Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hope everyone had a most wonderful Christmas!

The Beau and I were fortunate enough to see most of our loved ones over the Christmas holidays (we only missed my Grandma, who was out of town) and, though we had a lot of traveling to do, we didn't encounter bad weather until we were on our way home, so that made it all the better.

And what a holiday it was! We were wined and dined everywhere we went and had it all, from steak and prawns to lamb to turkey; homemade chocolates to butter tarts to Christmas pudding; eggs Benedict and candied bacon; brie and bacon marmalade; cured sausage and crab dip.

Needless to say. we'll be on salads for the next week!

This is also why I skipped the weigh-in yesterday; really, it just wasn't worth it. I'm not even going to pretend I might have lost weight and, honestly, I didn't really want to know how much I'd gained. But January 2 is fast approaching (and is also a Wednesday) so I'll be able to hit reset then and focus on getting my weight down.

I've also discovered why starting a weight-loss plan in January is such a good idea: after all that rich food during the holidays, it's much easier to move to a diet of healthy food in the New Year! And I will be doing just that.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WW Weigh-In #50

Holding steady:

Last week: 189.0 lb
This week: 189.0 lb
Total lost this week: 0 lb

So far so good through the holiday season, even if I'm not likely to hit my 185lb target by December 31. It's been a food-laden month, that's for sure, and my body finally revolted this past Sunday. After a few days of wine and deliciously rich food, I was throwing up in the morning as my body purged itself of too much salt, sugar, fat and all those other wonderful things that come along this time of year.

A two-hour nap had me feeling just right and I've been making sure to eat lots of salads and lean protein this week. And I feel so good doing that too.  I wonder if this is what I needed? This afternoon I went looking for a snack but the idea of chips or chocolate made me queasy so I ended up with a chicken wrap. Sure, the wrap is probably more than I should have for a snack but it's definitely better for me than junk food. And I feel satisfied and not gross after eating it.

After this week is done I'll have more time for myself too. I've got one Christmas present to finish making and all our presents to wrap and we leave Friday night for the first stop of our family tour so I've got to get on that!

I do love this time of year but I'm also looking forward to things slowing down a bit!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

WW Weigh-In #49

A day late and no pounds short:

Last week: 189.0 lb
This week: 189.0 lb
Total lost this week: 0 lb


I had a fantastic workout yesterday and I feel great today and it's a very important reminder of why I need to exercise more often. And now that things are a bit quieter at work I have no excuse (other than my own laziness) for not making more time to work out.


I've also got to start thinking about how I'm going to slim down for the wedding.


Yeesh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The conundrum over the other dress(es)

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not the most patient person. This is even more obvious now that I'm planning a wedding.

The Beau and I are thisclose (THISCLOSE!) to confirming our venues (ceremony and reception will be in two different places, despite our best efforts) but we just need confirmation from our reception venue. And, seriously, I'm all like, "WHAT ON EARTH is taking so long?!? Don't they know we're getting married in 11 months?!?" I mean, come on.

So to distract myself I've taken to obsessing over bridesmaids dresses. And my ability to obsess is inversely proportional to my ability to be patient. (I think I phrased that properly; what I meant is that I'm super good at obsessing and super bad at patience, but I was trying to find a fancier way of saying that.)

But back to dresses. We've picked colours (hurrah!) and I thought I had dresses picked out, but then the Beau commented on another one that he liked and it just so happens I also like it so now we're all about that dress. The one we both like is long and the ones I had picked out before were short and had different options for the top. The Beau likes those as well but now it's just so hard to make a decision.

I know I have to take my 'maids out shopping and have them try on the dresses and see what works best. And they have all said they'll wear anything, which is simply wonderful and amazing. We're looking at a November wedding date so long seems appropriate...but there are more top styles available for the short dresses. And they're in different fabrics: the short ones are stretch satin, which gives a more formal look, while the long one is in chiffon, which gives a softer, less formal look. I can also easily picture all my bridesmaids in all the available styles so that doesn't make it any easier.

But then I feel like a horrible person if I tell them that they have to wear the dress I pick out for them and that's it. I guess if I can just be patient with this as well (dammit!) and wait for the day when I can get them all together to go shopping, all my troubles will be solved.

Stupid patience.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A big step forward with the wedding

Actually I've made two big steps forward with the wedding planning: I have confirmed my bridal party and I've bought my dress!

When it came to choosing my bridal party, my maid of honour was a no-brainer: my BFF who I've known for almost 10 years (!!!), who I've worked with and lived with and consumed far too much wine in one sitting with. And I didn't so much ask her as tell her, "You know you're my maid of honour, right?"

I was then fortunate enough to have four other wonderful women agree to be beside me on my wedding day and I couldn't be happier. Both of my future sisters-in-law will be there as well as two very close friends I had the good fortune to meet through the Beau, who also happen to be fantastic women.

The Beau has started getting his groomsmen in line too, which is very exciting. I consider us a very lucky couple to have such fabulous and amazing people in our lives to not just have at our wedding but have with us at the altar. It just makes it that much more special, you know?

Oh right, and I have my dress! I was going to go to a wedding show in January and try to find a good deal on one in a cavernous room full of dresses - which, I'll admit, was a daunting thought. But David's Bridal was having a year-end sale so I thought I'd check it out, see if I could find one.

And I did!

Alas, not only was it not on sale it was a bit above my budget but it is The Dress and there was really no way I could walk away from it. It is everything I thought I'd pick out (lacy, ivory, figure-flattering without being skin-tight) and everything I didn't think I'd want (strapless, with a bit of tulle). But I love it. LOVE IT. I love it so much. And my maid of honour was there with me and she made me feel like a princess, so clearly it was the right choice.

It feels great to have these items crossed off my to-do list but I realized I face another challenge: finding a dress for these five wonderful women. It's not until you're actually doing it that you realize shopping for five women is rather strange and no small challenge. Though I've got a good idea of what I want and a few colours picked out, so I'm confident it will come together nicely.

Now to just find a day when all six of us are available...that may prove the biggest challenge yet!

WW Weigh-In #48

I seem to have fallen into a terrible pattern of blogging the day after my weigh-ins. Though as long as I'm weighing in, it's all okay, right?

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 189.0 lb
Total gained this week: 1.2 lb

And up again we go. Sigh. I blame it on the tin of Quality Street chocolates I bought. I think I need to ban all chocolate from our house. That said, I've only got to lose 4 lb by month's end to hit my revised year-end target. I'm still hopeful I can do it.

Though in four weeks it will be my 52nd weigh-in; in those four weeks, I'd love to drop 4 lb to mark my one-year weigh-in-versary with a small victory. Yeah, I like the sound of that.

I'm really making an effort to exercise more and to get more vegetables, which I'm sure will help. I will get there! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

WW Weigh-In #47

I'll be honest: I didn't get on the scale yesterday. I had to work and I'm currently knitting a hat for my brother so that took centre stage. But I did weigh in today, so we'll go with that:

Last week: 189.4 lb
This week: 187.8 lb
Total lost this week: 1.6 lb

Holy smokes, that's not too shabby! Honestly, I wasn't expecting this so I guess the salads are working. Seriously, though, I am trying to be more aware of what I'm eating and I'm listening more to my body so I stop when I'm full and if I crave something, I just have a bit to quell the craving. Baby steps (that I should have been doing for, you know, the past year) but it's working and that's all that matters!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

WW Weigh-In #46

I weighed in yesterday, I promise! Though, once again, no change:

Last week: 189.4 lb
This week: 189.4 lb
Total gained this week: 0 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb (185 lb by December 31)
To reach target: 8.4 lb (4.4 lb by December 31)

Though I did have a minor breakthrough yesterday: I got myself out of the doldrums I'd been in for the better part of two weeks. Turns out all I needed was a good workout. (Funny how that works.) And I feel much better, not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

The house is slowly coming together as well, which is helping me with my stress and we're moving ahead with venues for the wedding. Slowly but surely everything is coming together.

Hopefully my weight will do the same. (Though come down, rather than come together. But you know what I mean.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

First frost!

I have never in my life been so excited for the first frost of winter.

This morning, when I left for work, I noticed a frosty glaze over our car and front yard so I took a deep breath - and I could breathe! It seems that whatever pesky environmental nuisance was wreaking havoc on my lungs has been knocked off for another season.

So I'm preparing to get back into running. I may even go for a short run tomorrow. No, I haven't run since September and no, it will not be pretty when I do start again but I am going to start. I've been realizing that I'm missing it, not just how it makes me feel but how it helps transform my body. I feel physically better, tighter, stronger when I run regularly. And it's one of the few exercises where I am able to push myself to gasping, which also makes me feel great (at least when my breathing returns to normal).

And in our new 'hood, we're on a dead-end street with other, smaller dead-end streets running off it so I can run up and down all these streets and look as ridiculous as I want and not worry because I'll be keeping it in the neighbourhood and off major roads. Though it may not be the best impression to give to the neighbours...oh well.

Oh running, how I've missed you!

My perfect ring, now perfectly sized

I was finally able to get my ring sized this morning - and it was done while I waited! I must say, that is the best kind of service. While lounging on a leather couch and reading, the jewelers reduced my ring by almost two sized (from an 8 to a 6.25) and it now fits perfectly!

Though it's also a little weird: when it was too big, I had tape on it to make it fit and I was very much aware that it was on my finger. Now that it fits perfectly, it's like it's not there at all...or like it's now a part of me.

So of course I keep checking that it is in fact still there and the sparkles catch my eye and all I can do is smile.

It really is perfect.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WW Weigh-In #45

It's still a struggle.

Last week: 189.4 lb
This week: 189.4 lb
Total gained this week: 0 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb (185 lb by December 31)
To reach target: 8.4 lb (4.4 lb by December 31)

Honestly, I'm beginning to think this is the best I'll ever do. And with the wedding, I'm even more stressed about my weight.

And when I'm stressed I eat bad food.

And when I eat bad food my weight goes up.

And when my weight goes up I get stressed.

And when I get stressed...

And so it goes.

Sigh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

This wedding is really going to happen

The Beau and I have been officially engaged for 17 days now but this wedding only started to feel real yesterday when I started emailing venues.

Because we can't move forward with much, really, without a venue.

We've looked at invitations; we have an idea of decorations and flowers; we've talked about what he'll wear and colours for the bridal party; and we've got quite the guest list. But nothing can be firmed up without a venue. And we've got a few leads there.

We knew long ago we would not be getting married in Toronto; our huge guest list combined with our preference for a Saturday wedding and desire for an open bar made the Big Smoke too expensive right away. Fortunately we both have family in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, so we're looking there, as well as in Cambridge.

Today I started getting information back so it really does feel official now! And with the majority of our guests coming from out of town, it's beginning to look like we'll be getting married at a hotel of some sort. It would have been awesome to find a place with Old World charm, something a bit rustic and full of character, but with 180 people on the list, most of those places were suddenly off the list.

With any luck we'll have a place confirmed soon. We're thinking of November next year so we'll have to pick a place soon! And I'll tell you all about it, when it happens.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The weddling slim-down begins

You would think that being on Weight Watchers would mean I wouldn't have to do any kind of separate slim-down for the wedding, and that's right. It's just I need a swift kick in the butt to get me back on track and getting married is that kick. And that slim-down starts today.


I am starting by having a huge salad for lunch. Did I want a salad? Last night I did, but today, smelling the pizza and burgers and curry in the cafeteria I wanted anything else. ANYTHING. But I stayed strong and got a salad with lots of veg, chopped egg and chick peas for protein and a vinaigrette dressing. I also picked up a fruit and cheese platter for my afternoon snack (which will ideally come after my workout).

Back on track, baby!

So let's see how long this lasts now.

I know I've gotten "back on track" so many times over the past year, so you may be asking how this time will be any different. The wedding is definitely an encouragement but so is my fear: I'm terrified of being a fat bride.

I'm sure it's no generalization to say that every woman wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day and I believe she should, regardless of size or shape. As long as SHE is happy with how she looks, then it's perfect. And I am not happy with how I look now or the idea of putting this body into a wedding dress. So I will be eating a lot of salads.

I was doing the math in my head as well. My wedding is about a year away (date is still not set) so if I were to lose a pound a week for the next year, I'd be down 52 pounds. While the idea of weighing 137 pounds is amazing, I also feel it's a bit unrealistic and probably a little unhealthy. Now if I were to lose 1/2 pound a week, that would be 26 pounds over the year and a final weight of 163 pounds. That number seems okay, actually. Considering my overall WW goal was 170 pounds, I would be okay with 163 pounds.

So all I have to do is lose 1/2 a pound each week between now and when I get married. That's all.

It seems so simple when I write it out like this, but I know it's going to be anything but.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WW Weigh-In #44

I'm back on the scale this week!

Last week: N/A
Two weeks ago: 188.2 lb
This week: 189.4
Total gained this week: 1.2 lb

Honestly that's about what I expected. I've treated my body so poorly over the past couple of weeks and, I'll admit, I'm having a really hard time getting back into any kind of routine. I know I just need to force myself so that's the plan tomorrow. Even if it's just for a walk, at least it's something.

The house is coming along nicely, though, and I spent a good portion of today carting boxes of books from the basement to the main floor (cardio + strength training, am I right?!). And the election kept me out pretty late last night - I didn't get home until 4:30 this morning. So I'm pretty tired tonight.

I'm still aiming for 185 lb by the end of the year - and with the Christmas season approaching that will be a challenge. But I know me: once I start making time for exercise my body will want food that will keep it fueled for more exercise...and the upward spiral will start.

I just need to get back to the gym!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A great big update!

Wow, so much has happened over the past 10 days! From October 26 to November 4, there have been times of extreme joy and extreme sadness; moments of frustration and moments of success; time with friends and time with family; and we even managed to move into our house.

Here's what went on:

Friday - we got the keys to the house! Such a simple act but so exciting and wonderful and full of promise. Our first home!
Dinner: Chinese food
The key to our home!

Saturday - we got into the house around 11 am. It was of course empty and the echoing caught me by surprise. All that empty space would soon be filled with our furniture, but not before we painted all kinds of awesome colours throughout. Before we could get too far with that though, the Beau proposed! Through my tears I nodded yes and he put the most beautiful ring on my finger. What an amazing day!
Dinner: Indian food
My beautiful ring!

Sunday - we had friends over and we painted and painted and painted. With their help we were able to finish the main floor and most of the basement as well as get one coat on the master bedroom. We are truly blessed with the number of people willing to offer up their weekend days to help us paint.
Dinner: pizza
The rainbow of colours now throughout our home

Monday - tragic news this day as I found out my dear cousin Becky had been hit by a car the night before and died of her injuries Monday morning. She was only 31. It was an awful day.
Dinner: frozen shepherd's pie

Tuesday - moving day! The movers arrived at 8:40 am and were done by 12:55 pm. So fast, so efficient, and we didn't do a thing. Though we discovered our queen box spring wouldn't fit up the stairs. We left that alone for the day as we needed to finish painting, though we did find a way to get it up the stairs.
Dinner: fried chicken

Wednesday - perhaps the day I was most excited for, as our couches were due to be delivered. They arrived right on time...and wouldn't fit through the front door. I was really annoyed (not at the delivery guys, just in general) but we stored the couches in our garage and plotted how we'd get them inside. We also made a trip to IKEA and bought a bed frame (among other things)...and the bed frame wouldn't fit in the car. So we tied it to the roof, using twine and cardboard roof racks and drove it home - in the rain. And we made it! Crazy. We also got the box spring upstairs by cutting the slats and folding it in half. Seriously.
Dinner: burritos
All tied down and ready to roll

The Beau working his box spring magic
Thursday - I spent the entire day in pajamas and didn't leave the house once. It was glorious. The Beau and I worked all day, emptying boxes, setting up other furniture, hanging curtains, cleaning and tidying. And slowly we could start seeing the progress being made.
Dinner: Thai food

Friday - Becky's funeral. It was the saddest day of my life. She was so vibrant and full of life, saying good-bye seemed surreal. I kept expecting to hear her voice, to ask us what we were doing because she was right there. The strength that my aunt, uncle and cousin showed that day was truly inspiring. She will be loved, and missed, always.
Dinner: Chinese food
Becky and I

Saturday - family dinner night! We had the Beau's parents, sister and brother-in-law, and brother and twin children over, along with my mom and brother. Full house for sure! Fortunately, earlier that day, we were able to remove the sliding doors at the back of the house to move in the couches. And we quickly filled those couches, and other furniture, with family and had a wonderful home-cooked meal of roast beef, potatoes, cauliflower, salad and beets. To celebrate the engagement we had sparkling wine and to celebrate the Beau's birthday we had vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream icing and crushed Oreos.
Dinner: amazing!
Making way for the couches

Sunday - the Beau's birthday! I made him brunch and we had a very relaxing day, puttering a bit around the house, watching movies, reading, and just taking it easy. It was so lovely to have a day to ourselves, to enjoy our home and be as lazy as we wanted!
Dinner: leftovers from all that take-out

So it was a crazy week, filled with so much. I didn't weigh in on Wednesday, mostly because I knew the result would be bad (so much take-out!) but also because we didn't have internet set up yet so I figured I'd just let it go for the week and get back on track this week.

One thing I did notice was how much work we did and how much we were moving, up and down stairs, throughout the house, walking through stores. The only time I sat down was if a job required me to sit down. But because we didn't have a kitchen set up for awhile and didn't get groceries for awhile, we at terribly. It's ironic, isn't it? Moving is a time when you're so busy and working so much that your body would benefit most from healthy meals but with so much going on, ordering in was just easier and faster.

But now that we're in the new place and well on our way to getting settled, we're also ready to get back to healthy eating and fitter lifestyles. One bonus is that after eating so much take-out, we definitely want home cooked meals for the next while!

I'll let you know how it goes on Wednesday and I'll post more pictures of the house, as we finish the rooms.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I'm still here!

Oh hi! Sorry for not updating my weight this week; I actually skipped my weigh-in on Wednesday! But we moved into the new house this past week so that has kept me busy.

But I've got lots to share - I'll write a longer post tomorrow and fill you all in!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WW Weigh-In #42

When I woke up yesterday I honestly couldn't believe it was weigh-in day again. Where did the week go?!?! But, as always, I got on the scale Wednesday morning, even if my update is coming late - again. So here are the numbers:

Last week: 189.0 lb
This week: 188.2 lb
Total lost this week: 0.8 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb (185 lb by December 31)
To reach target: 6.4lb (3.2 lb by December 31)

And they're going back in the right direction. Though I expect some up-and-down over the next few weeks as we move and get our new house set up. As much as we want to eat healthy all the time, sometimes you need to get pizza after a day of painting.

But we get the house tomorrow (TOMORROW!) and we move next Tuesday so we'll be settled in very soon. I can't believe it's already here! There's going to be a lot going on with the house so I'll be sure to post updates.

Who knows, with all the work we'll be doing, I may just lose a few pounds!

Friday, October 19, 2012

WW Weigh-In #41

Oh, hi. Sorry this post is two days late; it's been a bit of a hectic week. I also had to work on Wednesday, but I'm off today in lieu, so it all works out. And who doesn't love a three-day weekend?

However, my hectic schedule has wreaked havoc on my eating and exercise habits:

Last week: 188.4 lb
This week: 189.0 lb
Total gained this week: 0.6 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 7.2

I don't enjoy that the scale is slowly creeping upwards and  I like it even less that I'm only a pound away from 190 lb. I still want to hit my weight loss target but I've reassessed (again) my goal for this year.

I would like to be at 185 lb and maintain that weight for a few weeks (or even lose a bit - but at least maintain) by December 31.

Sure, it's not where I was hoping to be, but if I can do that, it will mean I have lost and kept off 17 pounds this year. And that is something to be proud of. I'm also only 4 pounds away from that target, so if I can stick to my walking plan and be wary of what I eat, I'm sure I can do it.

And once I'm there, I can figure out my next plan of attack.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WW Weigh-In #40

So the scale went up a little this week:

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 188.4 lb
Total gained this week: 0.6 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 6.6

On the one hand, that's not too bad considering we just had Thanksgiving weekend and I had three (THREE!) huge dinners as well as ample breakfasts, sweets and wine. Going up just over half a pound is not too bad.

On the other hand, though, I'm still not getting to where I need to be. And that is completely my fault and my laziness and I make excuses every week for that and then don't seem to be able to do enough about it.

But I mentioned last week I had a new exercise plan in mind so I figured I'll share it now. I've done it a couple of times and I definitely feel it so now that I've got a straight stretch between now and Christmas, it's the perfect time to get back on a regular workout schedule.

My plan:
Daily: 30-40 minutes of walking, either outside or on a treadmill.
Every other day: three sets of 5 pushups; 10 squats; 20 bicycle sit-ups; and 10 lunges.

I've also been noticing that my breathing is getting better so I'm hoping to start running again and to replace two weekly walks with two weekly runs. But definitely the walking.  Even though I like how my body responds to running, walking is something I can do anywhere, at any time, with nothing more than comfy shoes and proper outdoor gear (if needed). And I keep reading weight loss success stories where walking played a huge part. I guess I dismissed it because it's not as "glamourous" as running, but it's still so good for me and when I ramp it up to 4 mph on the treadmill (and make sure I do that when outside) I feel like it's a good place to pick up exercising again,

And it's a lot harder to make excuses not to do it. After all, I have been walking since I was around a year old.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good News/Bad News

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of family, food and fun. I know I sure did - which made it all the harder to come back to work today.

It's been a day of highs and lows, that's for sure. Finishing an issue after a long weekend is always a bit stressful; it's always painfully obvious how much is accomplished on Mondays when Monday is taken away from you. But we got everything done on time (so far). Too bad I've felt like a punching bag all day.

Tensions have been a bit high at work lately as personalities and work styles have been clashing. And it just so happens that my job puts me right in the middle of it all and, in my efforts to keep things on schedule, I inevitably rub someone the wrong way when asking about the timing of something and end up on the receiving end of some snark. And, for some reason, today it's been incredibly hard to not take it personally. Everyone is under pressure and I'm also in that obnoxious position where I just tell people what needs doing and by when but I don't actually do anything (like write, design, or photograph). We're also incredibly busy at work right now and people are venting, which led me to feeling like a punching bag this afternoon. I even teared up a bit (and I DON'T cry at work).

So it's been a day.

On the flip side, we just found out that our conditionally sold condo is now unconditionally sold - WE SOLD IT! We also brought the kitty home last night, being daring and confident that the sale would go through. And the timing is just perfect: we're all back together for a couple of weeks before phase two of the move and we can relax and enjoy the cool fall weather without worrying about staging and showings and stressing over whether we'll sell.

Very much a roller coaster of a day. I may have to come into the office for a few hours tomorrow, but not until later in the day so I'll still get to sleep in, cuddle a cat, get some groceries and enjoy my day.

Even with the crappy stuff of today, just writing this has made me feel better. I've been griping about work a bit lately and I don't like it. Thanksgiving especially made me aware of how grateful I am for all the goodness in my life and all the wonderful things I get to be and do and experience. Rough patches are always tough and it can be even tougher when there isn't an end in sight and it can be far too easy to get discouraged and frustrated and want to quit (which I've threatened to do [in my head] about 17 times today). The bigger challenge for me right now is to figure out how to leave the stresses and pressures of work at the office and how to keep the joy and love of my personal life front and centre, no matter where I am.

So this will be a big challenge for me, to not carry all my stresses with me wherever I go. But it will be so much better for me if I can learn how to let go, how to leave it all behind, how to not internalize everything until I burst. The Beau has been my strongest supporter and biggest advocate, for which I am so thankful, so I need to focus on his cheerleading and believe it myself.

Because it's not that bad, at the end of the (work) day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WW Weigh-In #39

It's a holding pattern folks!

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 187.8 lb
Total lost this week: 0.0 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 6.0 lb

I've been thinking a lot about my exercise habits and how, well, lacking they have been of late. Ever since my allergies and asthma conspired to keep me from running, I've really slacked off on working out. So I'm working on a new plan. I have it figured out in my head and I plan to start it today.

What is it, you ask?

I'm not going to share just yet because I have this habit of making all kinds of promises and resolutions and new plans on this blog and then not following through. So I want to make sure I at least get started on my new exercise plan before I commit to anything. I just want to avoid looking too flaky, you know?

But I'll share soon, I promise.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Countdown to the new house!

I had a lovely countdown written on our calendar at home. Then we had to stage our condo and our fantastic Terry Pratchett calendar was, well, not exactly neutral. So the countdown disappeared and though I've been thinking A LOT about the new house I haven't had the number of days until closing fresh in my mind.

UNTIL NOW.

I don't know why I didn't do this before: I now have a countdown written in my desk calendar at work. (Yes, I still have a hard copy calendar on my desk. I don't care how digital the world gets, nothing will replace the usefulness and necessity that is my desk calendar.) As of today, it's only 24 more sleeps until we get the house.

24 MORE SLEEPS!

A mere two dozen days until the Beau and I, and the kitty, take possession of our wonderful family home. And we're quite an adorable little family, I must say. It is the perfect home for us and the Beau and I have even started furniture shopping; we bought matching sofas on Sunday! We've also picked out paint colours (though only online; closer to closing we'll go into a store and look at paint chips to get a better idea) and wrangled some friends into helping us paint. Between the two of us, we have pretty much all the other furniture we're going to need. There will be pieces we'll need to replace/update and we need to get a bed frame for my queen-sized bed, but that's about it.

WE'RE SO READY FOR THIS.

Sure, we have to sell the condo, but I try not to dwell on that for too long. I'd much rather focus on getting the house because that will mean we get our kitty back as well. Tansi has been such a good girl while being cat-sat but we miss her and she misses us and in 24 days (sooner if we sell the condo) we'll all be back together again.

I am ready to come home.

Monday, October 1, 2012

My staged life

You know all the media hype going on right now about the condo market slowing down? Well, it's not just hype. We aren't seeing much action at all with ours and I've got to say it's starting to wear on me.

I'm sure we'll sell it. Units in our building do sell, but often in 30-45 days and we made the mistake of going into this thinking we'd sell in a couple of weeks. So it's taking the length of time we should have thought it would take rather than the length of time we wanted it to take.

This sucks for two reasons: we're living in a soulless staged space that we're terrified to mess up (we've eaten more frozen food in the last three weeks than we have in three years of dating) and we don't have our kitty. And we miss our kitty like mad. She's staying with the Beau's sister and is perfectly comfortable there but she's much MUCH more comfortable here with us. We really want her back and it just sucks so much waiting to sell.

I also want to feel comfortable making a mess in my kitchen. And I don't want to have to make my bed every morning. And I want to be able to leave my shoes out by the door because that's what normal people do.

Though if you want to buy a condo I just might be able to hook you up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WW Weigh-In #38

Woo hoo! I managed to lose two weeks in a row! It's been awhile since I've done this!

Last week: 188.4 lb
This week: 187.8 lb
Total lost this week: 0.6 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 6.0 lb

I've got to say I'm pretty happy right now. And being within 6 lb of my next goal (very familiar territory!) I've got the renewed vigour to get there.

One thing I need to do more of is exercise. Since my allergies kicked in I've been shirking all cardio, not just running. As much as I complain about the elliptical, 30 minutes while reading trashy magazines is not that much of a hardship. And it will help with the condo-selling anxiety so I just need to do it.

Next week, down a full pound!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New ways to measure progress

My allergies are still pretty bad so running is on the back burner indefinitely. The good news is that I'm over my initial funk and I'm planning to lace up my sneakers again as soon as my lungs allow.

Until then, I've decided to find new ways to measure progress. If I can't count distance or running time, I'll measure something else, dammit!

So what am I going to measure?

Firstly, push-ups. I can do 15 of them - just not in a row. But when I do three sets of weights, I do five push-ups at the end of each set and my arms are dying when I'm done but it's worth it. I want to be able to do 10 push-ups in one go, 15 after that and then...the sky's the limit!

(But first 10. Let's not get carried away or anything.)

Secondly, planks. I want to be able to hold one for one full minute. I tend to max out at 30 seconds, but it's me counting 30 seconds, which I'm sure is a bit of a cheat. I'll have to get the Beau to time me or at least get real clock to measure. But one minute for a plank is where it's at.

And thirdly, sleep. (Bet you didn't see THAT coming!) I want to start making sure I get enough sleep each night and that I'm properly rested. Getting enough sleep is important not just for weight loss but for happy living in general - because I'm a grump when I'm tired. My job makes a regular waking schedule hard but I'm starting to wake up around 8:30 most mornings on my own, which is when I need to get up for work anyways so that's good. I just need to be diligent about going to bed at the same time each night (as much as possible) and actually relaxing myself enough to sleep through the night.

I'm still going to weigh in, of course, and hopefully the scale keeps going down. And when I start running again I'm going to focus on time and distance and get up to regular 3km runs. It will be interesting to see what I can achieve first!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WW Weigh-In #37

Back on track! Here's hoping I can lose two weeks in a row:

Last week: 189.6 lb
This week: 188.4 lb
Total lost this week: 1.2 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 6.6 lb

Of course, this is familiar territory as I've see-sawed over and under this weight a few times in the past several weeks. All I can do is keep going, keep trying and keep aiming for my weight loss target.

 I may not be able to run right now, but I can still Weigh Watch(ers)!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Running with disappointment

Last week, I had a great run. I was able to go for 25 minutes which, while peanuts to most, was a big deal for me. It was longest I'd been able to run yet and my lungs were burning by the end. But I did it and that made me incredibly proud and excited and pleased with my progress.

This past Sunday, I went for a run again with the goal of besting my 25 minutes (even 26 would have been awesome)...and I couldn't make it past 5 minutes. My lungs just seemed to stop working and it felt like I had a rubber band around my throat.

I had taken my asthma meds (even an extra shot of Ventalin to try to open my airways) but it didn't help. The culprit? I can only assume it's my allergies that have sprung up at the worst time ever. I also took an allergy pill to help combat symptoms but no luck. No running for me.

So I tried again yesterday - with the same results. And I'm still a little wheezy. And incredibly upset.

My asthma has always been triggered by the environment and by exercise. My inhalers really help with the exercise part and the environmental triggers haven't been that bad of late, but this fall they're suddenly terrible. The downside to all of this (and the biggest piss-off) is that I don't think I can do my zombie run. I mean, I really want to. REALLY want to. But running in a field outside of Barrie can only wreak further havoc on my already-tight lungs. And this is crushing.

I've felt really down about this the past two days. I've felt stupid for thinking I could do it. I've felt like a failure for not being able to overcome it. I've felt like an ass for telling anyone I was planning to do it. I've felt like giving up running altogether. I've felt fat and lazy and incompetent and incapable. And, I'll admit, I still feel that way a bit.

It's so disappointing. I wasn't expecting to set any records but I felt like I could at least finish the course. I wanted something I could feel proud of, something I could get recognition for accomplishing. I wanted to do this.

It's not completely decided that I won't run. I'm going to try again either tomorrow or Thursday (depending on how my lungs feel) to see if I can breathe long enough to get through 5K. But, honestly, it doesn't look good.

The Beau has been wonderful the past two days, being my cheerleader and giving all kinds of positive reinforcement while also saying that not being able to breathe is a perfectly good reason to back out of a run. He even said, "No one gets to be mean to my girl, not even my girl." (See why I love this man?)

We're going out of town for the weekend, to visit his folks, and that will provide a lovely backdrop for me to lick my wounds and get over my disappointment. But it sucks. It really, really sucks.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Killarney trip

Well, this post is long overdue since it was two weeks ago tonight we headed up north.

It was a fabulous trip! Four days and three nights of backwoods camping, canoeing and hiking. The Beau and I were also joined by two of our best friends and their two wonderful dogs. We tried to canoe with one of the dogs in our boat but he had a bit of separation anxiety from his owner and, despite being a bit afraid of the water, the dog almost leaped out of our boat to get to his people! We were able to pull up on shore and safely deposit the dog into our friends' canoe and all was good.

This was also my first time to Killarney and it was breathtaking. I really do love the outdoors and don't spend nearly enough time enjoying them so having four days was just what my mind and body needed.

I mean, how can you not love this?

We also spent a day hiking up Silver Peak, which is a 3.5 km hike (one way) but up a mountain that's over 500 m in elevation. It was an intense climb:



But absolutely beautiful when we got to the top:


Each day we were so exhausted we ended up in bed not long after the sun went down but that meant we were up when the sun came up!

 It was a great weekend and I'd go back in a heartbeat!




Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WW Weigh-in #36

I was able to destress long enough to get on a scale:

Last week: 189.6 lb
This week: 189.6 lb
Total gained/lost this week: 0 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 7.8 lb

Today I woke up with the idea that I would just quit WW, forget about losing the extra weight and go on with my life. Honestly that sounds so tempting!

But I'm not going to do that. I've got to commit to this and figure out what I need to do to get back on track. I still WANT to lose the weight. I just need to want it more badly that I currently do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Speaking of stress...

If there is such a thing as a stress gene, I definitely have it. After just writing about getting over the stress of staging the condo, I've already got something new to worry about.

Are you ready for this?

I'm stressing about having to try on wedding gowns in a store. I'm not engaged. I will be marrying the Beau eventually, but nothing has been set. And it will be a formal(ish) wedding and I'll be wearing a wedding dress. That I have to buy from a store. And try on. In front of people.

Makes me nauseous.

I'm just going to add this to the stress I feel about smiling for wedding pictures (or any pictures) because there is no such thing as a good picture of me. And I'm only planning to get married once so if the pictures aren't good, that's it. My double chin worries me a lot but so does seeing photos of me.

Honestly, what would I do without all this stress to keep me company?

Staging and stress eating

Well, the condo is staged and officially on the market today. Woo hoo! It's a huge relief because staging is hard work, man! I honestly didn't anticipate it would take nearly as long as it did.

The Beau and I worked from Tuesday to Sunday of last week to get the place ready. That's six days. SIX. Two of them were spent packing up all our extra stuff (i.e. most of our furniture and belongings); the movers only needed half a day to get everything out, which was great. We then spent three and a half days cleaning, organizing and hiding what we need to live with.

And it got tense. There were a couple of times when we just weren't speaking to each other because impolite things would have been said. It was nothing the Beau was doing, of course; mostly it was me being a stress ball about getting the place perfect. I also volunteered to take time off work and do most of the work, which was fine, but I was very overwhelmed more than once.

The condo is also in the Beau's name so it really mattered that I get it perfect for him to sell. (Yes, we'll both be benefiting from the proceeds but it's still his place, at least on paper.) And all this stress lead to me eating really awful food (mostly awful for me because it sure was delicious!).

Now that the condo is staged I'm really eager to get back into my good eating habits. I know I've been saying that all summer but the housing stuff really did take a lot out of me and resulted in terrible eating habits. One thing that will help with my eating is potential buyers viewing the condo; we'll get 2 hours notice but we'll need to have lots of prefab food ready to go just in case. This is the perfect time for me to make big batches of steamed veggies, healthy soups, pre-cut veggies for salads and all those other delicious things I should be eating but am not.

I've also got my run in 11 days so I'm making sure I get in as much running as my body will handle and it would be great to be a little slimmer then.

But now that a huge source of stress has been removed from my life, I finally feel like I'm back on the right track!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

WW Weigh-In #35

And we go back again:

Last week: 187.2 lb
This week: 189.6 lb
Total gained this week: 2.4 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 7.8 lb

The Beau and I spend the weekend in Killarney, hiking, canoeing and camping, along with two of our closest friends and their beautiful dogs (pictures and a longer post to come).

One of the main things about being backwoods camping for four days is that the food had to be non-perishable and carb-heavy - I think that is a big reason why I gained weight. Also, the lack of vegetables and other fibre sources caused a, well, backlog in the plumbing, if you catch my drift.

 But we're back in the city now and we've spent the last two days packing for the first part of our staged move (more on that later as well). Slowly but surely life is returning to normal and soon I'll be back on the right weight loss schedule.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WW Weigh-in #34

So things are going in the right direction (again...for now):

Last week: 188.8 lb
This week: 187.2 lb
Total lost this week: 1.6 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 5.4 lb

 With the weather getting cooler and a house finally purchased, I'm feeling calmer and more invigorated. I'm also back to running regularly and doing well with that, so I'm confident I can not only lose a pound a week but maintain that loss week after week.

I'm also facing a busy stretch at work (the next four months, really) which will mean eating more meals at work. But knowing that's going to happen will help me plan and prepare meals and snacks to take to work - I just need to make sure I follow through on the plans! I've been buying my lunch for so long that when I plan to pack a lunch I often forget it at home.

Fortunately the work cafeteria has my favourite Greek yogurt available, as well as cut fruit and the salad bar that I've been ignoring for too long. Combine that with the sandwich counter and the vegetable sides that are available and I've got plenty of good options for when I do forget to pack a lunch. If only I didn't have to walk past the pizza counter to get to these spots!

Really, I'd love to be at my target weight for when we move into the new house. How great would that be? New home, new weight, all kinds of new beginnings.

It's something to strive for.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The countdown begins

Now that we have successfully purchased a house, the countdown to moving day begins. And there is a lot to do and lots to count down.

First on the list is staging our condo, which will be it's own fair share of work. We've already had a fantastic consultation with a home stager so we know what we need to do. And I've received a moving/storage estimate to get our stuff out and in storage until we move into the house.

If all goes according to plan, we'll be putting furniture into storage next Thursday September 6. That may not seem like a lot of time but it's compounded even more by the fact that we'll be in Killarney from Friday morning to Monday night, for a long weekend of canoeing and camping.

That will give us Tuesday and Wednesday to pack and get ready for the movers - piece of cake! I actually don't think it will be that bad since most of our stuff has to go into storage. Really, the hardest part is figuring out what we need to keep with us between now and October 26 (when we take possession), what we can store in our condo storage locker and what we can do without and put into storage with our movers.

After staging comes selling, which I'm sure will be interesting though hopefully quick. And then we can relax and just ride it out until we move.

Only 59 days until the house is ours!

Our new house!



All pictures are taken from the listing; none of the furniture is ours nor is this necessarily how we'll have the place set up. Still, it's pretty great!
Outside our new home!
Front steps

Detached garage - room for one car but the driveway has room for at least four more
Outside back deck
Back yard - currently a garden and we're not sure how much of it we'll keep
Front entrance
Living room - the windows look out front
"Family room" - but we'll likely use this space as part of the dining room

Kitchen
Kitchen with view of family room
Family room/kitchen/dining room
Dining room - sliding doors go out to the back yard
Upstairs hallway

Master bedroom - with closet!
Bedroom #2 - no closet in this room but plenty of space for a dresser and free-standing wardrobe

Bedroom #3 - with closet!
Upstairs bathroom




Basement living area - currently set up as basement apartment

Basement kitchen 



There is also a 3-piece bathroom on the main floor and a 5-piece bathroom in the basement (that's right, we have a bidet - though it's broken). Though the basement bathroom will need a gut. In fact the entire basement needs some work but it's all cosmetic. A good scrub, some paint and some better light fixtures and all will be well. There's also a bedroom in the basement (it can be seen just beyond the table two pictures up) which we could use for a variety of things - office; 4th bedroom; library; exercise space; the cat's bedroom. So many possibilities!

And that's the best part about this house. We have so much room and so many options for how to set up our beautiful new place that it will be a long time before we're tired of it. And we can finally host family and friends! This is such a momentous occasion for us and we couldn't be happier!











Sunday, August 26, 2012

Houses, heartbreak and happiness

It's been one hell of a week on the house front.

A week ago Friday, around 9:30pm, we heard from our realtor that the house we had waited seven weeks for was not going to be ours, after all. Needless to say, it was crushing. And we didn't lose out to another bidder; the sellers were unable to find a place to move to so they decided to take their house off the market while they continued to look.

I thought I was taking the news well but it turns out I wasn't. I ended up crying a bit, yelling a bit, swearing a lot and drinking way too much red wine. After waiting seven weeks, it just seemed impossible that we WOULDN'T get the house.

But we didn't, so we moved on.

This past Wednesday, we went to view another house - and we fell in serious like with it. After all the emotions that went into the house we lost we were careful not to fall in love or start thinking too far ahead lest we end up with another huge disappointment. But we liked it enough to make an offer on Thursday.

And then, on Friday, WE GOT A SIGN-BACK!

Seriously, if I hadn't been sitting down I would have fallen over. Apparently this is how things should work and, I must say, I really do like it. The seller didn't accept our price offer and went higher, but we were just fine with it so we accepted. Then today we had the home inspection and it went awesomely. A few things need to be done but most of it we can do on various Saturday mornings. The only big thing to be done is installing fans in the three (three!) bathrooms, which will require a roofer and an electrician but isn't a major job. After that's done, we can just putter around doing what we need to do.

It's not officially official yet, but it will be soon - we bought a house!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Running and houses

Just a quick post today.

I finally went for a run (like I've been planning to do for a week) and I actually did okay. I was still running and walking but I managed to run for 10 minutes/walk 5/run 5/walk 5 /run 7 so I feel pretty good about that. And I covered 3.05 miles, so that's almost 5km. (3.1 miles is about 5km.) I might be able to do this zombie thing after all!

And I will have house news tomorrow afternoon.

That is all.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WW Weigh-In #33

It was a bad week.

Last week: 184.0 lb
This week: 188.8 lb
Total lost this week: 4.8 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 7.0 lb

I'm really struggling here. I could blame this on menstrual bloat but it doesn't matter. I'm having a hard time staying on track and getting the weight off and I'm really disappointed in myself.

But all I can do is keep trying.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zombie training update

I haven't been for a run since August 4. For those counting, that's 12 days. Urgh.

When I did run on August 4, I ran outside for the first time...ever. Not the first time since starting the Couch to 5K plan but the first time ever in my life. Seriously. Why, I'm sure you're asking, have I not run outside before? The answer is threefold:

1 - As a beginner runner using a treadmill has helped me keep my pace. It's way too easy for me to start out faster than I should and tire much faster than I like.

2 - I've only recently started running continuously. Previously I've been doing run/walk intervals and, again, the treadmill has been undeniably helpful in this as it helps me monitor time and speed without really thinking about it.

3 - I've been terrified of how I'll look when running outside. Yeah.

But I now have just over 5 weeks to get in running shape because I'd like to be able to both finish the race and "survive" the race. (To survive, I have to complete the course with at least one of my three flags intact.)

The new plan of attack? Runs, three times a week, for at least 20 minutes. Of those three runs, at least one will be outside. That's still on track with my Couch to 5K plan, though in that plan I'd be up to 30 minutes of running in about another week. Of my three runs, I'd like to hit 20 min, 22 min and 25 min each week. Because the zombie run also involves obstacles, there will be (brief) moments to catch my breath so I feel confident that this is a good plan. 

I want to start this plan solidly on Sunday but I hope to squeeze in a run tomorrow too. And on days I don't run I need to do workouts that keep my cardiovascular strength up. It's my breathing that will kill me on zombie day if I don't work at it. And I don't want to die!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WW Weigh-In #32

It was another crazy week with lots of work hours and lots of being busy at home. One of my colleagues is on vacation (in Italy - lucky girl!) which has led to the longer work hours. It's weird, but 14-hour workdays honestly seem to fly by. If/when I'm ever back to a normal 8-hour workday it's going to feel like nothing!

In all this craziness, I did my best to keep up with my good eating habits but there were some slips. That's why, this morning, I weighed myself twice out of disbelief:

Last week: 187.2 lb
This week: 184.0 lb
Total lost this week: 3.2 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 2.4 lb

I promise you there were no unhealthy tactics used over the past week! I even had wine, pizza and tacos on the weekend. So how does one lose over 3 lb in a week? The short answer is pooping.

Okay, yes, it's kind of gross, but my digestive system has been in revolt the past few weeks but over the last few days I've managed to eat enough fibre and other good stuff to get back on track. My issues have also served as a wonderful reminder to eat lots and lots of fruit and veggies because they help keep one regular.

I've also got to get back to my running. I haven't had a good run in over a week. Being busy is the worst excuse, I know, but at work the only real breaks I've had were when I went to buy lunch. Now that the worst of the busyness is over, though, I'm going to get back on the running. My zombie run is coming up - September 22! - and I've got do to more outside running. But I'll do another post on that - I'm starting to ramble now!

But it's nice to feel back on track right when summer is winding down. Bring on the fall!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

WW Weigh-In #31

It was what I thought:

Last week: 186.6 lb
This week: 187.2 lb
Total gained this week: 0.6 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 5.4 lb

I know I'm a day late blogging but I did weigh myself yesterday; even when I'm not punctual in reporting my progress, I always make sure I get on the scale on Wednesday morning.

So why am I up this week? Because I've been eating like crap. Because I haven't been exercising. Because I've been stress eating. Why stress eating? House stuff, mainly. Both the Beau and I would like to buy a house and set a closing date and start getting ready to move. It's weighing on us both and it's taking its toll on me. I've also been having a lot of tummy discomfort lately, which may be related to the house stress. I'm still taking Relora, but it may be time to increase to three pills a day.

However, I'm just going to take this in stride and keep trying. I was actually thinking about goals and how I should be focusing on losing a pound this coming week. Just a pound. I mean, it's not that much, right? And I won't worry about the next week or the week after that. Just the upcoming week - and I'll focus on losing a pound.

THAT I can do,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All about numbers

Last year, when I was trying (and not really succeeding) to lose weight on my own, I used various online calculators to determine my BMI, happy weight, ideal weight and ideal caloric intake.
(I know there's a blog post somewhere, I'm just too lazy to look it up. Sorry.)

Tonight I decided it was time to check these numbers again, minus the caloric intake since I'm using WW points.

Here's what I got:

BMI: 29.1 (which puts me at overweight)
Ideal weight: 118 - 159 lb
Happy weight: 148.1 lb

Well now.

It seems a bit obvious that I'd be happy weighing 148.1 lb but I don't feel like my body would look all that good at that weight. And 159 lb would put my BMI at 24.9, which happens to be the top end of my healthy BMI range. So that makes sense, but I still don't get the happy weight number.

Regardless, this also shines new light onto my goals. I wanted to hit 170 lb eventually; apparently I should be aiming 11 - 22 lb lower than that. And considering how hard it's been for me to get down to my current weight loss goal (10% of my body weight lost, or 181.8 lb) the idea of hitting these new weight loss targets is daunting.

I understand these are here for my health and to give me something to strive for. But I can't help feel a little discouraged by it all.

I was all ready to call 170 lb my happy weight, too.

(I used these calculators at self.com. Feel free to use them too, hopefully with more encouraging results!)

Tomorrow

My weigh-in tomorrow isn't going to be good, I'm afraid. It's partly because of a weekend at the cottage where I relaxed my eating standards; it's partly because I didn't exercise as much as I should have; and it's partly because of sweets.

My name is Jen and I'm a sweets-o-holic. I have a huge sweet tooth and there's nary a chocolate something I turn down. I'm not into candies and such; rather chocolate bars, cakes and cookies are my weakness.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately and about how I'd be much more successful in my weight loss if I could kick the sweets habit. I would love to be one of those people who could give them up cold turkey and not think about it again. Alas, I'm not. The second I tell myself I'm giving something up, all I do is crave it. It also doesn't help that there's a Tim Horton's in my building. While I'm good about avoiding muffins and bagels for breakfast, it's lunch and coffee time that kill me. I'll go get a chicken wrap (only 5 points!) but cave and get it in a combo with a cookie (7-8 points!). With 30 points a day it's really not worth it yet I do it more than I should.

Dinners at work have been giving me trouble lately too, in that I've been overindulging waaaaaay too much. But because naan is so good, I cave once again.

So I guess it's not just sweets; it's doughy, bready, chewy, floury things that I love. I guess I've always known this and I think that's why I eschewed fruit for so long: I wanted something chewier dammit!

I also keep telling myself that I need to start planning my meals better, even log my points ahead of time, so I know exactly what I'm eating each day. And every time I think about this I find some reason to start...tomorrow. Which, of course, is when I'll give up sweets.

This plateau I've been in? This is why. My inability to change my root behaviours and start consistently making the right choices. And I don't need to start thinking that I'm at my ideal weight because I know I can lose more. I just need to focus on the parts of my behaviour that end up sabotaging my weight loss and figure out how to overcome them.

Don't worry, I'll be sure to share my successes - and failures!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ah, cottage life

We're just wrapping up our long weekend at the cottage and what a great weekend it has been!

This was our view:


This is what we ate:

This is how we had fun:

 And this is how our cat cooled off while it was humid:



Such a fun and refreshing weekend at the cottage - and we plan to be back soon!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On Batman and superhero movies - a nerdy post

As the title states, this post is about Batman, The Dark Knight Rises and my opinions of superhero movies. It will be a little nerdy. Consider yourself warned before proceeding.

*************

I finally saw The Dark Knight Rises last Sunday night and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. It completely blew my mind and I'm calling it now: best movie of the year. It won't win a Best Picture Oscar, of course, because some maudlin underdog-overachievement movie will come out in the winter and tug at everyone's heartstrings and it will be hailed as the greatest cinematic masterpiece in the history of forever. And I'm sure it will be good; in my eyes, though, it won't be better than The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR).

After watching it, the Beau and I both said it wasn't better than The Dark Knight, but that's because it was a different movie than TDK and both were equally good in continuing the story of Batman and Gotham City. And as a trilogy - Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises - Christopher Nolan's movies tell a fantastic story of Batman, his beginnings, his relationships both with people and his city, his motivations, his weaknesses and his fears, along with creating worthwhile villains and drawing from some of the most important parts of Batman comic canon.

And to me, that's what's important: going back to the source material and using it not just for characters but for stories and inspiration. Batman's story is also very dark, in many aspects: he's one of the only superheroes to wear all black; he was trained by the League of Shadows; he is called the Dark Knight; he fights against corruption and violence rather than flashy villains; and he's all kinds of brooding.

I think it's these reasons that make him appealing but also turn people off the movies. (I know enough people who did not like TDK and TDKR and I'm so confused as to why they'd feel this way.) The previous Batman movies (or cinematic atrocities as I like to think of them) were too campy to really capture Batman. Sure, Tim Burton's movies were dark but they were also comic; Batman may be from the comics but he's not comic. And the Joel Schumacher made these rave-club-on-ecstasy movies that were just awful (not to mention pairing Mr Freeze and Poison Ivy, which makes no sense - one kills living things [like, say, plants], while the other raises living things [like, say, plants]. Nonsensical.)

So Nolan's Batman movies are dark, as they should be. They also put more emphasis on real life, as if Batman could really exist. And while most of Batman's toys are improbable, the movies don't make them impossible. The same with the villains: Bane, Joker and Scarecrow could all be possible. As for Ra's Al-Ghul and the League of Shadows, well, that's appropriately shadowy but suggests that while a human is not immortal, the embodiment of a person as leader is.

Okay, so that's my take on the Batman movies. I've also been thinking a lot about the other superhero movies that are out there and how they stack up to Batman. I haven't seen The Avengers yet but I have seen the movies leading up to it - the excellent Iron Man and it's awful sequel; the good Captain America; the mediocre Thor; and the long-ago Incredible Hulk (the decent one, not the Ang Lee emo-fest) - and they all had one thing in common: they were bright and shiny and comic. And, to me, these flashy movies, with their improbable heroes and fantastical villains and convenient superpowers, are full of style but short on substance. The heroes are fairly one-dimensional because they only exist to have their respective superpowers and use said powers to defeat whatever supervillain happens to be hating on them that particular day. And it's always about blowing up the world or something, achieving some kind of major global dominance. In Batman, the villainy runs deeper but is more basic: revenge, greed, hate. No one wants to control the world and I like that.

I prefer Batman because the story has substance, has meaning, has depth. Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Thor - these guys are fun but not very deep. And once the shine wears off, there's not much left. But Batman, he's never shiny; he just gets darker and darker. And I love it.

There's also the Spider-Man reboot out now and the upcoming Superman reboot. Hopefully these movies will give these heroes a little more heft and move away from Tobey Maguire's depressed Spider-Man and Brandon Routh's forgettable Superman. Give these characters the depth they deserve; after all, there are some great back stories to work with.


WW Weigh-In #30

Alright, so the numbers worked in my favour this week:

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 186.6 lb
Total lost this week: 1.2 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 4.8 lb

Even with decent weight loss I still feel like I'm stuck in a plateau and I'm not sure how to get out of it. Honestly, I'm wondering if I need to just get through the summer as best I can and refocus come the fall. I know this sounds weird - after all, summer is supposed to be the time to be outside and active. Thing is, the heat and humidity of the summer makes me feel sluggish and gross and I actually spend more time inside than any other season. Once the cooler, fresher weather of fall rolls around, I love being outside and my goal is to start running outside come the fall.

I like sweating when I have a good workout. I don't like sweating as soon as I step out my front door. Fall can't come fast enough.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Couch to 5K and Week 5

Today was my third and final workout for week 5 of the Couch to 5K program and it was one I was dreading.

So far, I haven't had any problems with the program, especially through the first three weeks. With short running intervals, those three weeks were easy to complete and made me feel like a running rock star.

Week 4 started to get a bit tougher, as the running intervals got a bit longer, but I soldiered through. I was a little winded after a couple of those workouts but I completed them and that's what mattered.

Then came Week 5.

For Week 5, all workouts were different, with the running intervals getting longer with each workout. First I started with three 5-minute running intervals, broken up by 3-minute walking intervals. This was tough but doable and I managed just fine.

Then I had two 8-minute running intervals with a 5-minute walking interval in the middle. At this point I'd never run 8 minutes straight so I was a bit worried. Still, I not only got through it but felt amazing afterwards.

For today, I faced my biggest challenge yet: 20 minutes of straight running. No walking. Just running for twenty. Minutes. Straight.

And you know what? I did it.

HOLY CRAP, I RAN FOR 20 MINUTES STRAIGHT.

By 17 minutes I was starting to feel it. By 19 minutes, I was more than feeling it. By 20 minutes, I was ecstatic to be done. But I did it. I didn't walk. I didn't slow down. I didn't curl up in the fetal position and go flying off the treadmill.

I ran for 20 minutes straight. And I'm damn proud of that.

And I didn't even need my inhaler. I can't remember if I've talked about my asthma before, but I've got it. It would be an easy enough thing to hide behind and say, "I'd be able to run better if it weren't for my asthma." Thing is, there are plenty of athletes who have it, including Olympic athletes, and as long as you manage it properly you can do well at physical activities. It's because of this that I choose to approach my asthma this way: "I manage my asthma with two inhalers to allow me to do the best I can. Instead of using it as a crutch, I see my asthma as something to overcome."

Simple as that.

Although I may have done so well with my run today because of my awesome Olympic pedicure:

Friday, July 27, 2012

My maturing tastes

When I first started WW, I was a little nervous about what I would snack on that would keep my points down. It was great that most vegetables were zero points, but even better that all fruit were zero points - except that I didn't really like fruit when I started.

Ruh-roh.

Until WW, I was never really a big fruit eater. I had chronic ear infections as a kid so I drank a lot of banana-flavoured medicine; I think that turned me off bananas. And then I find most other fruit too acidic. I've always loved melon but they're high GI foods so when I was trying to eat low-GI I stayed away from them.

That didn't leave much for me to eat.

Lately, though, I've been rediscovering my love of melons (zero points > low GI) and finding that I absolutely love strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I'd much rather eat a bowl of sliced strawberries than a bowl of chips. Seriously. I'm also quickly becoming fond of pineapple oranges (as long as it's a nice sweet orange - not too acidic).

I'm still not a fan of apples or bananas but my tastes have definitely grown up to embrace delicious fruit that's good for me, in all their zero-point glory.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WW Weigh-In #29

Not bad news this week, but not really good either:

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 187.8 lb
Total lost this week: 0 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 6.0 lb

Sure, I had the doughnut binge earlier this week, but I tracked all those points and I was still within my range. I think the problem may be a bit...erm...south. Digestive, if you know what I mean. To the point where I may need to see a doctor. I hope all the plumbing is working just fine, but in case it's not I think it's best to have the professionals take a look.

I guess I need more than a pretty new blog design to get the weight off.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Confessions of a Weight Watcher: Doughnuts

I ate 47 points worth of doughnuts today.

To put this in perspective, my daily points allotment is 30.

That is all.

So much fruit!

And not a yogurt commercial in sight.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

House hunting update

The latest update on the house hunting front is that there isn't one.

No house. No update. No nothing.

And because it's summer the market is pretty quiet right now, there's not much to look at either. All in all, I'm at a pretty frustrating point with the whole exercise right now. I know we'll find a house, so I'm not in one of my, "It will NEVER work out!" moods. It's more that I'm just fed up with the inaction. I'd rather be out looking at mediocre houses than not doing anything.

Honestly, I'm almost at the point where I'd rather be in a bidding war than not offering at all.

Eventually I'll calm down and get back to being rational about the whole thing. It's just that I really, REALLY hate holding patterns.

Blargh.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back to the beginning

I'm pretty frustrated with my weight gain lately. It just really sucks. And I know why it's happening and I'm just being really stubborn about accepting why and doing anything about it.

So it's time to go back to the beginning.

When I first started Weight Watchers, I not only tracked everything I ate, but I also strove to not use up any activity points. I was even wary of using up my extra 49 weekly points, but I learned I could and still lose weight. I just felt better seeing those extra activity points still hanging around, unused, as if saying, "You could have eaten me, but you didn't! Good for you!"

I know I'm supposed to use up those points; WW is structured that way so I'll still lose weight even if I have zero extra points at the end of each week. I also know it's a psychological thing with me, having those activity points left over.

But the kicker? Back when I was doing that, I was enjoying what I was eating, I didn't feel deprived, I was working out frequently enough to feel good but not so much to feel over-extended - in short, everything was great.

So what the heck happened?

Simple: I got lazy. I started taking things for granted. I started cheating on tracking points. I started assuming I knew how to make the right decisions.

Time to stop doing all that and refresh this weight loss journey. Time to stop making excuses. Time to start being honest with myself.

And time to start losing weight again!