Thursday, September 29, 2011

Coming Out The Other Side

Now that my Mum is well enough to be home and she's doing a little better every day, I have been walking around with a spring in my step!  I am starting to see clearly again, starting to get myself back on track back to my goal weight.  I am so tired of hovering 7-8lbs over goal!

Today I popped into the nearest Weight Watchers Center to work and weighed in today because once again I am not going to make a meeting again this week.  That and I'm running out of September to weigh in.  Normally, I weigh in during the morning, with no food/water in my stomach and in my lightest clothes.  That was not the case.  I was happy to discover I'm down 1.5 lbs from August!  This is good!  Movement in the right direction, now to use that as a focus.

I just want to share a few pics with you, I do need to constantly remind myself where I came from and where I've gotten to!  That I shouldn't beat myself up when I go through a rough period!!

 This picture really is my moment of shame so I'll keep sharing it over and over.  Notice the running shoes?  That's because I tore a bunch of ligaments in my foot teaching Taekwon-Do overweight!

September 10, 2011, look at that hot chick on the right!  Look at those sexy heels I would of NEVER dressed like this before my Weight Watchers Journey.  This was my childhood friend's wedding he knew me as a skinny kid, and a fat adult.  I like the new me much better!

Modelling my new concert t-shirt last night with a post-concert glow.  I am a concert shirt whore, love 'em!  I used to get the big XL/XXL frumpy unisex shirts.  Now I can buy the form fitting, sexy girlie shirts!  I have quite the collection of concert t-shirts now!  This reminds me that at 7lbs over goal I still look good in a tight little T

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GOOD News and Getting Ready to Run for the Cure

I got the best phone call ever this afternoon, it was my Mum... from HOME!  After four weeks of being in hospital she finally got discharged!  It has been a long road to get to this point and its still a long road ahead of us.  But its good to know that she's feeling well enough and strong enough to be at home!

I feel like 200 lbs have been lifted off of my shoulders!  What a ride this has been!  For about the first three weeks I struggled to keep my weight under control on top of dealing with this family crisis.  I struggled with it quite nicely for awhile.  I managed to drop a few pounds but the last week I have become more and more tired and more and more careless so my weight moved back up to where it was before this all started.  Sigh, a little disappointing seeing the number on the scale the last few days.  No place like the present to start fresh right?

This Sunday I'll be running again!  Sunday October 2nd across Canada is the CIBC Run For the Cure, its a very moving 5K run/walk to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.  I had a very close call back in 2007 and this is my 3rd year participating and fundraising in this event.  My first year I raised over $600, last year I raised almost $1,500, so far this year I've raised just over $1,000.  I was hoping to beat last year's total but life's circumstances got in the way, and I think I've done very well under the circumstances!  There is still time to make a donation!  If you'd like to make a donation towards my run please go here to donate online, its not too late!!!

If you have already donated, thank you very much!

I think 5K is going to be a piece of cake ;-)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One of Life's Proud Moments

Despite all that's going on I am still finding moments for life and commitments I have made and following through with them.  This past Sunday was an event I had committed to back in the spring by registering for the Army Run 1/2 Marathon!  I had every excuse in the book to drop out, to sell my race bib this year.

I used the heat as an excuse not to get out and run often and far enough (wasn't it stinkin' hot this year?).  Then almost 3 weeks prior to Race Day life was turned upside down with Mum's hospitalization.  I didn't let any of those excuses hold me back or stop me ... I spent the week leading up to race day freaking out, worried about how prepared I wasn't and so on.  As Nike says: "Just Do It" and that's what I intended to do.  My goal was just to cross the finish line, I didn't care how I did it, or how long it would take!

 This is what Freakin' Dark O'Clock looks like

I woke up Sunday morning at Freakin' Dark O'Clock!  Not my favourite time of the day.  With my bag packed the night before, and running clothes set out, I made a fantastic protein smoothie for breakfast and set out for what I was considering to be the craziest day of my life!

 Can't you tell I LOVE mornings?

Witness our nervous smiles?

I met up with my friends Amy and Marline.  Amy was supposed to walk the 1/2 marathon (21.1 K) but she sadly declared when I saw her at the end of August that she was "broken again" but that she would be my "Race Day Bitch" aka: chauffeur, photographer, Sherpa, water boy and more!  I couldn't turn that down.  Amy was going to take care of both Marline and I that day, Marline was doing her first race ever, the 5K event and I was doing the 1/2 marathon (did I mention that's 21.1K?). 

 Marline and I in our Army Run swat.  Black = 1/2 marathon, White = 5K

The morning started off cold, pretty darned cold!  I started the morning in a sweater but I gave it to Amy once I went to find my starting corral.  I didn't want to be burdened and I knew as soon as I got started I would be warm enough.  By the end of my race, it was a perfect day, sunny and 20c the conditions couldn't of been better!

 Injured Soldiers getting ready to start the 5K race

The 5K race started at 8am.  There was lots of ceremony to the event, the Governor General's Band was there to lead us through O'Canada, there were MC's, lots of press and more.  The start the race with the injured soldiers who get a head start.  That was one of the most emotional things I have ever witnessed!  You saw all kinds of injured soldiers some in chairs, some with one prosthetic leg, some with two.  There were wheelchairs, crutches, canes and more.  It was truly moving to see all these men and women whose life have been changed forever serving our country.  Marline used to serve in the military and she was doing the race with a friend of hers who was injured while in the service, she's in a back brace.  Amy and I both had tears rolling down our faces.  Then the 5K runners were off!

 5K Runners waiting to start

Not long after they took off, I had time for a quick visit to the porta-potty and I had to go find my corral.  I had initially pegged myself as finishing in 2hr 30min.  I knew after the summer I had that this wasn't a reality, I figured I would be more in the 3hr range.  The next thing I knew the Howlizter Cannon went off and it was time to get moving!  I turned my music on as I crossed the start line and off I went to conquer 21.1 K as best as I could!

 Getting a high-five from Marline at the 18K mark

The course took us past Parliament Hill, The Supreme Court, National Library & Archives Canada, National War Museum, across the river and into the province of Quebec for a jog through downtown Hull, back across the Alexandria Bridge, past the National Art Gallery, National Mint, 24 Sussex Drive (the PM's house) and up to Rideau Hall then back towards the Rideau Center, down once side of the Rideau Canal across it and back up the other side to the finish line.

My initial goal was to run as long as I could, I figured somewhere between 5-8K the do the rest of the distance at a run/walk (10 min/1 min).  I even surprised myself and RAN THE FIRST 14 KM!  Well over half of the distance!

 Mark who had already run the 1/2 Marathon talking me through the last 2K to the finish line

I knew a couple of other people who were running the 1/2 Marathon that day.  My buddy Mark from Taekwon-do passed me when I was at the 3K mark and he was at the 6K mark.  Carrie from work passed when I was at the 14K mark and she at the 16K mark.  It really was a bolster to see friends running too!  I had the best surprise when I hit the 19K mark and I was starting to run out of steam and my body was starting to protest.  Mark who had already ran the 1/2 marathon was waiting for me and asked me if I'd like him to run the last few KMs with me.  I certainly didn't turn down the offer.  Mark was amazing, he kept up this continuous pep-talk to keep my moving and my spirits up when I was nearing the end of my endurance.  Because of Mark I finished, and I finished strong!


I couldn't believe it as the finish line came into sight and I saw 2:55:10 on the clock!  I was going to cross the line in UNDER 3 hours!  2:49:42.6 was my official time when you take into account the time difference between the gun going off and when I actually crossed the start line.

 Receiving my medal from a Canadian Soldier

Nice touch!  Dog tags for medals!

Looking amazingly fresh and happy after finishing my FIRST Half Marathon

This was one of the most amazing, empowering, and positive moments in my life!  Right now I feel like I could do anything!  I'd like to think that one of my strengths is how when I put my mind to accomplishing something I WILL accomplish it no matter how hard the challenge is.

 Cooling down afterwards and using my cool silver blankie as a super-hero cape!  I felt like a super-hero!

I went from this fat, unhealthy 200+ pound girl in 2007 who the only time you would of seen her running was out of a burning building, to running a 1/2 Marathon 21.1 K!!!
You can do truly amazing things when you're stubborn!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meeting Topic Aug 28-Sept 3 : Shop Smart!

I am finally on the road back to getting myself back to "normal", back to goal.  I started on Monday with getting back in line with what foods I eat, the portion sizes and not saying yes to every treat that comes my way.  I also was successfully exercising daily until my Mum went into the hospital on Wednesday evening (but I did finally get a run/walk in today).  So the third step to my "recovery" was to get myself to a meeting, and make it become a weekly habit (like I used to).  These three pillars will be the key to my success.

This week's meeting was about how to handle the many temptations that the supermarkets present.  How many times have you been to the supermarket and come home with a treat or four that wasn't on your list because you bought it on impulse or the sample tasted good or the bakery smells overwhelmed your willpower?
A blurry cellphone picture of my grocery cart after the meeting on Saturday

So the key is to somehow avoid all these evil temptations to make wise choices!  Here are a few strategies to help you out:

  • Plan ahead, decide what meals you're going to prepare that week and add missing ingredients to your shopping list.  - I rarely plan my meals more than 24 hours in advance but I have a list of standard ingredients I keep in the house that usually make my usual repertoire of dishes.
  • Divide your list into categories (produce, dairy, meat, etc) so that you know exactly what you're wanting to buy in that are of the store.  - Again something I dont' do
  • Don't go hungry, if you need to have a healthy snack before you go shopping.  - Since I often go right after work I don't have that luxury unless I planned an extra snack when packing my lunch that morning.  I'm not beyond entering the store, getting my cart and heading right to the packaged baby carrots in the produce section (which is the first area you enter), opening them and snacking on them while I shop.  I of course always pay for them before I leave!  That helps keep me out of trouble... most of the time.  If you have a hard time with samples try chewing gum while you shop.  Myself, I allow myself to have the samples, I just don't buy the product.
  • Shop once a week so that your food is always fresh!
  • Shop smart by buying items in bulk. - But then its not smart to buy something in bulk if it goes bad before you can finish it!  I buy my fruits and veggies in bulk because we eat so much of them!
  • Be aware of supermarket psychology - Its all planned, from the music to the smells, to the layout and the end caps (those are the ends of the aisles where promotion/sale items are displayed).

I am still coping well enough with my Mum's illness and the fact that she's in the hospital.  I am doing my best to eat proper meals, they may not be at the hour I'd like them to be at but I'm eating the right foods.  I had a very strong urge to stop for an ice cream on my way to the hospital this afternoon but I didn't.  I wouldn't be doing myself a favour and I don't think my Mum would be happy to watch me put weight on due to stress/distress. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm Here, I'm Trying to Come Back

Its been a long time hasn't it?  If you're here, reading this and checking in on me thank you so much for sticking with me!  It just proves that there are people behind me in my struggle to "stay skinny".

What a struggle it has been!  Back in late March/April "staying skinny" suddenly hit a stumbling block.  I ate myself up seven pounds in two weeks.  Despite affirmations from friends and the people around me with the usual line that I truly hate "don't worry, you'll get it back off" echoing in my ears I have not gotten it off.  So I'm still not where I should be, my goal weight.  As of this morning's weigh in I am currently 8.2 lbs over my "magic number"  In terms of weight loss over the summer I seemed to fluctuate up and down three pounds but I've not even cracked that 5lbs within my goal weight. 

I've had stints this summer where I have a very good 2-3 weeks  I eat right, track honestly, and move more.  During that time I'll fight tooth and nail and drop 2-3lbs 0.3-0.5lbs at a time no big drops in weight just little dribs and drabs.  Then the next thing I know I gain over a pound one two weeks in a row and I'm back where I started.  Its almost been like a broken record for months now.

I saw an all time high at the scale on Monday, after a weekend of camping... which I wasn't as bad as I could of been.  Also I did some very serous trail running and hill training with some friends leaving me very sore.  I found myself weighing 157 lbs.  Oh boy, not good at all, when you consider my goal weight is 145.  I did have a sneaking suspicion (since I was up 3 lbs from Friday) that some of the weight was due to fluid retention and lactic acid in my poor muscles!  I started that morning weighing and measuring all my food, tracking every lick, taste, and bite and managing temptations.  I also decided at the moment that I need to weigh myself daily so there are no Friday morning surprises anymore!  Its been encouraging this week to watch the scale drop a little each day.  This morning, I was down 4lbs from Monday!  From last Friday's official weigh in to this Friday I'm down 1 lb which is again, encouraging especially considering most weeks where I have had losses they've been under a pound.

Here's the last couple of months at a glance:

The sad thing to all of this is I should be able to do this, I should be a success, I have been a success.  For some reason it just doesn't want to click, and when it does click its for a few short weeks.

So this week the motivation is there and I feel like I can do this.

Where have I gone wrong for months now?  I can assure you these are all excuses:
  • exercise has been erratic, good weeks where I earn more than the minimum suggested activity points according to Weight Watchers (over 28)
  • exercise excuses : too hot to run (actually it was a stupid hot summer), too tired, raining outside (bullshit because I have a treadmill), too busy, etc.  My distance running has seriously suffered since the Kilt Run at the end of July, partially because that was such a hard race for me.  I think I made it into the gym less than 5 times, the only times I did go into Taekwon-Do was when I was on the schedule to teach
  • Not tracking
  • Half assed tracking
  • Dishonest tracking
  • Poor eating and a little too much ice cream
  • Too much fruit, yes there is such a thing
  • Getting into the habit of eating when I got home from work despite not really being hungry
  • Eating dinner very late (between 8-9 PM)
  • Having a quick snack right before going to bed despite not being hungry
  • Eyeballing portions
  • Stupidly going to the Lindtt Chcolate outlet and buying a ridiculous amount of chocolate, now on the upside I did gift a lot of it and share a lot of it.
  • Did not go to any Weight Watchers meetings all summer long, but I did make a point of weighing in once a month ... and paying which is required of a lifetime member who is over their goal weight.  Sadly having to pay $17.00 to weigh in has not motivated me enough to get my act together.
So you can see there many stumbling blocks that I have shared with you, areas for me to improve upon.  Like I said I started fresh again this Monday, like I have too many times to count this summer and here's what I've focused on:
  • Weighing/measuring food
  • Tracking 100% honestly, every lick, taste and bite
  • Almost daily exercise, I've run almost 17 km this week, gone to Taekwon-Do once, the gym once.  I managed to get in some form of activity Saturday-Wednesday this past week
  • No tempting foods, no treats except the ginger cookies I allow myself to have in the house.
  • I turned down pizza for lunch on Wednesday
  • Despite the temptation to get ice cream on two occasions this week I didn't
  • I'm dealing with a VERY SERIOUS STRESSOR and I've not reported to stress or emotional eating AT ALL (so far)
  • Despite being 10lbs over goal weight on Wednesday (155 lbs) I went and weighed in for the month anyhow, I was very tempted not to bother but I made myself go.
Besides deciding it was time to take the bull by the horns, get this soaring weight under control I've had a very tough week.  I work in a school, and the kids come back next week so its been crazy trying to get my library ready for the first day of school (next Tuesday), and I can assure you ... its not ready.  This summer I had to deal with packing my entire collection into boxes so the room could be completely emptied for the carpets to be replaced.  When I came back from holidays I lost a week of unpacking boxes to working in the main office since all of the administrative assistants were still on their holidays.  I then lost two days this week to software training... not only was I dealing with a collection in boxes, I have a new library software to learn.

Then on Wednesday night my Mum was taken by ambulance to the hospital.  She had not been well for some time now, but we couldn't get her to seek medical attention.  This week things were bad, and my Dad had to resort to calling 911 to get some help to get my Mum to the hospital.  She was admitted that night, and she's been there since.  We don't have a clear picture on what's wrong yet, we just know its to do with her liver.  So between trying to get the library set up at work the last two days (which I must admit was not very productive) I've been spending my evenings at the hospital keeping my Mum company until visiting hours are over.  Its been emotional, its been hard its been stressful.

My Mum is not well, she's very weak but I'm already seeing some improvements.  Her colour is returning (last time I had seen her, she had a grey pallor), today the IV fluids were no longer needed and she's gone from IV antibiotics to being given a pill.  She's eating her meals (she wasn't eating), and drinking plenty of fluids.  She's had a few tests already, an MRI is next on the list.

At this point I need to stay positive, to not just take care of my Mum but take care of myself.  To remember to stop and eat good food when I'm hungry, and drink my water.  I've realized over the last two days that I kept forgetting to drink my water.  At the moment I've not been tempted to bury my emotions by shoving food in my face but if that urge does arise I hope I can recognize it and do my best not to give in.  I also will be challenged to find the time to exercise (and to run... I'm doing a 1/2 marathon in 16 days!) as my Dad does need a break from being at the hospital, so I've been spending the evenings there so far.

My shift at the hospital tomorrow isn't until the evening since my brother is able to take care of a few hours.  So I'm hoping to go to a meeting in the morning and get in a run.  Ideally I'd like to get in 5-10K, if my run ends up being on the shorter side tomorrow, then Sunday will definitely be the day for my long run.

So there it is... I've laid it all out here for you and the world to read.  My shortcomings (failures) this summer, my repeated attempts to jump start getting back to goal.  I'm not sure how long it'll be before I post again since I am dealing/coping with an ill parent.

Here are some pictures from this summer of some of the things I did, I did enjoy my summer.

 Fishing with Todd... no I don't want to kiss the pike!

 Playing tourist in Quebec City

 Teaching at the TKD annual outdoor training/camping weekend

Taking in a show

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running To Save Boobies

Hi everyone, I'm sorry I haven't blogged all summer... months actually.  I am going to go into that in my next post because I do intend to resume this blog and let you know how I've been (not) doing since I last blogged.

I wanted to let you know about a worthy cause that is very close to my heart.  For the last three years I've participated in the CIBC Run For the Cure.  This is a charity run/walk that takes place across Canada on the first Sunday in October, which happens to be October 2nd this year.  The point of this 5K run/walk is to raise money to support Breast Cancer research and education programs.

Every participant gets a race bib that says "Who Are You Running For?" its very emotional to read the messages that people wear proudly that day.  Who Am I Running For? you may ask.  I'm running to help create a future without Cancer, because back in the spring of 2007 I had a Breast Cancer scare.

In late March of 2007 I went into my (awesome) Doctor for my annual physical exam, during that exam she found a good sized lump in my right breast.  I can't explain to you the emotions that went through me at that time.  I was scheduled for a Mammogram and Ultrasound which happened in mid April (Mammogram = not fun, imagine putting your boob in the fridge door and trying to close it shut).  The very next day my Doctor, not the receptionist, not a nurse, not the lab called me AT WORK.  When that happened that's when I became scared, Doctors don't call you personally at work.  She wanted to see me that day... the next at the latest.  I am very proactive about my health care and I went to the doctor's that afternoon.  The news wasn't good, I had to be scheduled for a biopsy.

I cried while I drove home.  Cancer is VERY scary!

It was a few rough weeks between the ultrasound, biopsy and results... weeks that drove me crazy, trying to be patient.

I am one of the lucky ones my lump was not Cancer

I'd like to ask you to help me meet my fundraising goal!  This year I'd like to raise $1,000 towards Breast Cancer Research by making an online donation no amount is too small.  Anyone from anywhere in the world can donate online.

Click HERE to go to my personal donation page.

Help me work towards a future with no Cancer!