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:)