.
  12. Focus on the company and conversation, make the food incidental.
Some of these habits I learned early on and still do on a regular basis, even though I only eat out 1-2 times a month now, compared to 1-2 times a week about a year ago.  The biggest habits are eating only half the meal and only having two bites of dessert.  I remember at Weight Watcher meeting I went to years ago and leader said something like, "Two bites of dessert is enough to know what it tastes like. The next bites aren't going to taste better than the first two. After that, you're eating it just because it's there" and for some strange reason, that has always stuck with me.

How do you handle eating out? Do you find you eat out alot less, more or the same now you are trying to lose weight and get healthier?

Jan 17, 2010

X-Weighted Challenge Week 1 Update - and other stuff.

Week 1 of the Challenge is over and I am thrilled to report that I lost 3 lbs!  I think the challenge came at just the right time; at the same time I was getting my head in gear and my actions to follow my head.

I am little confused how the reporting on the site works, it seems like it is still Week 1 on the site and there is nowhere to enter our weekly weigh ins. I did read in another blog that the weigh ins are to be recorded on Mondays....but I can't find where on the site that's posted. Doesn't matter, I'm sticking with my Saturday weigh-ins.  The last official weigh in in person is on a Saturdays so it works out perfectly.

I have to give a huge thank you and shout out to Tiffany at From 12 to 6 for her constant encouragement and support and words of wisdom when I'm falling apart.

I did really well with my calories the past two weeks and exercise as well, so now to repeat those tiny miracles to keep seeing the scale going down..that's my challenge, but I am up for it.  I had a great day yesterday and today and the weekends are always the hardest so the week ahead is looking pretty good.

Thanks to Lyn at Escape From Obesity and her challenges, I've been drinking more water and moving more and that has definitely contributed to my success the last two weeks.

I had my second tennis lesson today and I actually feel like I am hitting the ball with some purpose and knowing where it will end up, I'm quite pleased :)  All that watching Wimbledon must have rubbed off on me.

After tennis, I took a walk around the community centre because our weather was so balmy today. There was quite a steep hill going up to the main road and I decided to tackle it.  It was nowhere near as daunting as I thought, it took less than 3 minutes to go from top to bottom, yet if you had asked me before I set out, I would have said 10 minutes. It just goes to show how I make things harder than they really are.  I think I'll do it after tennis each week and startning next week go up and down multiple times, now that I know it is not as scary as it looks.

My tennis buddy, Tina, is looking into belly dancing classes for us to do together as well. I am a bit scared about that but am willing to give it a go and see what happens.  Have any of you done belly dancing? Keep in mind, my belly is considerable and does it's own dance every time I move!

I have been awarded two more blogger awards this week, and I am chuffed that you are all so nice to me.

From The Incredible Shrinking Family, I was awarded the Happy 101 Award.

    1. Copy the award to your blog.
    2. List ten things that make you happy.
    3. Do one of them today.
    4. Pass along to ten other bloggers.

    Ten things that make me happy...
    1. My family - Den, Iain and Liam - my sister and her hubby and my three beautiful nieces.
    2. My bookcrossing buddies - especially Shelley.
    3. All my books and my love of reading.
    4. Tennis!
    5. The colour of leaves in the Fall.
    6. The first snowfall of Winter.
    7. Hearing birds chirp in the morning in the Spring.
    8. The smell of coffee.
    9. The taste of hot buttered toast.
    10. New shoes.
    Ten bloggers who make me happy and inspire me every day - if you haven't read these blogs  - check them out.

    Dawne at 365 Days to a New Me.
    Tiffany at From 12 to 6.
    Erin at Glam, Glitz, Guts
    Confessions of an Undisciplined Dieter
    Fat [Free] Me
    K The Phoenix
    Tamara at One Last Kick at the Cat
    Leanne at Then You Stand
    Marisa at Loser for Life
    Kate at Getting Back to Me

    The other award was for Beautiful Blogger and you can see my previous post for that here.

    I am off to read Beck - I think today's chapter is about eating out, so I'll let you all know her views, and mine, on that tomorrow.

    Hope you had a great weekend.

    Jan 15, 2010

    Day 29 – The Beck Diet Solution


    Hey we’re in week 5. Only two weeks left.  I was thinking today that the real test will be if I keep up my Beck habits once the book is done. I have made some things a habit now and others I am still practicing and I often ask myself the question, “What would Dr. Beck say?” (Are you laughing at me yet?)

    Seriously, I do find myself framing situations now in terms of how this book would address them.  One of the other big questions I ask myself on almost a daily basis is, “Is eating this (whatever it is) more important to me than losing weight and getting healthy?”  Guess what? I have never answered yes. That one question completely puts a chocolate bar or that extra slice of pizza into perspective. If I take nothing else away from this book except that – I think I’ve made a huge stride in meeting my goals.

    On to day 29.  Beck talks about “Food Pushers”. You know who they are. Maybe you even are one.

    This is my own rant here, I’ll get to Beck in a second. It’s no longer acceptable to push alcohol or cigarettes on someone yet food pushers are OK.

    Why is that?  Because we equate food with love and caring. People who love us and care about us feed us. Mom did, Dad did…all our caregivers, friends and lovers – feed us. All our holidays and celebrations centre around food, Christmas, Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Weddings, Anniversaries…since the day we were born, people who love us feed us. And if they spend a lot of time and effort in providing us with food, that means they must love us more, right?

    But what happens when the food is too much or the wrong kind? What happens when parents give their children fast food because it tastes good (to the child) and contributes to the child’s obesity? What happens when people we love sabotage our weight loss efforts, either intentionally or not?

    We have to learn to say no. We have to learn to accept no. We have to learn that we have the right to control what goes into our bodies and not feel guilty for putting our health and wellness before someone’s feelings.

    Beck says that we have to decide if saying no and maybe hurting someone’s feelings for a short time is worth derailing our weight loss efforts.  She has an exercise that is kind of like a pro/con list. In one column you write what the consequences of giving in to a Food Pusher are to yourself, your weight loss efforts and your resilience. The other column is what the consequences are to the Food Pusher when you turn them down. And of course, she advocates practice, practice, practice and it will get easier to put yourself first before the food.

    Me before the food. What a concept. I am more important than food.

    I am more important than any food.

    That’s a response card, my friends.

    Writing it out makes it seem pretty clear.  The consequences in my column are much more important than those in the other column.

    I struggle with Food Pushers. Not in my own home as I’m the chief cook :) Relatives and friends and people who love me…want to feed me. I know I’m cute and cuddly and lovable…but I’m also 75lbs overweight and they are not doing me a service by contributing to that by instilling guilt in me if I don’t take their food. They would be surprised to learn that they are Food Pushers, they most likely wouldn’t understand what they are doing wrong.

    Food Pushers are not evil; that’s the problem.

    We can recognize that drug pushers, alcohol pushers and cigarette pushers are bad people; trying to destroy our lives. But Food Pushers love us.  Saying no to the people we love is hard.

    How do you do it?



    I am overwhelmed by the responses to yesterday's post. Thank you all so much for your constant encouragement and support.

    This is just a short post to say Thank You. Tonight will be the next Beck update and deals with Food Pushers, I could write a novel about that without even reading what Beck has to say and tomorrow is the first update of the X-Weighted Challenge.

    Talk to you all later, have a great Friday!!!

    Jan 14, 2010

    I think I'm doing it...no..I *am* doing it!

    The past two weeks have been really good for me.  I've found a calorie level I can live with, an exercise plan that I can stick to and the strength within me to "just do it". I had this strength when I started last January. It faltered and fell a few times but I always got it back until around September when I felt like life was too much and I couldn't handle taking care of me and everything and everyone else.

    It took a long time to convince myself that if I didn't take care of me, I wouldn't be able to handle everything else.

    Of course, I knew this in my head. Of course, people who love me kept telling me that. Of course, my doctors told me that.  But I didn't believe it. It wasn't until I couldn't take care of everyone else OR me that I truly understood.

    I'm doing it now. The last two weeks haven't been easy - but it hasn't been hard either. Some days I exercised because I have to, not because I wanted to. Some days I had to make huge efforts to avoid hearing chocolate call my name - but I did it and I survived.  I ran for 20 minutes on the treadmill the other night - with bronchitis - it wasn't easy and I wasn't running fast, but I did it and I survived.

    In my head I know I can do anything. When I come to do it, this little voice tells me I can't. I'm telling the voice to "Shut the fuck up!" now. Thanks Dr. Beck.

    I wasn't too sure when I started reading "The Beck Diet Solution" that it would really make a difference. It didn't right away and the differences crept up slowly and subtly...but sure enough...they are there.

    Jan 13, 2010

    Day 28 - The Beck Diet Solution

    Day 28 is Weigh In Day for those following Beck's plan to a tee.

    She addresses the feelings surrounding "getting on the scale". Beck says that the thoughts go in three directions:

    1. You lost what you consider to be a lot of weight.
    2. You lost what you think is too little weight.
    3. You didn't lose any weight or you gained weight.
    Beck says to prepare yourself with response cards for each scenario so you can better manage your feelings and thoughts surrounding the outcome of the scale.  Then next week before stepping on the scale, review the scenarios and your responses.  In time, the scale will not dictate your feelings, you will.

    This was a very short chapter - only 2 pages - but I think it's effective in the sense it reminded me that I can't predict what the scale will do and trying to do so will only lead to feeling disappointed and / or discouraged.

    If you missed Day 21, go back and read it as it is a much more comprehensive review of the scale issue.

    Beautiful Blogger Award


    Thank you Candace over at Believing in C for the Beautiful Blogger Award.

    The rules dictate that I tell you 7 things about me that you  don't know and to pass it on to 7 recipients. Here goes :

    1. I was born in England, lived in Italy til I was 2, then lived most of the rest of my life in Canada.
    2. I have beautiful toes, they go down in perfect little steps and are perfectly rounded square.
    3. I was married at 21 to my first real love (and still am).
    4. I wanted to name our first son Kirk after Captain James T. Kirk but my husband wouldn't agree.
    5. I love to read and read about 100-150 books a year.
    6. I have been not so secretly in love with Harrison Ford since 1979.
    7. I can type 130 w.p.m.
    Ok 7 recipients....

    If you don't know these great bloggers, go check them out!

    1. Tiffany at From 12 to 6
    2. Sheridan at Real Me Breaking Free
    3. Cowgirlwarrior at WW For Life
    4. Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink
    5. The Shrinking Violet
    6. Eric at The Fattest Person Ever
    7. Matt at Lots to Lose

    Jan 12, 2010

    Habit A Week Challenge - Week 2

    Lyn over at Escape from Obesity has posted the challenge for Week 2. It's to Move More.

    First, let me chime in on how I did with last week's challenge, to increase fluid intake.  I wanted to drink 2 L of water every day at work. I managed 3/4 days (I was only at work 4 days) so I'm happy with that and this week I'll work on improving.  I have no problem drinking water when at home, it's only at work that I seem to fall short.

    On to this week's challenge. Move more.  Last week I exercised 5/7 days so this week I am going to aim for 6/7 days.  Since I am already on Day 3 and have only exercised one day, I need to get moving, starting today!

    Here's my plan:

    Sunday - 1 hour tennis practice - done
    Monday - nothing
    Tuesday - 30 min treadmill
    Wednesday - 30 min walking DVD
    Thursday - 30 min treadmill
    Friday - 30 min walking DVD
    Saturday - 45 min treadmill

    Jan 11, 2010


    I've never liked oatmeal, not ever, ever, ever.

    I've written about this a few times, but in case you've missed one of my oatmeal rants - I've tried, stove top, microwave, baked, instant, whole, quick, flavoured, unflavoured, rolled and steel cut with stuff in them or without, with all kinds of milk, just water and even juice...it's the texture I can't stand. The taste is not so bad - but the texture and the look of baby vomit, the sliminess and stickiness of it.  I just can't get past it.

    Well..good news folks. I found a way I like oatmeal.

    Andrea over at A Cake for A Wife blogged about a "new" way she was eating oatmeal that she got from another blogger. Overnight oatmeal.  Her recipe was oatmeal, almond milk and yogurt.  I didn't have any yogurt in the house so this is what I ended up with and it was delicious this morning.

    1/3 cup rolled oats
    2/3 cup skimmed milk
    2 tbsp ground cinnamon (Yep I love cinnamon)
    1 tbsp unsweetened coconut

    I put it all in a plastic container, mixed it up, put the lid on and put it in the fridge. Just like that.
    This morning, I opened it up and the oatmeal and coconut had absorbed all the milk so it was not runny or mushy at all.  I sprinkled 1 tsp brown sugar on top and microwaved for 2 minutes. This is heaven in a bowl. Seriously good. No baby vomit texture. It was chewy and slightly crunchy but didn't have the stickiness/sliminess that cooked oatmeal has.

    The best part? No cooking!! I can prep this in 2 minutes at night, grab it in the morning and take it to work, heat up at work and eat.

    I'm a convert. I think I am going to love oatmeal.  Of course, in my usual impatient way to try something new fashion, I ate it without taking a picture, but I will of tomorrows bowl.

    Jan 10, 2010

    X-Weighted Blogger GTG - 1

    You can read about the X-WeightedChallenge here.

    From left to right:

    X-Weighted Executive Producer, Tiffany, Kerry, Enz and Erin.

    Sunday Recap

    I had a post written then deleted it. It had some negative thoughts that once I reread them, I didn't want to have out in the universe...so I'm trying again.

    Good things about today.

    1. I had my first tennis lesson with my friend Tina. We had so much fun. I laughed ALOT, and I really needed that today. There were about 10 people in the class but it looked like only Tina and I were laughing and having fun, the others seemed very serious and stodgy.  I am going to buy a tennis racquet this week so I can practice. This course is for 9 weeks and Tina and I have a date for every Sunday at 10:00 a.m.  It was good exercise, I worked up quite a sweat.
    2. Looking at the picture that Skinny Me posted on her blog today of our X-Weighted Challenge get together, I realise the yoga pants I am wearing are truly too big. I've been hanging on to them because they are really good quality and were expensive, but they are size 2XL and I am now fitting into L and they are practically falling down, I have to turn the waistband down to hold them up.  I actually look bigger in them.  Time to retire them.
    3. I have my meals packed for tomorrow.
    4. I found a Firm DVD to try out.
    5. Tomorrow is a new day.
    Goodnight everyone.

    Jan 9, 2010

    Day 27 - The Beck Diet Solution

    On Day 27, Beck teaches the reader "The Seven Question Technique".  This exercise is to create response cards for the sabotaging thoughts and thinking mistakes that we identified on Days 25 and 26.

    Write down the sabotaging thought.  Use your notebook to record these 7 questions as many times as necessary to cover all of the thoughts and thinking mistakes you came up with.

    1. What kind of thinking error could I be making?
    2. What evidence is there that this thought might not be true (or not completely true?)
    3. Is there an alternative explanation or another way of viewing this?
    4. What is the most realistic outcome of this situation?
    5. What is the effect of my believing this thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?
    6. What would I tell a close friend or family member if he or she were in this situation and had this thought?
    7. What should I do now?
    This process reminds me alot of the 5 Whys that I used to use for root cause analysis and I still apply this method to solve many problems in my life.

    Beck says, "Over time as you practice these ideas again and again, you'll begin to automatically respond to your sabotaging thoughts even without Response Cards".

    I haven't done this exercise yet on paper, but I have used a similar technique to respond to negative thoughts and it really does work so I think doing the exercise on paper will just solidfy the technique for me.

    X-Weighted Challenge - Fitness Assessment & Measurements

    I met a group of Toronto bloggers to do the fitness assessment for the X-Weighted Challenge today.  It was not easy!

    We had to 20 of each:

    1. Start from standing, lay down on our back, stand up, jump up - repeat.
    2. Hands on a bench and hop over the bench side to side.
    3. Jump over a marker on the floor side to side.

    The laydown/standups were by far the hardest and I had to really push myself to do 20, at 10 I could have stopped if there hadn't been someone there telling me to keep going.  It got easier after that.

    My time for the fitness test was 3 m 4 s - not at all impressive.

    Weight - 214.8 lbs
    Chest - 42"
    Waist - 44"
    Hips - 45"

    Now I'm going to whine a bit about the measurements. I get my waist measured every time I go to my endocrinologist as waist/hip ratio is an important number in diabetes care - and my waist has gone down from 44" to 38" in the last six months so to see the gym guy measure it at 44 inches really upset me.  First, it was measured over my clothes (elastic waist of my yoga pants and then a baggy tee shirt) and it was much higher than my natural waist (the smallest part of my torso).  The chest he measured under my arms rather than around the bust, so that number is definitely lower than I think it should be.  As long as they measure the same places again when we go back in July, I know it doesn't really matter - but the waist one did upset me a bit!

    Skinny Me got a picture of us with the X-Weighted Executive Producer and it will probably be on her blog at some point over the next few days.  I am second from the right in the pink tee shirt. I haven't seen the picture yet so I'm being brave telling you to go look at it!

    The site gives me a weight goal of 56 lbs in 26 weeks. That's over 2 lbs a week and seems a bit daunting to keep up consistently!! But I am going to think positively and make it my goal.

    My user name on the X-Weighted site is bookenz.

    I set my fitness goal as doing the CN Tower stair climb. There is one event in April and one in October.  The challenge ends in July so I'll do the April one and see how well I do and then for my own sake, do October and see how much improvement there is.

    After the assessment, we got all dolled up and went to meet some more bloggers for dinner.  It was a nice evening. A great bunch of women, all with great stories to share and advice.

    And I finally got to meet Tiffany from 12 to 6. Super nice lady  who made me laugh alot :)

    Jan 8, 2010

    Day 26 - The Beck Diet Solution

    Day 26 goes hand in hand with Day 25 and still focuses on combatting sabotaging thoughts.  Day 26 is called "Recognize Thinking Mistakes".

    Beck says that we have to realise that our thoughts are ideas, not truths.  However, because the thoughts are our own, we convince ourselves they are truths and this leads us to diet-sabotaging behaviours.  She lists 9 common thinking errors.

    1. All or nothing thinking.
    2. Negative fortune telling.
    3. Overly positive fortune telling.
    4. Emotional reasoning.
    5. Mind reading.
    6. Self-deluding thinking.
    7. Unhelpful rules.
    8. Justification.
    9. Exaggerated thinking.
    Definitely, I'm guilty of most of these!  All or nothing thinking took me years to overcome and there are times I still fall into the trap and have to remind myself to look at my change in diet and exercise as a lifelong endeavour. In this case, it helps to remind me that there are other things in life I don't do perfectly, but I don't abandon them or give up. I pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and keep plodding along.

    Can you imagine ending a relationship of a fight? Or abandoning your child because you realised you made a bad parenting decision? Or quitting your job because you missed a deadline?

    I have also been guilty of Unhelpful Rules - this one is so silly when I see it on paper, yet I fell into this mode of thinking so many times!!!  Beck gives the example of "I can't waste food" and "I can't inconvenience my family by cooking healthier meals".

    Her remedy to combat misguided thinking?

    Take a guess...come on, I know you can get this one!

    Based on Day 25's exercise, match the misguided thinking to the sabotaging behaviours/thoughts and come up with responses to review each time these misguided thoughts rear their ugly head.

    Weekend Plans

    I have a very full weekend planned. I can't remember the last time I had a weekend so scheduled!

    First off, I left work early today to return/exchange some clothes in Buffalo. The drive was nice, I went alone which although I normally hate the drive alone, I enjoyed it. I listened to the radio, there was a light snow fall that looked so pretty...and I was able to be alone with my thoughts.

    I had to return some yoga pants that were too big and I ended up getting a size Large from J.C. Penney. I was trying on 1x and XL and they were too big and I was getting frustrated, it honestly took me a good 10 minutes to realise I could try the L!  I was doing the same thing with Tee Shirts, picking up 20 and 22 and then getting frustrated and impatient that they didn't fit. I don't know where my head was today.  I also got a pair of size 14 black pants which was great for me because I am still wearing size 20s that are huge on me, but I didn't want to buy new ones and spend alot of money. Everywhere I went to day had huge discounts.  I ended up spending less than $100 in total and came home with yoga pants, tee shirt, black casual pants,  quilted Fall jacket, 3 tee shirts and 3 button down shirts.

    I also got an armband thingy for my iPod (more about my arms in another post!) and I looked for the Leslie Sansone DVDs. Target had one called 1 Mile Power Walk. I walk a mile and a half on my treadmill every day, so  I was really looking for the 4 mile one but they had sold out so I'll look again when I'm there next month.

    Ok...weekend plans.

    Tomorrow is the X-Weighted Challenge sign up. I am going with a group of GTA blogging women to register in person. This is going to be so much fun. I am not good with challenges as a rule, but I think this will be different - 1. I have the support and encouragement of some great women and 2. I love this show!

    I am also going to be meeting these women for the first time tomorrow. Hopefully I will not fall flat on my ass during the fitness test and make a complete fool of myself!    After the registration, we are going to dinner at Milestones.  I'm going to check out the online menu/nutrition info and decide what I'm going to have. I will, as usual, only eat half and bring half home or leave it. That makes the calorie count so much more reasonable.

    On Sunday I am starting tennis lessons with my friend Tina. I've always wanted to learn to play tennis and now I have someone to do it with, I think it's going to be a ton of fun and great exercise for both of us.  We had meant to go snow shoeing this weekend, but that isn't going to work out - we will go - just not this weekend.  I think tennis will be a great workout.  The lessons are every Sunday morning for an hour until mid-March.

    Well I need to go and sort stuff out for tomorrow as I will be out most of the day. You can be sure I will post pics and a full report of the X-Weighted Challenge registration and the blogger dinner.

    Jan 7, 2010

    Fighting Thursday

    I am fighting today.

    Fighting a cold.
    Fighting with a teenager who thinks he's a grown up.
    Fighting with myself to eat properly.
    Fighting to stay awake.
    Fighting to remember to drink water.

    Yesterday was a good day, I ate well all day and we ended up going to East Side Marios for dinner and I ate my normal half portion of Chicken Parmigiana but I did overdo it on the Home Loaf before our salads came. I should have had a snack before we went as it was much later than our normal dinner time by the time we actually ate.  I was way over my calories yesterday but I think I made good choices and only ate to satisfied, never overfull.  I am doing better with water at work, but still not hitting 2L a day. A little more each day and hopefully I'll be there by Friday.

    I did the 30 min walking DVD last night but found it too easy and I wasn't really pushing myself, so I need something that will challenge me a little more so I'm going to see if I can find the Leslie Sansone walking DVDs I've heard about from other bloggers.

    That's all I got today folks!

    Jan 6, 2010

    The Biggest Loser - Season 9

    One word.


    I'm not sure why. I truly wasn't feeling well last night maybe my mood affected my perception.

    Some random thoughts that jump out at me:

    I didn't connect with any of them. There's no one who jumped out at me that I wanted to win or that I immediately cared about. I can't even remember half their names at this point, that's how much impact they had on me. In Season 8, I immediately connected with Amanda, Rebecca, Abbey and Danny.

    I didn't like the woman who was yelling during her work out, the "mom" as Gillian called her. 

    The married couple in the red tee shirts, something about them just rubbed me the wrong way. The woman annoyed me when she said her husband had to step it up (after the weigh in) that he only lost 21 lbs (or whatever it was).

    They have these completely unfit people running on treadmills...with no safety tether???? So when they fall off, or stumble, the treadmill throws them off and it keeps going??? What is that??? I know that most people don't use the tethers, but surely, for these people it is a real safety issue. Falling at that size is never good, let alone being thrown off - not to mention what a blow it must be to their self esteem!  That's just plain stupid. It upset me when I saw it last season as well, but this season it really pisses me off as these contestants are so much larger than in the past.

    So yeah, underwhelmed. Let's see what next week brings!

    Oh..and during the commercials, I marched in place since I never did get my treadmill moved or another tv.  Not quite dancing, but at least I was moving :)

    Day 25 - The Beck Diet Solution

    Day 25 already, more than halfway there now.

    Beck focuses on sabotaging thoughts and how to turn them around.

    The first exercise is to teach us how to recognize sabotaging thoughts. She suggests that the next time you are tempted to overeat, eat something unplanned or generally go off your diet, stop and ask yourself what thoughts are going through your head that would allow you to do that.

    She gives some examples, I don't have my book with me to quote them, so I'm paraphrasing here:

    "I've eaten well all week, fast food for one meal won't hurt"
    "I'm too tired to workout and missing one day won't make a difference"
    "No one will know if I eat this cake"

    The idea is that there is an underlying sabotaging thought that is going through your head and giving you permission to go off your plan.  The way to break through this is to have a response ready for when the thought hits.

    Her strategy is to write your sabotaging thoughts on a card and then have a response for it.

    "I am going to continue to eat well. I don't want to eat fast food when I can make healthier choices that are just as quick and easy."

    "If I miss one workout I will break my routine and it will be harder to start again tomorrow."

    "Whether or not anyone knows if I ate it, my body will know and it will affect how I feel about myself"

    She says that recognizing sabotaging thoughts may be difficult at first, but if we stop to ask ourselves what we're thinking each time before we go off plan, we will start to recognize them and be able to stop them and the behaviour that follows.

    This is something I'm going to have to try and see how it works for me. I can recognize that I have had these types of thoughts and I've had arguments in my head about why I should or should not listen to the sabotaging voice and sometimes I win and sometimes the saboteur wins.  Again, this is all about practicing new techniques to get past a behaviour that is derailing.

    Jan 5, 2010

    Habit a Week Challenge

    Thanks to Lyn over at Escape from Obesity for the Habit A Week Challenge.  This is my kind of challenge! Not directly related to the scale, but will certainly help that scale move in the right direction!

    I am committing to drinking at least 2L of water every day.  I always did until winter hit full force. I work in a construction trailer and lots of water = lots of pee breaks = lots of going out into the cold to the washroom trailer = cold and miserable me!  But I am missing the water, I feel tired mid afternoon and my skin is so dry, so I need to drink it. I will consider the 200 m each way to the trailer to be exercise, if I go 5 x a day, that's 1 km!

    I am fighting a full blown cold; runny nose, runny eyes, sore throat, earrache.....I came home and wanted to curl up with a book, a blanket and a pot of tea until The Biggest Loser starts at 8:00...but I decided to hop on the treadmill and see what I could do. I managed 20 minutes before I was stopping to blow my nose every 90 seconds...but I'm good with that.   At first I told myself, "I'm sick, I shouldn't have to exercise when I'm sick!" (That's the unfairness syndrome starting - right there - my friends!) but I told myself to shut up, that I should be grateful that I COULD exercise, that I wasn't bedridden or weak or worse! And so I changed my clothes and just did it.  I was really pushing to get to the 30 minutes but I was getting on and off so many times it was silly...at 25 minutes I packed it in.  If I can learn to walk and blow my nose at the same time......

    Dinner was some Lipton Chicken Noodle soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Perfect comfort food for a cold night while enduring a cold.

    I've been using Spark People to track my daily calories. I love that it has an app for my iPod touch as well so the info is always with me.  My doctor recommended an average of 1200 calories a day/week.  I've been struggling to stay at 1200 and am finding it easier and more comfortable at between 1200 and 1300.  I'm not sure what this will do to my weight loss efforts, but I'm going to do it for another week or two and see where I end up and reassess if I have to.  Some days I'm really close to 1200 but alot of days I'm over 1250.  Funnily enough, counting calories seems oddly freeing after counting Weight Watcher points for so long, I'm not sure why - when I first started, it did seem more difficult and cumbersome but I was trying to do both for comparison and it just seemed silly.

    So that's my news for today. 

    New Beck post and a Biggest Loser post on tap for tomorrow.  Have a great night!

    Day 24 - The Beck Diet Solution

    Sorry for the delay in posting this, I had it set to autopost yesterday but for some reason it didn't, and only just realised.

    On Day 24, Beck talks about Discouragement. When I first read this very short chapter, I thought, "This is the same as Day 22 - Disappointment".  Then I re-read it and it is very much related to Day 22 but on a slightly different theme. In my head, I lump discouragement and disappointment together but Beck very clearly makes a distinction.

    I think the easiest way to explain it is:

    Disappointment is a negative feeling about something that has already happened. For example, I'm disappointed that the scale doesn't show my hard work, I'm disappointed that I couldn't stop myself from eating 3 cookies.

    Discouragement is a negative feeling that may cause me to do something that will lead to disappointment.  For example, I'm discouraged that this weight loss is taking so long, I might as well not exercise. I'm discouraged I am still wearing plus sized clothes, I might as well give up.

    Beck response to discouragement is very like Stephen Covey's philosophy when overwhelmed by too many tasks...."What is the best thing I could be doing right now to further my weight loss efforts/meet my goal/work towards getting healthy (whatever your journey is)?"  Then do that one thing, right now. 

    When discouragement starts to creep in, displace it with positive reinforcement (using the response cards), positive actions (doing something towards your goal) and living in the now (focus on one day, one meal, one hour at a time if you have to) until the discouragement is banished.

    So, although I was disappointed in this chapter at first, I found that I could learn something from it after all!

    Jan 4, 2010

    Back to the Grind - Monday

    Today at work felt like a really, really long day!  It was busy, just as I thought, Wayne was frenetic, just as I thought.

    I took my food and did really well in eating today, it was too cold to go out anyway.  I took my lunch to an empty office and ate there while I read my book (Eat, Love, Pray) and really enjoyed a break instead of my usual, eating while I work or eating while I'm interrupted or not eating while I do either of those things!

    I checked in with my Diet Coach Shelley today, she is starting to make some changes today and she is doing great. I know doing this this with her is going to make this so much easier for me and I am looking forward to our workout dates and figuring out what we can do each week to keep it interesting and keep us motivated.

    Going to hit the treadmill for a bit then some tv, and reading before bed.    Hope you all had a great "back to reality day".

    Jan 3, 2010

    What I did today.

    I met my friend Shelley who is my "Beck Diet Coach" and we did a 30 minute walking DVD in her living room. Truth be told, I didn't feel like doing it, I didn't even feel like going over to her place (about a 30 min drive) but I had made a commitment to her so I did both. Why is it easier to keep commitments to other people but not myself? Aren't I as important as them? This always frustrates me.

    Anyway, workout done and we are going to get together at least once a week to do some kind of physical activity and then continue on our own with the walking DVD and check in with each other as we go along.

    Then I had to go to Value Village to try and find snow pants for my son. He's going on a cross-country skiing 3 day trip with his school and hasn't worn snow pants since he was 6.  I didn't find any but I did find those plastic rain pants that he will wear over layers of longjohns, trackpants and jeans to keep warm, at least he will be dry. 

    I also found a really nice suit for me.  And it fit perfectly. Not just in size, but in length! I am only 5' tall so finding clothes is always a struggle, but this suit fit like it was made for me...and in size 16. Not size 16+ or 16W, just 16!  It's black with a very, very faint pinstripe.  I don't normally get pinstripe because of the height thing, but this looked really nice and the fit was so good I couldn't resist it.  I had looked at the suits because I am hoping to have more job interviews coming up in the next few months and the one suit I wore to an interview in October is big, not huge big, but big enough that I felt uncomfortable in it. I will feel so much more confident in this suit.  Just need to have it drycleaned and then it will be ready for those interviews that I AM going to get in the next few months.

    Eating was wierd today. I was in a rush this morning so grabbed a bagel then had a latte for "lunch"...I only just had dinner so my calories are very low today. I'm really not hungry though but I'll have some yogurt and fruit before bed.

    Tomorrow the holidays are over and I know the work day will be so very, very busy - so my goal is to take all my meals, eat well, and just breathe slowly when I get overwhelmed. It's not the work that is overwhelming, it's my manager's frenetic pace and personality when he is overwhelmed that rubs off on me.

    Have a wonderful evening, I am off to read your blogs before hitting bed early tonight.

    Jan 2, 2010

    Further to: Day 23 - The Beck Diet Solution

    I received this comment from Tamara, on today's post.

    Tamara said...
    Strangely enough, this was one chapter I couldn't relate too. My frustration with weight loss is with myself for taking so darn long to do it! When I am really dieting (and not falling off and being dragged behind the wagon) I actually feel grateful. Grateful that I have the tools to lose the weight and reach my goal.      
    I love this idea.  I have to admit, I've never thought of it that way, but it really is true. I should be grateful. I have tools, knowledge, community and family support and means - much more than many others have - to make this journey be successful for me.
    Thanks for reminding me Tamara. I have made a response card to remind me of this everyday, and especially when I slip into victim mode.

    Saturday Nothing-ness

    I've been off work for over a week and go back on Monday. Before the break it seemed like an endless block of time. How did it go by so fast?  I am grateful to have had the time, I needed the mental and physical break from work.

    I woke up this morning wanting pancakes for breakfast. The problem I have with pancakes is that they are filling when I eat them but because they are so carby, I'm hungry in about an hour and they tend to elevate my blood sugar more than I like.

    I have a whole grains pancake mix (Hungry Jack's) that is only 150 calories for 1/3 cup and low fat so instead of using milk to make them like I normally do, I used 2 egg whites and 1/4 cup of water. This made the batter very runny, but the pancakes came out light and fluffy and airy and added 10 grams of protein to the carbi-ness so I'm hoping they stay with me longer. 

    This afternoon we are heading to Niagara On The Lake to a friend's house for dinner and then tomorrow I am meeting my friend and Beck Diet Coach, Shelley for a few hours.  Although I slept alot last night, I am so tired today, I would love to curl up and go back to sleep...but I need to get those boys up and moving ;)

    Going to hit the treadmill now before I talk myself out of it and then the day is off and running.

    Have a great Saturday y'all!

    P.S. Happy Birthday Tiffany.

    Day 23 – The Beck Diet Solution


    Day 23 is called “Counter The Unfairness Syndrome”.

    I admit I have suffered from this syndrome many times in my life.

    “It’s not fair I can’t eat whatever I want.”

    “It’s not fair I have to weigh and measure everything I eat.”

    “It’s not fair I have to work so hard to lose weight.”

    Etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    Honestly, sometimes I make myself sick. In no other area of my life am I victim, but I do an excellent job of turning myself into one when it comes to weight loss.

    Beck deals with this by telling us to use the tools we’ve learned so far, and in particular, the response cards. 

    What is more important to me?

    Eating that slice of chocolate cake or reaching my weight loss goals?

    Whichever answer I choose, I have to live with it. There is no going back and being regretful if I feel I made the “wrong choice” later on. Make a choice, live with it, move on.

    I think “Resentful Syndrome” goes hand in hand along with the Unfairness Syndrome.

    There are times I resent how much work this is, I resent the amount of time it takes, I resent that it’s hard to keep at it.  When this hits me, I force myself to refocus. I force myself to remember why I’m doing this and that it’s my choice to be losing weight right now, no one held a gun to my head. If I don’t like this choice, make another, but whatever choice I make is mine alone.

    In the last 10 months I’ve come a long way to combatting and beating both of these syndromes and I hope to eventually eradicate them from my life.

    Until then, I have a response card to read every day to remind me BEFORE I fall into the clutches of these syndromes.

    Reading my Day 1 response card is going to help  a lot with this one as well.

    Day 23’s card (mine) says,

    “I may feel like it’s unfair that I have to work so hard to lose weight.  It’s not easy for me.  I have decided to lose weight. That decision means I have to do some work, and I accept I won’t always like the work in the moment, but the results I see are worth it

    Do you ever feel like this is unfair? If so, how do you fight that feeling so it doesn’t sabotage you?

    Jan 1, 2010

    Recipe - Carrot Pecan Salad

    This is one of my favourite, light salads taken from the Secrets of Good-Carb, Low-Carb Living book (Sandra Woodruff M.S. R.D).

    It is so quick and easy to make.  I often switch out the pecans for whatever I have in the pantry; walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds....the nuts taste better if you take a few minutes to lightly toast them. I've also used other oils/juices to make the dressing and it always comes out delicious.  I like it better after it's been refrigerated for a few hours, but it's not necessary. I often throw this together at night and put it in my lunch bag for the next day.  I've also put in less oil and more juice to cut down the fat content.

    Carrot-Pecan Salad
    (4 servings)

    2 cups coarsely shredded carrots
    1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
    2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried)

    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp honey
    1/8 tsp salt

    1. Combine carrots, pecans and parsley in a medium bowl and toss to mix well. 
    2. Combine the canola oil, lemon juice, honey and salt in a small bowl and whisk together.
    3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix well.
    4. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Nutrition Info:
    1/2 cup serving=
    Calories - 112
    Carbohydrate - 8g
    Cholesterol - 0mg
    Fat - 8.8 g
    Sat. Fat - 0.7g
    Fibre - 2.4g
    Protein - 1.3g
    Sodium - 93mg
    Calcium - 23mg

      January 1, 2010

      I've been reading blogs this morning and they are full of resolutions and determination.

      Is there something wrong with me? I don't feel any more determined or resolute today.  I am just going to continue what worked for me in 2009 and try and do less of what didn't  - maybe that's my resolution?

      I didn't have a big epiphany when I woke up this morning, I just know that I will continue along this path for the rest of my life, as long as it takes and hopefully will get to my goal and maintain my weight before I run out of life!

      I am so looking forward to continuing this journey with all of you and finding new friends along the way.

      DAY 22 – The Beck Diet Solution


      Day 22 is here already. It’s fitting I’m starting a new section on the first day of the New Year.

      This section deals with disappointment and specifically today, the title is “Say, Oh Well, to disappointment”.

      Beck reminds us that there will be days of disappointment in this journey, that we will not always feel motivated and happy about our choices. We will feel that it’s a lot of effort and work, or that the outcomes don’t mirror our expectations.

      The way to combat this, she says, is to change our mindset. Accept what is disappointing us.  For example, she says to say, “Oh well, I can’t have chips on my diet” and move on. Accept it, don’t dwell on it.

      She makes it sound easy. She does say it’s not and that it takes time.

      It took us along time to form these unhealthy habits, we’re not going to unform overnight or even in a few weeks.  Little by little, each change will start to have an effect and as time goes by, our mindset will change.

      I don’t know if this chapter really did anything to teach me how to deal with disappointment but it was a good reminder that it’s ok to be disappointed. The key is not to let the disappointment take over. The key is to move on from it.