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.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happy Early Birthday

Sunday is my 29th birthday.

It feels really weird to be turning 29, I'll be honest. I can't complain about most of the things you may imagine a 29th birthday might cause some angst about. But it still feels significant. I'm an adult, and I'm responsible, and I can be whoever or whatever I want to be.

Except 25, of course.

As a birthday gift (I always give myself a birthday gift - don't you?) I took myself out to get a hair cut this afternoon.

I am loving my new haircut. It's not that different, really. It's, but better. A more natural looking colour. A fresh, pretty, softer cut. I feel awesome.

I also feel awesome because last night I started week 3 of my running program, which included running for 3 minute stretches. And I CRUSHED it! I didn't stop, I didn't die, and most importantly, at no point did I think that I couldn't do it.

Bring it on, 29!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blue Jean Blues

I want to lose weight so that shopping for jeans is not such an epic quest.

I recognize that no one likes shopping for jeans. And I'm sure it's not easy for lots of people, but I think being plus-sized makes it nearly impossible.

Yesterday I went to the mall with the intention of buying a pair of sandals (that was easy) and a pair of jeans. I tried on every pair of jeans they had in my size at the following stores:

The Bay
The Gap
American Eagle

And that was pretty much every single pair of jeans in the mall available in my size, because they don't have any plus-size retailers. Or a reitmans, where I buy the shameful elasticized-waist comfort jeans that I've been pretending are attractive for a few months now.

I felt like banging my head against a wall. I felt terrible. All I wanted was a pair of medium to dark-wash standard weight denim boot cut jeans. Could I find a pair that fit?

I found one pair. One pair of jeans in the entire mall that fit my requirements and actually fit me.

So I bought the damn things, because obviously that was as good as it was going to get. And they're nice. They're not the most amazing jeans in the world, but they were 40% off, they did not have an elasticized waist, and they seemed quite flattering. They'll do for now, but I am so tired of feeling like there is something wrong with me because I can't buy pants.

I actually had to stop myself in the mall and give myself a pep talk that involved "You are not a bad person because you are having trouble finding pants that fit. You do  not need to buy a cinnamon bun to make yourself feel better. It is the pants, they are not kind to you, and you have no reason to be unkind to yourself on top of this horrifying experience."

I am going to lose weight, so that I can buy pants wherever I feel like it, and talk to myself in the dressing room and say things like, "are these the right length?" and "do the pockets hit in a flattering way on my bum?" instead of, "these are the only pants in the mall that I can hike up past my thighs, so they'll have to do."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Back on track

I got up this morning and went to a different weight watchers meeting.

The leader was cheerful, the room was full, I was much more inspired. And, I was down 3.2 lbs, the exact amount I'd gained over the past 2 weeks of illness and vacation indulgence. I feel awesome.

The leader ended the meeting by encouraging us to spend the week tracking our accomplishments, thinking more about the things we did do than what we did not do, and most importantly, to show ourselves love.

This is a message I really needed to hear today. This week wasn't an easy one for me. Last weekend I had a terrible full-length-mirror experience at the mall where I caught my reflection and felt terrible. I felt overwhelmed and like I was pushing a rock up a hill.

I certainly wasn't showing myself any love.

So, in addition to tracking, staying consistent, and being accountable, I'm going to try loving myself a little more this week. I'm going to celebrate a little more when I succeed and review what I could do better when I slip up.

None of this is new, but I just really needed to hear it today.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Check in

I'm just checking in. I feel awesome. After work today I hit the treadmill and, using my 'at my own pace' approach, completed my C25K workout for the day. I actually found myself looking forward to it!

I picked a healthier lunch option, tracked everything I'm eating today, and got some activity in. I feel really together, in control, and happy.

Even despite the fact that I had onion rings and beer for dinner last night ;)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Plodding along

A couple of weeks ago I had posted on the Weight Watchers message boards about feeling quite overwhelmed by the running program. If I felt like I couldn't run for 90 seconds without dying, how would I ever run for 30 minutes straight? Or run five kilometres? It seemed to me an insurmountable challenge.

I have amazing family and friends who are runners. One of my Aunts ran the New York Marathon to celebrate her 50th birthday! But I don't really know anyone who is quite overweight and runs. I felt like maybe I was being foolish, thinking that I could really be a runner and be overweight. Maybe I should stick to walking until I've lost 30 lbs, I thought. I can't really do this.

But I got some tremendous advice, from other women who, like me, started running while overweight. A lot of them started when they were nearly the same weight that I am now. And that was encouraging. (I like a benchmark!)

Poster after poster reminded me that I can do it. It's a mental obstacle, more than a physical one... but when it is a physical one, maybe I should consider changing my pace.

I wasn't sprinting, by any means. The speed I'd set the treadmill at was probably a leisurely, comfortable pace for most runners.

But I had forgotten that I'm not most runners. I'm a beginner.

So I slowed down. And it feels less impossible now.

I took almost two weeks off due to travel and another stupid illness, but I hopped back on the treadmill today. I'm still sick, but I'm tired of feeling sick and hopeless and sad about something that is within my power to change. I decided that I'd go slow, and if it got too hard (you should picture me with some kind of snot-bucket strapped to my face) and I couldn't breathe, that I would just walk.

I slowed down, and I did the whole workout, and I know I can do it again. I believe in myself. And I didn't before.

So thanks, Ladies of the ww message boards. This tortoise thanks you for your stellar advice. I might not win the race, but at least I'll be in it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


This month (like the two before it) seems to have sprinted to a close and left me sitting in the dust. I swear it was just yesterday that I was packing up Christmas decorations and Gary was taking the lights down, but it seems to be Easter already.

I've been struggling a bit. Obviously, consistency is an issue for me. I make goals, then don't make achieving them a priority.

They say that writing your goals down helps--in fact I've heard that a goal not written down is simply a wish. I can say from experience that wishing oneself thin doesn't work, so I guess I'll try a new method.

I also do my best work with incentives, and projects. I like to master skills, or at the very least, learn new things. So, as I mentioned, I'm once again on the Couch to 5K track, and this time, a wonderful friend managed to convince me to sign up for a 5k run at the end of June.

That means, I actually have to do it. I have someone depending on me. I have encouragement. And support.

So here's my goal, in all it's specific-measurable-attainable-realistic-timely glory...

Be able to run (no matter the pace) 5 kilometers by June 29, 2013.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saturday Salads

One of the new year's resolutions I made was to eat more salads. I didn't grow up eating salads with dinner except on special occasions, unlike the family of my friend Candice, who ate salads every day. Her mom used to make great fun of me for not liking salads and trying to avoid eating them when I stayed over for dinner.

We did pretty well in January, eating a salad with dinner most nights of the week. I've also discovered the joy of making just a salad for dinner, but a nice one.

I bought a new cookbook a couple weeks ago and last night I tried out a simple but delicious recipe.

The recipe called for grilling the salmon, but I baked it with some lemon pepper seasoning, served it over spinach and then made a citrus honey-mustard vinaigrette. With some fresh oranges, it was delicious.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

on top of the world

In my weight watchers meeting on Thursday night, we talked about the importance of setting activity goals. The usual answers were suggested - schedule it in your calendar. Make it a priority. Be accountable and exercise with a partner.

They're all great suggestions and I believe that all of them can work. Except for me, right now, I need something else.

I started a new job 3 months ago and I'm still in the learning curve. I schedule my exercise times in my calendar, yes, but quite often I get into a project or called into a meeting or stay late to figure out what I've been asked to do and I miss it. I'd say it's 40% of the time that this happens, and I know that things will eventually level out, but for now, it's a challenge.

My favourite time to exercise is during my lunch break. I find it breaks up my day, gives me an hour to refocus and provides an energy boost for the afternoon. Because the gym is *in* my office, it should be easy. All I need to do is take the hour and go.

But the gym is really busy at 12, and quite often I work through lunch or have a lunch meeting.

I seem to have an excuse for everything, don't I? And that's what I realized. I have to make activity a priority because it makes me feel good, it helps me sleep better and balance my emotions, and it's absolutely key to weight loss and good health.

So yesterday, when a spot in my calendar opened up and I wasn't too busy, I hopped on the treadmill over my lunch break. I finished my last workout of the first week of Couch to 5K and I felt amazing.

At that point I felt like I could conquer the world.

Classic post-workout sweaty locker room selfie

I took that drive back to my desk and knocked out some really good work,especially considering it was Friday afternoon and it had been a crazy week. I am positive that every single employer out there would be thrilled to give their employees that hour for that kind of result. I know my employer would - but as a newbie, I feel like I just need to get the "go ahead" to make it happen on a regular basis!

I made myself a priority, I found the time and it felt awesome. The challenge will be keeping it up - but I hope that I can remember how amazing I felt and use that as motivation to make myself a priority.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

early birdies

I am not a morning person.

I've never had to get up earlier than absolutely necessary because for my entire life, I've never had to commute for more than 15 minutes (max). Starting in Kindergarten, and all the way through to present day, I've been a fast trip from my bed to my school/class/office. It is hard to break 30 years of ingrained habit, people.

I'm not really functioning in the mornings. Like my Grandma Olga (who is 91 and still living in her own house, alone, in fantastic health), once my feet hit the floor I am in action. It's like I'm on focused autopilot. Do not get in my way. I need to pee, shower, brush my teeth, dress, "do" my hair (wet ponytail, anyone?) throw food in my purse and leave. Usually I can do this in 20 minutes.

But now I have a fancy job and I have to actually look like the poised, confident professional I am. So the whole routine, including a blow dry, skin care routine, outfit and accessories and a makeup application, now takes about 35 minutes.

I'd love to have a slower start to my mornings. I'd love to get up, do something inspiring and productive, have a cup of coffee and breakfast (not consumed on the way to work or at my desk), gather my thoughts and start my day.

I'd also love to get up early and get my exercise in for the day, because then there's nothing to derail my best-laid, scheduled in my calendar but even then, cancellable, fitness plans.

How do I do it? I've tried putting my alarm clock across the room - I'd stagger out of bed, turn it off, go back to bed. I've tried going to bed earlier but that doesn't seem to matter.

I'm not even trying to add that much more time. An hour. An hour earlier in the morning would give me 30 minutes to exercise, 15 minutes for coffee and reflection and a 15 minute cushion so I wouldn't need to blitz through the morning routine.

Does anyone out there have any ideas? (Several people have offered their toddlers, which I hear is effective but not exactly the method I'm going for!)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back at 'er

This week I started some new things that I believe will give me the kick I need to really make this weight loss happen.

5.4 lbs down in 2 months isn't nothing, and I know that. It's an accomplishment, but it's slow progress. And I will admit that I've wavered in my commitment to writing down what I eat, eating what I'm supposed to eat and not going off on a scenic side trip of snacky delights, and regular and consistent exercise. I do 'pretty' good, 'most' of the time.

That's not quite cutting it. I know I can do better.

Since the beginning of January, I've been tracking my food in a pen and paper journal. I'd argue that tracking is the most important part of the weight watchers plan (I feel comfortable writing that in all lower case because they've rebranded and that's how it appears. Hurray for lazy typing!) I started doing it the old-fashioned way because I felt like it would give me more of a connection to the program, make it less automatic and I'd put more into it.

That wasn't exactly how it turned out. I wasn't keen on pulling out my notebook and logging everything I'd eat. It took 20 minutes a day to sit down and write it all out, then find the points calculator or look up the values, and tally it all up.

So I signed up for the online component of weight watchers, which isn't free, but it includes a mobile app. I'm a heavy user of my smartphone so I figured it was worth a shot. I can always cancel it and go back to pen and paper if I want to, but for now, it's flashy and fun and most importantly - fast. Plus, it looks like I'm texting, so it's inconspicuous, and I can pull out my phone to check points values at restaurants before I order, if I want to.

Secondly, I've started the Couch to 5K running program again.

my jazzy new sneakers

My new office has a modest fitness centre for employee use. It's not open on weekends and is probably the size of an average hotel gym (2 treadmills, 2 ellipticals, 1 bike, free weights, etc) but it's provided at no additional charge to people who work there, it's on the same floor of the building as my desk, and it's not very busy. I work 10 minutes away from home so it's not inconvenient to stay after work, hop on the treadmill for 30 minutes, and then walk home. In fact, it makes for a nice break between the office and home.

I did two weeks of inconsistent running workouts and started over again at Week 1 on Monday. I know that I've tried it before and it never stuck, but I'm going to try again anyway. Maybe running isn't for me, but I'd sure like it to be.

Finally, I've started communicating about my weight loss journey again. I'm writing this post, and I posted on the weight watchers forum again. I have a really supportive spouse, friends and family, but sometimes the support and inspiration that comes from people working to achieve similar goals is exactly what you need to push through or stick it out.

So that's the plan. Track what I eat, move more, stay accountable. They're little steps, but I hope they'll add up to big success.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Slow start

Without a doubt, I totally fell off the healthy eating and exercise train - the scale, my clothes, and photos don't lie. But somehow, I don't feel like I ever "quit" dieting.

I put on over 20 lbs half-heartedly trying to lose weight. I would eat by the 80/20 rule - except that 80 per cent of my choices were unhealthy. I wouldn't think twice about an afternoon snack from the bakery, or a side order of fries, or extra dessert. 

I wasn't naive enough to think I was still losing weight, but I figured that I was maintaining. That was ok, I needed a pause.

But then, my clothes didn't fit right. There is no embarrassment quite like realizing that your underwear is the wrong size. 

I noticed that was out of breath more often. My knees and back hurt, for no reason. 

And then, at the end of December, we were going through photos from Christmas and I was horrified by what I saw.

I'd seen myself reflected in mirrors and windows and shiny surfaces for months and ignored what I saw, but there I was.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Grande Skinny Latte, The Sequel

This post has been a hard one to actually sit down and write.

2012 was a really big year for me. Yes, some truly excellent things happened. I got married, in my hometown, in front of so much love that sometimes I still tear up when I think about how many amazing people trekked from far and wide and across oceans to see Gary and I make it official. The thing that I didn't realize while we were planning our wedding was that it feels amazing to have that much joy and all the people you love all in one place, at the same time. And our wedding, dude. It was fun.

But rolled up around that big awesome was a lot of really shitty times. We both hit huge career bumps several times - lay offs, threats of lay offs, restructurings, pay cuts, unemployment, new jobs that started out great but rapidly turned sour... and that's just the work side of life. There was the usual drama that seeps in from all angles, friends and family and navigating the waters of fully merging our lives. Oh, and wedding planning, which actually is my least favourite hobby in the whole world.

And I gained a whole truckload of weight. I abandoned my gym membership and diets and squeezed myself into my lovely wedding gown (which I still think looked great but sometimes looking through photos makes me realize I could have tried so much harder). When we were living on one crappy income, we ate a lot of cheap convenience foods and basically sat around our home trying to hold tight to our mortgage and were miserable.

It was not a good year.

But in the last quarter of the year, it got better. Way better. We both found jobs that we totally love and I am happy to report that they seem to love us, too.

Our financial situation righted itself, and we're stable and secure and even have some extra cash lying around to do some fun things.

Like buy new clothes because I'm too fat to fit into most of the stuff I own.

This isn't supposed to be a sad-sack, Oh Woe, My Life is So Hard post because really, it isn't. I'm sure that 20 years from now we'll look back on the year we got married and laugh about it. We made it, we made it together, and that's the important part - and I'm sure that the boat will get rocked with harder, tougher, truly devastating things in the future, because that's how life works.

And so in January, life feeling stable, reeling from seeing myself in the photos from Christmas, I hauled my self into a weight watchers meeting and started all over again.

It's been 8 weeks and I've lost about 5 lbs, which isn't much considering the successes I've had before, but at least it's not 5 lbs in the other direction.

This time, it's really hard. Not that it wasn't hard before, but I felt so much more optimism and hope. Now, I feel desperate. And sad. And ashamed.

But hey, here I am. Ready to give it another go. With some really good reasons in my back pocket, and not one of them is a frigging strapless white dress.