Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strike a pose

I strive to have this form one day:)
Today was my first gentle yoga class.  I thought that the hour flew by.  I surprised myself because when I attempted to do yoga on my own, I found that I could barely do any poses. Forget about holding them.  The instructor was good and I found her voice to be soothing, in a very non-annoying way.  This is a good thing because I get put off so easily by stupid stuff, like voices...or laughter (ie: the nervous kind).  You know, stuff that people have absolutely no control over!

I think that yoga will help me with my running.  I need more flexibility and to become more aware of my breathing.  My premonition did not come true.  I pictured me and Enz in a class with 10 seniors in different stages of immobility.  Truth be told, that would have been amusing and maybe I was just a little disappointed there was not one senior there.  We weren't even the youngest ones there!  There were women of all shapes, sizes, ages and skill level there.  I'm definitely looking forward to going back.

Last night I the snow, sleet and rain.  Talk about dedication!  We did 3 and 1's and ran/walked for a total of 3k.  I was soooooo relieved I could run for 3minutes straight and not fall over.  I actually did pretty good, if I do say so myself.  I kept right up with Beverly who had recently broken her tail bone.  In my defense, she's a pretty fast runner.  But on the downside...she broke her tailbone less than a week ago.  Hey, I say that slow and steady wins the race!  I'm a hare, but I'll get faster as I drop more weight.

I found this recipe that I'm gonna be trying out.  I need to purchase a whole chicken on my shopping trip tomorrow.  If you have a few minutes, check out this guy's website.  He's developed Paleo recipes, but I find that several of them can be easily altered to become either phase 1 or 2 Dr. Poon approved.  I'm still mostly on phase 1, so I'll not be returning the chicken to the crock pot after it's been shredded.  I'll likely just serve it with a phase 1 friendly vegetable and use the leftovers for salads.  I think it will still be VERY flavourful.  I'll get back to you after I make it.

To briefly revisit my last post where I talked about "why now".  I had the dream again.  The dream first happened last summer.  I dreamt that I was in good physical shape and I could feel my muscle and bones without the barrier of any excess fat.  It was this dream that also triggered my desire to get in shape.  I felt so good in the dream and it felt so real, that I definitely wanted to strive for that feeling again. I had the dream several times and had it again this past week.  I'm not a particularly spiritual or religious person, but maybe it was a premonition.  Only time will tell.  I'm currently not "fit" like I am in the dream, but that is what I aspire for.  To be fit, flexible and able to run 5k.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Seasons change and so do I

So close....but I'm officially at 69 pounds lost.  I was hoping to get to 70 at today's weigh-in, but alas, it will have to wait until my next visit to Dr. Pitt on the 19th of April.  That's just over three weeks away.  Needless to say, it appears as though my weight-loss is slowing a bit.  I'm not doing anything differently eating wise (mostly phase 1, some phase 2 on running days), but I am running three times a week.  I remember my good friend Enz telling me that when she started running last summer, her weight didn't change, but her clothing size got smaller.  I'm not concerned about the numbers on the scale, I'm more focused on learning to run and preparing for my first 5k at the end of April.

That's right, I signed up for the Chocolate Race in Port Dalhousie on April 29th.  By that time I should be running 8 and 1's.  So that is likely how I will run the 5k.   The weekend after I'm doing the Starbucks Coffee Hazel 5k in Mississauga.  Then I think there's one in Burlington at the end of May...I'm becoming a bit of an addict here.  I run with a great group of supportive ladies and we're signing up for these races together.  That's what I love about the Running Room.  There's a lot of support and a real social aspect to it.  Makes me feel included.  In a sport no less!  Such a change from always being the fat kid never picked during sports in gym class.

So I did something this past weekend I have been doing regularly.  Purging my old clothes.  Once they no longer fit, I get rid of them.  I refuse to give myself permission to "grow" back into bigger clothes again.  In the past, I have held onto various sizes of clothing.  They may not have been in my closet, but they were in tupperwear somewhere in my house.  It's so freeing for me to give away my old clothes.  I feel like I'm shedding my skin and being reborn.  That's a bit corny, but you know what I mean.  I've pretty much purged all of my winter clothes.  Got rid of all the regular and plus-size 18's.  The only depressing thing is I'm passing them onto a client who has gained a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time.

The weather here has been unstable to say the least.  It was shorts and t-shirt weather a week ago, and this morning it was minus 1 when I left for work.  I really want to unload my winter coat.  It's a 3x and looks a bit big on me.  Okay, it looks a lot big on me, but damn it,  I was too cheap to buy a new one this winter hoping knowing that I would only be wearing it for one winter.  By next winter, I hope to be at goal or at the very least, painfully close to goal.

Last week, a co-worker asked me a very fair question about my weight-loss.  Why now?  Why now indeed. Why didn't I do this before I got married? (I did, but gained the weight back super fast.  Starvation diets do not work Dr. Bernstein.)  Why didn't I do this before I got pregnant?  Why didn't I do this after I had my son?  Well the only straight answer I can give is, because I wasn't ready.  I've always wanted to lose weight, but I wasn't ready to.  I wasn't ready to put in the hard work and determination.  My son, of course, has been motivation for me as well.  By remaining morbidly obese, I increase my risk of so many things.  You all know this so I'm not going to bore you with "the list".  Bottom line, I could die young and it's not fair to my son to have to lose me at a young age when I have total control over this.  He deserves to have a mother till he's a grown man and a grandmother for his children.  I'll settle for nothing less.

Friday, March 23, 2012

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing

So cute...reminds me of my Finn when he was a pup:)
Well, I have finally done it.  I have made it all the way from P3 to the 4th floor of my office without stopping once.  I know, I know, you're probably thinking what the big deal is, this.  This may be the first read for some, a refresher for others.  I wrote that post about three and a half months ago.  At that time I was dying while doing something as simple as walking up the stairs.  Incidentally, I haven't taken the elevator since late November (except on a few occasions when I had to because I had clients with me).

Tonight I ran over 2K by doing 2 and 1 (run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute) intervals.  For those of you who run, I know you were me at one time.  Feeling really proud of yourself as you build your endurance every week.  I'm in my third week of my learn to run clinic now and went from doing 1 minute running and 2 minutes walking, to what I was running tonight.  I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, but for someone like me who loathed exercise and avoided it at all costs, I think I have found a physical activity I can stick to. I'm actually doing it and being successful!  Every single week I'm amazed that I lived through a whole week of doing that particular interval, so I know I can do this.  I can just imagine how I'll feel when I make it to 10 and 1's.  Like a million bucks, that's how.  Thanks again Enz for doing this with me:)

Yesterday I took a client clothing shopping.  There's an outlet area in Toronto on Orfus Rd. where you can find great deals on clothing.  I have been there many times in the past and stood around quietly while clients shopped and then I simply paid for their purchases.  The prices there are insanely cheap and you can get a lot of stuff for little money.  So I'm standing around waiting for my client, and I'm in the same mindset I've always been in while on Orfus Rd.  I never looked at anything too closely because nothing there would fit me.

Well I'm bored so I venture around and start looking at some things.  I'm holding stuff up wondering if it will fit me and decide that since it's so cheap, I'll get some stuff, hopeful I'll fit into it in a couple of months.  I spend $70, get a pair of jeans ($7.50), a bunch of tops for $2 - $5, five pairs of shoes for $25, and a bunch of hair accessories for $10.  Today I'm pondering over what to wear so I try on the jeans and a top...and they fit!  I wore my $14.50 (jeans, top and tank top) outfit to work today.

I have never been able to shop at Orfus Rd. before.  It's a bit of a crap shoot there because you cannot try anything on.  You just grab and buy.  Since I have zero spring/summer clothes, I need to start buying stuff that will see me through this season.  I can't spend a lot either because, although I'm not putting a time limit on my weight-loss, I could reach my goal weight by the fall.  If not, I will be at goal by next spring/summer.  Not to shabby for a former plus sized shopper!  I'm just so tickled that I was able to buy cheap clothes like everyone else!!!!!!

There are so many changes happening in my life due to my weight loss, and I'm taking none of it for granted.  Last weekend I did something I haven't done since I was in my late teens.  I swung on a swing with my son.  When I was a girl, I used to love the swings.  I haven't been able to fit in one for a very long time.  While swinging at the park with my son and two nieces, three things crossed my mind.  I couldn't believe I comfortably fit into a swing, I loved the feeling of the wind blowing in my hair, and if I closed my eyes one more time, I was gonna throw up.  Man getting old sucks!  I definitely don't have the stomach I used to.  I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to the amusement parks this summer which equally sucks.  This will be the first time in a very long time where I won't have to worry about whether or not I'll fit on a ride.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Conquering the fast food nation

Like many of you, I read a lot of blogs.  One common issue I come across is the problem with eating out.  My job requires that I spend a lot time in restaurants.  Some of them are fast food, and some are sit down establishments.  I also frequent buffets.  I work with troubled youth and the key to their trust is through food.  It's nurturing to feed someone, and sharing a meal helps build relationships.  I can't help youth that don't want to spend time with me.

That being said, I have managed to lose 66 pounds so far and I eat out an average of four times per week.  Many people ask me how I do it.  How do I frequent restaurants with so much tempting food and still manage to lose weight?  The answer to that is simple, I really want to get healthy and I make the right choices.  I was honest and upfront with my clients, co-workers, family and friends when I began this journey.  I told them I was on a special medical diet and could only eat certain foods.  They have been nothing but supportive.  No one has tried to sabotage me.

Do I get cravings?  Of course.  Do I act on them?  No.  Not only do I have to be accountable to myself, but now I have to be accountable to my clients too.  What kind of a role model would I be if I broke a promise I made to myself?  I'm trying to encourage self-love and worth.  If I can't model love and respect for myself, I'm not doing my job right.

I haven't been to a restaurant yet where I haven't been accommodated.  If my meal comes with a starch, I tell them to leave it off my plate.  If my meal shows up at the table with the starch on it, I send it back.  I tell the wait staff to leave all garnishes, gravies, dressings off my plate, and only bring what I specifically order.  I've been doing this since September 2011, and it's worked like a charm.

I've even inspired clients to make healthier choices.  They see me eating healthy and some will follow my lead.  Some not so much, but even if it's just a couple of youth making better choices, like getting salad with a burger instead of fries, it's worth it.  I still go to fast food restaurants with clients.  I frequent Wendy's and McDonald's regularly, but I usually opt not to eat, and order coffee instead.  There are healthier choices everywhere so I never have an excuse for not ordering something that isn't conducive to my eating plan.

I recently tried the new Juicy Fruit Desserts gum.  Yummmmmm.  For 10 minutes I get the flavour of my favorite dessert, apple pie.  The flavour's gone after about ten minutes, but that would be longer than it would have taken me to eat a piece of pie.  I'm not gonna lie, the former me would inhale a couple of pieces of pie in under ten minutes. So I get all the flavour and none of the calories.  What a great trade off!

Eating out is only as difficult as we make it for ourselves.  Maybe some of us will never be strong enough to visit restaurants while "dieting".  Others will go to restaurants with good intentions, and give into temptation.  When you are faced with this situation you should ask yourself how much you really want it.  Is it worth it to sabotage your health for something you will only enjoy in the moment and then feel horrible about in the aftermath?  I would hope not because you are worth more than that.  I will have to make healthier choices for the rest of my life.  I've finally begun to look at food for what it really is, fuel for my body.  It is no longer a source of entertainment for me.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Running up that hill

I would be completely remiss if I did not mention the outpouring of support, input, advice etc. in regards to my last blog post.  I received numerous, and much appreciated, emails and comments on the subject.  My heartfelt thanks to all!  I would like to thank Angie once again for making me see the serious errors of my ways and righting me.  As well as for giving me the material for my last blog post.  My previous two blog posts have become my most popular EVER.  I also must give a holla to Allan over at Almost Gastric Bypass.  His eloquent rebuttal to my previous post is definitely worth the click (and then some).  If you haven't already been over there,  read Allan's refutation of the situation here.  Everyone's advice, input and opinions were received with gratitude and  respect.  Thanks again to one and all.

Moving on now.  Wednesday marked the end to my first week of my "learn to run" clinic through the Running Room.  For the first week we were doing sets of 2 minutes walking and 1 minute running.  We were supposed to do the same set on Wednesday but because our running group is so small, we were put with the group a week ahead.  So I had to do one minute walking and one minute running...a session early!  Initially I was a bit freaked out and anxious that I was going to be left behind, but I must say, the older group was perpetually in the back.  And, I survived doing one and ones.  Now I have a whole week to worry about whether or not I can do sets of 1 minute walking and 2 minutes running.  It really does get easier every time I go.  And I can totally see how running becomes addictive.  After each practice run, I'm so full of adrenaline and awe that I actually did it, that I can't wait to do it again.  Looking forward to tonight's clinic already!

I'm not sure where my weight is right now.  I can only say that I have been following phase 1 of Dr. Poon's religiously.  I take a bit more carbs just before I run (usually in the form of a protein bar), but other than that, I'm on track.  I tend to not weigh between official weigh-ins because then I become obsessed with the scale.  I do know that I now comfortably fit into regular 16's (pants) and that plus 14's are too big for me.  This happened over the last two weeks.  Who knew that there was such a big difference is plus sizes versus regular sizes.  That being said, I no longer have to shop in plus sized stores.  That's a NSV (non-scale victory) I'm really excited about.  I can now pay lower prices for clothes like other "regular" sized people.  The price of plus sized clothing is always more expensive.  Just another reason to keep on track!  I'm determined to never have to shop in a plus sized store again.

Due to my schedule, I don't have an appointment to see Dr. Pitt for a weigh-in until March 27th.  That's three weeks between weigh-ins.  I'm curious to see if I can truly stay off the scale until then.  Shouldn't be a problem.  I can see significant changes in my body every week.  New bones sticking out here and there, being able to fit into a pair of pants I couldn't get over my hips the previous month.  You know, the real significant stuff.  Enz has joined a yoga class with me that we start at the end of the month.  I really need to work on my flexibility and my toning.  Considering the fact that I am an admitted exercise hater, I now run three times a week and will begin a fourth day of exercise in the form of yoga in a couple of weeks.  And I still take the stairs religiously.  Not too shabby for a former couch potato.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogging plagiarism

The last two recipes I posted were not created by me (nor did I claim they were).  I believe I mentioned in the chicken sausage one that I got it off of another blog a couple of months ago and couldn't remember which one.  I copied the photo and the text and saved it to use at a later time.  My mistake for not also copying the blog web address.  The chicken pizza one, I found through the picture I copied from the web of the previously mentioned blog.  Through that picture, I did come upon a recipe sight for low carb recipes.  That's where I got the pizza chicken recipe.  Being the brainiac I am, I did not notice that the plates in both pictures were the same, so likely came from the same source.  Someone was good enough to point out to me earlier today where both of these recipes came from (although I knew where the chicken pizza came from), in a fairly accusatory and angry manner.  I have since had contact with the creator of these recipes and she was very generous in her willingness to share.

Bottom line, I'm not attempting to be malicious or  underhanded in any way.  If I find a recipe I like on-line, I'll adapt it to fit my diet and possibly post it.  I will definitely link it to it's original source from now on (especially since I now know where they came from) I don't want to cause any discord in the web world.  The last two recipes I adapted were from  An excellent sight if you are eating low carb.  I thank Linda (the creator of the recipes) for allowing me to adapt and re-post her recipes.  And I thank Angie for pointing out my obvious faux pas and demanding retribution.  See her angry rant here.  Scroll down, it's the long comment near the bottom.  There was an additional comment she made, but Linda asked me to remove it, so I did.

Just to set the record straight (and I'm sure you all knew this), every recipe I post is adapted from some recipe I found in a cookbook, or on the web, or from someone I personally know.  I'm gonna come clean and say, I did not create Cauliflower Sheppard's Pie (maybe it was President's Choice).  Every recipe on the web is adapted from some other recipe and the original creator is rarely credited.  We tweak and change to meet our own needs.  People will comment on some recipes I've posted in the past and ask if they can re-post it, by all means please do.  Change it up to meet your needs and feel free not to credit me.  I don't care.  In fact don't credit me because I know I've adapted it from something I've found on the web (where it's been adapted from some other source) or in some other publication.  I'm just hoping to help others by getting new ideas out there.  Most of them aren't even new...I just try to adapt it to make it Dr. Poon (high protien and low carb and fat) friendly.

These recipes are all over the web.  How do we know who the original "creator" is?  I found the chicken sausage recipe here as well as here and here and here and here.  There are also many more sights that have the exact same recipe on it.  So who have I truly "stolen" it from?  What if I'm not crediting the original creator?  None of the above links link to Linda's sight (but I'm confident she did create the recipe).  I'm just trying to make a point here.  By posting my (I use that term very loosely) recipes on the web, I'm inviting anyone to make them, adapt them, copy and paste them and generally share them with who ever they want.  If this isn't what I intended, I'd make my blog private and only invite certain readers in.  What would be the fun in that?  Lesson learned, but please don't ask me to find out and credit who I adapted the other 8 recipes head will explode if I have to think that hard!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Phase 1 friendly pizza chicken

I'm amazed that at my very first "learn to run" clinic with the Running Room, I survived.  I was able to keep up!  I think it had a lot in part to do with the fact that I've been taking the stairs every chance I get since November 2011.  It was minus 14 with the windchill last night, but I felt so invigorated after my run.  Yay me!  Thanks for doing this with me Enz.

So here's my recipe of the week.  Pizza chicken.  I know Dr. Poon says we can never have pizza again, but I think he could live with this phase 1 friendly version.  This recipe was adapted from


1 boneless chicken breast, pounded flat if thick
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, to taste
1 tablespoon Waldenfarms - Tomato and Basil pasta sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 thin green pepper rings
1/8 of 200g package of Allegro cheese

Season the chicken with salt and other seasonings; grill. Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms and pepper rings in oil until slightly tender, but not mushy; set aside. Spread the sauce over the chicken, then top with the pepper rings, mushrooms and then finally, the cheese. Sprinkle with a little additional Italian seasoning, if desired. Bake at 350º about 10-15 minutes or until hot and the cheese is melted. Serve at once.

You can of course make this with any toppings you choose.  I also make a version of pesto which is Phase 1 friendly that I use as the sauce instead of the tomato basil sauce.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Allegro cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
You pulse all the ingredients in a food processor (except the olive oil) until well blended.  Then you add the olive oil in a stream until everything is well incorporated.  You can freeze this in small portions (ice cube tray) to have on hand whenever you  need it.  Traditional pesto calls for pine nuts and Parmesan, but this version is  good in a pinch.  Enjoy:)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tuesday with Mildred

I've been meaning to post all week, and finally found time right now to give you an update!  I went to see Dr. Pitt on Tuesday for my weigh-in.  In an effort to get me in and out of his office and off to work in record time (since all I was doing was getting weighed and having my blood pressure taken), Dr. Pitt invited me to sit in his office while he readied room 4 for me.  He wants me to always get weighed in room 4 for consistency.

So, I hear him moving the scale to the middle of the small examination room, he pops his head out the door and calls me in.  As I'm approaching the room, he says "Don't mind Mildred, she's here for her physical and doesn't mind you coming in at all".  So Mildred is this sweet, blue haired elderly lady sitting on the examination table wearing a laced up smock.  She has a huge smile for me and the three of us squeeze into the examination room.

Mildred says, "I promise not to look" and hides her eyes behind her hands.  Dr. Pitt weighs me and announces that I lost 5 pounds.  Mildred cheers like I just hit a home run during a world series game.  I never thought someone so tiny could make such a racket!  I thank her for the congratulations, and tell her that in her excitement, her smock has started to fall off her solider.  She smiles and starts making small talk with me.  I can't be rude, so I answer her questions while the smock threatens to fall off her shoulder completely.  After answering all her questions to her satisfaction and listening to her stories about her toy poodle Mr. Bojangles,  I politely say goodbye, straighten the shoulder of her smock and ask her to give her bridge club my best.

As I walk away, I hear her say to Dr. Pitt "What a lovely young girl...and so pretty!"  What a great lady.  She is my newest favourite person.  First because she called me lovely and YOUNG!  I may be half her age, but I'm not 16.  And she said I was pretty.  I know she's in her 80's and looked like she had cataracts, but I'll take it!  Any confidence booster is appreciated!  Thanks Mildred, your a sweetheart!

The humour of this situation was not lost on me.  Dr. Pitt kills me.  This latest episode did not surprise me because he has done stuff like this in the past.  When I went to Cuba in the 90's and got bitten by sand fleas, he called me into the next examination room to show my calves to a man who thought that he had a rash.  It turned out he had bed-bugs and he wanted to compare the bites to show him the similarities.  That was a bit embarrassing since due to the scabs on my calves, I couldn't shave, so had hairy, scabby legs.

I'm officially half way there.  I've lost just over half the weight I need to.  Again, I'm really pleased with myself because I never thought I would get here without medical intervention.  Never in a million years did I think I would get here on my own.  What I have been doing since September (metabolic diet) and what I have learned about my metabolism has been a real eye opener and I truly believe I have learned the tools to keep this weight off forever.  I know that if I do gain weight in the future, it is because I'm eating too much of the wrong things.  It's not because I ate too much sodium or because I have my period, it's because I have ingested more calories than I have burned off.  Simple, common sense.

I started my journey wearing a size 22/24 and I currently wear a 14.  I have not kept any of my bigger clothes like I have in the past.  I think that by doing that, I was giving myself permission to gain back weight.  I'm counting on my size dropping again in the next couple of months as Enz and I begin our running clinic (tomorrow).  We're also joining yoga through a local recreation centre which starts at the end of the month.  I have a feeling I'm gonna be sore on Monday because Enz emailed me and asked me to do the 30 Day Shred with her on Sunday after our run.  Wait!  That's Jillian Michaels isn't it?  I've already established that she's a I just know I'll be hurting!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Phase 1 friendly mushroom chicken and sausage casserole

Very moist and delicious:)
This is a recipe I found on another blog. I can't recall which one, so I apologize for not giving you much deserved props.  I tweaked it a bit to make it Dr. Poon phase one friendly.  After original post was published, I was informed where I got this was adapted from

You will need:

4 cups of diced, cooked chicken breast
1 pound low fat turkey sausage
1 stalk of celery chopped finely
2 tsp of onion powder
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 pound of mushrooms sliced
8 oz fat free cream cheese spread
16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower cooked and drained well
8 oz Allegro 4 % cheese (I used the Herb and Spices)
1/2 salt and pepper to taste
Paprika sprinkled on top

Brown the sausage with the celery, mushrooms, garlic and onion powder.  Stir in the cream cheese until well blended.  Coarsely chop the cooked cauliflower.  Mix all of the ingredients together and spread into a sprayed 9x13 casserole dish.  Dust the top with paprika.  Baked covered at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Makes 10 servings.

Really yummy and great to bring for lunches.  I served it with a simple salad.  Enjoy!