Archive for July, 2008

I can sleep in tomorrow!

July 31, 2008

I got out of bed at 6:22 am this morning (okay 2 minute improvement), and I went to the gym for day 4 this week (1 goal accomplished). Which means I get to sleep in on Friday. Friday & a sleep in & it’s a long weekend, doesn’t get too much better than that.

I’m still a bit freaked out about this size 14 thing. It sounds naive but when I started this “no scale until I establish consistency” I thought I’d loose some weight, maybe 10-20 possibly as much as 30 lbs…. but to be down 6 sizes (20-14), well that’s something else!

I am both looking forward to and not looking forward to shopping in “regular” stores again. I’m not looking forward to it because the women who work in plus sized stores are really the most friendly non-judgemental positive sales people I’ve met. The clothes in plus sizes stores are not just larger, but are cuts that are more flattering to a full figure. I’m not looking forward to being the big girl in the “regular” girl store and having to pull the largest size off the rack.

I am looking forward to it because it will be a huge accomplishment to not only put a bunch of sizes behind me, but also a whole set of stores. I’ve felt cut off from “regular” world and while I have been accepted by plus sized world, I want to re-enter “regular” world. I also know if I can find the motivation to get through the next couple of sizes then I can make it a few more to hit the middle of the road sizes that will look good on a size 6-8.

The In-Between Size

July 30, 2008

I went clothes shopping today and received a nice surprise. I was shopping for dress clothes (the least forgiving as sizing goes), turns out I’ve definitely reached the size 14.

Most of me is estatic about this. It’s been a long time (maybe 18 months to two years) since I was a size 14! This is definite proof that the diet & exercise thing… not a myth.

I do have to admit a small trepidation though, I’ve reached the top of the dreaded “in-between” sizes. Those sizes being 12-14.

I’ve become comfortable shopping in plus sized stores. There are no friendlier women then the women who staff the plus sized stores (or, at least the ones I go to). Addition-Elle, I love it!

The problem I find is that plus sizes stores are well stocked with sizes 16 and up, it becomes quite a challenge in a plus sized store to find a 14 and almost impossible to find a 12. Ironically the “regular” sizes stores are full of lots of size 10 and smaller (although 10’s do teeter on the brink) but finding a size 12 is rare, and a size 14 almost unheard of.

So my fashion conscious self is going to have to suck it up for a bit and use this in-between phase as motivation to keep up the diet & exercise regiment to try to reach down another 4 sizes.

I’m not complaining… well not too much. I’m really happy with the success. I just wonder now that the average american woman is a size 14, where does she shop (besides old navy)? And, does that store have a franchise in Canada?

500 Calorie Mistake

July 30, 2008

It’s actually a happy mistake. I use calorie counting to help with my portion control. Generally I think that calorie counting alone is not a good method as you can eat a lot of bad foods like chips, chocolate bars and diet pop and meet your calorie needs but not your nutritional needs. That being said, my issue has not really ever been poor choice of foods, just eating too much of them. Thus, calorie counting.

At 1500 calories (a good weight loss range for my age, height, body type and weight) 500 calories is a pretty big deal, it’s 1/3 of my daily requirement. It is therefore logical that if I’m off by that much it can have a serious impact on my success on this journey. Fortunately the mistake has been caught (early-ish) and was more or less in my favour. Although I’m not a proponent of eating below 1200 calories, as it’s not healthy.

The site I use to track my calories is caloriecount.com one of the things I love about it is the recipe analyzer tool. It’s got a large food database so you can enter almost any ingredients you would use in recipe into the analyzer tool and have it calculate the calories/portion of the dish you are making.

I did notice yesterday something that caught my attention. The recipe I was making pintos refritos was supposed to serve 6 portions. When I cooked the dish and divided it into 6 portions it was 94 grams / portion. When I logged the calories into my daily log the analyzer had entered it as 247 grams / portion… well obviously something was amiss…

After asking a few questions on the forums (another thing I love about the site, the great forums and quick response from long time users) I figured out that since I had simply typed in the kind of bean the analyzer had thought I meant dried beans, not canned.

Took me less than 5 minutes to fix about 12 recipes with beans in them, and since I eat mainly vegetarian… and a lot of beans I figured out I’ve been shorting myself about 500 calories / day.

This 1500 calorie diet is suddenly looking “much” easier.

Smoking Stinks…. Yeah, really, it does!

July 29, 2008

I may slowly be turning into one of those holier-than-thou ex-smokers as I get myself in shape. The background story is that up until my bike accident I was a pack & a half a day smoker. I smoked in high school, though university and really never thought it was a big deal. I knew that my boyfriend would have preferred that I didn’t smoke (he didn’t), but I just didn’t think it was “that” bad.

In a long term it’s gonna kill me kinda way I’d joke about choosing which type of cancer I was going to die of, and I certainly understood the long term impacts of smoking on my health. But as a teenager / early twentysomething smoking was if not cool, than something I was addicted to and had no motivation to quit.

The smoking bans in bars helped. I was a bartender, and not being able to smoke behind the bar was a definite way to cut down. What really finally got me to quit though was the smell… yes, smoking stinks… really, unbelievably awful stink!

After being in the smoke-free hospital for close to a month after my accident I came out and did some chores around the house. My partner hadn’t been smoking so the home had been smoke free for a month, the ash trays gone… and then I did some laundry. It was like picking up a giant ash tray. I actually almost vomited. This didn’t stop me cold turkey (addictions are powerful), but after that I started noticing how much I smelled each and every time I smoked. The way my hands smelled, and I had to wash them four, five even six times to get rid of the smell. I could feel it rising from me and coming off like a film in the shower. Everytime I was in a smoking house (I no longer smoked indoors) I would get headaches and feel sick.

I did manage to quit (used a lot of bottled water as a substitute for cigarettes) within about 6 months of this realization.

That was five years ago this past July 12th.

This is the holier-than-thou part… In the past five years everyone I know, all of my friends, all of my family who smoked (there were not that many) have quit, save one… my partners sister.

She’s a great person, she is smart, and funny, pretty and creative. We have a lot of fun together. However, as much as we know she would like to see us more, and do more things with us, we often limit ourselves to seeing her about once every 3-4 months. Yup, that’s 4 times a year tops. Why? Because she smokes.

As a now non-smoker I can’t believe the amount of work I go to, to accommodate a smoker. No, I don’t let her smoke inside.

When she comes over, she stinks, she smokes on the 40 min drive over here in her car, and when she comes in it’s like greeting a walking ash tray. Then she sits town on our couch… which will then need either a steam clean, or 4-5 Febreeze treatments to smell normal again. She’ll pet our dogs (cause they’re dogs and want to be petted) and then we’ll have to give them a bath or a long run to get the smoke out of their fur. And while we usually to take her out in the city, we’d prefer to take transit but she’ll insist on taking her car… and smoking it it… with us in it…. which means two things: a choice of which wardrobe I’ll be washing that night when I get home and making sure I take a shower before I go to bed (I’m a morning shower person) so that I don’t end up with a bed smelling of smoke.

I know if someone had said these things to me when I was smoking I would have thought them some sort of rude freak. Smoking didn’t smell that much while I was smoking. She was over on Sunday, and even after all of that cleaning on Sunday night, on Monday when I went to the gym I could smell the smoke coming out of my pores!

I have no idea how to tell her this, or if it would even be productive. I know first hand how hard it is to quit smoking, and how much of a culture of blame we do have on smoking now… but still, why should I have to accommodate this much for her bad habits?

I’m not going to come to a solution in this blog, but if you are reading and you are a smoker and you’re wondering what your non-smoking friends may be thinking, it could be something similar.

Small Accomplishments

July 28, 2008

I believe that it is the small accomplishments that make a successful weight loss / life-change journey. Grand gestures are hard to maintain, and often lead to disappointment in my experience. I need to acknowledge and congratulate myself on a few of the small things in the past few days.

I went to the farmers market on Sunday. I prefer to buy local, organic, non mass produced food. But it requires more work and I have been lax in that lately. Also, I can never buy everything I need at the farmers market so I have to commit myself to at least two stops. Nevertheless I was happy to go, and my three-bean salad tastes MUCH better with tomatoes that actually taste… well.. like tomatoes.

I made a dinner for family on Sunday and did not end up horrendously over-calorie. I’m a good cook, quite a good one actually. So when people come over I get to flex my cooking muscles a bit and this can often lead to much over-indulging in the name of company. But I kept it simple and nice. I re-used a curried potato salad from the BBQ on Saturday, so there was only a small amount that I had to share with my guests (thus no over eating of that), decorated it with Nasturtiums (from mum’s community garden). I made polenta (yes from scratch) and a roasted red pepper sauce (from veggies from farmers market), and served mint tea (from organic honey & mint grown in mum’s community garden) with raspberries (from farmers market) decorated with mum’s (the flowers). It was a very nice meal, the guests were very satisfied and had I not had the chai latte at the movie I would have been on-cal, but as it was I was not terribly over… Family dinners have usually resulted in 3500-4000 calorie days and this one came in at 1774, keeping me under for my weekly average.

Finally I made it to the gym this afternoon. I took a long lunch and did my work out. Historically Monday’s have been very bad for me. I really want to incorporate more of my exercise earlier in the week so I don’t feel so pressed at the end of the week for fear of not meeting my weekly goals. While I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that getting up early on Monday’s is a long term goal I can take the occasional long lunch, and I rarely schedule Monday evening functions. Also, the farmers market mentioned above is only open on Sunday’s from 9am – 2pm. I usually miss it because my partner works swing shift and sleeps till about 1pm, so I while away my Sunday mornings on the computer. Going out to the gym and farmers market would be a better use of this time.

Just one more week…

July 28, 2008

I “just” need to make it though this week on cal and exercising and I’ve finished the first phase of my plan. I don’t know exactly why I am not more confident about being able to do this.

Part of it is that I have never been able to hang onto a weight loss change, to really make changes to my eating and exercising across this many weeks before.

Part of it is fear of actually changing. As much as I do want to change I have learned how to identify as a plus sized woman, and if I succeed in this I will definitely not be a plus sized woman any more.

As I think about these reasons though they pale in my reasons to want to succeed.

I am not “very” plus sized, I am currently a size 16 and I don’t want to be any larger than that anymore. I want to, I need to be fit again. I love sports, I love outdoors, I love outdoors sports. As plus sized I can have a really good time with the girls at a club, in a bar, at a restaurant, however I feel like I don’t belong on the soccer field, on the tennis court, in a kayak or on a beach and I want to feel like I belong on those places again.

To succeed this week I need to let what I want overcome what I fear and make very very sensible choices. The sensible choices are also going to be tougher than usual this week. I will be eating out five of seven days which will make it extra challenging.

Today so far so good, just a light salad for breakfast, need to watch myself at bookclub tonight, we go to a dessert bar, I need to see if I can get a fresh fruit bowl, instead of the fresh fruit crepe.

Weekly Check In – Week 22

July 27, 2008

I did much better this week on my health goals. I am really excited to say that I ate at 1700 calories and went to the gym four days this week. Which means that this week I am trying for 1600 calories and going to the gym also for four days. If I do this then I am finished Phase I of my plan! That means I’ve successfully weened myself down from 3,000 calories per day on average to a place where I’ll be trying to maintain a 12 week plan of 1500 calories per day. I’m really excited about this!

My biggest challenge with the 1600 (and then 1500) seems not to be the hunger factor. I think slowly bringing down my calories helped with that. It’s the little bites. I’m still really bad at estimating how many calories are in what. Especially when I’m eating out.

The not so good news is that getting back on track on health & diet came at the cost of some life balance, and I almost completely neglected my financial and career goals this week. I’m way behind in my reading for my book club this coming week. I also didn’t do very well with keeping up with housework. If this lifestyle change is really going to be a lifestyle change then I need to be able to do it within the scope of my life. That is good diet & exercise + keep good job + keep up with bank account + don’t let home fall apart around me + still see friends and be social.

Weekly Results
Household: 62%
Health & Beauty: 71%
Finance: 19%
Career: 19%
Entertainment: 57%

Overall: 46%

Running Average Q2
Household: 73%
Health & Beauty: 43%
Finance: 45%
Career: 43%
Entertainment: 68%

Overall: 54%

Put one foot in front of the other… repeat

July 24, 2008

I’ve hit one of those moods where I almost don’t care. Don’t care about anything. These moods are dangerous because I can spend the rest of the day / week / month browsing blogs, reading crap, eating crap and getting nowhere fast. The curious part is I can never figure out why these moods happen.

Logically I should be a bit more happy today. Yesterday, I went out in a pair of jeans that has not fit me since last fall. This should make me happy and recognize my success in this weight loss journey and having a tangible result. I suppose it’s that the result is bitter sweet. Those pair of jeans were my first jeans from a plus sized store. I wasn’t happy that I had to buy jeans in a plus sized store when I bought them, and I made myself a promise that I would loose weight at that point…. then I broke that promise, and went up a few more sizes until I couldn’t wear the jeans, or if I did they gave me a scary muffin top and were very uncomfortable.

On the happy side there is this very tangible result that I have lost size, which is ultimately the most important part of what we call a weight loss journey.

On the blah crappy side all this work, all this time, all this effort has got me to a place where I was 9 months ago, where I was not happy with my physical appearance 9 months ago.

I need to kick myself out of this crappy mood and remind myself that giving up now, that stopping now will only see me back here in a year, with the same old song, loosing the same 20 lbs over and over and over. I do not want that.

So onwards with my day, to try, to try to succeed in this world, in this life and in this ever so cliche journey.

Hello Pot, you’re black – Kettle

July 23, 2008

I’ve belonged to a diet / weight loss site for a few years now. This should not be seen as a black mark on that site, I always loose weight when I am using it, my problem is once I stop using it, then I stop paying attention to what I’m eating and exercising and slowly everything slides back to bad habits.

I’m probably not someone who should be giving weight loss advice. I haven’t succeeded at weight loss. Not in the whole bundle kind of way. Recognizing that I’m not on the advice giving side of the equation I still find myself watching other dieters and wanting to scream at them.

At first I want to scream at the people, because I think they are acting stupidly. Then I want to just scream because I realize that so many, in fact the majority, of people who are on diets act stupidly because there is so much confusing information out there about dieting and weight loss and at the same time we are constantly bombarded by consumer messaging.

Some of my basic’s Do’s & Don’t:

– Don’t think that diet soda will make you thin
– Do drink water
– Don’t use supplements (unless medically necessary – really – not hypochondriac necessary)
– Do learn where your food comes from
– Don’t fast
– Do learn to cook & prepare your own food
– Don’t skip meals
– Do exercise
– Don’t think that you can diet without exercise or exercise without addressing your diet long term.
– Do eat your vegetables
– Don’t trust pre-packaged diets
– Do discover tea
– Don’t shop in the centre of the grocery market
– Do shop around the edges of the grocery market
– Don’t think you can loose more than 10 lbs in a month
– Do realize that more than 10 lbs of weight loss will require a long term commitment
– Don’t think that a diet is temporary
– Do realize that to keep the weight off this is a full on lifestyle change
– Don’t eat fast food
– Do eat real food

I want odd numbers

July 23, 2008

Most people I talk to who want to loose weight have goal weight and mini-goals that usually look something like:

I want to be 150 lbs
I’m going to give myself a reward every 10, 15 or 20 lbs lost

I suspect most of us have “other” mini-goals as well. I think these are less said because they are both motivating and also sad. They are the weights we remember, here are mine:

200 – because I can’t believe I ever let myself cross that line.

184 – The first time I decided to join a gym to get fit, I knew I’d put on some weight, I couldn’t believe it was this much weight. I remember being very angry with myself.

172 – This is the heaviest weight for a female who wants to join the argonauts rowing club. I love the look of rowing, and I’d really like to try it, I remember being so happy when I found out the club nearest me was open to the public, and then upset with myself when I realized I was currently too heavy to join.

168 – This is the weight, that at my height, I will no longer be considered to be fat, or obese, I will be on the high(est) end of normal range of BMI.

164 – The first time I asked my partner to weight himself, this is what he weighed.

148 – What I weighed at the end of highschool, post anorexia.

135 – My “low” normal range.