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 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 Feel free to use them too, hopefully with more encouraging results!)


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.