Saturday, July 28, 2012

Purple liebster reptiles learning to run up the escarpment

This post could be extremely eclectic (like the title), or I could focus on just a few things.  I'll do my best to stay focused.  First off, it's obvious that I have changed the look of my blog.  I was really beginning to dislike my blog format, so I changed it to something that is definitely more me. PURPLE!  My absolute favorite color ever!  Here's a completely useless piece of you know why purple is the color of royalty?  Because it was difficult and expensive to dye fabrics purple.  Only royalty could afford to do it.  You can Google that if you want and I could be totally full of sh!t.  I vaguely remember learning that in middle school 30 odd years ago.

Anywho, I also want to give a shout out to Mary at A Walk in the Woods.  Mary has graciously nominated me for a Liebster Award and I am flattered and touched by this honour.  I am also a killjoy because I'm going to link to a previous post I did where I was tagged back in January and the exercise (minus Mary's questions) was the exact same.  Read 11 random things about me here.  I'll answer Mary's questions, then respectfully decline tagging anyone else.  It was waaaaaay too much work to do the first time I did it.  I'm ok with not receiving the award, but want to acknowledge that Mary worked hard at receiving hers.  Congrats Mary:)  Below are Mary's questions to me.

1. What inspired your blog name?
I am on a metabolic diet that was developed by a doctor in Toronto, Ontario named Dr. Poon. He's a genius and I wanted to incorporate his name into my blog title.  Everyday I get closer to my goal weight is a reason to celebrate!  Sadly, I have recently seen the Urban Dictionary definition of should see some of the search words people use to get to my blog!  Sheesh!

2. What do you like most about blogging?

I really like that I can inspire others through what I write and I'm still amazed and awed that anybody finds my mundane life exciting enough to read about.  I like that blogging keeps me accountable to others beyond my personal circle of family and friends.  I also LOVE the inspiration I get from reading other blogs.  Keeps me very motivated, and I've formed many meaningful friendships through blogging. 

3. What was your dream job when you were a child?
I honestly don't think I had one.  Probably something like a candy tester.  My dream job as an adult is to be a funeral home director.  No word of a lie.

4. Where is the furthest place you've ever travelled?
South Africa twice.  Once for my brother's wedding, and once to visit him over Christmas.  A very beautiful country marred by too much turmoil:(

5. What is the strangest or most exotic food you've ever tried?  And did you like it?
Alligator?  I tasted like chicken?  It was a blur and something I did in New Orleans about 15 years ago.  Can't recall what I thought of it.

6. What is your favourite film?
Gone with the Wind and Grease.  Don't judge!

7. Who is your favourite TV show character?
This is hard because I hardly ever watch TV.  I'd have to go with an oldie but a goodie...Alice.  And I'm mainly picking her because Linda Lavin sang a mean theme song.  And she was a single working mother which I always respected.  Really it's just because of the theme song and I always got a good laugh with Vera and Flo.  And I realize I just really aged myself.

8. Do you have a crazy, far-fetched ambition and what is it? (for example - mine is to be an Oscar winning screen writer, or to climb Mount Everest!)
To write a book.  Don't have any idea what the title or topic would be.  Don't actually have either, nor am I working on a topic or title.  Really far fetched!

9. If your friends could describe you with one word, what would it be?

10. If money were no object, where would you live and why?
Somewhere tropical that does not look real in pictures because I love the beach.  I'd just have a house there though and still have Canada as my permanent residence.  I love this country and would never live anywhere else!

11. What is your favourite book of all time?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  The only book I've read too many times to count.

Hope you enjoy learning a little more about me.  Thanks again for thinking of me Mary:)

Back to regularly scheduled programming now.  My boy is on the mend and is finally going into his last day of antibiotics tomorrow.  We have been mixing the medicine in his yogurt, and he's happy to have it.  The only problem is that he's undoubtedly getting waaaaaaaaay too much yogurt in a day. Beggars can't be choosers though.  At least his infection has cleared up.  Amen.  

Today Jules and I went to birthday party.  It was for a 6-year-old boy and Reptilia came by to do a show.  I'm not a fan of reptiles.  But it was interesting all the same.  The kids had a fun time and the woman who brought the animals stayed for a long time chatting up the adults once the kids tired and found something else to do.  I got a picture with some big lizard, not getting too close though.  I swear those things can smell fear!
Was not aware the girls came out for the photo.
Thanks for the heads up Cristian!
Even though it was a 6-year-old's birthday party, I was able to stay on Phase 2 of my diet.  My gracious hosts had veggie trays, meat and veggie skewers and some Phase 2 fruits I could eat.  I was able to steer clear of the slab pizza, chips and dip, luncheon meats and buns and of course a huge birthday cake, that I heard on good authority, was delicious!  I purposely wore a tighter pair of size 12 capris so that I wouldn't over eat, lest I feel uncomfortable.  The capris held out just fine! And just in case there was no food I could eat...I packed myself a lunch as a back-up just in case.  

This morning I ran 7k along the Rail Trail near my home.  It's a great trail to run on because for the first 3.5k, I'm basically running up the Niagara Escarpment, and then when I turn around, running down it.  Works out the muscles in my legs real good.  And I ran the entire 7k with one 30 second break.  I stopped at the 3.5 marker, to take a drink of water and change the radio station on my MP3.  I stole this photo from the trail run I did at the end of June.  I just wanted to show it because it shows off my leg muscle real good.  This is why I love to run hills, even though I actually hate it while I'm doing it!
Not too shabby huh?  My leg actually looks
like it could belong to an athletic person.
I started teaching my Learn to Run clinic this past week.  It went well and I'm thrilled to be teaching my good friend Karen how to run.  Karen and I have known each other since junior kindergarten and I'm so excited that she's gonna become one of my running gals!  I can hardly wait till we run our first 5k together!  That will be the end of September and I just know she'll be ready!  I'm really proud of her for taking this step towards a healthier lifestyle!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Running 101

The second most asked question I get, after how did I lose weight, is how did I get into running.  I haven't been shy about plugging the clinics at the Running Room.  I started the Learn to Run clinic on March 9, 2012.  Since then, I have run 5 first 5k was April 29th, 2012.  My gun time was 45:28, but my goal was to finish it, not break any records.  The RR teaches interval running and I ran my first race using 6:1 intervals.  For those of you wondering what the heck I'm talking about, that means I ran for 6 minutes, and walked for 1 minute, then repeated till I got to the finish line.

There are some runners out there who don't believe that interval running is "real" running.  They believe that if you walk at all, you haven't really "run" the entire race.  Many marathon runners use interval running, my very wise and motivational former running coach included.  Carol used to run marathons without stopping and discovered that her times improved once she started interval running. I don't necessarily need to stop for a 5k race, and for the last one (Eaton Downtown Dash), other than the water station and my first 10:1 interval, I didn't stop.  I eventually get into a grove and can keep going.  I may be able to do that for a 10k, or a 10 miler in the future, but for any half or full marathons, I believe in the interval!

I read many blogs, and there are budding runners out there that are doing the C25K program.  I've looked at this program and although it may work for some...I find it a tad confusing.  I imagine that it loses a lot of people at week 5 when you go from running 8 minutes to 20 minutes in the same week. That's quite a jump!  I know that in the training program through the RR, that I was running 4:1 intervals in week 5.  May seem insignificant to some, but I still ran a 5k three weeks later and finished with a decent time considering it was my first 5k.

I'm teaching the Learn to Run clinic now, and there's always one C25K defector who just couldn't finish the program past the 5th week.  Building gradual endurance will get you the exact same result. By week 10 of the LTR program, you will be able to run 5k.  And I think that running 5K, whether it be interval or straight, is a commendable achievement.  Heck running any distance regularly will aid in your journey.  Walking can do the trick too.  Did you know that you burn the exact same amount of calories whether you walk 5k or run 5k?  True story.  You work different muscles through running and you definitely put more strain on your joints, but you can also get more distance in an hour of running versus an hour of walking.

So which program is better?  That's relative to each individual and what they think they can achieve.  I know I wouldn't have been able to complete the C25K program back in March.  I could definitely do it now 'cos I can run 30 minutes without stopping.  This is something I've only been doing for the past month or so though.      I had less than zero running experience, and even less exercise experience. Don't forget, I absolutely hated exercise in any shape or form.  For your viewing pleasure, you can look at each program to compare (LTR or C25K).  If you want to start running, pick the one you think will work for you, or try both.  You need to figure out which is the better fit for you and your abilities.

Running has changed my life.  If it wasn't for Enz and her encouragement I'm not sure if I would have been exercising the way I am now.  Just for fun, I was looking at race photos last night to compare how running has changed my body over the past three months.  So here goes...
I think the change is pretty significant.  And just to reiterate, here's a photo of me wearing the same racing shirt on the the day I got it. That was April 29th, same as the picture above left.  The photo above right was taken three weeks ago.

There's about a 25 pound difference between the dates of these photos, but running has changed my muscle mass and my clothing size went down significantly.  I was wearing a 16/18R 25 pounds ago, now I'm wearing a 12/14R.  Squeezing into a 12 is very recent and it depends on the brand and cut of the piece.  The 14's are getting really loose and I know 12 is just around the corner.  That is another reason why I continue to run.  Nothing is more motivational than going down a size every month!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A house full of sickos - revisited

This is a quick catch-up post.  Let me first start by saying that my husband is delusional and talks smack!  A woman did not win the Eaton Downtown Dash.  But she did come in third.  Still very commendable, but I knew I should have checked the stats first.  Men almost ALWAYS win these races.  On a more truthful note, I did pretty darn good. My chip time was 37:50 and my gun time was 38:16.  My last recorded chip time for a 5k (Run for Wells) was 42:17.  That shaves a whole 4:33 off my time.  Not too shabby! The goal for my next race (Stryker Dundas Cactus 5k) will be to get a chip time of under 37 minutes.  It's next month and I hope to meet that goal or better.

Right now I'm adding some distance to my runs.  I'll do a few more 7k's before I move onto running 8k. I have an 8k race in October and a 10k in November.  The best thing to keep me focused on running is to set goals for myself and continue to train so that I can meet them.  Although I start teaching my first Learn to Run clinic today, I'm not in a learning clinic myself so all the running I do from now on, is by myself.  I have some running friends, but it's hard to meet up sometimes and we've all moved onto different paces.  I actually don't mind running on my own.  I thought I would hate it, but it's not as bad as I had though it would be.

My eating remains the same.  Still sticking to the Phase 2 stage of Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet.  I continue to LOVE this eating plan.  I have tons of energy, don't count calories and eat until I'm full.  At my last weigh-in, I continued to lose steadily.  I'm actually not scheduled for an official weigh-in for the rest of the summer because I'm on vacation (I was able to go to the clinic because it was on the way to a client visit, it's about 110km from my home).  I'll weigh myself in a couple of weeks to make sure I'm still going in the right direction.  No reason that I shouldn't be.  I haven't gone off plan and I have no plans to do so.  I will admit, being without an "official weigh-in" makes me nervous.  I'm not a huge scale person.  When I was checking my weight at home, I became obsessed with the scale.  That's pretty much why I've shunned it.  And having somewhere to go and check my weight (the clinic), made it so I didn't have to weigh myself at home.  I just know that for myself, not obsessing over the scale makes my life sooooooo much easier!

This weekend has been a bit of a blur.  My little guy was in the Urgent Care center two days in a row. Saturday for chronic coughing (by chronic I mean constant...while choking up phlegm), and Sunday for an ear ache that had him inconsolably crying.  It was strange, the doctor prescribed him antibiotics on Saturday, but wasn't sure if they would work.  We didn't end up giving it to him, and that night he vomited up a huge amount of mucus and hasn't coughed since. Then the next day, he got the ear ache as the virus moved to his ear.  He's on a different medication now.  Getting him to take it is a real treat.  It tastes horrible and he's pretty much refusing it.  It takes tons of time and a lot of negotiating.  Who knew a 4-year-old could negotiate like that?  Between spitting up and it dribbling out of his mouth, he's probably getting half the prescribed amount.  Some is better than none I suppose.
He cried for the first hour and a half
we were there, then became very silly!
In good spirits, before they forced medicine
down his throat!
All I can say is please, please let him get better soon!  I hate it when my peanut is sick.  He's doing better today...but it's freaking hot here and we need to keep him in doors.  We also don't have a/c. Except in the bedroom.  If it gets unbearable, that's where we'll go!   Hubby is coughing up phlegm now.  It would be typical if I got sick as well...right at the beginning of my summer vacation!      

Friday, July 20, 2012

Eaton Downtown Dash

Last night I completed the Eaton Downtown Dash 5k in Burlington, Ontario. What a perfect night for running. The temperature was much cooler, no humidity and it looked like it was going to rain for a while. Sadly it did not. I love running in the rain.  It was strange to be doing a race in the evening.  I had a 7:20 start, and my goal was to finish in under 40 minutes.  I can't tell you what my official time was because they still haven't posted them.  I know that when I crossed the finish line, I was at 38 something!  That shaves 4 minutes off of my last race time.  Like I've said several times before, I'm not fast, but I'm getting faster.  My next race goal is to try for under 37 minutes.  That will be in the Stryker Dundas Cactus 5K next month.  I'm excited about this one because it will be my husband's virgin race!
Before the race with Brenda (just graduated from the Learn to Run clinic), Dawn, Pauline,
me (why did no one tell me I looked so silly?), and Beverly.
Beverly, Jules and I with our clinic leader Eric!

A family pic just before gun time!
I had a pretty good run.  I only took one walk break after my first 10 minute interval, then walked just enough through the water station to not spill anything on me.  A woman won the just over 16 minutes, according to my husband.  That's rare because a man usually wins.  When the 10k group passed me, about 20 guys ran by before I saw one female.  So it's very impressive that a woman won overall.  I ran about 2k with Eric, then he left to go ahead and find Beverly.  He must have been tired because he came back to me near the 4k mark, and went further back to see Sandra (our other clinic participant) and Enz.  He was running between the four of us and must have been exhausted.  At least he got some good tempo running in!

I must have not been thinking straight due to after race exhaustion...just kidding!  I didn't get one pic of me wearing the medal.  Here it is...pic just taken in my kitchen!
Gotta love the race bling!
My husband was very slow with the camera last night.  Here I am stopping after passing the finish line in the corral.  I was looking for him during  the last 500 metres, and he's after the finish line...where he can't see me coming at all.  Sheesh!  Don't ask why I felt the need to act so silly. And I thought they didn't call my name. They did, though it was late.  You can hear my name in the video!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Run, run, run a weigh

The motivation for my healthy lifestyle changes.
Nothing like a super cute kid to keep you on the straight and narrow!
First off I want to say that I am truly touched by all the very kind comments left on my last post.  Just when you think that no one really pays attention to what you have to say, you go and do something like that!  Very humbling folks!  And a little ego boosting! 

Lots is going on right now.  I just finished up my 5k clinic through the Running Room.  I was going to join the 10k clinic starting in August, but now I'm teaching potentially 2 clinics with the Running Room.  The Learn to Run on Monday nights, and the For Women Only on Friday nights.  We might see if we can double them up and just do one clinic on Monday, but if the participants don't agree, Bev and I will be teaching both.  Which means I'd be out of the house Monday, Wednesday, Friday nights and Sunday morning.

The 10k clinic would be on a Thursday, and I don't think I can give up another night because I need to spend time with the peanut.  So I may just get the curriculum and follow it myself.  I'm up to running 7k on my own, I can certainly get up to 10k within the next couple of months.  The only other difference is the 10k clinic does hill repeats and tempo running.  My last clinic instructor Eric was good enough to explain to us exactly what that meant, and practiced with us a bit too, so I know what to do.

I have a race this coming Thursday evening.  The Eaton Downtown Dash in Burlington, Ontario.  I'm running it with a few gals from the 5k clinic, plus our clinic instructor and some of the ladies from the Learn to Run clinic.  I think it will be a fun time.  The humidity is supposed to  lift, and the course is described as flat and fast.  Hopefully I'll run it in under race times have been all over the place recently.  The sub 40 is my goal and I'm very hopeful!
This cracks me up...and the dog is really beautiful!
I talked a few posts back about how I was entertaining taking up another form of exercise to supplement the running.  We bought a family pass through our local Parks and Rec, so swimming it is!  I'm real excited to get started and hope to get a length swim in a couple of days a week.  I can also use the pass for aqua-fit at any city pool as well as access any city recreation centre gym.  Not a great gym, but free weights and some machines if I feel so inclined.  Most importantly, Jules is getting really good at swimming and he loves it.  Something we can all do as a family!  And it was a deal at $127 for the tree of us for the year!  You can't beat that price!

In my last post I mentioned that the hubby had dropped a few pounds.  Check out his before and during photos.  He is truly going to kill me for posting the first picture, but you can see a huge difference in his face.  He only has to lose about 15 more pounds, and ladies, you can hate him if you want.  All he's done differently is he began running. He doesn't run more that 3k a few times a week. He hasn't really changed his eating habits...I just saw him make a huge bowl of cereal for himself which he will proceed to eat in front of the TV. Why oh why can men do this?  It's just not fair!  I run 25 - 30k per week, don't eat any processed carbs or sugar, and my weight-loss has slowed down significantly.  I know that the closer you get to goal, the harder it gets.  A truer statement has never been made!  I'm not complaining mind you...ok, maybe just a little.  But seriously, if you want to boost your metabolism/weight-loss, try some interval running.  The Man is proof that it works!
This was taken in January 2012.
This was taken this past weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

No easy way out

Taken today and a HUGE milestone for me.
I have not worn a dress (unless it was a special occassion),
EVER!  The dress was a deal, $9 at Wal-Mart.
I felt pretty self-conscious, but my hubby insisted I looked good.
I wore the dress out to lunch with cousins on the Danforth!

I have received a few (or four) emails from blog readers asking me for guidance and advice about losing weight.  Although I don't mind giving encouragement and sharing my own personal experiences, I am not a medical professional, nor am I a dietitian.  I only know what has worked for me.   I am a firm believer in the low carb, low fat, low sodium lifestyle.   It has thus far worked wonders for me.  In (almost) 10 months I have managed to drop 94 pounds by following a metabolic diet.  I don't count calories, I eat till I'm full, and I keep a food journal.

I also don't cheat.  In order for this, or any "lifestyle" to work, you have to be 100% committed and give it your all.  It's not rocket science.  If you stick to an eating plan designed to help you lose weight, you will lose weight (unless you have a medical condition preventing you from doing so).  If you can't be committed to changing the habits that made you over weight in the first place, then you are not ready to follow any "diet" plan.  The "diet" must be something that you can sustain for the rest of your life.  What you are doing here, is making a lifestyle change.  Not for months, or a year, but forever.

Changing your whole lifestyle is not an easy thing to do.  In the beginning, I struggled a lot with staying on track.  I managed NOT to go off plan, but boy oh boy, I thought about throwing in the towel more than once. As time went on, I found it easier and easier to move forward because I became more committed to the lifestyle.  The dropping weight was a huge motivator too.  Now I'm at a place of acceptance.  I accept that I am going to have to commit to my new lifestyle forever.  Time, determination, hard work and the desire to change my life got me to where I am today.  There was no easy fix, no magic pill, just a lot of diligence, and commitment to myself and my family.

In response to my emailers, I told them that it was up to them to change their lives.  No one else could do it for them.  If they weren't ready, that was okay, but they would have to commit 100% if they wanted any lifestyle change to work.  I responded this way to all four of the emails, and no one answered back again.  I conveyed this message in a very polite and non-judgmental manner, but it must have offended.  I'm not sure what they thought I could give them in terms of encouragement, but I believe in being totally honest.  I can't help or encourage anyone who isn't ready to help them self.

For me, it was time.  I just knew things were different on October 10th, 2011.  That's the day I wrote my first blog entry.  I wouldn't have started this blog if I wasn't committed to seeing my journey through.  I had reached the point in my life where something had to give.  I had my family doctor refer me for weight-loss surgery, and was quite adamant that I was going to go that route.  In the end I didn't have to, because while I was waiting to hear about the surgery, I started the metabolic diet, and the rest is history.

Changing my lifestyle has been the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family.  Even my husband has followed suit and has caught the running bug, and even dropped some pounds.  He only needs to lose about 15 pounds total, but we all know how hard that last bit can be.  Again, I am humbled and honoured that people find me inspirational.  I only wish I possessed the power that would allow all to lose weight effortlessly and without pain, tears and emotional turmoil.  Since I do not, you will have to settle for my best wishes that you find your way and gain the strength that will see you through this difficult but worthwhile journey.  You are sooooooooo worth it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Envision this

I have taught a "preparation for independence" group for youth transitioning into adulthood for years. Probably about 7 years or so.  Part of our curriculum is vision boards.  Even though I have taught the "how to" and "whats" of vision boards for years, I have never made my own...until yesterday.  First off, it is much harder than I thought.  We allot two hours for the vision board exercise, and I was scrambling to the finish!  It's difficult to look for pictures of what you aspire to.  Even though we had a hundred magazines, I couldn't for the life of me find a picture of Cinderella's Castle.  I wanted it to depict one of my future goals which is the run the Mickey Mouse Marathon in January 2014.  I did find a mediocre picture of Mickey though.  He didn't really look his best.  After two hours of sweating and toiling over this vision board, this is what I came up with.
Notice how food is the central theme?  I have the healthy foods...meat and veggies,
as well as the honking bar of chocolate.  Because as you all know, I run for chocolate.
Yoga, running and 42.2 represent what my future really holds.  Training for a marathon.  
It was a lot of fun and I have a new respect for the youth who make super fancy ones in two hours. The beach beauty on the top left could represent what my body would look like if I had surgery after reaching my goal.  Don't know if that will ever happen.  Not the reaching my goal...the surgery.  I'm still leaning towards the Spanx and push-up bra.  I think I will partake in this exercise every time I teach an independence group from now on.  I actually hung my vision board in my work station to remind myself what is important to me and what I'm aspiring to.  It also added some much needed colour to my otherwise very drab space.

I went shopping for a sports bra over the weekend.  My bra size went down from a 46D to a 38C.  My girls have deflated, and I'm totally okay with that!  I also bought a couple pairs of running size medium!  I tell you, I felt like a total fraud shopping  in the regular woman's sizes.  That was a weird feeling and something that will take time getting my head around.  I kept drifting over to the plus sized section and would hold up things in 14W and 1X, knowing they were too big for me, but finding strange comfort in the action.

I saw a youth today that I used to work with and haven't seen since before Christmas.  He looked at me, looked confused, kept staring at me, then I finally addressed him and he completely freaked out. It was a bit embarrassing because it happened in the lobby of the office and he was very loud, but I was able to calm him.  After he settled down he apologized and said, "You don't look at all like yourself, you look completely different".  After a 94 pound weight-loss, I obviously look different, but I don't think I look like a completely different person.  On Sunday after my run, I ran into someone I am acquainted with, and who should know me on sight.  I know she had a real hard time placing me when she saw me.  I called her by name and started talking to her and I know she was struggling with where she knew me from.  About a minute into our meeting, it finally dawned on her who I was.  In her defense, I was dressed in my running gear.  Sunglasses and all.
On the left is how I used to look.  On the right, how I looked Sunday.
This is how I looked today (minus the 
sunglasses on my head...and I was dressed differently).

People that I barely know at all have stopped me and commented on my weight-loss.  I had lunch with a friend a month ago who I have known since we were 13.  She saw me a few months ago, didn't say anything to me about my weight-loss, then saw me last month and still didn't say anything to me.  Prior to our first meeting three months ago, she hadn't seen me since before I began my journey.  I'm not sure what that means, but I obviously look different to her.  I commented on her appearance since she was noticeably pregnant and looked radiant.  I'll give her a pass since she was probably focused on her own joy...I just find it very strange.  People at work whose names I don't even know will stop to say something to me, but my longtime friend of 29 years does not.  Weird!

I got my mother's wedding set back from the jewelers and I proudly wear it on my right hand.  It makes me feel closer to her.  I know that she would be so happy by what I have accomplished in the past 10 months.  It was her dream for me that I would find a healthy balance in my life and no longer have to struggle with my weight.  I only wish she could have lived to see me now.  I can't play the game of "what if" (what if I followed this diet sooner...what if I took up running in my 20's before I got to nearly 300 pounds...).  What is important is that I didn't waste anymore time and I have made significant changes in my life that I can sustain.  It is never too late to take your life back.  I am proud that I am a good role model to my son and the youth that I work with.  I am proud that I have motivated those around me and that people who don't even know me find me inspirational.  And I am comforted to know, that nine years after her death, I have made my mother proud.
My mother's wedding set (sized down to a 6 1/ ring size used to be a 10),
one of my most prized possessions.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Buried in my past

Today was my official weigh-in day.  I had to go on a Monday, which was an off day for me because I normally go on Thursdays.  But today was my "travel to Peterborough" day and because of that (the clinic is on the way), I didn't get to see Dr. Stephen 'cos he doesn't work on Mondays.  I saw a different doctor, but can't remember his name.  He was nice and very pleased with my progress.  I lost 4 pounds of body weight, but the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer shows that I am retaining 2 pounds of water, which means I lost 6 pounds of fat.  Very confusing right?  Either way I'm happy.

Last week I ran 28 1/2 kilometers, my highest mileage to date.  I am constantly eating and still losing pretty steadily.  Some days (the days after long runs), I feel like I can't eat enough.  I always eat until I'm full, and I rarely feel like I need something more (ie: carbs or sugar).  All I can say is Dr. Poon is a genius.  I am a firm believer that the only weight-loss that will be successful long-term, is an eating plan that can be sustained.  I have lost and gained back a 100 pounds in the past.  That was because I went on a starvation diet, then once I got my weight down, I returned to my old eating habits.  I know that I will have to follow my current eating plan (a modified form when I'm on maintenance) for the rest of my life.  And I'm okay with that.  Thank goodness I'm a lover of meat and veggies.

I had friends over on Saturday and made a Greek dinner with all the fix'ins, including lemon potatoes.  I, of course, did not eat the potatoes, or the fresh baguette, but made everything else Phase 2 friendly.  My girlfriend asked about when I go on maintenance and I said that the only thing that makes me nervous is eating carby things again.  I'm talking about processed carbs, not the complex kind found in veggies.  I already eat those.  Part of me thinks it's just best that I never eat them again since I've been without them for so long and have no problem rejecting them.

It could be a slippery slope for me.  What if I start eating bad carbs and can't get enough?  It opens the door for bingy behaviour.  They say the more carbs you eat, the more you crave.  Is it realistic for me to cut them out of my life forever?  Right now, I say yes.  I am healthy, feeling strong and running longer distances without the abundance of carbs that many nutritionists believe you have to have in order to be athletic.  Just a quick side note, the doctor I saw today asked me about my weight-loss history since he never saw me before and we started talking about my running and he called me an athlete.  No one has EVER called me an athlete before!

I had a different girlfriend come over on Sunday with her family and we booked a camping trip for the end of August.  I'm so excited!  There's zip lining and I am so going to do that.  There will also be a great running trail...miles and miles of sandy beach.  Something I have never done but will definitely try.  My girlfriend told me that she was also in denial because she can't believe I was ever as big as my "before" picture.  I guess if you get used to seeing someone a certain way (like the way she currently sees me)...the past isn't as memorable as we think.  This is a good thing.

My son saw my before pictures on the computer and asked me who it was.  I told him it was me and he looked genuinely confused and said "No, that person's really fat".  I told him I used to be really fat and he got quiet and wasn't sure what to say.  Then he asked "How did you get not fat?"  I told him I ate healthy food and started running.  He asked to see the before pictures again today and when I asked him who was in the pictures, he said, "Not you mommy!"  I am so relieved he does not remember me 94 pounds heavier.  Regardless of all  the other mistakes I have made in regards to my health and wellness in the past, I can be proud that I have done something right.  I am a positive role model to my son.
Silliness abounds.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Running is not for sissies!

It has been hot, hot, hot here.  I have had to abandon my usual run times and run when it has cooled down.  I am not a good summer runner.  I ran twice on Monday (3k and 4k respectively) and almost died of the heat, then didn't run again until Thursday night (6k).  I didn't realize it was so late when I left the house and needless to say, I was in the wooded rail trail after dark...alone.  Not smart. The last kilometer was my fastest during that run because I could hear something running in the bush beside me and I took off like a bat out of hell!

Yesterday morning I got the opportunity to run with my hubby again after we dropped the boy off at day camp.  I took hubby to a fairly flat trail in Dundas.  It was getting hot, but it was still pretty bearable.  Half way into our run, I tripped on a tree root and fell like a rag doll.  Thank goodness it was just hubby and I or that would have been tres embarrassing.  I got my first running injury!  I got right back up and completed the rest of the run.  My knee feels a bit sore, but only when I rotate it.  It can't be too bad, I ran 7k this morning.  My longest run to date!
Me after falling.  I was a dirty hot mess
when I got home.
My first running boo-boo.  I fell fairly hard and am
surprised that this is the extent of my injuries.
Yesterday I went swimming with my hubby and the boy.  We found a nice salt water pool in Dundas. Last year I would have never gone to a public pool.  I had a lot of fun playing with my son, and catching him as he jumped off the side of the pool.  I also did about 8 laps.  Swimming is hard work. We have a pool within walking distance of my house.  It would definitely be beneficial for me to do laps a couple of times a week.  It certainly won't hurt!

So I completed my longest run to date this morning.  It would have been fabulous if the storm held out until I got home.  I felt really good and ran 3.5k uphill, then 3.5k downhill.  I only had 1k left when the skies opened up and I got caught in a downpour.  I can't complain.  We needed rain so badly.  I was worried about my phone though.  It was tracking my run via Nike+ Running...which gave out at the last kilometer and I freaked out thinking that my phone got wet and stopped working.  That was not the case though and the app just stopped working...probably because I turned it off in my haste to make sure my phone wasn't getting wet.  So I'm a little bummed I didn't get to track my furthest run to date...but I'll track the next one!

Off to prepare for company.  One of my very best girlfriends is coming over today with her hubby and little girl.  Looking forward to seeing them since it's been quite a few months.  On my way to the supermarket to purchase some Phase 2 friendly foods to serve.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a glass of red wine today.  I'm allowed 4oz and I think I deserve it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The proof is in the pudding

I found the mother of "before" pictures.  These were taken in April 2010, when I was 40.  I had just ventured up to Cutler, Ontario to meet my birth mother.  These photographs were taken in her kitchen by one of my best friends, Nokomis.  Nokomis is a professional photographer and did an excellent job capturing my true self in April 2010.  Again, my husband is in denial that I ever looked like that.  But the proof is in the pudding (sugar free of course)!  Funny thing is, I thought I looked good in that purple shirt.  I'm pretty sure the shirt was a 3x and the pants were a size 24w.  I swear on my mother's grave, that I will do absolutely everything in my power to never look like that again.
I just went shopping today (with a I love my job), and purchased an outfit for $6 (blue shorts, orange top, above left).  The shorts were $2.50, the shirt $3.50.  What a deal.  I think I'm set for the summer.  I'm not buying anymore clothes since I will not fit into them by next summer.  I plan on being at my goal weight by then for sure, so no need to purchase things I can't wear past the next few months.  I saw lots of things I would have liked to buy, but replacing clothes gets expensive.

Someone made a comment to me the other day that they cannot believe that I have not "cheated" since I started my lifestyle change.  The only time I ate off plan was way back in November when I was a month and a half into the diet.  I ate a (by "a", I mean one) sushi roll (rice) and spent the remainder of the night on the toilet.  That was enough of a deterrent for me to never pull anything like that again.  That was the one and only time I ate off plan.  I have absolutely no reason to lie about that.  If I did cheat, I would certainly fess up about it.  I have nothing to hide.  

I did go on a 3 week hiatus in the winter, where I went on maintenance.  I was feeling bored with eating only Phase 1 and followed the maintenance plan, but didn't  have any processed carbs or sugar.  I mostly ate a lot more fruit and didn't limit my vegetables.  During that time I managed to lose a pound.  It didn't mean I wasn't still committed to my lifestyle, it only meant that I needed to take a little breather, refocus, then get back to work.  Since that time, I have not gone off plan again.

I'm constantly around "temptation".  Just yesterday at team meeting, there were tons of yummy treats.  And a cake for me!  It was to welcome me to the new team I joined.  Many of my new team members were not aware of what I can and cannot eat.  That's okay though.  It was a super nice gesture which I absolutely appreciated.  A "no thank-you" and a quick explanation about my lifestyle was all it took.  Everyone was super supportive and understanding.  Maybe they thought to get back at me by putting the left over treats right behind my desk.  LOL!!!!  

I have been off carbs and sugar for so long, that I truly no longer crave them.  That's why it is so easy for me to decline any offers of food that are not on my plan.  I never thought I could be this person.  Food used to be so important to me.  The focus of my life.  It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning.  Now all I think about is running.  Food works itself into the equation of running because it is the fuel for my body which I need in order to run.  I no longer let food control me.  If I ever think it will be a good idea to splurge on foods I shouldn't have, I will think of that woman in the purple shirt.  She's my past and I intend to keep her there.  Nothing is worth ever looking like that again.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Canada Day long weekend

I attempted to post yesterday, but my hubby insisted on watching a "The Skin I live In" on Netflix, so here's my very picture heavy post about what I did over the Canada Day long weekend.  First off we had a family gathering with my in-laws.  My big Italian family.  I always do well at family celebrations because there is always chicken and salad at every family function we go to.  This gathering did not disappoint because not only was there three kinds of roasted chicken, but also tossed salad, green bean salad, cucumber salad, and roasted veggies.  There was also Paella, sausages, the requisite dinner rolls and ice cream birthday cake, the only things I did not eat.  I did eat a few of the shrimps off the top of the Paella though. Aunt Nancy rocks! She inadvertently planned a menu I could totally eat.

On the left, we have tossed salad, three kinds of roasted chicken, and the sausages.  On the right we have the Paella, roasted veggies and green bean salad.  The shrimps on the Paella were very, very yummy!
This was my plate.  Chicken, shrimp, salad and
roasted veggies with green bean salad.
I'm not gonna lie, I had seconds!
We had family visiting from Sicily and it was really nice to see everyone again.  Many of these relatives haven't seen me since the winter.  That was 60+ pounds ago.  Some said they barely recognized me.  It was strange to feel like the centre of attention at first, but it died down pretty quickly and everyone returned to normal.  I always feel a moment of panic when people make a big deal over my weight-loss.  I'm getting better at just being gracious, thanking them for their compliment and moving on.   It's strange that I feel more self-conscious now when people comment about my weight-loss versus when I was 90+ pounds heavier and I walked around every day morbidly obese. Go figure!
La famiglia.  Only half...the other half were inside watching
Italy lose to Spain  in the Euro Cup.

I love this photo.  This is Jules and his little cousin.
He loves babies!
So after we left the family luncheon, we headed back home to feed the boy, let out the dog and then headed to Lynden Park for the annual Canada Day fireworks extravaganza.  I actually don't know if they call it that, but I have aptly named it that because it was a great show.  We met my gal Beverly there with her family and Jules had a blast playing with her boys.  It was a lot of fun and I was a bit nervous because Julien has never seen fireworks before.  I didn't know if he would be scared or not. He was a trooper.  He ended up having a great time.
Jules with his sword and shield.

Bev and I waiting for the fireworks to begin.
Is it me or is my head too large?

Happy birthday Canada!
Canada day was on Sunday, but Monday was the statutory holiday and everything was closed. Julien's day camp program began though which gave the hubby and I time to go out for a run right after we dropped him off.  We ran 3k with an average pace of 7:41 per kilometre.  That's fast for my hubby, and he said he should run with me more often because when he runs by himself, he runs much slower.  Unfortunately, we rarely get to run together because someone needs to watch the boy!

My hubby has the running bug now.  We're even discussing future family trips around marathons and/or beautiful places we could run.  I want to do the Walt Disney World Marathon in January 2014. I think it will be a great family trip and Bev, Greg and their boys are gonna come with us.  Hubby's freaked out about the distance (42.2K), but I think with the proper training, we'll do fine.  He's only 3 months behind me in running experience.  If all else fails, we can always do the 1/2 marathon.
Hubby and I after the run!
In the evening, even though the Running Room was closed, my 5k clinic decided to meet in Bayfront Park to do a talk about hills, a run and then do some hill repeats.  Hill repeats are basically running up a hill as fast as you can, running down leisurely to recover, then repeating. We were supposed to do three repeats, but due to the heat and humidity, we only did two.  Even with the weather conditions, we managed to clock 4k which brought my total mileage yesterday to 7k.  The most I've ever run in one day.

Yesterday was one of those bad run days for me.  Maybe it was because I ran in the morning, or the beef taco salad I ate the hour before, but I really felt sluggish and had cramps the whole time.  One of those few times where I did not feel like a million bucks when I ran.  It happens, but no matter, I still love to run!  I am not a good summer runner.  Give me the cold over the heat to run in any time.  I'm not looking forward to tomorrow's run.  It's supposed to be another scorcher!
Bev, me and Tanya in front.
Our fearless leader Eric in back.
This is after our second hill repeat.