Monday, May 13, 2013


Am I ever glad I prepared everything yesterday, because my entire day derailed before the clock even hit 10:30 this morning. 

Not only did I oversleep, I walked straight into a massive heap of unexpected work that meant that I wouldn't have had time to go buy something healthy for lunch. If I hadn't prepared and packed breakfast, lunch and snacks yesterday, I would have ended up eating nothing, or, more likely, macaroni and cheese and some kind of giant muffin from the cafe in our building. 

By 4:30, I wasn't sure if I'd make it out of the office on time for my 7:30 Zumba class, but I did. Instead of collapsing on the couch, I grabbed my quick dinner and headed to the gym. I had an awesome time, and then I settled in for an evening of laundry, blog reading and half-fat ice cream (measured!) eating.

How was your Monday? Ready to do it all again tomorrow?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bachelorette for the week

Gary's away for most of this week on a business trip, and that leaves me footloose and fancy free to do whatever I want!

I love my spouse, I cherish our home life, I thoroughly enjoy his company, blah blah, of course I do. All of these things are true. There's nobody on the planet who delights me the way he does. 

But I love being home alone every once in awhile.

Usually this would mean that I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, from the comfort of the couch. Downton Abbey marathons! An entire order of butter chicken and naan! Takeout from the fish and chips joint across the street! An entire block of cheese! Popcorn and wine for dinner! You name the unhealthy decision, and I'd make it. There was no one around to see the damage, so I figured that it didn't count.

I'm the cook in our family. We grocery shop together but I do 95% of the planning, the prep work, the cooking and the cleanup. Only having to look after myself used to mean that I could take a break.

But this week I'm really dedicated to feeling good about myself, my decisions and my commitment.

I planned out all my meals - all of them. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. I mapped out my grocery list and then I got down to work.

I pre-made overnight oats with berries for breakfast. I chopped up veggies for snacks. I prepared 3 days worth of lunches, a delicious asian beef noodle salad (with whole wheat pasta and tons of veg). I even made a dinner tonight that will last me for the next 2 days.

I weighed and measured out snacks like pita chips and a light kettlecorn. I wrote out the points on all my little bags, so I'm ready to grab and go.

I'm ready for the week ahead, and since Gary dismantled the television and media server before he left (in preparation for our renovation, not because he's mean), the temptation to skip the gym, fall into the couch and zone out with some quality British costume drama has been removed.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday WI

This morning I got out of bed and dragged myself to my meeting to weigh in. I knew I'd be up. My bad day last week didn't turn into a bad week, but I knew I wouldn't be marking a loss.

I'm glad I went. I was up a pound, for a total overall loss of 10.4 lbs. I also finished an entire weight log book, which is 16 weeks of weigh-ins at meetings. I've never gone to meetings for this long and this consistently before. I'm not winning any personal bests in how much I've lost or how fast, but I keep going.

Today I'm starting fresh. I'm wiping the slate of my bad day and my meh week and starting over. I've had a nice breakfast (corn bran cereal, milk, fruit and a latte), I'm signed up for a zumba class later this morning, and I'm starting to plan my week ahead.

I wish I could see a significant loss every Saturday. I wish I could look back at the last 16 meetings and be much closer to my goal. But 10.4 lbs in 16 weeks isn't bad. It's a little more than a half pound a week. It'll add up. I'll keep going.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

bad days

I had a bad day yesterday.

I don't mean that I ate too many fatty foods, or didn't exercise, or made poor choices. People who are trying to lose weight often classify a day that wasn't perfectly in accordance with their diet plan as a "bad' one. I know I have, and I do, and I will.

But that's not what I mean.

I mean, I had the kind of bad day where I sat on the floor in my bedroom, surrounded by the contents of the semi-formal/formal section of my closet and sobbed.

I mean, I had the kind of bad day where I struggled with every move at zumba class, where every mis-step and wrong turn made me feel slow, and fat, and stupid.

I mean, I had the kind of bad day where I very nearly missed out on a friend's amazing birthday party because I couldn't bear the sight of myself, pudgy and round, in the dresses that did fit, the ones I pulled out of that soggy, tear-stained heap.

No human being has ever said anything half as cruel, as mean, or as damning to another person as what I said to myself yesterday.

Yesterday it didn't matter that I tell a good joke, or that I'm a good listener, or that I laugh with my whole body. It didn't matter to me that I can discuss both world issues and the upcoming star trek film, or that I have beautiful hands with small round nails, or that I will always keep a friend's (or a stranger's) secret,  or that I can learn something new so quickly that sometimes I surprise myself.

It mattered that I'm fat.

I'm so tired of crying because a dress doesn't fit. I'm so tired of watching other people move with more agility and speed and envying their slender limbs and wondering what is so wrong with me that I can't be like them, even when I'm trying so hard. I'm tired of asking my husband if he thinks I'm attractive for the hundredth time.

Sometimes, I have bad days, and those bad days really, really suck.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thank You, Captain Obvious

I was changing in the locker room last night and listening to the conversation being had by the two women beside me.

One of them was really upset by the way the room smelled.

"It stinks! It smells like sweat! And feet! It smells like sweaty feet in here!"

Well, I hate to break it to you, cupcake, but you're at the gym. That's sort of a given, isn't it? In fact, for some people, I'd say that coming here and getting sweaty, and yes, a bit smelly - is kind of the point.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A milestone

On Saturday I weighed in and hit the 10 pounds lost mark.

And at the end of that sentence is an implied long, big, loud, bold, italic, flashing, sparkling FINALLY.

This is the longest it has ever taken me to lose the "first" 10 pounds. I re-joined weight watchers on January 3, so almost four months exactly. In my experience, the first 10 comes off the fastest, and the very first time I lost weight with weight watchers, I think I lost 10 pounds in the first month.

I know that the first two months of my re-attempt were half-hearted. I'd lose a little, gain it back, miss a meeting, lose a bit, stay the same, miss another meeting... but for the past month and a half, I've really been hitting my stride.

I've lost the last four weigh-ins in a row, and  though I did miss one meeting due to my little vacation, I came back and saw a loss on the scale EVEN AFTER eating more chimichangas than I could lift.

I keep reminding myself that ever step, every ounce, every movement forward is one that I wouldn't be making if I was doing nothing. If I hadn't started focusing on my diet and fitness four months ago, I'd probably have put on another 15 lbs without any effort.

I'm going slow. But if I lost 10 lbs every 4 months, after a year I'd be down 30 lbs, and that's not so bad. I won't lie, I wish it was going much faster. I wish I could fall asleep and wake up sixty pounds lighter, even if it meant I had literally nothing to wear and had to go to work wrapped in a bedsheet, but that's not the way it works.

So I'll take my 10 lbs, and start working on the next 10.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

what's in my gym bag?

I'm back to hauling all kinds of crap back and forth to the gym.

I've never been one to actually shower at the gym, unless I'm totally drenched in sweat and need to go back to work or out for the evening. I can usually hold off until I return to the comfort of my own bathroom.

But we're having some renovations done to our bathroom in a few weeks, so I'll be relying on the showers at the gym to avoid being known as the stinky coworker/wife. I've also been working out much harder these days and it just seems to be practical to hose off at the gym and be done with it.

Our gym doesn't provide towels, so one of these bad boys takes up a good chunk of space in my bag.

I've given in and after nearly wiping out on the slippery tile floor and thinking too hard about how often (or not) they clean the shower floors, now I pack a pair of these.

I'm not one for putting on a face of makeup after a workout, and we usually go to the gym in the evenings so there's no point in reapplying a full face of makeup, but I've always got some of my favourite moisturizer and some kind of lip balm.

Calgary's super dry, and I picked this up a few weeks ago after I had some skin irritation and needed something with aloe but that wasn't too sticky or heavy. I don't really think it has the soothing properties of aloe, but it does dry super fast, you only have to rub it in for a second unlike most body lotions, and it's kind of fun to apply. I expect this to come in handy during sunburn season, too.

Along with a hair brush and a hair tie or two, I have two of these headbands. I bought them three years ago and they still impress me. They definitely keep my hair out of my face.

Our gym does stock shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the showers, and it's pretty nice stuff, so I don't have to worry about hauling those bottles along. I do have a little bottle of hair product, in case I decide to blowdry my hair. This stuff also works if I just sort of scrunch it in and then let my hair air-dry wavy, but it's been too cold to do that sort of thing yet.

I usually toss in a package of these wipes to get my makeup off. I like the grapefruit scent but I don't know if I'll buy them again, they're a bit stingy on the eyes.

Of course, I've got my smartphone loaded with my favourite workout songs, a pair of earbuds, my workout clothes, a sports bra, running shoes and socks and my keys with my gym pass on the ring.

Compared to some of the ladies at the gym, I certainly pack light. But it still feels like I'm hauling the whole world around with me! What's your essential gym bag item?

Friday, April 26, 2013

and then, a bad zumba workout

Well, and with that last sweeping statement of judge not! All zumba instructors are awesome! I go and prove myself wrong on Wednesday night.

It could have been just me, but the zumba class I took on Wednesday stunk. There was no energy, really repetitive movements, and the rhythm was off so it was hard to follow the instructor. I went in feeling really excited about the class and half way through, I was counting the minutes until it was over.

The instructor said she’d taught three classes that day and it was obvious that she was running on fumes at that point. I felt bad, because I’m sure (well...maybe not sure, but I'm going to choose to give her the benefit of the doubt) that she’s a great instructor ordinarily. 

The last two songs we did were much better than the hour’s worth of zumba that came before them. It must be hard to instruct when you’re tired, and there’s a neon-green energy sucking zumba vampire with a "is this over yet?" grimace on her face (that’d be me) in the front row.

I won’t go to another one of her classes. But at least I got the workout in, and I did get to bust out some of my new hot electric-coloured workout wear. No more blending in the back row in all black for this girl.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

On judgment

I really like zumba, but I am very particular about which instructor teaches the classes I go to.

I have my favourites, and now that I'm back working out at World Health, some of them are instructors I've had before.  I also have my not-favourites, the instructors I avoid totally.

This weekend Gary asked if there was a zumba class on Saturday, as he wanted to go to the gym for a really good long workout, and he knows that I'll be occupied for at least an hour if I'm in a class, instead of doing my usual  40 minute run/stretch stint. I checked the schedule and which instructor was teaching. It was someone I'd never had before, but after a quick google search, I deemed her satisfactory and packed up my things.

When we got to the gym, to my surprise, it was a different instructor. One I've been avoiding for two years, based on a bad first impression at what must have been her very first teaching opportunity -- and, I'll admit it, her appearance.

She's really intimidating. Like a little anime ninja penguin with raver tennis shoes and a tough-gal attitude. Not what you'd usually expect from a zumba instructor. She's the type of person you'd expect to see teaching a bootcamp or something involving lots of angry yelling.

But there I was, dressed and ready to go in the zumba studio, so I sucked it up and gave it a try.

Am I ever glad I did. What a positive, fun, tough, amazing workout. She was a fantastic instructor!

I seem to be at a place right now where life, the Universe, God, what have you, is teaching me lessons, and I seem to be hearing them. Be less passive aggressive. Stand up for yourself. Commit to what you want. Don't expect things you want to be easy. Be less judgmental.

So I admit it, Internets. I was wrong. Never again will I shy away from a class with this instructor's name beside it. In fact, I think I'll seek her out again. And maybe I'll even try the new class she's teaching...the one where you hit stuff with sticks and pretend to be a superstar glam rock drummer.

Monday, April 8, 2013

3 minutes

I can't believe I'm running for three minutes at a time now. I'm so proud of myself, and the fact that I am sticking to this.

I went out with friends on Friday night and explained that I had set a goal of running a 5K at the end of June, and that for the first time, I believe that I can do it. I don't have doubts. I'm afraid, yes, and I'm worried that it will take me forever and I'm intimidated, but I believe it myself.

So why don't I believe that I can reach my goal weight?

Running for 30 minutes should seem impossible when I can only run for 3. But two weeks ago, I was running one minute at a time. It's a baby step. But it's progress, and if I keep doing it, I'll get there. I believe that I will.

So why does losing 60 lbs seem impossible, when I've already lost almost 10? I just need to keep doing it.

This is what I'm thinking about today.