Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Long awaited update

Having dropped off the face of the planet for the last three months, I'm finally ready to talk about what's been happening. I'm very sorry for any worry I might have caused. It's been a tough slog for sure.

The bad news is that the past few months have been hell. The good news is that I'm pregnant :)

But let's begin at the beginning...

After I returned from my trip to Disneyland, I was inundated with projects at work. I had no time for anything during the day but that. Combined with training for the half-marathon, I had precious little extra time. What time I had remaining, I used to do regular household chores. Cleaning, shopping, errands, etc.

Weeks passed in a blur and then on a fateful Saturday morning at the end of September, I peed on a stick. After only two months of trying, Mr. Trim and I had achieved our biggest wish– a bun was growing in the oven.

Unfortunately, things went from happy to awful in short order. There was some financial stress. I started spotting when I shouldn't have been and was sent for an early ultrasound. I was also told absolutely no exercise because of the spotting. My thyroid was deemed underactive and a lump was discovered on it. I was then sent for a thyroid ultrasound. Boom, boom, boom. Stressful things kept happening.

Meanwhile, I was slowly sinking into an emotional mess. Between the stress of dealing with everything above, the all-day morning sickness, and not being able to exercise at all, I went from a vibrant energetic person to someone who could barely sit on the couch all evening and watch tv. It was devastating. I withdrew. I doubted I could be a good mother. I hated what my body had become. And so on.

I knew at that point I was slipping into depression so I pre-emptively asked my doctor for help because I knew any dosage change would take time to become effective. She increased my dosage but it was too late. Within a week, I'd gone over the edge and was trapped in the deepest darkest pit of my life. I could not see my way out. I was trapped. Nothing was enjoyable. I couldn't stand to be touched. I didn't laugh. My world had become a bleak unending landscape draped in black.

At my worst point, I finally acknowledged what I was feeling was beyond normal depression and was worse than anything I had ever felt. This was one battle I couldn't win on my own. I pulled myself together enough to make two desperate calls. One to my doctor and the other to my therapist. Though difficult, it was the best thing I could've done.

In short order, I was diagnosed with antepartum depression. My medication was increased again. My doctor made sure I had weekly appointments with her so as to monitor me more closely. She also arranged an appointment with a specialist on pregnancy-related depression. While I was waiting for that appointment, I went to a number of sessions with my regular therapist. Talking helped and I began to feel better.

Slowly but surely, I was coming out of the blackness. The morning sickness was abating. My body didn't seem to be as foreign to me. And little things started falling back in place. Just as I did when I was losing weight, I started on small and acheivable goals. Flossing my teeth. Drinking water. Cleaning off my bedside table. Slowly but surely, I've been working my way up and it shows.

Between that and the care I'm receiving from the specialist, I'm on the mend and within inches of being as normal as the situation will allow. I wish I could say that pregnancy has been sunshine and daisies, but it hasn't been. But that's okay. I'm told that many woman experience a number of the same things as I did and that it's okay to not "like" being pregnant. Not everyone glows. Certainly not me!

But now that I have a noticeable bump, it's an indescribable feeling. I have reassurance. As well as an outwardly visible sign. Not that huge sore boobs aren't a visible sign, but they're not fun. Cradling the bump with your hand in the middle of the night, now that's a nice feeling.

As of this date, I've got appointments up the wazoo with the specialist, another therapist in pregnancy-related issues, as well as an endocrinologist for my thyroid. Though our health care system can be a little slow sometimes, it moved really fast to help me and the bump. I am so glad we have such great health care workers in this country.

Emotionally, I'm doing pretty good now. Physically, much improved. There are still a few things here and there that need working on but at least they seem to be within reach.

If there's one blessing to be had it's this: the bump has been growing despite everything. The early ultrasound at 7 weeks revealed a teeny tiny beating heart. At 9 weeks, I heard the heartbeat in my doctor's office. At 12 weeks, the bump came out of hiding and told me I needed bigger pants. And today at 13 weeks I'm feeling like it was worth all the difficulties to get to this point.

As for my blog, I'm afraid it's going to go into stasis for now. I'll still keep it active, but won't be writing new posts for awhile now. Once the bump is born and life settles into something of a routine, I'll be back on Weight Watchers to lose the pregnancy weight. Until then, thanks for the support and kind words over the years. I'll see you in 9 months :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

Never give up. Never surrender.” – Jason Nesmith, Galaxy Quest

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it.” – William Durant

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

If you worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.” – Lance Armstrong

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

When I buy cookies I just eat four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won't dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because Raid really doesn't taste that bad.” – Janette Barber

Friday, August 29, 2008

Recipe Review: Wholewheat Buttermilk Biscuits



I finally baked up a batch of Weight Watcher's Whole Wheat Buttermilk Biscuits to have with my homemade freezer jam. Don't they look tasty? Pictures can be deceiving though. While tasty enough when straight out of the oven and smothered in blueberry-lemon jam, they get drier and harder the longer they sit.

I made the recipe using buttermilk (strangely, the recipe first calls for yogurt then buttermilk as a substitute) and found that the amount given was too much; the dough was overly wet. I had to add extra flour to make it rollable. This likely added to the toughness of the finished product.

I also noticed that the recipe was lacking salt. Now I'm no Martha Stewart when it comes to baking, but even I had to raise an eyebrow at the omission. As every biscuit recipe I've ever tried has salt added to it, I decided to add about 1/2 a teaspoon. If I make these again, I'll play with the amount and perhaps add a tich of baking soda as well.

Recommended if you have extra whole wheat flour, time to kill, and don't mind hardtack.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Review: Kellogg's All Bran Bars - Chocolate Chip

I've been hearing about this new flavour of Kellogg's All Bran Bars (Chocolate Chip), and finally had the opportunity to pick up a package. Having the same NI as the other bars (Calories: 130, Fat: 6g, Fibre: 4g), it has the added bonus of chocolate chips. It's literally like a good-for-you chocolate chip cookie. A dry, fiber-filled cookie, but hey, healthy sometimes has its tradeoffs.

Recommended with a glass of milk for dunking or a cup of hot tea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Organizing recipes

I've recently become a reader of Simple Mom, and stumbled across an excellent article on how to more effectively organize your recipe bookmarks. Essentially, you use the bookmarking website, Delicious, to create your own "cookbook" of recipe links. You can add tags to them as well as share out the link to friends and family. Read Simple Mom's article for more information and step-by-step instructions.

I haven't made one myself, but wanted to pass it along to my own readers because I'm really excited about it. Once I get back from vacation, I'll be making my own Delicious cookbook and will post a link.

Monday, August 25, 2008

New Find: Wasa Fiber Rye

If you like crispbread (Mr. Trim calls it "cardboard")(Mr. Trim does not like crispbread), check out this new product from Wasa: Fiber Rye. It's extremely points friendly (Calories: 30, Fat: .5, Fibre: 2g) and great to have with soup, salad, or with your favourite topping.

If you're not a fan of crispbread (see Mr. Trim above as an example), you might find it dry and well...like cardboard. Personally, I love it. My mom used to serve it to us topped with sprouts and deli meat; it was a great easy snack. I still do that (recent recall of Maple Leaf meats notwithstanding), and I also like to spread it with Laughing Cow cheese or almond butter.

All in all, a great cracker to turn to if you're low on points for the day. Just be careful, the points do round up the more you have.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

On my way

In about seven hours, I'll be at the airport on my way to Disneyland! Normally this would mean a vacation for the blog, too. However, I have a TrimBot that will be posting articles every day at 7:00 a.m. PST. With the exception of Thursday's Thought, it's a food-themed week with product and recipe reviews as well as an online cookbook tool.

Have a great week everyone, and I'll see you next Saturday!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eighty-first Weigh-in



I'm up .4 lbs this week. It would have been a loss I'm sure, if it weren't for the wedding the night before.

*shifty eyes*

Okay, so maaaaaaybe I had a bit too much smoked fish. Just a bit. Okay, a lot. But hey, it was worth it.

The meeting was about setting your ultimate goal and likening it to the athletes of the recently ended Olympics. It takes a lot of practice, hard work, and dedication for them to reach and compete in the Olympics. This is most eloquently explained by one of our Canadian Olympic athletes, Kyle Hamilton of the Men's 8 Rowing Team...

Gold medals are awarded in the summer, but they’re earned in the winter.”

Just like weight loss, practice makes perfect. And like athletes, we should also not let setbacks affect the outcome. During the Olympics, I was struck many times by stories of athletes who battled through personal injury and sickness, as well as deaths in their family. Despite all this, they battled through to the end. A fantastic example of dedication to the end goal. And inspiring, too!

If they can overcome the most crippling of obstacles, we too, can overcome the little ones. The ice cream at midnight, well-meaning food-pushers, emotional setbacks, and yes, even the sneaky buffet of smoked fish at weddings. If we have our sights set on the ultimate goal - whether weight- or health-related - we can overcome anything.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's business time

I think I might've killed Mr. Trim with baby making. This is to explain my absence for the last week or so. Poor guy. He's really quite tired, hehe.

In other news, I think I might've lost more weight this week despite not exercising at all. I've been feeling rundown and tired and generally like I've been fighting a bug. I gave myself the week off to try and get better. We'll see what the official scale brings on Saturday. I may need to add yet another point to my daily allowance.

Also, Weight Watchers called me about working for them. There were some positions that opened up that would've fit my availability. Unfortunately, I had to decline. Full baby-making hadn't started when I first applied. Now that it has, I didn't think it'd be fair to them to put me through training when it was possible I'd either have to quit or take a leave of absence.

I'm still very grateful and pleased they even gave me a chance! I was told that if things changed for me, to give them a call.

Lastly, I'll be going on vacation soon. The next two days are filled with weddings, Sunday I'll be packing, and Monday I'm going to Disneyland for five days! Whoohoo!

I'll still try to post my weigh-in on Saturday. I'll also try to get some posts pre-written for the auto TrimBot to post in my absence. That may or may not happen as it's gearing up for quite the busy weekend. Speaking of which...yoohooo, Mr. Trim, can I see you for a moment? *hubbahubba*

Thursday’s Thought

People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Eightieth Weigh-in



Despite the rough weeks I had, I'm down again this week by .8 lbs. Ironically, that's given me a goal that I initially had in mind when I first started Weight Watchers - to lose 75 lbs. I'll freely admit that the only reason why I had that goal in mind was so I could get the 75 lb charm. Yes, I'm a little superficial :)

Since I didn't think I'd be eligible to receive any more stickers or charms, it was quite the shock when my leader presented me with both this morning. You'd think I'd be over the moon with happiness. I am happy, yes. But in a reflective way. It's a nice thing to have but ultimately, it wasn't the big goal. The big goal has already been and gone and this is a sort of happy dénouement to my journey.

Even still, I'm proud to put it on my keychain and to affix what should be the last five pound star to my bookmark.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

I really don't think I need buns of steel. I'd be happy with buns of cinnamon.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Free and clear!

Mr. Trim and I can start making babies now :)

I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday. It was with the replacement doctor as my regular doctor isn't back until September. She was still excellent, allayed my fears, and gave me the green light.

In particular, I was worried about my medication. As I suspected (but needed to confirm), the benefits of my medication far outweigh the minuscule risk to the baby. A happy healthy mom is the best thing for a happy healthy baby.

I was also sent for pre-screening blood tests. Usually they do them after you get pregnant, but it's also good to do it beforehand. Several vials of blood later, I was starting to whimper. Fortunately, the flobotomist stopped at seven. Even still, today my arm is still aching.

That's it in a nutshell. Mr. Trim and I will be starting right away. I might not be posting as much. I hope you understand ;)

Monday, August 11, 2008

A weekend without friends

I spent the whole weekend without friends. It's amazing just how on plan I was. Normally I have a twilight zone that starts Saturday morning where all the food I eat mysteriously never makes it into my tracker. I do love my friends, but sometimes it's nice when they're out of town and I can get a "me time" weekend.

Saturday, I went to the farmer's market and bought pints of blueberries and strawberries to make more freezer jam. In the afternoon, I went for my long-distance training run. It was overcast and threatening to rain, but I did it anyways.

As I started running, I sorta wished it would rain...just a little...so I could feel all hardcore and stuff. Well wouldn't you know it, it POURED. The heavens opened and dropped buckets of water. Every part of me was soaked by the time I got back to the car. I was also covered in trail dirt up to my bum. Wish granted. But with a bit more gusto than I expected.

At the end of the run I stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some milk. As I squelchily made my way up and down the aisles, I fervently hoped that people would notice and be impressed at how hardcore I looked. Though in retrospect I think I just looked wet, bedraggled, and dirty. And I suspect there might've been an employee following me around with a mop.

The rest of the afternoon was spent drying off, watching the Olympics, making a batch of whole-wheat butermilk biscuits, and making a training calendar sticker chart.

On Sunday, I made two batches of jam (new recipe: Balsamic Strawberry) and watched more Olympic coverage.

All-in-all a good on-plan weekend.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Seventy-ninth Weigh-in



I'm down 1.8 lbs this week. I also know what caused my gain last week: my period. It's been happening for over 22 years now, you'd think I'd be prepared for it by now. One of these months it's not going to sneak up on me.

The meeting today was about exercise and how it should be something you enjoy. I couldn't agree more. If I didn't like running or bootcamp or any of the other exercises I do, I'd still be on the couch.

We also discussed physical and mental obstacles to exercise. For me, the hardest part is getting out the door. I still have to trick myself; especially when I'm tired. I begin with the 10 minute rule: I have to go out for at least 10 minutes. If I'm not enjoying myself after the time is up, I give myself permission to stop. It's never gotten to that point of course. That's the trick. Once you're doing it, you're apt to keep going.

The other trick I use is gradually getting dressed. When I'm tired, getting dressed for exercise is a chore. I force myself to get dressed by focusing on one clothing piece at a time. After about 20 minutes of alternatively dressing and futzing around procrastinating, I'll finally be dressed. By this point I'll still be tired and cranky, but once I'm dressed, the prospect of undressing is more daunting than actually going out and exercising.

Hi, I'm TinyTrim, 34-year-old toddler.

But hey, whatever gets you out the door, right?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Preserving summer's freshness


BC Blueberries

I might go on and on about fall, but I must say that summer has a certain level of fondness in my heart. I just love all the fresh fruit, berries, and veggies at this time of year. I've been going to farmer's markets and buying locally produced food. It feels good to buy locally. The food hasn't travelled hundreds of miles, tastes fresher, lasts longer, and if that weren't enough, a local farmer gets income at the same time.

Freezer Jam
One of the things I've been doing with all the fresh food is making freezer jam. It's surprisingly very easy and the result is to die for. If you use freezer jam pectin, you don't need to put as much sugar into it. Points-wise, they're not too bad. Depending on the recipe, it can be as little as half a point for one tablespoon.

Here's some of the recipes I made recently:
The blueberry turned out the best. The the lemon flavour really comes through. Oh so yummy.


A batch of Blueberry Freezer Jam, cooling on the counter

And what's jam without a biscuit or scone to slather it on? I haven't tried these recipes from Weight Watchers yet, but plan to soon. They're low on points and look easy to make:
If you've never made freezer jam before, give it a try. It tastes extremely fresh; like summer in a bottle. They also freeze well up to a year.

Penningtons and Addition Elle Fall Previews

Penningtons and Addition Elle have fall previews out now. Click the links to be taken directly to the preview pages.

The eggplant colours featured in these previews are gorgeous. It's one of my favourite colours to wear. I also love embroidered pieces like this skirt. Embroidery adds such dimension and texture to fabric. Oh, who am I kidding. Taking fashion advice from me is like asking a fish how to fly, hehe. At any rate, you can't deny that I love looking at fall clothes!

If you missed it, the last two featured fall previews were from Sears and Eddie Bauer.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

Obstacles can't stop you. Problems can't stop you. Most of all other people can't stop you. Only you can stop you.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

Thin on the inside

Have you ever said something as an absolute fact only to realize later you were absolutely wrong? I'm cursed with foot-in-mouth disease and do it all the time. For example, not too long ago, I waxed poetic about being overweight on the inside. I opined that I was not a dyed-in-the-wool health nut.

I was wrong.

By saying that I would always be overweight on the inside, it was like saying that I'm permanently flawed. That I'll always have to fight. That's some pretty pessimistic thinking right there. If there's one thing I've learned along the way it's this: it's positive thinking that gets you places.

Consider what pessimistic thinking got me in the past. I firmly believe I became overweight because of thinking the worst of me. In my post, I'm thinner than I think I am, I even said as much.

I saw myself as large and unattractive. I wasn't really. But I believed it and I became it.”

My recent troubles with binging can be laid squarely on the shoulders of fatalistic thinking. Weekends might be the trigger, but this type of thinking is the gunpowder. I believed I was flawed. I became it. And I've been fighting the imaginary monster that I inadvertently created because of it.

That way of thinking is no more. I am a member of the naturally thin and healthy. If I have off-days, it doesn't mean I'm broken. Even naturally thin people have those days.

For anything to work long-term, you have to really enjoy it. I enjoy being thin and healthy. I enjoy thinking of myself in these terms inside and out. It's such a bright happy sparkly thought that it gives me focus and a "can do" attitude. Because I can do this. After all, the power of positive thinking means it's a foregone conclusion.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Weekend triggers

I'm coming clean with this post. I've been binging. One recent afternoon, I methodically ate whatever packaged treat I could get my hands on. That was the worst day, but there have been others.

The weekends are the trigger for me. They're usually spent with friends who don't care what they eat. I'm always the odd duck out when it comes to healthy meals. I try to tactfully suggest certain places to eat, but I don't press it too hard if nobody is keen on it. Just because I'm choosing to eat healthier, doesn't mean everyone else should, too. Oftentimes, I'm thrown into situations where the choices are limited to yet another unappetizing salad.

What is it about friends and food that leads me astray? When I avoid gettogethers, I'm not a team player. When I order something healthy or abstain from someone's home cooked food, I'm the alien in the group. When I try and be a part of the group and take a nibble...the nibble leads down the path of no return.

It's been a year-long battle and I've just gotten tired of trying to adjust to all these social situations that keep getting thrown at me. Like the dripdripdrip of water on rock, it's wearing me down.

It's for this reason that I've been giving in a lot lately to the pressures of socializing. Unfortunately, it's led to the binging and a fatalistic attitude. "You've already muffed it, Tiny, might as well eat the whole cupboard."

At the very least, I've been crawling back onto the wagon every single time I go off course. By my teeth and finger nails, clinging on. Thank goodness for my mother who passed down the stubborness gene. I. Will. Not. Give. In.

At least not permanently.

All the ranting aside, social situations aren't going to go away. I just have to accept it and keep working on ways to handle it. Aside from...you know...eating a box of cereal in one sitting.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Seventy-eighth Weigh-in



It's taken me awhile to post this one, but here it is. I was up 1.6 lbs this weigh-in. Which is funny because at the time, I felt like I had lost weight. I must've been feeling the loss of whatever weight it was that I had gained the week before.

As an old hand at the scale, I know that it's feedback and not failure. Nor any reason to beat oneself up about it. You make adjustments as necessary, and keep going.

Speaking of the need to make adjustments. I've been sliding into some old habits. That's another post though :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sears’ Top Picks for Fall

Just because I adore fall clothes shopping and can finally buy "permanent" clothes, I've been trolling the internet looking for new fall lineups. Last week was Eddie Bauer, this week it's Sears!

I'm embarrassed to say that I've been checking their website daily but didn't notice the words "for fall" tacked onto one of the banners until today. Advertisement fail.

Anyways, Sears has their fall clothes out for men and women in plus, regular, and petite. I really like the shirt pictured here. It comes in colours that I really love – teal, orange, and green. If I don't watch myself, I'll probably get all three.

I also like this jacket. It's got two things going for it: it's plaid and has a Mandarin collar. Okay, stop looking at me funny now. What can I say? I love plaid. Plaid is autumn. Why can't plaid come back in style? (Don't answer that.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Crock pot emergencies

Meet the newest member of my crock pot family. The Hamilton Beach Set n' Forget programmable slow cooker.



It does beg the question, "Do I really need three slow cookers?" Yes, yes I do. What if a life-or-death emergency came up where I had to prepare three slow cooked meals but I only had one crock pot? It's a scary thought and one that keeps me up at night.

Anyways, this one came home with me last night. For today at least, it's on sale at Canadian Tire. Currently, it's bubbling away at home with its inaugural recipe: Slow-Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken from Kraft Canada. I'll let you know how it turns out.

UPDATE: First recipe was pretty successful. I overcooked the meal but not too badly. It's to be expected with new crock pots though. You never know if they're the "run hot" kind. Next time, I'll double the recipe and not cook it so long. Even still, it was great to come home from running in the pouring rain to a nummy warm dinner.

Thursday’s Thought

The brick walls are there for a reason ... to show us how badly we want something.” – Randy Pausch

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A week without coffee

  • It's been a week without coffee or tea.
  • I have not killed anyone yet.
  • No fauxcoffee either.
  • A coworker noticed.
  • I let her think it was money-related.
  • I don't think she believed me.
  • I wonder if the "p" word will be bandied about in hushed lunch room conversations.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Overweight on the inside

One of the things that I've learned since going on Maintenance, is that I'm still overweight on the inside. The outside has shrunk to a thin person. However, the inside, my mind, my being, is still a food addict. For awhile there, I thought that I had actually converted that voracious part of my soul into a dyed-in-the-wool health nut.

Have you ever heard the phrase, "inside me there's a skinny girl struggling to get out?" In my case, there's an overweight girl doing the fighting. She's a part of me and always will be. If I don't keep an eye on her, she's going to get out again. Like a gremlin after midnight, both hands in the refrigerator, up to no good.

For this reason, I will always have to watch what I eat, day in, day out, hour by hour, minute by minute, choice by choice. Does that sound depressing? It is.

However, I'm a firm believer in taking strength from knowing your enemy. If you know what you're likely to do, you can take steps to minimize it. Or forgive yourself more easily. Or find peace in knowing that it's just how you are.

I know my enemy. The enemy is inside me. Not inside the chips, the restaurant, the office cupcakes, or the bag of Oreos. Inside me and only me.

One of these days I may yet be a card-carrying member of the thin and healthy. But until that day comes, I have to keep tabs on the girl inside.

Update: for more thoughts on this post, read the follow-up piece, "Thin on the inside."

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Vivanno Experiment

Can "meal replacement" shakes keep you full? It was my devout hope that they would. Without regular lunch today, I cashed in my free-drink coupon at Starbucks and tried one of their new "Vivanno" shakes. Though they're not specifically described as a meal replacement, I went ahead with my experimental study anyways. What follows is an excerpt from my scientfically-controlled journal.

------------
12:19 p.m.
Chocolate Banana Vivanno in hand. Sipping experimentally. Tastes like cocoa and banana.

12:32 p.m.
Back at work. Yep. Definitely like cocoa and banana. Can't taste any whey powder. Pretty tasty.

12:40 p.m.
Finished. I wonder how long it'll last in my stomach. It feels very heavy.

12:53 p.m.
I'm burping up cocoa and banana.

12:59 p.m.
Still feeling kinda full. I drink some water to "top it up."

1:12 p.m.
Still burping up cocoa and banana but not as often.

1:23 p.m.
Feeling less full. I drink some water.

1:41 p.m.
First stirrings of hunger. I drink more water.

2:05 p.m.
Have to pee like a race horse.

2:13 p.m.
Distracted by work; running to washroom.

2:15 p.m.
Back from washroom. For some reason, it smelt like Salt & Vinegar chips in there.

3:21 p.m.
Distracted by work again; I can hear my stomach grumbling in earnest now.

3:24 p.m.
I really want Salt & Vinegar chips. I eat an apple instead and drink more water.

3:30 p.m.
I still want chips. I'm starting to count the hours until dinner.

3:45 p.m.
I google "baked salt & vinegar chips."
------------

The rest of the journal goes into further notes about "S&V" chips and are mostly irrelevant to this experiment.

From this data we can conclude:
  1. A Vivanno shake can keep you full from one to three hours depending on water consumption and work load.
  2. Never go into Salt & Vinegar scented bathrooms lest you get afflicted with cravings for the rest of the day.
  3. Yahoo! Answers reports that the only way to get baked Salt & Vinegar chips is to "order online from a British Importer."
Additional experiments may be needed to determine the veracity of these findings.

The second time

The first time I did the 8k, my friends and I were followed by our very own police escort. Dead last, the runners long gone, a police car behind, and George Thorogood blaring through the constable's speakers as we crawled through the quiet residential streets.

The second time I did the 8k – a year later – I came in ninth for my age group. That means I was only six spots (and five minutes) away from finishing in the top three. I met my goal of coming in under fifty minutes. I also achieved a personal best for pace.

As proud as I am of the second time, the story I'm proudest of is the first time. I laugh about it. I tell it to anyone who'd listen. It's a great story and one I hope to tell my kids and their kids one day.

Who else can say they had their very own police escort? Not many people. I may've finished the second time faster, but the first time....the first time we finished in style.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Learning to Kayak

Today, I learned to kayak. It's amazing how much easier it is when you're in reasonably good shape and you aren't trying to steer it like a canoe. I took the course on my own and Mr. Trim came along to take photos. The guide who was teaching the class remarked that it was like having our very own paparazzi. Mr. Guide, welcome to my life.

Here are some of the highlights of the day :)

Learning to paddle on dry land. Air paddling is harder than it looks. That is, until the guide notices you're holding the paddle upside down. After that, things make a lot more sense.



Out in the water at last. I did not fall in. My boat was called the Solander.



It started to sprinkle while we were out. Such is West Coast weather. I'd also like to mention I'm wearing a size small lifejacket. Tee!



The water was surprisingly warm and a lovely deep green. I'm doing a canoe maneuver here. Note: it's not the way to turn your boat around as I soon learned.



Out in the bay. There were two seals that kept popping up around us. I also saw two ravens as well as a rabbit on the shoreline. The rabbit kept running around a bush like crazy while I was trying to listen to the instructor. Nature is fun.



Speaking of which, there were scads of jellyfish in the water. I kept trying not to hit them with my paddle. Mr. Trim amused himself by taking photos of them while I was out of camera range. Random fact: he took 178 pictures of jellyfish alone. At the very least, he's easy to keep amused!



Coming back to shore. Look! I didn't lose my paddle!



I'm backing up to get into a better position to dock. You can't tell, but I'm imagining my kayak is beeping while going in reverse.





All in all, a great day out. If I had the money and a place to store it, I'd buy a kayak today.

Seventy-seventh Weigh-in



Since I didn't make it into weigh-in this weekend, I'm reposting my chart from last week. Even still, I've been keeping an eye on my weight using my home scale and I appear have gained from last time.

I'm not sure the extra points are to blame; I've been feeling rather bloated and yick because of something unexpected I ingested* on Tuesday. The feeling is almost past, but I'm still not feeling quite normal yet. It's good that I'll have another week to get sorted out before a real weigh-in. And, as always, I know that when trying anything new (in my case, an extra point per day), you need to give it at least two weeks.


* I tried a new drink at Starbucks - a blended lemonade. I'd drunk about a quarter of it when I realized that it was filled with bits of unidentifiable plastic. Hurl! I took it back after work. Didn't get much satisfaction from the manager; she didn't seem to care much what it was or how it happened. I received only a refund of my drink for all the hassle. I did try a non-plastic laced lemonade later that week. It was good but much higher in points than I realized. PSA: it's 4 points for a Tall.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quick Friday Update

I haven't posted a real update in a while, so here it is, point form!
  • Yoga: Still going, still really like it. There's a meditation/relaxation thing we do at the end on our backs; I've fallen asleep the last two times we did it. I hope I didn't snore.
  • 8k: I'm running an 8k race this weekend. It's the same one my friends and I did last year with our very own police escort. I'm looking forward to NOT repeating that experience, hehe.
  • Kayaking: Tomorrow I'm learning to kayak! This means I won't make it into weigh-in as usual. That feels a little weird.
  • Maintenance: It's funny how quickly you get used to eating a certain amount of food. Whether it's 19 points a day or 24, the body adapts. Boy, how I've adapted!
  • Coffee: I'm actually thinking of getting a decaf this morning. Maybe fauxcoffee isn't that bad.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

Fear less, hope more. Eat less, chew more. Whine less, breathe more. Talk less, say more. Hate less, love more . . . And all good things are yours.” – Swedish Proverb

Eddie Bauer’s first look at fall

Now's about the time when the fall previews start coming out at various clothing stores. As I absolutely ADORE fall clothes shopping and I can finally buy permanent clothes instead of transition clothes, I'm particularly jazzed to see what's on the fashion menu this year.

The first out of the gate is Eddie Bauer. They sent me an email this morning with a link to their Fall 2008 lineup. There's pages for both women's and men's fashions. Eddie Bauer carries clothes in petite as well as plus sizes.

Of their new fall line, there's a number of cardigans and pants I like the look of. The pants especially because their pants fit me really well. However, what I'm most excited about is the scarf pictured here. The colours make me think of hot apple cider and cavorting in the leaves. Some gals love shoes, but I'm a scarfaholic. Fall shopping, love it, love it, love it!

As I find more fall previews, I'll be sure to post them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Want coffee

When a friend from long ago wanted to get pregnant, she went to great pains to ensure her body was a temple of health before, during, and after. I remember raising my eyebrow at some of her more extreme measures and quietly shaking my head. Now it's my turn. And guess who's doing the same thing? Ah, the irony. Let me be a shining example of it.

The soonest I can get the go-forth-and-propogate blessing from my doctor is in August. In the meantime, I've been charting my temperatures, looking up baby clothing patterns, and just generally getting all baby crazy. My latest "do something" plan is to cut out caffeine.

Generally, I don't drink a lot of coffee or tea; perhaps three cups a week. But as soon as there's a self-imposed rule against it, it's like I've got to have it. Yes, I know that they say you should limit caffeine but you don't have to cut it out completely. But, like that dear friend of mine, if there's anything I can do to increase the chances of conception and a happy healthy baby, I'll do it.

On Weight Watchers, we're taught that if we want it, we can have it. Chocolate cake? Chips? You can have it! Doesn't quite work in this scenario. I like caffeine.

Even still, beggars can't be choosers so I tried the next best thing and found a substitute. Decaf or "faux" coffee as I like to call it. I'm trying to pretend it's real coffee. If I squeeze my taste buds and mind juuuuust right, I can almost believe it.

But really, who am I kidding? It's like cauliflower fauxtatoes instead of the real deal. Okay, maybe not that bad, but perhaps caffeine withdrawal is making me exaggerate...but only a little.

As I sit here sipping a cup of fauxcoffee, it's become apparant that sometimes substitutes don't always work. If I can't have the real coffee, I might as well give it up completely until such time as a Teeny Trim comes along and is off breast feeding.

It's going to be a long year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Make mine a blueberry

I made another batch of Quaker Low Fat Honey Bran muffins. This time there was a bowl of fresh BC blueberries on the counter before I started. I looked at the blueberries. I looked at the muffin mix. I looked back at the blueberries. And I knew it was fate.



Delicious low-point blueberry muffins in a snap. Fate indeed.

Read the original review for points, nutritional information etc. The points value isn't affected by the addition of blueberries either. 3/4s of a cup adds perhaps 5 cal per muffin. Blue bliss.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The last link

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell



The last link in my milestone bracelet completes and begins the cycle. A key to match the last charm I received from Weight Watchers. It reminds me that that though one chapter of my life is ending, another begins. May I never forget the door that brought me here or fail to recognize the doors ahead.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Review: Slow Cooker Ropa Viejo

After spying a new crockpot recipe on my Weight Watcher's homepage, I had to try it: Ropa Viejo! Apparently, the name means "old clothes." Not very appetizing, hey? But it was very good nonetheless. It's also Core, which is always a bonus.


Ropa Viejo with mashed potatoes


To begin with, I halved the recipe because it makes a lot. Preparation was easy and took about 30 minutes the night before. My crockpot tends to cook fast, but leaving it for 10 hours didn't dry out the meat. The only other variation I made was substituting parsley for cilantro.

The result was as promised: a slightly spicy vinegary stew. I was worried it'd taste completely like vinegar, but it didn't; it just lent a small kick to it. I also raised an eyebrow over the inclusion of an apple, but it really added to the flavour and complemented the vinegar. The meat still tasted like typical "I've been stewed in a slow cooker all day" meat but I don't mind that. In fact, that's one of the things I love about crockpots!

Serving size is list as a 1 1/4 cups. However, I should mention that "stew" is not really an apt name for it. After cooking, it's mostly shredded meat with a bit of veggies and a small amount of liquid. As a result, I found one serving to be way too much meat for my taste. Instead, I measured out half a cup and served it over a similar amount of mashed potatoes. It made a relatively low-point and filling meal. Mr. Trim and I really enjoyed it.

I'll be making it again for sure but probably in the fall. Delicious but a bit too heavy for summer!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Seventy-sixth Weigh-in



I'm down again, this time .6 lbs. It's strange. Since I consciously switched to Maintenance, I've finally gotten what I wished for - to be in the 120s.

I'll be the first to admit that, in spite of the end goal, there's a part of me that still wants to go lower. But I made myself (just now in fact) adjust my daily points allowance. One more point. If I thought 4 points was a windfall, 5 extra points is a bona fide landslide.

This is also known as the "I don't have to pay" edition. I made up a little song with that exact phrase and danced around the house before I went to the meeting.

"I don't have to pay!" *dance*dance* "I don't have to pay!" *dance*dance*

When I got to the meeting, I accidentally went for the box where my folder usually is. After I realized it was in the Lifetime box, I sang the song in my head again and wiggled silently to myself. And when I got home, I sang the song again but with a slight difference.

"I didn't have to pay!" *dance*dance* "I didn't have to pay!" *dance*dance*

Seriously, not having to pay is absolutely awesome. I just did a quick calculation and realized just how much I've spent on Weight Watchers to get to this point - over $1400 at least. It's a shocking figure, but it's small change compared to all the benefits I've reaped. There is no price on health!

Even still. I didn't have to pay. *dance*dance*

Friday, July 18, 2008

Eating the real thing

In our quest to get the lowest point treat as possible, we sometimes overlook the obvious. We can have the real thing. In fact, the real thing might be better for us for a few reasons. One, it's less likely to have mystery chemicals in it. Two, it might satisfy us better than having a copycat. Three, it's likely to be cheaper.

Consider the humble fudgsicle. I realize it's not the epitome of a nutritionally sound food, but it is a treat that I often crave. On one side of my grocery store's freezer are the "diet" offerings. Laughing Cow, Breyer's sugar-free, and so on. On the other side, the real deal. To get my frozen fix, I naturally gravitate towards the diet side. “Diet” foods have less calories in it, so they must be better for me, right?

And then I started comparing ingredients. My intestines are extremely sensitive to sugar alcohol (think bomb squad) and so out of consideration to Mr. Trim and my cats, I avoid it wherever possible. Unsurprisingly, just about every one of these treats had some form of sugar alcohol or mystery ingredient in them.

Now I know that sugar alcohols have been deemed "safe" but they haven't been out all that long. The advisablility of the "ols" aside, it's the other ingredients that raise my eyebrows, too. What are these things? Manmade, likely. Unpronoucenable for sure. And where would these chemicals wind up in my body? Just how much was I trading in points-value for health?

That's when a wild and crazy idea popped into my brain. Why not have the real thing? How bad could it really be? So I picked up the regular fudgsicle box and was surprised to find that it wasn't all that bad at all. In fact, it was only 1 point more than its sugar-free counterpart.

On one hand, I could have a smaller "fake" fudgsicle for 1 point, more money, and a slew of chemicals. Or, I could have the real mccoy for 2 points, less money, and less chemicals. (The other obvious choice is not to have it at all and avoid the sugar, fat, and chemicals altogether. But that's not terrifically fun.)

I’m not saying that all specialty “diet” food is bad, either. They do have their place. If it keeps you from binging, all the better. If pre-portioned packs are more convenient and help you with portion control, by all means. I myself can't be in the same room with an open bag of chips; it has to be preportioned or you'll find me hiding a crumpled and empty bag in short order.

In the end, I wound up getting the box of real fudgsicles and enjoyed every one of them more than any of diet treats I've eaten in the past. They felt like a real treat, both physically and mentally. A nice cool fudgsicle from my youth on a hot day just satisfies. Mind and mouth.

The next time you're in the store and find yourself reaching for the diet food, indulge in a bit of detective work. Pick up the real thing and really look at it. Nutritional information, ingredients and all. You might just be surprised by what you find. Not all “bad” foods are that bad.

The Postman knows my name

My free Crystal Light pedometer came in the mail! I accidentally put "Tiny Trim" as my real name on the request form, but fortunately the postman delivered it anyways. Yay for Canada Post! Anyways, it's a cute pedometer, came with a free packet of Crystal Light, and some random propaganda.

If you haven't ordered yours yet, head over to CrystalLight.ca and register. Thanks again to Brodie for the heads up!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday’s Thought

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

New Product: Quaker 100 Calorie Bars

There's two new 100 calorie bars out in Canada now. Made by Quaker, they come in two varieties: Sweet & Salty (Almond) and Dipps (Chocolate Chip). Both bars are 2 points each and are similar in nutritional value. For the chocolate bar, it's 100 calories, 4g fat, and 1g fibre. The Sweet & Salty is the same, except it has 3.5g fat.

The taste? They're tasty. I will give them that. The sweet and salty is a nice mix and the dipped bar has a nice chocolaty coating. However as tasty as they are, I won't be buying them again.

One, they trigger my binge tendencies. I kept going back to the boxes and eating them. Two, they are unbelievably small and thin. The picture below just does not do justice to how small they are. That's a dessert plate, not a dinner plate. They're also less than half an inch thick.



These things are so small, it takes just four tiny bites to eat them (and even then that's stretching it). Because I like to get bang for my points values, these aren't worth it to me. I can think of lots of other things that I could spend those points on that are more filling, healthier, and don't cause me to inhale the whole box. That's the danger about tasty but excessively small snacks – it's too easy to eat lots of them.

But hey, if you don't mind the points values and trust yourself more than I do, it's worth trying if they're on sale.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Seventy-fifth Weigh-in – Lifetime achieved!



Bodies are mysterious things. I went down 2.8 lbs this week despite having eaten an average of 26 points per day. I know if you lose weight, you're suppose to add another point, but I'm going to give it another week just to see. Despite aforementioned surprise at the scale, usually my body takes two to three weeks to adjust.

In other news, I achieved Lifetime status. That's my charm. I kissed it when my leader handed it to me. It was a heady feeling when, at the end of the meeting, my membership was transferred over into Lifetime. I was also given a new weigh-in book and a Lifetime membership card.

It seems surreal that after all this time I no longer have to pay the weekly fee or even go every week. However, I plan on going as much as I can. It's my Saturday morning ritual and I like being accountable to someone.

I promised myself that on the day I achieved Lifetime, I'd do two things: 1) buy a Lululemon hoody and 2) take my wedding rings in to be resized. After my meeting, I did both. The hoody is so well made, so soft, and so cute. I'm really glad I splurged on it. And my rings? They'll be done around the 25th but that's another blogpost in of itself.

Lifetime feels good. No, it feels GREAT.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The benefits of weight loss

During one of my Weight Watcher's meetings, our leader asked the group what they thought the benefits of weight loss were. Maybe nobody had their coffee yet, but there was more than a few long awkward pauses during that discussion.

Today I'd like to fill in that cricket-filled pause. I often tell people that benefits and non-scale victories happen as you get to goal, not when you get to goal. So, I've put together a list of all the things that happened to me along the way as an example.
  • Started to like fruits and veggies
  • Discovered stomach and leg muscles
  • Clothes started to fit looser
  • Had the stamina to walk a 10k race
  • Face started looking thinner
  • First compliments came after only a few months
  • Old tight clothes fitting again
  • Became less afraid to appear in photos
  • No longer felt tired after grocery shopping
  • Bought a bra without crying
  • Exercise is becoming fun and something to be enjoyed
  • Lower back pains significantly diminished
  • Was able to reduce medication for depression
  • Dentist says I look like a completely different person
  • Donated 28 lbs of too-big clothing to charity
  • No longer had to shop in plus-sized stores
  • Bought a new fall wardrobe in "regular" sizes
  • Am told I'm acting more confident
  • Walked a half-marathon
  • Wedding ring falls off and has to be moved fingers
  • Recurrent dream about being overweight no longer haunts me
  • Doctor extremely excited and proud about my weight loss
  • Fit into an old pair of "skinny" jeans
  • Not embarrassed to go to social events
  • Can finally fit into clothes at Mountain Equipment Coop
  • Compliments keep flowing in
  • Confident enough to sign up to exercise classes alone
  • Discover I have a ribcage
  • Wedding and engagement rings fall off completely; both put into safe storage
  • An old ring fits again
  • Can wear husband's underpants again
  • Cat discovers there isn't a "perch" on my hips/bum anymore
  • Lung capacity makes my voice stronger for voice-over work
  • Discover that I like eating healthier more than eating junk food
  • Ran a 10k race
  • Can squeeze through tight spaces without brushing up against anyone
  • Discover I have "neck things"
  • Parents are extremely proud of me
  • Coworkers are starting to emulate my healthy habits; am told that I was an inspiration for one of them to start losing weight
  • No longer embarrassed to ride my scooter again
  • Bad cholesterol lowered
  • Doctor and receptionist both extraordinarily impressed with the improvement to my health
  • Bought a bathing suit without crying
  • Can wear size "small"
  • Not embarrassed to go swimming
  • Thighs no longer rubbing together
  • Realize I'm more outgoing and self-confident than I've ever been
  • Intrinsically believe that there's nothing I can't do
And that's just the tip of the iceberg! There's even more beneath the surface, ready to be discovered.

I hope that by looking at my list you'll be inspired, too. Whether you're just starting out or on your way, you have so much to look forward that it's downright exciting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Recruiting fair

I managed to get off work a bit early and made it to the recruiting fair at my Weight Watcher's centre. There were two really nice ladies from head office who went through a little presentation about how the shifts work, the perks you get, and what they pay. The pay isn't much, but the perks would make it worthwhile to me. I get to give back what I was given and I'd also get discounts.

There were two other members aside from me and we were all asked to say how much we had lost, what we liked most about Weight Watchers and what we did for a living. When I said how much I'd lost, there was gasps all around. One of the ladies said that I was such a small woman it was hard to imagine me looking heavy. That was a really nice compliment :)

Currently, they're looking for people to work during the day. As I'm only available in the evenings, I don't think it's likely that I'd be hired anytime soon. I still put in an application (for receptionist) for them to keep on file. Whenever there's spots available, they go through the applications and call the ones they're most interested in for an interview.

Even if I never get called, I still really enjoyed learning some of the behind-the-scenes details for leaders and receptionists. All in all, I think it went pretty well despite the fact I was sporting some pretty awesome helmet head from my scooter ride, hehe.

Why I ♥ Maintenance

It's my fourth day of Maintenance and I'm really enjoying it. Really, really, really enjoying it. And yes, I'm kicking myself because I didn't start this sooner.

I'm told that some people are afraid of the extra points when they get to Maintenance; that they'll gain the weight back. I was a little hesitant at first. But when I got to the end of my first day, I felt more relaxed about eating than I have in a long time. I felt more in control and less deprived.

Up until Sunday, I'd been in losing mode. And consequently I was always like a twitchy rabbit. Always eating veggies and ready to bolt for freedom at the merest whiff of danger. Or, in my case, chips, cheetos, and cheesecake.

Now I can take my time, choose my foods and not worry so much about whether it'll put me over my points allowance or cause weight gain. In addition, those extra four points have allowed me to really expand my meals. I've been using them to get in more whole grains and protein. As a result, I've been in a constant state of satisfaction.

And while I've always tried to make sure I had enough to eat in losing mode and to indulge when I needed it, there was always that slight edge of hunger, deprivation, and hyper-vigilance. After 17 months, Maintenance was the right kind of change.

For those who are not yet to their goal weight, I'm hoping this post will give you something else to look forward to. You still have to be careful of what you eat, but there's a certain amount of freedom (and food) that comes with it.

Ironically, I finally broke the 120s on my home scale this morning. Yes indeedy, I do love me some Maintenance :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Get your beat on

If you're like me and like to work out to high-tempo music but are a little sick of your personal collection of tunes, here's a couple of free podcasts that fit the bill:
  • fitMusic: They've got tonnes of workout mixes available. Visit their site to download (right-hand column, under "Download this week's mix") or use iTunes to subscribe. To find it in iTunes, search the iTunes Store for "fitmusic.com fitmix archives."
  • Podrunner: My absolute favourite of the two. High-beat and high-quality mixes perfect for running or any sort of exercise. Subscribe through iTunes (easy way) or download them individually from DJ Steveboy's website (click on Podcast archives and then expand the arrow next to each mix). To subscribe, search for "podrunner" in the iTunes Store.
Both podcasts feature hour-long mixes which are great for longer workouts. Best of all, they're perfectly free. Do you like free? I like free. Free is good!

Oh, and if you're new to podcasting, here's a quick tutorial on how to download them with iTunes. Anything more than that, I recommend using Apple's support docs or googling for instructions specific to your mp3 player. I barely know how to get them onto my iPod so I'm pretty much useless for support ;)

What a difference four points makes

Yesterday was my first full-day of maintenance. I never thought I'd be this excited about getting four more points. Having been at 19 points a day for so long, four points is a windfall. Giddy is an apt description.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Seventy-fourth Weigh-in



I'm down 1 lb and back at my goal day weight. It seems damage control worked. For this week at least, maybe not so much next week!

In other news, I'm considering applying to work at Weight Watchers. There's a couple months before baby making can commence, and I'm thinking it'd be nice to pass forward what I've been given in return. And to make a little extra money on the side though I understand it's not much. Wednesday is the recruiting fair, I'll post if I go.

That's it for me. Hopefully everyone else had a good week. If not, there's always an opportunity to re-commit. Get out there, enjoy the summer weather and don't forget the local strawberries!

Friday, July 4, 2008

The end goal

After years of weight gain and two diet attempts, I'm at it again...What's different this time? I want a family. My weight is a very large obstacle to that.” – TinyTrim, February 2007

Ignoring the fact that it's a little dorky to quote oneself on one's own blog, I thought it apropos to bring that snippet out from the past as an explanation for the present.

After having met my weight loss goal, it's good to be reminded that the real goal never changed. It may have been temporarily forgotten, sidelined, sidetracked, but it was always there. To add a wee one to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Trim.

During the last number of weeks coasting along and trying to figure out what to do with myself after having reached goal, it finally came to me. In trying to get down to a lower weight instead of getting used to my body now, I was actually postponing "the big decision."

In actuality, the time is now. And this is why I'm finally moving to Maintenance. I'm getting my body out of losing mode and into making mode. I've started taking prenatal vitamins and have a doctor's appointment in September to get the all-clear.

What will happen to my blog? For now at least, I'll continue to post as I have been, still with Weight Watchers as the main theme. If a bit of baby sneaks in, hopefully you can't blame me :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Starbucks light frappuccinos = summer Part II

Just in case my update to the previous thread is missed, I wanted to set the record straight on the points value for tall mocha light frappuccinos. They are most definitely 2 points. I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is :)

The NI for one is 110 calories, 1g fat, and 2g fibre. Note, that it's just 1g fat and not 10g fat. There's 10 calories from fat, but not 10 grams of it. It makes a big difference as points are calculated on grams of fat and not calories from fat.

I used all three calculators available to me (the online calculator, my paper calculator, and my handheld calculator) to triple check the points value. I also looked up the points value using Weight Watcher's online database. All four methods yielded the same results: a tall mocha light frap is 2 points.

Though I'm 100% confident in my calculations on this one, as always, I encourage everyone to double-check points values found on the internet. You just never know!

Itchy long weekend

Sorry for the lack of updates lately. After having come off an extra long weekend, it was nice to take a break from blogging and such. I'll be using my blogger wand to turn back time and post a few things that I was up to as well as a product review.

Before I do that, I'd like to put it out there that swimmer's itch sucks. I'm an itchy mess! But at least I got out there in public no less and had a nice relaxing swim. Next time though, I'm heading for a pool or a nice river. *attempts not to scratch*

EDIT: Okay, all done with my magic wand. Scroll down to read more :)

Tiny goes to Yoga

As part of my New Year goals, I went to my very first Yoga class last night. After having researched Yoga and getting muddled up by all the different types, I finally settled on Hatha Yoga. Since "Hot Yoga" scares me, Hatha seemed relatively calm in comparison.

Fortunately, it was a good guess because the class was very relaxing and the instructor was great. She was an older slightly plump woman that exuded an indefinable sageness and calm. She led us through introductory poses as well as yogic breathing. I felt so calm and fluid afterwards that I can't believe I've never tried it before.

As everyone in the class was of all body shapes, sizes and abilities, I didn't feel out of place at all. If you've never tried Yoga, I highly recommend it. I can't wait for next week's class.

Namasté!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Review: Dr. Oetker's Light French Vanilla Mousse

This post could also be titled "Dr. Oetker, I love you." Seriously, this was the best tasting dessert I've had in a looooong time. Yes, it tastes a bit like pudding made from a box, but the texture was so light and creamy that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

To make it, you whip together the mousse powder with a cup of skim milk. After it's all light and fluffy, you spoon it into cups and chill. That's it. I love simple.

I served it in small bowls topped with fresh grapes. The fruit was such a nice compliment to the mousse, that I can't imagine having it without. I also didn't notice the artificial sweetner which normally I do. Though to be fair, I think the grapes helped with that.

Each box makes five servings. One serving is 1 point for half a cup. Yes, that's right. Sinful and low in points. Please feel free to double-check the value yourself.

Dr. Oetker's light mousses (moussi?) come in three different flavours, all similar in NI: French Vanilla, Milk Chocolate, and Strawberry. For more info and NI, visit Dr. Oetker's site and give him my undying love.

*yum!*

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Canada Day!

A belated Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends! I'm glad to report that after the excess of the weekend, I spent the day perfectly on track and in control.

In the morning, I participated in the HBC 3K Walk for Canada. When I saw other people running instead of walking, I decided to run as well! Normally I do run/walk intervals, but this time I thought I'd try to run the whole way. And I did it! I believe I came in fifth, too. At the finish line, we all received a really beautiful silver medal.

If you've never done the HBC walk (or run), I highly recommend it. You get a shirt, a high-quality medal, and a bag full of product samples and other free goodies as part of the registration fee. Visit the official site for more info.

The rest of the day was spent with friends hiking around a lake followed with fireworks in the evening. At the end of the day, I'd earned 10 Activity Points and had eaten on plan. I always love it when that happens.

Lastly, this blog post is brought to you by Local Strawberries! It's strawberry season here now and wow are they ever good. Small, juicy, red through-out, and oh so sweet! Best part is, zero points for a cup. Eaten on their own or with a dollop of light Cool Whip and you'll be in heaven.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Seventy-third Weigh-in



Sorry for the delay in getting this one up. I was away for a mini-vacation this weekend. I went up 1 lb this weigh-in, which is to be expected considering the number of eating blow-outs I've been racking up.

Speaking of which, this past weekend was quite the bender. Remind me why I shouldn't eat until I hurt. Oh, that's right. Because that leads to 70 lbs of weight gain. And it wasn't like it was extremely tasty food either. I just kept trying to find that one meal that tasted so good it was worth all those calories. I never did find that one meal. It was all mediocre from start to finish. Meanwhile, four bajillion calories later and my insides weren't so happy with me today.

Needless to say, this week is damage control. Which is rather ironic because I've been working up to a particular decision for a few weeks now. Yep. Maintenance. I had pretty much decided to start on it this week. After this weekend though, it'll have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, I'll be doing lots of reading and research while I do laps around the block trying to work off two days of excess.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Starbucks light frappuccinos = summer

As the sun finally starts shining in my neck of the woods, I'm once again reminded of my dear dear friend of last summer. The Starbucks light frappuccino. Seriously sinful and low on points. Plus, there's new flavours to try this year.

If you're hankering for a frosty treat, get thee to your local Starbucks. A tall mocha light is only two points. Ask for it double-blended for an extra-creamy treat. Want to try other flavours? Be sure to check Starbuck's nutrition calculator before you go because not all light fraps are created equal.

Update: To the anonymous poster who said the above points value for the tall mocha frap light is wrong, I kindly suggest recalculating because it's most definitely 2 points. The NI for one is 110 calories, 1g fat, and 2g fibre. Note, that it's just 1g fat and not 10g fat. There's 10 calories from fat, but not 10 grams of it.

I used all three calculators available to me (the online calculator, my paper calculator, and my handheld calculator) to triple check the points value. I also looked up the points value using Weight Watcher's online database. All four methods yielded the same results: a tall mocha frap is 2 points.

I know it's too good to be true, but it is :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm thinner than I think I am

I'm still amazed at how a number of my pre-weight loss mindsets still float to the surface. It's like they're never truly gone; they wait just below the surface only to emerge in awkward places like the dressing room.

Case-in-point...I mentioned on my last post about some poor eating choices I'd been making. As a result of that, somehow I thought that I had gained so much weight as to go up in a number of clothing sizes. I actually found myself thumbing through sizes that were too big for me. When I caught myself doing this, I made myself try on a smaller size. It was an honest-to-goodness kick in the head when I found it fit me.

What went through my mind at that point? "I can't possibly fit in a size this small, I've been eating out of control." It's the same sort of thinking I had even before I gained weight to begin with. "I can't possible fit in a size this small, I'm not good enough." As a result, I never even tried on smaller sized clothes. I expected disappointment and I received disappointment in return.

Maybe that's exactly why I became so overweight? I saw myself as large and unattractive. I wasn't really. But I believed it and I became it.

Now here I am at square one. Back where I started before I put on weight. Rummaging through the racks looking for larges, thinking I'm not good enough, that I can't possibly be allowed to try on small sizes, that I'm not worthwhile.

If you're itching to smack me right now, I don't blame you. Fortunately, there's a difference this time. Though I didn't recognize it at first, I was eventually able to identify that old sneaky thought pattern before it successfully crept onto me like a badly-fitting puce-polka-dotted frilly-cuffed mark-down shirt.

I don't kid myself that it won't try again. (Fashion disasters lie in wait for us all.) But when it does try again, I'll remember this: I'm thinner than I think I am. But more importantly, I just have to believe I'm better than the image I have of myself. Because if I believe it, I will become it. And maybe then I won't come home from the store with plaid stirrup pants and poofy pink shirts.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seventy-second Weigh-in




I'm down 1.2 lbs and back to where I was at goal. It's been three weeks since goal and as you can tell I haven't done anything about Maintenance. I'm a little lost, to tell the truth. I've had more than a few bad eating choices. Ah, how I wish the stories about life after goal were not true. It is hard. I still keep scrabbling back on the wagon so that's something at least.

I did receive some encouraging news though that's made me feel better. A couple of my husband's acquaintances through work lost weight using Weight Watchers and have been very successful at keeping it off. Though I know many people over on the WeightWatchers.ca forums have been successful, it still really helps to know someone close at hand who's done it. It's an uplifting thought.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

1-point Apple Cobbler

I love the internet. I typed in "applesauce graham crackers cool whip weight watchers" and immediately found a recipe using those ingredients. I'm reprinting it here because it's too good not to share and the website I found it on might disappear.

1-point Apple Cobbler

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 packet Splenda
2 tsp graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp fat-free Cool Whip

In small individual-sized bowl, mix applesauce, cinnamon and Splenda. Microwave on high for 50 seconds. Stir. Sprinkle crumbs over sauce and top with Cool Whip. Serve immediately.

If you use light Cool Whip as I did, unfortunately the points round up. Count it as 1.5 points in that case. Also, if you make your own crumbs, don't make them too fine or they'll fade into the sauce. Lastly, feel free to skip the Splenda. I've made it both ways and I prefer the non-Splenda version.

Warm comfort in a bowl.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Geronimo!

Way back at the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to complete an obstacle course in the trees. The weather finally cooperated and I was able to achieve my goal over the weekend.

Before I go too much farther, let's dive back in time. In 2006, I went to the obstacle course park but didn't particpate. The truth was, I had the athletic prowess of a potato. I also didn't want to face the embarrassment of not being able to haul my large bum around in the trees. So all that really remains of that trip is this photo of me at the park, trying to look happy about not participating.



Fast forward two years and 70 lbs later, I came back to the park on Saturday and completed the entire course, all the way up to and including the black level. My body has changed, there's no doubt. But my mind's changed, too. I could've done that course at any weight. I wasn't too heavy; my belief in myself was too light.

At any rate, here are the pics of my adventure. My apologies to dial-up users :)


You want me to go where?



Soon enough, I was swinging through the trees. Literally.




DontlookdowndontlookdownDONTlookdown!




Hey, I can see light through my thighs!



If you look carefully, you can see the white-knuckled holy-crap grip I have on the rope. Swinging logs = not my friend.



Just to give you an idea of how high up I was...



Zip lines are so freaking fun!



Climbing down towards the end.



Finally, me on the same bridge as in 2006. This time, 70 lbs lighter and 100% geekier in a climbing harness.