Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesday Check-In #3

I'm exhausted! I just spent 1 1/2 hours shovelling approx. 4 inches of heavy snow from my driveway. I am so ready for spring! This winter just doesn't seem to want to end. I know that in my part of the world we'd been lucky with our winters the last few years. This one has been more like those when I was growing up.

Okay, enough about the weather and on to the Healthy "Me" Challenge. I have to be honest and say that I haven't really been serious up until last week. I've been reading all about everyone's challenges and triumphs without really doing much for myself.

So, I thought about what had made me successful in the past and what may have been hurting me these last few months. I realized that journalling is very important. I thought it would be easy to keep track of all I eat throughout the day--I don't need to write things down anymore! Well, Yes I Do! Only then did I realize I'd been kidding myself. This week I was faithful to my little binder and, DRUMROLL PLEASE...I'm down 2 pounds. It is amazing how much you can achieve when you make yourself accountable.

Another thing I have been in denial about is the fact that I too have become a scale junkie. When I first lost all that weight at WW, I did not own a scale. My WI's were once a week. I am now determined to stand on that "thing" every Saturday just as when I went to my meetings. What a slave I've been! I think that my poor scale needs a breather for awhile.

1. Journalling is key to making the right choices.
2. Give the scale a break!

Thanks for all the great stories, ups and downs, recipes and support. Until next week...the battle continues.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Prelude to a Blizzard

Hello to all out there. I've been glancing through a few different blogs tonight and have noticed that quite a few people are using PhotoBucket.

Those of you who are using it or have--any pros or cons? I would like to jazz up my entries a bit. I have gone to a few "free" sites for clipart but always seem to sense a few catches to it. Any sites you'd recommend for this kind of thing would also be greatly appreciated.

Can't wait for tomorrow's check-in :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday and it's Sunny!

Thanks to all who wished me well on the interview. I think it went great--I was well-spoken and think I gave all the right answers (if there is such a thing). There are three other people being interviewed as well so I'll be finding out towards the end of next week. I'm pretty positive but if not this time, there will be something else on the horizon.

Think good thoughts :) and have a great weekend ladies!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Job Interview

Well, this will be a short one. I'm about to leave for a job interview and am starting to feel a little bit jittery. I had an excellent phone interview but those "in person" ones can be terrifying even though you know you're more than up for the challenge.

Wish me luck and I'll be back with hopefully good news! (At least my diet and exercise are on track :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Photos

Okay, for some reason, I could not get all the photos to go where I wanted them to on my previous post. They weren't coming up in the right order, wouldn't stay where I wanted them to, and when I finally managed to move them they would stretch and contort! AAGGHH!

So, here are a few more of my favourites. The first shows me with my mother's aunt and brother. You can see that my arms look a bit weird. I never knew how to hold them because the "girls" were always in the way!

The second is of myself, sister and mother outside of our church the fall of my weight loss. Still not at goal but I'm 150 and think I look great. The final one is of me in one of the "windows" of Heidelberg Castle in Germany. I was 145 and believe it to be the perfect weight for me. My zone is 145-150. I had gotten to 137 and felt too empty and didn't look good. There is such a thing as too skinny. Over 150 and I start to get a muffin top! I'm not too far from my goal, I let myself get a little sloppy since I left my job. But, this blog is going to SET ME FREE! YIPPEE!!!!

Tuesday Check-In #2

Good morning all. I had a nice healthy breakfast today, the sun is shining and I'll be leaving for my Gliding class in about an hour. I've been reading some of my favourite blogs this morning and am moved, as always, by photos of yourselves.

You know who you are, I don't need to name you. It's such a terrifying thing to lay yourself out there, flat on a screen. But, don't you find that it's a little bit easier to do on this forum? We're all going through pretty much the same things. All that's different, really, are the numbers we've set aside for ourselves.

I thought I would share a bit of what I went through before I made the decision to take care of myself. I used to be terrified when I thought about how much I had to lose. I never stood on a scale for at least 5 or more years. Why should I? When I got to that size 20 dress I knew I had a problem. I used to blame it on the size of my breasts. Nothing ever fit over them and used to hang loosely everywhere else. I went shopping at a plus-size store and chatted with one of the gals about how hard it was to find something for the top half. She told me about her breast reduction. Now, I had thought about it before but it scared me to death. The whole procedure sounded awful (you have to remove what?!?!) I mulled it over and decided to book an appointment for a consultation. I went, looked at other before pictures of women with their after shots (faces are left out so it's anonymous). I didn't have the guts and let my chance slip away. I would have to wait at least a year because it wasn't a medical emergency.
I can't remember why I decided to go in to see the doctor again. I would have to wait at least another year before a bed opened up in the hospital--enough time to worry! I think I finally went because I wasn't sleeping, my back and shoulders were killing me (I wore a 44F, 42G--yes they come that big, Sears catalogue!) I worked in a factory and I could barely make it up the ramp to work without huffing and puffing. I booked it and the surgery took place in January of 2001--happy birthday to me!

Well, I can tell you that it was the best thing I ever did. My only regret was that I didn't take off the weight prior to the surgery as my doctor had recommended. Without that shelf of a bosom to block the view, I now saw both of my stomachs!!! My brother has always been brutally honest and he pretty much laid it out for me. I was at work one day in June when the lady next to me started talking about how she had to go back to Weight Watchers. Out of the blue I said to her "Do you want to go together?" Funny, I hardly remember the time after my surgery and before WW. Life started for me again in the summer of 2002. It's weird but there you are. Laurie and I began WW and I have never been so excited about anything. I was so gung ho and I took to the program like a duck to water. I actually looked forward to every weigh-in.

Prior to the reduction I weighed 220 and some change. The doctor took off, believe it or not, 3.3 kg which I think is about 10 pounds. Can you believe what I was carrying on my chest? My starting weight at WW was around 210. I took it in sections. "Okay, just get to 200" Good, there I am. "Now, shoot for 190", and so on. I didn't have a scale at home. Each Saturday was fresh and exciting because believe it or not, in the 8 months or so that it took me to reach goal, I registered a loss everytime but one Saturday. Looking back now I can't believe how well I did. I think a main key in getting to Lifetime was that I didn't stress out over anything. I ate very healthy and had absolutely no junk in the house or out of it. I treated myself to ice cream at the 50 pound stage--I'm talking about a cone, not a gallon. I never exercised, which is weird to me now. All I did was follow the points system. I lost 70 pounds and felt fantastic and EMPTY. That is such a good feeling.

Well, I could go on and on but I think that's enough for now. I'll talk about the ups and downs of life after a major weight loss in another post. You know how hard it is to lose the weight but keeping it off is another struggle altogether.
Okay Katschi, you asked for it. This was the picture that did it for me. My other "fat" pictures didn't horrify me quite as much as this one did. You were there for the whole show Katsch, thank the Good Lord that it had a happy ending!

Monday, February 18, 2008

But It Looks Like Spring

Sunny and the grass is showing again. But, there was a brisk wind blowing! I managed to get a nice walk in today before the flurries showed up yet again. Today is my mother's birthday--she's 63. We didn't do a cake. I had a bag full of apples and decided to make an apple crisp instead. I just love anything with fruit and the smell of apples and cinnamon baking is one of my favourites.

That in itself isn't too bad for a dessert choice. The main course was a Serbian specialty. The name is burek. It's made from a pastry similar to a phyllo dough but somewhat heavier. Lots of layers filled with a feta cheese mixture (the classic version) or with ground meat. It's so delicious--you'd have to have some and I'm sure you'd agree.

I realized today that while I've been good about getting into an exercise routine, I haven't been too good about watching what I eat. Not that I eat junk food, I've just not been paying much attention to the time of day I'm eating and the number of times I'm eating. I definitely need to get back to the food diary way of things (good habit from WW days.) I started today and will try to be vigilant about it. I know that when I'm in the groove, everything flows along. No more birthdays!!! Just kidding.

I'm adding a picture that a friend of mine took. I thought it was such a great shot of the Ambassador Bridge--our link to the USA. Can't wait to start posting pics that don't feature snow!!!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Friday!

Well, I was extremely sore when I got up this morning. Every muscle in my was screaming with pain, especially my inner thighs and upper body. Is it really true that there is no gain without pain? We'll see.

My exercise calendar said that today would be a day of rest but it was so beautiful and sunny outside that I decided to go for a walk by the river. The first picture is of me (shadow only!) and the second is of those pesky Canadian geese taking off when they saw my approach.

Take advantage of every nice day for tomorrow it may snow one more time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Thanks to Carol for bringing the calendar option out for us. It took me forever and I have to say that I'm not thrilled with my colour choices. Anyone out there--I was getting annoyed for not being able to come with something a little classier looking. I'm looking for tips! I've put the url for my calendar in the links section of my blog. Help me if you have the time ;)


Thursday and I'm going to the gym to do a class called BodyPump. Reading blogs and getting supportive comments from others has really boosted my mood. Doesn't hurt that we have another sunny day here in Windsor, ON. "Guess what", calls my mother, "You've got a flat tire". What can be more frustrating? I have had more flat tires than I care to count over the past few years.

Now, you might think that would be the perfect excuse to pass on the class. No way sisters! I called a tow-truck to haul the old Caravan to the garage and hopped into my mother's car getting to the gym right on time. Well, I'm glad I did it. This is a weights oriented class and I think that after a few months of "pumping it up" I'll be fitting into those skinny outfits. Whenever you get the chance to overcome those small bumps in the road of life, give yourself a huge pat on the back and know that you will achieve anything you set your mind too!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gliding Towards a New Me!

Hi all.

I FORCED myself to go to the gym today. It's freezing and snowy and what better excuse than to sit in the house and not go anywhere. Oh, wait a minute. Didn't I say that I was going to work out, on my blog? Uh, YEAH!!! What a fantastic tool we have here if we put out stuff for others to see and, in my case, please call me on it. I spent 15 minutes on the elliptical to warm up and then did the gliding class. What a workout that was. If you've never done one it is incredible. It works every part of your body but is especially fantastic for the core and legs. I'll be going again on Thursday so look for that message.

I don't know about any of you out there but, my most recent weight gain has ended up in rather different locations. I've got a little more in the booty area and the midsection which I know is age related. Did you know that anything over 32 inches in the midsection (that is your tummy) is dangerous? Let's definitely work to the goals of getting those tummies to healthy proportions. Heart disease kills more women, I believe, than breast cancer. Take care of yourselves ladies and remember that warmer weather is just around the corner.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday, Monday

Well, I've changed my Blog yet again! A person certainly can spend an inordinate amount of time fooling around with backgrounds, colours, fonts, placement, etc. and so forth. I have a headache!!!

I had a long weekend but think I'm finally starting to recover from it. I've been bad about exercising. It's amazing how good it can make you feel once you actually start doing it. I belong to a gym and manage to visit at least 2 times a week. I like to do classes with other people. I'll talk more about the ones I prefer on a different post. Today was freezing (nothing like cold for an excuse :) so I did a Pilates tape here at home. I like the Crunch Fat Burning series with Ellen Barrett. Tomorrow, rain or shine, snow or sleet I'll be making a trip to Good Life and getting my butt on the eliptical and doing a Gliding class. Pinkie Swear!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Lady's Day

One of my favourite episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was the one where Debra goes a little whacko with PMS. Poor Ray just can't understand but Marie does and remembers how awful Frank was to her on her "Lady's Day". I just loved that term and now always refer to my "Lady's Day". I get just a little crazy on the emotion side and crave dark chocolate just for that special day. It's the one time I allow myself that little indulgence. How do you treat yourself on that day or do you? Love to see those comments!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Follow up

I received a comment and just wanted to make a quick reply to it. Almost all my "skinny" clothes is no more than 2 years old therefore I'd say it's still in fashion. When I lost my 70 pounds I got rid of the size 20's!!! Never keep something like that in the closet as it is all too easy to fit into it again. That's all for now--Thanks!

Favourite Dress

Okay Ladies, I'm sure that in your closets, tucked away behind those winter clothes is a favourite little number you've been saving because one day you will be able to fit into it again. I have such a dress. I bought it when I first lost my 70 pounds after going to Weight Watchers. What a feeling to reach over to the rack, pull off that size 6 and do up the zip without sucking in ANYTHING! I felt beautiful in that dress and got so many compliments on it. I'm not far from doing that zip up. Sure I've let myself go a bit--leaving a job, looking for a new one, turning 40--these things have made me reach for some no nos! But hey, let's not be too hard on ourselves and know that if we focus and work for our goals, they will be reached. If you have a favourite little number, take a picture and let's share!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Tueday Check-In

Well, I just signed into Healthy You Challenge. It looked like a great way to see what other people are doing and to connect with them. I've put a little extra weight on since leaving my job last July. You never think you're an emotional eater until you realize one day that you are! I'm looking forward to challenging myself this year and look forward to comments and input from anyone. Thanks!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Remembering Rome

I watched "Gladiator" starring Russell Crowe last night. It's such a beautiful looking film and I'm always amazed by those shots of the arrival into Rome and the marvel of theColosseum in what it must have looked like in its entirety.
Rome was a highlight of an Italian vacation in the summer of 2006. Here is a shot of the Colosseum as it looks today and one of myself at the remnants of the Forum.

Friday, February 1, 2008

February Blows In!

The month of February started off with a snowstorm. I think we were luckier than some people but it was still pretty messy and labour intensive. I woke up nice and early, had my breakfast and then wrapped myself up in my winter gear and headed out to tackle the driveway. I used to love the exercise and being outside in the brisk cold but after an exhausting two hours decided that this might be the year for a snowblower!
While I was outside, I remembered a radio program I had heard a few days ago on the CBC. My ears perked at the mention of Hildegard von Bingen. I first came across her name in a music appreciation class my first year of university. She has so many claims to fame but the important one for my class was that she was the first composer to have an extant biography. We listened to the music which is monophonic--one melodic line characterised by a soaring soprano. What an amazing woman she was for the time, 1098-1179, the medieval period.
On a trip to Europe with my family, my sister once referred to me as the human encyclopedia. I love trivia and have a mind filled with interesting tidbits of knowledge. Everywhere we went I had something to say, almost always annoying my siblings but arousing curiosity in my mother as to how I could know so many things! (this is not to toot my own horn, I'm just stating a fact) Driving in the car, some music of Hildegard's came on. Before I could open my mouth my father brought up her name with a short bio on her. "You know about Hildegard of Bingen?" I cried in surprise. I think that was the first time that I realized who I got the fact-finding gene from and how smart my father was. He also read avidly and loved interesting factoids such as knowing of medieval abbesses who were also composers and wrote on the subjects of medicine and botany. He had purchased a book about her and I found it when we went through my father's books after he passed away. We so often take each other for granted that we sometimes think we know everything about a person. How lucky are we then, when little gems like this come up out of the blue?