Friday, December 30, 2011

There's a mouse in my house...and Christmas revisited

Before I talk about how my Christmas torture went for me, I want to share an incident that happened early yesterday morning.

I came down stairs yesterday morning to find my husband and son sitting on the couch, doing word games, and the Christmas tree hanging precariously from the rope holding it upright.  It was on an angle, leaning against my window and turned back to front, ornaments all over the floor.  How you may ask did it get this way?  Why my cat of course.  Not Fatty Arbuckle (aka Smitty), the svelte supermodel Baby.  How such a wisp of a cat managed to topple a tree single handedly (trust me, Smitty has sworn off all physical exertion so I know she had nothing to do with this) is beyond me.  The tree is about 9 1/2 feet tall and was quite securely fastened to my curtain rod.  Baby only weighs 8 pounds soaking wet!  The math doesn't add up!

So how did this happen?  Well the previous night, I went to bed and read.  I fell asleep holding my ereader  upright as I was pretty exhausted.  I fell into a deep sleep but was abruptly awoken at around 12:30 am by husband to tell me that the cat had a mouse.  We live in an old Victorian home that was built in 1890.  It's beautiful, but we have to put up with the odd mouse.  Why he felt the need to tell me that the cat had a mouse was beyond me.  My brother-in-law is visiting for a few days (all is good LC and NM).  I pretended to go back to sleep but had to listen to the comedy sketch unfolding downstairs .  I don't know what they were trying to do, but these two grown men were making serious plans with the cat on how to eliminate the mouse. After an hour or so, I came downstairs and told everyone to get to bed, the cat would finish the deed and we'd hide the body and evidence in the morning.  That's when my brother-in-law told me that my husband told him he must have caught 50 mice since we moved into the house almost 7 years ago.

Well first of all, that's a huge over-exaggeration, and second, lets get this straight, it was the cat who caught the mice, not my husband.  Why he's trying to steal Baby's thunder is beyond me!  My husband is a tall, husky man.  He does not have the grace to pounce on mice, nor the stomach to walk around with live mice in his mouth.    I put my brother-in-law straight which resulted in us breaking up into fits of laughter, probably due to sleep deprivation (on my part anyway).  So we all went to bed, and I listened to my husband snore his way to sleep while I couldn't fall asleep again until 3:30am.  Then I woke to the disaster in the living room.  Apparently the last throes of the poor mouse's life happened under the tree and Baby's determination to keep the family safe (or her innate instinct) caused her to do whatever necessary to eliminate the villain.  So the only thing I have to ask?  Why was the tree not put to rights before I got up at 10:30 am?  It only took seconds!!!!!!!

Murderess!  I had to protect her identity because she is on the lamb.
Even in hiding, she poses like a super model.

Back to my Christmas torture.  It actually wasn't that at all.  On Christmas eve, my brother and future sister-in-law hosted dinner at my dad's place.  I got there, proceeded to make pierogi with my brother and his fiancee, then pigged out on baked salmon and spinach salad.  My brother made BITCH'IN salmon and I had two HUGE pieces.  I was quite full when I left the table.  No cheat there.  Then the next day, we went to Christmas dinner at my in-laws place.  My father in law went out special to get me some chicken breast and baked it for me.  My sister-in-law and brother-in-law, brought a bunch of veggies and salad that I could eat.  I pigged out on all the foods I am allowed to eat, and left Christmas dinner VERY satisfied. No cheat there either:)

Nothing makes me feel more loved and supported than the efforts that my extended family made on behalf of my life style change.  I didn't even feel the urge to cheat because my whole family made it so easy for me not to.  They supported my efforts 100% and not once did someone try to coerce me to do something I shouldn't.  Instead they told me how great I looked and continued to encourage my weight-loss attempts.  This and this alone made my Christmas one that I could breeze through.  This was absolutely the best gift any of them could have given me.

A couple of days ago, I got another big reminder from my 4 year old about why I'm truly doing this.  We were watching a show on TV and it mentioned that someone died.  He's not even sure what death means, but knows it's bad.  He looked at me and said "Mommy, I don't want you to die".  That broke my heart.  I got a bit choked up and told him I wouldn't die for a long, long time.  Since I'm the one who has complete control over my health, I feel like I can make that promise and keep it.  I love my life, my son, my husband, my family, more that any food I could ever eat.  Like Katie J and Maren have told me, we are gonna rock 2012!!!!!!
Happy New Year from the C's!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A New Year = a new weigh of thinking!

I'm pretty busy with after Christmas clean-up, so I'm posting a blog I wrote a couple of weeks ago, but obviously never posted.  So here it is in it's entirety.  Everything written here happened about 2 1/2 weeks ago.  And I have since gotten rid of another garbage bag full of clothes:)  My next post will focus on how Christmas went for me.  Hope everyone's at peace with their choices!  Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life!  So cheesy:)

I had a revelation today.  I absolutely must put several pairs of my pants to rest.  It's no longer as easy as just getting a belt anymore.  They are way too big everywhere.  And it's hard to appear dignified and professional when your pants are falling down.  So on my way home from work, I stopped into a Value Village (the one in Burlington in hopes there would be better clothes because Burlington has a lot of upper-middle class people there) hoping to find some smaller clothes to wear.  I did end up buying 3 pairs of pants and a sweater.  My tops are also getting too big on me, and when things are too big, you look bigger than you actually are.

The clothes were okay, but there were lots of nice shoes and boots in the Burlington Value Village. Some of them brand new that were probably only worn a few times.  But I have blasted size 10 feet and they were all size 7.  My feet have never been wide width or chubby, just long.  I suppose whining about my foot size is just silly since I still have more than enough to worry about with my body size.  But alas, I suppose there is nothing to do except continue to curse my big boat feet. It's not like I can get them surgically removed and replaced with a lovely pair of size 7s.

I felt the need to pig out when I got home.  I still had leftovers from my weekend Christmas dinner, so I polished them off and set to making a ground beef and spinach dish.  I had every intention of eating the entire ground beef/spinach concoction but after a  half dozen bites, I had to leave it because I was too full.  The metabolic diet I'm on allows me to eat unlimited protein and leafy greens until I am full.  I'm never hungry, but I am also unable to eat the amounts I used to eat.  I used to eat a lot of carbohydrate and protein is supposed to fill you up more.  I guess that is true because I eat a lot of protein, and very little carb.  The only carbs I am presently eating are the ones that I get from my vegetables.

They say that the more carb and sugar you eat, the more you crave.  This scares me because right now I am on a very controlled eating regime and I know that I won't be eating this strictly forever.  Will I have continued will power to abstain from over-indulging in the foods that I loved?  I guess only time will tell.  I'm determined that this time I am going to change my life.  I've spent too much time obsessing over food and thinking about what my next meal was going to be.  It's a bit of a relief to not think about food 24/7.  Honestly, it was a preoccupation I can certainly do without.

I never make New Years resolutions, but this year I think I'm going to be resolve to be conscious of one thing and one thing only.  Taking each day one day at a time and not worrying about what next week or next month might bring me.  We worry too much about making goals for ourselves.  Other than work related goals, I have never been able to keep personal goals.  That is mainly because I have sabotaged myself year after year because I'm the queen of making unrealistic goals for myself.  That being said, I'm making a resolution right not make a weight-loss goal for myself, but to continue to eat the way I am and focus on my health.  There.  I just took the pressure off and now I think, no I know, I can keep that resolution:)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mamma's little baby loves short'nin bread

Thank God I have just put my last batch of banana bread in the oven.  I have made banana bread every night this week.  I am giving it wrapped in Christmas dishcloths as gifts.  I had a HUGE amount of frozen bananas in my freezer and had to use them up.  Obvious solution?  To torture myself and make banana bread.  The torture wasn't necessarily making something I couldn't eat, it was making it with my 4 year-old.  Now don't get me wrong, I love spending time with the boy, but there are some things he loves to do (help me in the kitchen) that really makes a ton more work for me.  Oh well, we only had one bad egg episode.  He insisted on cracking it "by myself", which resulted in lots of shell in the batter.  If I happen to give you banana bread wrapped in a Christmas dishcloth that is a bit crunchy, please just look the other way.  And remember that a 4 year-old made it for Pete's sake!

So I went to see Dr. Stephen this morning for my weigh-in and was not a happy camper.  According to the scale at the office, I am down another 4 pounds, of water only.  So I have once again been blamed for cheating.  If only!  I have not cheated and quite frankly should win some sort of food addict's Pulitzer Prize.  I have been on my best behaviour eating wise, taken the stairs more times than I can count, and have drank an ocean of water.  I sort of felt like laughing like a hysterical crazy person when Dr. Stephen accused me of cheating.  I WON'T cheat over the holidays, but sort of wish I did since I was being blamed for it anyway.  Who am I kidding?  I'm waaaaaay to chicken to cheat.  The last time I did a cheat (it was really a semi-cheat), I only had a couple of mouthfuls of rice.  I then spent the better part of the night on the toilet.  I know very graphic and gross, but now you know why I am really being so diligent.  Diarrhea scares the bejesus out of me!  One of my greatest fears is to be in a public toilet erupting like Mount Etna.  I can barely think of anything worse.  On a happier note, my blood pressure is absolutely NORMAL and I am not on any medication!

So I guess I should just count my blessings and be glad that I lost and didn't stay the same or gain.  And I am.  Many people who struggle with their weight struggle over the holidays.  This time of year was definitely my biggest eating fiesta.  When my mother was alive, she did tons of baking and cooking.  Don't even get me started on the traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner she did.  Then we'd have a FULL turkey dinner the next day.  It was insane and I never could figure out how one woman did it all on her own.  She was incredible and I really miss her around the holidays.  Makes me feel like a flake because other than being with my extended family and my husband's extended family over the holidays, we don't have any traditions established for my son.  Maybe that's what we should focus on next year because he's getting older and can remember now.

Going back to my mom's Christmas baking for a moment...just to prove to you how incredibly sugar and carb addicted I am, I'm going to share with you something my mother never even knew.  She would bake Christmas cookies, put them in the freezer (we had the huge chest kind, the kind you could fit a human body into), and have them ready for when guests came a wassailing.  After she put them in the freezer, I would get batches of them out, keep them in my own private Tupperware in  my closet and eat them at my leisure.  She never noticed cookies were missing because she baked enough to feed a battalion.   I don't know how many I would eat over the holiday season and beyond, because really, those cookies lasted well into spring.  Every year my mom would go through the freezer in spring time, throw out the stragglers, and I would rescue them from the garbage and, you guessed it, eat them.

So now you know another private shame of mine.  Not only was I a taker of candy and alfalfa wafers from unsuspecting hamsters (Where oh where have the hamster treats gone?), but I also single-handedly ate all of my mother's Christmas baking.  The disgrace of this haunts me every Christmas.  Every time I walk by Christmas baking, I think I can hear a small voice laughing at me and saying "eat me".  I know I must not give in.  I have good will power now, but I know I just need one delectable sweet to touch my lips, and I won't be able to stop.  If that happens, you know where you can find me.  I'll be in the bathroom making lava.  Merry Christmas:)
This is me before I started the Christmas cookie scam.
I just realized how creepy that Santa looked.  
Maybe he wanted in on my cookie idea.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Well I made it over my HUGE social hump.  I attended not less than 4 social events over the past three days.  That's right, 4 celebrations and not one cheat!  Don't ask me how I do this because I barely know myself.  I have never been this committed to weight-loss in my life.  It hasn't been easy but I keep thinking about how much I want health and happiness, and I'm able to persevere.

On Saturday afternoon I had lunch with my birth mother (whom I've only seen one other time a year and a half ago) and her daughter (whom I've never met).  And as if that wasn't trying enough, we ate at the Pickle Barrel!  Only one of my favorite restaurants EVER!  I was able to stay on track and ordered grilled chicken with sauteed vegetables.  I was actually more worried about what I was gonna eat than seeing my birth mother.  We had a lovely visit and she met my son and husband, then we parted ways.  It really was nice to see her around the holidays.

Saturday night I went to my girlfriend's Christmas party.  She has this party every year so I know what to expect when I go there.  I prepared myself and made sure I ate a good dinner before I left.  It was actually quite easy because first of all, I wasn't hungry, due to my very substantial dinner of butterfly cut pork chops and mashed cauliflower.  And secondly, she lays out her buffet in her formal dining room, some place I completely steered clear of.  I'll come clean and admit that I snuck in before I left and scoffed down about a 1/2 dozen shrimp sans cocktail sauce.  Shrimp is allowed on phase 1 of  So technically, I did not cheat, just ate more protein, which is allowed.

The hard day I had was Sunday afternoon when I went to my neighbour's open house.  Now, she is a fabulous cook and baker, so I knew that there would be absolutely nothing I could eat at this soiree.  She did not disappoint anybody, except me.  There was NOTHING I could eat there. I did however drink 4 glasses of water and 1 cup of coffee.  My husband ate enough for both of us and my son picked up delectable hors d'oeuvres, licked them, then exclaimed that they were "yucky".  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  How is it that my kid has the taste buds of a koala (noted to be the pickiest eaters in the animal world) when my husband and I would eat anything that doesn't move? Needless to say, the open house was a real test of endurance which I am proud to say I passed.

Finally, today I went out to dinner with a friend and we ate at a swanky restaurant in Don Mills Centre.  I haven't been there since they made it an outdoor mall, and it was really cool.  What wasn't cool was the over priced, mediocre place we ate at.  My choice because there was something on the menu I could eat, but a bit of a disappointment because I could have gotten the same meal at Swiss Chalet for $12.99.  My whole bill with tax and tip came to about $42.00.  Yeah, that was just for me, not for me and my friend.  I was so disappointed because I asked for the chicken with vegetables and they brought me turnips.  TURNIPS!  Who in the blue hills wants turnips with roasted chicken?  It also originally came with mashed potatoes, so I assumed the veggie selection would be broccoli or cauliflower, but turnips?  Had I not told the waitress to nix the potatoes, the meal would have been mostly carb with a little meat.  Needless to say, I can't eat turnips.  So if you ever find yourself at Joey's in Don Mills Centre, be warned that it's over-priced and the food is just okay.

So what now?  Well next weekend will be a doozy.  Yes, it is the traditional Polish Christmas Eve, as well as the Italian Christmas day.  No pierogi and lasagna for me.  My weigh-in is coming up this Friday morning.  I haven't weighed myself at all since I was last weighed and I'm very curious to see where I'll be.  Even though I'm choosing not to indulge in Christmas eating like everyone else this year, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  I get to spend quality time with friends, neighbours, family and of course my son.  Seeing his excitement and joy is infectious.  It makes everything else, like what I'm eating, seem trivial.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nothing is so infectious as example - Francois De La Rochefoucauld

This dude is Francois De La Rochefoucauld.  He was a French writer (1613-1680).  He wrote some really bitching stuff, but the best thing he wrote that I have read, was the title to this blog entry.  He had quite the life.  Lots of women, wars and partying.  His life was one of interest.   He was wounded badly in a battle around 1650 (only to recover), and shot in the head several years later.  The shot in the head didn't kill him, but gout did.  He died of gout almost thirty years later due to obesity.  Well, if this story doesn't keep me motivated, I don't know what will!

I spent and interesting day in Barrie today.  First I went to my satellite office, (the Starbucks in the Chapters on Mapleview Drive) to catch up on some paperwork.  I actually don't frequent that Starbucks much anymore because I was propositioned by a married business man last June at that location.  And lo and behold, who did I happen upon but the same married business man.  This time he was wearing his wedding ring.  I ignored him and he shot me dirty looks.  A little uncomfortable, but I wasn't about to leave and make him think that he had the upper hand.  I could have outlasted him except I had to go and pick my client up from I had to leave.

I work with underprivileged youth.  I really love my job because I love working with young people.  I am also the first to admit that I am far from cool and can easily embarrass said youth.  Although my clients may not see me as bad ass, they do have a lot of respect for me.  That is the most important thing for me and an honour I don't take lightly.  When I started my life-style change, I decided that I was going to be upfront with my clients and tell them what I was doing right from the get go.  It's amazing how incredibly supportive they have been.

The young man I see in Barrie needs help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.  He told me today that he gets worried for me when I come to see him because he's afraid that since I have to shop and cook with him, I may be tempted to eat something I shouldn't.  That was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever said to me.  I assured him I was strong like bull and we were able to move on.

This really made me think on my drive home.  I realized that not only do my friends, family, co-workers and blog readers encourage me, but so do my clients that I see regularly.  One of my female youth told me that she looks forward to seeing me every two weeks because she's excited to see how much I have changed in the time we have been apart.  This is very humbling and is definitely added motivation for me to continue doing well.  I am a role model to these youth and I do my best to ensure that they have a secure future.  Not only financially and emotionally, but now I want to ensure that they live the healthiest lifestyle they can.  Although I don't preach my lifestyle, I can certainly lead by example.  That's really important when you have youngsters who look up to you:)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The tryptophan fandango

What to write, what to write.  Well, despite two more holiday celebrations (a Christmas dinner I prepared on the weekend, and a work holiday party tonight) I have stayed on track!  I have still not eaten anything I'm not supposed to.  At tonight's holiday dinner, I was only able to eat the turkey.  I had about 5 helpings and am feeling incredibly tired as I write this.  Damn you tryptophan!

At my weekend Christmas dinner, I managed to go a whole night without drinking any alcohol beverages and did not indulge in any of the Tiramisu Mousse I served for dessert.  THIS IS NOT EASY!  I'm finally going to come clean and admit that this limited eating thing sucks!  As much as I loathe depriving myself of whatever I want to eat, I hate being unhealthy more.  That is really what keeps me on the straight and narrow.

I have, by accident, taken myself off of my blood pressure medications.  By accident, I mean that my prescriptions ran out and I'm too busy to go back to my doctor to get them renewed.  However, Dr. Stephen took my blood pressure on Thursday and it is in high normal range.  Meaning, if I keep losing weight, it should get in the normal, normal range.  This is exciting to me.  I really did not want to be on the medication anymore.  So that continues to be a huge motivator to me as well.

Since people in my everyday life have begun to notice that I am losing weight and have been commenting to me about my weight-loss, I feel like I can't let them down by falling off the wagon EVER.  I have many people in my life that are cheering me on.  They treat me like I'm the resident expert on weight-loss.  When I think about it, I am an expert on weight-loss.  My entire adult life has involved me doing some sort of weight loss program at least once a year.  That's a lot of knowledge to collect over 20+ years. It's funny how until you are ready to face your demons, regardless of what you know you need to do, you just won't do it until you are ready.  I'm done wasting time and ready to live my life.  Now I must go and relieve myself from my turkey hang-over!  Goodnight:)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Weigh to go

Well, I have officially reached the 40 pound mark!  I saw Dr. Stephen today.  He is pleased with my weight-loss, but thinks I could be doing more to lose even faster.  I think he's a bit crazy though because I don't think I need to lose more than 10 pounds a month.  That's 2.5 pounds per week which is good enough for me.  I always heard that slow and steady was the way to go.  The faster you lose, the saggier you get, and frankly, I sag enough as it is.

I'm happy to say that I'm still doing the stairs.  I even have a couple of co-workers join me every once in a while.  They mostly whine (MW), with the exception of my supervisor who is always so gung-ho to climb the stairs.  We had a team day on Wednesday and I had the daunting task of having to walk from P3 to the 7th floor.  That's 10 flights of stairs.  I was wearing a pair of pants that are two sizes too big for me and by the time I made it half way up, with my hands full, my pants were dangerously low on my hips.  As I attempted to adjust myself without putting everything down, I realized that I was stepping on the back of my pants which was not helping with me trying to keep them up.  So basically, if I wasn't wearing a coat that covered my rear end, the security dudes in reception would have gotten an eye-full.  They would have seen my plumber crack and my purple thong.

So I have had two festive events pass already with no cheating.  I had a Christmas dinner at my brother and sister-in-law's place (since she's working Christmas and can't join the family for Christmas eve) last weekend, and my team Christmas lunch on Wednesday.  My sister-in-law was a real sweetheart and made many dishes just for me.  My team, not so much.  They tortured me with sweets during our morning meeting.  Blond brownies, chocolate cookies, and banana bread (that I actually made).  All I could have was the coffee my supervisor brought.  I kid you though, it wasn't really torturous, maybe mildly achy.  It was a challenge, and I always love a challenge!  So with two down, I only have 6 more to go.  I know I can do this:)

And if nothing else keeps me on the straight and narrow, my inspirational pictures will keep me focused.  I can always pull up my before pictures, or these ones I just snapped of Smitty.  Is it me or is she getting bigger?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rocky mountain weigh

I hate exercise.  I've never been an athletic person and this has likely aided into my downwards spiral into obesity.  So I have to get exercise in my day without actually thinking that I'm exercising.  What I have done is I've started taking the stairs.  No more elevators for me. I work on the 4th floor, but make sure I park on P3.  That's one good hike up the stairs when I'm in the office.  I also go up and down the stairs a few times a day to get lunch, see clients, get cool office supplies from the supply room...Some days the supply guy must think I have a crush on him because I'll go down to get one separate item, three times!  Little does he know, I'm just working out.

On the days when I'm not in the office, but in the community with clients, I also take the stairs.  Even if it means I'm helping someone look for housing and I have to walk up 10 flights of stairs in an apartment building.  The building manager may think I'm crazy when I ask to be pointed to the stairs, but what do I care?  It's not like they're actually going to be renting the apartment to me.  I'll end up with the killer ass and legs and when I go back to pay a call, we'll see who's laughing at who!

I know I look ridiculous when I'm climbing (sometimes crawling) up the stairs, and my heavy panting suggests imminent cardiac arrest.  But now I feel like I have to prove to myself that I can do the stairs.  Just last week I was in the stairwell at work, sounding like I just ran the Boston Marathon.  Someone from my floor, but not my department, came in from the third floor.  She looked at me with alarm, but I was able to choke out that I was okay, just catching my breath.  She stood with me for a good five minutes explaining the importance of breathing while doing the stairs.  She even showed me where to breathe from and made me practice breathing from my diaphragm.  I was just so grateful that a) she took the time to help me with my breathing, and b) that no one else came in and caught us with her hand pressing on my diaphragm, because I would have felt like a bigger tool than I already did.

 I must say, since I started doing the stairs a week ago today, I have seen a vast improvement in my endurance (and by endurance, I mean that I still don't have any but at least I no longer feel like dying when I get to my destination).  I don't actually have to rest anymore to get from P3 to my floor.  I still look like complete crap when I get to the 4th floor, but I don't need to stop.  I'm not looking forward to Friday.  I have an all day meeting on the 7th floor.  That's 10 office floors I'll have to climb up first thing in the morning.  All  I can say is that they better have coffee for me when I get there, and some kind of gold star would be nice too.

My actual goal is to climb the stairs of the escarpment in Hamilton, which is where I live.  They are super tall and a five minute walk from my house so would therefore, make the perfect free gym.  Hamiltonians refer to the escarpment as The Mountain.  Now picture if you will something as large and daunting as the Rocky Mountains (4401m).  That is not The Mountain in Hamilton.  Hamilton Mountain is more like a big hill.  It would kill you to toboggan down, but anyone could climb the stairs.  That may be, but when I can climb to the top of the escarpment, without feeling like impending death, I will feel like I climbed the Rockies:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jingle all the weigh

Let the games begin!  So here starts the month of December. This could be a very difficult month, depending on how I view it.  Since I am gearing into festive mode, my real test is going to be whether or not I can hold it together over the holidays.  We have some sort of social activity planned every weekend in December.  So the real question is, how can I stay focused?  I really, really, really do not want to fall off the wagon.

I've decided to look at the entire festive season as a challenge.  A contest of wills where I am the lone contestant.  So in essence, I will be competing against myself.  Confused?  Understandable.  Basically, I am challenging myself to keep it together over the month of December and to keep up my lifestyle change...without faltering.  That's right!  I am not going to eat anything I shouldn't because I will keep in mind that this is just for now, not forever.  Just because I'm NOT going to indulge in endless Christmas cookies, perogy, yummy hors d'oeuvres, and hardest of all...alcohol beverages, doesn't mean I will never again be able to experience (in moderation) these delectable treats.  My buddy Dave has offered to drink my share of alcoholic beverages and even take a super hang-over for me.  That is real friendship.  Thanks big guy:)

My Christmas gift to myself this year is going to be a normal blood pressure, lots of energy, a clear head, and an endless amount of meat and fish.  In order for me to receive my gift, I will need to keep focused, which means keeping the prize in sight.  You're probably thinking the prize is my good health, but I'm a woman for Pete sake!  The prize is really some sexy boots that will fit around my much slimmer calves:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where oh where have the hamster treats gone?

I was eating lunch with a couple of co-workers (one male and one female) on Monday.  My male co-worker shares a story about when he was a boy and he drank an entire bottle of children's cough syrup because he liked the taste.  Then my female co-worker says that she used to eat the children's aspirin (who didn't?), as well as the chocolate dog vitamins (ironic since chocolate is poisonous to dogs).  Which made me remember that I used to eat my hamsters chocolate drop treats.  

Maybe you remember them?  They looked like this...
And I looked like this after stuffing them in my mouth, waiting for them to melt.  Did you know that hamster chocolate does not melt very easily?
So my mother would buy the treats for the hamster weekly, and really, there were enough treats to last the hamster months if you gave him one a day as per the suggested serving size.  Anyway, my mother is buying treats every week for the hamster and keeps cautioning that I should stop feeding Hammy so many treats, lest he get fat.  The truth is, I was the only one getting fat since Hammy ate none of those chocolate treats, and likely never tasted one in his short life.  If my mother took the time to smell his hamster breath, she would have only smelled alfalfa.  And I 'm not talking about Spanky's friend.

Hammy was with us for two years and it wasn't until the end of his life that my mother caught me stuffing Hammy's treats into my mouth.  I can still remember her shrill exclamation of "Leigh-Anna!  I can't believe you ate all the rodent treats!  What is the matter with you?"  Well mother, I am addicted to anything with sugar and carbohydrate...Incidentally, Hammy also had these wicked alfalfa wafers that were equally yummy and pure carb.

So now you know my secret shame of how I coveted my hamster's treats.  I try to think of it as a life saving tactic for Hammy.  Since his life expectancy was only around two years, I thought it was my duty as his pet owner to steer him away from anything that would make his life shorter, like carbs and sugars.  Since Hammy never had any of the chocolate drops, it's not like he knew what he was missing.  And I figured it couldn't be so bad for me because hamsters are so small, so how many extra calories could I possibly be consuming.  What I should have gotten from Hammy was his hamster wheel so I could have gotten in the cardio I needed after chowing down on his grub.

I was about 10 during this particular incident and this behaviour of not being able to walk away from something I wanted to eat has remained with me my entire life.  I can do it now...but I'm not convinced that I'll be able to walk away from tempting food that is bad for me for the rest of my life.  It may not bother me now, but what about next week, next month or next year?  I'm not naive enough to think that I have this issue licked.

Just today I was eating at Swiss Chalet with a client.  I ate a half chicken with salad and watched as she ate a half chicken with poutine fries.  That didn't bother me in the least, but I did feel a moment of longing as I watched her eat an entire slab of double layer carrot cake.  It lasted just a moment but made me realize that even though I tell every one that what they eat around me has no effect on me, maybe I need to admit that it does...a little.  I'm only human after all and I love food!  Just like many humans, and hamsters alike.

The real test will be during the holidays.  I have a couple of holiday parties to attend and of course the Polish Christmas eve (my family) and the Italian Christmas day (husband's family).  It's been three months since I've started my life style change and I can't screw up now!  I know I can do this and if I feel the need to indulge in something really risque, my dog Finn has some yummy looking Jerky treats.  Pure protein, but I'll have to drink a lot of water afterwards, they're high in sodium:)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

She always had a pretty face

Okay, maybe not always.  I'll be the first to admit that I had a less than stellar appearance as a middle school/high school student.  I was awkward, awkward, awkward.  I had a really bad perm in middle school and wore huge tortoise shell glasses.  If I had to liken myself to someone, it would be Julia Sweeney's portrayal of Pat from SNL.  I found this photo on the internet that looks eerily like me when I was about 12.
Kids are cruel and I hated school.  I was always the token fat girl and covered up my insecurities by adopting a sarcastic and sometimes abrasive demeanor.  This was my armour and security blanket when I was out in the big bad world.  People treat you differently when you are overweight.  I was the butt of many jokes and even the adults around me had something smart to say about my appearance.  For some unfathomable reason, it is generally believed that if you berate an obese person in public and make them feel shame about their appearance that this will in fact encourage them to lose weight.  Wrong!  When I was made fun of by the people in my life, I felt even worse about my appearance and would go on an emotional eating bender.  This behaviour lasted throughout my teen years and well into adulthood.

I was told so many times that I had a pretty face and should really do something about my weight.  It makes you feel almost sub-human.  Like you will never be good enough because your weight will always be the one thing holding you back.  For those that struggle with their weight, it's not about getting the will power or the strength to gain a healthier lifestyle.  It's about being accepted and respected for who you are despite your size.  Some people may never be able to control their eating habits and may not be able to see past one day at a time.  Some people may be happy at the weight they are, even if society deems them to be "unhealthy".  Some of us are blessed with great metabolisms and lucked out in the gene pool.  That wasn't me.

I accepted a long time ago that I was likely going to be heavy my whole life.  Regardless of how I was treated in school and throughout my life due to my weight, I was no longer going to let anyone's words dictate my actions.  Therefore, I stopped letting name calling or rude comments get to me.  Any binge eating I did after this realization was done purely out of habit and enjoyment.  I'd be lying if I pretended that I didn't like the times I pigged out on something particularly yummy.  Ironically enough, I always binged on some sort of carbohydrate and would feel sick afterwards.  I definitely didn't like that feeling.

When my husband fell in love with me and wanted to marry me, I was shocked.  He was a pretty boy in high school (we attended the same one) and had MANY female admirers.  We didn't get together in high school.  We got together 12 years later when we became reacquainted and started dating as much older and wiser adults.  He thinks I am beautiful as I am now.  He has always supported me and never told me or even suggested to me that I should lose weight.  He does worry about my health though. I can certainly respect that because if something happened to me, he would be a single parent and that's not fair.  To him, or my son.

My health is something I do have control over and I truly do want to be the healthiest person I can be.  Thirty-six pounds of weight-loss is significant.  It's a flash in the pan for all the weight I have to lose, but it's a good start.  It took me a lot of time to gain as much weight as I did and I can certainly take the time required to lose it.  The experts say that a steady weight-loss and lifestyle change is the best way to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  I'm certainly not going anywhere and have all the time in the world.  Oh, and the next time you see a pretty woman or a handsome man who is also overweight, appreciate them for what they are.  A beautiful person:)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dr. Poon's diet for cats?

Five pounds of fat GONE.  Just like that.  I saw Dr. Stephen for my weigh-in this afternoon, and am happy to report that my weight keeps going down, down, down.  My weight-loss isn't as quick as some people who are on the same diet, but I'm okay with that.  I think an average of 10 pounds of weight-loss per month is still really good, and I don't think I should be losing more than that in a month.  So this now brings my total pounds lost to 36.

I'm looking at my very fat cat (Smitty) and wondering why, if she is on a high protein, low carb diet like myself, she isn't thin.  Then I take the time to read the label of her kitty kibble and discover that the first ingredient is chicken and the next three ingredients are ground yellow corn, wheat flour and ground wheat.  So actually, Smitty's cat food is very high carb and would not be Dr. Poon approved.  Poor Smitten, she has no chance of losing weight now. She in fact has several barriers to losing weight.

  1. Smitty has no access to a supportive weight-loss community (ie: Weight Watchers geared towards cats).
  2. Smitty is advanced in years and at 9 years old, is considered a senior cat. It's always harder for the elderly to lose weight due to lack of mobility.
  3. Smitty has no other food options other than her kibble and the occasional treat.  She's a very finicky eater and refuses to deviate from her regular eating routine.
  4. Smitty has the added pressure of the younger cat "Baby" in the house.  Baby can eat whatever she wants and stay as slim as a supermodel.  The constant pressure Smitty feels in Baby's  shadow, causes her to binge eat when she's feeling depressed.  If Smitty had her way, she would put Baby in the corner. Permanently!
  5. Smitty's biggest barrier to losing weight is that she's an emotional eater and she's also a VERY nervous cat.  Everything, and I mean everything makes her anxious, scared, angry, sad, happy, mean, mean, mean.
Well, regardless of Smitty's weight, her meanness, and her peculiarities, we still love her.  But we don't love her enough to fork out more money for a higher quality cat food.  Let's face it. All she does is eat and sleep.  She barely even catches mice anymore because the mice are way faster than her and, quite frankly, can be quite cruel in the way they tease her.  So poor Smitty will have to remain our "Fatty Arbuckle" until she has passed onto kitty Heaven.  Just to give you an idea what I'm talking about, here's a photo of Smitty and a neighbourhood slug.  Measures have been taken to protect their identities.  The slug is pretty fat and could stand to lose a few grams as well.

Alright, so back to me.  This week has been an interesting one, food wise.  For some unfathomable reason, I felt an unnatural urge to make banana bread, knowing I could not eat any.  I left a loaf for my husband and brother-in-law to eat, and gave another loaf to my co-worker.  Now this reeks a little of sadomasochism again.  I'm not sure why I did it, but even worse, enjoyed doing it.

At work we had a cultural potluck lunch.  One would think that someone who is making a strict lifestyle change should stay away from such events.  Not only did I attend for a bit, but I even contributed a dish I could not eat.  Perogy Casserole . Be warned, it is extremely delicious, and very bad for you.  It was a hit and I had to leave the event to go and buy a Poon approved lunch of grilled chicken and vegetables.  It was yummy too though.

As I sat around with my co-workers and watched them eat all the foods I previously loved like pastas, curry chicken with roti, patties, samosa's, butter chicken etc., I thought about a time in my life where it really would have bothered me to be around so much food that I shouldn't eat and not be tempted.  Funny thing is, I wasn't bothered in the least.  I just kept my goal in mind and thought about the reasons why I'm doing this.  First and foremost, for my son.

Those of you that are parents know what is is to love your children more than you love yourself.  We all say we would die for our kids and although that may be true, I want to live for my son.  I want to be around to see everything that happens in his life.  I want to see him graduate from high school, graduate from university, fall in love, get married and hopefully one day give me grand kids.  Not only do I want to be a fit mom, but I want to be a happening grandma too.  I know enough about obesity now to know that if I continued to live the way I was, I could die at a young age of a heart attack, stroke, or worse.  The odds are stacked against me and I am determined to not be another statistic.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Surgery? Not the weigh to go

December 12th is a date swimming in my mind.  That is my appointment date for my orientation for gastric bypass surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton.  The quagmire (which ironically means dilemma as well as anything soft or flabby) I'm having is...should I go or not?  Before I came across the this was the only option I believed I had.   I've already done all the weight-loss drugs (all of them except for Xenical are off the market now), weight watchers (good program, but I always fall of the wagon too quickly), and don't even get me started on Dr. Bernstein!

I actually went in for a consultation for gastric bypass just after my son was born (4 years ago), and got approved for the surgery.  But then the doctor (Dr. Joffe) lost his license due to sexual abuse against four of his patients.  Made sense to me in hindsight why during our consultation his nurse (who looked like a WW II general) sat silent in the room with us.  I wasn't sure of her purpose at the time, but now realize that he was being investigated for the sex scandal.  Long story short, when my time to receive the surgery came, Dr. Joffe had fled the country and was practicing bariatric surgery in Mexico.  I lost my place in line.

This is a sign right?  I absolutely should not go.  I remember Dr. Joffe insisting that gastric bypass was the only solution that would cure me of my obesity.  My conscience tells me not to listen to him,  he's a sex offender for pete's sake!  Now that I have learned so much about carbs and sugar and how it affects my body, I feel like I have another option.  I can stick to my current diet, lose weight in a much healthier way with none of the risks that surgery brings, and have the bragging rights that I did it myself.  Not that I'm putting down bariatric surgery.  I'm sure it is right for some people.  I thought it was going to be my answer.

The last nine weeks has not only brought me 30+ pounds of weight-loss, but it also allowed me to reflect on my struggles throughout my lifetime with my health and weight.  I now know that I have to do this on my own (with Dr. Stephen's help) in order to feel like I did this right.  Anyone who has had to lose 5, 10 or 100+ pounds knows what an emotionally frustrating, astronomical human feat losing weight is.  I feel like I must endure the pain, disappointment, crying, pity and yes, even envy (of all those thin), to get the full experience of my weight-loss journey.  I have been through this all before (many, many times) and perhaps I am a bit of a sadomasochist (without the sexual gratification).  But you get my drift, I'm tired of trying to look for the easy solution.

People who aren't overweight think it's as simple as cutting down on food and exercising, but for those of us who struggle with this everyday, it's not that cut and dry.  There's a whole emotional element that goes hand in hand with weight gain, body image etc.  If it was as easy as decreasing food intake and taking a mambo class, the entire world would be in shape.  Bottom line is that there is no quick fix.  I'm going to have to blubber my way through another weight-loss episode.  Only difference is that this time, it's gonna stick.  Oh, and I have also decided that I won't be going to the gastric bypass appointment on the 12th.  By that time, my BMI (body mass index) shouldn't even qualify me anymore:)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caught with his hand in the Nutella jar

I had my 6th weigh-in this past Friday.  I lost another 6.5 pounds of fat.  I'm in a very awkward size stage right now.  All my clothes are too big for me, and except for my smaller sized yoga pants, none of the next size down fit me as yet.  Almost though...I can put them on, but not do them up.  Even though it seems depressing, it's rather exciting.  I know that in a couple of weeks I will be able to do them up.

Did I mention how much I love Value Village.  I bought three pairs of Gap Jeans, that barely look warn, for under $30 with tax.  That is excellent value, and I will definitely keep shopping at Value Village.  My husband thinks that I'm crazy, but I told him not to knock it until he checks it out.  He's a visual shopper and needs rows of the same clothing on display so all he needs to do is look for his size.  I like going through the racks and finding unique things.  My brother-in-law has always raved about great designer deals he finds at Value Village and he's a pretty snappy dresser.  I think I will borrow a style page from him:)

So with last week's six pound loss I've lost just over 30 pounds.  Don't ask me how much is fat and how much is water.  The whole fat/water thing is so confusing to me.  Dr. Stephen does "the math" with me every weigh-in and I stare at him with a glazed, deer in headlights expression.  This is why I am in social services, so I wouldn't have to do math!  The bottom line is, I don't really care, just so long as the number on the scale keeps going down.

It was pleasant to go to a family gathering this weekend and have MANY people approach me and tell me how good I looked.  My father-in-law was such a sweetheart.  He kept giving me the thumbs-up and making the "OK" sign.  I barely walked in the door when he walked up to me and whispered "how mucha you loose?".  He's the cutest Italian gentleman and it meant a lot for me to see the pride in his face.  That right there was a good motivator.

I'm in my 9th week of the diet (which I will refer to as my lifestyle change from now on). The food I eat still does not bother me in the least.  I belong to a Facebook page about Dr. Poon's diet which is managed by his son.  Many people talk about struggling with the diet and falling off the wagon and having to start again.  I can certainly sympathize with their struggle, but one thing that really stands out for me is that I will be in the same predicament if I can't keep carbs and sugar out of my life.  That is my main focus and I can honestly say that I still do not miss or crave them.  Even when I reach my goal weight, I will continue to eat VERY limited sugar and carbohydrates. Many of the Poon dieters talk about boredom with the foods, but I eat the same things every day.  I eat to stop my hunger, then I want to move on.  For the first time in my life I'm actually thinking of food as a life source and not the source of my entertainment and enjoyment.

I'm pretty much done with this entry, but must add this as a side note.  I just got up to stretch and caught my husband sneakily getting Nutella out of a cupboard we would not keep Nutella in...because he secretly bought it!  When I confronted him he erupted into fits of laughter (as did I) because he knows I'll give him shit.  Funniest thing is, that he'll argue till death that Nutella is nutritionally sound because there are "no preservatives, no artificial colours and it's a source of vitamin E".  I know better ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

He ain't heavy, he's my husband

So there have been quite a few things for me to reflect on this past week.  Halloween was a lot of fun for Julien, and even though he got tons of candy, he did what he does every year and handed it out to the kids who came to our door after we ran out.  One way that I really lucked out is that my kid does not like sweets.  Give him a bag of chips though and he's enthralled.  This is probably the first Halloween that I can remember where I did not eat one sweet, or indulge in anything save, my sugar-free chocolate snacks (which I am allowed).  I know you're probably thinking sugar-free chocolate is gross, but don't knock it till you try it.  I can't really tell the difference.  Russell Stover and Hershey both make excellent sugar-free chocolate.

The 2nd of November was also my 9th wedding anniversary.  I can't believe my husband and I have been married 9 years already.  When we got married, my mom was pretty sick and close to the end of her life.  She died less than a year later.  I thought it was great that we decided to get married on All Souls Day.  We even needed special permission from the Vatican to marry that day.  It was cheaper than many other Saturdays because of it being All Souls Day, and most Catholics do not want to marry on that day.  And in retrospect I like my anniversary being on that date because not only do I reflect on my marriage, but I also reflect on my mother's life.

Something that excited me a lot was that I needed to buy smaller clothes.  I considered just buying new, but really thought it might hurt me financially in the long run because I don't plan on wearing the next size down for very long.  So I went off to Value Village and bought 4 pairs of pants.  I have never shopped there before and was actually pleasantly surprised by the whole experience.  I spent $27 with tax on pants that would have easily cost me over a hundred retail.  I wore my first pair this past weekend and they are actually comfortable on me.  I haven't worn this size of clothing since probably 2001.  Ten years ago.   That sort of pisses me off because I could have prevented my weight from getting so high in the first place if I just had the knowledge then that I do now.  Oh well, I can't beat myself up over what could have been and can only move forward from here.

My first semi-cheat happened this weekend.  My hubby and I went out for our anniversary and we went to an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant.  There were many things on the menu I could eat and I did order them, but my husband ordered too much sushi and in an attempt to not get charged for items we didn't eat, I ate a really big hand-rolled California roll.  I also ate a few pieces of Sashimi (raw fish) and had the worst stomach upset when I got home.  The Sashimi was allowed, but the California roll, not so much.  Being sick afterwards has taught that it's really not worth it to cheat.  We were home by 6:30 pm last night and it's 2:30pm as I write this and I still haven't really eaten today.  My stomach is still not 100%.  I will likely not eat Japanese again, and really wish we had just went to the Keg.

This coming Friday will be my 8th week on this program.  Time is just motoring along and I still feel really strong and positive about my choice to change my lifestyle.  My husband, though being supportive, said something to me that really made me think about how this is affecting him.  He saw me in my smaller sized pants and said (though jokingly) "you're going to get all thin and leave me for another man".  I'm not sure how that made me feel.  First off, I had no idea he was feeling even remotely threatened by my weight-loss.  Secondly, he did know the much thinner me.  I weighed a lot less when we got together and I gained a lot of weight in a short time span of two years.  He still married me even though I was significantly heavier then I was when we first started dating.  He never made my weight a condition to love me and I would never make it a reason to leave him.  We took each other in sickness and in health and my sickness has been my weight.  I'm tired of sickness and am more than ready to move onto a more healthier me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something in the weigh she moves

The scales at Dr. Poon's offices are the ones that measure your fat and water percentage.  So I had a weigh-in today and I weigh 7 1/2 pounds less than I did two weeks ago.  Good right?  Well not so much according to the scale.  It shows I lost 7 pounds of water and only 1/2 a pound of fat.  So then Dr. Stephen asks me what I cheated on.  I have not cheated.  He insisted that I must have eaten an abundance of complex carbohydrates or sugar because I have not dropped any fat over the last two weeks.  This was the first real disagreement we have had, and frankly I did think of breaking up with him.  However, I was able to convince him (which is the truth) that I absolutely have been sticking to the diet and I have not cheated.  If I cheated, I certainly wouldn't lie about it like some child caught with their hand in the cookie jar...and I'd only be cheating myself.  No one else.

So then Dr. Stephen says that this has happened to a few people before.  Even though they lost water weight and no fat weight, it corrected itself at the next weigh-in.  I asked him why he felt the need to accuse me of personal sabotage.  He told me it's because so many people can't stick to cutting out carbs and sugar for the long haul, so he naturally assumes the worst.  I know that this just isn't a diet I'm going to have to follow for a year, but will have to follow it for the rest of my life.  Just like an alcoholic can't be trusted around vanilla extract, I can't be trusted around carbs.  I'm that addicted. I left the appointment on good terms with Dr. Stephen and told him I did forgive him for his rash judgement of me.  For some reason he found that funny.

After my visit with Dr. Stephen, it seemed that I was in a bit of a pickle.   So I've taken the day to really think about my quandary and the only feasible answer I've come up with is that I just have to keep losing weight or else I just threw a whole lot of money out the window.  Just this morning, my husband drove all, and I do mean all, of my summer and bigger sized winter clothes to Goodwill.  I don't believe I have ever owned this few clothes.  Not since I was a new born and lived at Toronto Wellesley hospital for a couple of weeks waiting for my forever family.  The point is that I would hate to have to buy a whole new wardrobe in the same size that I just gave away.  That would piss me off to no end.  Therefore, the only solution to my problem is to buy the whole new wardrobe in a much smaller size.  It won't hurt (except for my finances) nearly as much.  In fact, I'll likely enjoy shopping for the first time in my life.

So now to tackle the other issue I'm having and really work at getting my fat percentage down in the next two weeks.  The obvious solution for that is to start spending some quality time with my pooch.  A brisk hour walk every evening should be a good start for physical exercise.  Many may think that walking for an hour seems pretty lame, but I am an admitted couch potato.  An hour walk for me everyday is pretty significant.  Movement is key, and I get that.  A lifestyle change doesn't just involve eating better but becoming more active too.  With my new commitment to start moving, I will overcome this hiccup. And Dr. Stephen will be left with egg on his face.  Ha!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Make weigh for fall

So I have, what I think is a bit of a dilemma.  I have to put my summer clothes away, and make room for my fall/winter wardrobe.  I keep telling myself I'll get right to it, but the issue I'm having right now is, what do I do with my summer clothes?  By all my estimations, by summer of 2012, I should be very close to or at my goal weight.  What should happen to my fat clothes?  On the flip side, I'm feeling like I'll jinx myself if I give it all to charity.

I've lost 20+ pounds and can argue that even if I keep my summer wardrobe, it will be to no avail because none of it even fits me now.  This is the hundredth weight-loss program I have been on and what makes me think this one is any different than the others I've tried and failed?   I'll tell you what's motivation and my desire to be healthy.  Check out this link This explained why my addiction to carbs has sabotaged all my past weight-loss efforts.  I am 100% confident that this time, I will continue to remain focused on my ultimate goal.  To be fit and healthy.

This past weekend was one of the many tests of endurance I am subjected to daily.  I attended the baptism of a beautiful baby girl that was bigger than some weddings I've been to.  I drank about 5 Perrier waters, ate 4 slices of roast beef, had two large helpings of steamed vegetables, and two helpings of tossed salad.  There were tons more appetizers, main courses and desserts to choose from and I found that for maybe the first time in my life, I was not fixated on the food of an event I attended.  I ate because I was hungry and was not the least bothered by others indulging on all the other food choices around me.

I have been almost six weeks without sugar and carbs, and I no longer crave ANYTHING.  Maybe hot sauce...if I was pressed to pick something.  I also find that some things are just better left alone.  I tried tofu noodles on Sunday in a soup I made.  I have staunchly decided that I would rather have no noodles than tofu noodles.  On the whole, I don't mind tofu, but the noodles reminded me of slimy worms that were not tender to the bite.  They were a bit hard to chew and made me gag a few times.  Definitely wouldn't be able to stomach them again.

So back to my original dilemma.  I'm definitely bagging my summer clothes.  And by bagging, I mean sending them off to Goodwill.  I plan on being a completely different person by next summer and keeping those clothes will only get in the way of my brand new wardrobe.  My husband is definitely going to have to get a job because I think I could develop expensive taste:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Mandarin...and other eating establishments

When changing one's lifestyle so significantly, we always assume the worst and figure that any enjoyment that was associated with food is gone.  No more eating out and enjoying drinks with friends.  Since I have to eat out on a regular basis for my job, I initially thought that this was a difficult hurdle that I was going to be unable to tackle. WRONG!

Since being on, I have not only eaten out a dozen times, but I have managed to maintain a steady weight loss.  There is always a high protein/low-carb option to chose from.  I have eaten at Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario's, the Mandarin, Kelsey's, Montana's, Tucker's Market Place, a pizza parlour....there are more that I'm forgetting, but you get the gist. My favourite place to eat (since being on the diet) is by far the Mandarin.

They have shrimp, grilled chicken and steak, roasted chicken, poached fish, roast, and tons of leafy greens and mixed vegetables to chose from.  If I go there for a lunch or dinner meal, I leave feeling quite content.  True, I can't have any carbs, or sugar (natural or refined), no dairy or anything too fatty, but the variety of what I can have is still quite vast.  Everyone loves variety and I love having choices.  The only thing I have to worry about is salt intake and that is easily remedied by drinking unusual amounts of water while I'm there.

Eating is no longer an extra-curricular activity for me.  Eating is done on a regular basis to keep my body fueled.  Going to the Mandarin is no longer a test of endurance to see how much I can pack in.  After two modest trips to the food aisles I am done and quite satisfied with  my food choices.

Other restaurant establishments are more than happy to accommodate dietary needs.  If I don't see what I need on the menu, I just ask the waiter to ask the chef if they can grill me chicken breast or salmon with no seasoning and to serve with steamed vegetables.  I've yet to be denied this request.

I write this because I have gotten several remarks from people saying that even though they need to get into shape, they couldn't do this diet because they couldn't have so many restrictions and couldn't give up eating out.  I am saying you can do this if is something you really want.  As I said in my previous post, I'm done with excuses.  Make a good choice for your health; mind, body and soul.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dr. Stephen

The doctor that I see at Dr. Poon's office is Dr. Stephen. He is an older gentleman that is very near to retirement.  The first appointment I had, I thought I had made the decision not to do the diet because it sounded like other ones I had tried before (Bernstein) and was unsuccessful at maintaining.  I left the appointment promising to come back in two weeks for my weigh-in.

Dr. Stephen was blunt and to the point but delivered a message to me that others have danced around for years.  He was able to speak to me on a real personal level and I heard him loud and clear.  He's absolutely correct.  I have made more than enough excuses during my life time.  It is time to act because obesity is a disease, and he asked if I would treat cancer as cavalier, as I have treated my obesity. I'm not comparing obesity to cancer, but both have the potential of being deadly.  Cancer is definitely the scarier of the two diseases to have, and something I am hopeful to never have to fight during my lifetime. It is medically proven that people who are obese are more likely to contract other health problems/diseases due to their obesity, cancer being one of them.  Having seen my mother battle and waste away to cancer, it is absolutely not something I want to put my own son through if I can at all avoid it.

I had my third weigh-in yesterday and am pleased to report that I have lost another 7 pounds of fat.  This brings my weight loss to 20 pounds.  This is a huge motivator, because I can definitely see a difference.  Dr. Stephen is a sweet man who is a great motivator and his honesty and bluntness keep me on track.  I am hopeful that by the New Year, I can get off of both of my blood pressure medications.  I owe this to myself and my long suffering body.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Turkey dinner with all the fix'ins

So, I've spent the better part of the morning fixing a huge Turkey dinner for my family.  Sounds delicious.  It smells delicious!  I can smell all the flavours coming together as I type this.  Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, string bean casserole, baked squash....I only wish I could enjoy it with everyone else.  I am on Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet  I'm going into my fourth week.  It truly works.  At my second weigh-in three weeks ago, I lost 11.4 pounds.

After a life time of over indulging, I have a high blood pressure that needs to be controlled by two medications.  My goal is to lose enough weight to get off the medication and be a mom that participates instead of watching from the side lines.  I still have time, my son is only turning 4.  By this time next year I hope to have reached my goal weight and be the healthiest I have ever been.

The diet is not easy, I am on Phase 1 and am limited to mostly protein and leafy greens (as much as I want though). I am allowed other vegetables as well, but only 4 cups a day and absolutely no root vegetables.  No sugar, no processed carbohydrates, no dairy, very limited salt.  Thank God I can have diet pop.  I have never read so many labels in my life.

I am not whining about my predicament, nor should anyone pity me.  I'm the one who lived so recklessly all these years and trust me, I have enjoyed every minute of it.  But now, I have to start living a better life for myself, and my son.  I am terrified that he will pick up my bad habits and become "the fat me" later in life.  The best way to lead him in the right direction is by example.  So no more excuses.  There are two people I love more than food, my son and myself.