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Happy 3 Year Blogiversary to Me and a Giveaway!

Happy 3 Year Blogiversary to me!

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Here we are….(ok, fine…technically July 31st!)…three years later and I’m still blogging about my weight loss journey. Maybe that’s the most important word there…JOURNEY. Oh there have been ups and downs, easy weeks and difficult months. My journey is definitely not over…I would still like to lose about 20lbs to reach my goal weight, but you know what? I think I’ve come a pretty long way in the last 3 years. Here I am – almost 100lbs lighter, I exercise regularly, and even though I struggle, I eat WAY better than I did years ago. So I know I’ve made progress, but sometimes I lose sight of just how much better off I am, how much healthier I am, than I was when I started.

I began this blog as a way to stay accountable – there’s something about posting my weigh-ins every week that does help me. Sometimes it’s harder than I want to admit to post and sometimes I can’t wait to share with you all my news. But in the end here I am…plodding along. Learning as I go. I wanted to thank you all for sticking with me through these years, readers who have been with me since the beginning and new readers. Thank you so much!

I mentioned before that I was reading the book Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss all about Big Food and how processed food has become ubiquitous in our modern life. I’m still halfway through the book, but I’m enjoying it immensely. And, if you’ve been following my blog you know I enjoy reading about eating/food, exercise, and the connections to obesity and weight loss and maintenance. And so to celebrate my 3rd Year Blogiversary and to thank you all for sticking with me I’m going to give away a copy of the book!

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RULES:

This giveaway is open to residents of Canada or the US only (I can’t afford overseas shipping! Sorry!) and will be sent to you either through Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Open until Friday, August 9th, 2013 – 11:59pm Eastern. Saturday morning I’ll announce the winner!

How to enter: Just leave me a comment below with your favourite quick & easy meal made with real food (nothing processed!). Let’s share ideas on how to eat well!

Second way to enter: Follow me on twitter and leave me a tweet! Leave me a comment here that you’re following me.

How I choose the winner: I’ll use random.org to choose a number corresponding to your comment – which is why you must leave me a second comment here if you enter through twitter also.

*Disclaimer* – All opinions are my own. No one has paid me to say or promote any books or products, I just really like them so I choose to promote them.  Giveaway is paid for by me!

 

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Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 166 : Well that’s encouraging

Eek! Such a late post. Not because I didn’t want to write it, but because work became insane this week. I worked a 14hr day followed by a 17 hr day (yes that’s right…6am-11pm people!) and then another two full 12hr days so finishing this post just wasn’t going to happen. The weekend was full of errands and meet ups with friends that I couldn’t get in during the week. I was speaking with a friend of mine this week who works for a large international touring company, and as some of you who have been reading for a while know I work in theatre and tv/film. He had a good point which is that most people enjoy the idea of working in our industries, but not the reality. Ain’t that the truth. We’re not known for our healthy habits or healthy work-personal life ratios. Trying to find strategies with this unconventional workplace/hours is a challenge, but I’m not giving up.  So here’s the post I started to write on Tuesday:

Well, well well. It would seem that not eating whatever you want at night and actually writing down what you eat helps! 😉  I was down 1.8lbs at weigh-in yesterday for a new weight of 156.6lbs and a total loss of 95lbs. It’s amazing how much better I feel after being down only 1.8lbs. I feel lighter and my pants feel better. I need to remember this feeling to keep me going. I love not waking up full from the night before, I love how good I feel when I don’t overeat. After all these years (seriously, I’m up to week 166!) why do I still not learn? Why is it so easy to forget? Why is it sometimes the most difficult thing in the world?

I’ve noticed that if I eat something more point (calorie) heavy during the day I am less inclined to eat at night mindlessly. I also noticed that if in the late afternoon/early evening if I have something substantial I am also less inclined to eat a lot at night. It doesn’t have to be a full dinner, but something hearty and I’m all good. This makes things a bit easier. I think I could easily make myself a sandwich without  too much hassle. One day at work we ordered pizza – I had one slice of vegetarian. Just the one. Tracked it and moved on. It was really nice to feel in control again.

Here’s an update on the splenda vs. sugar switch. It’s actually going really well!! I don’t now why I was so worried/afraid. I’ve noticed that I’m not longer craving the sweetness of splenda. I’m satisfied with my one teaspoon of sugar in my coffee. I’m hoping that eventually I’ll be able to ween myself off the sugar in the coffee entirely.

Here are a few of my lunches this past week. I try to always opt for the protein – either chicken breast or fish  – and always have a green salad with spinach and then some cooked vegetables.

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Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 164: Stayed the Same

Well that’s that. I stayed the exact same this week. Still at 156.2lbs and a total loss of 95.4lbs. I guess that’s better than a gain? Yes, but I dislike this new zone I’m in. As frustrating as it was, I did prefer the 150 zone I was not a few weeks back! Well, nothing to do but to get back on track.

What’s been happening is that I’ll be on track a few days and then fatigue will get the better of me and I’ll start snacking without writing everything down and that’s what I have to over come. If I can make a point of writing down everything I eat I think I’ll do well. We also have a 3 day weekend coming up and I’m pretty thrilled at the possibility of cooking my own food all weekend long. I miss cooking and eating my own food. Catering and ordering out has gotten quite old and also quite tasteless. It often leaves me feeling bloated and uncomfortable.

I did get my hand at cooking this past weekend (okay fine I only had Sunday off but still, that’s kind of a weekend!) with making some homemade pizza. I made it all from scratch:

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The dough is my favourite half whole wheat/half all purpose flour recipe  that I came across on the blog Eat, Live, Run. I make it all by hand and it’s completely worth it. Sometimes I break up the dough into thirds to make them thin crust, but this weekend it was a rainy Sunday so I split the dough in 2 to make it a bit thicker.

For the sauce, I used tomato paste. Thin it out with a bit of water and added spices (I used enough oregano, rosemary, pepper, and sea salt to taste) and also a pinch of sugar to cut the acidity. Then I added some skim Mozzarella, herbed goat cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. It was filling and delicious.

I’m hoping for more home cooking this weekend to help me get back on track. I’ll share what I make!

Weight Loss

Two On-Track Days!

So, I don’t want to jinx it…but I’ve had 2 really great days food-wise. Here’ s what happened:

Tuesday

  • Drank my water, even had 2 glasses before bed so I would not wake up dehydrated.
  • Had to buy my lunch, but opted for a big bowl of vegetable pho. Kept me full all afternoon.
  • Ate half a small piece of cake when celebrating a co-worker’s birthday even though more than one person tried to literally force me to eat more by pushing a full piece in my hands and blocking the knives so I wouldn’t be able to cut it.
  • I ate within my points for the day.
  • I DID NOT EAT ANY CRACKERS at work.

Today/Wednesday:

  • I drank my water. I want to get in at least 500ml more before bed.
  • I had veggies as a snack during lunch as promised. See photo below.
  • I ate my baked oatmeal snack at around 3:30pm when I was feeling peckish
  • I made Baked Chicken Parmesan for dinner and some cooked beets. Check out the chicken recipe and instructional video on Laura’s great blog – Becoming the Odd Duck. She totally supported my running way back when I was starting out. 🙂 See what mine ended up looking like below. (Note I also whipped up a quick home-made tomato sauce for these. Delish!)
  • I went for a 5K run and ran fast (for me!) I felt great.
  • I have eaten within my points for the day – including the late-night hot chocolate!
  • I also DID NOT EAT ANY CRACKERS AT WORK!

Weight Loss

Weigh-In Week 128: Post-Feasting Loss!

Okay, okay, okay. It’s only 0.4 of a pound, but hey I was DOWN after a night of gluttony and delicious, delicious food! New weight is an even 161lbs and a total loss of 90.6lbs. So not in the 150s yet, but I’m pleased with 3 straight losses in a row.

I’m starting to feel a bit better about this weight loss journey. Now, I’ve always had an easier time of it in the autumnal months so I’m hoping this is the beginning of a downward trend. Heck, I’d be overjoyed if I was only losing. 0.4lbs per week for the rest of the year. It would still put me ahead. But in all seriousness I am feeling good about things food related right now. I’m hoping I can get past this stumbling block so I can get to goal. I have never been in a healthy weight range for my height in my adult life, and really probably not since I was under 10 years of age. It would mean a lot to me to finally pass this threshold (which for me is at 145lbs). Perhaps that’s why I’ve been stuck here? I know it’s all psychological, I know I have to wait it out. Fake it till you make it right? Well for me it’s maintaining, I KNOW I’ll get past this hump. Soon.

At Thanksgiving dinner this weekend I was chatting with a friend of mine who did WW with me (she’s reached goal and lifetime already, yippee!!) and we were talking about this year-long blip I’ve been in. I told her that I am both frustrated and grateful for it.  And I have to say, that yes, I was telling the truth. I am grateful for the time I’ve had so far to get used to my new body. It no longer feels as foreign, which is nice. A year ago I remember having panic attacks when it came to my body. Two of note include freaking out while learning to trapeze with my friends where I wouldn’t grab the trapeze and swing the first time around because I realized I didn’t trust my arms to hold my weight, the second was at a photo shoot where I ended up crying the bathroom because I looked at the table of clothes and realized I didn’t have any sense of what fit me anymore. They were awful feelings that filled me with a sense of being a stranger in my own body. Nowadays I have a good sense of how much space my body takes up in the world, what it’s capable of, and what clothes fit me. It feels good. BUT. I have to say I’m done getting used to it. Let’s move on! Let’s get to goal body, Let’s do it!

In the meantime, while I try to figure this all out, check out these photos of our delicious Thanksgiving meal:

 

I’ll post my pumpkin-making recipe/play-by-play shortly.

Also – WHOA!! Montreal just had an earthquake while I was writing this. Apparently a magnitude of 4.5. Although we are on near a faultline we are SO not used to this. It was kinda scary because my whole building shook (and we’re not known for our modern architecture!) Crazy. Twitter is all ablaze.

Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 60: So close and yet…

Well, surprise, surprise (no really,  it IS a surprise!) I’m down 1.9lbs this week for a new weight of 172lbs with a total loss of 79.6lbs! So close, just 0.4 shy of 80….soon! Soon! I can’t believe I’m this close to the 160s. Wow. I can honestly say I have never seen that number in my adult life.

Crazy things go through my head I tell you. I was psyching myself up for a gain – not like last week where I actually thought I had gained, but rather in a “don’t be disappointed if you gained this week kinda way”. And why? Because I only got to run/go to the gym twice. So immediately I assumed that it would result in a gain. I’ll be honest – I’m happy it didn’t, but I also know I need to up my activity once again.

HOWEVER…

I’m going away for 3 weeks as of this weekend for work and will not really have time to workout as we’re working 10am-10pm, 6 days a week. AND I’m going to the States. Now I know some of you all are American. I don’t know if you’ve ever travelled to Canada or hung out here for a longer period of time but I will say that there are differences between American and Canadian food. Not the kind where you’re not sure of what you’re eating or unfamiliar food combinations but rather the big differences are in PORTIONS and JUNK FOODS. Let’s all remember this is going to be opinion and based entirely on my own experiences.

Whenever I eat out in the States I’m amazed at how much food I’m given. I mean sure, it’s great bang for my buck, but it’s too much. I don’t need to eat 3 cups of rice in one sitting (seriously, this happened).  I’ve also noticed in grocery stores the amount of candy, chocolate, chips etc. is staggering (and tempting!). I can honestly say we do not have that much selection, there’s SO much of it. Now, it’s not like Canada doesn’t have its own obesity problems, it most certianly does! But then again, eating out in general is tough, it’s just I always find it so much tougher when you’re in a new city and aren’t familiar with the food or the brands in the grocery stores.

I’m going to be staying in a dorm so I’m not yet sure how much access I’ll have to a fridge or stove to do my own cooking, but with my schedule even if I have access to a kitchen, I’m not sure I’ll have the time! I’m worried it will be a lot of cafe/restaurant eating. I’m hoping there will be a microwave at least. I’m bringing oatmeal with me. I figure if I can start my day off on track then I can make this work. I don’t want to fall into a habit of buying muffins or other baked goods each morning.

I am taking other steps to help me too – I’ve actually found a WW centre in Manhattan near where I’ll be staying/working. I hope I will have the time to run out to get weighed in.

We’ll see how the next 3 weeks go. My actual goal is not weight loss during this time, but rather maintaining my weight. I don’t want to gain – I want to be able to handle changes to my schedule/comfort zone without a weight gain.  Challenge accepted.

Weight Loss

Weigh-in Week 53: In the 170s!

Yay!! Finally…two months later I left the 180s and I’m in the 170s 😀  Weighed in today and was down 1.6lbs for a new total weight of 179.6lbs. Just barely there, but I’m there. I hope I can keep this going! My total loss so far is 72lbs!!

I meant to post some blogs during the week but time just got away from me. I had to prepare to go out of town on business today. Here is how committed I am to weighing in – I actually searched out a WW centre in the city I went to and weighed-in in the morning! It was important to me and I made sure to make myself a priority 🙂

Well May is here and so is the rain – blah. I’ve gone back to running inside on the treadmill. My knees are thanking me for it! They don’t feel as stiff anymore. I think I have to go search out some nice gel shock-absorbing insoles if I want to continue running outside, the stiffness is not good in the long run – even with all the stretching.

This means the April challenge is over on the WW forum boards. My final stats were : lost 3 out of 8 lbs lost and 1330 activity minutes (goal was 1200!).  Not great, but not horrible as I did get moving. I’m noticing that now it’s taking me 2 months to lose 10lbs rather then the almost 10lbs per month I was doing in 2010. I think I may have to finally admit that it’s just not going to go as fast with less to lose.  I can’t believe I’m at this point. Wow. Certainly didn’t think this is where I’d be one year later.

We have a new challenge for May with the name May the Force be With You. I’m ehh on the name, but it doesn’t matter. My goals for this month are to lose 8lbs (I have 5 weigh-ins) and 1200 minutes of activity again.  I am confident I can hit my mini-goal/75lbs lost milestone this month. That’s my plan! I don’t have any specific May goals beyond this, oh, except to get new awesome insoles to run outside again 🙂

What are everyone’s plans for May? Anyone planning to get outside more with the nicer weather slowly surfacing?