Sunday, December 14, 2014

The post about a blogging break...

Back in 2015...

  • I know I've been MIA for a bit. I've not fallen off the rails or anything. I'm 4 weeks in with no wine, fruit, nuts or sweet potato. My next weigh-in is on Wednesday. I'm still posting my food journals and weigh-ins on my Instagram and Facebook page. And I will keep doing that as I take a blogging break for the rest of the year. 
  • This is a hectic time. I'm trying to juggle work, family, training, life. And I'm also doing some soul searching. I think it's been quite evident that I have lost the blogging bug over the past 6 months or so. It's become more of a chore for me and I don't like that. I used to blog regularly without issue and with ease. Now I find myself struggling to come up with anything interesting or useful to say. My day to day life really is futile and boring. I say the same thing over and over. "Food is fuel, running is my savior." To be honest, I find myself super dull. Reading back a year ago, I was much more fun.
  • I'm also on a counselling break. Just till after the New Year. My counselor is taking some much needed time off. But she has given me some food for thought. I am still trying really hard to find "self". I've no idea who I am anymore. Who knew that 2 years in at being "normal size" would still see me struggling with my self identity and confidence? I never saw this coming. That notion that losing weight will bring you instant happiness? Not always the case unless you are emotionally ready for your life, your image, your sense of security (for me it was my extra weight) to completely change. I mean I'm never going back to how I was, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that self confidence continues to be a daily struggle.
  • Jeez, even this post is getting depressing. I'm really not in a horrible place, I just need to regroup. Regroup and re-evaluate my blog. Maybe I need a blog makeover. Maybe I need to focus more on the present and make this more a lifestyle blog as opposed to a weight-loss blog. I'm not sure where I'll go. But I'm definitely going to give it some serious thought. 
  • I will leave you a few quick updates. Hubby and I went to Fallsview Casino last weekend for an overnight. I lost $80 and won $80, so I broke even. We both bought new leather jackets because Danier was having a 50% off sale. I have NEVER spent this much on myself. But I'm not going to feel guilty. An early Christmas gift to me...and him. I love this jacket. I've always wanted a biker jacket. And it fits me like a glove. Must stay in shape for the jacket...
  • I've been discharged from physio. Plantar fasciitis is gone. Rest really does work. My lower back is messed up, but that's nothing new. Still doing yoga and Pilates so flexibility, balance and core strength should aid with all my chronic aches and pains.
  • And my eating is going well. Week four into much more mindful/strict eating. I will continue to eat this way until training for the Bay (last Sunday in March) is complete. To be honest, I like being this much in control during a very difficult time of year. Since I know everything except veggies and protein is off the table, it makes my life so much easier. And I'm a control freak so I'm really in my element right now. 
  • That's pretty much it. See? A couple weeks wrapped up in a few bullet points. Not a lot to say. I thank you all for reading and for being so supportive to me over the 3 years that I have been writing here. This blog was instrumental in helping me reach my weight-loss goals. I now have new goals and maybe it's time to move on from here. Soul searching underway!
  • Wishing you and yours a very joyous and safe holiday season. Peace, love and happiness always. I will be back in the New Year. Cheers!

Isn't she precious? Love this jacket!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

No grains, no gains - Off template foods I enjoy

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about what non-Paleo foods I enjoy. Just a little background info first for those of you not familiar with my blog. This month would mark my second anniversary on maintenance...but I gained a few pounds and I'm back on weight-loss mode. It's all good. I weighed in today and I dropped 5 pounds from 2 weeks ago, so I'm only 2 pounds above my "goal" weight. I want to lose between 12 and 17 more pounds which will bring my weight between 150 - 155. Strictly for running performance. I'll likely not stay that low after I run the races I'm trying to get leaner for. Both take place in March. I am also 39 months grain/refined sugar/processed food and mostly legume and dairy free.

So what are the off template foods I enjoy? Sometimes I have legumes (ie: hummus, natural peanut butter). The hummus is a rare occurrence. Only when I have company, which does not happen often. The natural peanut butter was more common. I'd have a couple teaspoons following a run. I don't do that any longer. I cut that out a few months ago. I normally follow the 85/15 rule for Paleo. That's 85% Paleo eating, 15% other. 

My "other" foods are red wine, cream for my coffee, sports nutrition (ie: gels and sportive for long runs), and sometimes I have cheese (which can get out of hand and causes me stomach upset), and you know about the peanut butter and hummus. I'll also not stress over sauces when I eat out. I'll avoid it if I can,but don't make too big a deal out of it if there's sauce on a chicken breast or something. I just scrape it off. I  know those sauces include sugar and other non-paleo ingredients, but I'm not going to stress over a little bit of something non-Paleo. What I can't have a little bit of? Grains. Grains are completely off the table for me. That was my binge food of choice...pasta, bread, rice. It's a trigger for me so I completely stay away from it. Life is so much easier that way.

Wine is my big indulgence. I was drinking it on the weekends and really should only be doing that when I'm running regularly. My last injury got my weight up by 7 pounds. I was still eating fruit, nuts and drinking wine like I was running 50K per week. I am currently off wine, fruit and nuts. I'm only eating lean protein and veggies with the exception of sweet potatoes (none) and the starchier ones (squash, carrots, turnip) only a few times a week. I'm going to eat like this while I train for my two races in March. My celebration food after the Around the Bay 30K the last weekend in March? Wine and dates and nuts and dark chocolate. Something to look forward to!

How do I know eating my off template foods won't throw my eating off? They very well could if I'm not careful. I got very anxious when I gained 7 pounds. And when I was on holiday in Europe in September, I gained then too. I ate all the cheese and dates and drank lots and lots of wine. I'm just not sure how much I gained because I didn't have a scale until very recently. My point is that when I'm not as physically active as I normally am (due to injury, or during a European vacation due to laziness), I need to reign my eating right in. Nuts can become a problem for me because I can mindlessly eat them. I don't have to worry so much about amounts of Paleo foods when I'm training hard, but when I'm not, I need to be mindful. My recent gain was a valuable lesson for me and one I'm glad to have been given. Not only do I realize that I need to be on top of my eating, but the scale, and food journaling are valuable tools to use. 

Now check out my blogging buddies and find out about the off template foods they enjoy. Each with different experiences, each with a different story.

For Life -Jeanette
Garden Girl - Karen
The Sunny Coconut - Gwen

My most recent snap on the right taken on Tuesday in the Pilates studio.
I'm about 140 pounds lighter than I was in the photos on the left.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The post about progress, lots of progress

Physio this week...Right Plantar Fasciitis foot good!
Foot my cat made me twist while trying to kill me, stiff:-(

  • It's weekly update time! A few things to update you on. Physio, food, yoga, pilates, running. Same old, same old. Physio went well this week. I got the go ahead to up my mileage. This is good since I'm running a 10 miler (16K) on Boxing Day. My Plantar foot (right) is about 90%, and my twisted ankle (left) was feeling super stiff. Graham worked on it for me and gave me much better mobility. So I'm doing pretty good right now. Fingers crossed things stay this way. Don't have to go back and see Graham for 2 weeks!
  • I had a pilates assessment at physio on Friday. All looks good and I start private pilates instruction this week. Tomorrow is my first session. I have been blessed with unlimited physio benefits through work, so this is awesome. I need pilates to strengthen my core and, help with my balance and flexibility. Looking forward to it!

Leaving yoga class yesterday.

  • I am loving yoga. I got out to 2 classes this past week. One of them at 6am! Yay me! Pats self on back:-) I'm doing that one as much as I can. That instructor was my favorite so far. It's challenging, but I know the more I practice, the better I'll get. And using my muscles the way I do to get into and hold the poses will definitely strengthen and tone me. I may be getting a touch addicted. I can take 4 classes per week that work with my schedule. I'm gonna try for all 4 this week. 
  • As I said, running has been going well. No pain while running. Just a bit of soreness afterwards, but with stretching, it goes away. And although I have a bit of tenderness when I wake up in the morning, after walking around a bit, it also goes away. My pace isn't where it was, and part of that is because I'm still scared to push too hard in case I re-injure myself. After the Boxing Day 10 Miler, I have to start training for the Chilly 1/2 and the Around the Bay 30K. Serious training with hill repeats and stuff. Just bought a new fridge calendar so I'll be working out that schedule soon. 

My runs from the week. Pace ain't great, but is somewhat consistent:-)

  • It's been two weeks since I've been eating strictly. No wine, nuts, fruit, sauces and limited Phase 2 veggies. I have Phase 2 veggies sporadically. I try not to have them every day. Way more Phase 1 meals than Phase 2. And no licking the knife while preparing my son's peanut butter on toast in the morning. That was a bad habit I got into...peanuts are not Paleo!!! 
  • Weigh-in is this wednesday. I'm excited, but don't expect a huge drop in weight. That's why this could take me 3 months or more to do. And I'm patient. Going back to stricter eating was waaaaay easier this time around because I was already there. Just the foods that I over indulged in were cut out. They will come back...when I'm leaner. And in much more controlled portions, and only when I'm training hard. So it's not forever, it's just for now. And food is just fuel, not my entertainment. Have a great week, and I'll continue to post my food journals and workouts on my Facebook page and Instagram. Namaste...

My eats from last week. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The post about getting to run, a yoga class and Santa Claus

My food logs from the past four days. Although there are some veggies I'm
avoiding right now ie: Dinner on the 23rd, the family's eating those.

  • I am almost one week into my strict/clean eating plan. It's going well. Got right back in there. Just like riding a bike. And the bonus of doing it this time around? No processed carb and refined sugar withdrawal. If I felt off with anything, it was cutting back on my coffee the first couple days. But I'm sticking to my 2 cups a day rule...except for Friday. Had all day training on that day and I needed something to keep me awake! Also getting all the water in. I feel really good and it's no bother eating like I used to. I got lenient with some things and I think it's better to stay as clean as possible. So I'm reining it in. When I do reintroduce fruit, nuts and wine, I'm going to be much more conscious of serving sizes.
  • I finally got to run on the weekend. Yay! I ran 3k on Saturday to test out the went well. I ran 5k on Sunday, and even though my heel was a bit sore throughout the day, it wasn't horrible. And it was non-existent when I wore my runners with the formerly useless orthotics I paid $600 for. They finally came in handy. I'm actually running in them now for better support. 

Just before heading into my first yoga class.

  • Today is my rest day...I'm hoping to run tomorrow. Getting my ass kicked right now with a head cold. I'll run as long as the cold is not in my chest. I did attend my first yoga class yesterday. It was really very good for me to be so soundly humiliated. I am not flexible. Not even a little bit. It's definitely a challenge and I need to attend regularly so I can get more limber. I am a mess. But there is hope for me. I am supposed to be there right now. Instead I'm blogging from bed. Achoo! I'm considering getting up super early Wednesday and attending the 6am class...switching out my running rest day from Friday to Wednesday and striking a pose instead...DONE! Just like that. I'm up at 4:30 anyway.
  • This past weekend seemed like a blur. I was on the go all weekend. We went to the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday. The lamest parade ever. And as my hubby and I complained to each other under our breath, it was totally worth it because Julien loved it. Saturday was a nice family day. Lunch out, then the parade, then home for a crock pot roast for dinner. 
  • Sunday was a chore day. I woke up not feeling great. Went for a run, then the early yoga class. After lunch and a shower I went grocery shopping, put everything away, changed the linens, separated and began the laundry, folded laundry and made dinner. Julien had a friend over so I was also catering to those boys all afternoon. And I felt like crap by the end of the day. I kept saying I was going to bed, and hubby told me to go more than once, but I ended up reading bedtime books with Julien before finally heading to bed. Thought I was going to call in sick today, but felt well enough to go to work. I'm bagged now though. So a short and sweet check in post. 
  • Tomorrow marks the end of week one of #operation...(something clever to go here). I'm feeling pumped and motivated. Can't wait to see the differences in my body. I know the scale isn't going to drop leaps and bounds. Not like when I was bigger and losing weight but that's okay. I bought a pair of very form fitting skinny red cords from Value Village. I can't get them done up...not even close. But they are my goal pants. Hoping to be wearing them comfortably in a few months and be confident enough to wear them out of the house. I will keep going till they do fit because I am feeling positive. I have the tools to get to where I want to be, I just need to apply them and stay focused. Challenge accepted!

Santa Claus is officially in Hamilton.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The post about a gain, a training plan and a strict diet

My sexy new scale I got from Amazon. It only measures
weight which is what I want. I will be doing bi-weekly weigh-ins.
Link to scale

  • Yesterday was my first day of strict eating again. Today was my first home weigh in since last year. I got a much needed rude awakening. I weigh 172 pounds. That's 7 pounds over my "normal" weight, 12 pounds over my training weight and 15 pounds over my lowest weight. I am not buying into the "it's muscle" theory. 
  • My running has been pretty much non-existent over the past month due to my injury, but I have been eating fruit, nuts and drinking wine like I'm still running 50K a week. Doesn't compute. So starting Tuesday I began my food journal again and I began my 2-3 month plight of eating only lean protein and veggies grown above ground. No more fruit, nuts, root veggies, and limited higher carb above ground veggies (non-green). I'll only have those (ie: squash, red peppers), once or twice per week. And no more wine. I've also cut my coffee intake by 50% and upped my water intake by 100%. 
  • This weekend I begin training for the Boxing Day 10 Miler. Although I was supposed to start yoga on Monday, work kept me from the first class and yesterday's snowstorm kept me from attending the 2nd class. I have penned all the classes till the new year into my agenda I am taking that time for me and scheduling work stuff around the yoga classes. This morning I have physio and will be talking to Graham about private pilates classes. I want to do 2x per week and it can be billed under my unlimited physio benefit through work. So running starts Saturday, yoga Sunday and Pilates next week.

My training schedule for the month of December.
I'm hoping to do Pilates Friday and Saturday mornings

  • I am super excited. Next month would have marked my 2 year maintenance anniversary, instead I'm going back into weight loss mode. I want to drop my weight by about 20 pounds. I was my leanest last winter while training for the Around The Bay 30K. And despite my painful foot issues, I ran a good pace (for me) for a 30K. I have big running goals this year. I want to get a PB (Personal Best) on the Chilly Half, Around the Bay, and the Niagara Falls Women's Half. Even an extra 5 pounds for a runner can make a difference with speed. So I am motivated!
  • And I'm also pumped about seeing results again. Being the same for almost 2 years has been great, don't get me wrong. But sometimes when you work as hard as you always have and see no change because you're maintaining, it becomes old hat. I know that yoga and Pilates along with the running will change my body and make me a better runner. So this excites me. And having to restrict my eating again? I'm fine with it. It's not forever, just for now. And other than nuts and wine, everything else I eat is just fuel for my body. 
  • I will be putting up my food journal daily on my Instagram and Facebook Page. I'll try to do regular updates on the blog, but depending on how hectic life gets, the blog may not be as regular. But it will be a couple times a week (I hope).
  • So there you have it. My plan for the next few months. Dropping weight and getting my body fat% down. Would like to get down to the fitness level eventually which is 21-24%. I am super excited, motivated and relieved. I feel like I'm gaining strict control of myself again. And to be 100% honest, that is when I feel most secure with myself.

I don't pen in amounts that I eat because I'm following Dr. Poon's formula for
Phase 1 weight loss. Lean protein and leafy greens till full. All other (above ground)
veggies limited to 4 cups per day. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The post about getting weighed, food journaling and phase one

Physio this week. I have started doing strengthening exercises and he's
using a suction cup on my foot. Not sure how I feel about that...

  • It's that time again. Weekly check in time. Not much has happened this week. I'm still not running. I have 4 races coming up. So that could suck unless things get moving. My first race is the Boxing Day 10 miler here in Hamilton. I need to start training for that soon. My physio guy knows all this. He thinks that I can start running next weekend. I'll have make an adapted training schedule. It'll all be good. If I can't run it, hubby will have to run it in my bib. No big deal. Except that I want to run it...
  • I need to be smart about my recovery. Having to give up the Boxing Day race would suck, but I really want to run the Around the Bay again. So I'm keeping that race in my sights more. And my recovery is going well. HUGE difference between last week and this week with the Plantar Fasciitis. Other than when I first wake up, the heel pain almost completely disappears as I move around more. Only first thing in the morning is it really sore. After moving around for about 10 minutes, it feels much better. 
  • So I am trying to be very optimistic. And my PT is optimistic. He said I could do short runs this weekend if I really had to, but he want me to rest the full 2 weeks before running. That brings us to next weekend. I can do this. I went 10 weeks without running before and lived to tell. 
  • My biggest issue is I'm going stir-crazy. So I am getting the bike out this weekend and going for a long ride up the mountain. I've also penned in Yoga and Pilates classes for the rest of the year. Penned them in ink I did. I have to do them now. My first Yoga class is tomorrow. So back to the gym I go. I need to work on my core and balance for running anyway. So it all works out. It's gonna be a fecken cold ride, but I'll bundle up in layers.
  • I am blessed to have unlimited physio benefits through my work place. Real important for a runner. I can take private pilates classes through my PT practice and have it billed as physio. Definitely going to be taking advantage of that. Balance and core is my biggest problem.

Sunroof selfies from this past week. Yes I wore yoga pants for work on Friday. Rebel!

  • I haven't weighed myself in ages. I got weighed at the gym in July during my assessment and my weight was in the same range (164 pounds) it always is. It tends to hover anywhere between 160 and 170 depending on how hard I'm training. Before that I didn't weigh myself since fall of 2013 when I broke my ankle. I got my weight down to 156 at that time, but went back up to where I always am once I started running again. I know I gained when I was in Stockholm and London with all the cheese and wine I consumed and all the running I didn't do. My clothes didn't feel right and once I got back and started running again, they fit well again. But I really should be tracking my weight. And I do want to get leaner. So I bought a scale through Amazon. It's arriving on Tuesday. I'm gonna weigh myself, start food journaling again and return to phase 1 of Dr. Poon's diet for a month or so. Which means no more wine, fruit or nuts. Oi! But it's only for a month. I can do that. I didn't have wine, fruit or nuts for over six months when I was in serious weight-loss mode. 
  • I also have running goals. Which have to do with getting some PB's (Personal Bests). I want to PB in the Chilly Half as well as the Around the Bay. What will help with my speed is getting leaner. And I always have hip and butt baggage to lose. So I'm going to give it another go. I'm a bit excited to get back into weight-loss mode. Love seeing results. It's what makes weight loss motivational. The results. Maintenance is difficult because you still work hard, but nothing really changes. 
  • I leave you with some pics of my food from last week. I ate out four times because work dictated that I had to. That will never change. Unless I change jobs, and that will not be happening anytime soon. So I adapt. And from Tuesday till Christmas I'm going to have to start asking for specialized meals again. No dairy, sauces, dressings. It's all good tho. I'll be enjoying my nuts, fruit and wine soon enough. So today I enjoy my last #winetime till the holidays. Cheers:-)

Food from this past week. Salads, stirfrys, roasts, breakfast for
lunch and clear soup...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The very short post about being grounded and Canadian Running

Lotsa Sunroof Selfies to highlight my frugal fashion. No piece of clothing with
the exception of the leather cost me over $10. I'm a shopping goddess:-)

  • It's been an interesting week. Thought I singlehandedly cured my PF earlier in the week by digging out 2 heel corns. It brought me relief for a day, I ran (my best pace in ages), then couldn't walk the next day. I'm a loser. But, I went to physio on Thursday and got taped. Threw around the possibility that I could have a stress fracture. Thankfully I do not have a stress fracture and by Friday after my emergency massage to strip my achilles tendon, I had much better mobility. My foot is taped with super adhesion spray and I go back to physio on Monday. I have been grounded from running for at least 1 week, maybe 2. But I agreed (grudgingly) after losing the bargaining component of the 5 stages of grief Thursday evening with Graham in physio. Rest is really my only option at this point. 
  • Something exciting that happened is I got to appear in a running article on the website for the running magazine Canadian Running. You can read the story here. Loved doing this interview because the focus is on running. I've done numerous weight loss interviews which I also enjoy, but besides being a big (weight) loser, I'm also a runner. And I love talking about running. It's part of who I am. 
  • My two physio appointments are depicted below. My right foot has plantar fasciitis, my left foot is still swollen and bruised from falling down the stairs on Halloween. Don't know if I mentioned that the reason I fell is because my cat tripped me. She's been trying to kill me since we moved to this house. Not sure why since I'm the only one who feeds her. I think she misses the old neighborhood and is acting out her aggression the only way she knows how...
  • Short and sweet as promised. Excited to be making a HUGE 7 lb pork roast today. I'll do a pepper squash, green beans and roasted mushroom side with it. Can't wait. I have homemade applesauce to go with it too. Wishing you all a pleasant week. And don't forget to remember our veterans and soldiers on Tuesday. Lest we forget...

Thursday's physio included manipulation, double icing and a tape job.

Friday's physio was a single icing (after manipulation), getting stoned off of
aerosol fumes and a sexy tape job. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

No grains, no gains - What keeps me motivated

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is about how I stay motivated to remain grain free. I lost my weight following Dr. Poon's Metabolic Diet which is basically grain free. Once I was going to begin maintenance, I panicked when I looked at the maintenance program. It said I was allowed to have measured whole grains again. Being the binge eater I am,  I knew that I would never be able to stick to a serving of whole wheat pasta or whole grain bread. My addiction to carbs was too great. And I did well grain free for the 15+ months I was on the diet. That is when I decided to follow the Paleo lifestyle for maintenance. It's grain free and I don't have to stress about grains again. They're off limits and I need rules. Strict rules. That's why Dr. Poon's diet worked for me for weight loss. I can't handle choice. Structured and strict is what I need when it comes to eating.

Choosing this lifestyle is not right for everyone. But I know it's right for me. Because of my binging past (and my binge foods of choice were processed carbs), it only made sense for me to eliminate the root of my weight problem. And for me that's grains and refined sugar. Almost everyday I get asked what keeps me on plan. Why don't I ever indulge in something that I would deem "off limits". Short answer is that I can't handle it. I sit right by the "treat" table at work. Right now all my leftover halloween candy is on that table. My co-worker has asked me more than once how I resist the treats. It's easy as long as I don't have even one. I know that having one will lead to 2, then 3, then I'm eating all of it. I have no problem being around foods I don't eat, as long as I continue to NOT eat them.

So what exactly keeps me motivated to remain grain free? There are other underlying reasons now that I'm on maintenance. Some of them for health, some of them for performance, some of them for appearance. But all of them are important to me.
  1. My family, namely my son - If you know my story, you know that he was the catalyst for my lifestyle change. My AH-HA moment was when he was three and I was turned away from an amusement park ride he wanted me to go on for being too big. I continue to model a healthy lifestyle so that he picks up my good habits. My son is not Paleo.
  2. Running - Just for the record I am living proof that you don't need to "carb load" on grains to be a distance runner. I've struggled with running over the past year. I've been plagued with numerous injuries, but I'm always striving to do better. I've always eaten clean as a runner and it works for me. I'm hoping this coming year will see me healthier and stronger than ever.
  3. Playing dress up - Being able to shop in any clothing store in the mall with the exception of specialty "plus size" stores. This is so foreign to me. Prior to a couple years ago, I never shopped anywhere else but the plus size section. There's such a freedom knowing that I can go into any woman's store and they will have my size.
  4. How I feel physically is a huge reason why I keep doing it - I have never felt better. I rarely have stomach issues (unless I eat a ridiculous amount of cabbage, or dairy). My digestive system works the way it should. When I was morbidly obese my breathing was heavy and laboured. The only time that happens now is when I run. My body was also in a lot of pain being morbidly obese. If I have to be honest it still is sometimes, but due to running fatigue. Rest cures that kind of pain. It was chronic due to my size when I overweight.
  5. Simplified lifestyle - For me, remaining grain free is a foolproof approach to maintenance. The only time I've put on weight is when I've gone off plan (ie: excessive cheese consumption during my European vacation). Getting back to eating clean gets me right back on track.
  6. Being a role model - I have a strong desire not to let other's down who see me as inspirational, both in my personal life as well as over social media. When someone tells me that I have inspired them to run or begin a lifestyle change, I feel like I need to continue being the best I can be. I chose to put myself out on social media, so I should absolutely practice what I preach! 
  7. Success rate - I don't want to be another statistic. And I think I finally have this maintenence thing figured out. I know for a fact that if you fall back into old eating habits after weight loss, you will re-gain. I did it once already 14 years ago. Even without the running, my eating is in check. Some of my other Primal/Paleo friends may not have the activity level I do but still maintain because diet really is more important than exercise. And when I broke my ankle last fall and couldn't run (or do anything) for 10 weeks, I did not gain weight because I kept my diet clean. I cannot outrun a bad diet. That is the truth. People who are highly active can still be obese because of an unhealthy diet.
  8. The physical freedom that I have - I can do things I never could when I was morbidly obese. Go on rides, sit in the middle seat of the subway, do physical activities I never could before. Other than when I was a small child, I have never really experienced this kind of freedom before.
So there you have it. My motivation. Next month will mark my 2nd year of maintenance. Although I'll never forget what it felt like to struggle as a morbidly obese person, those memories are becoming more and more distant. Below is one of my favorite before and after comparison photos. It shows me how far I have come and gives me that extra push when I feel unmotivated to run. I actually like the way my legs and butt look in that photo. And I have never liked seeing myself from behind. I've still a lot of work to do to realize my running goals for this year (ie: get a "personal best" in the Chilly Half and the Around the Bay 30K this coming March). But even if I stayed exactly as I am right now, I can hold my head high and know that I have made a huge difference in the quality of my son's life as well as my own.

Now check out my blogging buddies and find out what keeps them motivated. Each with different experiences, each with a different story.

For Life -Jeanette
Garden Girl - Karen
The Sunny Coconut - Gwen

300+ pounds vs. 165 pounds. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The post about running, running and more running

Around 230 pounds                               Around 165 pounds

  • Besides what I eat day to day and whether or not I've had weight loss/skin removal surgery, the next most common question I get asked is about running. I have answered this in the past, but it's been a while since I dedicated a post to running, so for those of you wondering, here is my running history, in abbreviated form.
  • I started my weight loss journey at around 300 pounds. Two hundred and ninety-seven to be exact. I lost 67 pounds in 7 months and my weight loss began to slow. I knew I had to start doing some form of exercise to kick start things again. Enter the Learn to Run program through the Running Room. That is how I started running. I ran 3x per week for 10 weeks and started by running for 1 minute and walking for 2 minutes. The next week we ran for 1 minute and walked for 1 minute, then ran for 2 minutes and walked for 1 minute. The running time increased each week, the minute walk always stayed the same. By the end of the 10 weeks, I could run for 10 minutes straight and run 5K. Honest to God, I could barely run for a whole minute without feeling like I was going to expire when I first started running. I'm not going to sugar coat things. Learning to run was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 
  • If it wasn't for the constant encouragement of my clinic instructor Carol, I likely would have given up. But Carol believed in me which made me believe in myself. Prior to taking the LTR clinic, I never did any kind of physical activity. I lived the majority of my life morbidly obese and avoided exercise at all costs. Building up the cardio to run was uncomfortable and challenging. But I promised myself I'd see the LTR clinic to fruition. I told myself that if running wasn't my thing once the 10 weeks was over, I'd move onto something else.
  • By the end of the 10 weeks I lost 25 pounds and was hooked on running. I joined the 5K clinic and by the time that clinic was done, I lost another 25 pounds. So my weight loss certainly kick started again and I had the running bug. Even though it was hard to begin with, I became more confident as a runner and started setting all kinds of running goals for myself. I even started teaching other new runners the Learn to Run Clinic. 
  • Running has not come without it's challenges. I have been running for 2.5 years now. During that time, I have never run pain free. I noticed discomfort in my feet about 3 months in. After ignoring it for a spell, I finally got assessed by a podiatrist. I was referred to many specialists, and I was eventually diagnosed with Morton's Neuroma. This condition makes it painful for me to run long distance (10k+). And I have been told that there is no treatment for my condition. The steroid shots and surgery would put an end my running. So I choose to run with pain. I've gotten used to it. And you likely think I'm nuts, unless you are a runner. And just to clarify, running does not make the condition worse. It's just painful.
  • Running has also changed my body in a way that surprised me. It firmed me up in a way I wasn't expecting. I still have my problem areas, but my legs are strong and I have little loose skin on my stomach. You actually use 4 stomach muscles when you run. Who knew? I will perpetually have a weak ass though unless I work my glutes at the gym. Runners are known for their weak asses.
  • I am a distance runner. I run half marathons (21.1K). My furthest distance was 30K last March in a local road race. I start training for that again next month. I'd like to run a marathon one day, but may not be able to run the whole thing due to the Morton's Neuroma. I have to try though. I'd like to say I did at least one marathon.
  • Right now I am not my healthiest. I am dealing with a lot of injuries. Aside from the Morton's Neuroma which is chronic, I also have an old hamstring injury that is nagging me again, neck and back pain from weight training at the gym, and just a week ago I was diagnosed with the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis on my right foot. On Halloween morning, I fell down the stairs and twisted my left ankle. The swelling is almost gone and it caused me to rest for 4 days in a row. Today I run though. I need to. I'm feeling no worse at this moment than I usually do when I run, but emotionally, I need to run. It's been too long. 
  • Running is not for everyone. I didn't know it would be for me until I tried. And now that I'm running 5 days a week (when I'm not injured), it has become part of me and my daily routine. I plan my days around running. I'm a morning runner which means that I get up early to run when the streets are still empty and quiet. It's my time and something I actually look forward to. I am also blessed because I have a team of professionals that keep me running. A physiotherapist, chiropodist, and massage therapist all make it possible for me to run, as do great work benefits. 
  • Why so much effort you ask? Because I'm a runner and it's something I'm passionate about. It's a part of my identity and it's an important addition to my lifestyle and my maintenance plan. You don't have to be a runner, but it's worth your while to find an activity you enjoy. The endorphins I get from a good workout is more addictive than anything I could eat. That's the honest to God truth and why I run outdoors all year round. Even when it's -25C. So find your sport. Any physical activity is good for the heart and I promise, you'll never feel bad after a work out. But the turmoil I feel from missing runs can be soul breaking. And that is why I make running a priority in my life.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The post about #sunroofselfies, sports nutrition and running to Mississauga

My #sunroofselfies from last week.

  • Almost everyday I do a little feature on Instagram and Twitter called #sunroofselfie. It's actually a legit hashtag and my photos often get liked or favorited by an account called Sunroof Selfie from Istanbul. That's sorta cool. And I like showing off my frugal fashion sense. If you've been following me for a while you know that I love a good bargain. Especially when it comes to clothing. It all started when I began losing weight and my size was changing so frequently. I couldn't bring myself to pay full price for clothes that I would only be wearing for a month or two. Desperation and lack of funds brought me to my very first Value Village. 
  • I know some people have reservations about wearing other people's clothing. Me, not so much. It does have that special VV smell when you get it home. Nothing a couple spins in the washer won't fix. So necessity brought me there. Cheap clothes that are name brand kept me there. I have rules when it comes to clothing and accessories. I don't play more than $10 for anything unless it's genuine leather. So pants, tops, sweaters, bags, shoes...everything. And that rule goes for new or used. I will make a few exceptions on new if it's a few bucks more, but I try to stick to my rule. Anything I see new that I love will be a fraction of the price at the end of season and I am patient. And I'm confident that even if I buy a summer dress in November, it will fit me when summer rolls around again. It has to because I refuse to gain any weight back. 
  • So in the #sunrooselfies above, I am wearing my frugal fashion finds. To be fair, some of it was bought with my $1000 gift card I got from being on the Steven and Chris show a couple years ago. But even then I waited until things went on sale because I could buy more. And I still stuck to my rule with the exception of a few pieces of clothing. That gift card lasted me more than a year. And the leather? The brown jacket was gifted to me, the black grommet one was $12 at VV, the red Danier leather one was $12 at VV. 
  • When I weighed 300+ pounds, I wore what was comfortable and could fit. That is all. Now I can actually purchase clothes I like. And part of the fun for me is spending hours in VV looking for treasures. It takes time for sure and I only go a couple times a month. I'll spend $50 and come out with 5 pieces of clothing. But it's worth it because they will be five really nice pieces of clothing from labels I can't afford new.

Meals from last week...and $70 worth of sports nutrition.

  • I ate well last week. Made some crock pot meals, stir-fries, and an old favorite...salmon cakes. Haven't had those in a while and they were delish. Recipe is under the recipe tab of my blog in the Paleo section. Big cans of salmon were on sale at Freshco this week. So I stocked up. A great goto meal and easy to do. 
  • A week ago I swore off fruit, nuts and wine. Still on my never ending quest to get a touch leaner in my hip and ass area. The nuts can especially be a problem for me. In reflection I have altered my edict. I will not have fruit or nuts over the next month or more, and I will only drink wine on the weekend. I need something for the love of Pete. Yeah, I'm weak. And human. And maybe I should purchase a scale so I can actually see numbers instead of going by how my smallest jeans fit. Now there's a thought.
  • Since I'm getting into long distance again for my weekend runs (15+K), I needed to buy some sports nutrition. Sportive and electrolyte gummies (or gels work too). I can't eat before I run. Even if it is a long run. That's when I drink the sportive. Right before I leave. Two scoops actually gives me the energy I need to run for a couple hours. And if I'm feeling peckish, the gels come in handy and help me finish. I'm famished afterwards, but the very expensive sports nutrition is worth the money so I can get it done. And to be fair, the $70 I spent, should last me a couple months of long runs at least!

Last weeks runs equals the distance from Hamilton to Mississauga...47+K.

  • I ran 18K this past Sunday. A good run overall. I'm always, ALWAYS anxious before a long run because I know my toes are going to cramp. And Sunday did not disappoint. My toes cramped badly at 13K. And I know the drill. Once they cramp, I run through the cramps until the pain becomes numb. It's still there, but I guess I just get used to it. I've run 30K with cramped toes from the 7K mark (this past March). Yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment. And maybe I shouldn't be running long distance. But I can still do it, so I will. I'd love to run pain free just once though to see how that would feel at the end. Imagine just having tired muscles instead of tired muscles with feet that feel like I just ran over open switch blades. That would be awesome. And those of you that don't run probably think I'm stupid. The only way I can justify my actions is, I need to run. Not just for maintenance, but for my mental health. Running is my time. And I run alone. I can run with someone, but I like to run alone. Helps me organize my thoughts and is my best therapy, hands down!
  • My physio is going well. I definitely have better movement in my neck. As soon as that's sorted, we get to move onto my rotator cuff. And once that's done, back to the gym I go. I'll use some machines again, but I think I'm gonna focus on the pilates and yoga more. A stronger core means I won't tire as quickly during runs, which means I can hold my form longer, which means I can run pain free longer. My toes will cramp earlier if I tire quickly. Now I just have to figure out how I'll fit class times into my already busy schedule. 
  • Health and fitness is work. Weight loss and maintenance is work. Preparing, scheduling, executing, it's all work. It's still worth it though. Truth is I never feel badly after completing a workout or eating a good meal. But the mental anguish I feel from skipping a run or eating off my plan can be soul breaking and something I try to avoid at all costs. In the end, it's just not worth it to me. And something I have learned over the past few years? I am worth all the effort I put into my lifestyle. Cheers:-)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The post about fallen soldiers, RIP Corporal Nathan Cirillo & Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent

Saluting our nation's fallen soldier as he returns home to Hamilton, Ontario.

  • It's been a tough week for our great country. The events that unfolded last week has left us speechless and in shock. Our nation is in mourning. We lost two Canadian soldiers in what appears to be terrorist attacks. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run down in Quebec a eight days ago, and two days later Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot down at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa while standing guard. Corporal Cirillo was from Hamilton.
  • Friday morning I took my regular running route in the east end of Hamilton. I normally run this route 2x per week. As I ran down a street I frequent regularly, I noticed Canadian flags draped on the light posts. I figured I was in a very patriotic stretch of neighbourhood, considering what had just happened. Then I saw the flowers and balloons and noticed the police cars and realized where I was. I was running by Cpl. Cirillo's family home. It was before dawn and the neighborhood was very quiet. Just me and the two police cars. I recognized the house from pictures on the internet. Such a stab of pain to my heart. I could not even imagine the pain and despair the people in that house were feeling. I continued my run lost in thought.
  • I thought about a time 3 years ago when I was visiting my family in Scarborough. Just after we left on a Sunday evening in the summer to head home, we noticed a crowd of people on the 401 McCowan Road overpass. They were holding Canadian flags and there were emergency vehicles parked there as well. It took me a moment to figure out what was happening. One of our fallen soldiers was returning from Afghanistan and taking the trip from CFB Trenton to the coroner's office in central Toronto. I remember looking back at Julien and feeling such a stab of pain, just imagining what that young soldier's mother must have felt like. One of the images of this past week that was hardest for me to see, was Cpl. Cirillo's mother following her son's casket from the funeral home in Ottawa to the hearse which would bring him home to Hamilton along the Highway of Heroes. 
  • On Friday night, my small family walked to the foot of our street in Hamilton to watch the motorcade that transported Cpl. Cirillo to the funeral home where he would rest in state less than a kilometer from my home. It was an incredibly somber moment. So many unanswerable questions from a 7-year-old. And it was quiet. Hundreds of people lined the streets with Canadian flags, but it was so quiet. A Hamilton fire truck waited with it's lights flashing. As the procession passed the firefighters saluted and applause broke out. Not the joyful applause of a celebration, but sad applause, if you can imagine that. No one spoke. And once the motorcade passed, the crowd dispersed and everyone walked away with heavy hearts.
  • A difficult time for sure. For Canada, for the world. Our pain is felt internationally and the world is in disbelief right along with us. I still shake my head over these unbelievable events. Today Cpl. Cirillo was laid to rest in a full regimental funeral service in Hamilton. Looking at the press pictures just now, my heart is again in shreds seeing the pain and despair on his mother's face. This blog has taken me days to write because I wasn't sure if I could accurately express my feelings. The events of last week has changed our country forever. God bless the Cirillo and Vincent families. God bless us all.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The post with a bunch of collages

My runs from Sunday to Sunday...

  • So this is going to be a mostly picture post with a bullet point to explain the collages. This was my week. Above are my runs from Sunday to Sunday. Sixty five kilometers in total. I'm running exclusively again and loving it. My pace sucked this week, but I'm just rolling with it and enjoying running in this much cooler fall weather. My aches and pains are being dealt with at physio and bottom line is, I need to strengthen my core to be a more efficient runner. That is where the gym comes in. Once my neck and rotator cuff are sorted, I'm going to start taking yoga and pilates classes. Should be fun, and comical if nothing else.

Sunroof selfies.

  • Still in therapy. Going pretty well. Talking about your self image and how much you love yourself can be boring shit sometimes. I still heed the advice of my first therapist and take a lot of pictures. Once in a while I get negative comments via Twitter or my blog. Very few, but they always centre around me being in love with myself. Truth is, I'm trying real hard to love myself the way I should and unless you've been morbidly obese your entire adult life then lost a ton of weight, it's hard to understand. I don't take the comments too much to heart and I know that the people who leave them truly don't understand what the mind goes through when you lose the equivalent of an adult woman. I also need to take the pictures to keep myself in check. And as Sarah, loser of 200 pounds and maintainer of 10 years said, pictures help us maintain. The brain can better process a body it gets to see! One hundred percent truth! And I've mastered the selfie. An important skill to have.


  • On Twitter I do a little feature called #winetime. It's something fun I started back in the spring. I don't do #winetime everyday because I don't drink everyday. Usually Friday to Sunday and maybe once or twice during the week. Usually once. Got an extra day in last week due to Thanksgiving. I get pictures back and #cheers from around the world. And I love my red wine. One of the extras I allow myself on Paleo because I still have to live.  And wine comes from grapes...which are Paleo. Reaching? Nah:-)

Food from the week

  • This week in food was not great. I did make some awesome curried chicken and some delicious turkey soup. I also broke my rule of not eating in my car and got pepperoni sticks and cashews (which was my lunch) during a long driving day because I didn't plan ahead and pack healthy snacks. And I ate out for lunch when I wasn't with a client which is something I try to avoid as well. I have to eat out with clients as part of my job, but when I don't have client meetings, I should be bringing my lunch. And I'm not eating enough. I'm going long stretches of not eating and skipping meals which is counter productive. I need fuel to run and perhaps this is why I'm struggling a lot? I vow to have a better eating week and to eat more frequently throughout the day.

Shopping and a party.

  • Julien had his friend's party on the weekend. He was so excited. We did a halloween theme and four of his guests were from the neighborhood. I'm just so happy he has friends that he can play with on our street. Makes me know that even though my house is a decorator's nightmare right now, we definitely made the right choice by moving. And I found a pair of Tommy Hilfiger boots at Winners I love. But $145? Goes against all my thrifty shopping rules. It's all good, I have the photo to lust after. 
  • That's all I got for you right now. I have some correspondence I am behind in...again, and blog reading to catch up on as well. I leave you with my Transformation Tuesday post from last week. Have a blessed and safe week:-)

Transformation Tuesday

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The post about racing, a blogiversary, my boy's special day and giving thanks

Favorite thing about fall besides the pretty leaves? I get to
wear my leather again. Every leather jacket I own I bought
at Value Village for under $25...

  • Busy time of year. And my favorite time of year. All my favorite fall veggies are in season. And cheap. Eating is good in the fall. Starchier veggies which means running has got to be on point! And it has been. I'm on my 3rd week of running 5 days per week. And just for fun, I may run 6 days this week because Monday is a holiday. Why not? A short recovery run after I do my long run later this morning.
  • I have been running exclusively. No gym. No cycling. Although I'll head back to the gym once my aches are worked out (namely my neck and rotator cuff), I'm probably done with cycling for the time being. It's too dark for me to ride in the morning, and get's dark too early for me to ride in the evening. And it's fecken cold during those times. I could go on Saturdays, but I get tied up with family stuff and by the time both hubby and I run, the day's half over. 
  • And I'm signing up for a couple more races. I've already registered for the Around the Bay 30K the last Sunday in March. I'm also going to do the Chilly Half Marathon on March 1st. It was my first 1/2 and I'm going to attempt to better my time. Not only was it my first half, but it was also my best time for a half. So game on! And for the 1st time ever, I'm going to run the Boxing Day 10 miler. It's a Christmas tradition for runners here in Hamilton so I am going to start making it a tradition for me too. It was almost cancelled this year due to residential complaints, but it's a 93 year old race for Pete's sake. A shame if it would have been cancelled.

My runs from this week. Still have today's 14K and tomorrow's
6K to add onto the mix. 

  • So I am officially back in physio. I had an assessment with Graham at Meadowlands Physio on Wednesday. Graham was my physio guy from when I had my hamstring injury (1.5 years ago) and then my broken fibula from this time last year. He moved clinics, but I tracked him down and he's saddled with me once again. He has confirmed what I already suspected. I'm a bit of a mess right now. I don't have good neck mobility on my right side which is also affecting my rotator cuff. My vertebrae are actually out of whack, so he's working on my once again. Even with initial supervision and instruction at the gym, he suspects that I have lifted wrong and that is where this injury stems from. I need adult supervision all the time:-(
  • Friday was my 3rd blogiversary. I cannot believe I've been writing this blog for 3 years...or that anyone still finds my day to day life interesting. It's not, and sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just pack it in. But then I get emails from people telling me how much my blog helps them so I continue to write. Not as much as I used to, because truth be told, I am a creature of habit. I eat the same stuff I always have, I still run, and I stick to my eating plan 85% of the time. When I mess up (ie: the cheese incident in Europe), I need to own it. I still have no idea how much I gained over that debacle, but everything is zen again. It took a few weeks of running hard and eating like I know I should to get myself back to my happy place, but everything fits properly once again. Life is good and every once in a while I shake my head in disbelief. What a long way I have come. My former self would have taken that weight gain and rolled with it, likely adding what ever I gained x2 or three. My how times have changed.
  • Not only is this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, but it was also Julien's 7th birthday yesterday. We celebrated as a family and let Jules dictate the day. He wanted to check out the toy department at Target where he picked out a few things he wanted. Then we headed to Wacky Wings in Brantford for dinner. Next Saturday is his party with friends. It will be a Halloween themed party. And we'll have pizza and cake. I let him pick where he wanted his party and he picked at home. Surprised me. Figured he would have picked and arcade or bowling alley.
  • It's getting light out and it's freaking cold this morning. I gotta choke down my sportive and get running. My family's coming by for Thanksgiving dinner later and I still have to get to the store and try to hit a pumpkin patch. I'm making pork roast and ham for today, and roasting a turkey tomorrow. I cannot wait. I LOVE turkey, and turkey soup! Enjoy your Thanksgiving if you're celebrating. I have spent the weekend reflecting on what I am thankful for. My family, my friends, my life...

Pics of Jules and I from yesterday. Rocked my Johnny Cash shirt in observation
of Universal Music Day. And Julien and me 7 years ago...I think we've both
changed a lot!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The post about some injuries, some accolades and a busy month

Pictures taken this past week. I like the way I look in all of them. I'm curvy and I think
I look strong. Strong and healthy is my goal. Big giant head in top left pic:-)

  • So I touched on not feeling 100% in my last post. It's true. I have been ignoring...avoiding...pretending like they're not really there, some pains I've been having. You know, hoping they'll just go away on their own. They haven't. I go for my physio assessment on Wednesday. My physio guy Graham is no longer at Highland Physio in Dundas. But I did track him down to Meadowlands Physio in Ancaster, so I booked my assessment with him. I got discharged from physio in December 2013. I've almost gone a year pain free. But running and gym stuff does wear and tear on your body. It was only a matter of time before I had to go back. Physio is not a bad thing, it will keep me running. 
  • New and improved pains include neck (can't comfortably check my blind spot) and right rotator cuff. My old left hamstring injury is back too. I can feel it quite pronounced when I run long distance. So I'm basically a mess. And even rest (2 weeks off exercise while in Europe) did not help. So I'm getting real and getting this stuff dealt with. I need to run, bottom line.
  • I am still in therapy for my self esteem issues. Haven't talked about this in a while. Although I am still a work in progress and y'all may have gotten sick of hearing how much I love myself, I still struggle day to day about how I feel about me and how I see myself. Shocking, right? That after almost 2 years on maintenance, I am still struggling with the same shit. But that's my reality and the reality of anyone who has dealt with a big weight loss. It takes a lot of time for my inner self to see what you all see. And I so appreciate all your kind words. They help tremendously. But this is not something that is fixable overnight. I wish it was that easy, and I'm holding out hope that one day, my mind will catch up with what I see in the mirror.
  • So this week I took some pictures of myself as per my therapists advice. Not daily like she wants me to but enough so that I can appreciate how I look. I never give myself enough credit. And I rarely know how to respond when I get credit from others. 
  • One of the best compliments I can get is from a total stranger who has no idea where I've been and is shocked to find out I weighed 300+ pounds at one time. It happened on the plane ride home from London. A couple I was sitting beside and chatting with questioned why I wouldn't eat the pasta dinner or the chicken wrap option offered.  I can hide my flaws well and when I explained a bit about my journey, they were truly shocked. And the wife actually refused to believe me until I showed her my before picture from my phone (always keep one handy in case I think of eating off plan). That kind of response makes me realize that I need to give myself credit where credit is due. I should be proud of my accomplishments. There are so many others in my life who are, and I never give myself accolades when I should.
  • This means I am going to work on appreciating my appearance much more than I have been. Whether I post a picture on Instagram or Tweet something I like about myself, it's important that I feel love and appreciation for me. I can see beauty in everyone...unless you have an ugly heart, but I need to appreciate the beauty in myself too. Weight loss isn't as cut and dry as I expected. Not only is maintenance a lot of hard work, but so is body acceptance. This is so different than what I envisioned in my mind when I started my weight loss journey 3 years ago. I never prepared myself for the emotional repercussions of weight loss. 
  • My body is finally back to it's happy place. I've no idea what I weigh right now...still, but I can say this with 100% conviction. I feel right once again in my skin and my clothes. Two weeks of running 5 days a week has gotten me back to where I am most comfortable. That and cutting out my weaknesses...nuts and fruit. I ate nuts today, and still eat one fruit serving a day, but more importantly, my metabolism has kicked itself into high gear again and my pace is even improving. Running is what works best for me. And even though I still bike and will get back to the gym once I address my injuries, running has to be my 5-day a week activity. I can't duplicate the cardio or calorie burn in any other activity. Running is my maintenance saviour.
  • October is a busy month for me. It's Thanksgiving, Julien's birthday (7 on the 11th), and of course, Halloween. Not sure what's going on with family celebrations for next weekend, but I will plan a fun time for Julien. His party won't be until the 18th but he'll still get a special day on the 11th. Time has flown by. In another month I have to start thinking about Christmas again. And, although we're moved into the new house since July, I still need to paint it from top to bottom. This is when it would pay to be Samantha from Bewitched. Wish I could just snap my fingers and twitch my nose:-)

My runs from this week. It's been a while since I had a 40K week.

Friday, October 3, 2014

No grains, no gains - Dealing with body shape and body size changes

A group of Primal/Paleo/Grain Free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. A great way for others (who may be WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, reverse an acute/chronic health trend, and/or transition from commercial weight loss programs) to read about real life women who are living the life and succeeding.

This month's topic is dealing with body shape and body size changes. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. It's no secret that last winter I had a bit of an emotional breakdown due to my self esteem issues. I got myself into therapy and I'm still attending therapy in regards to this. I'm going to let you in on a secret. Just because you lose the body weight equivalent of another adult woman does not mean you automatically feel good about yourself. That is the honest to God truth. Confidence is a lot of work. Just like maintenance. And it's something I struggle with everyday...just like maintenance.

I have been following the Paleo lifestyle since March 2013. I find Paleo the best option for me for maintenance. While I was still in active "weight-loss mode" I was somewhat leaner. I can tell the difference even if others couldn't. I was leaner but not necessarily stronger. I don't count portion size or calories on Paleo, but if I notice undesirable changes in my body, I cut out nuts, cut way down on fruit and stick to mostly protein and less starchy vegetables. Just making those changes will cause my body to return to what is my normal within a week. It's a foolproof system for me. 

I am slightly bigger following Paleo than I was when I first reached maintenance. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. My legs are muscular and I feel strong. I feel that even though I'm curvier, I'm stronger. As long as I keep up with my running and exercise regime and am on point with my eating, my body stays the way it should. Funny that for the first time in my life I do not own a scale. I was obsessed with the scale my entire life. It had the ability to make or break my day. I haven't been on a scale since July when I got weighed during my fitness assessment at the gym. Prior to that, I hadn't been on one since early spring of 2014. Crazy you say? Maybe, but I'm in pretty good tune with my body and I can tell when things are off. 

I was doing strength training at the gym. This was definitely a good thing for me because I have zero upper body strength. I found that the gym made me super hungry and I was eating all the time. I also started running less which was not such a good thing for me. Running lots and eating Paleo works best for my body. The running keeps my metabolism up so I can eat without worrying about counting calories or portions. I haven't been to the gym in a month. I definitely need to go back, but I've had to booked an appointment with my family doctor to have my right rotator cuff checked out. I'm not sure if I damaged or tore it at the gym, but it has been aching me since before I went to Stockholm/London. To the point that it bothers me at night and causes my entire arm to ache. Right now I'm focusing solely on running again and I'm back to running 5 days per week. Although I considered going to the gym in the interim to do some yoga and pilates, I'm hesitant to do anything that will require I use my arms/shoulders because I don't want to do further damage.

So do I accept my body the way it is now? There is always room for improvement. I'm still a work in progress. I have definitely come a long way, but my self perception is still trying to catch up with how everyone else sees me. I do like what I see when look in the mirror, but the way I envision myself in my mind is completely different than how others see me. It's hard to understand unless you have lost the body weight equivalent to 2 Irish Setters (140 pounds). It's a constant struggle but one that I will continue to tackle because the alternative is not an option. I have said it before and I'll say it again. Nothing tastes better than missing out on my son's life or my good health. I've worked hard to get where I am and I'll be damned if I go back to where I started. Nothing I could eat is worth that!

Check out my blogging peeps. They're going to share their views on their personal body changes/issues/acceptance. Everyone has different experiences. Looking forward to seeing their take on this subject.

For Life
Garden Girl

Picture on left taken the summer of 2011. Picture on the right taken one week ago.