Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Thank You

I haven't written anything here for the past while, having been very busy over the past few weeks.

But I didn't forget that I had a small group of buddies here all in the same battle with me and with whom I would be honest. That really has helped me.

I started the year weighing 161.2 lb. My legs felt like tree trunks and my face was becoming moon shaped. The worst of it was that at that point, my weight was steadily going up and I had to do something! I began this blog just to record my weight weekly and share small victories and large struggles.

I weighed in this morning at 153 lb.

I just want to celebrate tonight with my friends. I'm not where I want to be yet. I could lose another 10lb and look better, but you have all helped me get to where I am.

I'm afraid that exercise is sadly lacking and that is a goal for the new year. I am aiming to develop better sleeping patterns and I sure would love to lose those 10 pounds.

Tomorrow I will weigh in officially for January 1st, and start again.

Happy New Year Slide Stoppers!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Note: sorry Belinda for pushing your post down - I can't get the 'post scheduling' option to work! I tried to schedule this to post two days from now but....failed. So, SEE BELOW FOR BELINDA'S LAST POST.
Okay, so you know how I had put on like ten pounds in one month, not riding my bike? Well, on that day (Thanksgiving) I got my motivation. I said "Enough is enough". Since then, since October 13, I have lost the following:

15 pounds (I'm at 178 now)
3.5 inches off my waist
2 inches off my bust
2 inches off my hips


How did I do it, you ask? This is how I did it.

I plan to carry on with Cinch indefinitely. I am doing the two-a-day loss plan right now, and will switch to one-a-day maintenance when I have reduced my waist and weight to the high end of my recommended body mass (as defined by the Index). I am supposed to be 160 pounds, but I will be happy if I can hover around 170. We'll see.

When I started out on this Stopping the Slide journey, I had no real intention to do any sort of concerted plan. I normally don't approve of them because I feel they don't change your habits in any long-term way. After gaining all that weight and feeling, frankly, physically uncomfortable, I just had to put my foot down and try something drastic. I'm so glad I did, not just because I am shrinking as we speak, but because normally my weight loss is so slow that the lack of visible progress tempts me to give up. This plan gave me a huge kick start and a solid reason not to cheat...and I could see the benefits after a mere couple of days.

Plus, there is a whack of nutritional advice given with the plan, and it has changed my eating habits noticeably...I am way, way down on my starches and I don't think I can ever go back. When I eat those now, after six weeks on Cinch, I feel so stodgy. I certainly don't have the capacity I once had.

So we'll see how this works out in the long term. For now, it feels great and I am loving it. The first week was hard, naturally, with the lower amount of starch and with trying to get creative with my protein choices (I have to have 8 servings per day), but everything is going so beautifully now...I'm really wondering if this could be the leg up I needed.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Checking In

It's been a couple of weeks since last officially checking in. I was having trouble staying on track, and honestly, it's hard to check in when you feel like you are spiralling down.

In spite of not visibly connecting though, I was helped by thinking about the fact that on January 1st I started a journey on this blog in a desperate need for accountability and support, without condemnation or guilt.

I looked at a photo I took of myself at that point. Although I was only about 8 pounds heavier then, they were "tipping point" pounds, with which I began to feel frumpy and fat. And I was slowly but surely, on the way up. With losing those few pounds I am not noticably fat, but I still have clothes I can't wear because they are too small. I need to lose another 10lb.

The last two Tuesday's, when I didn't record my weight here, it was 154 and 154.6. If this blog didn't exist, I know that I would have continued with the abandoned eating patterns that were taking hold again. I'd been to a work training where there the meals were delicious and plentiful and I was falling prey to binging on chocolate and cookies at home.

Looking at the photo of myself, reminded me that I would hate to regain those pounds, and furthermore I want to carry on with the journey of losing more of them. So I have got back on the horse this week and eaten more moderately, while still enjoying good food.

I have not done any exercise friends. The snow has landed in Ontario and it is so much easier to stay snugly inside and to focus on all that I have to do. I am very busy right now with the extra load of Christmas preparations but I need to do something to get moving. I will try to get moving this week.

Today my weight is down but it isn't my official day to report until Tuesday so it doesn't count. I might go up by then, although I hope not. Hey, it might even go down! How is the rest of the gang doing? Please let me know.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Me Updating

Dear Fellow Slide Stoppers,
I'm sorry for vanishing from the scene, although not really.

I just got back on Saturday from two weeks in England, where I was visiting my family, and also enjoying the fat of the land, literally! I did enjoy fish and chips as often as I could, but I split each order (they are giant sized) with my mum. Admittedly "splitting" meant me having 2/3 at least, but we were both happy with our portions. I also relished fresh cream cakes whenever I could lay my hands on one.

On the other hand I did lots more walking than I usually do and I did not cast off all restraint. I feel as though it was a good balance of enjoying life and being moderate and sensible (even though it doens't sound like it from what I just wrote.)

Today I am 151.2 on the new scales, which read 1 pound less than my old ones. I'm going to forget about that pound, which I feel compelled to tell you about. If you care about it (which I doubt), you now know to add it to any further weight reports from me! :) Truly I only report my weight for my own benefit and accountability. I don't think that anyone else takes note.

I've decided to walk at lunchtime at work whenever I can. Yesterday I walked 2.5 km in half an hour and found it cleared the cobwebs that were gathering after a morning at my desk. I came in from the cool fresh air feeling envigorated.

How is everyone else doing?

Monday, 13 October 2008

intervention needed

Well, something terrible has happened - I don't quite know what it is...well, I know what but not how or why. I've gained EIGHT POUNDS in the last month.

And to that I can only say WTF??!!??!

I have no idea why. The ONLY thing is that my bike was stolen but SURELY, SURELY I could not have been getting THAT much out of my bike rides?

I'm upset and bewildered and kind of panicky. Any encouragement would be gladly accepted right now...

As to details, I haven't changed my diet at all, except in the last week I have gone completely off bread, because I like it too much. Other than that, I am not eating ANY more than I used to.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Encouragement to MOVE!

Hey Everyone,
Today I had an email from Brenda, Susan's sister, who wanted to share what works for her. It gave me the motivation to get moving again because I know that what she said is true, so I asked her if I could post her "nudge" here. She said yes! Here it is:

I bike for 10 k. almost every day and this summer I lost 8 lbs. and I seem to be able to eat anything I want and not gain anything. Maybe what you need is some more aerobic activity? Those hills on my route really make my heart beat faster. I assume that the muscle I have developed in my legs is burning the calories. It's very freeing to not have to worry about what I eat anymore. Once the cold weather hits I plan to put the bike away and take up ice skating at the local arena.

Yes, Brenda, I do need more aerobic activity. Today I intended to take Molson out for a walk in the glorious fall sunshine, but I ended up spending a huge chunk of the day cleaning out our upright freezer and throwing out the fossilized food I found in there! It wasn't exactly aerobic, but I did lots of bending and carrying and stretching.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Small Changes Make a Big Difference

I got tired of the wonky scale in our downstairs bathroom. It had developed digital dementia and registered random weights; sometimes many different ones within a few seconds!

"Enough!" I thought, and caved in and bought a new Weight Watchers one. It was wonderful not to see blinking, rapidly changing, numbers and not to have to weigh several times to be certain of the truth.

The new scale reads one pound less, which made me like it even more, but for the purposes of this blog I will add a pound when I report in.

On Tuesday I was 150.6. It has been a good week even without startling weight loss, because I kept in my mind as a mantra, "Being faced with the same situation you failed in and doing properly this time," only I just thought of it as doing "differently" rather than "properly."

Small changes make a big difference in the long run.

For a guaranteed smile, go to my friend Kim's fitness blog and check out her latest interview with Bonnie Grove, of Saskatchewan. Bonnie's answers are hilarious.
Fit for Faith

Friday, 3 October 2008

"True repentance is being faced with the same situation you failed in, and doing properly the next time. "

I saw this definition on a great blog this morning, and while it wasn't meant in regard to healthy behaviours, I see the application and am encouraged. We keep striving to do better as we face the same situations. I love thinking of it this way. There is so much grace in this definition of repentance, as well as healing.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Still Stopping the Slide

Dear Friends,
It's been a busy three weeks, but the dust is settling and here I am again.

I must confess that the week after I had a bout with a stomach bug and was down to 149.8, I didn't want to confess that once I stopped having the runs as often, I was back up to 152.8. The two weeks since then I have been 151.8, and this week I'm slowly edging down. Maybe next Tuesday I will have something more inspiring to report in terms of weight loss, but the real battle isn't on the scale at all, but in my head.

I was talking to Libby this morning about that; how we seem to hit an invisible barrier that is hard to get beyond. If I really want to get beyond where I am, icecream, high fat cookies, pie and chocolate bars, cannot be part of my every day life and I have to ask myself which I want more, because I can't have both. I do want to shed the 10 pounds that represent icecream, cookies and chocolate. A day every now and then, even once a week, where that rule is broken, won't upset 6 days of a healthier pattern. Can I do it? Do I really want to? Or am I just fooling myself and content to stay as I am.

At this moment at least, I really want to. I can only take it moment by moment and try to make choices that are consistent with my goal, knowing that it will take a lifetime of living this way to stay where I want to be once I get there. So I'm trying. And I'm drinking more water after talking to Libby, who tells me that it really does make a difference.

Shan, I gave up the push ups. How are you doing? I would like to try again; I haven't done a lot of walking either. I do have a new time management plan that I'm working on. This may help with fitting in more exercise more faithfully.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Week Three and Hanging On

Hi Everyone,

Well it has been two weeks and the start of week three for me in this journey. So far I have managed to loose 11.6lbs, which I am really telling you so I can be accountable. I have been down the road of dieting many times before and usually at a 20lb loss, I give up....

Can anyone here tell me why it is when people start to notice the weight loss and compliment me that I give up....
Do any of you have that same phenonmenon. It is like I just start to feel good and then poof I quit... Just doesn't make any sense to me.

So this time as I am getting rid of layers of myself, I am going to try to change the self talk into the positive stuff. I can do this. I don't need to quit at 20 lbs. Even if it is tough which it will be I can still carry on one day at a time.

I am glad to be a part of this blog group as an extra support as I go for better health.

I found a neat recipe on one of the blogs linked to this. They were talking about egg muffins. This is really quiche without the crust made in those silicone muffin cups. I tried it out. Works really good, handy to have ahead for breakfasts. You can freeze them too. It is a southbeach diet recipe.

If you have any favorite healthy recipes or ideas please pass along. I would appreiate fresh ideas.

Have a great week.

Shan and Belinda how are those arms now? Feeling the benefits? I applaud you on....

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Jelly Arms

Thanks Shan! My arms feel like jelly and my upper chest as if someone punched me all over. :)

Today when no one was around at work I got down in on the ground in the hallway and tried for my next set of pushups. I'm so glad nobody suddenly came down the stairs, they might have started CPR. :)

I got no further than the first set of cheating pushups. I could hardly use my arms to push myself off the ground! I'm not giving up though, this is good pain.

Miracles, and Freakin' Sore Armpits

I did the first day of the 100 pushup challenge today. O.U.C.H. I didn't expect it to be that hard. I did 20 on the initial test, so I saw the instructions for the first day and thought "Tchuh! 10, then 10, then 8 then 6?! That's going to be a cakewalk!"

Um, it wasn't a cakewalk. It was bloody difficult, and I can tell you right now I will be amazed if I can EVER do 100 consecutive pushups. BUT I WILL SOLDIER ON. No quitting for me. I'm taking tomorrow off then I'm doing it all again on Friday. I think I may do Day One again because I had to do the last two pushups of the third set (the set of 8) on my knees. But I managed 10 for the last, maximum-rep set, anyway.

And now for something really extraordinary: I got an email from a reader yesterday. This woman reads my blog but doesn't comment, and lives in Chicago. The email is as follows:
When I first read about the theft of your bike, I thought, "Hey, I wonder
if she'd like Sam's old bike." Then I dropped it, because, well, because. I have a nice quality mountain/hybrid bike in my basement, about 3 years old. It is sturdy and well-made.... Contingent upon not-outlandish shipping costs, would you like it?

And that, my friends, is what is known as "God closing a door and opening a window".

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

It's an Ill Wind that Blows No Good

I friends; it's me checking in.
This morning I was down to 149.8. This is largely due to an stomach bug that I have been battling for the past 11 days. Not pleasant, but it had its points! :)
Shan, I was so busy today that I did not start the push up challenge, but tomorrow I definitely will!
At the worst of my upset stomach, I was eating only to keep body and soul together. I realized after I started to feel a bit better, that I had stopped the constant grazing that I am prone to do!
Maybe I should try chewing gum!
If I can keep off what I lost and maintain the momentum that will be awesome. And on with the push ups!
Shan, I'm praying about that bike too, that you'll get it back. I know that humanly speaking that's next to impossible.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Thinking about getting rid of something.....

Monday September 8th, 2008

Hi fellow bloggers, I have officially joined with you on this quest for better health. I have commented occasionaly on the blog, but am now making this official. Hi, I am Libby, which was a nickname from childhood. I am not much of a writer, but if I get inspired by an idea or something I've heard that I feel coud be useful I will pass it along.

I started last week with my resolve to loose weight. I have a lot of it to loose. Every step is a step closer than the day before. I joined Weight Watcher's on tuesday last week and have been packing lunches since then. I lack in discipline in that area. This week all is wel though I have managed to pack my lunch and yes actually eat it too. Do any of you have that problem?

After talking with a friend this weekend, I was inspired by something she shared about weight loss. SHe heard someone say : I am not loosing weight anymore, I am getting rid of it. When you loose something you always end up trying to find it.

So out with the idea of loosing and in with the gettting rid of the extra pounds. Ah ha, a lightbulb went off for me. I am going to get rid of as much of me as I can. And to top it off, I can also clean house on the inside. For example which parts of me do I want to keep. What parts of my character would I also like to get rid of in the process and what are the qualities htat I want to keep. For me this is an exciting new way of looking at my situation.

May you all have a good week, and thank you all for your inspiration to me thus far.


100 Push-ups Challenge

Is anyone interested in doing the 100 push-ups challenge? It's simply a 5-week schedule for training yourself to do 100 push-ups consecutively, vastly improving your fitness and muscle tone at the same time.

It takes thirty minutes per week - ten minutes on each of three days, with a rest day in between. Not much time commitment, but we all know that push-ups are a great fitness tool.

I started out with 20 on the initial test (just do as many as you can, with good form, and no cheating) which puts me in group 3. So my first week of pushups will follow a schedule like this:

Day One:
10 push ups
60 seconds rest
10 push ups
8 push ups
6 push ups
As many push ups as I can do

Day Two:
12 pushups
90 seconds rest
12 pushups
10 pushups
10 pushups
As many as I can do

Day Three:
120 seconds rest

I think it'll be interesting, though I might have to do them on my fists because I am troubled with wrist pain.

So is anyone else In?

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Back on Four Wheels

Early Monday morning, my bike got stolen. It was in the shed in our back yard, with a proper door and everything...although the deadbolt was not locked. We got careless.

I posted about it on my regular blog, but I think people were mostly sympathetic about the cost involved...the real issue for me actually is that my bike was my main way of staying in shape. I got a lot of exercise on that bike...early in the summer I was riding four or five times a week. That changed later, when things got busy, but at least the bike was always there and I knew I could hop on at any time and get my heart going.

I would classify this event as devastating. I feel almost panicked about it. I can't afford to buy another bike. I can't even afford a mid-range bike like the one I had - it was $500 ten years ago. In fact, now that we are knee-deep in mortgage and kids and credit-card debt, we can't even afford a crappy bike. The only way I will be able to get one is to use the dregs of my (small) ICBC settlement from 3 years ago, but I was saving that $500 for something else - my mom is planning to take me and my sisters on a trip to NYC next year and we have to provide our own spending money. $500 isn't much but at least it would have got me some, I don't know, fabric or something.

It's embarrassing to admit that we're so poor I can't buy a bike...but that's how things are.

Actually I feel like I might cry now so I'm going to stop talking about the bike.

Belly dance starts up next week, and although I don't think we can technically afford it (see "Poor", above), I'm going to take the lessons anyway. If I am really dedicated and practice every single day, it will be worth the $45 a month. What I'm going to do this time is, I'm going to measure my waist now, and then measure it every month during the winter, when I'm dancing. Should be interesting...and probably more relevant than my weight.

Tonight I went to visit a friend of mine who has just moved back to town. She has a Wii Fit. She offered to set me up on it, and I hopped up on the platform. It was good to see that my weight is just above 184, still, even though I have been extremely careless about my eating lately. And the Wii assesses your balance and "Wii Age" based on your weight, height, and balance (which it uses as an indication of fitness). My balance was excellent - probably because of the belly dance - and my Wii age was assessed at 35...which I will be on October 16. I think this is okay - I am not sure how it all works, but it seems to me that if you are in poor shape your Wii age is higher than your actual age, and if you are in great shape your Wii age is lower. So I am happy with Exactly The Same.

My friend said I can come back and play with her Wii Fit anytime - so I am going to go to her place on the weekend, I think, and see if I can't work up a sweat. It should be fun.

I had a good time tonight, and my friend told me "You look fantastic", (I think she meant "thinner") but really I feel very down. I haven't got over the loss of the bike...I seem to be sinking into a depression about it. Hopefully once dance starts up, I will feel more optimistic about everything...and maybe God has a plan for a bike for me, which won't cost too much and will be even better than my old one.

But I still wish it hadn't been stolen.

Take care guys.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ups and Downs

Hey Friends, my last two weeks have not been great, and I felt badly about that after having felt so inspired in my last Beginnings and Endings post.

Being accountable here has been such a help, though, that I don't want to remain in hiding. So here I am, biting the bullet!

On Tuesday the 26th I was 152.8, which was after a weekend celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary by eating! The warm goat cheese with almonds (to start,) the wine etc., were all great, but...I'm not sure I'd do it all again next time.

I also didn't do what I'd planned in terms of exercise, although I went for a walk whenever I could manage it. I realize that I need to make it a higher priority.

On Tuesday the 3rd (yesterday) I was 153.2, which I think had more to do with a stomach problem I was having. This morning I'm back down to 151.4.

I wanted to post a couple of photos that encouraged me, taken in August of 2007 and August 2008.

Sometimes we don't realize how much difference just 5lb can make. In 2007 I was 157 and in 2008 I was 152.2. Those few pounds made a big difference when I see the photos.

So this week I am trying for start of the next 5lb off, and aiming to build in exercise in fact and not just in my mind!

How is everyone else doing? I would love to hear from you!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Beginnings and Endings

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

8 Endings are better than beginnings.
Sticking to it is better than standing out.

I read this verse this morning and it said something to me! It's always easy to start something but harder to finish. Isn't that true?

January 1st is full of good intentions as we sprint out of the gate with our eyes on the finish line, but staying the course is harder and by August it would be rare, I think, for many to still be in the race. We are, and I know it's because of our mutual support.

I had a busy week last week and didn't post my weight. It was 151.2, and today I weighed 151.4.
I'm feeling like I want to renew my focus on my goal, put my head down, and go for it.

My goals are:
Exercise at least three times a week for an hour of walking.
Indoor exercises with weights at least 4 times a week--arms and legs.
Lose the final 7 pounds.
Get at least 6 hours sleep a night, but mostly 7 (I'm not kidding, this would be a big improvement :) )

I've made a new Excel schedule and it looks like a place of safety and health for me because I've scheduled in rest as well as activity.

Here's to a wonderful and healthy fall. I know it's not here quite yet and I'm not rushing summer; but I'm gearing up for the next step.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


Hi All,

I continue to weigh 150 lbs. at home and 145 lbs. at the cottage- a descrepancy between scales. I have been doing interval training 3 times a week for the past two weeks. Out for a brisk walk for 50 min. with a minimal of 12 minutes jogging during that time.

Maintaining is all I can do right now it seems. The stress is high with a hospital trip by ambulance for one of the twins, Jason being sick for 6 days (he is finally beginning to get well), transitioning from the house to the cottage and back every week-end, and beginning schooling and planning for the next school year. I am content with what I am doing right now because it is all I can do. I am aware that things will slow down by the end of the month and even calamities end in their season.

I have found I have been struggling with my self control with both carbs. and sweets and it seems to happen when I'm under stress- go figure.

Thinking of all of you battling the same fight. We'll cheer on as we get healthy together.

Belinda, it has been great to hear about your new walking lifestyle.

Shan, I often wonder what it's like on the west coast and think of you hiking, biking, or kayaking. Way to go with increasing the activity.

Susan, How's it going with the new plan?

Just checking in. From the lightbulb.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Strong Arms in the Making

Psalm 144:1 (New International Version)
Of David.
1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.

I have always loved this verse from psalm 144. I find it inspirational and the image I get is of good strength.

This week I weigh 151.4, but this journey is becoming less and less about numbers and more about a healthy lifestyle all around.

I'm loving my walks with Molson; sometimes chasing grandchildren on bikes at a jog-walk. It's happening about 5 nights a week and I can see that I'm trimmer for it.

This weekend I pulled out my old Weight Watchers pamphlets and reread some of them. There are a couple with exercises to tone the arms and legs. On Sunday I started with the arms. Tomorrow I'll start with the leg exercises and add these 15 minute workouts on alternate days.

I can FEEL the muscles under my skin responding and coming to life--being stimulated. It's a good feeling.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Checking In

Photo by Katherine Burston

Hey, to the growing crowd of friends; mighty slide stoppers all!

I weighed in yesterday at 151.6; the same as the week before and I confess I would have loved to report a loss. However, I think it's healthier not to focus as much as I do on the actual weight, and instead focus on the actual eating.

I have not binged once, this past week. I credit the fact that I have focused on maximizing protein and minimizing carbs, for that.

I haven't done this rigidly, but just kept it in my head as a general rule. When eating a carb, I am aware of what it might do to my system, so I don't have a lot.

I have been packing my 6 brazil nuts for an afternoon snack faithfully. They help curb cravings and fill the tummy.

On Saturday, when 4 of our grandchildren were over and one of them wanted me to play soccer, I found that I was able to give him a run for his money. I may be bringing up the rear, but at least I wasn't dying with exhaustion.

I'll keep posting my weekly weight, because it helps me to do that, but not with any obsessive focus. I hope this encourages my Lightbulb friend, who is doing so well to have survived 4 weeks at the cottage in such fine form and who must be amazingly fit after all that exercise.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008


Although absent in words, my thoughts have been right here with you all as I made choices at the cottage for the past 4 weeks. On the cottage scales (yes there were two, our calm and careful family broke one), I weighed 145 lbs. Hooray for me.

The down side is, now home, my house scale has me at 150 lbs. I'm not sure which is right although I know which I'd rather believe.

I walked on average of 4 times a week for 6.5 km (jogging for 12 min. of every 50 min. jaunt. I jumped on the trampoline, paddled a canoe, rode my bike, swam and was generally active. Although I had treats, I carefully applied my 'no carbs after 1:00 p.m.' rule, breaking it rarely.

I felt great and when I measured at home, I was pleased to note I had lost 1/4 inch off my arms, 1/2 inch off my legs and 5/8 off my tummy.

In spite of this, I struggle with attitude towards my weight and was surprised by it. When I thought I was 145 lbs., I was jubilant and feeling great about my weight, size, and choices while away. When I got home and the scale read 5 lbs. heavier on the same day, I was discouraged, no longer felt good about what I thought I'd achieved.

That's why Shan's last post spoke so powerfully to me. Attitude is important and weight is influenced by so many factors.
As well, I was encouraged by Susan's early success and Belinda's vigilance in steady life-style changes.

You all are definitely a blessing in this journey and as Belinda said, "Comrades in Arms." When I begun, I'd never have believed this weight-loss adventure would have been such a battle.

It is such a discovery of self for me.

Thanks to have me be a part. It means a lot.

Monday, 28 July 2008

You - The Owner's Manual

We were having lunch, Belinda and I, just before I left on two weeks of vacation. She was showing me a book she'd just bought. It was called, "You - The Owner's Manual". I was intrigued and as I was flipping through the pages, she said, "It's on page 363".

I flipped to it and there is was. "The Owner's Manual Diet".

"Turn the page" she said. I did. There it was. On one page. All laid out for me. It was "The Owner's Manual Diet - Crib Sheet."

I read some of it out loud. Partway through I looked up. "I think I can do this!" I said.

And you know what? I can.

Before lunch was over, Belinda was making a gift of the book to me - to take on vacation. To get started on "the new healthier me".

I've been reading the book all right. I read the crib sheet to Ron on the way to Windsor. I read it to him again on the way back. Though I need it more than he does, we both decided to take its advice to heart.

There are only ten or eleven principles, and they are very easy to follow. Even while on vacation. In the interests of not violating copyright I won't write them all out here, but I will be mentionin them in future posts.

It's been three days now, and I'm doin' it! I feel like I'm doing my body a favour. I don't feel one bit deprived.

I would recommend the book to anyone. It's not just the chapter on weight control that is good. Today we read all about the brain and how to minimize the natural decline of memory - like taking good care of your arteries so they keep doing their job in getting oxygen and nutrients where they need to go. It's a book that is factual and enlightening, and both encourages and empowers you to take better care of yourself without being judgmental about what you haven't done so far.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Long Time No Post

I've been meaning to get in touch for ages but life is getting in the way. I can barely keep my personal blog afloat, but want to check in here with you.

I am was down to 180, making my total weight loss 12 pounds. I've just hopped on the scale after that last sentence, and now I'm up again to 184. This is because my family is visiting, I haven't been on a bike in almost two weeks, and the celebration food is flowing.

Interestingly, I feel healthier than I have for a long time, despite this upward trend. Why? Because we're spending nearly every day outside from dawn to dusk, canoeing, swimming, walking, playing. So my fitness is down (must be), and my eating is up (can't help it) and I still feel better. I think this says a lot about the measuring stick we use for "health". There are so many factors involved, and it's so dangerous to focus on the weight alone.
BUT, that being said, I have complete confidence in my ability to lose the weight again after this halcyon month is over. I will start today, in fact - though this weekend will be a total loss because we are going camping and neither death nor hell nor things that creep below nor things that fly above will keep me from marshmallows and hot dogs.

* * *

I've been thinking lately about happiness and how it contributes to my health. I am not a small woman - never really have been, aside from two brief years as an anorexic. And do you know what? Those two brief years were miserable. Horrible. Frantically unhappy.

My mental state, with regard to my weight and size, could be described as "slightly uneasy". I'm not overly worried about the extra pounds, though when I see pictures of myself I am always surprised. "Is that what I LOOK like?!" Because what I FEEL like is so different.

An interesting thing happened a few weeks ago. There was a year-end hafla (belly dance party) for my troupe, at my teacher's house. I was so excited about it, and got dressed in my most colourful costume. Bought a new lipstick and everything. While I was there helping my teacher set up and decorate, she told me about plans she is making to put on a belly dance show in February at a local theatre. It was a very big moment for me when she asked me if I would dance a solo in the show. A real, paid, for-money, BUY TICKETS show.

I said yes, of course I would! I would start work on a choreograph and a costume and be ready for February! It would be great! I was so excited!

After everyone arrived, some girls took pictures, and showed them to me on the spot. I glanced at the first one and was shocked - I felt deflated and worried. I felt like I looked silly and fat, instead of powerful and beautiful. But I smiled and agreed when everyone said enthusiastically, "Great picture!" Because that IS what I look like - and my friends think I'm beautiful. And my teacher wants me to dance a solo.

When I was 20 years old, in my third year at UVic, my rowing coach called me into her office and told me that I had made the team after two months of tryouts. I wasn't the tallest, the fittest, or the most talented, but she told me that, during those endless hours doing time trials on the ergometers, I had shown something else: "Mental Toughness". I'll never forget what it was like to hear that from a woman I admired - a member of Canada's National Women's Rowing Team - a woman who was, to say the least, NOT lavish with praise. I stored it away and have pulled it out since, playing it for myself whenever I feel I'm floundering.

At the hafla, I used that Mental Toughness again. I used it to put aside my feelings of inadequacy (overadequacy?) and discouragement, and to straighten my spine and put a smile on my face even though I was still dressed in that flamboyant costume when I suddenly wished I had worn something more concealing - even though I was tempted to look around at the other, smaller girls and think anxious thoughts about the difference between them and me.

I'll lose more weight - I'm not concerned about that. What I AM concerned about is my attitude. I am making daily efforts to change how I feel about myself: not to be ashamed and worried, not to hide under big clothes and dark colours, but to race powerfully through the life God gave me with the muscles He granted me, the strength He placed in my arms, and the charisma He wanted me to have - no matter what size I am. My belly dance teacher said, when I confessed to her (for the first time in three years of lessons) that I feel fat, "There's an inner beauty and strength that shines through, Shannon, and you have so much of that. Your body size is not what people notice first, or even second."

I didn't mean to write so much today. I was just going to give an update on the weight situation - that was all. I guess once I got going I realised I had a lot to get off my chest, after all.

Belinda, I'm so glad you are finding a difference with judicious administration of protein.
: )
My mom always (and rightly) harps on the importance of protein and always reminds me "it's the building blocks of cells. The more you exercise the more you need to build your cells."

Fox, I hope you are well and happy.

As for me, I will be getting back on track next week, when I wave a very sad goodbye to my sister Amy and my brother Mark, and my nieces. I will watch them down the street, then I'll go get my bike and do a hard 90 minutes with the pedals, to get myself going again.

Good luck everyone....carry on!

Mid Week Check In

I just had to check in and say that I truly notice a difference since focusing on eating protein when hungry and minimizing carbs. I don't feel cravings, just normal satisfiable hunger.

Last night I was about to have a slice of chocolate mousse cake at cell group, but didn't, because I noticed my dear friend not having any dessert, and she is battling the same weakness as I. I didn't want to discourage her, like having a drink in front of an alcoholic. The point is that I didn't need it anyway, or have a piece after she left, or feel compelled to eat anything at all after she left.

In fact, I'm beginning to see that what felt like a food addiction may simply have been a physiological response to eating the wrong foods. Well, maybe any physical addiction has a physiological basis, if only we understood addictions better. I'm not saying that I intend to not enjoy a slice of chocolate mousse; I will--but I will make that choice for different reasons.

Anyway, I feel totally hopeful. Yeay! And I want to thank my friends for their encouragement a and praise God for this hope.

Psalm 103:2-5 (New International Version)
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Checking In

Hey, I'm back down to 151.6 this morning, but never mind the weight, I think I'm figuring out what works.

Shan's advice about protein really encouraged me last week (see comments below post).Then this week I retook the Real Age quiz on Dr. Oz's website and was encouraged to find that my "real age" has gone down from 53.9 years to 52 (I'm really 58).

As a result of taking the quiz, I think, I got some information on my yahoo mailbox telling me how to beat the afternoon slump. 6 brazil nuts, or some dates with a little cream cheese inside of them to slow down their metabolizing, were suggested. I've tried it and it works.

Then last night on the radio I heard an interview with the guy who's published a book titled, Good Calories, Bad Calories, and his premise is that it is our recent focus on carbs that has led to the obesity epidemic, when all along, up until recently, people knew that to lose weight, carbs were to be avoided. He said that's why the South Beach diet and the Atkins diet work. Fats and protein are not the enemies, carbs are.

So, I aim to take that to heart as it coincides with my journey of this week; Shan's advice and that of Real Age. It makes so much sense, and I will not need to feel hungry, which leads to mindless binging--on carbs!

Exercise is going well, thanks to Molson! He is lean and long and I'm getting there too.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

I was in no real rush to post today, but I must. I weighed 152.4 this morning. I would have loved to be down at least 2 pounds, but I think that I need to shift my focus from the actual weight, while still being accountable here, which helps me.

I am walking with my walking buddy, Molson, every chance I get. He has slimmed down noticeably as a result, and Brenda is having to feed him more! I know I'm getting fitter and that the walking is healthy.

I find myself making poor food choices when tired and not motivated to make the effort to prepare a proper meal. Yesterday I ate three, day old donuts that were hanging around. That was supper. It's not as bad as it sounds. I do eat so well at breakfast and lunch. It's when I get home at the end of the day that the "bad Belinda" comes out of hiding!

Still, I find myself encouraged by just telling someone and I know that this blog is helping me to stop the slide.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Checking In

151 pounds this morning; the lowest I've been on a weigh in day, so far.

I am starting to reap the benefit of my nightly 3.5 km walks with Molson, my daughter Brenda's dog (you can read about some of them on Whatever He Says).

I was so surprised yesterday, to see my weight go down. Paul and I went to see a movie on Friday night. Poutine. Popcorn. You get the picture. But the walking must be ramping up my metabolism.

On Saturday I felt as if I was eating everything in sight; not unhealthy foods all the time, but hungry all day, then on Sunday the hunger had gone and I felt satisfied. Yesterday was even better. I had no cravings; I'm not sure why.

Anyway, it has encouraged me no end to be on the downward trend again! I long to crash the 150 pound barrier.

I hope my friends out there are doing well, or if not, that they don't give up. I was so cheered by Shan and Dee's comments on my last post. "You can do it," they said, in effect. I believe I can!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Checking In

I am so embarrassed to announce that I am up from last week's weight. I'm 153.2 this morning and I earned every ounce by eating like a zombie on autopilot this week.

Let's see; there was the tupperware container of four pieces of cake, left over from a celebration. Yes! I ate them all. At once. Ugh!

There were the two pieces of fruit flan, left over from celebrating Lesley-Ann's birthday at cell group. I ate them too. At once. Ugh!

And only last night, knowing that I would be weighing in this morning, I still ate a big bowl of caramel praline icecream with jello! Why? Because it was there.

I can see where I went wrong my friends. I cannot leave leftovers in my fridge. I have to give them away or throw them away, otherwise I'll throw them down the hatch! No one else here eats them. So---the rest of that jello is being tossed momentarily. I don't eat jello normally but I think it was a throw back to childhood birthday parties or something that made me want to eat it.

On the good side--and probably the only thing that saved my bacon--whoops, I don't want to save bacon do I--I have found the best of walking buddies in Molson, my daughter's dog who lives downstairs. We have walked 3.5 km each night for the past 4 evenings. I wrote about that experience on my other blog, Whatever He Says. I love walking with him and knowing that he is waiting for our "walkies" will motivate me daily. I think that is a very good thing.

I'm sorry for being an abysmal inspirer this week, but that's the whole point of Stopping the Slide, isn't it? We are here because we need help to "Stop It!"

Happy Canada Day! I'm going to spend part of it cleaning out my fridge. :)

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Lightbulb Again

It has been two weeks and I wanted to check-in. This morning I was at 152 lbs. This is exciting to me but I have been here twice. Last Thursday, I was at 152 as well. However, with the week-end, I had 2 or 3 meals away from my no carbs fare and then by Monday I'm back at 154 lbs.

I would like to give myself the privilege of having 2-3 free meals a week (meaning I get sugar or carbs or wine or a combination.) However, if it keeps costing me in the pounds, I may reduce it to 1 until I get a little closer to my goal weight.

I had some success at being wise with meal choices. We were at our Sunday School Picnic on Sunday and there were sandwiches and salads galore. I stayed away from carbs (no sandwiches or potatoe or pasta salad - no dessert) I was proud of myself. However, I then came home and ate 2 pieces of Rhubarb, raspberry pie I had made the day before. It had meringue on top, nice and thick, and rhubarb and raspberries that I had picked from my father-in-law's garden and frozen from last season. The crust was a shortbread one which I really enjoy. Every bite was immensely decadent.

The night before I had indulged because we were at a friends so it was 2 days in a row of indulgence thus the additional 2 lbs. on Monday a.m.

I am maintaining 4 times a week of formal exercise. I walk once a week for 1 and a half hours and the other 3 times, I do interval training with a total of 9 minutes jogging and 32 minutes brisk walking each time.

All in all, I am pleased with my progress. I would like to be at 150 lbs. by July 1 and then at 145 lbs. by August 1.

The high end of my range for my BMI is 145 lbs. so that is my first target. I am, afterall, only 5'3". I will still keep pushing towards my final goal of between 130-135 lbs.

My goal this week-end is to only indulge in one meal off the plan - no more and then we'll hope the scales pay me back!

That's all from the Light bulb

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Check In

152.6 today. A grand .2 of a pound less than last week.

I did go for walks with two friends and one daughter!

I tried to follow the principle of eating protein when hungry, rather than sugary stuff. I felt satisfied and I think that I just need to be careful not to eat too many nuts.

I feel stuck. I've been at this weight for weeks. I have "stopped the slide," yes, and I feel good about that, but I also have 7 more pounds to go and they are sticking to me like glue.

I know that I need to get more focused and careful and boost the exercise.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

I Survived Write! Canada

Photo by Susan Stewart

Well, that's me the 4th from the left, in black, on a fitness break led by Kimberley Payne at Write! Canada in Guelph last week.

I was surprised, when I saw the photos taken during the conference, that I didn't look too bulky. The 9 pounds I've lost has made a difference.

This morning I'm 152.8, which I am happy with considering where I've been, Thursday morning to late Saturday evening--a writer's conference with quantities of muffins at breaks, and delicious and generous meals.

What saved me was a little variation on the first words of Psalm 23, which came to me the day I was getting ready to leave for the conference; "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not eat everything in sight."

I found those words calmed me down and helped me to make choices rather than eat "everything." I ate bacon and other meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables and even dessert, but avoided muffins and bread and fried potatoes, because I really don't care for them much. In the past I would probably have eaten them just because they were on offer! :)

On one break I arrived after all of the snacks had gone and hungry people were still circling, looking for food, so I ran to our room, where I had a "stash;" I always travel with a "stash" :), and brought out containers of almonds and pretzels to share. People loved them, especially the almonds (the kind you buy in big bags at Costco).

At one meal I was in conversation when the bread came around, and the man on my other side said, when I stopped talking, that he had taken a multigrain slice of bread for me because I looked like "the kind of person who would like healthy." I took that as a great compliment!

Yesterday I went for lunch and a walk with "the lightbulb!" Back at her house she showed me a book she's reading on what foods different body (or blood ?) types should eat. I took the quiz and found that I need to eat protein and good fat, and avoid sweet things, but will crave them. Good to know; will aim to do that. My BMI (body mass index) is 24; at the high end of my range. I'm aiming to lose 7 pounds and get more exercise, as well as focusing more on protein and avoiding sugar.

Onward my fellow stoppers of the slide!
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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The Pear Checking In!

152.2 this morning thank goodness!

My resolve to hold to the 22 points didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I had several business lunches and special occasions and didn't do as well as my lightbulb friend as reigning in my appetite for fat and flour! It doesn't sound quite as appetizing when I put it like that does it?

Fortunately 'tis the season of abundant fresh fruit and veggies and that has been my saving grace this week. I love vegetables although not the work of chopping, dicing and slicing. I've done it anyway and it has helped me to edge down to within one pound of where I was before my vacation. Was the indulgence worth it on vacation? Well, I'm going for the long haul, but I have to say that I'm realizing that my life is filled with lunches and dinners and special occasions and I have to find a way of navigating those with joy and enjoyment, but in consistency with my goal of a weight that I feel happy with. I'll be giving thought to how to do that this week, starting today when I just happen to have a lunch meeting.

I'm attending a three day conference this week, so that will be a perfect time to sink or swim. Any tips on how to swim through one of those things?

Exercise? Does shopping count? :) Room for improvement there, obviously!

Meanwhile, I am thrilled at Shan's determined exercise and the lightbulb's victories this week.

Monday, 9 June 2008

From the LIghtbulb - Week 15 Check-In

This has been a good week for me. Hooray!

Although I only exercised 3 times, they were good ones. My first two walks of the week were interval training. I ran 3 times for 3 minutes each time and total exercise time was 35 min. each time. I also walked very briskly on Saturday morning for one and a half hours (so briskly, my toosh hurt afterwards). In addition, family activities this week did include walking all day at Canada's Wonderland, sometimes pushing a double stroller, and walking all morning at Cookstown's Annual Wing Ding. Family activities also included me demonstrating hopping in a sack for a sack race and other equally strenuous demonstrations for a Home School Family Outdoor Games night. All I can say is, "The old gray mare ain't what she used to be!"

I stuck rigidly to my "no carbs after 1:00 p.m. rule", which meant passing up a rhubarb spice cake one evening and a chocolate fudge cake another evening. It meant passing up freshly baked bread twice and mango, curried rice once ....mmm my favourite. The sacrifices were worth it.

I LOST 5 lbs. THIS WEEK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am now at 155 lbs. - finally one pound less than my pre-trip weight May 1.

It has been the jump-start I have needed. Emotionally, I am no longer discouraged but encouraged. Although I may not continue to lose weight this dramatically, I am motivated to persevere. I will continue on the "no carbs after 1:00 p.m. rule" as a regular lifestyle change for now. However, on special occasions I will treat myself. Jason and I are celebrating our 11th year anniversary on Saturday and we're going to Toronto for the afternoon and evening. A wonderful dinner at a restaurant is planned and I will have no food restrictions and celebrate heartily. I hope I don't pay too heavily for this indulgence.

I am tempted to make ambitious weight-loss goals with my results from last week, however I will not. My conservative goal is to lose 5 pounds over the next 3 weeks (averages out to just over 1 1/2 lbs. each week). This will put me at 150 lbs. going into July. My long range goal is to weigh between 130-135 lbs. This means I need to lose another 20-25 lbs. so I'm not even half way done my journey.

We'll see. I am continuing to celebrate the victory for this week.

I still remain, as yet,
Your Effervescent Lightbulb

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

What Got Me Here

There's a book that I haven't read, with an amazing title that makes me want to read it: What Got You Here Won't Get You There.

Well, that's a word for me this morning.

I'm 154 this morning, and I know that I have to get serious to get beyond where I am. More of what I'm doing may maintain this weight at best. Is that what I want? No. So....

On 4 days a week (excluding Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays) I am going to stick to 22 points. On the the other 3 days, which are celebratory in terms of "community," I won't worry about the number 22, but I will fly straight, I promise, and not be a total numbskull when it comes to eating. I'll see how this works.

Exercise has been abysmal. I need much improvement. I will go for AT LEAST 3 exercise sessions.

These goals are measurable and achievable. I just have to do it--that's the trick! :) But I WANT to get beyond this silly mountain circling thing and so I HAVE to show some spunk!


This is not my Tuesday check in, but my friend Irene sent it to me and I thought it was funny. In fact I think I've been on this Coping Diet...

This is specially formulated diet designed to help women cope with the stress that builds during the day.

1 grapefruit1 slice whole wheat toast1 cup skim milk

1 small portion lean, steamed chicken, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup herbal tea, 1 Hershey's kiss

Afternoon Snack
The rest of the Hershey kisses in the bag, 1 tub of Hagen-Daaz ice cream with chocolate chips

4 glasses of wine (red or white)2 loaves garlic bread 1 family size supreme pizza 3 Snickers Bars

Late Night Snack
1 whole Sarah Lee cheesecake (eaten directly from thefreezer)

Remember: Stressed spelled backward is desserts.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Weekly Check-In

This morning was a discouraging weigh-in. Last week I was 157 lbs. at the end of the week. One pound away from my pre-trip weight, May 1. This morning, June 2, I found myself at 159 lbs. We had a busy week-end, late nights and outings, and an all-day trip to Canada's Wonderland on Sunday.

I have found that poor eating for me for one or two days accounts in me right now gaining 5 lbs. It is a discouraging battle. I exercised 4 times last week - all brisk walks and interval training with jogging for 3, 3 minute bursts.

Because of pain and tingling in my right hand, as yet undiagnosed, I took a break from weights. I felt that the curls, tricep lifts and all arm lifting may further injure my hand. In a positive vein, the pain and 'tingling' has been more infrequent.

I am currently eliminating carbs after 1:00 p.m. from my diet. I have begun today.

If I can lose 10 lbs. in the next 6 weeks, I think I might break this cycle and put myself in a better mental space for continuing. My weight -gain right now is super sensitive to any increase in calories which lends itself to no 'treats' or 'fun' eating. I can do this for the short-run but not the long-haul.

I'm not sure how much is attributed to hormones and the change-of-life but it is extremely difficult for me to lose weight and for all the hard work I am doing I would hope to see me do more than maintain.

Thanks for sticking with me! I am so thankful for the accountability and support. This month has been extremely difficult.

Still shining,

Thursday, 29 May 2008

It just goes to show you.

Last night I made what I would consider to be a classic fitness rookie mistake.

At 7.00 I decided to go for an hour's ride. I didn't really feel like it, for some reason, and three minutes into the ride the thought popped into my head, "I shouldn't be doing this". It was surprising how un-able I felt for the exercise. I thought it was just a weak moment, so persevered anyway.

The thing about my bike rides, which I've mentioned before, is that I've got literally one block before the sharp descent begins. Once I've made the descent, I'm committed to going back UP at some point. So I've got one block to change my mind about the whole thing.

I got down to sea level and started the fat-burn portion of the workout. This is an 8-kilometer ride, round-trip, before I start the climb back up to my house. The climb is 1.7 kilometers straight up - I zig zag, however. I end up going a good bit further than 1.7 kilometers, but at least my heart doesn't explode.

Weirdly, I found I was going uncharacteristically slowly. I couldn't seem to get my speed up. I felt heavy and slow and breathless. What's more, walkers and roller-bladers kept straying into my lane, forcing me to slow way down, or stop, many times. After each stop, I had more and more trouble getting my speed back up.

On the way home I mentally chided myself for laziness, and forced myself to step it up. It felt awkward and laborious, though.

I got within sight of the beginning of the end-of-ride climb and realised there was no way I was making it up that first hill with no momentum. I kicked it way up for a couple of hundred meters, figuring I'd get my speed up and hit the hill flying.

Instead, I hit the wall. Just about at the base of the hill, I ran OUT OF GAS. This hasn't happened to me in ages...years, even. I was totally winded, exhausted, and done. I gave it the old college try, but two-thirds of the way up the hill I had to actually get off my bike and walk the rest of the hill.

It was only when I got off and started walking, gasping for breath, sweating, and feeling incredibly faint, that I realised what my problem was.

I had not eaten enough that day.

I had a muffin at 9.30 AM, a few crackers and cheese at 2.30, and a few tablespoons of black bean dip with a handful of baked tortillas at 4.30. I didn't do it on purpose, it was just a busy day full of unexpected guests and untimely phone calls.

I had trouble making it home, my friends. Between the faintness, the muscle tremors, the nausea, and the dehydration, I felt terrible for the entire evening.

Once I got home, I threw some stuff into a blender and gulped it down in an attempt to normalise my blood sugar and get some protein going to repair the damage I might have done. Banana, cottage cheese, yogurt, frozen berries. I would have added some honey or tofu but was out of both.

I think the moral of the story is, if you're running your body hot, you've got to have good fuel going in. All too often we slimmers tend to slash calories relentlessly, while stepping up our output in the form of exercise. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that, when it comes to food, less is better.

When I was 19, 20, 21 years old, rowing for the UVic women's team, I made this mistake: only that time I did it on purpose. I thought "Wow, I am exercising a minimum of four hours a day.....I bet if I eat almost NOTHING, I will get really thin!" Well, yes - I did get really thin, but pretty soon my place on the team was in danger because my performance fell so dramatically. I couldn't keep up the exercise while dieting. I jacked up my calorie intake, gained back all the weight, and earned my "5-seat" back.

I'm beginning to wonder whether my tactics should change. I've stated before, on this blog, that I want to lose 15 pounds by my birthday in October. I think I'm realising that my priorities may need weight may not be negotiable. It's possible that I would be better off setting TIME goals - for example, three hours per week of riding, three hours per week of belly dance, three hours per week of heavy gardening or housework. There's no way a person getting that much exercise, and eating healthy food, will be matter what the doctor says about my weight.

In any event, next time I feel like I really shouldn't be doing a workout, I think I'll listen to my body and skip it. There's always tomorrow.

Eat, girls, eat!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Post Vacation Update!

I'm back from two weeks in the U.K. and this morning I weighed 153.4--up 2.2 from my pre-vacation weight of 151.2.

I got back on Saturday. On Sunday I was 154, and on Monday 154.8, so I'm heading back in the right direction.

It was a wonderful time away and I fully enjoyed being with family. Yes, we celebrated with food, and I could probably have been more circumspect, but although I did over-indulge, it could have been much worse, and it was so good to come home knowing that my buddies were waiting for me to resume the journey with them.

I went for a walk early on Sunday morning and I aim to go for a walk today at lunchtime if I can manage it!

I don't like the folds of fat that are bulging around my waist. Others may not see them, but I know they are there. The Battle of the Bulge has resumed, and I aim for victory!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

My hands are all greasy now.

Whew! It's been a while!

As far as weight goes, I am not sure where I'm at. Last time I weighed myself I was about 185, give or take a pound, but that was some time ago. I just hopped on now (at 11.30 PM) and I was 187, so I suppose, all things being equal, I am more or less the same now.

I have been using the bike a lot lately - taking a few trips per week. I haven't quite worked up to five per week, but that will come after Guides and belly dance wrap up for the year.

I was doing well with the running, but that will have to be put off for a while - I broke my toe yesterday.

It hurt.

I broke the little one several months ago, but now I've broken the middle one (this is on the same foot, too) and it's a bit more problematic. It just happened yesterday so it's still early, but in my experience (this is my third broken toe) it generally takes about 4 weeks for healing, and 6 weeks for the soreness to disappear. My running will be put on hold for about that amount of time, but it's okay since the bike has all my lovin' these days.

I went for a lovely ride tonight. The beginning was nice and easy (mostly downhill), the middle was nice enough - all on the flat, winding through town (so lots of stopping and starting, at lights and intersections) - but the end was CRUEL. A thousand feet up, to the top of Mount Crumpit. I was pretty winded halfway through - especially since it was 30 degrees today - but I only had to get off the bike once, and that was to manually change gears (my bike isn't very nice and isn't very well maintained).

I'm proud of myself whenever I ride my bike. This is because I live almost at the tippy-top of the town, so no matter where I go, I have to go WAY UP to get home. A lesser woman would avoid the bike altogether, knowing this. But not me!

I choose a different route almost every time, and some are harder than others, but every one of them is hard going for the last 20 or so minutes. I always wonder if this will be the time when I have to get off and walk, but so far I've managed to stay seated. On Thursday I came up the Hard Way, and that night I did have to stand on the pedals to get it done. But still.

Last year I had quite a dramatic body change from biking. This year, now that I'm aware how effective it is, I hope to be able to use my diet changes, clever scheduling, and the motivation I've got from my online friends to really work at it. I'd like to drop 15 pounds during the summer, accelerating my weight loss a bit. I've been doing okay, but it's just okay - not great. I've kind of plateaued at 185 and need to make some hard choices to get my momentum back.

I might have to think about dropping white bread of all kinds. I don't make white bread or use it for toast or anything, but I do get french bread a few times a month, garlic bread, that sort of I eat muffins which I make with white bread. Sigh.

Anyway, now I'm rambling so I'll sign off and say Good Luck to you all for the next week or two - I'll weigh myself properly for next post!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A Switch On from the Lightbulb

I haven't checked in since the beginning of May. Before I went to Winnipeg (May 1), I made it to 156 lbs. - only 1 lb. away from my goal. In Winnipeg I was diligent with exercise. I walked every day except one. Other than the day I arrived, I walked from 1 hr. to 1 and 1/2 hrs. each time. I was disciplined with my eating in some ways. I did not have ice cream when everyone went to the famous BDI's and I said "no" to many desserts. I definitely did not eat how I pleased.
However I was well aware of my addiction to food. At home, I do not have 'foods' that tempt me in the house - chips, crackers, prepared foods, cookies etc. I monitor carefully what I eat. I bake twice a week when I know the family will consume it - not me.

While there, the food was delicious but calorie in-take each day was higher than what I would have here. i.e, perogies and sour cream, sweet and sour chicken wings, and pasta at suppers, toasted westerns and reubens, chips at lunch, sticky buns at breakfast, etc. While there, I was proud of myself because I showed some restraint and limited quantities. However, I would put restrictions on myself before a snack or meal and I rarely held to them. I did overeat. I felt that I had maybe gained a few pounds and I dared hope, I may have managed to maintain my weight.

Once home, the scale revealed a different story. I weighed in at 164 lbs. I was hugely discouraged. I felt the scale had betrayed me and really was feeling 'victimized", remembering all that I had given up. To gain 8 lbs. in 6 days of less- than indulgent eating was hugely eye-opening. I realized how my metabolism, in this stage of my life, will not extend much mercy in my calorie intake. Although I had exercised faithfully and longer than when home, it did not compensate for my eating.

In 2 mos., I had lost 13 lbs., 8 of which I gained back in 5 days. I really struggled with that reality. In spite of being discouraged I chose to work hard and get right back on the 'straight and narrow' as soon as I got back. I am now at 158 lbs. after 12 days. I've lost 6 of the 8 lbs. Still, I am not back to my pre-trip weight.

I have learned a few things:
-this battle to lose weight must be consistent, steady, and purposeful (there's no easy way)
-I want to lose weight so therefore I will do everything it takes, I can persevere
-the losing weight process will take me longer than I thought to get to my goal weight (130-135 lbs.)
-life isn't fair but it is just (it took me 6 days to gain 8 lbs. and in 12 days of hard work, I still haven't lost it)
-I definitely have an addiction to food and struggle when unhealthy choices are available to me

I want to thank both Belinda and Shan and anyone else on this journey for sharing accountability. When I felt like giving up, I knew I couldn't because I want to be an inspiration to all of you, not a cause for discouragement.

Belinda, I have already determined not to be jealous when you tell me all you've indulged in and how you maintained your weight! No, I'm really glad you're able to do that - I'v had a lifetime of eating like a horse and the scale never telling the story. I'm just not there now. So blessings to you my friend.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Hello from England

Hello! I'm posting this from an internet cafe, where I am sipping a delicious Chai Latte as an excuse to be here using the internet!

It's a week since I left Canada and I have no idea for sure of how my weight is going. I will check in on the 26th, after getting home. My mum's scales are in stones and pounds and are several pounds different to my own.

I am walking much more as that is just the lifestyle here. However, fish and chips and cream cakes have been ingested to compensate! I have not given way to full fledged indulgence by any means though.

I hope my STS friends back home are doing ok! I was in Marks and Spencer's today, trying on clothes and it was a great reminder that while I have lost 10 pounds, the next 10 definitely needs to find another home!

On with the battle friends!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Late Check In

This week I maintained the same weight; 151.2 on Tuesday morning.

I would have loved to be down a bit more, but I am happy to have at least held my ground.

I'm reading a little book entitled, Get Thin, Stay Thin, by Arthur W. Halliday, MD and Judy Wardell Halliday, RN. It actually looks like a pretty good book and so far I'm enjoying it. I find it helps to read something that inspires!

This book's premise is that our hunger may be emotional or spiritual, but that we mistake these for physical hunger and try to fill them with food.

Stay tuned for more on this as I read and absorb what it has to say.

This Friday I leave for two weeks in England. I will try to post from the local library so that you know how I'm doing. I will definitely be partaking of fish and chips, but I also compensate with getting much more exercise while there; doing lots of walking.

I have been so busy for a few weeks that I have really slid from exercise. I think that will be the key to getting to the next level down in poundage.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Checking In (Belinda)

Hey, I am 151.2 today! A whole .4 of a pound down from last week.Considering the way I ate last week, this is God's grace.

On Thursday we had a manager's meeting at our house. We decided to walk to the Bond Head Restaurant for lunch. It is an old style diner. Someone ordered a milk shake--strawberry. The next thing I knew there were little icons popping up all over our heads containing images of milkshakes! I had my favourite flavour--vanilla! Someone else had chocolate. Mmmmm. They were so good. The straws stood up in the middle of the thick shakes made with real ice cream--no artificial thickeners...hey, wait a minute, I'm supposed to be writing about "stopping the slide" aren't I? :)

The next day for supper, on an impulse while waiting with Paul for his car at Canadian Tire, I suggested (yes, it was me) that we go to the chip wagon. I had very burnt fries and onion rings, which I had been longing for since Frank ordered them the day before at the Bond Head Restaurant.

I regretted my indulgence, but then on Sunday, Daughter-in-Law Susan, called to say, "We are going to the Dairy Queen for supper. Want to meet us there?"Well, one Peanut Buster Parfait later, and with Tuesday drawing awfully close by now, I thought "I need to stop this!"Yesterday I shaped up and found help in a can of V8 in my office, which helped keep me full for the evening and helped me say no to the ice cream Paul offered me on the way home from Newmarket.

So you see, it really is God's grace that I lost .4 of a pound this week. I didn't exercise either--much. I did go for two walks!A new week is beginning and I aim to do better. Last week wasn't a total failure because in between those splurges, I was actually counting points and living my "normal-stopping the slide"way.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Staying the Course

I'm not sure if this is Week 8 or 9 for me but I weighed in at 157 lbs. today. I'v lost 12 lbs. in total. For the past two weeks I've done well at exercise, maintaining 5 times each week - 2, 45 min. weight sessions and 2, 40 min. walks at a brisk pace, and 1, 45 min. walk with 2, 3 min. runs interspersed (interval training).

Before the week-end I was 156 lbs. and struggled with a lot of cravings and succumbed to many bad choices. I ate a whole large bag of Miss Vickies Black Pepper and Lime Potatoe Chips, several large chocolate bars, jujubes and other available treats. Some I even went to specifically purchase. I felt lousy after each indulgence and frustrated with my lack of self discipline.

My portion sizes increased over the week-end too. Interestingly enough, after each 'larger' portion, I felt too full. I recognized the feeling and was encouraged by that. The portion sizes I had this past week-end may have even been slightly less than my regular portions before I joined you all with "stopping the slide". My hope is I will be conscious of my 'too full' memories, to not go down that path very often again.

I think one of the things I am learning through this process of accountability and overcoming temptations, and replacing unhealthy choices with healthier ones is that we cannot wallow or stay there when we fail. We have to acknowledge the failure or unwise choice and move on from there, even if we have to do it several times each day. Discouragement with one bad choice doesn't necessarily have to lead us to other bad choices.

"Oh well, I blew it already a few times today so I'll keep right on going today and get back on track tomorrow."
That mantra isn't healthy for me. I feel better when I can say, "Well I have blown it several times already today, but I'm going to stop right now and make a wise finish for this day"

When I resolve at some point in the day to quit giving into my food addiction, I feel good about that. It makes it easier the next day to resolve to be more successful that day. Once I've had 2-3 days in a row of more wise choices than unwise, I want to continue. It feels good and I know I'll see the results on the scale or in measurements at the end of the week.

It so helps setting goals, even at risk of failure, because I have a clear target.

So, my upcoming goal is to be at 155 lbs. when I get on the plane for Winnipeg on Thursday May 1. That means 2 lbs. in 3 days. I do have my period right now so if I can make wise food choices I just might make it.

If I don't, it's o.k. because I have made a valiant effort. I am determined to walk while I'm there and be diligent in my health consciousness. I will ask my cousin to hold me accountable so I am more likely to succeed. My dear Hannah has agreed to be a walking partner so I hope I'm setting myself up for success.

So my encouragement for myself and others this week is to "Stay the Course". If we blow it, stop, assess and choose differently the next opportunity. We can become healthier, thinner, and slimmer one choice at a time.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Today I Got Moving!

Today was a day sent from heaven.

I slogged away diligently in the office all morning but at lunch time I decided to walk to the post office and found my feet taking me in the opposite direction so that I walked around the block before getting back 20 minutes later, refreshed, cobwebs blown away. It felt wonderful and I will try to do this as often as possible; after all, I am working on the next 8 pounds.

Tuesday Check In

Well, I am 151.6 today, which is 10.2 pounds down since January 1st.

My measurements are down from 37, 31.5, 42 to 36, 30, 41

I think that I feel even better about the 3.5 inches of blubber gone than the number on the scale because I can see and feel the difference, modest though it may be.

Speaking of "modest" pace, which is code for the turtle steps; this is really not something I am discouraged by. I am happy to be rid of a ten pound sack of potatoes worth of fat, while still having a Tuesday night celebratory supper with our cell group, and family dinners and pancake breakfasts on the weekend. Not that I eat with unbridled passion at those times, but I don't deny myself anything I would like to eat. I just stop when I feel satisfied (oh maybe not quite then, but almost!:)). I can live like this.

I do need to get off my duff and start moving however. Dear friends, if I don't do that this week I will not be able to look you in the computer monitor! :)

Love from the (still) Pear Shaped Princess in Bond Head!

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Steady On

Hi dear friends who are traveling this journey with me! I've been out of the loop for over a week with computer problems but am back. I've missed so much!

Congratulations Shan on your fresh motivation and your diligence with a plan. You've been doing great with exercise and mapping your journey. It is so good to have a direction, goals, and motivation. I am inspired.

The contest looks really interesting. I'll think about it and decide. I'm going to Winnipeg from May 1- 6 so I wouldn't be able to begin until after that.
I don't know if I'll ever say I'm not going to eat, "this or that". As soon as I do that, I set myself up for failure because if I give in then I beat myself up. I try to avoid potatoe chips, ice cream, donuts and well...any high fat, low nutrition foods. Occasionally I do eat french fries, chips, chocolate, and ice cream because I really enjoy them. I try to do it as a reward and moderate my eating around any of those treats.

I read about nutritious foods, health magazines, and exercise regularily to remind me (consciously and subconsciously) to make healthy choices.

Belinda, way to go on your weight loss. Slow and steady wins the race.
I can totally relate to feeling flabby and uncomfortable with new clothes. As I break out my summer clothes, it's really discouraging. I hate the fact that my arms wave bye-bye every time that I do (if you get the flappy picture). My orange peel thighs look like 3-D topographical maps and my bum wiggles when I walk. To sum it up, I don't look great in a tank top or shorts above the knee.

I've been contemplating spending the next few months in capris, long skirts, and elbow-length tees. That's the bad news!

The good news is encouraging. I am down to 158 lbs. I broke the 160 lb. mark which is a psychological victory as well as a physical one. I have achieved a total weight loss of 11 pounds since I began March 1 (almost 7 weeks ago).

Last week I exercised 4 times which I was quite happy with based on the family schedule and Josiah breaking his arm. The week before I exercised 5 times.

I'm now doing 45 minutes of weights twice a week.
Walking for 45 minutes twice a week and
Walking with 2, 3-minute jogs over the 45 minutes (interval training) once a week

Up until the last 3 days I was doing really well on small portion sizes and regulating myself to proper "serving Sizes" as well as little snacking.
The past 3 days I've indulged in delicious home-made cookies, chocolate, and larger portions. I really feel the difference and ate a small supper tonight of carrots and an apple. If I am hungrier later I'll have a rye ryvita cracker (like melba toast) with cream cheese and salsa.

Short- Term Goals:

155 lbs. by May 1st which is 3 lbs. over the next 10 days.

150 lbs by June 1st (5 lbs. in 4 weeks)

145 lbs. by July 1st (5 lbs. in 4 weeks)

140 lbs. over July and August (5 lbs over the 2 summer mos.)

My ultimate goal is to be between 130-135 lbs. I've got between 23-28 lbs. to lose.

I would like to concentrate my energies on eating regular serving sizes and snacking occasionally. I want to be able to say, "I eat to live rather than I live to eat." which often times today is the case. As well I want to be able to develop a habit of walking 3 times a week and doing some resistance training twice a week as a lifestyle habit.

So I press on with all of you as we visualize being slim, trim, and fit.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Good News and Bad (But Mostly Good)

The good news is that my weight is finally edging down but I'll wait until Tuesday to post the number officially (and hope it's still down by then!)

The bad news is that I went to my favourite consignment store this afternoon on the way home from work and even thought I'm only 10 pounds from my goal, and doing well, I think, I was having a "fat day." I felt so flabby when I looked in the mirror! I'm sure that's because I haven't exercised seriously for two weeks. I must get back on the exercise horse.

I'm winning though and feeling much better than I did back on January 1st when I was close to 162 pounds and climbing.

One of my other lifestyle goals, "driving relaxed," is going so well. I am not speeding anymore. I just don't do it. It feels good to spot a police car and not have a reflex to put my foot on the brake. I like it.

Lastly I have been working on being on time, instead of the five minutes late that is my norm. That too, is going well and I love the feeling of being early and unstressed. If I'd only known it would feel this good I would have started earlier! I am so hopeful for change.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Checking In

Okay, so I'm not bothering with which week it is anymore, but I was 152.8 pounds this morning!

I didn't exercise last week, which is terrible. Tiffany-Amber is sitting beside me and she joined the basketball team to stay healthy! Do I get credit for that? Tiffany-Amber says yes! :)

Something I've been trying is eating a bowl of oatmeal in the evening when I feel hungry. I have a large box of a healthy instant oatmeal from Costco that is only 2 points per package. I may have one before supper tonight (cell group is always a time for celebratory eating and this may fend off some of the "celebration")

Stay tuned! :)

The Contest

The weekend was kind of low-exercise, because we were getting ready to get our puppy on Monday and I was busy cleaning and decluttering in preparation for that. But yesterday, Monday, I did the first of the Couch to 5K interval workouts, Week Two. I should have had two more workouts of Week One, but it was a bit too easy so I skipped ahead.

Last week I started to develop shin splints. I used to get these nine or ten years ago, when I was doing 1.5 hours of high-impact aerobics four to five times weekly. (This was before kids, of course. Who has that kind of time nowadays?) It was excruciatingly painful and I remember it well. So, when I started getting some symptoms I jumped on the prevention right away.

First off, I need new shoes. I can't afford them right now, so I will just have to make do with what I have for the time being.

Second, I am (I think) an "underpronator". I have very high arches and I hit the ground with heel, then outer edge of foot, then ball of foot. I have to be careful about my running technique, stride length, and the slant of the surface.

Third, I am heavy. I am pretty close to 190 pounds, and that kind of impact over and over is going to be hard on my body. Good for it - but hard on it. This calls for careful warming up and cooling down, careful choice of surface, attention to form, and cautious increase of running time. Two weeks ago I ran for about 30 minutes, total. Last week I ran for a total of about 60 minutes, spread out over four runs. It was too much, too soon.

I am surprised how much I would miss running if I weren't able to do it. This isn't because I love running - I'd much rather be lifting weights or (bliss of blisses) rowing a boat. But running is shorts + shoes + jacket + out my front door = exercise. It doesn't get much easier or cheaper than that.

In other news:

My sister-in-law is also trying to lose weight this year. She has imposed a Junk Moratorium on herself, and has invited anyone who pleases to join her.

I have joined her, and I have put this prize into the Pot:
the winner's choice of
a) handknit socks; or
b) a lace scarf.

The winner, of course, being the person who holds out longest.

The rules aren't hard and fast yet, but I'm sure they'll be hammered out over time. Amy has ruled out, for herself, chocolate, doughnuts, chips, fries, pop, cakes, cookies. I will be doing the same as she...if I think of anything else I'll add it.

Anyway, if you are interested in joining us, please stop by her blog and sign yourself up. So far there are only three of us, so it's not a huge contest or anything, but the element of competition could be very helpful.

It'll be interesting to see how long we can remain, to quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Master of our domain."

Hee hee.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

A Conversation with Susan

Hey Friends,
I changed our "blog description" from "chronicling the journey from frumpy to fit." This was as a result of a conversation over lunch with Susan, who said, "If you're frumpy, what does that make me?" which made me realize that what had been "all about me" might have had an unintended effect.

Susan also asked if there was a reason that God was not an overt part of this blog as he is on my other blog, Whatever He Says. It was hard to explain why, because he is part of my whole journey of life and I pray for my buddies on this blog as they and I encourage one another.

I think that I was on guard against "overspiritualizing" my own battle with food addiction, and yet there is a spiritual aspect to any battle and perhaps a bigger aspect than I have acknowledged here. So, I just want to say, that God is my life, my Lord and my Salvation and therefore the key to winning any battle in life.

He also gives us friends to help us on our way and I'm glad that you are there.

Joyful and I sat together last night at our writers group and surveyed the feast of refreshments with laughter at our plight! Joyful was wonderful and stuck to the "three things" she chose as her limit! There was no guilt or any sense of being under scrutiny as we each dealt with the temptation in our own way; just support. Thanks Joyful a.k.a. Fox.

And now perhaps Susan will show up on this blog. :)

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

If I may be so bold?

So, I got serious last week.

Sunday: 60 minute walk
Monday: 1 hour dancing
Tuesday: 1 hour dancing (class)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 45 minutes - 25 walk, 20 run
Friday: 30 minute walk
Saturday: 30 minute walk

Then, this week so far we have
Sunday: off
Monday: 20 minute run, 15 minute walk
Tuesday: 1 hour dancing (class)
Wednesday: off.

I weighed myself this morning - 186, or 6 pounds lost, in total, from my January weight of 192.

I feel pretty good about it, and I'm getting some practice just saying "Thank you" when someone remarks on it. I still have to bite back a retort all about the Beauty Myth, but it's getting easier.

I did Fox's trick of visualizing six blocks of butter, and it felt even better.

I think I will be able to maintain this momentum. As the sun comes out more often I will check the bike, oil what needs to be oiled, and get it back on the road.

My goal for this year is a simple one....and I will do it. I will arrive at my birthday, October 16, 20 pounds lighter. That is, I will be 170 pounds, or as near to it as makes no difference. This is a loss of 16 pounds in about 26 weeks, or a half pound a week.

How I'll get there is, I'll eat a bit less, drink more water, and I will work out a minimum of five times a week. It might be biking, running, dancing or's the habit of movement that matters.

I thought about 160, but I have a very strong aversion from that number. I'm afraid to even say it as a I will go to 170 and reassess.

Thanks for your support guys. It's been shockingly effective.
: )


Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Second of Two Weak Weeks (week 15 check in)

Starting point on January 1st 161.2
Today 152. 4

I literally held my breath this morning, sure that my weight would not be down and sorry that I would be failing my friends, but by total grace I was down from last week.

This is so undeserved after I had a week of weakness, but I am so grateful as it has encouraged me to get back on the horse!

Joyful's post on her relationship with food made me think about my own root issues. I'm not sure that I've pinned them down. I probably need to dig deeper, but if there's an addictive gene I'm sure it resides in our family.

Both of my parents smoked throughout my childhood (it did nothing to stunt my growth however!) and alcohol wreaked much unhappiness in our household.

I didn't start smoking myself, or drink enough to become addicted, for which I am ever grateful, but I think that tendency to find solace and comfort in something mindless, morphed in me to eating.

We certainly ate healthily, supplemented by vitamins and cod liver oil (which I loved!), but both my brother and I have a weakness for "feeding frenzies" with chocolate and cookies.

Is there an "addictive stronghold?" I don't know. Maybe that would be too easy and excuse.

Last night I left work having had a good day, but when I got home, Paul didn't want a cooked meal so I made peanut butter on toast for my own supper and threw in some cookies (those good old Peak Freens) and anything else I could quickly lay my hands on to fill the void. Fortunately I was saved from total disaster by going out to help a friend move, which took me out of the house for three hours and I managed to not eat when I got home!

So here I go into week 15 feeling encouraged by the fact that two weak weeks aren't my whole life. But also wanting to break a cyclical pattern that I'm seeing.

I may be going at a turtle's pace but I have gone down and I am encouraged anew to keep at it. And I'm hoping to gain insight as I go.

For Shan I have to say this. It isn't so much about being thinner (although I confess I would like to be by about 10 lb), but about breaking the back of my eating problem--because I do have one. If I hadn't started this journey in January, I would no doubt be 12 to 15 pounds heavier than I am now and unhappy with myself and the fact that nothing I owned would fit.

I would love ideas on what to do when the urge to binge hits in the evening. That's my tough time.

Well, onward into a new week!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Just What I Need

I have been challenging old habits and exploring them. I thought of growing up and portion sizes and food. All things considered we were a large-eating family. Meal times were always times when we ate together. For the most part food was plentiful.

Pre-school years and all through grade school my Dad worked at a construction site. He was an electrician. He worked hard and purchased no food or drink. He brought his tea in a large thermos and all his meals in a lunch pail. When he got home he was hungry. In those years, his body required a lot of food. We were a meat and potatoes family - no pasta, pizza, stir fry's or tacos.
Definitely never eggs or quiche for supper. And that was before the expression, "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" was vogue. Rarely, if ever, was salad served at the supper table although there were plenty of cooked vegetables.

My mom is 5'9" which is tall for a lady born in the early '30's. She is small boned and even now, weighs little. She's tall and lean and is 130 lbs. When they married, she was 28 years old and my dad could put his hands around her waist, fingers and thumbs touching.

However, can my mom eat! She eats large portions at lunch and dinner and usually a small breakfast. She usually made simple, nutritious meals and we always had dessert at supper. Whether it was a baked apple, fresh fruit, canned fruit, cakes, custard, rice pudding, ice cream or custard - there was always a dessert that she had freshly prepared that day. The rule was simple: if you wanted dessert, you ate your supper, no exceptions. I always checked first to see what dessert was before I forced down something like liver, heart, cow's tongue, or fish. My mom was smart though, on liver nights, there was usually a wonderful cake for dessert so I learned to eat liver. Sometimes I could quietly sneak it to the dog under the table.

We ate good food, heavy on protein, light on carbs, and a healthy variety of vegetables, and lots of fresh fruit. There was never processed food in the home, no peanut butter, ready-made snacks, chips or pop. We were allowed one 4 oz. serving of orange juice at breakfast and one 4 oz. serving of apple juice at dinner time - no seconds. When we were thirsty, we drank water - no exceptions! I think my brother could have a measured amount of milk servings. I didn't drink milk, after kindergarten. I gagged it down, sometimes bringing it up, until I was 5. I think Mom talked to the Dr. and then no more milk for me. I was relieved and I'm sure my mom was too.

I have a lot to be thankful for in terms of nutritious food and healthy eating habits that were passed down to me from my family. One thing that was never taught us though was healthy portion size. You ate everything on your plate or until you were full. I never learned when I was full because I was always stuffed and that became the norm.

Fortunately for me, we were an active family. Sports, walking, and lots of outdoor play was encouraged. My dad played badminton professionally and many other sports recreationally. He was a natural athlete. My mom was active too in a different way. She biked, walked, bowled, swam, and enjoyed canoeing in the summer.

As children, we were very active. Both my brother and I had fast metabolisms. All through school years, including university, I was tiny, or petite. I enjoyed sports and they were a huge part of my life. I don't know any girl, and few guys who ate more than I did. I had a reputation.

No one ever called me greedy or gluttonous but I probably was. For me, restaurant portions were never enough. I ate mine and anyone else's who couldn't finish theirs. A standard fare for me in high school and young adulthood at Swiss Chalet was: Half chicken dinner with fries and then a side order of fries and a salad with chalet dressing. I ordered 2 chalet sauces. Oh, and I always finished off with a chocolate Super Sundae for dessert. I rarely felt full when I was finished.

I guess because I fit in the culturally defined role of thinness, I was accepted. No one challenged me on my eating. I wasn't obese although many people who were, ate less than I did. Socially, I had no sanctions for my eating habits.

I am 43 now. For the last 10 years I have had to monitor my eating and maintain exercise. I lost weight easily after Hannah and with a little work, after Josh. By Olivia, it was more of a challenge. After 2 miscarriages, I got really high. It was then that I first joined weight watchers through a friend. She joined but I got all the information and bought a Weight Watcher's Cookbook at Costco. For the first time, I learned what were healthy portion sizes and what was a serving size. Was I shocked! I couldn't even imagine eating that little.

However, I learned and over 9 months, I lost 30 lbs. I didn't gain that back. I then got pregnant with the twins. When I came out of the hospital (5 days after their birth), I was back into all my pre-pregnancy clothes, and they were too big! I was nursing 11 and a half hours in every 24 hour period.

I indulged. I was getting very little sleep, averaging one and a half hours in every 24 hour period for the first 2 mos. What I didn't get in sleep, I made up for in food. By the time they were 6 mos. I began to gain weight. When they were a year old, I began exercising 3 times a week but didn't reduce my food intake. My hormones were really out of whack and I was officially in the "change of life", cycling on average every 16 days for over a year. When I was 30 lbs. overweight I knew it was time to change. I had to begin, "Stopping the Slide" and make healthy lifestyle changes.

After Shan's first blog, I thought about why I over-eat and snack. My parents rarely ever snack. It's just not part of their lifestyle. After dinner time is passed, they don't even have a cup of tea. Since I've been a stay-at-home mom, I snack. I look for after-the-kids-are-down rewards, especially when Jason's working his 2 weeks of evenings. I also seek out chocolate or sugary snacks about 4:00 p.m , my low time. Now I have nothing in the house, because of my lack of self-control. I eat protein at every meal, so I am satiated. I snack wisely in the afternoon (a piece of fruit and/or a ryvita cracker with cream cheese and salsa) to help with the cravings.

Sadly, I sometimes go out and buy a chocolate bar or when I am out I have a war with my self as to whether or not to treat myself to one. I crave chips during my cycle times or other salty snacks. I tend to desire larger quantities of food pre-cycle. I know what healthy serving sizes are and battle with it.

I am trying to learn to eat just what I need. I don't always discern, even now, when I have eaten enough. I enjoy food and if I like the taste, I want more - even when I'v had enough.

So by accident I stumbled on a blog 2 weeks ago that really got me thinking. It was a real eye-opener. The author is Bekah Ferguson and she lives here in Ontario. She calls herself a food addict and explains what an addiction is. By her definition, I qualify. She calls gluttony or greed a sin. Ouch! Her blog was convicting reading as well as thought-provoking. I guess I want to say, just because I'm not obese, doesn't mean I don't have a food problem. I'm not sure if it is fair to say that just because you are obese, you have a problem with food. We all need to learn to eat just what we need. Our exercise or output needs to be more than our input. It's that simple in theory. It's all those emotional attachments that go with eating that make losing weight so complex.

If any of you are interested, the site I stumbled onto is Sorry I can't do the link for you. I'm not yet that computer savvy. Incidentally, she is an author and a mom of 2 young children. Her blog is easy to read!

I need to explore the concept of food-addiction more. In the meantime I want to learn to eat just what I need!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. It means so much.