Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Review: Orange Cadbury Thins

I spied a new Cadbury Thins flavour at Walmart the other day – orange! Being the sort to like orange-flavoured chocolate, I bought one to try later. Yum! It's like a Terry's Chocolate Orange...but in a safer quantity. If you like this kind of chocolate, keep your eyes peeled. No pun intended of course ;)

Losing my insulation

As I've been losing my padding, I've noticed that I feel colder more often. This is a good thing. I hate the heat. I'd rather be cold because I can always put on a sweater. It's a beautiful sunny day today and it's supposed to get up to 25C. We don't have AC in the office, but I'm cold! Normally I'd be sweating by now. I like being cooler!

Hehe, I wonder if anyone would notice if I turned on my space heater?

Monday, July 30, 2007

How many steps have you taken today?

Registering for walking events has a lot of perks. Health and accomplishment aside, you usually get free swag as part of your registration package. The Hbc Run For Canada package was particularly good as it had a free pedometer in it. I finally got around to delving the depths of the goodie bag and found a nifty little ParticipACTION business card. On the card is a guide that helps you determine how active you are based on the number of steps you take in a day. Reprinted here for your info and just in case I lose the card!
< 5,000
= sedentary
= low active
>= 10,000
= active
> 12,500
= highly active

Source: Catrine Tudor-Locke, Arizona State University.
Affiliate Scholar, Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

We had the courage

My walking team and I did an 8k walk today. Though it was an easy walk, we still came in dead last. Turns out the majority of participants were runners with a scant few walkers. In fact, there was maybe 2 other walkers aside from us.

At the start of the race, everyone but us took off running. The first leg of the 8k was along a busy road, closed off especially for the event. So here we were walking in last place, with the runners blocks ahead of us in the first few seconds. It wouldn't have been so bad except we were holding up a long line of cars. Needless to say, we were mortified.

We did a bit of running and tried to walk as fast as we could, but there was no way we could do the walk any faster. So, we plowed on and tried hard not to notice the police escort slowly crawling along behind us. That worked for a bit until the good constable decided to start cheering us on through her loudspeaker. We'd get to a kilometre marker and she'd say something like "way to go team!" When we finally got off the main road and onto residential streets, she started randomly playing us rock music by holding her loudspeaker microphone up to her radio.

After the 4k mark, embarrassment at being last and having our own personal police escort cheering us on so the whole neighbourhood could hear slowly waned to resignation. We were going to do this thing, pride be darned. Along the way the volunteers were still patiently waiting for us and enthusiastically cheered us on. When we got to the end, it was to loud applause from the remaining people and a participation medal for each of us for our efforts.

Though the medal was great, it was the kudos from the volunteers that made it worthwhile. Though we apologized for holding them up, they waived it off and said that at least we got out there and were better than everyone else who stayed home on their couches that morning. You know what? They're right. We did so much more than someone who stayed home.

A fellow walker's t-shirt summed up the whole experience:

The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham

Who cares we came in last. We had the courage to start and keep going.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Twenty-fifth Weigh-in

Ah, so nice to see the scale moving in the right direction! I lost 1.6 lbs this week which is fabulous. Though I haven't quite lost what I gained last week, it's still moving downwards which is what counts. I'm also even more convinced that my "gain" last week was due to my choice of clothing - jeans. I had been wearing my light-as-air capris for a number of previous weigh-ins. Who was I kidding by wearing extra light clothes to fool the scale?

But this week, I wore the same as last week so I'm more confident in my weigh-in results. I've also vowed to continue to wear the same thing in subsequent weigh-ins. Consistency!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dentist appointments rock (sometimes)

My husband and I went to our dentist's this morning to have our teeth cleaned. Dr. B., our dentist, is awesome and we've been going there for years. A new hygienist went over my file and asked me if anything big had happened with my health since last time I was in. You bet your bottom dollar that I told her about my weight loss! She was excited for me, and kept asking me questions all through the cleaning. What I ate, what I did for exercise, if I was hungry all the time, and so on.

When Dr. B. came in to check my teeth mid-clean, he said "What's going on here? You're looking very trim!" Trim indeed! I'm finally living up to my namesake! He went on to ask me if I had meant to lose the weight (because he's always afraid to ask in case someone lost weight due to sickness) and then enthusiastically congratulated me and said I looked very good. I told him I had cut my hair and gotten new glasses, too. After our appointments, my husband told me that Dr. B. had also mentioned it to him – that I was like a totally different person! Woot! :) :) :)

Hehe, now why can't that get me out of the three fillings I need??

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Training at lunch

I went for another training walk on my lunchtime. This time I decided to be smart and bring my workout clothes – pants, shirt and shoes. I felt all smart until I went to change and realized I completely forgot socks! Whoops!

I just about didn't go out because of that, but went anyways. Fortunately, MEC is near to my work so I swung by there during the first leg of my walk and picked up a pair of my favourite technical socks.* The clerk was awesome – she unwrapped my socks, snipped the little plastic restraint and let me use one of their benches to put them on.

Aside from the hiccup at the beginning, the walk went very well and I'm excited about doing it again on my lunchtime. It's a great way to get some fresh air and exercise mid-day.

* Technical socks are awesome. They're made with wicking fabric so your sweat will wick away and your feet will be drier. Walking/running technical socks also have cushy bottoms so they help reduce impact. If you like to walk or run, do yourself a favour and try a pair!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Fellowship of the Blog

To my fellow bloggers,

Thank you for inspiring me to get up off my ass and actually do something this evening. I'd been waffling on whether or not I should do some exercise when I eventually decided to spend the rest of the evening ensconced on the couch, eating food* off my chest. That is until I read my evening's fill of blogs, got inspired, and realized that if you all can do it, so can I. So I'm off to do my half-marathon cross-training: 30 minutes on the exercise bike.

with gratitude,

Tiny T.

* Low-fat food of course

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Twenty-fourth Weigh-in

This would have to be my most spectacularly awful weigh-in to date, if one were to gauge success by the number on the scale. Yup. I'm up 1.8 lbs. Hehe. Ironic that I was talking about complacency, wasn't it?

But, I'm not overly worried. The reason for a gain can be explained by a few things. First, I wore jeans instead of the very light capris that I did last week. I know you're supposed to wear the same thing every week for consistency, but I was rushed and not thinking. I've also been battling a minor stomach bug that's been causing me some bloating, general tummy aches, and well, not being able to pass things as quickly as usual. And those aside, I've lost an awful lot of weight lately and my body could be just adjusting. And then again, my vacation could've finally caught up with me ;)

However, I know I've been on plan since, so as slightly disappointing as this weigh-in is, I'll just continue on doing as I have been doing. That's the most important part! That, and my old sweatpants are fitting loose again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Reality Check

I saw an old friend today who said that I looked like I lost a lot of weight. She didn't actually compliment me, just said it like it was a fact. Even after I acknowledged it, thanked her and said I was going to Weight Watchers, she didn't congratulate me or otherwise indicate how well I'd done.

Hehe, lookit me and expecting all awesome compliments all the time! She's a nice person so I don't think it was done out of spite or anything like that. I think it's funny that I've been accustomed to getting nice comments whenever my weight comes up. It's a nice reality check; I shouldn't get too complacent!

Regardless, I'm taking it as a compliment and logging this one as an NSV!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Half-marathon: training update, froggies and a recipe

The first week training for the half-marathon is going very well. We went out on Tuesday night for our first group walk and guess what we saw? I scooped this lil guy off the road so he wouldn't get hit. He was so docile that I started to think maybe he was injured. That is until he jumped straight up and out of my hands! Scared the dickens out of me but it did remind me of how awesome walking is. Since I've started walking, I've seen many wild animals and it's always a special experience. This froggie ranks right up there with the owl my husband and I saw when we first started walking.

Aside from that walk, I did some cross-training on Monday at Curves and went for another training walk today on my lunch hour. That worked out so well that I think I'm going to bring my runners to work. This weekend will be an endurance walk and I'm looking forward to it.

And, as the weather around these parts has been dreary and altogether autumny, I thought I'd share a recipe my leader gave to us.
WW Steamed Apple with Cinnamon and Brown Sugar
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. light margarine
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Core apple, leaving bottom intact. Fill with brown sugar, margarine, cinnamon and nutmeg. Microwave on high for 2 minutes or until soft. 2.5 to 3 points depending on the margarine used; be sure to recalculate using your own tracker in case I made a mistake!

I made it tonight and it was pretty good. The hardest part was trying to figure out how to eat it without spilling the liquid that accumulated inside. I may tweak the recipe next time. It seemed a bit too sweet to me and like it could do with real margarine (or butter) and a wee sprinkling of chopped walnuts. But all in all, a good experiment that bears repeating!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Charms: 25lb and 30lb

My 25 lb charm finally arrived in the mail today. I also received a very special charm from my husband which has become my 30 lb charm. I've already added them to my milestone bracelet and my husband was kind enough to take a photo:

As with my other charms, these have meanings, too:
  • Starfish (25 lbs): The starfish is a symbol of rebirth and regeneration. We can regrow what was once missing, make new what was once incomplete. Starfish are also said to be reflections of the stars in the sky. By our actions today, we reflect what we are becoming. Stronger, prouder, and healthier. A true rebirth.
  • Heart (30 lbs): A special charm that reminds me that though I have fought hard, I still wouldn't be where I am today without the love and support of my husband. He has been with me every step of the way. Who praises me, loves me, and supports me without complaint or condition? That would be my very dear husband. Thank you, my love. You truly are my strength.
I have an idea of what my next charm will be, but first I've got to lose that next 5 lbs!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Whispers of YEAH BABY!

Sears Canada has a clothing sale on now called "Whispers of Fall." The cynical side of me immediately thought, "good grief, it's not even AUGUST." And then there's the side of me that's excited beyond all reason about the thought of clothes shopping in the fall. Like, seriously, since seeing that ad, I'm super excited.

I LOVE autumn. Love, love, LOVE it. I love everything about it. The sunny days with the hint of crispness, the colours, the darkening days, the return of rain, the type of food, and yes, the clothes. I LOVE autumn clothes shopping. But I haven't done it for years because of my weight and being depressed at not being able to fit into the clothes I see skinny people wearing.

But not this year, baby! THIS year I get to go Autumn clothes shopping with the same excitement of days of yore. AND I might get to do it in a smaller sized store. EEEP! How wonderfully awesome is that? And even if I don't move out of Penningtons, I don't care. Autumn clothes shopping!!!

We've been on a bit of a budget lately (paying off that sinful vacation) so I haven't had money for summer clothes. But, I should have enough shirts to see me through the rest of the summer and I won't feel so deprived because I'll be saving up my dollars for the fall wardrobe season!!!

Again, EEP! I say! I'm in the stratosphere of excitement! :) :) :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Half-marathon: training begins

Today is the day I begin training for the upcoming half-marathon in October. With consistent training, I know I can do this! 10k is moderately easy for me now. What's another 11k on top of that?

I'll be using Prevention's Walking Calendar as my training guide. This handy dandy app will lay out a day-by-day walking guide for you depending on what you've chosen as your goal - weight loss, half-marathon, or (gulp!) full-marathon. In order to be ready for my half-marathon in October, my start date is today!

I'm about to head out for my first training walk and am excited to start. Wish me luck and the willpower to keep training!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Virtual Model

Virtual models are so much fun. They've been popping up everywhere. You can customize them according to height, weight, and so on. When they first came out, a lot of us over at the WW forums used them to simulate weight loss. Now, Prevention Magazine has come out with an actual weight loss simulator which will show two models side by side. Here's mine:

Pretty neat, eh? I also like to fiddle with the weight to see what I'll look like at certain milestones. And, like many virtual models, you can play dress up with your model - Prevention gives you an assortment of bathing suits to try on that help minimize trouble spots like busts, bums, and so on.

My Virtual Model appears to be behind all of these apps springing up as they're very similar. You can visit MVM to create your own model and try on some of the clothing they offer, or you can visit one of the many web sites that feature model apps. Fortunately, there's many stores like Sears and Lands' End that carry plus sized clothing for virtual models. But for weight loss simulation, you can't beat Prevention's method.

Oh, and I'll let you in on a little "eep!" secret. When I first started playing around with virtual models, my model would only fit in plus-sized clothing. When I redid my model at MVM's site just now...they've put me in regular-sized clothing. Eep!

Something I didn't realize about MVM's service. You can actually add your model to your web site. Check out the widget in the right-hand column of my blog.

Curves mini-goal update

I finally did it! I finally got to Curves three times this week. I feel a lot better about that. I know that muscle training is key to weight loss and will also help me look better as the fat recedes. I know this and yet it's just to easy to slack off!

Well, here's to three more Curves workouts in the week upcoming. I know I can do this!

Twenty-third Weigh-in

I'm down another 1.6 lbs, which means I've broken the 30 lb mark and it's time for more charm shopping!! It's a little disappointing though that my 25 lb charm still hasn't come in the mail yet. Here's hoping it comes soon as I've been really wanting to add it to my bracelet!

It also seems that I've broken my pattern. If you look at my Weight Watchers Weight Tracker, you'll see that I go down 5lbs every fourth weigh-in. Basically, 5 lbs per month. This time, I lost 5 lbs in three weeks. Go figure!

The meeting was a bit quiet today but still good as always. It was about plateaus and what advice we would give to someone experiencing one. Things like exercise more, go back to basics, start tracking again, watch portion control, switch things around, and so on. The quote our leader gave us in relation to this was especially appropriate:
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn't."

Hehe, I've been on the asking end many times, and it's so true!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pink Elephant = Bad, Nice Curves Employees = Good

Good news: I got to Curves tonight as planned. Once more this week and I'll have finally made my mini-goal! Bad news: I earned enough points doing the Curves Summer Challenge to land on a square with a pink elephant. The pink elephant means I would've had to go back to the very beginning.

Thank goodness for nice Curves employees though. After she looked up the meaning of the elephant, the Curves girl agreed that it royally sucked and that I should just move my marker forward a spot. So I moved it back a spot with much gratitude.

After all the effort I've put in so far, it would've seriously blowed if I had to go back to the beginning!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tipping Points

I've reached a couple of tipping points.

The first is water. I was told that by dutifully drinking my 8 glasses of water every day, eventually I wouldn't have to go to the bathroom so much. It took almost five months for that to happen and I've only recently come to this realization. Dearest bathroom, sorry I haven't been visiting you as much, but we had some good times, didn't we?

The second is my wardrobe. It used to be that a few things here and there started being too big for me. Now it seems like 60% of my wardrobe no longer fits well. It's either too big or out-of-date. Even my "skinny" jeans are getting baggy. My clothes are dropping off like flies. Dearest wardrobe, I think we've grown apart, let's go shopping one of these days!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Curves Summer Challenge

Why'd I walk to Curves in the 30 degree heat? For five points of course! My Curves has started a board game called the Summer Challenge. When you do (or not do) one of the items on the list, you get to move your game piece X number of spaces along the board. There's prizes and pitfalls along the way depending on the square you land on. The board game is up on the wall and it's themed after a summer camp.

Being the sort of person who loves board games and prizes, I've taken up the Summer Challenge. Among other things, one of the items on the list that earns you points is walking to Curves. Other items include:
  • Walking to work
  • Biking to work
  • Walking around a local park
  • Not going to McDonalds for a week
  • Wearing sunscreen for outdoor activities
  • Lose 2 lbs or 2 inches on your weigh-in
And so on. There's lots of things on the list and it looks fun! But walking to Curves on a hot day for five points? Never ever again >_<

Curves Monthly Measurement – July

I've started the week out right by going to Curves last night. It wasn't hard to convince myself to go as I always like my weigh and measure day.

Since starting Curves, I've lost:
  • 25.75 inches
  • 26.0 pounds
  • 5.2% body fat
I'm happy to see that body fat percentage down a lot more. Like last month, I've been slacking on going to Curves so I wasn't expecting it to go down much. But it did anyways so I'm thinking maybe I wasn't hydrated enough the last time. The other interesting figure is the inches lost. I went back through the previous months and compared inches to pounds. On average, I lose 1 inch for every pound. That's very encouraging! When I'm upset about "only a pound," I should remind myself that I've also lost an inch somewhere, too!

That said, the inches lost aren't very much compared to last month. But I think I know why. I made the mistake of walking to Curves. The distance wasn't all that far (3.5k) but it was the lack of shade and the 30 degree weather that did me in. I guzzled water all the way there, but still arrived red faced, headache-y and extremely hot. I spent a good 20 minutes in the change room trying to cool down enough to be able to stand without passing out. Even still, I felt extremely puffy when I went for the weigh-in. Like a popcorn bag, I expand exponentially when I get hot.

I took it very easy on the circuit, too as I felt like I'd pass out whenever I worked a bit too hard. This morning I still have a headache so I'm thinking I might've given myself a bit of heatstroke. So why on earth did I walk to Curves? That's another post I'm afraid!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Update: doctor's appointment

I just got back from my appointment. In hindsight, I didn't wear the most flattering thing today. I only realized it at work when I saw myself in a full-length mirror. My favourite shirt is too big for me now and the skirt I wore no better. And because they're both dark, you can't make out my outline let alone see any definition. I looked big because my clothes are too big!

Needless to say, my doctor didn't notice right away but you can bet your bottom dollar that I mentioned it! Ha! She's very happy for me and excited at my progress. She said she could really see it in my face but couldn't tell because of my clothes. She became even more excited when I asked what I weighed at my last physical. I had a sneaking suspicion that I weighed more than when I started Weight Watchers and I was right. I was 211 lbs last summer. This means I've actually lost over 35 lbs (she rounded it up to "almost 40 lbs" which I like better, haha).

Wow. Although I could've taken that and thought, "OMG I WAS FATTER THAN I THOUGHT, I SUCK!" I'm taking it more along the lines of, "wow, I'm doing awesomer than I thought!!!!" Plus, it explains why I look a lot bigger in my before pic compared to my progress pic.

As tempting as it is, I'm not going to change my stats though. I lost those seven extra pounds somehow but it certainly wasn't with Weight Watchers. Anyways, I know this post is technically scale-related, but because of my clothes and my doctor's kudos, I'm labeling this one a solid NSV!

Going to see my doctor

The last time I went to my doctor's, I had just started Weight Watchers. I told her that I had finally joined (she'd been gently nagging me to maybe start thinking about my weight) and she was very excited for me and said she couldn't wait to see what I looked like in a few months when I came back for my prescription refill. I remember thinking at the time, "haha, so no pressure, right?"

So it's about five months later and I'm a little nervous and excited about going to see her this afternoon. With my new haircut, glasses, and weight loss, I hardly recognize myself! Here's hoping she'll notice, too.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Family Baggage

This week's meeting was about the baggage we've inherited from our family. Our meeting leader warned us that it'd be a sensitive subject and wow, was it ever! I didn't think I had any family baggage around food but I was wrong. It isn't just about loving people with food, it's about other things including stress, over-eating, exercise (or lack thereof), genetics, sibling competition, sabotage, and other things our families may have taught us as we were growing up that have shaped our eating patterns more than we thought was possible.

When I was growing up, we didn't have much. My mom was a single mother and she worked very hard to put very basic food on our plates. When she had extra money or it was a special occasion, we'd get treats in the form of fattening food. "Good" food quickly became intertwined with happiness and feelings of well-being. As the years went on and finances became more stable, "good" food became more common. It got to the point where if I didn't have good food around, those feelings of despair and deprivation would surface - as it was when I was growing up. A recipe for future disaster? You bet.

The other thing that struck home to me was family habits around exercise. Our leader spoke of some families not encouraging exercise or to get moving. My family had a Jekyll/Hyde approach to it. We'd get taken out on long hikes which, for the most part, I hated because my family is rather dysfunctional. Hikes were just another outlet to be criticized and yelled at. My mom would also never let me sign up for extra-curricular sports because she didn't have time to devote to driving me around. I learned that exercise was a thing to be avoided because you'd be made to feel inferior and also because it was too much of an inconvenience. Another recipe for future disaster? You bet.

Here I am at the meeting, having all this wash over me, and finally understanding another piece to the puzzle that is the fat me. No wonder I didn't like exercise! No wonder I liked fattening food! But hey, you know what? I've been overcoming all of this. Exercise can be FUN! You can have good tasting food all the time without emotionally depriving yourself. Imagine that. And you know what? I've been overcoming this for months now. Now THAT's progress.

For anyone still reading along take some time to really think about what your family might have taught you about food and exercise. It's surprising how much family dynamics can have an impact on your health. If the brave members at the meeting who shared their stories are anything to go by, I wouldn't be surprised if it's affected every one of us on this journey to some extent. Some members spoke of sabotage from parents. Others, dealing with some form of abuse. And some spoke of old-fashioned being loved to fatness with food.

Our leader closed by telling us in a voice that almost brought me to tears that she is proud of us, each and every one of us for having the courage to be there. And from me to you, I'm passing along the same message. I'm proud of you all. For having the courage to meet challenges head on, not accept defeat, and go on, in spite of everything that you may have had to endure or that you are continuing to endure.

You can overcome and I believe in you all.

Twenty-second Weigh-in

This week I'm down .8 lbs. So much for predictions! As I said at the meeting, I guess my vacation hasn't caught up with me yet. And, as my meeting leader jokingly said, that .8 lbs is not because of my haircut ;)

The meeting was a good one as always. Lots of laughs and lots of things to think about. I'll be starting a separate post on the meeting topic as it deserves to be discussed on its own.

Another person achieved goal today which is always exciting. She didn't have much to lose, but it was still a great achievement for her.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Picking the worst weeks

I've been picking bad weeks to get serious about Curves. That's right, I didn't get out on Wednesday night. Nor yesterday, nor today. However, I'm bound and determined to get there tomorrow after weigh-in as per my usual routine. That'll make two times this week I've gone which is better than going once or not at all.

But, I'm okay with that. Spending time with my husband this week is much more important to me right now. He has to fill in for someone at work while they look for a replacement. Trouble is, he has to get up at 4 a.m. because of it. We only have one car, so I've been taking the bus. By the time I get home in the evening, we haven't seen each other in 16 hours. He's tired, I'm tired, we're both kinda grumpy. All we want to do is relax with each other and reconnect after a tiring day. I only have a slim window of opportunity to get us dinner and cuddle time before he goes to bed; if I go to Curves I wouldn't see him at all!

I did manage to get us out for a twenty-minute walk this evening which was nice. It's been hot and the cool night air was lovely. Hopefully I can get us out more next week; he'll still be on that shift but a few walks should help with that.

Oh, and my glasses? People have been complimenting me which is awesome!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Making yourself over, one day at a time

Last night I picked up my new glasses. The last time I bought glasses was ten years ago. Although my prescription has changed imperceptibly, I decided to get new glasses anyways. And what a difference they make! I feel hip, happening and yes, even younger!

With these new glasses, I came to the realization that I've been making myself over as I go. Weight loss isn't just about the pounds, it's about your attitude and how you feel about yourself. Some days are crappy, there's no doubt about that, but as time goes on those days are fewer and far between and you start to think you really are worth taking care of.

You buy some new clothes, you get a manicure, you actually start shaving your legs and washing your face, you get a new hairstyle, you order new glasses and the next thing you know, you're 28 lbs lighter and someone you want to take care of!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Finally got to Curves

Boy have I been slacking lately. I haven't been to Curves in over two weeks! But I got my bum in gear last night and finally went. I didn't want to go; I was in that its-been-so-long-why-bother? funk. As always, I'm glad I showed up. There had been some minor changes to the circuit which made it a refreshing go 'round. They were also playing music I hadn't heard before which is always a plus. And lastly, the good employee was there. She's the one that's genuinely friendly, but not pushy or condescending. The bad employee was there, too, but she was cleaning so I managed to avoid her.

This week I've again pledged to get to Curves three times. I know there's at least one busy night this week so I'm planning around it by going again tonight. Although they say you should wait a day between strength training, I've used that excuse too much to avoid going. Better to go than not go, right? I've got my gym stuff laid out so I can nip out the door with little fuss when I get home.

As finances are a little tight these days, my reward will require no money - I'll take an afternoon for myself this weekend so that I can work on some needlework.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Biking the good bike

Today was the first day this summer we got our bikes out from storage and went for a ride. We rode a lot last summer but it was a sweaty, blotchy, often unfun affair. Remembering these I-want-to-pass-out rides, I was somewhat dreading going out again this year. But you know what? I kicked ass. Like, seriously. Those hills that gave me so much trouble last year? Not a problem. I guess all those kilometres logged on my exercise bike have really helped!

Happy, happy day!

I had a fabulous day yesterday, not only did I pull off a great dinner (a non-scale victory unto itself), but I also had two more NSVs! First, was clothing-related. I did the 3k HBC Walk for Canada yesterday. They provided technical shirts as part of the registration fee. I was worried the women's XL wouldn't fit me, but it did! The second NSV came when a friend told me she had been meaning to mention just how slim I'd been looking, that I looked slimmer every time she saw me. Woot!

As the drunk and disheveled woman remarked to us as we were walking home from the fireworks last night, "Happy, happy day!"

Loving you with low-fat food

You know that relative of yours that tends to make fattening food and then push it on you at family dinners? That's me. Or at least, that was me. It was my way of showing love to family and friends. But since starting Weight Watchers, I've come to realize that loving one's family members with fattening dishes isn't necessarily, well...loving. But since this is how I know how to love them, whatever would I do now?

The answer was to start trying out lots of new recipes. I've bought a number of new cookbooks as well as downloaded recipes from the internet. Yesterday was the first time I had the opportunity to try some recipes out on a big dinner I made for some friends. This time, it was all relatively healthy fare. The result? Scads of compliments and people going back for seconds (and even thirds!)

Here's what I served:
  • Sticky Chicky: a low-fat barbecued chicken dish from Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry!
  • Couscous with Tomatoes, Scallions, and Lemon: a delicious low-fat but wonderfully flavoured couscous courtesy of The Best Light Recipe by Cook's Illustrated. A friend kept going back to this dish despite the glares of his fiancĂ©e who said he didn't like the couscous she made. Whoops!
  • Chef's Salad Bar: a make-your-own salad featuring leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrots, Canadian back bacon, cubed hard-boiled eggs, two kinds of shredded cheese, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, and three kinds of low-fat dressing. Of the dressings, the Basic Vinaigrette (also from Cook's Illustrated) was the one everyone loved the most. One friend even asked for the recipe (which is a very high compliment, her being as near to a chef as anyone I know)
  • Strawberry Shortcake: an invented dessert using store-bought individual angel food cakes sprinkled with a mixture of sherry and strawberry-kiwi juice, filled with low-fat white chocolate pudding, and topped with sliced strawberries and light Cool Whip. Although simple to put together, it looked very impressive and eyes popped when I brought out the plates. My husband took a picture of his dessert and everyone else just dove right in.
I am so pleased. The dinner was beyond successful. Not only did it all taste good, it was as healthy as I could make it. It just goes to show you can show love with healthy food!