Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 14

There was no Bootcamp for me tonight. Instead, like the last minuter that I am, I bought an RRSP. For those visiting from beyond Canada, there's a flurry of RSP buying that happens in February. We do it so we don't have to give the government anymore income tax than is absolutely necessary.

Since I was so behind with everything, I was late phoning the bank and wound up with the last appointment they had. Which, unfortunately, coincided with tonight's Bootcamp. Boo. I like saving tax and all, but I'd much rather spend an evening being yelled at by a petite French dynamo in MEC spandex. But hey, I guess I should be happy and a little shocked that my bank was even open during the evening. Unheard of!

Play Along at Home: Since the RSP deadline is now over as of this writing, I guess it's a bit pointless for me to recommend buying one as part of playing along. But hey, better late than never. If you haven't thought about savings, maybe start today? Put a penny in your coin bank and tell 'em Tiny sent you.

The bump returns

A few weeks back I mentioned a bump in the road. It's come back, but it's okay. It's good.

On Monday, I was finally contacted by the good constable who interviewed me two years ago. They want me to testify at the upcoming sentencing hearing. It was almost a relief to finally know they wanted me, instead of waiting and jumping at phone calls. At the time, I declined to make my decision until a number of my questions were answered.

The constable called back today with answers. Now that I know I won't be plastered over the news (there's a publication ban on all victim names) and that he won't be there, I've agreed to testify. Whereas on Monday I wanted to throw up, today I feel determined. And I feel strong. I am no longer a nameless victim living with shame. That little girl all those years ago finally has a voice and she will use it.

It's a rather silly comparison, but I've been thinking about it this way: the strength and determination that's seen me through my weight loss will see me through this, too. When I was overweight, I really didn't love myself and felt weak and powerless. But now that I have a year of success under my belt, I can do anything, even this. All I have to do is start the ball rolling and let my tenaciousness do the rest.

The next step is for me to write out a victim impact statement this weekend. Then I'll meet with Crown Counsel and the good constable who will go over the process with me. After that, sentencing towards the end of March.

Okay, so maybe I still want to throw up a little. But I'm nowhere near as bad. Not by a long shot. My shoulders are squared, my chin is up.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

1992 and a number on the scale

Guess what I'm wearing? My 1992 grad ring. I haven't been able to wear it for years. Occasionally I'd find it rolling around in the jewelery drawer and wonder how I ever managed to fit such a teeny looking ring on my finger. Heh. If only I'd took it as a sign that the ring hadn't shrunk and that – as inconceivable as it seemed – I'd done something so outrageous as gaining weight, hehe. But hey! It's fitting again!!!

I also saw a number on my home scale this morning that I haven't seen before. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, so I'm not going to jinx it any further by mentioning what it was. Fingers and limbs crossed for my weigh-in this Saturday.

Lastly, I wanted to apologize for not visiting everyone's blogs as much lately. Work has really gotten busy again and there's little time in the evenings between Bootcamp, running, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. etc. I promise I'll do the rounds soon; I can't wait to catch up with everyone!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 13

I'm afraid this one will be a little short because I'm writing it a few weeks after the fact and my memory is a little fuzzy!

Tonight we went on another field-trip, this time to a local playground. We brought along resistance cords which the instructor had us loop around miscellaneous bits of playground equipment to do upper body strengthening exercises. I used to think playgrounds were fun places, haha!

The rest of the evening was a blur, but I do remember one thing rather distinctly. While we were doing pushups on a balance beam, one of the ladies asked if anyone had lost weight due to Bootcamp. One of the guys spoke up and said that he had lost 6 lbs. I don't even know his name, but I gotta tell you that when I heard him say that, I was super impressed.

Yes, guys tend to lose weight more easily than women. But, this particular fellow seems to be on a journey of his own. He's slightly overweight and he struggles every single week during Bootcamp. There were times when I thought he'd pass out. But, he always works through it and keeps coming back, giving it his all every time. It's truly impressive.

Nameless Guy at Bootcamp: you rock. I salute you!

Play Along at Home: Try adding some resistance band training into your regime. I found a video on YouTube showing one of the moves we did this evening at about the 1:10 mark. For bonus points, do it outside at a playground using a swing set pole. Extra super bonus points if you can do it without kids asking you what you're doing.

Duration: 01:17, Calories: 554, HR Average: 73%


Confession time. I'm a jumpy nervous mess and it's gotta stop. I keep getting heart-thumpy whenever I think about it and since I've been thinking about it an awful lot lately, I'm like a sugarbug and it's high time I put it to rest.

What am I thinking about? Getting into the 140s. I've been nervous and excited about it for weeks now. There was even a night back in December when I couldn't sleep because of it.

The 140s was when my weight gaining years started in earnest. This means that once I get into the 140s in the present day, I'll have undone all those years – ten years to be exact – of poor eating, lazing on the couch, and generally not taking care of myself. It's unbearably exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time knowing that I'm so close to achieving this. On one hand, it'll be a great achievement, on the other hand, it was the weight range where everything went wrong to begin with.

*deep breath*

I just need to stop thinking about it so much. It'll happen when it happens and I won't let the past dictate my future. Now all I have to do is say that a bajillion times a day until I believe it.

EDIT: Thanks for your feedback, everyone!

I don't think I wrote my post very well. I'm more "giddy excited" nervous than anything else. The fact that it was the 140s where things went wrong, isn't weighing as heavily on my mind as the fact that it'll be an awesome huge accomplishment for me. I'm like a kid before Christmas, super excited, can't sleep, desperately waiting for the day to come, hehe.

As for the small niggly fear about the past repeating itself, I've been telling myself I won't be in the 140s for long so it's a non-issue, ha!

Monday, February 25, 2008

It's time for the hottest party

I bought Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party for the Wii last week and finally had a chance to really play it. I strapped on my heart rate monitor so that I'd know just how much I sweated during it. Sooner than you can say "Down, down, right," I'd burned 200 calories. Well, okay, it took almost an hour, but because I was having so much fun, it didn't seem like it.

If you're wondering what on earth I'm talking about, DDR is a dancing/rhythm game where you have to step on a special mat. The mat is divided into four arrows (up, down, left, right) and plugs into your console. You step on the arrows in time to the music and action onscreen. It's very fun, very addictive, and a lot harder than it looks.

Fortunately, you don't have to be all that coordinated to have fun and earn some activity points. That's not to say it doesn't help of course. Mr. Trim has been laughing at me non-stop and finds it equally amusing when I earn a "D" and do a little victory dance.

Highly recommended as the most fun "exercise" doodad you'll ever have. DDR is currently available for the Wii and the Playstation.

Duration: 0:53, Calories: 203, HR Average: 54%

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tweaking Wendie

For anyone interested, I've finally added my Day 11 and 12 Bootcamp posts. Scroll down to see them.

In other news, my first week on Wendie went pretty good if not exactly on plan. I was bang on for every day except Friday. I was so stressed I could hardly eat. I didn't meet any of the healthy guidelines, let alone meet the point allowance for Wendie. That's okay, though. I got back on track on Saturday and now I'm looking ahead to this week to see what I can do different.

When I first started Wendie, I followed the points exactly as written - from Day 1 through till Day 7. However, I see now it doesn't work as well for me because of when my weigh-in is. So, I'm making a small change. Day 3 is now my Day 1, and the rest of the days flow from that in the same order as given on the plan. This puts my SHD as far as possible away from my weigh-in and ensures I don't have a high day right before it either. This is my new plan lest I lose it:
  • Day 1: 23 points
  • Day 2: 37 points (SHD)
  • Day 3: 22 points
  • Day 4: 26 points
  • Day 5: 24 points
  • Day 6: 22 points
  • Day 7: 27 points (weigh-in)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Review: Deep Chocolate Vitamuffins

I finally found a box of Vitamuffins at Safeway. They weren't cheap: $4 for four muffins but I bought some anyways. Especially because, through some sort of voodoo magic, these muffins are really low in points. 100 calories, 1.5g fat, and 7g fibre. Calculate it and you'll see how spooky (but awesome) it is.

When I got them home, I microwaved one for 30 seconds (it was frozen) and had it with a cup of tea. The chocolate chips became gooey and the whole thing was pleasantly moist. It was very yummy and had a nice chocolate flavour to it. I'd buy them again!

Some words to the wise:
  • They're small (about the size of a 1/3 cup measure)
  • Microwave them for optimum moistness and avoid the non-frozen ones (many people have found them to be too dry)
  • They have teeny kernels of something with the texture of hard sawdust. You can see them in the closeup picture as light brown flecks. You mostly don't notice them, but every so often you'll bite down on one and wonder what the heck it is. Even still, I liked them enough that I could forgive this small bit of occasional unpleasantness for such a low-point treat.

*Does not come with toonie.

Fifty-fifth Weigh-in

As one of my running clinic leaders is fond of saying....slowly, surely, successfully. I'm down another .6 lbs today and this time there was no fudging involved. I'm pretty sure I'd be down even more if it weren't for the fact that I'm (too much information coming) constipated. Work is to blame for that. When I get stressed, things go sideways with my intestines.

At any rate, I'm still pleased. Though the scale isn't moving quickly, I am showing a difference. People keep commenting that I appear "trim" (have I said how much I love that word?) every time they see me. And even, as was the case at my meeting today, people are really surprised that I'm not already at goal. I love people :)

I'll leave you all with a great quote one of the meeting members shared today:

Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”
– Alexa Young

If you think about it, it's very profound. We can't change past mistakes – poor eating choices or otherwise – so why hold on to them?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 12

I was on my own tonight as Mr. Trim was still recovering from having all four wisdom teeth out. I didn't really want to go as work had been so stressful, but I knew I needed to. I was half hoping we'd do another round of ball kicking like on Tuesday so I could work out some frustration, hehe.

Instead, we did another fun warm-up game (I love these games) in an unused outdoor basketball court. Our instructor had laid down pieces of rope in a winding path. We had to walk along the rope, doing whatever she was doing up at the front of the line. So, lots of jumping, arm raises, skipping, etc.

Next we went for the run/walk. This time, I decided that by gum I was going to walk it. I'd been running every single night of the week and I was darned if I'd guilt myself into running more. I needn't have worried. Another participant guilted me into it. I'd been doing a great power walk when the girl ahead of me turned around and told me to keep up. What???

So, I mentally stuck my tongue out at her and started running. I passed her, all the other walkers, and caught up with the two other runners. And I kept with the runners for the rest of the run. Thbbbbbpt! Sometimes I think life would be easier if I weren't such a bull-headed Taurus, hee!

We also did something new with the wobble boards. We were each given a pair of boards. You stood on one and then placed the other one on the ground off to the side. Then you had to step over to the new board, stop, squat down and reach back to pick up the one you just stepped off of. Rinse and repeat for the length of a basketball court. There was a lot of giggling during this one.

The remainder of the class went by relatively quick (but not easy, again I was paired up with the instructor). At one point the subject of smoking body parts came up. Our instructor bemoaned the fact that the first place she starts steaming in cold weather is from her pelvic area. As it was a class of all women, that set off a lot of jokes about smoking crotches. Too funny!

Play Along at Home: If you can find one, try out a wobble board (also known as a balance board). They're deceptively simple looking but try doing a squat on one! Some beginner exercises can be found here and here.

Duration: 01:18, Calories: 542, HR Average: 72%

Took the bacon and ran

Just a small update from me today. Work isn't going well and I'm no longer a leggy blonde (too tired to strut!) I know I have a few Bootcamps to report on but it might have to wait until the weekend. Still doing Wendie. Don't know how I did it, but managed to eat 37 points yesterday. Maybe splurging on bacon for my Subway sub helped? It was only a point and I've worked it off and then some between Bootcamp and the running clinic. Anyways, hopefully everyone else's week is going well!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today I'm a leggy blonde. I move up and down the stairs at work with purpose and flawless Pantene hair. The muscles in my legs are strong and propel me along as I stride to the local coffee shop. I toss my hair and stretch out a leg but I only get strange looks from my coworkers.

So what if I'm a short slightly-overweight frizzy-haired brunette? Today I'm a leggy blonde.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 11

We started the night with a warm-up as usual, but the game was different. We had to do whatever the instructor said (don't we always?) kinda like Simon Says, but really fast. Run in one spot really fast, run sideways really fast, turn around in a circle really fast, turn the other way really fast, and so on. It was a lot of fun, but really dizzy, too!

The rest of the evening was pretty much par for the course. The only thing that really stands out for me was when we had to partner up and I got stuck with our instructor. You had to rest your elbows on your exercise ball while holding a knee plank position with the rest of your body. Then your partner kicks the crap out of the ball all while you try to hold the pose.

I got more than a few sympathetic looks and groans as our instructor is all leg muscle and man can she kick! I fell off the ball twice but I aimed to give as good as I got, so when it was my turn, I kicked like crazy. I wish I could say that I managed to get the ball away from her, but I can't. I was huffing and puffing and smacking that ball while she was leisurely holding on, looking at her stopwatch and yelling at everyone else to keep going. LOL. What a woman!

Play Along at Home: As part of your post-workout stretching routine, try something new - the Child's Pose. It's very relaxing and feels good for your lower back.

Duration: 01:17, Calories: 620, HR Average: 77%

Having fun with Wendie

I'm really loving the Wendie Plan. Which is funny because I didn't think it was anything more than reallocating my points. Pffft. What do I know? Because that's exactly why I'm loving it.

Normally I save up the majority for the weekend and don't spread them out very well. Which is really dumb when I think about it because my body needs fuel every day of the week and not just one or two days. Wendie gives me a plan to follow and I really like that.

Tomorrow is my Super High Day. I'm looking at the points and it's inconceivable to me to eat so much. Not that I'm not going to give it the ol' college try of course. But it's strange; I have no desire to spend them on junk. Heck, tonight I could've had any 4-point treat I wanted and instead turned down the pudding, the packaged treats, and any number of unhealthy things.

Yeah, I know. Who am I and what have I done with Tiny Trim???

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ring Toss - Part II

Since switching my wedding rings to my right hand back in October, they haven't been so loose as to fall off. Not any more. A couple of days ago my engagement ring came off. I thought it was a fluke. It fell off again just now (as I was putting my new DDR mat away, but that's another story).

Fortunately, I felt it come off, but I think it's about time that I put both rings away in a safer place. I've come this far now and might as well wait until the end before I get them resized.

I can't help but feel I'm in the home stretch now :) :) :)

UPDATE: I've put my rings into the ring box I made for our wedding day eight years ago. I'm feeling naked and a bit weepy (sad and happy) without them. I'm thinking I might ask Mr. Trim for a special interim ring :)

Wisdoms and Wendie

Just a quick update from me today. Mr. Trim had all four of his wisdom teeth out this morning and I'm home from work taking care of him. He's sitting on the couch right now watching what I've affectionately called his Alien Soap Opera.

I've decided to try the Wendie Plan for this week at least. I had a look over the Core material and saw that I'd need to get a lot more organized before starting it. Since this week is pretty much a wash with taking care of Mr. Trim, I thought I'd save myself the stress and do Wendie instead. In a week I'll see where I'm at.

Oh and thanks for the suggestions on doing Core using Flex principals. That makes awesome sense, you guys rock!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fifty-fourth Weigh-in

I'm down .6 lbs today. But it's not a true loss. I cheated my weigh-in. You know how you weigh less in the mornings? And if you go back to bed for a few hours, get up and weigh yourself again you're often a pound or so lighter? It's because you lose water as you sleep. Even if you didn't know this, I've known it for a long time and I used it to my advantage this morning.

Why? Well, yesterday I weighed myself and found that the scale was slightly up. What the heck? I have been so gosh darned good for so long, I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it if I gained at today's official weigh-in. So I deliberately slept in much longer than normal - four hours longer than normal.

Yeah. I suck. My name is Tiny Trim and I'm a scale junkie.

But seriously. I've been awesome. I've been meeting the healthy guidelines like I'm the poster-child for Weight Watchers. I've been exercising like I'm trying out for the Olympics. I even won the battle of the box for goodness sake. You'd think the scale would do some serious dropping. But it isn't.

I've been thinking about it and thinking about it and the only conclusion that I can come up with is that I'm just not eating enough given my current exercise level. That's why I bought a heart rate monitor so that I'd know for certain.

Now that I have a week under my belt of knowing exactly how many calories I've burned, I sat down today and did some calculations. Surprise, surprise. I've been averaging less than 1,000 calories per day of net consumption. Now I'm no expert, but even I can tell that's just not enough food. It's surprising given that I've been eating all of my Activity Points and most, if not all, of my Weekly Allowance Points.

I'm left thinking of two options. Try the Wendie Plan or try Core. I know many people have had success with Wendie as well as Core. But Core scares the beejebus out of me. It gives me the jibblies because I feel like I have no "off" switch when it comes to portion control. Even still, there's something appealing about being able to eat as much as I'd like of healthy food. Then again, Wendie sounds good, too, because I can stick with Flex. But even then, would I be eating enough to sustain my body?

Much to ponder. I'm going to think about it today and hopefully come to a decision.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 10

Call me a hopeless romantic but I just couldn't find it within myself to make the husband and I go to Bootcamp this evening. After looking into the tired eyes of the man who got up at 5 a.m. to make me an extra special awesome out-of-this-world breakfast, I knew I'd win Worst Wife of the Year Award if I dragged us out into the cold to be tortured by our teeny instructor.

So we stayed home, ate sushi, cuddled on the couch, played Wii, and – lest we create the mistaken impression we're anything less than hardcore – we even went for a gentle walk around the neighbourhood. Booyeah. We're so tough.

Play Along at Home: Curl up on the couch, eat California Rolls and play Zack and Wiki. If you start feeling a little guilty, go for a half hour walk.

The box

8:00 a.m.
I arrive at work. Thankfully, no Valentines goodies in sight.

9:02 a.m.
The boss arrives. He's placed something on a table. I glance over and see a gold box.

9:15 a.m.
The boss announces that there's Valentines treats. Nobody moves.

9:33 a.m.
The boss opens the box.

9:45 a.m.
A coworker saunters over and takes a foil-covered chocolate. Aha. I know what I'm up against.

9:50 a.m.
Another coworker takes one. I sip my coffee and watch him out of the corner of my eye. I know for a fact he doesn't wash his hands after using the washroom.

10:12 a.m.
Still sipping coffee. The voice of logic tells me that the chocolates are foil-wrapped so technically they're safer from unclean hands.

10:25 a.m.
I walk past the box. It's Lindt chocolates. I whisper to them, "You have no power over me."

10:37 a.m.
They have power over me. But I'm still not succumbing.

11:50 a.m.
I've convinced myself that my unclean coworker touched every single one of the chocolates and that foil-wrapping is porous.

2:01 p.m.
There's six chocolates missing from the box now. They must have disappeared while I was fixing the boss's laptop. I idly wonder if there'll be a break out of gastro-intestinal illness in the office soon.

2:25 p.m.
A coworker tells me to take a chocolate home to my husband. I ask if any of them are white chocolate. She tells me I should eat one and find out.

2:26 p.m.
I am not eating one.

3:22 p.m.
I'm sipping water and haven't glanced at the box in almost an hour. I'm staring at it now because I swear it's staring back.

3:24 p.m.
I remember that I have a small piece of 65% Madagascar dark chocolate in my purse. Who needs a big ol' piece of germy chocolate from a communal box?

3:35 p.m.
I get up to refill my water and do a head count. There's seven missing. Where are they going?

4:11 p.m.
I'm eating carrots and hummus. My coworker comes to my desk to ask what smells so good. Certainly not a boring ol' box of chocolates, that's for sure.

4:15 p.m.
Aha! I finally catch someone taking a chocolate. I need more exciting coworkers.

4:18 p.m.
They're disappearing like hotcakes. One more gone. Twelve minutes to go.

4:33 p.m.
Success! I'm tempted to stand by the box and do a z-snap except there's coworkers everywhere. I z-snap in my mind instead.

I have the best husband in the world

My husband is the best darned man in the world. He woke me up this morning with flowers and breakfast in bed. Not only was that sweet, but it was extra awesome because he found a recipe for Weight Watchers Applesauce pancakes, bought the ingredients, got up extra early and made them all by himself.

I sat in bed for a good ten minutes looking at this plate of perfect pancakes in absolute amazement. He doesn't know how to cook. I mean, making cereal, yes. Making spaghetti, yes. But mixing together whole wheat flour, baking powder, and so on? Unheard of.

I was so flabbergasted that I took everything out into the kitchen and took a picture of it in case I was dreaming. And yes, that is no-sugar added pancake syrup. I'm the luckiest gal in the world ♥

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another year, another 10k

Can you believe it? It's already registration time for the same 10k my husband and I walked last year. I just signed us up again, but this time we're going to be running it. It's amazing how far life can take you in one year, isn't it?


In case anyone is interested in the little reminder program I found, it's called Stickies and it's made by a chap in the UK. They work just like postit notes, except without the paper. You can set them on a recurring timer so they popup every day at the same time. That's a screenshot of my Beck ARC reminder – it pops up at 8:30a and 4:15p.

I can also see them being useful to remind you to drink your water, take your vitamin, or just get up and move around if you're stuck in a computer chair all day. The documentation is good, so it's an easy enough program to learn. You can even change the look of them with skins. Nifty!

EDIT: Did I say it was free? It's free. No strings attached!

Beck: Days 1 and 2

As mentioned in my previous post, I finally worked up to Day 2 of The Beck Diet Solution. Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed that it took me so long. Day 1 had me stalled big time. Though I had no problems writing up my reasons for losing weight, it was creating the reminder system that I had troubles with.

I don't like being attached to time. I like to flow along with the river. Me and reminder systems? Pffft. So being told I had to post reminders and postit notes all over the place with some very personal info on it wasn't my idea of realistic. So I sulked for a few days then realized I was being an "avoider" just like the book said. Busted!

I'm happy to say that I did come up with a reminder system that so far seems to be working. I typed my ARC into a text file that I have at home and at work. I installed a little program that pops up and reminds me at certain points of the day to read it. And for whenever I'm not around the computer, I've set an alarm on my watch.

Comparatively, Day 2 was a breeze. I know that the Flex plan on Weight Watchers works for me, so that's my first diet choice. My second choice is the Core plan. I also have a third choice just in case it was "cheating" to choose the same program.

Today I'm practicing Day 3. We'll see how that goes. I already messed up with the first thing I ate this morning, oops!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bootcamp: Day 9

Tonight's Bootcamp was all about balls. Exercise balls! We warmed up with the ball, we ran with the ball, we dribbled with the ball, we did crunches with the ball, we did squats with the ball, we did resistance training with the ball, we tossed the ball, we sat on the ball, we fell off the ball (okay, that was just me), we even did yoga with the ball. It was Night of the Living Ball.

I did not love my ball so much after that workout.

In fact, it was pointed out to me that my ball was lacking in the size department. I bought it according to my height, but apparently it's still too small for what we're using it for.

I wasn't the only one with ball problems, though. There was one girl whose ball was sad and deflated. Every time she sat on it, it sounded like Chewbacca. (Her words, not mine, I fell off my ball at that point because I was laughing so hard.)

I guess it's time for ball shopping again!

Play Along at Home: has a nice list of ball exercises. No, I'm not making that up. Bonus points if you can make your ball sound like a Wookie when doing the Core Crunchers.

Duration: 01:16, Calories: 505, HR Average: 70%

My day in 10,000 words (or less)

Just a quick update today. I was busy at work. Had Subway for lunch (did you know that some of them have dijon mustard? that was the best discovery ever). Did Bootcamp. Burned 500 calories. Love my exercise ball less than usual (more on that later). And finally worked up to Day 2 of the Beck book (also more on that later). Now I'm going to crawl into bed and read Day 3. Hopefully everyone else's day went well!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Aha! Moment

There was a post on the message boards the other day that got me to thinking. The question raised was this: what was your "aha!" moment when you realized you needed to lose weight?

For me, there was never any defining moment. There was lots of really uncomfortable things I put up with, but none of them prompted me to do anything. They just kept collecting and building up in the corner of my mind as things to shy away from because they were too shameful to address. I just told myself that I was "okay" the way I was and that I was destined to be overweight for life.

So what was it that prompted me to finally act? It wasn't when I couldn't fit into the chairs at my insurance broker's (I call them "skinny ass" chairs). It wasn't when a coworker's wife pointedly asked me if I had diabetes (because I was overweight like her). It wasn't when a ski shop employee told me he couldn't fit me in a boot because my legs were "too fat." And it wasn't when the driver's license clerk read me the riot act because I hadn't changed the weight on my renewal and I wasn't getting away with saying I was thin when I obviously wasn't (I didn't mean to get away with anything, it was an honest mistake).

Aside from the fact that there are an awful lot of really tactless people and chairs out there, none of them alone prompted me to act. I started Weight Watchers because I felt I had to in order to accomplish something else. Not because I thought I needed to lose weight. I know that sounds kinda weird, but there it is.

I know that many of us have had that one crystal-clear defining moment that prompted them to act and to see them through their journey. Not me. I just showed up at a Weight Watchers meeting and kept going. In fact, now that I look back on things, I only really looked ahead a few steps at a time. I still do that now. Occasionally I'll pop my head up and look at the big picture, but the rest of the time I take it day by day.

As it turns out, I know now that I did need to lose weight and that I still need to lose weight. It was never okay for me to resign myself to a lifetime of unhappiness. And perhaps that's my aha! moment right there.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I ♥ Jazzercise

There's nothing like jumping in the deep end. I bypassed regular Spinning classes and dove headfirst into a "super spin" class this morning.

Three observations:
  1. It was as hard as I thought it would be.
  2. Don't have a big breakfast too soon beforehand.
  3. Never underestimate the power of Jazzercise.
There was no messing around with this class. It was long, it was hard, I sweated buckets, but I survived. I had eaten a big breakfast about half an hour before class which was a big mistake. I just about tossed it up over my handlebars. Next time, I need to get up earlier to eat. Heh.

Just when I thought I couldn't last any longer, and the instructor was about to mete out more punishment, a Jazzercise class showed up uncommonly early due to a scheduling mixup. Consequently, our class was cut short, and I felt such an outpouring of love for all Jazzercise aficionados the world over. I still love spinning, but I think I love Jazzercise a tich more.

Duration: 01:11, Calories: 538, HR Average: 75%

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fifty-third Weigh-in

:) :) :) :) :) :)

For this week at least, the slow weight loss is broken! I'm down 1.4 lbs! And you know what? Though it was nice to see the scale finally budge, I left my weigh-in feeling more proud of my physical changes than anything else. Even still, who doesn't like to see the scale move in the downward direction? It took over a month of hard work but it was worth it despite the frustration.

For those people who've survived plateaus and slow weight loss, my hat is off to you. Though mine wasn't as bad as other people's, I know firsthand just how difficult it is to manage.

So what caused the scale to budge? It could've been my body finally adjusting to the extra exercise. Or it could've been a few of the changes I made this week. Small changes to be sure, so who knows if they impacted the scale or not? For anyone curious, this is what I did differently:
  • Started taking Omega 3-6-9 supplements
  • Reduced packaged treats (even more)
  • Ate more raw almonds
  • Met the 8 healthy guidelines consistently
  • Took one night off of running
  • Mostly didn't eat after 8:30p
Looking back at my week, I only had one WW 1-point chocolate cake on Sunday. The rest of the time I snacked on fruit, almonds, or 1 to 2 of those Lindt dark chocolate pieces. Everything else was pretty clean eating. I'm really surprised but pleased about that; I hadn't even been trying to eat so well. But then again, I think the You on a Diet book is to blame; it scared me into eating better, hehe.

Anyways, have a great day everyone! And thanks for your patience, support, and suggestions on surviving :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Review: Polar F6

As promised, here's my review of my shiny new toy: a Polar F6 heart rate monitor. In the box there is the watch, a transmitter band, and an instruction/warranty booklet.

There are two styles of the F6 - men's, and women's. Mine is a women's style though the thing is still really big. Reminds me of those old calculator watches. Despite its size, it's still pretty with a floral design around the watch face. It also comes in pink and black for women and just black for men.

Setup was easy. First, you enter your details into the watch as per the instructions. Next, you strap on the transmitter, making sure you moisten the contact strips. Then you press a button on your watch and bingo! Your heart rate will appear within 15 seconds and will stay that way, giving you real time updates to it.

With a few more button presses, it'll start to record your heart rate, calories burned, and duration of the workout until you stop it. After stopping it, it'll give you a summary of these figures, with an average and a maximum heart rate.

I was worried that the transmitter wouldn't stay put or that it'd be uncomfortable. However, it stayed where it was supposed to and after awhile, I forgot about it.

There's a lot more settings to it than I've tinkered with so far. I know that you can switch it from beats per minute to heart rate percentage (the latter being most useful to us WWers in calculating intensity levels) and that it records up to 12 of your workouts that you can review. If you want it to alert you when you've reached a particular heart rate zone, it can do that as well.

You can also download software to your computer that enables you to change the watch settings (including the logo on the front) or to upload your exercise data to an online tracking program. You will need speakers or a microphone to do it, but it's pretty nifty - it transmits info using bleeps and bloops from your speakers or your watch.

The first thing I did was install a new logo from Polar's logo gallery. That's my new watch face on the left; it's just too darned cool. I've also played around with uploading my exercise file from the watch to the online program. There was some trial and error (on my part), but once I got it working, it worked like a darn. The tracking program looks like it'll be very useful in recording my exercise. I like that I can go in and see info about each of my exercises, including calories, and heart rate percentage.

As to price and where I got it: I ordered it from the Running Room and it was $125 plus tax. The US retail for this watch is $119, so I think it was a pretty good deal. You can also find F6s at any of Polar's dealers, Mountain Equipment Coop (men's only), or Sport Chek.

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to take the guess work out of calculating calories burned during a workout. Thanks to this lil' baby, I now know how many activity points I should be recording...and eating!

Bootcamp: Day 8

We were indoors for some of Bootcamp last night, but spent most of it on a little field trip. Our instructor had us run up to a local rec centre then do a bunch of exercises there with resistance bands. There's nothing like working out around a busy rec centre with parents and kids coming and going and gawking at you, hehe.

She'd have us to do some sort of exercise, then we'd have to run after her as she went ahead to another area. She used bike racks, curbs, stairs, trees, a hill, and so on as props to vary the exercises. The trees were the most fun despite the rain and the mud. We had to step on an exercise band with both feet, haul up the handles to our shoulders and then waddle, duck-like, around a bunch of trees. I did rather well at that, but wow, did I ever get muddy!

I also tried out my new Polar F6 last night for the first time. I think I paid more attention to the watch than I did Bootcamp, heehee. I'll say more about it in a separate review though. I'll get that up asap!

The rest of the evening was spent in the gym with core exercises and yoga. Another great night at Bootcamp!

Play Along at Home: An exercise ball is a great way to condition your core. In particular, our instructor loves to make us do crunches and back extensions.

Duration: 01:16, Calories: 523, HR Average: 71%

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Lean and mean

In other news, I've been feeling rather lean this week. I've been noticing sticky outy bits like bones (up until now I thought there was only fluffy white stuff keeping me together). There's also definition in my legs, too. And I have something that I'm pretty sure is a ribcage. Yes, a ribcage of all things. I keep touching it because I can't remember the last time I had one.

It’s in!!!

My Polar F6 finally arrived. I just have to walk down and get it on my lunch break. Exciting! A nice piece of good news in an otherwise turbulent week.

Update: It's official. I love it. I tried it out at Bootcamp tonight; the photo shows its inaugural workout. I'll do a full-review of it later. Love it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

New find: Lindt dark chocolate bites

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a dark chocolate connoisseur. Sure, I like it, but I don't love it. However, these little packets of 65% Madagascar dark chocolate are sinfully good. There's an exotic flavour to them that hits the right spot. They're small, but they go a long way. I take a good long 10 minutes to savour it.

You can find them in the bulk section of grocery stores. I'm estimating them to be about 1 point each because I'm having a heck of a time finding nutritional information for them. I went with what had to say for about 5g. Though I weighed one using my food scale, it's not an exact weight (but it's pretty close).

Bootcamp: Day 7

There was a real humdinger of a wet and wild West Coast storm moving in last night, so our instructor decided to be "nice" to us by letting us work inside the gym. Little did I know what she had in store for us – circuit training. *cue blood-curdling scream*

Okay, I know, that doesn't sound so awful. And it wasn't really. It was just very tough. Essentially, we had to work at each station for a minute at a time. There was probably 20 stations in total and they were either some form of cardio or some form of resistance training.

The cardio was the most difficult – between each station you had to skip rope or run up and down two flights of stairs. The resistance training involved resistance bands or weights that we used to perform any number of moves we had previously learned. The hardest of these stations was one where you had to sit on a wobble board, hold a v-pose, and do the "kayaker" movement with an 8lb weight. I didn't accomplish anything on that station except for sliding off and laughing a lot.

As if that wasn't enough, the mats the instructor put down were the most stinkiest, dirtiest, vilest mats in the world. And let me tell you – it was more than enough motivation to hold any given pose for as long as possible to prevent the barest minimum of your body from touching those skanky mats.

The evening ended with a power walk outside combined with weights. As we walked, we had to do bicep curls, lateral raises, etc. I worked out a lot of stress with that walk and I felt more than refreshed when we came back and did yoga. Great evening. Even if it was indoors ;)

Play Along at Home: Find a skanky mat (or a clean one) and try a few bicycle ab exercises. Tip: the dirtier your mat, the more apt you are to keep moving.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New book

I'm still working through You on a Diet, but decided to add a new book into the mix: The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck. I finally found it at a bookstore last night and literally devoured the first fifty pages. There was so much that I could relate to on an emotional scale. I still have issues with food and am looking forward to tackling them. Especially now as I get closer to goal. I want this weight to be gone for good and not sneak back again when I let my guard down.

I've read through to Day 1. I bought some index cards and a notebook on my lunch hour as instructed. Tonight I'll do the first task if I have time after Bootcamp. It feels good to have something to focus on instead of dwelling on the bump I mentioned below.

The roadbumps of life

Today I was given quite the bump. It's too much to write out all here, but if you're interested, I posted a thread about it on the forums. The thread is a little backwards because of a glitch in the forum software; it starts on the fifth post down.

It's exhausting to think about it much more but I am feeling better. Whenever someone says there is no support on the forums, I just grit my teeth. Though there are some bad apples, the majority are wonderful and caring people. They all came through for me and there's no words to describe how grateful I am.

Thankfully, I don't feel like drowning my stress with bad food. In fact, it was indirectly because of all this that I made the decision to lose weight way back when. I needed something to focus on. It amazes me sometimes that there's a bright side to everything and that some things happen for a reason.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Let me in

I'm really tired today. I didn't have a good sleep last night. It seemed like every hour my kitty would paw me in the face to be let in under the covers. He'd snuggle in for half an hour, then decide it was time to do kitty jobs around the house (drink, eat, chase his sister, get in trouble). But after all his jobs were done, he'd be right back. *paw*paw*paw* until I let him in. Rinse and repeat for the whole night! Usually he isn't that needy. But how can I be mad at him? He's soft and he snuggles in the crook of my arm and purrs like I'm the best momcat in the world.

My heart rate monitor isn't in yet either. I know I could go to any number of stores in town and settle for the man's version or a pink woman's version, but darn it, I want the green one!

I'm still reading You on a Diet. There's a few things in it that I'm trying. For example, they say you should walk 30 minutes a day, even if you happen to do other exercise. They also say no eating after 8:30. They don't actually say why you shouldn't eat after that time, but what the heck. It can't hurt and I've heard other people say the same thing. If anyone is interested, they have a "99-second edition" of their book online. It's not very well named though. It's more like the quick version of their diet/lifestyle plan.

Anyways, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard now and it's only mid-afternoon. Time to make some green tea!

The boy is the one with his head on the top. His sister is on the bottom and she likes to pester love my husband more.

If you can hold on...hold on

Yesterday was the last day of my beginner's spinning class. I'm already missing it! Which is a strange thing to say considering we did a full hour of spinning which was really tough at times. But the tunes were good and I dug in and found it within myself to keep going during the 80% tension portions, hehe.

Speaking of tunes, the song I've posted above was one that our instructor played. Aside from a very good biking song, I really like the lyrics. Especially the part that says "If you can hold on...hold on." Now I know this song is about something entirely different, but I like the meaning of that phrase. It applies to many things in my life. Weight loss for certain, and my battle with depression, too.

Holding on is hard. But you know what? The very act of holding on is sometimes the only thing preventing us from letting go.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Progress Pictures: One year later

Though I'm not much further down since the last time I posted a progress picture, I felt like I needed the boost just to see just how far I've come in a year. And how far I've come!

The one on the left is me at around 204lbs, a month before I joined Weight Watchers. The one on the right is me today.

I didn't know I had a double chin. Fortunately, I lost it and gained something else...a jawbone. Ha!

Fifty-second Weigh-in

It seems rather anticlimactic to post this particular weigh-in. I stayed the same this week. But you know what? I'm okay about it. I kicked up the exercise like crazy and I know the loss will eventually happen. As a very wise member said to me, "Just know it will break. If you stay on plan. It won't ever break if you don't." Thanks Amazon. I big puffy heart you!

And thanks everyone for your well-wishes on my one-year anniversary. I couldn't have made it this far without you! Next up...progress pics!

Happy Anniversary

Can you believe it? It was a year ago today that I walked into my local Weight Watchers and said "I gotta lose me some weight!"

In that time I've come a long way. It's also hard to believe how quickly the time went. I remember when I was bugging out after only two months and thinking a year sounded like an eternity! But here I am, hopefully a bit wiser, and most definitely lighter.

Here are some of my favourite moments from the year past:

  • Feb 16 – I start to think exercise doesn't suck
  • Mar 13 – I eat all my veggies before dinner
  • Apr 29 – I walk a 10k and don't die
  • May 26 – I achieve my 10% goal
  • Jun 19 – Old tight clothes are fitting again
  • Jul 5 – I update my look and start to think I'm not half bad
  • Aug 1 – I no longer have to shop at plus-size stores
  • Sep 7 – I donate 28lbs of baggy clothing and go fall shopping
  • Oct 8 – I walk a half-marathon and don't die
  • Nov 22 – I discover cheese is only 1pt more on a Subway sub
  • Dec 1 – I get my 50lb charm
  • Jan 10 – My Curves report says I've lost 47.25" since Mar 07

Lastly, a special thanks goes out to you, my readers, who've suffered through my long-winded posts, supported me when I was down, and gave me high-fives when I succeeded.

Here's to continued success for one and all. If I can make it this far, anyone can :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Me on a Diet Book

So yesterday I finally bought You on a Diet and spent all evening on the couch, in the bedroom, and yes, even in the washroom reading it. It's a very interesting and enlightening book and I'm wondering why I didn't buy it sooner. In a nutshell, it tells you in simple terms the science of hunger and digestion and what goes wrong when you fill your body with crap.

The book is written in a very accessible style. It uses funny metaphors instead of jargon to explain how the body works. I can see how some people might be put off by this style, but I prefer it to techno-babble. I laughed more than a few times!

The only thing so far that I don't like about it is their occasional referrals to you, as the reader. It's hard to explain it, but it's almost a little rude and condescending. I think they were just trying to be funny in a "we're laughing with you, not at you" sort of way. Fortunately, it doesn't happen too often and the rest of the info is more than worth it.

I'm not even a quarter of the way through the book and there were so many lightbulb moments that I've lost track. The biggest thing (no pun intended) I learned is why many health professionals are saying that we should be more concerned with our waist size than our BMI. Part of it has to do with this thing called an omentum that we all have.

Omentum is belly fat and it literally hangs off our stomachs. The bigger it is, the more dangerous to your health it is and the more problems it causes. Take it from me, after seeing their diagram in the book, I'm completely grossed out by the thought of how big my omentum was and how it's still too big.

If you want to know what a normal omentum looks like compared to a big omentum, try the following link (WARNING: GROSS, GRAPHIC, AND TMI, don't say I didn't warn you), courtesy of Oprah. If that isn't an incentive to not to fill your body with crap, I don't know what is. Yuck, yuck, and more yuck.

There's much more to the book than our omentums though. It also talks about inflammation due to poor eating, how our small intestines are like a second brain, the work our poor liver has to go through, and much much more. Presumably the book will also go into what we can do to retrain our eating habits, what to eat, how to exercise and so on. I haven't gotten there yet, so I'm only going by the table of contents.

There's also a diet plan in the back of the book. When I get to that section, I'll see how it meshes with Weight Watchers. I'm hoping it'll give me a better idea of nutrition. I think I'm doing pretty okay with it so far, but I know I can do better. Fortunately, any cravings I've had for 100-calorie packs are entirely squooshed...for now ;)

So far, two thumbs up. I'd give it 4 out of 5 stars if I were reviewing it on Amazon.