Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WW Weigh-In #13

Guys, I weighed myself three times this morning because I didn't believe the number. Three times. But every time was the same, so I'm going with it:

Last week: 189.0 lb
This week: 183.8 lb
Total lost this week: 5.2 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 2.0 lb

Total lost with WW: 18.2 lb

WW chastised me and reminded me to make sure I'm losing weight at a healthy rate. I didn't do anything unhealthy this past week; in fact, I made an effort to be as healthy as possible and I think that's what helped. I also ate a lot more vegetables that I had the past couple of weeks which I also think helped with the weigh-in.

I'm also only 2 lb away from my next weight loss goal! I guess I'd better start thinking of a reward...I love rewards!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Roll Up the Rim to Lose!?

I have not done well with Roll Up the Rim this year. In fact, I've only won once and it was a coffee. Usually I win at least a half a dozen times - but that often includes donuts and muffins and other such points bombs. It's like Tim Horton's knows I'm on WW and is helping me out!

Though I wouldn't mind if I won a car.

"It's what you can do with your body that matters"

These wise words were uttered by the Beau last night, as we lay in bed, lights out, chatting dozily as we drifted off to sleep. Our conversation started far from there; in fact, we were discussing Canadian publishing and how to get people to buy books; which led to discussing branding and marketing and the power of well-known names; which led to the power of the celebrity endorsement (even if the facts aren't there); which led to the power of the internet to provide people with what they want to believe; which led to the idea that, for women, it's about how you look rather than what you can do that seems to be valued.

Which led to "It's what you can do with your body that matters."

Even though we only talked about this last night, I've been thinking about these words all day. I know they're wise and I know this is a maxim that I should live every day. I remember trying to convince myself of this in years past, but I was never able to truly believe it. I always felt that until I'd done something really amazing - like given birth or run a marathon or climbed a mountain or survived a serious illness - that my body hadn't done anything worthwhile and therefore should be skinny because it certainly wasn't useful.

I'm finally realizing just how wrong that kind of thinking is. Of course, doing any of those things listed is an amazing accomplishment, but so is being able to lift 20 lb dumbbells or climb the CN Tower stairs (hey, I did that!) or walk for hours on a beautiful spring day.

And it's also important to realize that your body does many other things that matter, like give big hugs or hold your child (or adorable nephew!) or give a back rub to someone you love or kiss your partner good night.  (Or, ahem, give your kitty head and chin scratchies because she loves them so much.)

But most importantly, your body is you. And you sure as hell matter. That's what's worth remembering.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WW Weigh-in #12

Well, shit:

Last week: 187.8 lb
This week: 189.0 lb
Total gained this week: 1.4 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 8.2 lb

I've gained almost 2.5 lb these last two weeks. I'd really like to blame it on my menstrual cycle but really, I've eaten like crap. And by like crap, I mean lots of delicious food that caused me to gain 2.4 lb.

But not all hope is lost! I know I can lose the gained weight - and more - because I've proven to myself I can do it. I just need to do what I've been saying I should do for the past two weeks and get back on track. All will be well and I'm even going to go so far and make a prediction: next week, I'll weigh in at 187 even. Two pounds gone. Yeah I said it.

Also, no more Popeye's chicken. In all honesty, that will be the easy part!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How was your weekend?

I hope it was a good one!

Mine was ... indulgent. Sushi for dinner last night followed by beers for St Patrick's Day. Popeye's chicken today to satiate a craving, along with pancakes for breakfast and shepherd's pie for dinner.

Not only did I completely decimate all my daily points, I'm also out of weekly points. Thankfully I've got about 16 activity points for a buffer as well as plans to have good workouts tomorrow and Tuesday. I might even try to sneak in a workout tonight - thought it's 8:30 now and I don't want to keep myself awake.

Regardless, I'm determined to record a loss this week - bring on the vegetables!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review: The Guardians

I started this book on Wednesday night and finished it today (Saturday). And I did not stay home from work to read, even though I wanted to. I did, however, stay up late last night reading it, which proved to be a mistake, but I'll get to that.

I read the crap out of this book. I enjoyed the crap out of this book.

It's the story of four hockey-playing guys - Trevor, Randy, Carl and Ben - who were best friends in high school but went their separate ways after graduation. 24 years later, they're back in their hometown to attend Ben's funeral, after he kills himself.

Trevor is our narrator and has just been diagnosed with Parkinson's. As a result of the diagnosis, his doctor has recommended he keep a journal. Trevor decides to start a memory journal, in which he tells us about when the guys were 16 and what happened that winter that changed their lives forever. The memory chapters alternate with Trevor's narration on the present, being back in his hometown, facing his friend's death, the girl he left behind, the events that he can't forget...but may not remember correctly.

And that is part of the beauty of the book, a narrator who has no reason not to be honest, except that he drops those oh-so-subtle hints that he's sure that's how it went because that's how he remembers it or that this is what he remembers, whether it actually happened that way or not. It's a great story, a psychological thriller-cum-ghost story that, when read late on a Friday night, may make the reader hear things that aren't really there or see shadows that may not be from the streetlights. You still trust Trevor, though, and you want to believe him, even when it gets spooky.

It's also almost impossible to put down, which is why I finished it so quickly. But even with a fast-moving plot, the characters are still developed enough to make you care about them and all the characters in the book are there for a reason. It's a well-told story that is ghost story, thriller, buddy reunion and man-in-mid-life-crisis tale all rolled into one.

Best read when you have a few days to enjoy uninterrupted.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My reward!

From this:

To this:

Being debt-free never felt so good!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Sometimes I go on my own mini eating binges. It's not like I clean out the fridge, but sometimes I just need to eat a lot of hummus and tortilla chips or ice cream or fudge. And I'm usually a little ashamed afterward and I often don't log my points that day.

But I always go back.

My points log is between me and the internet so it's not like people are going to comment on my horrible habits. And I have the extra weekly points to use and I often bank quite a few activity points, so it's okay if I eat a bit more. But most importantly, I'm only cheating myself if I don't accurately track my food.

It's really tempting to think, "Oh, it was just a piece of fudge, it doesn't matter." Thing is, it does. Other thing is, it's okay. And that is what I need to remember.

As long as I honestly track my points I'll be successful. It's really that simple. So my little binge from last night that I haven't logged yet? I'm going to do that now.

(And I'm only blushing a little.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WW Weigh-In #11

It was one of those weeks:

Last week: 186.8 lb
This week: 187.8 lb
Total gained this week: 1.0 lb

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

Though I checked the calendar and if I had a regular menstrual cycle, I would have been on it last week, so that makes me feel a bit better. It also helps explain my intense cravings for Cheetos too.

But I'm not worried. With this beautiful spring weather, I'm extra motivated to get outside and enjoy it which will only help me, mind, body and soul!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I had a wonderful sleep last night! Even though I didn't get home from work until midnight (it was a long-ass day) I was fortunate enough to be able to sleep in this morning until 10:30 (my start time at work today was noon). 10 1/2 hours of sleep a night is definitely NOT my norm but it was desperately needed and I feel so good today! I think the beautiful spring weather also helps.

I talked yesterday about the effect lack of sleep can have on weight management and today I really feel like the poster child for that. Yesterday I was sluggish, bloated, hungry all the time and craving junk food, and I always felt in need of more coffee. Today no more bloat, I'm alert and energetic, I want to eat good food and I feel satisfied after eating it, I've had one coffee and feel like that should be enough (though if today is a long day I might need a pick-me-up!) and I'm just all-around in a better head space.

I know sleep is important; I'm one of those people who gets super grumpy when she's tired. But sometimes I like to think that I don't really need that much, that I can function just fine on a few hours a night here and there, if need be. Maybe that's my way of mentally preparing myself for motherhood. After yesterday and my sleep last night, though, I'm much more aware of how important it is for me to get the sleep my body needs. And those around me will be thankful too!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Ugh, daylight savings. I know I should be all excited to "spring forward" and get an extra hour of daylight but this time change always kicks me HARD in the bum. And I didn't help myself on Saturday either; I was at my mom's repainting her kitchen and doing other decorative updates (including assembling Ikea furniture) and I was up until 1:30 am - which was really 2:30 am.

Add to this that I've been having trouble sleeping lately (I keep waking up in the middle of the night and sometimes say things; last night I was worried about where the cat was) and today I'm a sleepy girl. It's something that's making me more aware of the importance of good sleep and good sleeping habits.

Getting enough sleep is helpful with weight loss, as some research suggests lack of sleep can cause a spike in the hormones that make you feel hungry (WW has an article on that here). I know that I tend to crave crappier food when I'm tired plus I also lack the energy to work out so it's a double whammy. I also need to get up earlier; I've been lazy and not leaving enough time to eat breakfast at home so I've been resorting to breakfast at Tim Horton's. I'm much better off when I eat my oatmeal with blueberries than when I eat a Tim's breakfast wrap (which, when it's just egg and cheese, is only 7 points, but combined with my 2-point coffee, that's 9 points for breakfast). It's also making a dent in my wallet.

So with the time change and the advent of spring, my new challenge to myself is to regulate my sleep habits. My schedule is erratic but I want to try to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time as often as I can. The results will only be beneficial to me, in so many ways.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Then and Now

I've considered myself to be "fat" (you know, the f-word) since I was about 10 years old and my classmates starting saying I was fat. That was 22 years ago and it's only been since joining WW that I've stopped seeing myself as fat and started seeing myself as curvy, fit and healthy.

The irony is that, even at 186.8 lb, I'm still heavier than I ever was at 10 or my teens or even in my 20s. Thinking back, I'd love to be that size again (okay, not the size of a 10-year-old, but you know what I mean). I'm finally on my way to getting there but I never weighed myself back then so I don't know what my target weight is. But I think this is a good thing because I don't want to be beholden to a target number that seems daunting or so out of reach as to discourage me.

So how will I know? The short answer: Reitman's.

(Okay, I'll also give the long answer.)

Growing up in Parry Sound, there weren't a lot of clothing stores for the discerning teen - or any teen, really. There was one trendy store, where you could buy $100 pairs of jeans and logo-emblazoned tees and sweaters. Like any label-conscious teen, I shopped there, but couldn't always afford it. When Reitman's arrived, it was a blessing, as there were suddenly shirts, skirts and casual pants I could buy for decent prices that fit me well. I was also a regular church-goer at this time, so I bought a lot of my dress clothes there, too. I still remember my favourite pair of cargo pants came from Reitman's - and my mom kept wearing them! I even bought her her own pair (in a different colour, so as to differentiate) but she kept wearing mine. Hmph!

Even as a teenager, I was conscious of the size on the label and wanted to keep that number as low as possible. I generally fit into a size 11 at Reitman's, but sometimes had to go for a size 13 - which was soul crushing, to say the least. I think it was also the largest size at the time, which was a double-whammy; no teenager wants to be the biggest size in the store!

Nowadays, I still find myself perusing Reitman's and I've bought a few things from there over the past few years. Most recently, I bought a pair of jeans, size 13 (which is no longer the largest size, but is still size 13). I'm wearing those jeans today and they're getting baggy on me. THIS is the indicator that means so much to me, that I'm shrinking out of one size and into another, the same size I fit into in high school!

(Now I understand that a size 11 in 1995 and a size 11 in 2012 could be very different. But just go with me on this, please?)

Really, it's just taking the focus off one number (weight) and putting it on another (clothing size) but since I never weighed myself before I started my weight loss odyssey, I don't know what my weight was back then. Short of bugging my now-retired family doctor from those years to check old patient files to find my weight (which I'm sure would never happen anyways) the only measure I have is clothing sizes.

And despite my desire to not focus so much on my weight and clothing sizes, I do need something to measure, at least until I get to my goal weight. I'm hoping that once I hit that target, I'll be able to put the focus more on maintaining my good eating and exercise habits and weighing in will help keep me on track, but won't my main focus. No matter what, though, the scale and the clothing sizes are going down and THAT is just what I want!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WW Weigh-In #10

As I posted earlier, I was a bit worried about this weigh-in because I didn't feel I was eating that well. I was tracking all my points and I did have extra activity points left over this week, but I was still worried. (I should probably explain another source of my worry: I weighed myself Tuesday morning to see if I was on track. It showed I was still at 188.8, which is why I wondered if today would be a gain.)

Needless to say, I was surprised:

Last week: 188.8 lb
This week: 186.8 lb
Total lost this week: 2.0 lb
Total lost with WW: 15.2 lb

Weight loss target: 181.8 lb
To reach target: 5.0 lb

I was so surprised, in fact, that I'm considering getting a new scale. On the one hand, this is the same scale I've been using since I started so at least it's consistent - and it has shown me gaining and not losing very much so it's not like I've been losing 2 lb each week regardless of what I'm eating. On the other hand, what if there is something wrong with the scale and I'm getting erroneous numbers? I'd hate to think that I'm hitting targets that aren't really there. And I could try out a different scale in a store but I would be dressed and I don't know what kind of variance that would give - unless I weigh myself at home fully dressed then weigh myself on a new scale in the same clothes and see if the numbers match!

Or I could just stop stressing about this and focus on the fact that my clothes are getting looser and I'm looking slimmer and getting all kinds of compliments and I feel great. Yeah, that sounds like a better plan!

The next weigh-in

I let myself go the past couple of days and I'm pretty sure tomorrow's weigh-in will be a gain. I know that's okay but I can't help feeling a little frustrated with myself. I knew after last week's weigh-in that I had to smarten up, be more aware of what I ate, keep up my activity, get back to the habits I had when I started WW. So it's hard not to beat myself up (of course, I'm writing this pre-weigh-in and I could surprise myself) and I know I'll be disappointed if the scale shows a gain. And it's almost spring!

My new mantra: get back on track!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: This Dark Endeavour

I love the idea of books that explore the beginnings of major literary characters (who just so happen to be in the public domain), books that imagine what their formative years were like, and how they became the people they were.

I think the best-known example of this is Gregory Maguire's Wicked - and I'm pretty sure I'm one of a handful of people who did not like this book and had no interest in reading anything else in this series or anything else he wrote.

Thankfully, Maguire isn't the only writer to imagine literary characters as youngsters and when I found the young adult novel This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel, I was intrigued.

This is my first time reading Kenneth Oppel, despite the massive success of his Silverwing series (which I will now have to check out). One caveat: I haven't read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I know the lore and I've seen the Branagh/De Niro movie (given, that was about 20 years ago) but I couldn't make it through the book; Shelley's writing made me want to stab pokers in my eyes.

In Oppel's imagining, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein has a twin brother, Konrad, who falls deathly ill. When the medicine at the time fails to provide a cure, Victor becomes determined to make the Elixir of Life, based on alchemical recipes he discovers in the Dark Library, a hidden room in his family's chateau. Despite his father warning him to stay away from alchemy and the library, Victor perseveres, determined to save his brother. Victor is assisted by his adopted cousin Elizabeth, who he and Konrad both love, and their close friend Henry Clerval. (Thanks to Wikipedia, I was able to learn that these are in fact characters mentioned in Shelley's novel, when she described Victor's childhood and home life, though there is no mention of a twin brother.)

Being YA, there is the standard emphasis on plot and moving the story along, but Oppel does delve into Victor's mind and we start to see the beginnings of the man who will eventually create (monstrous, deadly, hideous) life. Victor feels he is always in Konrad's shadow but finally feels smart and useful once he discovers his talent at alchemy and realizes he could save his brother's life. It's also an excellent adventure tale, as the teens hunt for the obscure ingredients for the elixir, under the guidance of a handicapped alchemist with a shady past.

The book gives us the tale of Victor trying to save Konrad but also the tale of Victor coming of age and beginning to realize the kind of man he wants to become. And the ending is fantastic; it leaves it open for Victor to marry Elizabeth (which readers of Frankenstein will know happens) but also leaves the reader with the knowledge of what is behind Victor's ultimate goal of wanting to create life.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What do I really weigh?

When it comes to how much I weigh, it's so easy to be discouraged by the number on the scale and wish it was lower and to believe that I could easily be 120 lb or something like that. I was thinking about this the other day and I started to wonder, what amount of my weight is unchangeable? Sure, I can get thinner thighs or a tauter stomach, but there are bits of me that won't get smaller or lighter, like my skeleton or my organs.

So, I turned to the trusty (well, "trusty") internets to see what I could find out.

I'm currently at 188.8 lb. Of that, here's what's constant:

My skin: about 20 lb
My skeleton: about 14% of my total body weight, or 26.4 lb
My intestines: 7.5 lb (4 lb for the large, 3.5 lb for the small)
My lungs: 5 lb for both
My brain: 3 lb
My heart: 0.6 lb
My blood: about 8% of my total body weight, or 15 lb

Total: 77.5 lb

I don't know how much fat or muscle I have in my body or what that weighs. But I have been able to account for 77.5 lb of my weight. That leaves 111.3 lb of fat, muscle, other organs, things like that. Looking at 111.3 lb, that number doesn't seem so bad, especially when I know I'm going to keep losing weight. But it's nice to know that there's around 77.5 lb on me that are just part of me. 

I did it!

Okay, today is a pretty big day for me. Are you ready for this?


That's right! I paid off the last $359.44 remaining on my student loans. As of right now, I don't owe anyone any money!

While it's pretty exciting, it's also a little anti-climactic. When I made the payment online, my computer didn't sing and there were no fireworks or brass bands around to mark this momentous occasion. It's just me, all debt-free and shit.

Those are some pretty cool words, though: debt-free. I like it!

So now I find myself in this odd no man's land of not having to pay anything off. Soon we'll have a mortgage that will need tackling but until then, my money is mine! (Except for bills and such, but since I pay those in full when they're due, they're no problem.)

It's a weird feeling, I won't lie, but it's also amazing!