Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh this is why you don't stop once you start.....

a 4 day break + pizza for supper + JMike Levels 1 and 2 = me puking

Monday, November 29, 2010

so.... tired...

What a crazy week last week. We had TWO office birthday parties which meant pizza, cake, pop, chips, fruit, sandwiches. Also last week was focus groups so I was not home for a couple of nights and D was in Halifax again. The child is not sleeping and has led me to the stunning realization that I do not like toddlers. Not one bit. There is no reasoning. Everything is done so slowly. Everything is so exciting. I have not slept in weeks and weeks and it is beginning to show with laziness, anxiety and bad attitude. I think I have probably regained my two inches. I am at square one.

30 day shred is a 30 day failure so tonight I am going to try something new... I am going to try: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. I will need both of those things to happen through the Season of Holiday eating.

Shameful Memory (last night, my living room): One medium cookie dough blizzard and me. Sigh.

I need some encouragement.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Size really does matter.....

I know its not my turn to post but I just have to put this out there before I forget what an issue it is for me.....

How come the pants I wore yesterday and the pants I'm wearing today are from the same store, the same make/fit, but are different sizes?

How is it possible to buy the same pants one year apart in two different sizes and have them be the exact same size? Does this make sense? I know its early and I'm rambling but come on.

There have been claims for years that stores have been consistently making their items smaller and marking the sizes larger but I never really paid attention to it. Now I am.

What purpose does this serve besides messing with peoples heads?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Number Schmumber

So I needed some sort of push to get my ass back in gear after taking a 3 maybe 4 day hiatus due to some personal and mentally exhausting circumstances. So I woke up bright and early this morning and hopped on the scale. If the number was up then I would have to work harder. If the number was down then I would have to work harder anyway. The number was 2lbs UP! If this had been last week I would have spiraled into some kind of depression/rage and let it bother me all day, okay week. But this morning I didn't care.

I think I've come to the point where I've realized that the number is not what's important. I feel great right now, maybe its due to feeling emotionally lighter, I'm not sure. Regardless though it's fine.

My clothes fit better, I feel stronger and have more endurance when it come to cardio so I consider them all big wins. Oh and big news....I lost 2 inches in my chest! It was the only place I had the heart to measure but still. Another big win!

My next challenge is getting back into the routine of things, which I find extremely hard right now. Today for example I came to work early so that ruled out hitting the gym this morning and tonight we have an awards show to attend so that rules out hitting the gym tonight. There will also be some sort of salad/stuffed chicken/dessert combination, along with a bar at the event tonight. So that makes things tricky.

Then its off to Halifax for Mamma Mia, shopping and visiting friends. Trickier still. I'm starting to wonder if this whole balance thing is possible. If you can't find time to work out before work, during work or after work, how and when does it happen?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Epic Fail

Well. I don't know what to say. Currently, I am sitting in flannel pyjamas wearing two bathrobes and a blanket on a mini break from watching the 2007 BBC mini series of Persuasion on YouTube (as recommended by my friend Emily whose judgement on such matters should always be trusted). Why the levels of clothing? The furnace stopped working but we thought that was because we had run out of oil. Our aim was to run out of oil because we were buying a new oil tank and it is best to have them installed when the old tank is empty. As our luck would have it, the furnace did not turn off because we were out of oil, but for some other mysterious reason.

Our home has fallen into silence where the adults do not speak to each other but simply respond to the child's two word sentences. Dishes have not been done for days. There has been no heat for about 36 hours. The child did not sleep from Friday til last night when we huddled like a popsicle family in one bed. I have been working for days on end. Needless to say, exercise is not happening. I had cereal for supper and two brownies at lunch.

Adulthood, it never gets easier.

The cat is now sucking on my bathrobe.

POSITIVE: Lenore looks amazing! Visible and I mean visible difference in her size. Good for you Lenore! Keep it up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Food for Thought

So a few nights ago I had a dream that I stepped on the scale and gained 15 lbs. The number on the scale was neon green, glowing, underlined three times and had stars next to it. Dream analysis.....go.

I think it means I'm crazy. I am officially obsessing over the number for no reason. Yes, I had 2 days of falling off the wagon this week, but I've shifted my focus to long term instead of the short term which I think is a healthier state of mind overall.

Heart health as always been a focus of mine. My family has a long list of heart problems and a myocardial infarction (massive heart attack) was the cause of my fathers sudden death. Sadly, this morning my mom's best friend also passed away. The cause most likely a heart attack.

This just reinforces for me the fact that so many health problems are linked to weight. None of the above mentioned people were overweight, but regardless weight is a major factor in health and well-being.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada every 7 minutes someone across our great nation dies of a heart attack.

That is a terrifying number of people. Although cardiovascular disease has declined significantly in the past few decades (70% between 1956 and 2002), we are not nearly where we should be.

I think the nation needs a new focus. Perhaps the shift from vanity to health is what we need when it comes to exercise.

They say that due to obesity and related health issues we'll be among the first generations to not outlive our parents. I say we prove them wrong.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hi there. Long time no blog! Things have been hectic and I anticipate it will keep up for at least two more weeks. In fact, I suspect I will not exercise in a meaningful way again until one week from today...
Thank you for asking,I had house guests last weekend for a long weekend and this week I have been busily organizing a youth conference here in Sydney that starts on Thursday and runs until Sunday. Then, back in the work saddle on Monday with three full days and evenings of focus group sessions. What of my child? He will face maternal neglect but has a dad ready to pick up the slack.

What is the big news, you wonder? Certainly it can not be that I am busy doing conference/focus group/work? The big news is... In just two short weeks or wiser food choices and exercise, I am OFFICIALLY out of the DANGER ZONE! Waist is down two inches. Two. Whole. Inches. Adieu, Danger Zone. It's been nice, but I hope to never meet you again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Scale Hatred

So I made it through the Shred level one and am pumped to start level two tonight. I feel like I'm ready for it. My body definitely adapted to the first set of moves within the ten days like JMike claimed it would. I even have just the slightest bit of a bicep. It's amazing really and I'll show anyone that's willing to humour me and fake excitement over my hard work.

I'm a little nervous for level 2. I don't want anything to be so hard that I'm discouraged. I guess I'll just have to remind myself that I adapted to level one and obviously with practice and determination the same thing is going to happen.

Now I said when I started level 1 that before I started level 2 I would hop back on the scale and take my measurements again. But I can't bring myself to do it. I feel like I'm in a good place and I don't want to risk seeing a scary number and being disappointed.

So right now I'm struggling with do I? or don't I?

How often do other people step on the scale? Some people do it daily, some weekly, some monthly and some don't go by the scale at all. I'm not sure what would work for me and I'm not sure how to find out without facing that risk of disappointment.

Or it could go the other way and push me to work harder. But I guess I won't know until I try.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well it looks like we've been neglecting our blog a little. Know what else I've been neglecting? Jillian.

It was a busy and exhausting past of couple of days (Tuesday and Wednesday and so I regret to announce that I could not even find the 20 minutes of shred on those days. I'm okay with that though. I'm over the guilt of a day or two. We'll have this conversation again though should I fall off the wagon completely.

Thursday was a holiday which meant a day off! (...and Thank you armed forces and vets!) I was disgustingly productive. I was able to sleep in a little, shred first thing in the am and then my friend S and I went for an hour long walk in the Baile Aird Trails. I'm sure I've spelled that wrong but you know what I mean, behind SPEC.

This 2 days of neglect though has led me to think of the future. And by future I mean December and the holiday season. Friends are home, parties are in full swing all the time, cocktails are flowing and finger foods are everywhere you look. Is it possible to keep this up? I think if I build up my momentum now I should be ok, but wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Gymtimidation. You may be thinking 'Who the hell does this girl think she is? She can't just go around making up words!" But anyone who has ever been out of shape, fat or is just nonathletic, knows what I'm getting at here.

There's a certain fear in entering the gym for the first time. There are so many feelings of uncertainty. Are people staring at me? Is it because I'm fat? What the hell is that machine? How does it work? What does one do with a kettlebell exactly?

It's hard! But at the same time you feel good because half the battle is stepping through the gym door.

Now I'm not a gym pro by any means but I can push start and I can do a crunch or two so I'm okay there. My real gymtimidation comes from the weights. I have literally no idea what to do with them. I've seen other people use them and I know people who are strong with muscles, so they must know what to do with them. But I don't really know what works what etc.

I could always try. But I'd have to walk past all the muscle heads. And I'd have to to fake confidence so they couldn't sense my fear. And I'm afraid the result would resemble a Mary Catherine Galagher gym skit gone horribly wrong. So I'll pass. I'll keep walking and mosey on over to the mats where I can do some core stuff (stuff...another gym term I use) and pretend that I don't know that in order to tone muscles you need to use weights.

That's right. I'd rather fake stupid than look stupid. And that's sad. I wish I had the courage to ask for help here, but I always chicken out! I don't want the gym employees/trainers to judge me. But isn't that there job to show me? Yes! In my head I know this, but my gymtimidation always wins.

This is all another reason why I am so pro the 30 Day Shred right now. JMike shows you easy weight moves and does them with you so you can check out proper form. I've been shredding for 5 consecutive days now and can already notice slight muscle definition in my arms and legs. Very slight right now, but it's definitley enough to keep me going.

Maybe by the time I'm done with the shred I'll have the know how and the confidence to lift at the gym. We'll see.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Saturday I did not shred it. I was all over hells creation looking for a replacement sofa for our basement as the one we have purchased just is not cutting the mustard ie: will not fit down the stairs. Also, I was working a table of at the Farmer's Market and continuing to unpack and tidy my house. One day it will be done.

Sunday, I was a beacon of achievement. I cleaned, I refinished a chair, I did laundry and I did my shred while the child napped. Jillian Michaels was right! By day five, I did notice a big difference in my capabilities. As I sit here, I am talking big about moving up to Level 2 before the first ten days are up!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Support Issue

I have now completed day 3 of the 30 Day Shred. My body hates me and loves me all at the same time. I must admit I thought Sid was insane when she told me about a 20 minute workout that would kick my ass into shape. But it is a great workout tool, especially for people who only really have 20 minutes a day to spare.

Working on the same principle as the coveted P90X it uses muscle confusion to shock your body in shaping up...quick. The saying 'No pain, No gain' is essential to the mental state you need to maintain here. I had no idea that my entire body would hurt this much! I love it!

Now all that being said I would like to get to the point I really want to make with this post. What I really learned from Jillian Michaels during these past 3 days. I need a new sports bra.

For those of you that know me, you can see why this would be an issue. For those of you that don't, I will admit I am a 34DD. That's right. I may only be 5'1, but I wasn't lying when I mentioned in previous posts that I was curvy. Beyonce has nothing on me. In my healthiest state I am truly an hourglass.

So now you can see my alarm when I'm doing jumping jacks and skipping rope with JMike and I realize that I better take er' easy or I might hurt myself. It is hard to focus and concentrate on doing a few more reps when your body is working against you.

JMike is screaming, "no bouncing, just smooth transitions" (or something along those lines) and in my head I'm screaming "F you Jillian and your athletic body!" (just the workout rage talking, I heart her.)

But seriously as women we're told we need to be healthy (men too), but it's not always that easy. You would think that some genius sportswear company makes an amazing, supportive and tight fitting sports bra. I hope they do and I just haven't found it yet! But I have spent many shopping trips trying on sports bras and all with no luck. Some are too lose, some don't have enough coverage and one I tried on last night was a freaky shape that I'm positive no lady parts would actually fit into. Who designs these things? Men? It's a slap in the face. Literally, and hell yeah, pun intended.

A couple of years ago Jessica Simpson made the press for saying something about how she's not a good golfer because her boobs get in the way. People laughed and thought she was ridiculous but the girl was right! I dare a male golfer to try to get it on the green while maintaining good form around boobs. And I dare any curvy woman to get in a good workout, in a sucky bra and not have it be the only thing on her mind.

But I refuse to give up! My battle with weight and fitness continues and now so does my sports bra mission. If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE let me know. My next step is to find the time to get to the Halifax Lulu for the Lululemon TaTa Tamer. I don't know anyone that wears one, but the online reviews seem impressive and I am willing to try anything at this point!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Welcome to the Danger Zone

Well. Yesterday I finally opened the Heart and Stroke Foundation measuring tape that was so lovingly gifted to be my Lenore's mom. For all of those out there thinking or saying to me that you are not overweight and you do not need to lose weight, I give you this shocking reality: My waist is in the danger zone for Women and Asian Men. The heart and stroke danger zone. All be it, only by an inch, but still, in the danger zone. It will be great to see myself slip right out of it after my 30 day shred.

Last night, while doing by Shred for a personal record of three days in a row, I thought many times of turning the stinking DVD off. I was tired... Very very tired. Shredding at 9:30 PM is not ideal for me, but I have been working quite a bit into the evenings lately. As I was watching my sweaty reflection in the TV screen and thinking about if it would really be so bad to just turn the thing off, I thought of lots of things: my public commitment to seeing this through, the promise of great results by the shredheads and other before and after sites, and also I thought of my two teenage cousins: active and decidedly hip and young ladies who have always thought that I was stylish and cool. I can't let them begin to see me as the old cousin dressed all in shapeless black. I must regain self confidence and a sense of style so that we can walk again down the street together in fancy shoes and outfits considered to be au courant. This Shred is for you M & S, we'll hit the boxing day sales together.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A New Month - A New Pledge

For the longest time I have been trying to get to the gym BEFORE work. This means getting up by at least 6 and heading to the Y while most of the Universe is sound asleep. this weeks recent battle with insomnia has allowed this to happen. I am proud to say that at 5:30 AM yesterday morning I couldn't take the restless non-sleep anymore and decided to hit the gym.

It was as great as I remembered! There was no wait or line up for any machine. There were no 16 year old boys constantly changing the TV channels. There was only serious, dedicated fitness seekers. Most of them were the same people that I remember from months ago when I was one of them.

I manages a steady one hour of cardio without worrying that I was holding someone up from getting on my machine and with a clear and happy head and heart. The idea of waking in darkness and going to the gym is one that I struggled with, but I found it all worth it when I realized that could check the one hour of cardio off my list along with the half hour of core moves and i was showered and at work by 8AM. long before my colleagues arrive.

I expected Sid to find me asleep under my desk by 2:00 but in reality I was alert and super efficient all day. Coincidentally @WomensHealthMag tweeted a link to an online article about the brain boosting benefits of cardio.

Though it doesn't mention anything about working out the AM that time just feels right for me. I think I'll try to get to the gym in the mornings for the entire month of November, because like Sid I am resetting the clock. My scale tells me that I am back at my original starting weight and so it seems fitting to start over.

What I pledged to do in October didn't work for me. This whole fitness/weight loss/health thing turned out to be about trial and error really. What works for some people doesn't work for others. And so here is my new November Pledge:

1. To TRY do my cardio and core in the mornings before work. (Realistically there will be morning i won't get there).
2. To eat healthy foods while not depriving myself of decadence. The feeling of deprivation makes me want things more, so moderation must be practiced.
3. To listen to Sid's great advice and spend 20 minutes a day (evenings) with Jillian Michaels and her 30 day shred. (I recenlty purchased her DVD box set and can't wait to try the yoga too!)
4. To take advantage of Cape Breton and its natural and beautiful hiking areas on the weekends when I can and before it the winter really hits.

So that's it. I have officially pushed re-start. I don't feel like I've failed this 30 day thing because I feel like I have a learned many valuable lessons and have new knowledge to carry me forward. I hope our followers will stay with us past our initial 30 day challenge. The comments, suggestions and positive energy is playing a surprisingly huge roll in motivation!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Old Dog New Tricks

I have been thinking a lot about the expression "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" in the past couple of days. Me being the old dog on the heels of my almost total failure to achieve anything on my fat to fit challenge. Being an information nerd, I decided to do a little 'digging' into the origin and meaning of the expression and I came up with this:

"This must be one of the oldest proverbial sayings in the language. There are many early citations of it (in Heywood, 1546 etc.) and many of those refer to it as an 'old saying'. The earliest example of it in print is in John Fitzherbert's The boke of husbandry, 1534:

...and he [a shepherd] muste teche his dogge to barke whan he wolde haue hym, to ronne whan he wold haue hym, and to leue ronning whan he wolde haue hym; or els he is not a cunninge shepeherd. The dogge must lerne it, whan he is a whelpe, or els it will not be: for it is harde to make an olde dogge to stoupe.

By 'stoop', Fitzherbert meant 'put its nose to the ground to find a scent', as was the meaning of the verb in the 16th century."

Fitzherbert said HARD, not can't. It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but not impossible. This is very encouraging!

My failures have also had me reflecting a bit about my past as a thin person. What was different? I can think of four things:
1. Dancing. Lots and lots and lots of dancing.
2. Serving. This means walking and moving constantly for every shift worked.
3. Not owning a car. This means walking just about everywhere and lugging things home again.
4. A greater social and health awareness. Thinking more carefully about the food I eat, the implications to myself and to the world around me.

It's just a matter of re-acquainting myself if my strong will, my willingness to haul ass, and being more aware of what I am eating. In essence, this old dog has some tricks up her sleeve, they just need to be relearned. The new trick I need to learn is fitting some sort of physical activity and meal planning into a busy life of working, parenting, and volunteering. But this is not impossible, millions of people do it - it just involves a bit of a learning curve and some planning.

Over the course of the last two weeks, I have been having lots of chats with people about thinness, ideal weight, body image, and so on. The crux of it seems to be that your ideal weight is one where you are ultimately healthy - meaning you eat a nice well rounded diet that doesn't have too much salt or sugar and that you do your best to be active a few times a week and feeling happy and comfortable in your own skin. A record year of being overweight - even if just slightly so - has made me realize that I am not happy here.

So it is with great excitement that I announce a big success for me! I have reset the clock on my 30 day shred. As of right now, measurements have been taken, yesterday was the new day one and TODAY I DID MY 30 DAY SHRED FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW! My muscles were sore, I got home late, and I didn't get a chance to "shred it" until 9:45pm - but I did it. Major hurdle jumped.

And for the sake of interest, the Globe and Mail had an interesting news story about sodium regulations in Canadian food. For what it's worth, I find even the beginnings of a conversation about sodium and food regulation to be promising - though the move seems possibly timid and ineffectual. Looks like it will remain up to the individual to shop the outside aisle of the grocery store and watch their own sodium intake.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Yesterday on Oprah I watched Portia DeRossi share her struggle with weight, health and perceptions. To see someone who seems so happy publicly share her dark struggle was interesting. It also puts things into perspective when you realize that at 82 pounds she still thought she was fat.

It makes me wonder how skewed my own perceptions are. The girl I see in the mirror is not the same girl I see in pictures. Some day's I see as myself as curvy, some days as healthy, some days as average and there are days that I see myself as the recluse who will eventually need to be lifted out of my house by the fire department, shipped to the airport on a flatbed truck where I will need to purchase an entire row of seats for myself while enroute to the obesity clinic where my roommate Jojo will hide pizza in her rolls to chow down on after hours when the staff has turned out the lights.

Yes, my imagination went there. But I think it goes to show how thought consuming the whole weight issue can be. And also how perceptions can be stretched to the point where you don't recognize yourself.

Skinny girls want curves, curvy girls want to be thin. It's a never ending cycle of wanting what you can't have. So my new goal is to be happy with what I have. To embrace my curves and be okay with the fact that I'm never going to look like a VS swimsuit model. I can however be healthier. And so I'll keep gymmin' while I work towards that.

It won't be easy. Last night's FB status read "i would rather stab myself in the eye with a hot fork than drag my ass to the gym right now". But I went. And I felt good about it afterwards! So here's to celebrating me, no matter my size, weight or perception of what that all means on any given day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Seasons of Eating

Missed Saturday, but I did have a great day . The Child and I went on a double date with another mom and son duo to a book reading at the library. Though Mom #2 might not have considered our walk a good one, for someone as sedentary as me, I counted it as victory! And I was not the one pushing the children in the double stroller.

Halloween was quite something, there was a marathon of visiting as The Child is far too young to be trick or treating so we dressed him and went to a few select houses for a visit with our cow baby then returned home to the trick or treaters and got a very amped up 17 month old off to bed.

Today, I have been doing something "they" call shocking my immune system. It is a new tack I am trying in my weight loss journey. The "shock" (to the immune system) is the amount of mini Halloween bars, rockets, maynards chews and tiny bags of chips I can eat in one day without getting sick. So far, the answer is a lot. My theory is to shock the system with so many calories in one day that my metabolism goes into overdrive. The safe return to normal eating habits tomorrow should help me lose at least a pound. *I know this is not true, it is helping me justify my behaviour.*

There is today's admission: I have eaten chips. And not just the tiny bags. I also ate ONE HUNDRED Pringles - light Pringles - I'm not so out of control as to eat the full fat.

Our tech gurus were in the office today and we got to chatting about our favourite Christmas chocolates as that is really the next big eat fest. It occurred to me that as a society, in concert with advertisers and major candy corporations, we have really set ourselves up for obesity.

Starting in the fall, we have Thanksgiving - this is really just the stomach stretching precursor to many other festivals of food. Quickly on the heels of Thanksgiving, we dress our children up in crazy costumes and send them out begging sugar from the neighbours. Luckily, as adults, we have a good month to buy, eat, buy, eat and then buy again countless bags of tiny treats and also be left with many after 8:00pm when the little tricksters have gone home to weigh, trade, and eat insane amounts of chocolate, chips, and high fructose corn syrup. There is about one month to eat all of your Halloween candy before Christmas parties, Pot's of Gold, Toffifee's, Toblerones, Candy Canes, Quality Streets, Sugar Cookies, Scotch Cookies and so on become the order of the day. We gorge on these things while drinking heavily for a sold 30 - 40 days (Christmas day leftovers and New Year's Eve/Day parties) before we resolve to become fit and hit the gym for roughly one month. Then into February for and a slight slip to overindulgence with an obligatory Valentine's Day box of chocolates and a three course meal in a restaurant. Sometime in either March or April, a festive bunny arrives with even more candy in the form of tiny, and large, chocolate eggs. We eat and eat and eat Cadbury Cream Eggs, Mini Eggs, Peanut Butter Eggs, Marshmallow Eggs, Chocolate Bunnies and on and on. Finally, another respite... Until the warm weather brings BBQ and ice cream season to our doorsteps - this lasts at least three months. I remember being 20 and eating three BBQ'ed hot dogs on white buns in a sitting - this would be chased with a steak and salad. HOW was I so thin? I guess I was active and still rocking the young metabolism.

It would take a truly strong will to resist all of this, is it any wonder so many of us have trouble finding balance?

On that note, off to the the 30 day shred with the hopes of burning a third of the Halloween candy I consumed today.


Oh, what? All those small candy bars, mini bags of chips and caramel apples weren't for me? Right. Of course they weren't.