Wednesday, April 30, 2003

I must report that I am feeling much better right now than I was when I woke up this morning.

All day yesterday, I kept losing my voice. I didn't have a sore throat but I was a bit tired and I felt like I may have a cold coming on. Last night, I slept like the dead and could not believe it when 5 a.m. rolled around this morning and I had to drag myself out of bed. I was moving so slow that I managed to squeeze in only a half-assed workout before heading to work.

Once I arrived at work, I perked up a bit (which is good cuz I have a lot of stuff on my plate right now after taking a long weekend). After I had my lunch, I decided to take a walk. Not far mind you, but at least I'd get outside, stretch my legs and get some fresh air. I work in the middle of a large block and took a walk around it. I'm so glad that I did. I was only gone for about 20 minutes or so but I really enjoyed it. I must remember to bring some sneakers to work though because my heel spur started bothering me a bit as I was coming in the door. I think that my little sojourn outside has helped, my voice sounds a bit stronger and I have more energy. A little sunshine will go a long way on days like this!
It's Wednesday again and here's this week's topic for the Wednesday Weigh-In:

Enjoying the Change

What have you started enjoying in your quest to lose weight or get in shape?

I love many things about it. I love how I have more energy, more flexibility, more strength overall. I love how it's getting easier for me to fit my huge ass into chairs. On the weekend, while we were away, I actually sat on a stool, at a counter, in a deli. Something that would have been almost impossible for me to do a few months ago. I love how my clothes are fitting better and how I'm able to get into things that I had "grown out of."

I like the way I feel after I've exercised too. I make little challenges for myself, set small fitness goals and enjoy the struggle as I try to reach them. I can't think of anything bad that has come out of my quest for improved fitness!

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I'm back to work today and have returned to my ordinary week-day routine. I was up with the birds this morning and had finished working out before 6 a.m. I had started having my breakfast before my shower rather than after and I'm finding that to be working for me. When I do this, I find that I'm really hungry for my apple at 10 a.m. or so and that's a good break before my lunch (which I usually have at 12:30 or so).

Food was good yesterday. I bought a few different TGTBT frozen meals at Loblaws and had one for lunch yesterday. They are quite tasty, low in fat, and under 300 calories. I find that they are quite satisfying too. I also treated myself to some fat-free jello pudding and I liked it a lot. I got caramel vanilla. It's a nice treat but I wouldn't want to get into eating them all the time.

I've noticed today that my voice is a little hoarse. I think it's just from all the talking we did on the weekend, I hope I'm not getting sick. I'll keep my fingers crossed and grab some echinacea when I get home tonight.

Monday, April 28, 2003

I had my first workout in four days this afternoon. It went pretty good although I was moving sort of slow. It felt good but I know that I was working a bit harder than I normally would. I also felt a little draggy all morning. I think it was a mild food hangover from the weekend.

This week's Progress Prompt is sort of interesting:

What comments have you gotten from romantic partners/spouses about your body size? How did you respond? And how did their attitude affect your relationship?

I've only ever had positive comments from past lovers about my body size. Obviously, they knew when they met me what I looked like and it has never been an issue with anyone I've been in a relationship with. If they hadn't had a positive attitude about my body size, we wouldn't have been together.

My partner and I are both large sized folks and we were that way when we met. For the first three years of our relationship, we just ate and drank and were merry. The end result of this was that we both gained a significant amount of weight and started on this fitness / health program together in January. At the moment, we're both about the same size we were when we met and we're still losing / shrinking. We're both very supportive of one another and love each other's bodies regardless of how large or how small they may be. We both have very healthy attitudes toward our bodies. As you know, if you read my blog regularly, we're losing weight and getting fit to improve our health. The focus is not on clothes sizes (although is is nicer to be fitting into stuff that is smaller and smaller) but on longevity and improved overall health.
I hope that you all had a lovely weekend, we sure did!

We're back from Toronto and we didn't get SARS. Cool huh? The whole WHO warning thing is a little off the map if you ask me. I mean, I wouldn't suggest that folks go hang out at Scarborough Grace hospital and start randomly french kissing people but we were in two different Chinatowns on the weekend and are no worse for the wear.

Thursday to Sunday was completely off plan. We definitely ate more than we normally would but it was good food for the most part. On Thursday night, we had planned to go this cool Chinese place that we love but it turns out that it is now closed (they have 2 locations and they both seem to out of business now) but ended up at Frankie Tomatto's. We used to go there with the little old guy when he was still living in Toronto and it had definitely improved in quality since our last visit. We had really yummy Italian food but not an overly huge amount. I also had a lot of salad and veggies and was pretty impressed with myself. I think it helps that I'm not big on gooey cheeses anymore, there is just no appeal in something covered in mozzarella anymore.

We checked in to our hotel after dinner and visited the gym and pool area just to see how busy it was. It turned out that the hotel was less than 50% occupied because of the SARS warning so it wasn't busy at all. As it turned out though, we never did get into the gym during our visit. We did get a nice swim in though, which was very nice. We did a lot of walking while we were away and I quite enjoyed it. A few months ago, it would have been a big struggle for me to have done the walking we did. The wedding was on Friday night and we had some errands to do during the day so we wandered around a fair bit around in Kensington Market. The wedding itself was in Edwards Gardens. The ceremony was outside and the meal was being served in the Civic Hall of the Gardens. There was a lot of vegan / vegetarian friendly food there so again, the food choices were pretty good.

The two things we did indulge ourselves in while were away were breakfast and lunch. We had bagels, lox & cream cheese all three mornings we were away, in three different really good bagel places in North York and we had buns from Chinese bakeries for lunch on Friday and Sunday. They were amazing and I really enjoyed them but I've had my fill of bread for a good long while I think. The walking and the swimming we did was okay but I have missed my regular workouts. I'm off work today and I plan to get back into it right away. Ditto for the eating. We knew that we would be taking a break from our program while we were out of town but we're both getting right back into it today. It was nice but now it's over and I don't think that I would want to take that long of a break again because my body just didn't need the extra starch. All in all though it was a great weekend, saw lots of our friends and really enjoyed ourselves!

Thursday, April 24, 2003

No workout this morning, just more laundry.

I've finished with work for the day, have the present wrapped and am throwing stuff into suitcases. In 2 hours we'll be on the highway, yay!! I don't expect to be posting again until Sunday. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Wow, Wednesday Weigh-In again, this week's topic is "Rock Bottom"

When did you realize you had to do something about your weight/health?

2 things happened, almost at the same time, first, my partner was diagnosed as having high cholesterol and was given a prescription for Zocor. The second thing that happened was very sad. Within a period of month, we heard about the passing of 3 men who were close to my hunny in age who dropped dead, suddenly, of a heart attack. One of them was a man who's name I won't mention who he had worked for years ago (I won't mention his name because the guy was an asshole and I don't want to disrespect some dead guy in a public forum). In early December, we were both devastated to hear of the sudden passing of Zal Yanovsky. Most folks know Zal from his days with the Lovin' Spoonful but here in our town, he was a fixture in the downtown core and a charismatic businessman (he and his partner Rose Richardson own/ed Chez Piggy and Pan Chancho). Finally, when I heard about Joe Strummer, on the eve of Christmas Eve, the shit was good and properly scared out of me. I sat in front of the computer and sobbed, for hours. First Zal, then Joe Strummer. Joe Strummer! How could one of my childhood idols be dead, at 50 no less. It made me feel numb and sick and typing this and remembering that day, the tears have started pouring down my face again.

We had talked about getting fit before this point. We even bought the recumbent bike in May and had started to make changes to our diet but it wasn't something we were too serious about. There is a reason why people say "serious as a heart attack." I knew that we were heading down a bad path, that unless we made some dramatic, permanent changes to our lifestyle, it would be us who would be having heart attacks. I didn't want that, I decided that I wanted to live to be really good and old. Disgustingly old and be disgustingly healthy. I wanted to be one of those little old ladies in pink track pants and those flowery Northern Reflections wind breakers who power walk around the block while we're all heading off to work. We gave ourselves the Christmas Holidays to digest the whole thing but I knew that on January 6, that was it. The change was going to begin...and it did, on January 6, 2003. Four months later, we're still sticking to it and doing really well. My hunny's cholesterol is at a healthy level and there's talk that he may be able to get off the Zocor eventually. We want to grow old together and this is the only shot we've got at making that happen. I'm not going to fuck it up.
I'm not sure where the day is going. I am extra busy this week trying to get stuff done after the long weekend and in preparation for being away for 2.5 days. It's also year-end around here so there are lots of little things that need doing before I go.

Had another good good food day yesterday. We took our little old guy shopping last night and we picked up a few odds and ends that we needed. He wanted to go out for dinner so we went to Swiss Chalet (his favourite) but ended up walking out. The hostess seated us quickly enough but our waitress completely ignored us, for 10 minutes. The dining room was mostly empty and she didn't even pop by to say "hey, I'm busy but I'll be back to take your drink order" or anything. It was weird, she's waited on us before and is a little bizarre, too long on the job I think. When we got up and put our coats on and walked toward the door, I could see her just scowling at us. I don't think we'll go back to that particular Swiss Chalet again. It was a bit of a surprise because the service is usually excellent, last night was terrible. We ended up at the Chinese Buffet for dinner and I had a great meal, no gas attacks from msg or fibre or whatever and it was quite low in calories. I like this particular place because they have a lot of really excellent choices, lots of veggies, nice steamed rice, lean meat. It's a good spot if you're watching your intake.

This morning, I was feeling really crappy when I got up. I did a couple of loads of laundry and did 2 miles on the bike but I couldn't finish my normal circuit on it. I did do a lot of stretching though, trying to get rid of my cramps. It did help a lot and by the time I got out of the shower I felt a lot better. I'm pretty happy about the 2 loads of laundry too, now I don't have too much to do tonight when we get home. I can't believe that we're leaving tomorrow afternoon already, I'm getting really excited. I know that it's only Toronto and that we go all the time but it's the 3-day break away from home that I'm most looking forward to. No errands, no phone calls, just visiting with our friends and chilling out. Yay!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Tuesday already, the week (for me anyway) is half over now. The rest of the week will be pretty busy. We have to take our little old guy shopping tonight and then tomorrow night I'll be doing laundry and getting stuff ready for our trip to SARS town. I'm really looking forward to the wedding on Friday night. It's been ages since I've gone to a wedding that I actually wanted to be at. I still haven't decided which outfit I'm wearing but it's nice to know that I'll have choices. I wore my new Mary Jane's on Sunday and they were super comfy so I'm good for the wedding in them. I was a little nervous because it had been so long since I'd worn anything that was a sneaker or made by Doc Marten!

Yesterday was a kick-ass calorie day. We had leftover sushi and some stir fry for dinner. We got some spinach flavoured rice noodles at the Asian market on the weekend and they were so yummy. I didn't do so great as far as exercise goes yesterday but I did get in a 2 mile ride after work. I was really dragging my ass around due to TOM and didn't feel up to doing any more than that. This morning though, I was right back on track and did my regular "short" program on the bike plus some weights.

This weekend we'll be taking a bit of a break from our regular food routine. We plan to go to Chinatown for dim sum and to hit a couple of favourite restaurants while we're in TO. One nice thing about going in while Passover is finishing up is that we won't be tempted by our favourite bagel place on Bathurst Street (Gryfes, yum!). I must say that as addicted as I was to bread, it's not something that I find myself missing these days (and the rugelach I made for my little old guy with my Christmas baking I liked better than Gryfes anyway!).

I still plan on keeping track of what I eat but I won't be worried or bothered if I go over any day because this is a special mini-holiday break that we're taking and we deserve it!

Monday, April 21, 2003

The past couple of days are a bit of a blur. The weekend just flew by and the weather was wonderful.

Yesterday I worked out in the morning. I really like the way my arms are feeling these days. The weights are starting to do their business. Foodwise, yesterday was amazing. We made sushi rolls to take to my Aunt's for Easter Dinner. We set up a little assembly line for rolling, we had pickled bamboo, radish, braised cabbage, red and green sweet pepper, carrot, coriander, fried tofu, smoked salmon, red caviar and shrimp so there was quite a variety of flavours in the rolls. They were a bit hit at the party and we had a lot of fun making them.

I actually had one of the lowest calorie days I've had in a while. I had my regular breakfast and then a few pieces of sushi while we worked. When we got to my Aunt's, I stayed away from the appetizers and during dinner, avoided the potatoes, dressing and bread. I stuck to turkey and veggies and a slice of ham. I did have some yummy dip with raw veggies too. Our family is famous for desserts but I didn't have any. There were 4 or 5 fresh lemon pies, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate fudge, some kind of chocolate bark/candy, a chocolate pudding cake (with cool whip, not sure what else was in it but it looked great) and there was a white cake with jello in it (from the jello cookbook). Desserts are a big weakness for me so I figured I was safest if I just avoided them completely. I was sure that if I had one piece of something it would be game over.

I was really glad that I did too because I didn't have the "look" that everyone had when dinner was over. I wasn't moaning and groaning about over eating (and subsequently loosening my pants). I did officially get my period yesterday though (finally) so I didn't workout this morning. I'm glad that it finally started because this way it should be done by the time we get to Toronto at the end of the week.

All in all, the weekend was great, foodwise and exercise wise. I'm not feeling guilty about the A&W fiasco and I'm relieved that my period has started. My body is cooperating fully with me this morning. I mean, I was really tired and totally slept in this morning (thus causing me to miss my morning session on the bike) but I plan to do it this afternoon when I'm feeling better. I'm pretty crampy at the moment (thank goodness for Aleve huh?) but it never lasts longer than a few hours.

Hope you all have a happy Easter Monday!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Wow, it's almost past my bedtime so I'll post more tomorrow. We just got home from Easter Dinner at my aunt's place. It was a lot of fun but I'm really pooped and am heading off to bed.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

The rest of my day today went well. I got so much stuff done around the house that I amazed even myself. I also made it to the bank, something I hadn't planned on doing (but needed to - desperately). We went to the asian market tonight and picked up some really yummy stuff which we put into our dinner tonight. We are making sushi to take to my aunt's place tomorrow and needed to stock up on some stuff for our every day meals. If I had to, I could totally make do with what they sell in there, we are so lucky to have such a great market considering how small a town this is.

Also, I've been making some changes to my page today, here's hoping they work. If you notice anything wonky, please let me know!
I know this is going to sound sort of gross but have you noticed that it takes so much longer to get junk food out of your system than it does to get rid of the good stuff? Yesterday I felt out of sorts for most of the day. I know that it was just that burger sitting in the bottom of my stomach like a lump. Today I feel back to my old self. I just finished working out and had a nice bowl of Special K with soy milk for breakfast. I feel like I have so much more energy today than yesterday. Getting up early, working out and actually eating something for breakfast will do that for you I guess! I got a lot done yesterday and felt not bad but I really notice a difference in how I'm feeling today for having had a ride on the bike and some food before 9 a.m.

Friday, April 18, 2003

I think I have recovered from last night. I don't know why I felt so awful when it was over. I think it scared me. I was frightened that I wouldn't have the self control to get back on track the next day. The funny thing about it was that as soon as I got home, I jumped onto fitday and figured out how many calories it was. Make no mistake, I was totally over what I should have had yesterday but it was just one day. I had also really moved my butt a lot yesterday so I had burned a number of calories to start with. As the lovely ladies of the WB told me though, don't sweat it, enjoy it when it happens and get back at it right away. I think one of the other reasons it scared me was that I did it as if on auto-pilot and when it was over, I was full, but not satisfied. I can't honestly say that I enjoyed it all that much. The best part of it for me was the diet root beer.

Today was much better calorie-wise. We had our big meal at lunchtime and just a small bite in the early evening. We actually worked through breakfast. I'm pretty pleased with what we accomplished today. We worked a little more on our computer room / office and got an area rug put in and everything cleaned out. I threw a tonne more of crap out and have some other stuff for goodwill. Some really nice luggage and an almost new electric blanket. I also found my old 35 mm camera which went missing the day we moved in to this house in October 2000. I realized today that the closet in our office had been untouched since that day. I had just shoved a bunch of stuff in there and forgot about it. I was so happy to find it because there are some pictures on the film in the camera of a friend's visit from Australia.

Rather late in the day I got in an amazing workout. The more work I do with weights, the better I like it. I really noticed a difference in my upper body strength today when we were moving furniture around. I feel strong now, stronger than I remember ever feeling. That feeling keeps me going every day. That feeling is also going to keep me away from A&W. I can't imagine that I'll be having another teen burger experience again anytime soon!
What was I thinking?

Yesterday, I was so pleased with myself, I had a great workout, some wonderful victories in the closet, I felt awesome!!

Because we didn't have to get up early this morning, I wanted to go out last night and take some photos of the city at night. It was really cold up on Fort Henry Hill so we didn't stay out too long. We had had a really late lunch and didn't bother with dinner but by 9 p.m. we were both kind of hungry. Rather than go home and graze through our healthy fridge, we ended up at A&W for diet root beer and teen burgers. I haven't had a burger in months and months and I must admit that it tasted really good. It put me over with my calories for the day though and I'm a little disappointed with myself.

I'm right back on track this morning so it's not like I'm letting this slip up turn into an eating party this weekend or anything. I'm still scratching my head though trying to figure out why we went the burger route and not something like salad at Wendy's or something from Subway.

Maybe my body needed some grease or something...yuck!

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Today was super duper!! I didn't get to workout this morning because we had to do some vehicle shuffling in the early hours so that I could take the car for an oil change. I finished work at 1 p.m., picked the car up and met my hunny for lunch. It was such a nice treat. I spent the rest of the afternoon running errands but I took some time out to do some shopping for myself. It's been years since I've bought any shoes other than Doc Martens or sneakers. This afternoon I went to Payless and bought myself two very funky pairs of shoes. Now that my feet are back to a normal size, I felt really comfortable trying on less "sturdy" shoes. I got a pair of really cute mary janes and a gorgeous pair of dress shoes, black, with a chunky heel. I actually tried on some glittery, silver sandals but didn't get them (totally impractical purchase at the moment - maybe later in the summer). It felt really good to be buying something fun for myself for a change.

Next weekend, we're heading to Toronto for a wedding. I had a set a goal for myself to get into a certain little black dress so that I could wear it to the wedding. I tried it on tonight and it fits!! Unfortunately, it's a little shorter than I remember it being so I don't think I'm going to wear it. I did find a beautiful pair of practically new really fancy dressy pants that I only wore once or twice before I "outgrew" them, they fit like a dream, actually, they are a little baggy now. Also, a pant suit that I haven't worn in about 18 months fits amazingly well now too. The top is probably too big on me, truth be told.

All in all, it was a wonderful trek through my closet, I'm really looking forward to the temperature warming up so I get trying on all my spring and summer stuff. It's been years since I could actually say I was looking forward to trying that stuff on!! Also, I had a terrific workout this afternoon, really hot and sweaty! I really worked my upper body with my weights, I'm really getting into that now and can feel my arms getting stronger and firmer. It's true what they say about the more you exercise the more you need it. It's sometimes a drag to get myself moving in the early mornings but I have to say that I really miss it when I don't do it. My April self-challenge continues and I've yet to miss a day this month!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I only have one half of one work day until the weekend. I can't wait!! I dragged my big ass out of bed at 5:30 this morning and plunked it on my bike. It was tough but I managed to get a decent workout in this morning. I'm trying to do more work on my upper body every day.

I felt pretty tired all day today, I blame the time change, I blame the gas attack on Friday (that's just an excuse I know it's not really part of the reason I'm tired) but mostly I blame my period. It's finally on it's way (I think -- I'll know for sure in a few hours). It's ridiculously late this month but it was like this in February too. I think that the low fat / low calorie / high exercise dealy that I'm putting this poor old body through is shocking it a bit. I had my PMS at the normal time but my period didn't start when I thought it would (and no, I'm not pregnant - heavens! NO!), it's just off kilter. It gets like this when I'm stressed out. I think that the office move and my little old guy's hospitalization at then end of March threw me for a tailspin, the same thing happened to me last summer when we had a death in the family. I'm just glad that it seems to be getting going now...this way I'll have it out of the way before we go away next weekend. I'm sure once it gets started, the lazy-ass feelings I've been having will be gone.

Foodwise it was a weird day. I had a great breakfast and I ate early. I ordinarily eat after I shower but this morning I ate before my shower. I had my mid-morning fruit snack (a banana) before I went to a meeting at 10 but wasn't hungry at all when I came out of the meeting at noon. I worked through lunch and grabbed an apple at 2 or so. It was odd that I wasn't hungry (I never have this problem!) but I think I was partially overtired or something. Tonight we decided to go out for dinner and I had a good dinner (Chinese food - yum) but wasn't famished like I expected I might be after not having a lunch. My body does truly require less fuel these days. I don't like skipping meals though, I know my body needs calories to help burn the fat and fuel my exercise.

Non-scale type of thing of the day: My officemate and I pulled out a picture of the two of us from November and we were both shocked at the difference in ourselves. She's been going to WW since about the time I started my program and I can see a huge difference in my face and hands and neck, and I could see a major difference in her face and arms. It was really scary to see how big I was back then. We were working at this fancy dancy black tie dinner and were all spiffed up but my hands look like someone had inflated them with a pump or something. We both felt pretty good about ourselves when we looked at each other and were complimenting the heck out of each other for what we've accomplished. We are so the big losers!! YAY!!

Today's Wednesday Weigh-In is about "Idolizing."

Who do you look up to in regards to health and fitness issues?

The women I have met on the Weigh-Better board are the greatest inspiration I can think of. I have a hard time "idolizing" celebrities who have lost weight because so many of them use totally unrealistic, unhealthy methods to do it. They follow fads or have weigh loss surgery or use medication or plastic surgery to change their bodies.

I look up to women who have lost weight naturally, through changing their diet and moving their bodies. The women who have done this and lost weight, and keep it off through hard work and natural methods are the ones I most admire. They inspire and amaze me. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is set up to undermine our ability to keep fit and healthy. The women I have met online aren't perfect but they doing their very best and they're always there to give me a lift when I need it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Today was relatively uneventful. I kind of slept in this morning and wasn't able to get my butt out bed until around 5:30. I'm not sure what is wrong with me lately but it's getting to me. I'm sitting here right now feeling completely exhausted and ready for bed. Must be the change in the weather.

I did get in an early morning workout and it was great. Really sweaty and exhilarating. At lunchtime, a friend and I sat outside in a sheltered area and enjoyed the sunshine. This is something that I would never ever do in the summer but I do enjoy it in the early spring. Other than that, it was a pretty typical day, lots of exercise, low calories. Yay!

Monday, April 14, 2003

The kink in my neck is almost gone and my stomach seems to be back to normal. I'm still kind of tired but I suspect that this is just residue of the gas attack. Working out this morning definitely helped.

Today was the end of the 2-day birthday celebration for my hunny. We officially celebrated it today but his birthday was today so his dad took us out for dinner tonight. We ate a lot but I kept it under control as far as calories go. I splurged and had a really delicious Cobb salad. We ended up at Montana's (no...we didn't get them to sing us the song and make him stand on the table wearing the moose helmet!) and I was a little surprised at how much room I had to move around in the booth. It was a really pleasant surprise actually!!

For a treat, because it's his birthday, we did stop off for a blizzard tonight. I have to say, it was a huge amount of calories and it put me a bit over for the day but it was worth it. I had almost forgotten how yummy they were. I had chocolate chip cookie dough. I don't know when I'll allow myself to do that again but boy, it tasted good!! It's pretty incredible how good something tastes when you haven't had it in a while.

By the way, I'm still on track as far what's shaping up to be my April self-challenge: to work out every day during April. So far, so good, I'm really happy about it (blizzard or no blizzard!).

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Well I feel better today. The only lingering after-effects of Friday's episode have been some frequent belches.

I have noticed that I've felt really tired the past couple of days too. I probably should have stayed home and took it easy yesterday but I didn't. The weather was nice and I had a million errands to do so I basically ran the roads from 7 a.m. until about 2 p.m. I didn't expect to get any proper exercise in at all yesterday (although I did do a lot of walking during the day) but I did get on the bike for a short jaunt in the late afternoon. I did about 2.5 miles, not exactly fabulous but I really took my time. My neck was stiff as all get out. Still is a bit today, I really think it's a cold settled in there or something. I've been cold all day today too and this is not usually a problem for me. I'm usually overly warm. I even took a nap this afternoon for an hour or so. It wasn't exactly restful though because I couldn't get warm.

We're barbecuing tonight for the first time this season, grilled veggies and some nice back ribs. I also picked up some really nice turkey burgers at the grocery store the other day. I think that they'll be really good when we get around to trying them.

We did a bunch of errands this afternoon, Home Depot, Canadian Tire...spring stuff. This will be the 3rd summer in our house and we're still buying up stuff we need for the yard and the house. Today we purchased a sander and a wheel barrow and some other little things for the yard. I'm not a big fan of raking and stuff but I think that this year I'll be in better shape to deal with it. I keep noticing how I don't get completely wiped out being in the stores lately. Shopping had been kind of difficult for me before I started exercising regularly. I'm still not a huge fan of it but at least it doesn't completely kill me like it had been doing.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Too many veggies?

Do you think it is possible to ingest too many vegetables in one day? I'm wondering if I did just that yesterday, or I ate the wrong combination of veggies or something. Yesterday, I had a great day, tonnes and tonnes of exercise, bang on good eating. I worked out in the morning and then spent the best part of the day running up and down stairs and moving boxes around at work. We had a clean up day in our office. This was good for us because we are still settling in to our new offices and we had a lot of unpacking and rearranging of stuff to do. I had woke up with a stiff neck yesterday morning but it didn't really bother me much during the day, I think because I kept moving.

For meals, I had my usual breakfast of cereal and soy milk and my coffee when I get to work. For lunch I had yummy leftovers from the previous night's stir fry. We were supposed to take our little old guy out for dinner last night but he wasn't feeling up to it. We decided to go anyway. In the car, on the way to the restaurant I felt terrific, really full of energy and proud of what I had accomplished during the day. I was also starving! We went to our favourite Chinese buffet place and everything looked super fresh. I loaded up on veggies and tofu, a bit of steamed rice and some chicken. It all tasted amazing but I noticed that I filled up rather quickly. Before we left the restaurant I mentioned that I felt really bloated and distended and I couldn't get comfortable. My neck had started bothering me again and I sort of chalked it up to that.

When I got home, I sat down in front of the computer and was visiting the weigh-better board when I was hit was this intense pain in my abdominal area. I was between my navel and the bottom of my boobs and it hurt like hell. I started belching and that relieved it a bit but I still felt absolutely terrible, the worst kind of pain I had ever experienced in my life. I didn't have cramps, I wasn't sweating or nauseous, I knew it couldn't be food poisoning, it just felt like really bad gas. It was in my back too, I felt like my ribs would explode. I was in so much pain that I was actually in tears. I couldn't get comfortable. Standing was bad, sitting was bad, laying on left side - bad, laying on right side - bad, back - bad, tummy - really bad...I just rocked back and forth and tried to burp to get it out. My SO was downstairs watching TV and heard me whimpering and crying and came upstairs. I had him get me some diet ginger ale and that really helped. After 3 cans I was belching a lot and eventually the colour came back to my face and the pain subsided. The whole episode lasted about 2 hours. I fell asleep eventually and when I woke up, it was as if it had never happened.

This morning we were trying to figure it out and I think I just had some badass broccoli gas attack. It was really scary. This morning, my neck is hurting but my stomach is fine. I was a little nervous to eat breakfast but that was almost 2 hours ago and I'm fine. I had never experienced anything like that before in my life and I don't care to again.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I'm still having a tough time getting up in the mornings but I did it this morning.

I managed to get up at 5:15 and scoot downstairs for a session on the bike. I did 4 miles and then 20 minutes of stretching weight work. I thought that I might have been tired after my late-afternoon session yesterday but I wasn't, I felt great. Carrie asked me how I'm keeping motivated and consistent with my workouts. I'll not say that it has been easy. When I first started, it was a real struggle but I knew that it was something that I needed to do if I was going to lose the weight and start feeling better. Now, 3 months along, I keep at it because I like the changes I'm seeing and feeling in my body. Of course, there are days that I don't want to do it but I'm always glad I did it after it's over. I also find that those days are fewer and further between lately. I have a long way to go to reach my goal and I know that the only way to get there is to keep at the workouts. Some days, I actually enjoy them too! I never thought that I would be able to say that but then I never thought that I'd be exercising every day....and yet, I am. I just try to keep focused on my goal and that keeps me on program.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

woohooo!!! I had a great workout!

I really was going to take today as a break but I got in a session after work. It was fabulous too! I did a short program on my bike, about 4 miles and then I did a great arm and upper body session with my weights. I really worked my arms and can feel it right now as I type this. I'm so happy that I did it because I realized tonight that I have exercised everyday in April so far! I rawk!
I did not work out this morning.

I see a pattern emerging, as far as Thursday morning workouts go. More often than not, if I'm going to miss a morning it is going to be Thursday. I wish I could say that it was because I did something really exciting on Wednesday evenings but it's not. I don't want you to think though that last night was unpleasant, even though we did get groceries (and went to the post office and did the banking). We were home by 6 p.m. and had a really lovely meal. Thursday mornings I have a tonne of chores to do and can never squeeze in the exercise as well. I thought about writing it off completely as a break day (after all, I have exercised for 9 days in a row before today) but I will see how I'm feeling when I get home tonight. For the past couple of days I've been fighting a cold / allergies or something (the same thing that was bugging my ass a week or so ago) and by the time I get home from work I feel like crap. If I feel up to it, I will do a short program on the bike before dinner.

If I don't though, I'll not beat myself up because I will be back to my five a.m. workouts tomorrow. It's a great way to start the day and I keep thinking I can sweat the bug away. I've had that feeling, in my nose and throat, that I'm getting a cold. I can almost taste it if that makes sense. In addition to the cold feeling, I've come to the realization that I will never be a hand model. In the past week I have cut my hands / fingers no less than 7 times. I'm just klutzy or something. They're healing fast but they look sad nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Today seems to be sailing along smoothly so far.

Last night we intended to go for groceries and ended up eating out instead. We debated about which grocery store to go to and ended up driving to Napanee (about 20 minutes west of here - yes, the hometown of that girl who wears ties a la Diane Keaton in Annie Hall). We live near the 401 so zipping up there is no big deal and they have a nice grocery store we like. They also have gas for almost ten cents a liter cheaper there than here in Kingston (this began a couple of years ago when the Flying J Travel Plaza opened - now all the local businesses keep their gas at the same price to remain competitive). While we were at the Flying J, we decided to go in for dinner and then do groceries. You know the rest of the story, once we had eaten dinner, we didn't feel like shopping. We just filled our tank with cheap gas and headed home.

The nice thing about the J is that they have a beautiful buffet with a nice salad bar. I can always find sensible food there and stayed totally on plan. I even treated myself to a diet cola (with caffeine). Of course, this now means that we have to go for groceries tonight (although, we have stuff at home right now for dinner so we could technically put it off for one more day). Why is shopping such a chore? Maybe because we do ours and we do shopping for our little old guy. I did notice, the other night while we were shopping for him, that I was bopping around the store. My stride in my walk as increased and I don't get pooped when I'm shopping. For the couple of months leading up to our lifestyle change, I would get easily tired from shopping. I still don't like but at least it doesn't wear me out anymore.

I have to say that I'm really missing the Weigh-Better board. It's been a couple of days now that it's been out of commission and I'm starting to get the shakes. I usually post my workouts there but not being able to post hasn't made me fall off the wagon or anything. I was up with the birds again this morning and did my short program, 4.25 miles recumbent bike, 15 minutes stretching and weights. I'm getting stronger every day!
Mid-week already. Every morning I marvel at how quickly the previous day flew by. This week's Wednesday Weigh-In is here already:

Do you belong to any other groups/forums/clubs [aside from WiW] that help you on your way?

I belong to the "This is Weigh-Better" board. This board is run by a wonderful woman named Bev. The women on the board are lovely and super supportive (The board is temporarily down though so keep checking back, hopefully it'll be back up shortly). In addition to posting messages back and forth to one another, we also read each other's journals. It's a terrific environment and I know that I wouldn't be doing as well as I am without it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

I don't often have food cravings anymore, neither does my SO. I was surprised last night, after we finished up at my father-in-law's place and we were heading for home, when he mentioned that he could eat a Blizzard. I looked at him and asked if he needed one, because if he felt that he did, we could go to DQ and do the drive thru and he could get one (I feel that you should feed a craving, briefly and nip it in the bud before it drives you over the edge and into a dangerous place). I know that if I had said, "yeah, Blizzards!" he'd have done it, gone and ate one and then regretted it afterwards. He didn't really want the Blizzard per se as much as he wanted something to snack on. He wasn't even hungry. I used to do this, we used to do this together. Eat out of boredom, eat as an activity, just eat. Anything in sight, whenever we wanted, whether we were hungry or not. We would justify by saying that we deserved it, a reward for a job well done or for coping with a stressful situation, we could justify anything, anytime. By the time we got home and he got a cold drink, the "wanting something" had passed.

Eating for recreation is dangerous and it's what got us into this in the first place. We were both larger people when we met but the last year or so, the recreational eating really caught up with us. I was at my mum's place on the weekend and saw some photos she had taken of us in 2000 and some from Christmas and we almost didn't look the same. Yikes. On the day we started this, we took some "before" photos. On Friday night, 3 months after we started, I took some progress photos (don't ask me to post them, I'm not ready to) and couldn't believe the difference I saw. He's lost 47 pounds, I've lost 39 and I think we've lost it all in our faces. That's not true entirely but that's where I really saw it. We both looked so unhappy in those before photos, really unhealthy. In the progress shots, we're smiling and standing up straighter and just look "better." Someday, I will post them. I'm just not ready to do it right now.
It was so tough getting up this morning. I mean, I did it, I got up at 5:07 a.m. but it was really difficult. I think it's going to take the best part of a week to adjust to the time change.

Once I was actually out of bed I felt good, better than yesterday. I did 6.25 miles on my recumbent bike and it was a new longer program. Really challenging and I was good and sweaty when it was over. I felt awesome. It really makes a difference in my day when I have a good workout before leaving for work. I can't recommend it enough!!

Monday, April 07, 2003

Progress prompts aside, today is going okay so far. I woke up at 5 a.m. and had a really hard time dragging my ass out of bed. I mean, my body thought that it was 4 a.m. right? I did get downstairs eventually and did a very gentle version of my slow program. TOM is on the way and I didn't want to hurt myself. I did feel better after working out but had to hustle my bustle to get ready for work on time.

Tonight we have a tonne of errands to do, for ourselves and for my father-in-law. I think we're getting Swiss Chalet take-away tonight so we can have dinner with him at his place. We eat there quite often and it's a really tasty and low-calorie meal for me. The way this month is shaping up, I'm really glad that I've switched my workouts to the morning or I don't know when I've time to do it. I'm enjoying them too much now to want to give them up to accommodate a busy schedule.

Who'd a thunk it huh??
Holy smokes, Monday again. Here is this week's Progress Prompt:

Have you ever experienced discrimination for being the size you are? Describe what happened.

I have had some very odd things happen to me because of my size. I think that some people have preconceived notions about people, based on their appearances. Whenever something is "preconceived" it's never good, whether it is a positive or negative thing.

The weirdest thing was not the kind of discrimination that you may expect. I was once hired by a woman, I think, because of my size. She herself was overweight, another woman in the office was larger than her. I was larger than both of them. The boss, Nicole, had some major body and control issues. To say that she was an odd duck with major hormonal imbalances would be an understatement. The other woman in the office, Debby, was quite meek and quiet. She was shy and very self conscious about her size. I, on the other hand, was not. I have never had a problem with self esteem. I never got caught up in body image or hung up about my appearance. Perhaps that is why I was able to get this big, I just didn't care (I still don't care what people think about me or what I look like -- I'm doing this for myself - to get healthy).

Anyway, I think that Nicole thought that I was like Debby and that she'd be able to use me and abuse me in the same way that did to Debby. Debby wouldn't say "shit" to Nicole if her mouth was full of it. I, on the other hand, asked questions and challenged things - not to the point of being insubordinate mind you. Nicole didn't like that I wasn't a loveable, fat, doormat and eventually I was fired. It was the only time in my life that I have been fired and I was so angry about it until I realized why she had done it. She and her husband owned the business and I could tell that he didn't want to fire me (I was very good at what I was doing) but he had no choice.

It ended up being a good thing for me because I ended up in a much better job a couple of months later. I see her from time to time, on the street, and she can't look me in the eye. I always make a point to stare in her direction and smile, head held high. She's a coward and a bully and I know that she deliberately hires fat women with low self esteem so that she can feel thin and strong. How weak is that?

Sunday, April 06, 2003

What a great day!! We woke up to sunlight streaming in our windows. It was marvelous!!

We spent all morning sorting out papers and getting our tax stuff together. I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I worked right through breakfast and lunch. Not like me at all!! After we got my father-in-law's taxes done, we went out for a late lunch. We stopped by at my folks' afterwards and I really didn't think I was going to get my workout in today. When we got home, it was after 4 p.m. and I had half convinced myself that today would be a break. Eventually, I dragged my butt downstairs and got on my bike. I did my short program and felt better for it afterwards. I even got more laundry done and vacuumed the house. I felt totally invigorated.

Not sure what we're doing for dinner tonight. Something light I think after going out for lunch. Other than that, there's not too much to report. Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend!

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Today has been so dull and dreary outside that I couldn't get out for a walk. That's three days in a row now, snow, rain and ice. It totally bites. I had really hoped to get outside and get some fresh air and some exercise this weekend. The ice is pretty bad outside so I've been stuck indoors. I did get in a workout though, today was my "long program" on the bike. It was really well, nice and sweaty. I did some weights too. I've been slowly building up the number of repetitions I do with my 2 lb hand weights and I can feel a difference in my arms now. I also find that my shoulders get really tight if I go too long with stretching them out and lifting some weights.

Eating has been under control so far today. Saturdays are ordinarily a little difficult for me. This afternoon, instead of my fruit snack, I treated myself to a diet soda and some Skinny Sticks. My hunny likes the chips but I'm a big fan of the sticks. I love the texture and the flavours are very good, particularly the Maui Wowee. Tonight my hunny's making pad thai, one of my favourites. I love anything that I can eat with chop sticks. Last night we had chili and rice (which was heavenly btw!) and I joked that I'd miss using my chopsticks and reluctantly picked up a fork and spoon. I find that when we eat Asian-influenced food, I love to use the sticks because they slow me down. I really savour every bite and eat more slowly. This way I trick myself into thinking I'm eating more and I get full faster. I highly recommend this method. Nice thing about them too is that you can use them for practically everything ('cept chili!).

I'm not sure what we're up to tonight. I would imagine we'll be in for the evening. I don't want to venture out in this storm. It should be interesting to see what tomorrow brings!

Friday, April 04, 2003

I can smell supper cooking right now, it's going to be good!! My hunny is making chili with ground turkey. It's been ages since I've had chili and his is amazing!

Today was really good for me. I got in my workout before work and two loads of laundry. As I've mentioned before, I've recently moved offices (within the same building) so now I'm doing the stairs, a lot. I'm happy to report that they are getting a lot better. The building I work in is 170 years old so the stairs are a little weird in places (in others they have been replaced) so it's a challenge getting around, there are many different levels in the building. Unfortunately (or fortunately - for me) there are almost no direct routes from one level to the next. You either have to go outside the building and run around the perimeter into a different entrance or you have to go up two flights of stairs and down one to get to where you're going. I know that it sounds really bizarre but the building is almost 200 years old. Today I found that it was much easier to do them. I'm actually running down some of them now. At one point this morning, I was down in the basement in a colleagues office and, not realizing that the clock in his office was slow, got called into a meeting that was scheduled for 11 a.m. I managed to get up the 2.5 flights of stairs with ease and wasn't out of breath when I reached the top. Yay me!! I didn't run up them but I was able to do the whole thing without stopping or gasping at the top. For most folks, I know that this doesn't sound like a huge deal but it is for me.

The other thing that happened at work today was another non-scale victory. There were two parties in our office this afternoon and I didn't eat a thing at either of them!! They were happening one right after the other, right after lunch. I knew about them in advance so I took some extra fruit with me (strawberries, yum!) for lunch and ate my afternoon banana at the same time. The result was that I was pleasantly full during the parties and I just sipped on my water and visited with folks. Just fyi, the first party featured salsa and chips (a favourite of mine) and a veggie & dip tray and the other party had a huge gooey chocolate cake (home made). I'm so pleased with myself, particularly given that I've been feeling a little under the weather the past few days and my resistance is a little low due to fatigue. Maybe I wasn't as tired as I thought...or I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. In either case, I feel good about the stairs and the food avoidance.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

I had a weird-ish food day. Not off plan or anything, just a little strange. I'm thinking it may be because of my cold thing that I have. In the morning, I usually have a snack mid-morning, ordinarily it's an apple. This morning, I was famished and ate my apple an hour earlier than usual. When lunchtime came around, I was starving. Lunch was good and I contemplated eating my afternoon snack (a banana) right then but I went for some more water and decided to wait on the banana. The next thing I knew, I was getting ready to head home and my banana was still sitting there, and I wasn't hungry or anything. It was odd for me because of the way my appetite changed. I wasn't eating anything all that different than usual but my eating pattern was a little off. Tonight, we went for some odds and ends of groceries that we forgot the other night. I'm glad we did too because it was snowing to beat the band and it's not supposed to stop anytime soon so this way we won't have to go out over the weekend if we don't want to. For dinner we stopped off for a bite at our favourite Chinese place. I ate a little more than I planned on (I guess I was a little extra hungry because I hadn't had my banana) but I stayed on plan. Anyway, I almost can't believe that the weekend starts again tomorrow. Where did the week go?
I got in another early morning workout this morning. This was my "short program" day (I'm mixing the length of time up by doing a long program one day, and a short one the next) but it was good. Again, I got a nice sweat happening and felt really invigorated when it was over.

Something odd started happening yesterday though, while I was at work. In the summer, I suffer from hay fever and I have an allergy to cat. On Friday afternoon, someone in my department had a cat in her office for a couple of hours and I think it's making me sick. I can't tell if it's just that or the fact that the new office I'm in has 2 cat owners. Anyway, I was itchy and sore and sneezy and generally felt really gross all day. Once I got home, it went away so I'm thinking it's the cats. My eyes were still a little tender this morning but I didn't let it slow me down. Hopefully, today, I'll be able to open my window a crack (it was too cold and snowy to have my window open yesterday) and air the place out a bit.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Wednesday's here again, already. This week's Wednesday Weigh-in topic is "In Need of Comfort."

1. Do you eat for comfort sometimes?

Yes. In the past I did this frequently. It's been an issue that I have struggled to overcome since my lifestyle change began on January 6, 2003.

2. What triggers comfort eating for you?

One word: Stress. We had a big, blow-out, "Free" meal on Friday night and that was just a release after the stress we had experienced while my father-in-law was in hospital. Prior to January 6, just about any remotely stressful situation would send me into eating mode. And, of course, it would be cookies or chocolate or chips or some such crappy junk food thing.

3. What is your usual comfort food?

In the past, it was the 3 "c's" that I listed above (sometimes on their own, sometimes all together for the ultimate bad impact on my body). Now, if I feel that I need something comforting, I'll have a nice cup of tea, bowl of soup, or some popcorn. I learned, the hard way, on the weekend that the indulgence isn't worth the aftermath. I did not enjoy our free meal enough to tolerate the food hangover I had on Saturday. I'm finding other things to comfort me or help me with my stress. Recently, I have found that exercise is a good way for me to work out my stress. It feels a lot better than mowing through a bag of chips, any day of the week!
I was actually up before the birds this morning. The past couple of days, I've been getting up at 5:15 a.m. or so, and have heard the birds chirping outside when I'm starting my day. This morning, I hopped out of bed at 4:45 a.m. and was all done my workout before 6 a.m. It was a really good one, nice and sweaty!! I feel great at the moment, ready to tackle the day!!

Yesterday, my eating was awesome, really low fat and low calorie yet really yummy. We had this amazing stirfry for dinner last night with some fresh turkey breast we picked up on Monday night. Amazing!! I did pretty good with my water intake yesterday although I'm still working on getting it back up to where it was. Again, my mini-goal for the day is to work on the water thing. The food thing is totally under control this week!

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

My search for real baby carrots is fruitless lately. I got a beautiful carton of cherry tomatoes though and I had a few with my lunch today. They totally taste like summer and it was a nice switch from carrots (although I still had a few of the old ones).

I'm still dragging my butt a bit today but I did get up early this morning and work out before work. I thought that it would be really brutal after my unscheduled break but it wasn't too bad at all. I felt really good about it after it was over. I really prefer to do it first thing in the morning. When I do get to it early, it's done and I can enjoy my day. I do enjoy my day more when I've worked out in the morning too. Later on this month when we go out of town for our friend's wedding, we'll be staying at this really nice place in Toronto where we usually stay. I'm really looking forward to using the gym while we're there. Ordinarily, we just use the pool and sauna but I plan on taking my workout gear and trying out the gym while we're there. I think this will be a good way for me to figure out which machines I like (besides my recumbent bike -- which I love!).

Foodwise, yesterday I was totally on plan. We ate out after groceries last night (this is our usual thing because we're both too bagged to want to deal with cooking after working all day and grocery shopping) at the Chinese buffet place and I kept things totally under control. What I love about this particular place is the great veggies that they have. They have a lot of variety and everything is really fresh and crunchy and not over salted (unlike many places). Today is going well so far. Really low fat today and with my workout this morning, things are moving along nicely. My mini-goal (ie for the rest of today) is to get my water intake up. I've been neglecting that a bit since we moved offices but again, like everything else in my routine that has been spun topsy-turvy, I'm getting my "house" back in order, one thing at a time!