Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The post about honoring my mother and the best diet you should follow to lose weight

One of my favorite pictures of my mom and me.  Even though I don't like the
way I looked, I loved my dress because my mom made it.  She passed away
nine months after my wedding.

Today is a somber day for me.  It's been ten years since my mother passed away.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  Every detail.  It was the time of SARS and since my mother had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and it affected her lymph nodes, she had severe respiratory problems at the end of her life.  So because of that, her final hours were spent in the SARS isolation ward at Scarborough General Hospital with me wearing an infectious disease suit (so I was unable to touch her skin to skin) with a full mask.  It chokes me up to write this right now because I just wanted to hold her hand and for her to be able to see the love on my face before she died. Her final moments were spent gasping for breath while someone in a plastic suit held her hand.  I knew she wasn't contagious, but the hospital staff would not let me in with her at all unless I wore the suit.  It still hurts my heart to this day.  At least she wasn't alone and I got to tell her I loved her while she was still conscious.

My slower than normal "tempo" run.  I don't care, I ran for my mom today.

During difficult times, I could turn to food.  I could but I won't.  I can think of no worse way to honor my mother than to eat off plan because I miss her.  Instead, I will honor her today, and always by treating my body with the care and respect that I know she would want me to.  This morning I ran. I ran a 10K steady run. It was supposed to be a tempo (faster than usual pace) run, but I wasn't mindful of my pace, I just ran. I ran and thought of my mom.  During my run this morning I heard Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton and the line, "Would you know my name, if I saw you in Heaven" had me wondering if my mother would recognize me if she saw me today. When I went to my cousin's farm on Saturday I approached another cousin who I hadn't seen in over a year and gave him a hug and started chatting with him.  It didn't dawn on me that he actually didn't know who I was right away. He just thought I was some random woman hugging him.  Then he saw my dad and was like "Oh, you've changed!"  I forget that I look so different.  Although it's been ten years, not a day goes by that I do not think of my mom.  She's still such a strong memory for me and I find that comforting.

My eats from the past two days.

I get asked all the time about diet advice.  I am not a medical professional and I cannot tell you what will and will not work for you.  I can only share my experiences with weight loss and what has worked for me. Everyone is different.  I know Weight Watchers works, because I follow blogs of people who have had tremendous success on WW.  It just didn't work for me.  I know that pre-packaged food plans work because again, I follow blogs of people who have successfully lost a lot of weight following these plans.  I also know that weight loss surgery works because, you guessed it, I follow blogs of people who have successfully lost weight after having weight loss surgery.  Then we get into the Paleo, Primal, Whole 30, whole foods,  high protein/low carb movement and you likely know how I feel about all those plans. That did work for me.

Anyhow, the question I get asked all the time?  Which one is the best.  Is it the one I followed? Not necessarily.  The short answer to that is, the best weight loss plan is the one that works for you.  I don't judge anyone for how they choose to lose weight.  I do not support unhealthy weight loss practices.  But if you want to have surgery, count points, drink shakes, or eat things that are only purple; if it will make you healthier, I'm all for it.  Unless there is a medical reason preventing it, we can all lose weight.  You just need to really be in the game.

Being in the game means you are ready to make changes for life.  It means that you may have to give up some of your favorite foods.  It means that you will have to adopt a lifestyle that may have been foreign to you in the past.  I ended up having to give up a lot of my favorite foods.  Luckily I like lean protein, eggs, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  Because that's all I eat right now.  I am sadly not one of those people who can eat anything in moderation.  Although I can eat nuts, they are definitely a food I need to limit because I can go waaaaaaaay over board with them. Just imagine what I would do with a batch of cookies or a bag of chips if I let myself have just one. Trust me, it would be a disaster.

Giving up grains, processed carbs, refined sugar, sweeteners, dairy, and anything that is not a "whole" food was the best thing I have ever done for myself.  I couldn't even imagine a year and a half ago that I would ever be able to run around my block, forget about a half marathon.  And here I am training for my first marathon.  Last summer I was running 32K per week in the month of August with my furthest distance being 9K (as per my Nike+ Running App).  I ran 10K this morning as part of my regular training.  Last week I ran 50K, this week I'll run 53K, and next month I'll be running up to 65K per week.  My pace has improved from 8:30 per kilometer, to 6:40 per kilometer. That's pretty significant progress and it all has to do with what I eat and how hard I train.

Have I become addicted to running? I'd have to say yes.  I think about running the same way I used to think about food.  It monopolizes my thoughts from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep.  I used to wake in the morning and start to plan my days eats in my head.  How many donuts I'd get or if I'd get to go through the drive-thru that day.  If I'd get to stop at the dollar store to buy my stash of jumbo rockets or assortment of chocolate bars.  Seriously, it was a severe addiction I had with the carbs and sugar.  Although I still think about food, it's more along the lines of "what can I eat that will be good fuel for my run tomorrow"? What will settle in my stomach well and give me the energy I need to complete my 6K, ,8K, 10K, 19K, hill repeats, speed work...whatever is on my schedule for the day.

Sure I longingly look at stuff at the grocery store that I shouldn't.  And at least once a day a binge crosses my mind.  But what keeps me in a much better head space is remembering why I did this (my son), and what keeps me doing this (the way I feel and that I actually like the way I look for the first time in my life EVER). And you really can't beat the runner's high.  Seriously, better than anything I ever smoked in high school and much healthier for you.  So my advice to you?  Find a lifestyle you can stick to long term and be true to yourself and respect the change.  And remember, the only people who can be sabotaged during the process are those that want to be. No one can make you do something you really don't want to.  And make sure your head is really in the game.  If it's not, you'll continue to "loop the loop".  (I'm trying to be cleaver there.  It's a yo yo trick:)

Love this.  I've seen other versions, but this is the funniest I've seen so far!