Saturday, June 30, 2007

When even your hairstylist notices = awesome

My hairstylist is awesome. I mean, I knew she was awesome to begin with - I can count on one finger the number of stylists I've met that can cut curly hair nicely - but she was super awesome today. I asked for a short cut for the summer so when the heat finally hits, I won't die of it. After snipping back the thick dense layers of my jungle hair, she said "Wow, have you lost weight? You look like you've lost weight. Like 25, 30 lbs!" When I confirmed this, she whole-heartedly congratulated me on my success. Needless to say, I left a big tip! :D

Twenty-first Weigh-in

Today's weigh-in is also known as "what. the. heck." Can you believe this? Not only am I down despite my sinful weekend, I'm down by 2.4 lbs. What the hay? I can't say that I understand it but boy will I take it! Likely I'll either stay the same or lose just a tich next week (or even gain a tich). That's what my body tends to do after a big loss. So maybe the piper will be paid next week?

Regardless, I'm happy with today's loss. Even though I'm not proud of myself for my indulgent vacation, I am proud of myself for getting right back on track and eating well this week. What's more important? That I slipped? Or that I slipped and picked myself up again?

I've finally put my 5 lb star on my bookmark and it looks good! I also received a special Weight Watchers reward for reaching the 25 lb mark. They've switched from giving out fridge magnets (thank goodness) and opted for...well...a washer? I guess? Take a gander and decide for yourself:

(it's hard to make out, but it says "25 lb")

My husband thinks it's a weight from a dumbbell but I'm not so sure. I'm still proud of it and have already put it on my Weight Watchers keychain.

And I guess this means it's officially charm shopping now! Yay! Oooh, what to get, what to get?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Sometimes the best clothes are the ones that don't fit

A few months into my weight-loss journey I was told in no uncertain terms that my dear, faithful, never-let-me-down jacket was the fashion-equivalent to an over-sized potato sack. Needless to say, it hasn't improved as the weight has dropped off and I'm now in the market for a new potato sack jacket.

Anyone who's gone jacket shopping at this time of year will know right away that finding a nice jacket is almost impossible. Only a scant handful of the ugliest jackets are leftover on mark-down racks. You know the ones, jackets so hideous that you'd have to be paid to wear them and only then if the money was really really really good. And when you do find a style that isn't so bad, you'll never find it in your size - any gem in a rack of fashion-disasters will invariably be an extra-extra small or an extra-extra big.

But being an extra-big sort of gal, I thought there was at least a slim chance that I'd get lucky. First stop was Winners where I found a relatively nice jacket but only in XL. I tried it on just to see if the style suited me, not expecting to be able to zip it up. But I could zip it up! "It fits!" I whispered to my husband who hissed back, "What do you mean it fits? Of course it fits!" and then gave my bum a smack to illustrate the point. However, just because a jacket fits doesn't mean it looks good on you.

The next store on the trip was Penningtons. As we were driving there, my husband said that it was good to be going there so I could start saying my goodbyes to it. As lovely a compliment as that was, I knew I hadn't quite moved beyond those clothing racks. When we got there, I was glad to see a nice assortment of jackets. But they looked so big. And big they were. 5X....3X...2X...nothing in my size. Heck, 2X a short few months ago would've been my size. On the way out, I pawed through a few other racks of shirts and was dismayed when I couldn't find any Xs. All the shirts that I liked were 2X and above.

I knew then that I'd have to start thinking about moving up, or rather down, to stores that carry smaller sizes. I really would have to start saying goodbye. It was a sobering, slightly scary, but exciting thought.

The next store we tried was the Bay; somewhat closer to a smaller-sized store but for the fact they also carry "woman's" sizes. Again, the typical assortment of cringe-worthy marked-down jackets were crammed into the back of the store. The gems in the collection were...too big. I'd found more potato sacks - extremely classy, perfectly my style and would've fit me last year - but potato sacks nonetheless. I looked like a monk in a voluminous hooded robe.

At this point, I gave up. Aside from that one jacket at Winners, I wasn't able to find a jacket that fit. And you know what? I think I like those jackets the best!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Go girl!

Well, well, look at what came in the mail today! My Italian charm bracelet! The charms are even prettier than I could have hoped for. I'm so happy!

From left to right, here's a list of the charms and their meanings:
  • Blue star (5 lbs): For the first star on my bookmark.
  • Train (10 lbs): I'm the little engine that could...and did!
  • Bike (15 lbs): What's loss without sweating to an exercise video, working the machines at Curves, or pushing the pedals on my exercise bike?
  • Emerald flower (20 lbs): Celebrating my birth month and being alive to appreciate the here and now.
  • Go Girl! (10%): A special charm to commemorate losing 10% of my starting weight. Look at me go!
I haven't decided on the next charm yet; I'll cross that bridge when the scales say I can cross. In the meantime, I'm wearing my new bracelet with pride. Woot!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

When you fall flat on your face...

It's funny how a few days of utter abandonment can make one feel fat. I'd been feeling pretty fly about myself lately. After all, I've had one success after another. But it's good to fall on one's face every so often. It smacks a bit of sense in to you and (hopefully) gives you the determination to work that much harder.

The Saturday afternoon that I managed to put a check on my eating, I started feeling that fatalistic twinge, that all-or-nothing attitude that has gotten me into trouble in the past. You know, the "I completely blew it so I should give up altogether" type of attitude. I felt fat and like I had somehow managed to gain back all that I had lost by eating badly for a few days.

It was a twinge I knew to expect from my past weight-loss experiences, so I've been carefully telling that five-year-old self that the world isn't over, that I have not blown it unless I say I've blown it. Fortunately, self-talk works if you keep at it long enough. Like the drip-drip-drip of water torture, you'll eventually get through to yourself. But hopefully without the going mad-as-a-hatter bit.

Today, the twinge has definitely given over to determination. Every choice is a new opportunity. I can turn the ship around. And it's fitting to recall the quote from my meeting leader that so struck a cord in me:
When you fall flat on your face, you're actually moving forward."

Failure is just as important as success. Just don't let it beat you!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Twentieth Weigh-in

I'd normally back-date this weigh-in so that it falls on the right day, but after my weekend of fun and frivolity, posting it today will put it into perspective.

I dropped by the Weight Watchers centre on Thursday last to get weighed before leaving for my trip. It was an afternoon weigh-in so I wasn't expecting much as it isn't my normal weigh-in day or time. The receptionist recorded a loss of .8 lbs which technically pops me over the 25 lbs lost mark. I asked that I get my Weight Watchers reward the following week at my regular meeting and she happily obliged, writing up a note for my file. She also gave me a 5 lb star for my bookmark.

However, after the weekend I just had, I'm pretty sure I've sunk back below that milestone! I haven't put the sticker on my bookmark yet; it's still sitting there on my log book beside my computer. I guess I just feel like I should truly earn the right to put that star on my bookmark - so I can honestly say those 25 lbs are gone forever!

It was the best of times

I had an absolutely MARVELOUS vacation in terms of rest and relaxation. The food and the exercise...well...not so much.

Dinner the first night was a high-class and high-fat affair. It was part of the romance package; a necessity to give the hotel staff time to add some romantic touches to the hotel room while we were thus occupied. Although I have to give myself credit for stopping when I was satisfied (versus stuffed), I didn't order a very healthy dish (roast rack of pork with pasta) and had half a dessert (creme caramel without the whipping that would really make a difference!) Hopefully the...ahem..."activity points" I earned after dinner helped somewhat, but I'm not overly optimistic.

The next day was like a dream. I had booked my husband and I both into this extraordinarily swanky spa for treatments that pretty much lasted the day. I cannot describe adequately the feeling of relaxation and royalty we felt being pampered so much. It was bliss, through and through. Even the bump in the road at lunchtime was delightful. Again, I was confronted with high-class high-fat food in the form of the spa's tappas restaurant. I confess, I threw in the towel and simply enjoyed the delicious plates of decadent food. It might have been okay had I not utterly stuffed myself and topped it with a dessert as well.

The rest of the day and into the next day also saw me indulging entirely too much. I did, however, manage to reel it in towards end-of-day Saturday. We had visited a local grocery store to get some healthy food for dinner and I took the opportunity to buy the newest issue of Weight Watchers magazine. After a nice walk on the beach (and getting soaked in a torrential downpour), I curled up in the hotel room, sipping water from a wine glass and reading my new magazine. It was good to have that magazine on hand as it helped ground me.

I spent the rest of the evening making beaded bracelets to keep my hands busy. The following day was the trip home and I'm happy to say I was on plan the whole day. I even hopped on my exercise bike for an hour. And this morning, I've started out right with a good breakfast and another go on the bike.

To say I'm not feeling a tad guilty would be lying. I did entirely overindulge and I'm fully expecting to see a gain when I weigh-in this Saturday. Thems the breaks. I can't expect to eat anything I want and not have to pay for it. I will still work extra hard this week, making sure I exercise and meet the healthy guidelines.

As my meeting leader would say with a wink and a smile after such a weekend as this, "I'm not cured yet!"

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On the road again

This afternoon I'll be away on a mini-vacation with my husband. It's our anniversary today and I've been planning this surprise trip for a few months now. I''ve packed a lot of points-friendly snacks and have been mentally rehearsing how I'm going to handle food choices.

I'll also be doing my weigh-in just before we go. Hopefully this doesn't mess things up with the scale as I usually weigh-in on Saturdays in the a.m. before having ingested a lot of food.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

BMI: Obese versus Overweight

I've been thinking a lot about my BMI these days. It's another figure that I keep an eye on, just like I do inches and pounds. I started out at 36.1 and have since dropped down to 31.7. A BMI above 30 means you are classed as "obese" (or a variant thereof depending on the chart*). It's not terrifically lovely to call oneself obese, but there you have it. A spade is a spade after all.

The reason why I've been thinking a lot about my BMI is because I'm getting close to dropping down into the next category – "overweight." Still, not a lovely descriptor, but I like it better than "obese" when thinking about myself. I'll need to be 169 lbs in order to cross the divide. I think I'll celebrate it with an Italian charm.

* The Heart and Stroke Foundation tactfully describes it as "Zone D"

Calculate your BMI

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Out with the old

Tonight I took some clothing items that are getting too big for me and put them in the donation pile. Even though I know I no longer look good in them, it was hard to give them up! My 2X gym pants were the hardest to part ways with and I may still sneak them back. What can I say? I love comfy pants to lounge around in even if they are too big!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I ordered it

Just so this day didn't go completely in the toilet, I wound up ordering a starter Italian charm bracelet and five charms. Four charms for each five pounds I've lost, and one charm for my 10% goal. It just didn't seem right to order the charm for the next five pounds until I'd truly lost it. As I'll be away on vacation towards the end of this week, it may not be for a few weeks until I've officially broken the 25 lb mark.

And now, I'm taking myself to the bathroom for some pampering. I have some new products to try out - a swanky razor and sassy shaving lotion for my legs, a tube of Olay Thermal Pedicure for my feet, scrubby gloves for my skin, and some Dove's ultra-moisturizing body wash. I also found my Weight Watchers magazine from last month so I'll actually get to finish reading it. Pampering is so very nice!

When the family notices

It's nice and all to for people to notice I've lost weight, but for some reason, it's different when it's family doing the noticing. I'll either get mothered to death (you'll starve!) or I'll get something that's meant to be a compliment but just comes out altogether wrong.

Family being the complex dysfunctional organism that it is, I tend to avoid mine like the plague. In fact, I've done so well at it this year, they haven't seen me since before I started Weight Watchers. But this being Father's Day and all, it was somewhat hard to get out of taking my Dad to dinner.

I had a private bet with myself that he wouldn't notice or if he did, he'd do something tactless and then go back his favourite subject (him). Unfortunately, I won my bet. After sitting down at the restaurant and going on about his life as he is usually wont to do, he cocked his head to the side, looked pointedly at my waist and said, "have you lost weight?" When I said yes, he grunted and said "good for you" and went right back to talking about himself.

The sizing up of my waistline as if I was some farm animal being assessed for sale is about par for the course. This is the man who would greet his children with "get a haircut" after not seeing them for two weeks. I know he means well, but dayum if that man can't learn tact one of these days.

Sigh. Family. Can't live with them, can't live without them. And even though technically this is a Non-scale Victory, I just can't bring myself to add the label to it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nineteenth Weigh-in

I'm down another 1.2 lbs which means I'm in a whole new set of numbers. Bye-bye 180s, hello 170s! This also means I now weigh the same as I did when I got married seven years ago. Woot! The receptionist who weighed me in was super nice, too. She complimented me on the colour of my shirt and was genuinely happy for me on how well I'm doing. Most receptionists are great, but this lady was super great.

At the meeting itself, a lady mentioned she has a charm bracelet that she adds a charm to for every 10 lbs she loses. It reminded me of the last time I lost weight and how I kept a charm bracelet, too. Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to find my bracelet since we moved two years ago but I was inspired to look for it again. And you know what, I found it! It had fallen behind one of the drawers in my jewelery box.

It was nice to see the bracelet again. Firstly because it's a family heirloom; it was my mother's charm bracelet. And secondly because I could see how far I had gotten last time - 20 lbs altogether with one charm for every 5 lbs. It reminded me that I have lost weight before and I'm doing it again with ease and more success.

I'm going to start up a new charm bracelet, but this time it'll be an Italian charm bracelet. I've always wanted one and it'll fit my active lifestyle better than a traditional charm bracelet. For every 5 lbs lost, I'll get a new charm. I'll also get a new charm for milestones and other momentous achievements. I may wait until I get to 25 lbs lost before ordering the first batch, but we'll see :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tight clothes

The tight-fitting clothes I've had kicking around my wardrobe are actually fitting now. I noticed it yesterday with a pair of favourite jeans. I'd been wearing them even though they dug into my stomach because they fit well everywhere else. Yesterday, I noticed for the first time they're not digging into my stomach as much. And, last night, I put on a sleeveless top that used to be quite tight across my back. It's not tight any more and fits perfectly. Whoo!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


As I laid there on the torture clinic chair, the smell of my burning skin wafting through the air, one thought kept going through my mind...I actually volunteered myself for this procedure. And I paid for it, too. I actually paid money to have what felt like a hot needle jab into my skin and burn off cauterize my skin tags.


Remember Ralph's younger brother in A Christmas Story? I'm him. I can't put my arms down.

But, it's did now. And my armpits have little black spots where my skin buddies used to be. The technician called it "crusting" which, in of itself is never a pretty word, but I suppose it's better than describing it as "the blackened and curled edges of your cauterized skin."

I have some topical cream to apply and plan on spending the night on the couch, reflecting on the nice gift of pain I gave myself for my 10% reward. Never say I am not good to myself. Once the discomfort dies down, the redness dissipates and the blackened bits disappear, I'm sure I will look back on this and laugh. In the meantime, pass me the Tylenol >_<

Best intentions

Whoops. Seems like I didn't really think things through. My plan of getting to Curves three times this week isn't going to work out. Guess what I forgot? That's right, my 10% reward is tonight! I won't have time to get to Curves beforehand and then afterwards, I'm not supposed to exercise for 48 hours afterwards. That leaves no time this week to get in the other two workouts.

Ah well, there's always next week, right?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Fat Rant by Joy Nash

Someone shared this on the forums today and it's one of the most eloquent and inspiring rants that I've seen lately. What a beautiful person. I watched it twice in a row and will likely watch it again. If you go to the YouTube page for the video, you'll also see a number of video responses to it. There's lots of people out there that really connected to the video and it's awesome to see we're not alone.

Thanks to W8TRACKER for posting it!

1 down, 2 to go

I managed to make it to Curves last night but just about left again when I entered the gym and found two of my most disliked things: an overtly fake saccharine-sweet condescending employee whom I'd been trying to avoid and Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart playing on the circuit musak. After the entirely crappy and stressful day I had at work, it wasn't what I wanted.

However, ol' Billy was soon replaced by exceedingly better music (of the kind that doesn't make you stab your eye out with a rusted spoon) and the fake employee kept her distance while the awesome employee worked the circuit. Lastly, new Avon catalogs were left in the changeroom. While I don't buy Avon products, I adore flipping through catalogs of stuff I don't need. It's like reading a Harlequin romance but with more Skin So Soft.

All in all, a good workout and I'm glad I went. I'm planning on going again this Thursday and Saturday.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Review: Sharwood's Lite Butter Chicken Sauce

We're curry fans in our household so I was excited to find a "lite" version of butter chicken sauce. It's made by Sharwood's and for half a cup, it works out to 150 Calories, 6g Fat, and 3g Fibre - 3 points. It tastes pretty good for a bottled sauce. It was a bit on the citrus-y side for my tastes, almost like too much lemon (despite the fact that there is no lemon in it) and it certainly wasn't on par with full-fat butter chicken I've tasted before. But as a nice curry sauce, I give it a thumbs up and would likely buy it again.

More info on Sharwood's sauces can be found on their web site. It looks like they have a few more light sauces if butter chicken isn't your thing.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Curves Monthly Measurement - June

I confess I haven't been all that diligent about going to Curves. The summer weather has got me out and about so much with friends that there's been little time to go to Curves. Or, at least that's what I've been telling myself. I know if I tried harder, I could get to Curves at least three days a week as is recommended.

In the past four weeks, I've gone perhaps five times. Nowhere near the amount I should be going. I knew that it would affect my Curves measurement day but I wasn't sure by how much. After I got my chart at the end of my workout, I was surprised to see just how much not going to Curves regularly has affected the results. Check it out...

Since starting Curves, I've lost:
  • 22.5 inches
  • 21.0 pounds
  • 4.1% body fat
I know that seems great (and it is) but the figure that I'm always most interested in is the body fat percentage. It's only gone down .3% since last measurement day - that's not very much when you consider that I regularly lose 2% body fat per month. There's likely other factors in play here that could explain such a low loss, but I'd like to take this as a sign that I should be working harder in the muscle-building department.

With that in mind, I'm pledging right here and now to go to Curves three times this week.

Eighteenth Weigh-in

I'm down 1.8 lbs this week. I'll be in the 170s before I know it! Even though I don't always want to stay for the meeting, I make myself stay and I'm always glad that I did.

At the beginning of the meeting when awards are handed out, another lady received her 10%. The keychain has changed in colour since I received it - it's now a funky coppery colour. As nice as it is, I'm still happy with mine. I like silver best :)

For the meeting topic, we discussed our perceptions. Whether we think we're losing as much as we think we should, whether we think we're being 100% truthful in tracking our points and so on. We did an exercise where we'd rate five such statements on an agreement scale. After doing the exercise, some people found that there was room for improvement. Other people, like myself, were surprised at just how much "on track" we've been. It was good to have another way of monitoring ourselves.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

High Liner Garlic Dill Salmon = Meh

I made some of the new High Liner seasoned salmon fillets for dinner tonight. They looked promising - wild pacific salmon with a garlic dill rub and only 4 points each (189 Cal, 5g Fat, 1g Fibre). Cooking was easy, just pop it in the microwave and let it go for 6 minutes. Unfortunately, the resulting meal was rather on the side of bleh. The bit of sauce that accumulated while cooking was tasty but the salmon itself was soapy and like cardboard. Granted, I might've overcooked it, but even good salmon still tastes okay and not like soap even if it is overcooked - think a nice cut of steak cooked medium-well. Not as juicy as you'd like, but still good.

Neither my husband and I finished our fillets. Not surprising for my husband but entirely out of character for me. I love salmon so much that I'll even eat mediocre salmon. This salmon? Nope, couldn't handle it so into the garbage it went. If you also love salmon, my advice is to steer clear of this product.

I'm all of a flutter

I don't know what's going on, but it seems like my Non-scale Victories are piling up lately. Someone else noticed my loss and complimented me! Just this morning another coworker said I was looking marvelous and that I was melting away. She also complimented me on my new necklace.

I also realized that this awful coolmax man's shirt I bought to tide me over fits a whole lot better now. It used to be tight across the back when I moved my arms. I put it on this morning for the first time in a month or so (I was desperate for a shirt) and it's not tight anymore. It fits!

What am I going to do with myself? I'm all giddy!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Shopping Bliss

The other reason why the weekend was so busy is because I went shopping on Saturday after my weigh-in. Normally I hate shopping. Nothing ever fits or looks good. I'm coordination challenged. But, I'd been putting it off and putting it off until I realized that it was summer time and I really needed to replace a lot of my old dumpy rags.

Off I went to Penningtons with as open a mind as I could muster. As I started browsing the racks, I kept thinking "Wow, my eyes must've shrunk. A lot of this stuff looks too big for me!" Which is odd because last summer I was the loose end of 2X. Knowing my penchant for getting clothes that are a bit too big for me, I firmly vowed to get as small a size as I could that would show off my figure and yet not be too tight. With that in mind, I started picking size "X" off the racks on a lark. I had a huge armful when I headed to the change room.

At this point only one thing happens with an armful of clothing like that. Nothing fits. Nothing looks good. Except...everything DID fit. And everything LOOKED good, too. That never happens. Well, there was one shirt that looked major suckage but that's because it was TOO BIG!! I ended up having to hem and haw over which shirts and pants to get. (I may be thinner, but I'm still on a budget!)

I came away with three shirts, a pair of capris and a lovely necklace that I fell in love with. Not to mention the major NSV that I now fit into "X" sized clothing instead of 2X or even 1X. Eeee!

The day took a minor dive when I attempted the dread of every woman on this planet: bra shopping. Good grief, WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT? They really must make spray-on bras. Custom fit at the press of an aerosol. I could live with that.

Fortunately, the day picked up again when I found a new pair of sandals that looked great and went perfectly with my new duds.

Oh, shopping bliss! After successful days like this, I can believe clothes shopping is a GOOD thing.

Size X!!!!

What a weekend

A friend dragged us out on a 4-hour hike of hell yesterday. My legs are KILLING me. It was only supposed to be a 2-hour easy hike but ended up being twice as long and extremely difficult (think 70-degree incline, rocks, roots, climbing, and falling). I seriously must've sweated a litre of water. It was so bad, I thought for sure my overworked sweat glands would seize up. But no. After the bazillionth freaking hill, my face was still gushing enough to make me a shoe-in for a Gatorade commercial.

And because Saturday was also busy, I haven't had time to post my weigh-in. I'll do that shortly after I've used my blogger wand to turn back time.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Seventeenth Weigh-in

I lost .6 lbs this week. Not surprising given the rather big losses I've been experiencing over the last few weeks. I'll take it any way I can get it though! You'll also notice that I've picked my official WW goal weight. I decided to go with 135 lbs as that's what's recommended as the maximum for my age. I'm hoping that during maintenance, I'll get down to 130 for my personal goal.

And at the meeting today, a lady made goal. It was so inspiring. She had lost over 80 lbs and she looked FANTASTIC. Tight healthy skin and everything. When I first saw her at the weigh-in counter I was wondering what she was doing at Weight Watchers. Well obviously she's been succeeding! It was so wonderful to see her achieve her goal.

The meeting topic was really good, too. It was about not accepting failure and persevering. Did you know that Sir Edmund Hillary failed at his first attempt to climb Mount Everest? Upon returning from this failed expedition, he vowed to try again. It was purported that he raised his fist to a picture of the mountain and declared,"You defeated me! But you won't defeat me again! Because you have grown all you can grow ... but I am still growing!"

Our meeting leader went on also to say that perseverance is going one more day longer than you thought you could go. One step farther up that mountain. She closed with this quote which I wrote down in order to share with you all:
When you fall flat on your face, you're actually moving forward."

After the laughter died down, I realized just how true this is. You only fall flat if you don't learn from your mistakes.