Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : What's In Your Holiday Toolbox

Tonight's meeting was bittersweet in two ways.  Tonight we were saying goodbye to the "momentum plan", this is my last meeting under the old Weight Watcher's points plan.  I am actually quite excited for my first meeting next week to learn the new program which I hear is moving from a calories/fat/fiber focus to calories/carbs/protein/fiber focus.  We were also shocked when our meeting leader told us that after 20 years she will no longer be our meeting leader!  It was quite a shock to all of us, she has no idea who will be taking over being our leader.  Gail, helped me through loosing over 60lbs and I'm so sad to see her leaving us!  Gail has assured us she'll be popping in to join us hecklers in the crowd from time to time.

Gail was such a huge part of my weight loss success!

Now onto this week's meeting topic!  December is here which essentially means Christmas is looming on the horizon.  So we all need to get out our "Holiday Toolbox" to survive!

As someone who is loosing/aware of their weight thoughts constantly on my mind are : What will I eat???  How much?  When?  How often?  I think we need to be prepared and focused to make it through Christmas.  As Gail often said we have three choices
  1. You can loose weight
  2. You can maintain your current weight
  3. You can choose to gain weight

Then you need to put a plan in action to make that goal a reality!  If your choice is #3 just make sure you set a number don't go pigging out for the holidays!!!

One of the tools you can put in your toolbox is : Decode Favourite/Family Recipes
If you're an online or etools member of Weight Watchers you can take advantage of the recipe builder.  This allows you to input all the ingredients and quantities enter in the number of servings and it spits out your points per serving!  So easy and convenient.  What if you don't have access to a great online resource like the recipe builder?
  1. Find our the points value for each ingedient in the quantities needed for the recipe
  2. Add up all the points
  3. Divide points total by the number of servings and there you have it, your points per serving!
One little set of tools, are having strategies at hand
  • Learn the points value of family favourite dishes
  • Focus on eating filling foods.  Its least a little harder to eat when you're full or at least you'll think twice about it and feel uncomfortable afterwards!
  • Decide before the meal/event/party what you're going to eat and how much
  • Drink your water!
  • Don't go to a meal/event/party hungry!
  • Use the tool for living : mental rehearsing to come up with a plan to handle that event and vision yourself doing it successfully!
During this season there will be a lot of challenges, and we managed to share quite a few of them in our little group.
  • Parties
  • Visitors/Company
  • Pot lucks
  • Busy
  • Time/motivation to exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Fancy drinks
  • Big meals
  • Other's cooking
  • Seasonal baking
  • Treats in the workplace (cookies/chocolates/etc.)
So there you have it, a few tools to put in your weight loss toolbox to hopefully get you through the holidays!  Christmas happens every year, its a fact of life so there's no point in panicking about it.  Come up with a plan, and put it into action!

Guess what?  Today is my last entry for NaBloPoMo!  I have posted a blog entry for every day in November!  Not only for one blog, but two!  That's 60 blog entries in 30 days!  I'm CRAZY!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Helping Others

This upcoming weekend at Taekwon-Do is a HUGE black belt test.  Now, I'm not testing this time around (thank goodness) but some of my friends at the dojang are.  My buddies Peter and Jason are going for their 4th degree black belts... that's a huge deal!  I've been planning on going to watch to support everyone.

Two weeks ago Tasha who also teaches in our Little Tigers Program asked for help with her step and model sparring for her 2nd Degree test.  I of course was willing to help, and asked her if she had a uki for the test day.  Of course she immediately asked me to be her uki.  Seeing as many others have helped me along the road of my Taekwon-Do journey it is only fair that I help someone else!

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I've Got Nothing For You

I spent the day feeling poorly again today, starting to wonder if a visit to the doctor is in order.  I didn't really have the migraine but I was nauseous most of the day.  I'm starting to feel pretty sorry for myself, I was almost on the verge of tears at dinner time I was just feeling so awful.  Also my neck and shoulders were soooo tight.  I took a Robaxacet and surprisingly I felt better.  The stomach is starting to hurt again.

I'll go into work tomorrow.  Obviously a day off didn't help much so I might as well go be miserable at work.  Who knows might feel good as new tomorrow.
Here I am in the summer of 2006, doing my favourite lazy activity... stitching!

Saturday, November 27, 2010



I was able to get on with my life today!  My migraine has finally abated.  I woke up feeling like myself with a little colour in my cheeks.  I did have a bit of a headache in the afternoon but a nap in my stitching chair seemed to take care of that.d

I did use my day well.  I got up early for a Saturday and met my best friend Christin and her Mom in town to see the latest installment of Harry Potter in IMAX.  I was craving, and it was very tempting to get a small movie theater popcorn.  But, I didn't instead I brought with me a bottle of water and a sliced up apple.  Two gold stars for me avoiding temptation!  I find its often not so much the smell that bothers me but the rustling and munching going on around me.  I am jealous that I won't allow myself to eat that way anymore.  My usual theater fare used to be a medium popcorn with butter and twizzlers.  Sometimes chocolate too!  Over the years I have changed my habits and behaviours and I do pack food for the movies, but its for when I get hungry and its healthy foods.

 From there, it was to the grocery store (my usual Friday chore) which for a Saturday wasn't bad.  My mistake was going to Costco... oh boy.  I think on a couple of occasions if I didn't have the brain/mouth barrier I would of gotten myself into big trouble!!!  Why on a busy day is a kid who can barely see over the push bar of the cart be allowed to push the grocery cart?  Do you really have to leave your cart in the middle of the aisle to get a sample... really?  Someday I will get myself into big trouble!

The afternoon was spent with a little stitching, and a nice nap in my recliner!

This evening we took my nephew out for his Birthday dinner, he turned 16 last weekend!  I can't believe he'll be learning to drive this year!  I used some of the tactics from this week's meeting to do well at the restaurant.  I ordered a platter with one chicken and pork brochette, rice, potato and salad.  I was also offered soup/salad/juice to start.  There was so much food on my platter, it was almost overwhelming!  I didn't know where to start and I didn't know what to do with so much food!  I had a starter salad first, ate 1/2 of each of the brochettes with 1/4 of the rice, 1/2 of the potato and more salad!  The rest I was happy to take home, but Todd wanted to eat it.  I then splurged and shared a dessert with my nephew!  It was so yummy!

This was completely by accident but its a pretty cool effect!  My nephew was so still and I was moving while the shutter was open a little longer than usual!

I think I'll need to get in a 5K on the treadmill tomorrow!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Another Lost Day

Another day, another migraine.  I took advantage of the snow day, and the buses being cancelled to take a sick day today.  Not only did I still have my wonderful migraine but I had the nausea to go with it.

I always feel like I'm cheated out of a day when I have to give in for a migraine.

On the up side, I'm down 2 lbs this week.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Of Best Laid Plans

Today I knew I would have some extra, schedule-free time on my hands today so I packed my gym bag hoping to get in a workout.


That didn't happen.  Because my migraine is still kicking around.  I've been dealing/living with these since I was 9, so its just a part of life for me.  I do resent the fact that there are days I just have to put life on hold and crawl into bed.  Headaches and migraines are not the same beast, nowhere near it.

I'm hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic Dining Out

This week's topic for us Canadians was "Dining Out" I know many American meetings covered dealing with Thanksgiving this week, we've of course already been there done that!

When you're early on in the Weight Watchers program, dining out can be absolutely terrifying!  We all know that no matter how healthy a choice you make, the calories are much higher than what we can make ourselves at home.  Of course almost anything made by someone else always tastes much better!

Dining out isn't easy even for us veterans of the Weight Watchers program.  Its easy to go into a dining out situation with the mindset of an angel.  We leave the house/work/stores/etc thinking we're going to be good, make the best possible choice from the menu and not eat all of the food in that massive serving.  That resolution often weakens when we're suddenly faced with the menu, with a nice juicy bacon cheeseburger, all dressed pizza, deep fried goodies, whatever your poison is.  Suddenly that resolve weakens!  We come out of that meal out beating ourselves up!

What are the hazards when we eat out?
  • Alcohol, not only do the points add up but it relaxes us and we start to make poor choices
  • Breads and bread basket (oh my evil nemesis!)
  • Creamy soups and sauces (oh and cheese too!)
  • Desserts
  • Fried foods
  • "Loaded" foods like baked potatoes with cheese, bacon, fried mushrooms, etc.
  • Portion size can you say HUGE???
Calculating the points on the foods we eat in a restaurant can be tricky too.  In the ideal situation the restaurant provides the nutritional information on their dishes (website, menu or pamphlet), then you just do your Weight Watchers math.  If there's no nutritional information you have two options available to you, to do your best look up the point values on individual foods or ingredients.  Its better to guess then to not track at all.  Or you can use the "Set Points" value that Weight Watchers assigns to basic food groups (protein 5, starchy vegetables 6, fruit 2).  This takes a lot of the guesswork out of figuring it out, these are often on the high side but its better to err on the side of caution.

So what are some strategies we can use when we're faced with a meal out?
  • Sabotage!  That's right, if you pick at your plate once you're full sabotage the food that's left.  Pour pepper, salt, vinegar or ketchup all over it.  Make it impossible to eat.  Remember often serving sizes are 2-3 times what we really should be eating.
  • Ask the server not to bring a part of the dish, such as please skip the bun on my hamburger or no fries please, skip the bacon, skip the cheese, etc.
  • Use your voice!  If the item isn't cooked the way you want it... ask!  Ask if something can be grilled, can the vegetables be steamed, etc.  Please no cream sauce.  If we ask for healthy options eventually the restaurants will be forced to put it on the menu (and its been on the rise lately!)
  • Ask for a container and doggie bag 1/2 of your meal before you start
  • Replace the fries, pasta, rice, etc with salad
  • Eat your salad/vegetables FIRST if you're full of veggies you may not eat as much of the higher point valued foods
  • Check the menu and nutritional information ahead of time, go in with your mind made up of what you're going to order.  If you're likely to change your mind tell the server not to bring you a menu.  If you're tempted by other people's orders, ask to put in your order first.
  • Don't leave eating too late
  • If you know the meal is going to be late, have a healthy, low point snack before you go out
  • Drink a glass of water before your meal, continue to drink water during your meal.  Actually drink lots of water after too, prepared foods are often so full of sodium it can affect your weight the following day.
  • Eat slowly, take this opportunity to socialize instead of shovelling food into your mouth so you can't say a word!
One thing that's very important I want all of you to remember, when you do overeat (and we all do it) or enjoy something that isn't "healthy food" don't feel bad about it, and beat yourself up.  We have to realize we're all human and we're not perfect.  Be accountable for the points you ate, track it and get yourself back on plan RIGHT NOW!  Never allow yourself to have the mindset "I've blown it... so why stop now, can I have the dessert menu please?'

So, don't face that meal out with fear, plan, be prepared and enjoy it as a social event not a licence to stuff your face with that bacon cheeseburger with poutine on the side.

It was time for a change today, and I got my hair cut, I don't think I'm too fond of it.  Hopefully in a day or two that will change, maybe I just need to "get used" to it.  I also look like crap and pale due to another migraine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When Passions Collide

Just a quick little post tonight.  I did go to Weight Watchers tonight but I don't have time to do a post/topic justice.  I will get to it tomorrow.

I wanted to tell you about my other passion, and sadly its not one that goes well with loosing weight and being active.  Actually my favourite activity is quite sedentary I don't think you burn too many calories doing it.  That activity is cross stitch!  I started stitching back in 1997 and I haven't looked back since!  That's actually what I first started blogging about seven years ago, my hobby, my passion! 

There's nothing I get more joy from than to sit down with fabric, needle and thread and make little x's.  One x leads to another and before you know it you have this gorgeous picture.

I have to also admit, I don't feel so guilty sitting in front of the TV as long as my hands are busy.

Did I mention napping is my second favourite hobby?

Monday, November 22, 2010


Can an overweight teacher/instructor really be a true role model?
The last time I competed in 2006 1 year before starting WW
I do feel there's nothing more important in this world than being a teacher.  Teachers open doors for us, show us new worlds, and motivate us to be more, do better.

I am a teacher.  Well, not a school teacher, but I teach Taekwon-Do.  Early on, when I first started learning I had the BEST Taekwon-Do instructors ever!  I was taught by a world champion, I was taught by female who is technically amazing, and I was taught by the best motivator ever.  These three people I think are the ones who showed me the love and passion they have for Taekwon-Do and made me the martial artist and laid the foundation for the teacher/instructor I am today.  These people kept me motivated to keep training though I wasn't a small girl.

I don't think I was the best example of the ideal instructor when I was teaching at almost 200 lbs.  I knew the techniques, I knew how to do them to my best ability, I sure knew my theory.  How can someone so big be a true example?  A true motivator?  It took a bad foot injury, which happened while teaching my 7-13 year old students to make me stop.  I do think that this injury was the best thing that ever happened to me.  During this time I finally faced my weight problem, joined weight watchers, and as my foot got better (it was a long recovery ... probably due to my excessive weight) became an athlete, yes I consider myself an athlete.    Finally a year and a half later, I returned to Taekwon-Do.  Slowly I started training all over again, eventually working up to testing for my 3rd Degree Black Belt (almost a year ago now).

At my 3rd Degree Black Belt test, I can now move faster,
kick harder, jump higher, and more.  A better role model for
my young students.

This fall I took back up the role of instructor.  I only teach once a week, and I work with our "Little Tigers" program, specifically designed for 4-6 year old children. I absolutely LOVE working with these kids and opening their eyes to what they can achieve physically.  I try my best to motivate my students, to make them feel good about themselves and be proud of themselves for trying their best.

I now truly feel I am a proper role model of a healthy, active person.  I feel no shame when I stand in front of a class now asking them to go faster, kick harder, jump higher because now I can too.

Loosing my weight was the best thing I could ever do to improve myself as a martial artist.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gym-Dates Rock!

Back in the fall my friend Marline and I decided to meet up on a Sunday afternoon and go to the gym and have dinner together at her place afterwards.  Right away we knew we had to do this again!  So we picked a second date, gym and dinner this time I'd bring my kick-ass lasagna. 

Since there was a nice big pan of lasagna we got in touch with our friend Laurie-Anne and asked her to join us for dinner.  We haven't gotten Laurie-Anne out to the gym yet, it was close today but she was having trouble submitting an assignment for an online course and didn't make it.  However, today we had Alicia join us since her gym-date didn't show up.  So as of tonight, our little group of 2 is now a lovely group of 4! 

We've each been taking turns making dinner, bringing the salad, or the dessert.  Tonight, it was my turn and I made us Chicken Parmigiana Weight Watchers style!  We had it with salad, rice pasta, green beans and broccolini.  Dessert was creme caramel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Managing Stress

This morning I rolled out of bed at 8am, all I really wanted to do was stay in there.  Also I was feeling rough, like hangover rough when I didn't have the good time the night before.  However, I got myself up and going, cleaned the boy's litter tray (yay), made a pot of tea, then headed out the door to my Saturday Weight Watchers meeting.  I got there to see we didn't have our usual meeting leader, I was saddened to find out her Dad had passed away a week ago and she's having a hard time with it.

I'd like everyone out there who leads a stress-free life to put up there hands out there.  Mmm hmmm that's what I thought not a single hand went up.

There are so many stressors in life let's list a few that come to mind:
  • Your job
  • Your family/spouse/children
  • Finances
  • Your Weight
  • Holidays & celebrations
  • Change
There are so many more here that aren't listed but they cause stress!  At times our stressors are within our control, we put ourselves under undue stress.  Sometimes things/life are just beyond our control and we have to ride the wave.

Stress has a funny effect on our bodies, and if you've followed The Biggest Looser at all you know from their weigh ins the weeks when a contestant has been under extreme stress despite the controlled setting (food & exercise) they have a very poor result or a gain at the scale.  For some strange reason stress can make us gain weight despite our best efforts to eat properly.  So we have to learn to deal with it.

How can we deal with our stress?  For many of us folks who are or have been overweight, our first instinct has been to reach for food.  We eat for comfort (a very fleeting feeling) or sometimes just to feel (again short lived).  We often eat without thinking when we are stressed out, I know I also start skipping out on workouts, go home from work and go to bed. 

So when we are stressed and are about to reach for food one should try to STOP.  Think about why we're reaching for that food is it a WANT or a NEED?  Are you eating just because you want to or are you eating because you're hungry?  Instead of eating, get away from the food, go out, go for a walk, to do something to distract yourself.  During this time you've gotten away from the food analyze why you wanted to eat, maybe you can come up with a solution as to why you're stressed (remember sometimes, its beyond your control).

So what can we do to deal with the stress?
  • Exercise (I felt fantastic last night after finally getting to the gym!)
  • Use your tracker, not just to track your food but make notes about how you've been feeling, about the bad days and the stressful days.  You can look back on this especially when you didn't have the results you wanted at the scale
  • Ask for help
  • Learn from your experiences
  • Manage your environment
  • Manage your feelings
  • Monitor yourself
  • Prepare yourself
  • Take care of yourself
There are ways we can approach a stressful situation or time and it all comes down to attitude.
  • Those who do
  • Those who don't
  • Those who will
  • Those who wont
You want to be the person who does and who will.

Gosh my notes from today's meeting are just all over the place, I found this leader wasn't so streamlined in her thought/presentation which made it challenging for me to pull all the information together to share with you.  She did have a great quote at the end from Abraham Lincoln :

"Always Bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any one thing"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Not Surprised

Its Friday, which means the weekend is here... actually it means weigh in day.

Unfortunately today I have a gain to share with you, but really was I surprised?  Not at all, not after this past weekend and the following week!  I had some great runs on the weekend, however I had not gone to a gym, Taekwon-Do, or for a run until tonight.

Between some not so great food choices on the weekend, a hectic week (which translates into not my usual eating patterns), and no exercise lead to a two pound gain this week.

Before I stepped on the scale this morning I promised myself that today was my fresh start, now that life has slowed back down.  I started out my morning with my usual push-ups and sit-ups I hadn't done in a week.  I did eat some cake today (you know me and... cake right?), and I finally stepped foot in the gym.  I was pretty tired and cranky today (I kicked kids out of the library on 4 occasions today) but I felt so much better after working out.  I really should of done that last night but I wimped out and came home to relax!

I don't have a lot of crazy plans this weekend so I'm hoping to relax, sleep, and make it to my gym-date on Sunday!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Wow is right!  Unfortunately it has nothing to do with my current weight, or some crazy form of exercise I've done.  Its all about this blog!

I started the blog this past summer, really for myself and its something I wish I had done from the start.  To track, journal and share my weight loss journey.  Of course the journey isn't over so now I'm sharing with you my struggle to maintain my weight loss (and you never know loose a few more???) and lead a full, active life.

I got an e-mail today, at first I assumed it was a comment on this blog.  Then I thought it was SPAM.  Then I realized it was legitimate!  My blog has been listed (by another blog on a website in the health care field) in this entry "60 Amazing Blogs For Weight Watchers Support"!  I was actually shocked and surprised that people out there actually read this and feel that its worthy of having a good look!

I'm listed as #24 under "Points and dieting" they've highlighted a couple of entries that are worth looking at too.  I am also quite honoured to be included in a list with the likes of the Legendary Sheryl!  Aka Bitchcakes who is an amazing women and an inspiration to all!  I ADORE her blog!

So I want to say THANK YOU to all of you fantastic readers, high-fives and props all around!  Thank you for following me on my life long journey!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guilty Pleasure...

Everyone has a guilty pleasure!  There are the guilty pleasures that come in food form (cake anyone? chocolate?), lying in bed all day and reading a book, taking a nap on a Saturday afternoon, or watching a certain TV show.

One of my guilty pleasures is watching The Biggest Loser!  Funny though, I never watched it when I was overweight.  I started following the show when I started loosing my weight.  I think because in the past I didn't want to face the truth, face the fact that I was overweight and I could do something about it if I got off of my lazy behind.  I've been following it for the last couple of seasons.

I have to say this current season there's no one contestant I'm really pulling for.  Ada is the only one I am pulling for but no one is a huge stand out this season.

So how many of you out there share my guilty secret?  If you had an opportunity to be in the gym with one of the trainers who would you pick?  I would totally love to get my ass kicked and be yelled at by Gillian!

Sorry no great words of wisdom again, I have some time at home tonight and I just want to sit and enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Old Me

Well, wonderful blog readers, I really don't have the time to tell you much today!  Its 11:45PM and I need to get this post UP!

So I thought I'd share with you a pre-weight loss picture of me with you.  A girl needs a reminder of how far she's come.

Here I am with cross stitch designer Jeannette Douglas in 2006
I also want to shout out a thank you to Amy tonight!  She invited me over for dinner, she fed me a fantastic Weight Watchers friendly meal with dessert.  Amy also sent me home with leftovers for lunch tomorrow (yay!).  We has such a great time that neither of us noticed it was suddenly almost 9PM and I really needed to head home!  Amy is also living the Weight Watchers lifestyle despite her busy, busy life and is down 14 lbs so far.  Way to go Amy!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Own Worst Enemy

I'm doing a little too much of this lately, burning the candle at both ends! Another important part of loosing and maintaining weight loss is taking care of number one... YOU! I really haven't been doing this lately, I really am my own worst enemy.

I have been really busy since the last week of October, sleep has become a luxury, I've not been making proper dinners nor thinking ahead for my lunches. I'm hoping after today that will change, I have a big event tonight that we've been working towards and I don't expect to be back home until midnight.

Once its done, I hope I can relax, I've booked a massage for myself after work tomorrow, and dinner with a friend. A little bit of self papering will help.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Weigh In and Not So Good Food Weekend

With all that has been going on, I forgot to share with you this Friday's weigh in.  I was down 1.5lbs which puts me back at my goal weight!  I'm very happy about this.

However, I'm not so happy/proud of how I handled this weekend.  It was one of my girls stitching getaways.  I started the weekend with the best of intentions and I did not too bad food wise until about Saturday afternoon, and its kind gone down hill from there.

I ate temptations like this for lunch... (mind you I only ate 1/2 of the chicken and 1/2 of the rice)

Followed by this for dessert... I meant to eat half... honestly!  Oops, I ate it all (remember me and my love affair with cake)

This evening was a bit of a challenge as well because its my Dad's Birthday and we had a great family dinner.  I feel like I've eaten way too much, I ate 3 yes 3 pieces of garlic bread!  Also more cake, but this time it was only a sliver.

I've spent way too much time feeling bloated and uncomfortable from eating too much.  I know I've done better than I used to do, cause I used to eat whatever I want without a second thought.  Now I just spend a little time (not too long) feeling guilty about a poor decision.

Now on the other hand I'm hoping the exercise I've put in over the last 3 days will kinda balance out the food I've consumed in the last day and a half (and flush the sodium out with a lot of water!).  There was Friday's monumental 12.5 km run, Saturday I walked about 10km (in two installments), and this morning I put in another run this time only a gentle 4 km.  I have to admit my poor legs are a little sore!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Country Walks

There's nothing better than a GORGEOUS fall day and a nice walk (or two) in the country sure fits the bill and its a great way to get in some exercise!  Not only do I go for a nice power walk, but I take my camera with me, hoping for some great shots.

Here are some of my shots from today.

I think between my two walks today I must of gotten in 8-10 KM!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yeah Baby!

Today I did my LONGEST run EVER!  It was a challenging run, varying terrains (pavement/gravel) and some long killer hills!  But I didn't stop!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Today, November 11th is Remembrance Day, are you wearing your poppy? I've been wearing mine since November 1st. I hope everyone takes a moment out of their busy lives and observes a minute of silence at 11am. Take this time to stop the chaos and focus your thoughts, prayers, and energy on those who served to help form the world we live in today, those who are currently serving in Afghanistan and other areas of the world to help protect the rights of the innocent.

Thank you to all the men and women who have served, are serving and will serve in the future. We could not have the wonderful lives we do without you!

At work we'll be marking this day with a fantastic Remembrance Day assembly.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nike+ Sensor

Back in October I treated myself to a new running gadget, running isn't something I'm SUPER seriuous about but I do kinda enjoy it, and its a great calorie burn.  I think its part of whats shaped my body to what it is today.

After a little online research I decided I wanted a Nike+ Sensor to pair with my iPhone which I always have with me when running (I once had a serious medical situation while out running on my own on a backroad...with no phone) on the roads.  iPhones and iPod touches already have the Nike+ app/sensor built into it.  I also didn't want to spend my money on the Nike+ shoes.  I found out there's a little case/clip you can get to attach a sensor to your laces, saves the expense of a new pair of shoes when I already have a perfectly good pair of runners.  So for me the total investment was under $40

The software does some great things, I can set it up for an open ended workout.  This means there is no goal time or distance.  I used this all the time at first.  You can do a timed workout, haven't used this yet.  Distance (3K, 5K, 10K, 2mi, 5mi, 10mi, half marathon full marathon, custom), I am using this one reguarly now.  Finally calorie burn.  I haven't used this one yet either.  Once you've selected the type of workout you then select if you want it to use one of your playlists or shuffle the music on your device.  When setting up the app you also can set one song as your "Power Song" its that one song that gets you through that tough hill, that last mile, those last 5 minutes.

At any time you can get an update on how you're doing with a voiceover.  It'll let you know how far you've gone and how long you've run.  When using the distance workout I love how it tells me when each kilometer has passed, when I'm at the half way point and when I'm down to those last couple of hundred meters.

When you're done your workout, the app gives you a summary of distance, time, and calories burnt (based on settings you put in when you set it up).  When you're done you can sync your phone with iTunes and it upload your run data to the Nike+ website where you will get a cool line graph or your pace during your run, its neat to see those peaks and valleys.  It also helps to track the total distnace you've run.  There are coaching programs to lead you up to a 3K, 5K, 10K, 1/2 and full marathons, you can challenge others and use it to share your runs on Facebook and Twitter.

 So all in all I love my Nike+ sensor and I don't run without it!  I think its motivated me to run more often and try to run a little further.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meeting Topic : Challenges aka : the Christmas Season

Me & Master Lu, I started Taekwon-Do as one of his students
Christmas 2009

My American readers might think I'm crazy that we're already talking about Christmas at Weight Watchers. We're not crazy, for us Thanksgiving happened AGES ago!  We have said goodbye to the Turkey and the Pumpkin, now we're saying hello to the Christmas Tree!

This time of year leading up to Christmas if FULL of challenges!  There are the parties, the dinners, the pot-lucks, the after work drinks and nibbles and more!   Here are a few things we need to keep in mind to try and keep us on track, or as close to on track as possible!

TRACK - Track what you eat and if you can, plan ahead.  Plan your meals ahead.  If I know I'm going to be at a social event with food I often will plan most of my meals to be low point so I have some extra points to enjoy a few of my favourites at said social event.  I'll also do my best to eat "lighter/healthier" a day or two leading up to and following the event.

STOP! - How many of us have felt we have "blown" our day and we think "what the hell, I might as well keep eating"!  I think we all have.  This isn't an excuse to keep eating.  If you think you've blown your day, try to stop yourself, sit down and figure out how many points you've eaten that day.  It might not be as bad as you think, or it might me awful!  You can use this instance as a reminder for the next time you're tempted to keep eating once you've blown the day.

BE POSITIVE - Don't spend every waking hour beating yourself up for eating something "bad".  This is the beauty of WW, we can have those small indulgences.  Even when you have a slip up, instead of beating yourself up know that you ARE doing better than you used to!  Think back to how you used to act/eat at social events and how you handled it this time.  Next time you will handle it better

FRIENDS/FAMILY - Use those who care about you and are close to you.  Ask a friend to remind you not to stand near the food, or in the same room as the food (I'm okay as long as I'm not standing next to the food).  There is power in numbers!

PLANNING - Plan your meals and snacks to fit the day and the event!  Don't go to an event hungry, and don't go too long between meals.

EXERCISE - If you know you're going to be eating a little extra, get in a little more exercise as well.

ONLINE - The Weight Watchers communities, blogs and e-mails are a GREAT way to get support from those around you.  If you ever need some help or support please, don't hesitate to e-mail me!  I'm always there to help, make a suggestion, or just help you celebrate a Non Scale Victory or Milestone!!

RECIPES - Go through your cookbooks or the Internet come up with a few low calorie/fat recipes and make them your signature dishes for those potlucks.  The only way you can help yourself is by bringing a low point WW friendly dish!

REST - Don't burn the candle at both ends (I am SOOOOOOO guilty of this!), get some sleep.  When we're tired our defenses are down.  We eat more, and sometimes we eat just to help us stay awake (I know I do this!)

WATER - Drink your water, lots of it!  A lot of these party foods will be much higher in sodium than we're used to and you will retain water.  The only way to get rid of the fluids you're retaining is to... drink more water!

BE PREPARED - Look up the points of your favourite holiday treats, then you will know if its worth having or not!

FIRST BITE - That first bite always tastes the best, savour it.  Have a second bite, it may not taste as good anymore.  Maybe that one bite was all you needed?  There is no rule that we have to finish everything on our plates.

Here's my little party tip.  Don't grab a BIG plate, actually don't grab a plate at all if its nibblies.  I take only a napkin and I put one or two things on that napkin at a time.  Its a round about way to control portions.  I also do my best to be in a different room from the food or as far away from it as possible.  I find if I stand next to the nibblies, I start nibbling even though I don't really want the food.  Also take some gum with you.  Its hard to eat potato chips when you're chewing a piece of gum!

Monday, November 8, 2010

An Interesting Question...

Yesterday a member on the Weight Watchers Canada message boards in the Newbie forum asked

"I am just starting and I was wondering if you could tell me what is the biggest benefit to your weight loss?"

Well I jumped right into answering this question and here were the points I gave and I wanted to share them with you!

  • I've lost over 60lbs
  • I've gone from a size 20 pant and a 2-3X top to a size 8 and a M-S top
  • For the first time in my adult life I own a bikini
  • I can run... I've run 10K and thinking about a 1/2 marathon
  • My ability to be a martial artist improved dramatically
  • I am a better example/role model for my Taekwon-Do students, I mean really a instructor who was over 200 lbs?
  • I look like an athlete
  • I stopped having problems with plantar fascitis
  • I look hot
  • I have the body I used to dream about having.
  • Increased confidence
  • I used to be terrified of going to a gym, I now go several times a week
  • I fit in the bathtub nicely with extra room!
  • I can wrap a hotel sized towel around my body
  • I can buy clothes anywhere
  • I feel awesome all the time
  • I've barely been ill in the last 2 years
 For some odd reason I'm having trouble with migraines again.  I'm not sure where' this is coming from.  I had one start up Saturday afternoon but managed to take care of it with some Excedrin for Migraine.  It came back last night and I had to give in and go to bed.  It was back again this morning, but the pills didn't help.  Tonight its left me feeling quite nauseous.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with them lately, but I am.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is That Really Me?

Today, I saw a picture of myself (it was taken today), and I did a double take, is that really me?  Am I really that small?  Loosing 63 lbs is a big deal, a very big deal.  Even now, after being at my goal weight (ish) for over a year I still have this picture in my head of the old me.  I think it takes a long time to adjust to the new image you have.  I was used to seeing this fat girl staring back at me in the mirror and that image has been in my head for so long its hard to see the "real" me.  The me who weighs 135lbs, the me who can run for 70 minutes non-stop, the me who isn't out of breath anymore, the me who fits into a size 8 pants went from a size 6 TKD uniform to a size 3 (and there's lots of room).  Its a big change!!!

Almonte Taekwon-Do Students at the tournament

Today was the Capital Cup Friendship tournament, I attended today both as a judge and as a competitor, something I haven't done since 2007.  When I last competed in a tournament I was over 200 lbs and a very bad case of plantar fascitis!  Today I was a different person!

All the black belt team pattern competitors

I completed in two divisions, Team Patterns with Paige and Jason and individual patterns.  Now this team we essentially put together Saturday afternoon, Paige and I figured out which pattern we'd do, where the breaks were, and positioning.  We then called Jason up and pretty much told him we were doing a team pattern (at Mr. Marin's request ... school owner) at Sunday's tournament.  We met up early, before the start of the tournament, practiced a few times, but then we were all sent to judge at assorted rings.  The end results from today?  Almonte Taekwon-Do did very well!  I am very proud of all the students and all the students I teach on a regular basis, its a good measure of how I'm doing as an instructor when my students attend tournaments, conduct themselves with honour, and do their best in the ring.

Me & Paige with our medals -- Jason had left by the time I was free to take a picture

In team patterns, we just killed it!  Paige, Jason and I won the gold medal!!!  However in individual patterns I didn't do so well, I made a mistake and ended up with a bronze medal.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Metabolisim Part Deux

My plans for today fell through so I was at a loose end today!  I figured I'd get up around 8am and hop on my scale.  Yes, I know, I know we're not supposed to weigh ourselves daily, and I don't.  I figured if I was in my "safe zone" I'd drive into town and go to the Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting and weigh in for the month of November.  Next weekend will be one full of food, temptations, and sitting on my behind stitching so if I can get it out of the way now I've technically got until December 31st to recover.  Not that I'm planning on being bad... I rarely plan on being bad but I know there will be an abundance of food and some of it VERY tempting.  My plan is to take a fruit bowl!  I'm going to take a nice big bowl and fill it with apples, clementines (yeah!  Its clementine time of year!), bananas and grapes.

Anyhow despite yesterday's 2 cookies for breakfast, a sliver of pizza at lunch (and I mean a sliver!), 3 fajitas for dinner and 1/2 a chocolate bar that I shared with my friend Christin... I was down another 1.5 lbs!  Yup, 135 on the nose!  Sadly there is a 1 lb difference between my scale and the Weight Watchers one but its still within the acceptable range.  So off I went!

I got a little more GREAT information on metabolism at Saturday's meeting as well.  That's the beauty of Weight Watchers is that each meeting leader has a different take on the same subject.  Did you know that there are 3 types of metabolism?  I had no clue!

Resting - this is 70-75% of your metabolism this is the energy you body needs to sleep, to breath, your hear to beat.  Essentially the calories your body burns while you're sitting on your behind (stitching?) or even sleeping.

Food Digestion - 10% did you know you'll burn more calories eating an apple than a container of yogurt.  Your body has to work harder at chewing and digesting it.  Cool eh?

Physical Activity - disappointingly this is only 15-20% of our metabolism

I thought those were three really cool facts I picked up at the meeting!  As usual there was a lot of laughing a few comments about sex and raising your heart rate to increase your metabolism.  I think that's why I love these Saturday meetings, the ladies just put it all out there and we have a good laugh (which burns calories too).

Tomorrow I'm expecting a long day!  I'm at a Taekwon-Do tournament, where I'll be assisting with the 4-6 year old obstacle course, judging patterns & sparring, also competing in patterns and team patterns, a last minute plan with Paige and Jason.

The Terrific Trio - My team for team patterns!
Wish me luck!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Good Weigh In

Today was my first Friday weigh in, and guess what it was a good one!  I'm down 1.5 lbs this week, so back within my "safe" zone but not quite at goal.

I have had just an awesome week.  Nothing really cool happening, but I just had one of those weeks were I was busy, active and not once did I feel exhausted!  Its been a long time since I've felt this good.  I hope it continues!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic : Metabolisim

This week I didn't go to either of my two regular Weight Watchers meetings that I normally pick from.  I had a Tournament Judging meeting late last night in the city so I decided to stay in town, go to the gym after work, grab a bite to eat and check out a different Weight Watchers meeting.  All of this before my judging meeting (tournament is on Sunday).  I left the house at 7am yesterday, and I didn't get home until after 10:30pm, it was a long day, but a great day!

I ALMOST didn't get to attend last night's meeting at the Weight Watchers Center in the city.  I showed the receptionist my Lifetime Status card, and told her I was here to attend the meeting but that I did not want to weigh in yet for the month.  She started telling me how I HAD to weigh in that it was the rules that you had to weigh in at your first meeting of the month.  I reply "really?  The two meetings I usually attend let me pick which meeting I weigh in at as long as I weigh in at some point that month."  She wanted to keep insisting that they were breaking the rules at my regular meetings.  So she pulled out a lifetime member booklet and starts reading the "fine print" to prove her point.

Here's what it says : If you weiged in during the preceding calendar month at a meeting, you are eligible to attend this meeting free of charge depending on your weigh-in results. 

So guess who won that debate???  Yup, yours truly!  It did leave a sour taste in my mouth and I don't think I enjoyed the meeting as much because of that.  I also think I'm spoilt by the fantastic leader at my local Saturday meetings.

What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the process by which your body burns calories for energy.
Under eating and being inactive are the two main factors for a slow metabolism. So how can we speed up our metabolism or get it working better?Exercise regularly - find something YOU enjoy and "just do it"
  • Build lean muscle mass
  • Eat regularly!!!  Just like a car needs gas, so does your body and food is the fuel you fill your tank with.  If your car won't go anywhere on empty, what makes you think you will?
    • Your body doesn't function properly, and can eventually cause damage to your organs
    • Types of food we should be leaning towards to "fill" our tanks?
      • Lean protein
      • Fruits/Vegetables
      • Whole grains
      • Healthy fats (yes your body still needs them to function right)
    • Eat all of your meals and have snacks!  Yes I said have a SNACK, of course I'm not talking about a bag of chips and a chocolate bar.  A piece of fruit, vegetables and hummus, there are so many choices.
    • Never go hungry to a meal
The two main ways to optimize your metabolism is to increase lean muscle mass and your heart rate, which translates to "moving more".  Like I already said, find something you enjoy to do and go for it!  Exercise was always a challenge for me prior to loosing my weight until back in 1997 when I discovered Taekwon-Do.  For me it turned into a learning process, not exercise and I really dig the theory and history involved in all of it!  I did this when I was over 200 lbs and I do it even better now!  So go out there try something different and if you like it, embrace it!

Mix it up!  Try to change on a regular basis what foods you eat, and what activity you do.  By repeating the same meals over and doing the same workout day after day your weight loss will slow down.  The body is an amazing thing and the body gets used to processing the same foods and doing the same movements over and over!  Therefor it starts digesting that food and doing that activity in the most efficient manner possible.

Sleep... what can I say?  I am the biggest culprit for this!  I rarely get more than 6 hours sleep a night.  This is something else we need for our bodies and brains to function properly!

I did like the quote the leader wrapped up the meeting with.
"Nothing will work unless you do"
So go get at it folks!!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Change Is Coming...

I've been hearing rumours for the last little while on the Weight Watchers Canada message boards that change is coming.

The rumor is the points system for foods is going to change, and that fruit (which I love) will now have ZERO points!  Yeah baby!  The new program hasn't be unveiled in Canada (I've heard December 6th for us) & the US yet but apparently its about to roll out in the U.K.

Here's a brief article about the new U.K. program on CNN.com

Here's an article from a U.K. website

Definitely sounds like a drastic change, but maybe it'll be the kick-in-the-behind my body needs to loose these last pounds.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Darn You Twisty Red Sweetness!

What did I buy on Sunday night for my drive home??? A nice big bag of Twizzlers!!!  Oh my you tasty ropes of red licorice!  We have had an ongoing battle since Sunday night!  I can imagine this bag won't last much past Wednesday/Thursday night. 

I have to admit I have been MUCH better about eating these than I used to be.  Once upon a time I would of had half of the bag polished off in my 2 hour drive.  Instead I ate them slowly and savoured each bite.

I have always loved Twizzlers, and always will, and its got to be the brand name, no-name substitutions won't do!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Going To Attempt The Impossible!

Did you know that the month of November is NatBloPoMo? Yes, that's right, National Blog Posting Month! The gist of it is to post one blog entry every day for the month of November. The last few years I've always thought this was a very cool idea but I've often forgotten about it, thus not participated. I haven't joined anything official or signed up to any website to do this (don't really want to), but I'm going to try and do it anyhow.

I am going to attempt the impossible and do this for BOTH of my blogs!
After some thinking I've decided to make a change on my Weight Watcher's schedule.  I'm a little tired of spending my weekends worrying about what I'm eating and what I'm doing (or not doing).  Spending so much of my "me time" worrying about how this or that is going to affect my weigh in on Tuesday.  So I've taken the jump and moved my weigh in day to Friday BEFORE the weekend starts.  Of course making this change this morning really screwed up my Weekly points as I went through all of them Friday-Sunday with Halloween candy silliness!  When I made the change on the Weight Watchers eTools website this morning it wanted me to put in a weight for this past Friday.  Since I had no clue what my weight was or how bad this past week's damage was I just put down my number from Tuesday again.
I'm still trying to get myself back on track and I'm not doing too well at that.