Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dream on

Spiderman...the captor of my heart.

One of the most asked questions I get from people who have been in my life a long time is...why now?  I've touched on this before and as I approach the one year anniversary of my "lifestyle" change (September 17th), I'm thinking a lot about a dream I used to have quite frequently.  Last summer I would vividly dream about being healthy and in shape.  Although I haven't reached goal yet, I'm having moments of deja vu.  I realize now that the deja vu I'm experiencing is my old dream.

In my dream, I could feel my hip bones and bones all over my body in general.  Much like I do now. But the dream was so realistic that I would wake up thinking for sure it wasn't a dream and I just woke up in a "fit" body.  If only!  Since life doesn't work that way, I knew that I would have to do something to get to my "healthy place" because since I had a taste of it, I craved it and wanted to feel the real thing.

What is different now is that I just knew it was time.  I knew I had to get control of my life once and for all.  The dream (paired with the trip to Virginia) was, in a sense, my catalyst and I just knew that I had to act on it.  I had made the effort to quit smoking (after 15 years) in 2000 to be a healthier person, but I continued to kill myself with food.  Once my son was born, I looked into gastric bypass surgery, and almost went that route, but in one last ditch effort to not do something I thought was my last resort (the surgery), I got the referral to Dr. Poon's clinic from my family doctor, and the rest is history.

So many times I hear people say that they would do anything for their children, that they would die for their children.  I had to get healthy for my son so I could live for him.  Last summer I could do nothing with him due to my size and lack of energy.  I would just lie around claiming I was too tired to play, or leave the house.  This has been the best summer I have ever had.  I did so much with my family and we had so much fun and made tons of memories.  I'm relieved my son can't remember last summer when all I said was "no" to his requests to do something with me.  Makes me sad to think that I let him down.

So in answer to the very legitimate question of "why now"...because I really will do anything for my son and because I want to be part of his life, not just in it.  I thought (and everyone else assumed) I loved food most in my life because I was 130 pounds overweight.  But this past year has taught me that I actually love my family much more than I could ever love any food.  And I have learned to love myself more.  Much more than I ever thought possible.  I can't picture myself lying on the couch eating a bag of Lay's chips ever again.  The thought makes me very anxious and uneasy.

After I admitted to eating 4 cups of popcorn last week instead of the allowed 2 cups, some friends and family asked me what the big deal was.  The big deal is that I ate the popcorn because it was there.  I ate it because I could.  I was reverting back into "bingy" behaviour, and for me it is just so not worth it.  That's exactly the kind of behaviour that got me to almost 300 pounds.  That is why it is such a big deal and why I have to make the concerted effort not to repeat it.  Brings me back to a place I don't ever want to be again.  Not in control of myself or my eating.  I have way to much to live for.  What about you?

Makes my heart swell to see him so happy.

Happy, healthy parents ensure a happy, healthy child.

Storybook Gardens, London Ontario
August 30th, 2012

Storybook Gardens, London Ontario
August 30th, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Long Point Provincial Park

The old homestead for two days.

Camping is over.  It was lots of fun; VERY sandy and VERY wet.  We arrived in Port Rowan on Sunday just after 2pm.  Checked in and set up camp right away.  I've never camped in sand before, and I really didn't mind it.  Sure sand got in absolutely everything, but it comes off with a quick shake.  After we set up camp, we headed to the beach for a was right beside our site. The beach was beautiful.

We had a late dinner made over the grill, and settled in around the campfire for the night.  I put Jules to bed around 10pm, and the wind started to pick up when I joined the group again.  It was warm, but windy.  Very windy.  I packed it in around midnight, and the wind kept me awake until about 3:30am.  I woke up the next morning just before 7, to find the skies very cloudy and the wind blowing strong.

Day two of our camping adventure was a complete write off.  I spent the entire day huddled under a patio umbrella with my hubby and girlfriend (who joined us with her family), while the kids and her hubby hung out in their ginormous tent!  Good times!  The rain just did not want to let up...and my gf claimed I was the biggest smack talker ever because at least once per hour, I swore I saw it clearing to the south of us.  I stopped talking smack around 6pm, when the skies finally began to clear.

Day three of the camping trip brought us to today.  I spent the morning packing up for our trip back to the city.  So all in all, I spent about an hour at the beach relaxing before spending an entire day soaking wet and very cold.  Sounds miserable and sob provoking, but I can't wait to go back next year!  This camping trip was a test to see how Jules would do.  He loved it, as did my niece, so we're definitely going back next year for a Monday to Friday gig.  To much work to only go for a couple of nights.

I have two camping regrets.  I did not take any pictures (I no longer have a camera, my phone was dying and there was no electrical), and I did not get the chance to run.  With the rain and the rushing to do chores and either set-up or pack up, I missed my beginning of the week run.  I haven't done that in a long time (and that time I was sick) and I feel HORRIBLE about it.  I've re-worked my running schedule so I can get in at least 30k this week, but I'm pretty much running everyday for the rest of the week.  Not a good plan if you're trying to prevent injury.  I may just have to rest on Saturday and accept that I'm gonna be running less than usual...'cos I can't be getting injured!

My eating was spot on during the camping trip.  Lots of meat grilled over an open camp fire.  A high protein dieter's dream!  Right now I'm in the middle of doing a mountain of laundry...and I'm not looking forward to the trip to the laundry mat tomorrow to wash the pillows, comforter and sleeping bags.  I have a love/hate relationship with campfire.  I love the way it smells when I'm sitting around it, but hate that I have to wash absolutely everything...even the "clean" clothes once you're back home.

All in all it was an enjoyable three days, even with the rain.  I wish it hadn't rained, but it was what it was.  We kept our spirits high, the kids had fun, and all was not lost.  My gf and her hubby brought three cameras and will share their photos with us!  Good friends, good times.  Creating lasting memories for our children!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Phase 2 friendly chicken ratatouille

I'm trying to get my very large amount of camping stuff organized before we leave on our trip tomorrow, so this is going to be a quick recipe post.  And I haven't posted any new recipes in a very long time.  Mostly because all I do in the summer is BBQ.  So it's been grilled meat and veggies for the last three months!  My hubby LOVED this when I made it last week.  It's a quick and easy chicken dish with very few ingredients.

All you need is:

  1. a large skillet
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  3. 1/2 salt and pepper
  4. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  6. 1 medium sized onion sliced
  7. 1/2 large or one smallish eggplant cubed
  8. 2 small zucchini sliced
  9. 1 can of sodium free tomatoes. I get mine at Fortinos (Loblaws).
  10. 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
So all you do is salt and pepper the chicken breast, then brown it in a bit of olive oil.  Once the chicken has cooked part way (about 10 minutes), you add the rest of the ingredients, cover the skillet and let it cook for another 20 minutes, until the veggies have gotten soft.  Easy peasy!  That is it!  Finito:) Enjoy!

I submitted my W.I.D.T.H. (why I do this here) to Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit.  Jack posts W.I.D.T.H. on Saturdays and Jules and I were this week's post. Click on the link above to check it out.

Who knew that you needed so much stuff to camp for two days.  You'd think we were going for two weeks!  I'm not sure how we're gonna fit everything in our Hyundai Tucson.  My niece is coming with us, so space is at a premium.  I over pack all the time, but you can never be too careful when you have kids with you.  I'm really looking forward to getting out of the city for a few days.  The beach is supposed to be beautiful, so I'm gonna be a bum for a couple of days.  Not too much of a bum though...I have to get my long run in on Monday morning:)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Her loss is her gain

My NSV (non-scale victory) for the week.
Wearing horizontal stripes! Jules is not a bad photog:)

The title of this post is also the title of a local newspaper article...written about me!  That's right folks, I was featured in the Hamilton Spectator.  A big shout out to my good friend Scott who submitted my blog as a story idea.  The Lifestyle editor was interested and the rest is history!  You can read the full article here.  Not the most flattering photo of me.  For the love of Pete, I'm holding a glass of wine and I look sh*t-faced drunk!  It's strange to see yourself in print.  I guess the newspaper is not much different than having a blog.  Well one difference is I got 800 more hits to my blog than usual today.  I can thank Scott and Hillary (the writer of the article) for that!

I'm a big fat liar.  I know I promised myself I would not run today, but I felt the need to lace up this morning and head out on the old Rail Trail.  Part of the reason for that is because last night, I ate more than my allowed 2 cups of air popped pop corn.  That's right, I'm fessing up to a cheat!  I'm sure I had closer to 4 cups.  I had to remedy that stat.  I ran 6k this morning and burned 500 calories.  I felt a whole lot better for it and have now resolved that I can not have popcorn.  Snack foods are too much of a trigger for me and I find it much easier to stay on plan when I cut them out of my life.  So back to strict Phase One I go for a few days.  No  more "snacky" foods for me.  I don't need them, and I don't miss them when I don't have them.  Too slippery a slope for this girl:)

I don't have a weigh-in scheduled as yet.  I have to wait until I go back to work after Labour Day and work out my schedule.  Once I plan appointments, I can determine when my next official weigh-in will be.  If I don't make it to the clinic before September 8th, that will be the day of my next "unofficial" weigh-in.  It would mark 4 weeks since my last weigh-in.  It's also the date of the Bright Run, my next race that's not really a race because it's not timed.  But I do get a technical t-shirt and a medal!

Pretty kitty.

Today we had a fun day at Safari Niagara.  It's a small zoo just outside of Niagara Falls.  It has all the majorly important zoo animals and also has a HUGE playground and an impressive splash pad.  Julien had a blast and I loved that we paid half price 'cos we got a Groupon!  Love Groupon.  I may actually purchase a restaurant one so we can go out for our 10th wedding anniversary this coming November.  Now I just need to find myself a sitter!

I'm being very hopeful that this wonderful weather will continue.  We're going camping from Sunday until Tuesday.  I haven't been camping in years!  I'm really looking forward to it, but not so much to the planning and prep that goes along with it.  Tomorrow I have to start going through all the camping gear which of course includes setting up the tent.  Nothing worse than getting to your sight to find out that you're short a tent pole.  We're going with friends that have a little guy who's just a little older than Jules.  My niece is also going to come with us, so I'm looking forward to a fun time! Off to catch up on some blogs.  I've been somewhat negligent lately.

The men in my life.

When you gotta go, you gotta go!

Water fun!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Let's go to the Ex!

I am pooped!  I was up this morning before 7am so I could do my long run for the week.  I failed to mention that last Friday I conquered my first 9k run.  I repeated that today.  I'm amazed that I can run 9k, first thing in the morning, without any food in my stomach.  Just water.  When I get back from my run, I'm famished...but during I'm good.  My blister issues seemed to have moved on. Once my blisters healed, they haven't been back and I've continued to wear the technical socks. So running is again feeling good on the feet.  Thank goodness.  One of my greatest fears right now is that something will happen and I won't be able to run anymore.  My husband says I'm obsessed, and maybe he's right.  It's got to be better that I'm addicted to running than carbs and sugar!

Hard to see because of the sun shadows...
but it says 4.5.  This is where I turn and run
back 4.5k for a total of 9k.

Me, just in front of the 4.5k marker.

After I got back from my run, I cleaned up the house, showered, got the boy ready for his day, made an early lunch, packed up a nap sack full of sweaters, water, phase 2 friendly snacks (hard boiled eggs, veggie sticks, raw almonds), and headed out to the Canadian National Exhibition, or the CNE, or simply "the Ex".  I have been going to the Ex my entire life.  My mother brought us every year and it was the unofficial closing to the summer around these parts.  Once the Ex started, school was just around the corner.  Nothing much has changed over the past twenty years or so...but it was sooooooooo much better when I was young.  I have very fond memories of the Ex growing up.  It probably started going down hill in the 80's, but no matter, it's been a tradition my whole life and one I'll continue with Julien.

They have the famous food building at the Ex which is basically a place where a hundred plus food vendors set up shop.  Now they sell things like, donut burgers, deep fried fudge, bacon wrapped chocolate, deep fried butter...they basically deep fry anything they can get their hands on.  Some people claim you cannot go to the Ex and eat healthy.  I beg to differ.  I brought lots of snacks that I am allowed, and as soon as I got into the food building, I saw no less than a dozen different places I could eat.

There was lots of Mediterranean vendors (shish-kebab and salad), a Subway (salad), and of course Swiss Chalet (rotisserie chicken).  I stuck to my old faithful Swiss Chalet and got a side salad with a half chicken.  I stayed on plan and was full when I was done.  Swiss Chalet is high in sodium, but I drank like a fish all day.  The Ex was equipped with water bottle filling stations everywhere. The only way I wasn't going to stay on plan at the Ex, was because I chose to eat off plan.  No thanks, I love the way I feel.  I have endless amounts of energy (or so it would seem), so I have no problem keeping up with my little guy, and then some.  All it took to stay true to myself was a little will power and some planning.  And all that deep fried stuff I mentioned...It really looked gross!  I wasn't missing a thing.

My very yummy, on plan dinner!

Maybe I do have endless energy.  After walking around the Ex for 7 hours, I came home and walked the dog 6k before sitting down to write this blog post!  Crazy you may say?  I find that lately I cannot sit still.  Tomorrow will be much less active.  I only plan to recreationally swim with the boy and walk the dog.  Oops, just remembered, I have to do my practice run with my Learn to Run clinic tomorrow.  Okay, Thursday will be much less active!  I promise myself, I will not run on Thursday.  I leave you with some shots of our day!

Enjoying something I couldn't do last summer!
Fit comfortably into rides.

Thrilled that he got to sit in a real fire truck.

The kiddie midway from the ferris wheel.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stryker Dundas Cactus 5k

The Medal!
Today I ran the Stryker Dundas Cactus5k.  What a fabulous race and morning!  I got to experience my hubby's first race ever.  He did a commendable 38:54 gun time, and 38:46 chip time. That is great for a virgin race, especially since he only started running June 3rd.  I'm very, very proud. Check out our post race after-glow:)
I should have fixed his medal before pictures!
My gal Beverly was out in full force.  She has been feeling like utter shite of late as there is a virus going through her house, but she ran and did a bitch'in job.  Made a new PR for herself...a sub 35 minute 5k.  She killed it!  I could see her about 50 meters ahead of me the whole way.  She's a real trooper!  Love this girl:)
Truly, she's sick. doesn't look it though...
'cos she just got a medal!
My race was very good.  I got a new PR.  36:09!!!!!!!!!!! That's 1:41 better than my last chip time. My goal was to do a sub 37 race and I delivered baby.  There was even a hill at the end thrown in for good measure.  No matter...I killed it!  I'm very happy with my result.  My next race is the Bright Run on September 8th.  It's not chip timed, but there is a medal.  I'll track with my Nike + Running App, and it will be unofficial, but we'll see if I can do a sub 36 for the next 5k.
Three running amigos:)
Again, my hubby's medal is killing me!
Yesterday, my running gal Pauline left to go back to Paris.  It was fabulous meeting her and I also met a young lady named Emiko from Japan through Pauline.  Emiko is returning to Japan next month.  Pauline will be missed.  She was a lovely young woman and I truly enjoyed meeting her and getting to know her better.  She has invited me and Beverly to Paris to run a race.  For me, that won't happen for a bit of time yet.  I need to save up for that!  But it would be tons of fun none the less.  Looking forward to it!

Pauline hosted a really lovely brunch the day she left.  She put a lot of work into it and I felt bad though...due to illness and other engagements, only my family was able to attend, and she made tons of food.  And I couldn't eat most of it!  My hubby made an admirable job of making a dent into the buffet she served.  I could only have a bit of fruit, some turkey, and tossed salad!  No worry though, hubby made off with a great doggy bag and Emiko is left with enough food for the rest of the week!  Au revoir Pauline!  My life is fuller because I met you:)
The delicious French spread Pauline made!

Me, Pauline and Emiko.
I have awesome people in my life.  I went to one of my very best girlfriend's baby daughter's first birthday yesterday.  Sharon is going to give my hubby a mountain bike to replace the one that was stolen.   What a fantastic thing to do for us.  Her hubby has two, and he's willing to part with one. They are fabulous, self-less people and have an adorable daughter to boot!  Very picture heavy post 'cos I have to include some shots of my hubby coming over the finish line!
Almost there!

Running across the finish line.
Way to crush it baby:)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pants on the ground

So I should clear a few things up before I get into the "meat" of my post.  First off, I never said what my height was.  Someone mentioned that in one of comments, and funny enough I had wondered if I ever shared it.  I'm 5'7".  Really 5'6 and 3/4 inches...but I'm giving myself the extra 1/4 inch.  Just like my hubby likes to say that he's 6 feet, when he's really 5'11 and 1/2".  So there you have it.  I weigh 186 (at last check) and am 5'7".  What that looks like is someone who comfortably fits into size 12 capris.

The next order of business is that I totally forgot to mention that I was once again overwhelmed by the outpouring of congratulations on my loss of a two month old horse.  I thank one and all, and ask that if you find said horse, I do not want it back!  Please find him a new home.

Let us now move from horses to butterflies.  Heloise has been in the back of mind for a couple of months now.  I really and truly do want to get her altered, but I can not afford to at this time.  I was quoted $140 for her transformation and although it may not sound like a lot to some, it is a huge amount to me right now because we are a single income family.  My hubby is a stay-at-home-dad, and with dishing out all the extra money to do summer stuff, I don't have $140 kicking around.  So Heloise is gonna become my goal weight tattoo.  This gives me a few more months, and therefore time to save up for her.  I feel like such a tool because a co-worker emailed me a Fab Find (similar to Groupon) where I could have gotten an hour session at a tattoo parlor in Toronto for $40. Heloise wouldn't have taken longer than 40 minutes.  I was leery though because it was a coupon for a tattoo parlor!

Finally, I mentioned a few posts ago that me and my hubby were running the Stryker Dundas Cactus 5k last weekend.  It's actually this weekend that we're running it.  And I just found out today from Enz, that there is no medal.  There was some bad advertising there.  The post card ad for the race showed a medal...making one assume that you would get one if you ran it!  That sucks! But at least it is for a good charitable cause.  Ronald McDonald House.  Hubby's way more bummed than me.  At least it's chip timed.

So yesterday I got something in the mail that I was initially excited about because it meant I could save up points and save money for clothes.  Problem is, it was the VIP program for Addition Elle. Addition Elle was one of my favorite plus sized clothing stores.  The catalogue was beautiful and it had some really nice clothes in it.  Then I remembered that I can no longer shop at a plus sized store because I don't fit into the smallest plus size.  That made me even happier.

I wore a pair of size 16 jeans to work today...without a belt.  More than one person commented that my clothes were waaaaaaaaaay to big for me and I needed new pants.  It is true.  I need new clothes for the fall.    I will retire my size 16's...even with a belt.   Wearing clothes that are too big is not slimming...and I feel like a rapper!  A look I am just not fly enough to pull off.

There is something on the horizon that I'm quite excited about...stay tuned for further details.  It should be available for public viewing this weekend.  Until then, you'll have to wait with baited breath...Laters baby:)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Olympic craziness!

Before I get into what my hubby thought was a little craziness on my part over the weekend, I thought I would share my sucky story from this morning.  I'm laying in bed around 6:45 am, contemplating getting out of bed so I can run 8k before heading off to work.  I can hear my cat going nuts.  She's doing the high-pitched meow that lasts 30 seconds, like she does when she sees another cat outside.  My dog is also whining at the bottom of the stairs and I just assume that they are reacting to some animal in the yard.  I also hear a bike out front and a couple of men talking.  Not uncommon because it's garbage day and many people look through recycling for bottles and cans to return to the beer store.

Anyway, I get up, brush my teeth, dress in running gear, and come downstairs to get my shoes and head out for my run.  As I'm sitting on the coffee table putting on my runners, I notice our gate is open.  I look out and of course someone stole my husband's bike. And the worst thing is, I listened to it happen 20 minutes earlier!  Man that SUCKS!  Enough already, I have to move on. But nothing is more heart breaking than listening to your 4 year old cry because he and daddy won't be able to ride bikes anymore...and I have no money to replace the bike right now.  Poor Jules!

So I woke up on Sunday morning at 5am to go to Domestique Cafe in Dundas, Ontario to watch the Men's Marathon on the Olympics.  We had three Canadians running in the marathon.  Dylan Wykes (placed 20th), Eric Gillis (placed 22nd) and Hamilton's own Reid Coolsaet (placed 27th). Reid had a tough run.  You can read about it on his blog FLOAT ON.  Although Canada didn't get a medal, and I actually didn't even get a glimpse of a Canadian runner, it was still a great experience and I had a blast.  Afterwards, we (we were all runners) went to the Running Room for 8:30am and did our Sunday practice run.  We made the local news, but I don't get the Hamilton station, so I never saw it.

Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda won the marathon with a time of 2:08:01.  Forty-two point two kilometers in two hours and eight minutes?  That's insane!  When he crossed the finish line, I got a little emotional.  Just seeing the joy on his face choked me up and it made me truly appreciate the dedication and hard work of these athletes.  Also made me want to have a good run! Truly inspiring! Just in case you're wondering...I DID NOT eat the cookies.  I had 2 cups of coffee and a protein bar.  After our run, Beverly and I went to Wimpy's Diner and had omelets.  A good morning overall:)

Very cool cookies!
Great crowd to hang with:)
I'm back to work for one week, before I'm off for two more again.  I have eaten out twice already. Yesterday I went to Swiss Chalet and had a half roasted chicken with a Greek salad side, and today I went to the Mandarin and had a ton of grilled chicken, flank steak and lots of veggies.  I ate till I was full and did not eat dinner because I'm still not hungry and it's 7:45pm.  It's easier to drink water when I'm working because it's part of my daily routine.  I tend to drink less when I'm home because I forget to!  I was glad to get back to work for the week.  I needed a little vacation from vacation.  We do have fun stuff planned for the last two weeks before school starts.  We'll likely go to the CNE, Safari Niagara, Storybook Gardens, and of course, we're going camping.  So lots of fun still to be had!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I have lost a two month old horse!

I have officially lost 100 pounds!  103 to be exact!  The equivalent of a two month old horse.  Last August, when I got weighed at Dr. Pitt's office, I weighed in at 289.  This morning I weighed in at 186.  Curiosity got the better of me and I had to step on the scale.  It's been a month since I was last weighed.  I lost 9 pounds this past month.  That's just over 2 pounds a week, and I'll take it!  I did weigh in the 180's over 12 years ago, but it was only for a very short time and I think my all time lowest weight was 185 if I remember correctly.

I went to visit one of my best and oldest girlfriends Elin last night.  We met in college when I was 18, and I've been friends with her and her hubby (they met at the same time we did) ever since.  I'm God-mother to her oldest daughter and she was looking through baby pictures of Sydney because it was her 17th birthday two days ago.  Elin came across a couple of before pictures of me.  I look very young, and very huge.  A family of four could have used that dress to picnic on.  I'm probably my biggest ever here.  Likely close to or just over 300 pounds.
Taken at Sydney's baptism.
I don't remember ever being that big,
but clearly I was!
Much thanks to Elin for sharing these with me and reminding me how far I have come.  I'm trying to talk her hubby Scott into getting a partner and running the 2 person relay in the Around the Bay 30k.  We could run the second half together!  And I'd have someone to do hill training with!  And just so you all know...smack talk is officially over.  Beverly and I are registered for the 2 person relay in the Around the Bay.  Our team name has been registered as Runapalooza, and we're getting t-shirts made!  I'm both excited and scared.  I love having this goal to work towards and look forward to sharing this experience with Beverly.

I forgot to mention my huge NSV (non-scale victory) from this past Tuesday.  I went to Wild Waterworks, a water park in Hamilton, and walked around for 4 hours, going on slides, lazy rivers, wave pools etc. in a bathing suit and without a cover-up.  My body is less than perfect, but it was liberating to not care because I lost 100 pounds!  I was not the biggest person there and I didn't just sit and watch the fun from the sidelines.  I got to have fun with my boy and that is worth so much more than any junk food I could eat.

Last year we went to Williamsburg, Virginia and I had to watch while Jules and my hubby went on all the rides at Busch Gardens and played in Water Country USA.  Julien wanted me to do things with him and I couldn't because I was too big.  I will never again do that to him.  He is a precious, beautiful boy who deserves to have a mother who can and will enjoy his childhood.  And I deserve it too!  When he saw the picture of me in the red dress, he looked disturbed and asked how I got from being so fat to looking like I do now.  It's hard to explain weight-loss and exercise to a four year old.  That is why I have to lead by example.  We do lots of active things as a family and model good eating habits.  His health and happiness, along with my own is one of my main priorities now and always.

August marks the anniversary of my mother's death, as well as her birthday.  She was born August 3rd and died August 7th. She would have been 81 this past birthday and she's been dead nine years now.  I can't believe that she has been gone for so long.  I miss her everyday and I just know she's smiling down at me.  I still hear her voice in my head, especially when I'm struggling and think I want to eat something I shouldn't.  "Is it really worth it Leigh Anna?"  No it's not mom, thanks for the reminder:)
Elin and I.  I had the giggles.
Camera malfunction.
The money shot!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

You put the balm on? Who told you to put the balm on?

They should use him as their spokes model...
he loves using the balm on his mosquito bites!
And he's super cute to boot!

This is my newest discovery!  Love this stuff.  Thanks to my brilliant in-laws (brother and sister), for introducing Bag Balm to me!  That's right, it's for chapped and caked bovine teats, but works beautifully on human skin as well.  Just read this testimonial from Shania Twain.  And just in case you're wondering, it also works marvelously on human teats.  Those would be my husband's teats. He has developed chaffed nipples from running and applied some Bag Balm to said nipples...problem solved. Works wonderfully for chaffing of any kind, problem skin areas (hands, feet, elbows), and also works as an antiseptic (ie: pimples and mosquito bites, cuts and abrasions).  Many products in one jar!  Now if I could only get my husband to stop reciting this scene from Seinfeld every time he puts the balm on.

Moving right along.  I was excited to run yesterday with my gal Beverly.  We haven't run together in a couple of weeks because she was away on vacay.  I missed her and our runs terribly, but the world has returned to normal once more now that she is back.  She is going to be my relay partner in the Around the Bay 30k race this coming March.  We need to get off our asses and quit talking smack and register already.  It's not a reality until I have the registration confirmation number in my hot little hands.

Speaking of hands, I went to get my nails filled this morning and my manicurist kept staring at me. I haven't seen him for three weeks and he kept staring and staring at me.  I finally asked him what was up and he said I looked very different to him today.  It hasn't been that long since we've seen each other and he says I've lost more weight.  I know that I have because my clothes are once again baggy.  I have three sizes right now.  Size 16's I'm wearing with a belt, 14's that are getting very loose, and one pair of size 12's that I'm fitting into comfortably.  I need another wardrobe overhaul, but it hurts to spend more money.  I can't wait until I reach goal and can just stay at the same size indefinitely.  Or at least I better be at the same size indefinitely.  I won't accept anything less!

This weekend, my hubby and I are gonna run our first race together!  The Stryker Dundas Cactus 5k.  I'm VERY excited to be sharing this experience with him.  He's come so far since he started running on our birthday (June 3rd).  He's only a few months behind me in running experience, but has a solid pace and is working on his distance.  He can do 5k, but I know he'll be nervous race day.  I was the first  time I raced.  

My running clinic is going well.  My girlfriend Karen, who I've known since JK, is doing fabulous. I'm so proud of her for coming back every week. I know it's not easy, especially at the beginning. When I think back to March when I started running, it was hardest the first month.  You wouldn't think so because I was running 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 intervals...but I wanted to give up many, many times.  I have to thank Enz for keeping me motivated.  

Once you build yourself up to a certain time of running (for me it was 5:1 intervals), it becomes so much easier.  Even now, the first 5 minutes is the hardest.  Once my breathing regulates, I can just keep on going and the rest of the run is almost easy.  ALMOST!  So if you're just starting out with running, or any kind of physical activity, you will be surprised how much easier it gets once you get your breathing under control.  Just don't give up.  Our bodies can do amazing things!

My Sweaty Band courtesy of Katie J!
Thanks Katie:)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

There's no crying in running!

Taken this morning at the beginning/end point
of the rail trail. This is after my 8k and that is a pained
 grimace you see on my face.
This morning I ran 8.2 kilometers.  That's 5 miles to my American friends.  This is considered my long run for the week.  In a couple more weeks, I should be able to move up to 9k.  Not too shabby.  I bought technical running socks.  They are super expensive and the only reason I purchased them now, is because of my employee discount at the Running Room.  I have worn cotton up until now, and have been told that I am lucky because I have gotten away with cotton for so long.  Since cotton holds in moisture, it causes chafing and blistering when running or doing any kind of physical activity.

On Sunday, I put on my new socks and went for a run.  I found that they were very slippery and I actually had to use the eyelet holes in my runners for the first time ever.  Using the very top holes and crossing your laces through bunny ears, causes your heel to stay put and therefore is supposed to prevent slippage.  It does work, but I could still feel some discomfort on the second toe of my right foot.  Yesterday I only ran 2k with my Learn to Run clinic.  I was exhausted yesterday and needed to go to bed at 10:30pm.  I was going to take Finn for our nightly walk, but just couldn't do it.  I needed a day of rest.  And I knew I was going to do my long run in the morning.  Plus, Finn got to swim at the beach for 2 hours, so he was well exercised.

So back to this morning...I put on my technical socks, lace up using my eyelets and head out to the escarpment trail near my house.  This is the trail where the first 4k that I run is all up hill.  The elevation actually changes from 50m to 141m.  So that's an incline of  91m or just under 300 feet. Anywho, I'm running and I can feel my second right toe my uber expensive technical socks.  By the time I get to the 6k point, I sort of want to start sobbing, but I refuse to stop because I only have 2k left to go.  I finally finish with a less than stellar time, and hobble home to find this.
I know, I know I need a pedicure.  Big blister,
top left on second toe.
It was a joy to burst and I'm really not sold on the technical socks right now.  Maybe I need to try a different brand.  I got talked into fairly expensive ones, but I'm gonna check out the cheaper Adidas brand I had my eye on.  The socks I wore up until now were Anne Klein sport socks that I got at Marshall's for super cheap.  I never got blisters in them.  I need to rectify this situation stat because with my regular runs, plus my clinic runs, I ran over 30k (18.6 miles) last week.  And I walked 36k (22.3 miles) with my pooch.  That's a lot of mileage.  And I need to be blister free.

We spent yesterday afternoon at the beach and were lucky enough to find a fairly secluded spot. Key when you have a dog with you.  It was also a holiday, so people were enjoying the beautiful sunshine in full force.  I played with Finn for most of the time while hubby played in the water with Jules.  We only stayed for a couple hours because I had to get back home to prepare for my Running Room clinic.  Fun was had by all and now I'm preparing a picnic because we're going to Wild Waterworks, a water park near our house.  I'm going for 4pm, because it's 1/2 price and I'm preparing our dinner, because they sell crap food there.  If I don't plan ahead, then I plan to fail!  Enjoy the rest of this beautiful day!
Finn doing what he loves best!
Hubby and Jules in the background.

Hubby and Jules enjoying the water.
If you look closely in the distant right,
you can see Toronto.

My walking partner.  Isn't he handsome?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wasaga fun!

I feel like I haven't posted in forever...but it's only been 4 days.  We went on an overnight trip to my sister-in-law's (husband's sister) trailer up in Wasaga Beach.  Jules had a BLAST and he didn't want to leave.  Mostly because they have very old video games up there and he wanted to play CONSTANTLY.  We don't have video games at our house, so he was in heaven.  We did make him do outside stuff too, but as we drove away, he asked when we could come back so he could play more video games.  Really?  And now our house is boring.

I love going up to the trailer and we make the trip at least once a summer.  It's just great to get out of the city and spend time with family.  I brought a bunch of food (for everyone) that was Phase 2 friendly, so I know I ate well.  I did indulge in a bit of wine...but I got up bright and early the next day and ran through the trailer park at 7:30 am.  So quiet and peaceful, it was definitely one of my most enjoyable runs.  I ran 5.6k.  I was going to go longer, but  had to get back to Hamilton to teach my clinic and knew I'd be running 2 more times before the day was through.  All in all I ran 10k on Friday, and walked 6k with my pooch.  I burned over 1000 calories so I think that made up for my wine on Thursday!

I still have not weighed myself since my last doctor's appointment on July 9th. This is what I know though.  I have continued to eat on plan and exercise regularly (more about that in a minute).  My size 14 shorts are getting too baggy on me and one pair in particular, I can put on and take off without undoing the button or zipper.  I can wear my only pair of size 12 capris comfortably and I couldn't fit into them last month.  My sister-in-law told me that my bathing suit was too big on me now.  I just bought it in June!  I need new clothes again, particularly tops because large is too big for me.  I can't freaking believe that I need medium tops!  Last summer I was wearing 3x tops and now I need MEDIUM.  Who would have thunk?

I'm holding off on weighing myself because I want to really feel the changes in my body without seeing what number it is.  I'm learning a lot about being in tune with myself.  It may sound hokey, but I feel at one with myself.  I just giggled a bit when I wrote that.  But you know what I mean?  I know exactly what kinds of foods fuel my body best, and when I crave exercise (which is all the time), I have to deliver.  Lately I have been exercising daily.  Not running, but I have been swimming and walking my dog every night.  Finn and I walk a brisk 6k.  By brisk, I mean he walks me.  He's half husky and I have to almost jog to keep up with him.  So walking every night, swimming a few times a week, and running at least 4 times per week.  Lots of exercise, and it's addictive!

I'm off work for pretty much the rest of the summer (except the week of the 13th), so I won't be going back to see Dr. Stephen until September.  I'm going to wait until then and just keep doing what I'm doing.  I love a good surprise and I'll just keep plugging along.  I miss my weigh-in treat day (where I get a few Poon approved snacks...and eat them all in the same day), but I've done fine without.  They weren't "real food" and I try to only eat non-processed foods.  Those little fake chocolates were tasty though!

Since I have the employee discount at the Running Room, I have completely outfitted my husband for the next couple of seasons.  He is good to go.  I'm not buying fall/winter running gear until much later.  I have to wait and see where I am weight wise.  I have also decided not to join the 10k clinic that starts next week.  It would keep me out of my house yet another night, and I need to spend time with the boy.  I did purchase John Stanton's book though.  It has all the training programs in it and I'm going to do it on my own.  I still have my running gal Beverly to run with.  I'll especially make sure she does the hill repeats with me since she loves doing hills so much.

It's a long weekend here in Ontario.  It's Simcoe Day on Monday in honour of the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada and the promulgator of the Act Against Slavery, John Graves Simcoe.  Sounds like he was a righteous man who did some really good stuff.  I'm appreciative of his efforts because not only did he have a huge hand in abolishing slavery in Upper Canada, but I get a holiday the first weekend in August.  Thank you John Graves Simcoe!  I leave you with our Wasaga Beach photos.
Returning from his morning run.
He's wearing his new dri-fit top, shorts and Running Room fuel belt. 

Relaxing after his shower...and the morning run.
Nice bruise on my leg!
Hubby and Jules checking out the water temperature.
It was nice and warm.

Family and friends.

Not too crowded...yet.  We left just before the holiday crowds came up.

Playing frisbee.

Check out his form.

Self portrait.