Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week in Review March 18-24

Its been a long time since I've done one of these!  Travel and life got busy real fast.  March Break was great and I enjoyed getting away (though I didn't enjoy the long hours spent travelling to SW Arizona) and seeing some great friends, that was followed by one of my Stitching Retreats where we eat far too much food!!!

At Dateland, Az. enjoying my first Date Shake since 2007 oh yummy!!!

When I returned from Arizona as I mentioned before I came back 2.5 lbs heavier, and this week I weighed in down 2 lbs!  So that extra trip weight is almost gone!  The nice thing is I didn't have to work overly hard to do it.  Yes I did work and I watched my points but not as strictly as I can sometime.  So it was a pleasant surprise, that and I stayed off of the scales during the week, there was no peeking.

So here's my week at a glance:

The Good:
  • Got back to running the morning after I got home
  • Got in two runs outdoors, its warming up!
  • Getting my eating back to normal seemed easy this week!
  • Was NOT tempted by chocolate, candy or other treats
  • Didn't buy a single treat this week (victory!)
  • Exercised almost every day except Wednesday
The Bad:
  • Gained weight while in Arizona
  • Did better at my food choices at Retreat this time, ate some junk but not as much and lost weight despite it, I usually gain weight after retreat
  • Didn't exercise Wednesday or Thursday
  • Didn't get to the gym despite my best intentions
The Ugly:
  • I don't really think anything ugly stands out at all from this last week
Upcoming Challenges:
  • Its my 35th birthday tomorrow, so there will be cake with my family tonight (there was cake at work yesterday).  Cake is one of those foods I don't turn down, now I will leave a piece after a bite if it doesn't taste good.  On the other hand I know it will be a healthy meal with roast chicken and the assorted fixings.  I'm very fortunate that my Mum is an excellent and conscientious cook, also my Dad watches what he eats too (we gain weight very easily in my family) so I know I'm eating a tasty "safe" meal.
  • I won't be getting to the gym on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I'm hoping to get a run in on Wednesday night once I'm back at home.
  • I'm hoping to continue on the good stretch where it comes to eating well and not being tempted by the foods I love.

I did get myself an early Birthday present on Thursday (thus the reason for missing the gym).  Todd and I decided that when I was ready we'd get another cat.  When I met this little guy, I just fell in love... his markings are just gorgeous!  Todd has fallen in love as well, now Hunter he's growled, hissed, and given the kitten a few clawless swats.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Last week I was away visiting my good friend Kathy in SW Arizona, I had gone for the first time back in 2007 before I started my weight loss journey.  I went back this year, 3 years later.  I wanted to share these two pictures with you.

March 2007, almost exactly 3 years ago before starting my weight loss journey, and I thought I looked good then????  Oh my gawd!

March 2011 at the same entry point to Mexico 3 years later -- I LOOK AWESOME!

I am getting my feet back under me after so much travelling (4 countries, 4 weeks ... Canada, Dominican Republic, U.S. and Mexico)!  I did come back from Arizona 2.5 lbs heavier, due to too many extra treats, and at least one meal out every day... I find American restaurant food is not so waist friendly.  On the up side I did get to run outside twice during the week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Jetsetting Again!

Sorry for the blog silence, I've had a very  rough week.  It all started last Tuesday (the 1st), with my car needing $700 in work!  Ouch, but if it keeps the car on the road another 6+ months it'll be worth it.  Then this past Monday my car door was frozen, Todd broke the driver's side door handle.  Sigh.  The worst of all, was this Tuesday.  I took my 15 year old cat Cuddles into the vet to have a sore on his front leg checked out.  It was heartbreaking, but I had to have him put down.  There was an infection and several other issues.  I cried and cried and cried!  That was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  I've caught myself doing some emotional eating at times.  Then at times I'm not eating until my stomach growls.  Food has been weird and exercise scarce.  The result of this is being up 1 lb this week.  I guess I can consider that a victory of sorts seeing as I  could of just gone overboard.

I'm doing it again, hopping on a plane tomorrow morning to go and visit my friend inin Arizona!!! After the week I had,I need a vacation and some SUN! I'm looking forward to seeing Kathy, heading up to Phoenix(ish) to see my good friend Judie who is down there on vacation right now. There's a little trip to The Attic (needlework store) planned as well! Can't wait for some retail therapy!

Don't worry, there will be lots of pictures when I get back!

Oh yeah did I mention that next weekend is the annual Knowledge and Needles March retreat! So I'll be coming home on Thursday and hopping in the car Friday to go stitch with my friends! What a whirlwind.
Stitch. Eat. Sleep.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weekly Meeting Topic Week 9: Shake It Up

It was nice to get to my meeting for the second week in a row, but I'm afraid I probably won't make another meeting for at least two weeks.  This upcoming Saturday I'll be getting back on a plane again, this time heading to Yuma, Arizona to visit with my good friend Kathy for March Break.  I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to get to a meeting while I'm there, I'd like to.  Its always nice to go do a different meeting and get a different perspective on things.  Looking at my schedule this week I don't think I can squeeze a meeting in at a different location.

I did weigh in at my meeting on Saturday, and I'm down 1.5 lbs from February, so that's awesome!  It'll be a  challenge to keep it that way while I travel again.

This week's meeting was about shaking things up.  Many of us get into a rut, a food rut and an exercise rut.  I'm the first to admit this.  I tend to eat the same/similar foods a lot of the time.  Not for the same meal or the same order but my grocery shopping list is pretty static.

 Also my exercise routine, well its same old, same old at the gym.  I blame things being the same at the gym because I just don't know better, I'm afraid to experiment with weights on my own for fear of doing it wrong and hurting myself.  Sadly I just can't afford a personal trainer at the gym I go to, they want you to commit to 3x a week for a minimum of 3-6 months.  I just don't have thousands of dollars on hand to do that.  I wish the gym I went to (Goodlife) would allow you to hire a trainer to help design a program to fit your goals, show you how to execute that program and the techniques, then just check in with that trainer every 2-4 weeks.  That I probably could afford.  I must admit I always look upon the people at the gym with trainers a little wistfully, and with a slight tinge of jealousy.

So we need to shake things up, especially if our weight loss starts to slow or even plateaus.  This can help you reach your weight loss goals.  Also if you eat the same foods and do the same exercises constantly one of two things can happen.  You can become bored very quick, give up or give in to binging on unhealthy foods.  Or if you keep it up (like I tend to) your body becomes used to that calorie intake/calorie burn and will hold onto your extra weight.  You need to change things up to keep your body guessing.

4 Ways to Mix Up Your Meals
  1. Experiment with new recipes
  2. Swap recipes with another WW member, ones you know that are good!
  3. Add a new fruit/vegetable now and again
  4. Revamp old stand-bys
4 Ways to Mix Up Activity
  1. Add accountability - I actually keep a calendar I write all my work outs down on and how many days in a row I earned activity points.
  2. Put on some music - music is used by athletes to focus, get in the zone and pump themselves up.
  3. Try variations, walk a different rout, try altering speeds, etc.
  4. Buddy up

Another shot of me in the D.R.

Well, that's it... short and sweet this week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Week In Review February 25-March 4

Me at an ocean-front restaurant in Santo Domingo, D.R.
 This week has been spent trying to get my body back to normal after my Dominican Experience the week before.  While I was away I was VERY mindful of how much I ate as the diet was pretty much based on carbs and protein (rice, white bread, plantains).  I really paid attention to my body's hunger signals! 

My weight is doing very well!  I weighed myself the morning I left for the DR and I was back down the 3lbs I put on the week before.  Upon my return last Friday I was down another 0.5 lbs SUCCESS!!!  This week, my weight stayed the same.  Last year's trip I put on 5 lbs then another 3 lbs the following week.

Since I returned I've been dealing with severe sugar cravings and lack of self control that I had last week.  I used to have a strong will over my cravings and food urges when I was actively loosing my weight, now I find that its just not there.

I was very disciplined when I got home last week that Saturday morning, despite flying from 4PM to 12AM and going to bed after 3AM I got up for my 9:45am Weight Watchers meeting.  I've got every intention to go to my meeting again tomorrow morning and weigh in for the month.

Before I went away I stopped in at my Doctor's office.  For months I've not been feeling well, not feeling like myself, tired, no energy, no desire to go out, do anything, etc.  I had also been experiencing really bad night sweats for a few weeks prior.  Also my migraine medication just wasn't cutting it anymore (I have been able to manage with Excedrin for Migraine for a few years now), so I wanted to be put on something else to help manage them.  Yesterday I went in for my follow-up.  My blood work came back fine, my liver function, hemoglobin, thyroid, and B-12 levels are fine.  Now my Iron is on the low end of normal but nothing that couldn't be helped through diet.  So I came away with a few information sheets on how to get more Iron in my diet.  Also something I've done on my own is to double my vitamin D dose, instead of taking 1000 units/day I'm now taking 2000 units.  There is no harm in taking higher amounts of vitamin D and there are studies starting to show that 1000 units/day may actually not be enough.  So if you're feeling down, low on energy and live in a Northern climate think about increasing your vitamin D dose if you don't already take it.

Here's my week at a glance, I ate very well, except I had a bit of a junk food splurge on Wednesday (the dangers of your gym being above a grocery store).

The good :
  • I lost weight while in the Dominican Republic
  • I have maintained that weight loss
  • I have gotten my eating back on track with a tonne of fruits and veggies (how I missed you!)
  • I have been able to get back to my exercise schedule of Taekwon-Do classes and visits to the gym
  • I tracked honestly this week
  • Today I managed my cravings
  • In one week I'll be on vacation, heading to sunny Yuma Arizona with an overnight trip to Phoenix (more sunshine!)
  • I am feeling 100% myself again!
The bad :
  • Cravings for candy and chocolate
  • Giving into those cravings
  • Hitting the candy dishes at work pretty hard Monday-Thursday.
The ugly :
  • Between Wednesday and Thursday I consumed a whole bag of the new mini Reese's PB cups (oh how I love you)
  • I also ate 1/2 a bag of pretzel sticks those two days
  • I had to spend $700 on my car this week.  I needed a new front right bearing, windshield washer fluid pump, two lights, a rear wiper blade, oil change and when putting the wheel all back together a bolt and its bracket were stripped so that required replacing the calliper because it is attached to said bracket.  That probably didn't help the eating either.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Home! Weekly Meeting Topic Week 8 - Portion Control

Me and the Dominican Experience gang at the La Romana Airport
I hope you've all not dumped me because things have been quiet for awhile now.  I've been back home since early Saturday morning from my "field trip" to the Dominican Republic.  I went to the DR with 10 students on a 3rd world experience (I know, I know this girl has a hard life right?) the trip did me a world of good!  Not only was it a great experience but the 7 days of sun and 30c did me well.  I'm finally feeling good!  Now if I can just keep this feeling... and hopefully with my trip to SW Arizona in 9 days I'll keep it rolling.

I am reporting about my Dominican Experience on my other blog and you can read about Day 1 HERE.  I will continue to share the links to the reports as I blog about each day, just give me some time to get through it all.  In an ideal world I'd like to get it done before I head to Arizona.

I weighed in the day I left, two Fridays ago and I'm happy to report my weight was back down, 3lbs!  So I was very happy to know I was heading off on this trip at my goal weight.  My next concern was to be mindful of what I ate while I was gone, I knew this trip wasn't a free ticket to eat whatever I wanted to for a week.  Last year I didn't cope with the trip very well, food wise gained about 5lbs while in the DR then put on another 3 during March Break (last year the trip and the break were back to back).  I then weighed myself the first morning back (Saturday) and I was down another 0.5 lbs.  Success!  I was just so proud of myself to be in an alien environment for a week and to loose weight!  I also didn't have access to a gym nor was there the time or environment to allow me to go out for a walk or run.  This week I've been dealing with getting my food and exercise back on a normal schedule.  I'm really struggling with candy cravings and I've been giving in, a bit disappointed in myself there.  I hope to do better tomorrow, each day is a fresh start.

I did make it to my meeting last week (Saturday morning) and have every intention to make it again this upcoming week.  It was great to be back, and I was welcomed with a big hug from my leader.  The meeting topic was portion control, something we always need to be reminded of.

We all tend to get "portion distortion" after awhile, become comfortable with the plan.  So if you don't already do so religiously its a good idea to weigh and measure your food on a regular basis to be reminded of what a cup or a 1/2 cup really is.  We tend to eat with our eyes and don't listen to our body's physical hunger signals.

Did you know that :
  • In the 1950's the average dinner plate size was 9 inches?
  • That Today the average dinner plate size is 12 inches?
  • That the average male waist in 1950 was 35 inches and the average woman 30?
  • Today the average male waist is 39.7 inches and the average woman 37?
Its just amazing how life and society has changed since the time of my grandparents or my parent's childhoods.  We still eat like our grandparents did, but they used to work hard, walk and cycle more, driving or riding in some sort of vehicle was a treat.  Today we eat as much or more, we drive almost everywhere, and we're "too busy" to exercise.

So how do we practice portion control?

At home :
  • use a scale to accurately weigh foods, especially meats
  • keep your measuring cups and spoons in a handy location or on the counter in plain sight
  • level off when measuring
  • use ziplocks and pre-portion your food in advance
  • write the point value on food packages
  • plan and prepare meals in advance
  • be aware of what a serving size is
While dining out :
  • Doggie bag 1/2 of the portion before eating
  • order your sauce on the side
  • Replace other foods/starches with vegetables
  • Order salad dressing on the side, then dip your fork in the dressing before getting salad on the fork
  • Order a kids/seniors meal
  • Share
This past week's inspirational saying was "If you kinda do it, it kinda works.   When you really do it, it really works"

Have a good week!