Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The Importance of Sleep

By Belinda

(151 lb)

It's been a long time since I've posted but I have still been "stopping the slide." :)

I'm in England on vacation with Mum and will be here for a few more days so I have a little more time to write.

Since I last posted I turned 60 (in June) and decided to take care of a couple of health issues that I had put off for too long. One of them was asking my GP for a referral to a sleep clinic. Paul had been on my case for several years, telling me that I stopped breathing for long periods while asleep, then suddenly gasp for air and start breathing again. He would try to hold his breath as long as I wasn't breathing, and couldn't.

I knew I had a problem only because he told me. He also woke me up several times a night to get me to turn over because I was snoring. I was accustomed to being drowsy and thought it was due to my bad sleeping habits. I tend to be night hawk and on average would get 5 to 6 hours sleep--sometimes less. I never considered that the quality of the sleep I was getting was poor as well. On top of that I couldn't imagine wearing a mask to bed, even if I did have a diagnosed problem.

Now I have been a base line sleep study and follow up appointment during which the doctor confirmed mild sleep apnea. I have been fitted with a mask, (called a C-PAP machine, which stands for Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure, I think) a less intrusive type, especially designed for women (for which I paid a little more but it was worth it.) and gone back for post test, which I have not had the results of. This is to see how much difference the mask has made. I expect I will go back for a final doctor's visit to get the results and see if adjustments to the air pressure in the machine are needed.

The effects of using my C-PAP machine were dramatic and immediate. I straight away felt as though I came alive! I had increased mental focus; energy and confidence and my appearance went from blood shot eyes and a strained, tired look by the end of the day, to bright eyes all day long. My only question was, "Why did I wait so long to take care of this?"

But I really didn't start this post intending to write all about the issue of sleep apnea; I wanted to share some information that I found interesting, which my brother pointed out in The Sun newspaper over here, in a column written by "Coach Ed." He was writing about the importance of a good night's sleep in weight loss and fitness in general.

Growth hormone is the major secretion produced by the body for building muscle and aiding recovery.
GH is anabolic, which means that it helps increase muscle mass. GH also has an effect on fat mobilization and fat deposition. What this basically means is that the more lean muscle mass a person has, the more effective their metabolism is at using calories, leaving the excess fat nowhere to hide. So from this alone you can see that GH is important.
GH is released while we sleep...This is why the night-time sleep is so important.

When we start to sacrifice our sleep we are sacrificing the results we should be getting from all the hard training hours we have put in. Many people ask how many hours they should get--it is hard to say how much each individual needs, but the general school of thought is about eight hours, preferably from 10pm to 6am. It is believed that this time is linked to a greater GH release than having eight hours from midnight to 8am.

Remember this equation: Little sleep + little GH release + inadequate recovery = FAT STORAGE
Losing sleep messes with nutrition and diet. According to Dr. Plamen Penev, from the University of Chicago, when the body starts to lose out on sleep this can prevent fat loss and make the body use less fat for fuel. The lack of sleep slows down the loss of fat and speeds up the undesirable reduction of lean mass. This doesn't help the body's metabolism. Dr. Penev also stated that "sleep loss is accompanied by an increase in hunger that makes it less likely you will stick to good nutritional habits and /or a diet."
Thanks Coach Ed. This is great information to build into our lives! I guess that the old adage about each hour before midnight being worth two after, is really true.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


By Belinda

151.8 was what I weighed on Sunday but I'm down a pound since then, to 150.8 today. I really deserve to have put on weight but am grateful not to have, and attribute the fact that I haven't to the walking I'm doing thanks to my faithful furry coach. Still, I want to regroup and refocus!

More soon. Just wanted to check in and be accountable.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

152 lb

By Belinda

Yes, I am going in the wrong direction and it is embarrassing to admit. I can't deny it, I earned every ounce. I found myself eating mindlessly at work this week. I was working hard, trying to get as much as possible done and I found myself reaching for food for some reason, as if eating while working would help in the overall effort!

I didn't pay as much attention as usual to the approximate total of WW points eaten. And on top of that, my trusty walking companion, Molson, went away to the cottage for the weekend and the thought of walking around the village on my own just didn't motivate me.

As soon as Molson came home, we went out together for a walk, and I'm in this for the long haul so I'm not giving up. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 27 June 2010


By Belinda

Yes! I broke through to the 140's today.
It was April 11th when I renewed my determination to get in shape. I weighed 158.2 that day, although the week before on one day I weighed in at 159.4. It has taken 11 loooong weeks to lose just under 9 pounds. I have 7 to go.

I've been on a vacation to England during that time, and away for two conferences and still maintained a steady, although slow weight loss.
What's working for me?
  • Walking Molson my daughter's dog and my personal trainer, almost daily. He is an encouraging  companion and Brenda says she can always tell when he's been out for a walk when she comes home because he smiles! Yes, he has a happy expression on his Golden Retriever face. :) Walking daily helps keep my metabolism running efficiently and my hips and thighs more toned (only "more" because they sure don't qualify as "toned" alone.) If I can't manage a long walk I still head out for a quick walk. It is a rare day that I can't manage a minimum 20 minute walk. The main point is to keep moving.
  • Majoring on vegetables. At the conference, where there was ample opportunity to overindulge, I stacked my plate with vegetables and salad, filling up with those and with meat. I focused on protein, fruit and vegetables and the desserts I thought were really worth it.
  • Packing loads of food to take with me on work days. I make sure I am never hungry and I feel like I eat a lot some days but it is all good stuff. I know that if I added up the calories of the handfuls of almonds I eat when I get hungry, I would think I shouldn't lose weight, but they fill me up when I need something substantial to get me through to the next meal and I am still slowly losing.
  • I've started using a teaspoon of olive oil dribbled over a piece of toast instead of margarine.
  • I chopped some almonds up with my little hand chopper and have a small container of them in the cupboard ready to sprinkle on yogurt or salad.  A current favourite lunch is a tossed salad with a tablespoon of Vidalia sweet onion dressing, 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese, sprinkled with chopped almonds. It is filling and delicious.
I have more to write but will save it for another day this week. Stay encouraged. Don't give up! Stop the slide and bust the fat!

Sunday, 20 June 2010


By Belinda

I celebrate 150.4 because I have just returned from a three day conference where the food is abundant and opportunities abound for enjoying it all a little too much.

I took along an emergency survival kit of almonds, granola bars and oranges, so that I knew if I got hungry, I had a healthy choice, but there was lots of healthy food--lots of fruit and vegetables to choose from. I also enjoyed a delicious dessert or two, savouring them to the fullest!

Next week I hope to report some weight loss as it's getting very boring to be stuck here. On the other hand, I don't really mind it too much, because I know that eventually I will go down another pound! And then I'll start on the next one.

P.S. I just noticed that "on the blog" this is a loss this week. I forgot that although I have been this weight during the week, I haven't been this low on a Sunday weigh in yet. Yeay!

Sunday, 13 June 2010


By Belinda

A quick check in for the sake of accountability.

I finished the book I was reading, Press Pause Before You Eat. I am now rereading the chapters that were most helpful, just to absorb the principles that have helped so much. I recommend the book as a great reference tool and help.

I'm still exercising faithfully with my equally faithful friend Molson.

Susan is working out at the gym.

Irene is down 46 pounds. Yay Irene!

Susan asked for a repeat of Irene's recipe for tilapia (a fish.) Here it is:
She coats it in a small amount of breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and quick fries it. I have also dipped it in milk and then a little seasoned flour and quick fried it. It is delicious!

Hey, I know that my progress is slow, but I'm feeling slimmer and I know that slowly but surely I am getting there. I have 9 pounds to go.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

153 lb

This week I was up a bit on my weigh in day. If I'm honest with myself, I earned it. I didn't pay as much attention to actually counting what I was eating and I had a few meals that I am sure were over the proper portion size. It was a birthday week after all! :)

On the exercise front though, I have not missed a single day of walking and that feels good!

This is a lifestyle change and not about a pound here or there, but I don't want to creep back up either! I'll be ramping up the vegetables in my lunches this week and cooking up some delicious Tilapia tomorrow night.

Sunday, 30 May 2010


By Belinda

Another week, and going down, slooooowly, but going down--7 pounds since the start!

Every morning this week at 7.00 a.m. I have been out for a short walk with Molson--just under 2 km. On Saturday and Sunday, when I had more time, we walked 3.5 km each morning. I've even got out several times during the day at work for a quick round the block walk, to clear my head and get fresh air. I think I can safely say that walking is a daily habit and I'm loving it. I think that walking what seems like a short distance, but doing it daily, has been a key thing. It's too little to seem impossible or inconvenient. It only takes 20 minutes. Molson loves it too.

I'm finding that eating is so much less of a problem than it has been to this point in my life. I think it's a combination of realizing the fat addiction, reading a book that is helpful (Press Pause Before You Eat by Linda Mintle) and deciding that since I turn 60 on June 1st, I would like to be my "best me" for the years from here on.

Writing here is a key part of my encouragement too.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Sunday, 23 May 2010

152.4 --Journey Home

By Belinda

On the plane coming back to Canada from a two week vacation in England, I realized that a simple but profound change has taken place--somewhere deep and lasting. I don't completely know how or why, now, but here it is: I have become a "choosy eater."

There is more than a good chance that the change has some connection with the book I've been reading: Press Pause Before You Eat by Dr. Linda Mintle.

"Pressing Pause" is what I am doing. Each day my eating is now based on three things:
  1. A heightened awareness and attention to, how hungry I really am.
  2. Multipe decisions based on appeasing that hunger with food that is nourishing, healthy and satisfying.
  3. Weighing; thinking about; the cost-benefit of food eaten, i.e. is that utterly decadent slice of honey almond cream torte, worth the calories and moments of pleasure? Last Sunday, it was! I savoured every last morsel; appreciated it to the utmost and enjoyed the memory of it for days afterwards.
On the other hand, it is hard to believe, but I, until now a dedicated lover of fish and chips, only had one meal of fish and chips while in England, and that was shared between three of us! It was enough to have a taste of them and I didn't crave more. The thought of the fat drenched batter and starch, no longer held the appeal it once did, and I remembering that I am addicted to fat makes me want to steer clear of it in general.

These choices are an example of what is happening each day.

At the airport, on the way home, when I would usually be stashing away a few Cadbury Flakes, I bought a bar of nuts and fruit called, "Eat Natural, with brazils, sultanas, almonds, peanuts and hazlenuts...and nothing dodgy."

On the back of the bar it said:
Those of you that enjoy reading stuff on the backs of "certain packs" may be a little disappointed when we tell you that this bar probably won't change your life, and it certainly won't prolong it. Sadly, there's not much evidence to suggest that it'll make you more attractive. No, it's just a bar of nuts and fruit. Mind you, when it comes to taste...Eat Natural--Simple--isn't it?

I tucked away the bar in my carry on bag, and during the flight, when a snack was served with tea and coffee towards the end of the flight, I looked at the big double chocolate muffin in the cellaphane bag and reached for my Eat Natural bar instead. My seatmates looked on in envy. "That is much more to my taste," said the lady next to me. Me too!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

10st 8lb

By Belinda
I will know in a few days what my true weight is at home, but according to the ones I'm using here, I am down one pound this week. Yeay.

I have been "feeling" for hunger before eating, and stopping when full. And I have had occasional treats, but mainly stayed away from high fat and sugary foods and chosen high fibre, fresh foods.

Of course I have had lots of exercise while in England, walking a high energy dog twice a day. This is something I am determined to fit in faithfully when I return. I have a dog who will benefit as much as I from at least daily exercise, rather than the three or four times a week I had just "worked my way up" to!

Exercise must be a priority as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

10st. 9lb

By Belinda

I don't know for sure how much I would weigh at home! I arrived in England on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning I was 10st. 10lb on our old faithful Salter scale--the same scales that I used as a teenager, over 40 years ago. If it weighs the same as my scale at home it would mean I am 149lb, but I have a feeling that it weighs less.

Here's how things have gone. I have been to the fish and chip shop once and Rob, Mum and I shared one regular portion of chips. Mum and I shared the fish.

I brought home treats from Druckers coffee shop on Saturday and Rob and I both had a banoffee eclair and a slice of kirsch laced black forest cake each. I probably bought them because I had been out shopping for most of the day and wanted to bring something home for Mum. Truth be told it would have been enough just to pop my head around the door and say, "I'm home--let's have tea." It seems that food = celebration somehow, when really that is so unnecessary.

Other than having an eccles cake when some friends visited on Friday, I haven't gone overboard, but as I write this I realize that if I piled all the extra bits and pieces on one plate, they would add up.

I have walked a fair distance almost every day and walking around the hilly village of Alvechurch involves a great workout for the legs.

Tomorrow I will try to do less nibbling and eat real food if I feel hungry.

Friday, 7 May 2010


I used to think that if I slept less, I would burn more calories and therefor be more likely to lose weight.  I read some articles today on the relationship between "sleep" and "weight loss" and completely re-educated myself.
Apparently, the optimum amount of sleep for losing weight is 7-9 hours.  Any less than seven and your dopamine (the sense of "well-being" hormone) levels fall.  One of the substances that supplies dopamine to your system is - you guessed it - sugar.  So you are much more likely to crave sweets - and fats (another substance that scores high in the pleasure centres) - when you're tired.  (And you thought it was only because you were looking for something to give you more energy!) 

There's actually a double whammy, because there's another hormone level that is affected when you're tired.  The levels of grehlin go up when you're lacking sleep.  Grehlin is the stuff that tells your body you're really hungry.  But at the very same time, your leptin levels are falling.  Leptin is the hormone that helps your body acheive a sense of "full".  So at the same time you're feeling hungrier with a strong sense of "more-ish", and craving sugar and fat, your lack of leptin is making you feel like a bottomless pit that can't ever be filled.

Good information to have.  And a good reason to go to bed on time.  (You'll live longer too!)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Hope is Rising

By Belinda

I am writing this from England--the land of clotted cream teas and fish and chips (and many other delicious treats.)

I have to send this update because I have this seed of hope rising in me that something has really changed with my epiphany about fat addiction.

On Monday--the day of my flight, I had many details to cover before leaving. I had a bowl of 1/2 a cup of Presidents Choice Fibre 1 cereal with milk  for breakfast. I have noticed before that this cereal is one of the most satisfying things I can eat.

I had a lunch in the fridge, but I never did get time to sit down and eat it and fortunately I wasn't hungry, but here's the thing. I ate the cereal at 7.00 a.m. and I didn't eat another bite until we were at the airport at 5.15 p.m., when I had a tossed salad with grated cheese. Of course it isn't healthy to go without a noon meal, but I am so surprised by how long Fibre 1 keeps me satisfied.

On the plane we finally ate at about 9.00 p.m. and then had another meal (hot breakfast of baked beans, a one egg ommelette and a roll) at 1.00 a.m. just before we landed.

Today I ate a mid morning snack of a banana, 3 Ryvita crackers with margarine and a poached egg for lunch and Rob, my brother made us a macaroni and cheese sauce dish for supper. That's it folks! Short on veggies for sure, but I'll be buying some tomorrow.

Oh, I also chased Bruce, a Staffordshire bull terrier made of solid muscle, around a playing field for as long as I could. He was carrying a huge stick in his mouth while running and every now and then made it easy for me to grab it and pull. I called that resistance training!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Everyday Health and Fitness

Hi There,
Irene sent me a link to great health and fitness site with many delicious and healthy recipes. I will put a link in the link list. Thank you Irene!


By Belinda

I must confess to being sorry to see 154.4 on the scales this morning on my official weigh in day. For the past two days I was 153--and yesterday I had been pretty faithful. But maybe it was the fruit flan I had after supper.

However I am not discouraged because I am generally making overal changes to the way I'm eating that I know I can live with. I'm packing for England (I leave tomorrow for two weeks) and I have packed a supply of rice cakes and high fibre cookies. When I get there I'll go to Sainsbury's and stock up on Ryvita and some fresh veggies, fruit, fish, nuts, cheese and fish (I know, I'll go easy on the cheese) and I will be ready to withstand the call of the fish and chip shop. Just thinking of my fat addiction makes that a pretty obvious place to avoid.

Our son and daughter-in-law, Pete and Sue, visited this afternoon with our four grandchildren. I noticed in church that Pete looked clearly trimmer this morning. I had noticed a distinct pulpit bumper a couple of weeks ago. He has lost 11 and a half pounds with the aid of Sue, his personal dietician and trainer. :)

She has cut off white bread and has him eating whole seed bread and protien and lots of vegetables. The next step for Pete is exercise. Since he works on the 16th floor of an office complex she has instructed him to start this week walking up four flights of stairs. The ultimate goal? You guessed it!! Pete will be 40 on May 23rd, so this is a great investment in life long health and wellbeing.

Today we all enjoyed a nice family roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, but also lots of vegetables--cauliflower, carrots, corn and acorn squash.

I got out for 4 walks with Molson last week and started to jog part of the way. The first time I tried it my legs felt like lead and my feet as though they were stuck to the floor, but I am amazed at the difference a week can make. I have far more stamina and strength in my legs already. I will keep walking in England, although I will sorely miss my furry walking companion.

So, friends, another week begins. For me this is the start of week 4 and I have lost 4 pounds so far. 12 more to go, and a lifetime of health, vitality and fitness.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Susan's Bulgur Bean Salad

This is delicious. Susan gave the recipe to me many years ago, and I went looking for it on Wednesday evening when I had a salad to prepare for a pot luck lunch. I doubled the recipe; used sliced radishes instead of celery; cherry tomatoes halved, and added 8 oz snow peas, trimmed and blanched for two minutes before adding. Oh, and I used cider vinegar instead of wine. It was delicious! I was so happy that there was enough left over for my lunch and supper today. Alas, it is all gone now and I need to buy more bulgur--a whole grain, medium glycemic index food featured in middle eastern cooking, which I love. Anyway, enough of my chattering--here is the recipe:

Bulgur/Bean Salad

1 Cup bulgur
1 Cup water

Soak bulgur in water for one hour or more.

Mix together:

1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas) (1/2 large can)
¾ cup kidney beans (1/2 small can)
1 cup celery finely chopped (approx 2 large stalks)
1 cup sweet peppers finely chopped
½ cup onion finely chopped
1 or 2 tomatoes chopped (or cherry tomatoes, halved).


¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon Splenda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon dried parsley or ¼ cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons “good” oil

Mix it all together with the soaked bulgur and allow to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Susan Stewart

Monday, 26 April 2010

Fat Addiction

By Belinda

For breakfast on Sunday, I had a serving of the creamy hot rice cereal I love, with milk and a little maple syrup.

As I got ready to leave for church I thought of the fact that I wouldn't be home until around 1.30, and I noticed a couple of cookies in a plastic bag in our snack cupboard. I had two bags of these cookies, two in each bag, home made and delicious, I was saving them for a treat. I almost popped one of the bags into my purse, for a snack on the way home from church, but something stopped me.

Somehow I knew that they are my poison--that thing of which one is one too many, and a thousand is not enough; that crisp buttery thing. I knew that eating just two of them would trigger something in me that I didn't want, so I put them back, and later on I put both bags on the table in the hallway, to give to my granddaughters for a snack for school.

I really think that I have a fat addiction and I decided to consider donuts, pastries and the like, things that will rarely cross my lips day to day, because eating them is like drinking beer is to an alcoholic. I thought, "Others may; I cannot."

So I'm sticking to cookies (when I eat them) and other foods, that are high fibre and low gi.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Week 3 155.4

By Belinda

I think that last week's Sunday weight must have been a scale error! It does happen sometimes. Anyway, since I started the process of making a permanent lifestyle change two weeks ago, I have lost just under 3 pounds. Oh, I wish it was 6 by now, but I have been eating differently and exercising more.

Yesterday Molson and I walked up to the top of a steep hill--a 5 km walk. We did 3 walks last week and I'm aiming to up that this week. I also got out our 5 pound weights and did an arm workout yesterday.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm writing here, I would probably throw in the towel at this point because it is discouraging to be losing so slowly, but I am committed.

This morning I read about an Olympic gold medallist, Zatopec (1952), who said that he had trained for 14 years for the games. Dr. Richard L. Ganz writes, in his book, The Secret of Self Control: No matter how much it hurt, he had determined to keep at it until  he achieved his goal. His gold medals were merely the result of countless steps. "Countless steps;" those words resonate.  Each choice is a step in one direction or the other.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Breakfast at Cora's

Posted by Picasa
Cora's is a national treasure; the opposite of a "greasy spoon." It is a place where you can meet a friend for breakfast and munch on delicious and healthy food while sipping on black coffee and green tea respectively, which is exactly what I did on Friday morning before starting work.

Irene had already said that meeting there would fit in with her new eating regimen, so I had a heads up that something was afoot, but I had no idea that I was about to get a huge inspiration boost.

Some time in mid January she decided to get healthy and lose some unwanted pounds. So far she's down 33 pounds and is looking terrific. By the way, Irene did give me permission to share these details.

I quote, "You can say what you want, we all need to encourage each other, kind of like a "Fat Busters Fraternity." Maybe I should change the name of Stopping the Slide to The FBF! I thought of that this afternoon when someone sent me a Dilbert cartoon where Dilbert says:"We've been doing great since we redefined success as a slowing of failure!" I think "Stopping the Slide" was what I wanted to do when I started this journey, and this blog helped me do that, but I'm a bit more into actual success at this point! :)

Irene is sticking to roughly 1000 calories a day; not rigidly, but by being aware of how much she's eating and aiming for that amount.

We talked about our favourite healthy food discoveries and Irene had some great ones:
  • Fresh tilapia (a fish) from Loblaws, coated in a small amount of breadcrumbs mixed with parmesan cheese and quick fried.
  • Salmon from Costco, topped with Cross and Blackwell Mango Chutney (Loblaws or No Frills sell it)and a little bit of goats cheese, baked in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes then turn off the oven and leave it for five minutes. Yum!
  • Irene gave up coffee for water or green tea with Stevia sweetener.
  • Catalina dressing (the lowest cal. dressing) with lots of salads
Irene has upped her exercise, taking her dog Moses out in the morning, riding a recumbant exercise bike and she also bought the Lesley Sansone Anniversary set of 3 DVDs on Amazon.

Another Irene tip: "I also recommend Kosher pickles as a snack (zero calories)."

Way to go Irene!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Step Back!

Hey Everyone,
I was indeed, 154 on Sunday, but then was 154.6 on Monday and Tuesday mornings and this morning was 155.4. I didn't want to mislead any one. :)

Yesterday I went for a 3.5 km walk. That's two walks so far this week. And I am being faithful in eating carefully within a reasonable range of 22 WW points (probably 25-30.)

Just checking in to let you know how it is going. I really am trying to work out a way of being that will be permanent. I've lost weight before, but always crept back up. I'm not obese, but I'm not at my best. I want to be at my best and live that way day to day. This involves a change in eating that is forever and building in regular exercise always.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Yo!!!!! Fat Free and No Sugar Added.

Okay, I made it up the stairs.  I'm 8 pounds down on the beginning of the 11th day.  I'm happy.  I have a lo-o-o-o-ong way to go, but I'm not focusing on the destination.  I don't have a goal other than to "nourish my body as best I can today".  The scales will take care of themselves.  (I hope.) Maybe when I'm alot further along on the journiey I'll think about setting some more concrete and long term goals, but I'm not going there for now.

Anyway, 8 pounds is great, but I have even greater news!!!!

Yoplait 0% "Source" yogurt - the "Exotic" collection.  It comes in a carton with a bright aqua-marine lid and a slightly different look than your regular plastic round yogurt containers.  My favourite flavour is "Pineapple-Coconut-Banana" - oh, my mouth is watering right now thinking about it.  It is absolutely creamy-delicious.  A total comfort food in my books.

The best part?  It's only 35 calories per 100gm which means you can eat one half of the entire carton and still have consumed only 105 calories!!! It's made with fortified skim milk and is sweetened with "sucralose" not aspartame - more good news. 

Flavours:  Pineaple-coconut-banana;  Peach-passion fruit; Mango-pineapple; and Melon Trio.

Get to the grocery store as fast as you can.  And then - enjoy!  Guilt-free!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Thank You Week 2 154

By Belinda

Dear friends,
Just being accountable here is helping; thank you! This is Sunday; one week from the Fresh Start, and to my surprise I weighed in at 154 lb. That's just a smidge over 4lb less than last Sunday. And for the first time, I have broken a pattern. It's been a while since I was that low on a Sunday.

I exercised twice last week; two walks with Molson. This week I commit to adding at least one more walk.

Using Weight Watchers tools, this week I relearned appropriate portion sizes.

My friend Susan gave me a turnip on Thursday, with an amazing tool to peel it with, made by Pampered Chef. I discovered that I love turnip--and it is a vegetable you can eat as much of as you like with impunity. I bought more on Saturday.

And  click on the link below to view the photo album of my boss's, 30th anniversary celebration on Thursday, when I resisted the fish and chips on the menu and had Greek Salad.

From 2010-04-16
It was a great first week and I go forth with hope in week 2.

Friday, 16 April 2010

By Belinda

156.8, after cell group and a celebration lunch yesterday. And this is where the weekend begins and I typically end up on Monday at the high end of my weight teeter totter.

I resisted fish and chips and had a Greek salad with chicken breast for yesterday's lunch, and last night I cooked the turnip Susan brought  me as a gift and loved it! I didn't grow up eating turnip but I will be eating it from now on. Turns out that turnip is a very good choice--NO points--just the butter I mashed into it.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

By Belinda

155.2 this morning. Just keeping track! Today is a lunch out and cell group dinner tonight. I will do my best to not give in to momentary pleasure that will sabotage my long term goal. Stay tuned on how that goes.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Lunch Out

By Susan

I really like going out for lunch.  I REALLY like going out for lunch.  So four days into my new low-carb life, I walked into my favourite greasy-greasy-greasy greasy spoon.  They smile when they see me coming.  They wonder whether I'll have the fat-dripping fish'n'chips or the crispy chicken sandwich (with fries of course) or perhaps a big juicy burger.  Not today.

I walked up to the counter with a bit more energy than I usually have.  "I'm going to be getting a lot thinner, really, really quickly.  And you're gonna help me."

I thought the girl behind the counter (the skinny, skinny Greek girl  behind the counter) was going to jump over her cash register and accost me!  Her eyes lit up like Christmas trees and when I said, "I'd like a nice piece of halibut, but instead of dipping it in batter and frying it, could you just grill it without the batter?"  I heard her mother behind the counter, who does all the cooking, say, "How'm I gonna do that?" while her daughter asked me excitedly, "And a big salad?" 

"Yeah, a big salad."

"I know, I know just the thing," and she hijacked the conversation then and there, transposing it instantly into a monologue.  "I'll put balsamic vinegar on it - ooo it's sooo goooood - tastes like candy - I swear - balsamic vinegar - I've got my own private stash - I'll give you some o' that - I get it at Costco - $20 a bottle - you're gonna love - tastes soooo goooood - we'll take care of you - Mom, put a halibut on for this lady but don't fry it - sprinkle some lemon juice and oregano on it, wrap it in foil and just let it steam on the grill - ooh, that's gonna be so good - I lost 15 pounds that way - no kidding - I lost 15 pounds in three weeks - THREE weeks - I just had a chicken breast everyday like that - next time you come in have a chicken breast, it's a lot cheaper and it's good too - with a big garden salad and my balsamic vinegar and I lost 15 pounds just like that.  Three weeks!  Do you want it here or to go?"

Finally, a break in her enthusiasm, giving me a chance to speak.  But before I could get a word in edgewise she started in again.  "What do you want to drink?  You should have water.  Diet coke?  You can have all the diet coke you want - it's almost as good as water."  She was fairly rubbing her hands together with glee.  I loved it.

It's funny how you think everyone is going to judge you as soon as you "admit" that you need help.  At least I did.  Hah! As though people can't see it all over me!  But if I told someone I was on a diet or I was trying to eat better, I thought I would be drawing attention to myself and inviting judgmental thoughts from people if not outright comments. 

It was so much fun having that Greek girl in the restaurant prove me wrong.  She made me the biggest most beautiful garden salad you've ever seen, drenched in the most delectable balsamic vinegar and then she hovered over me while I started to eat.  She was as nervous as a rabbit and shifting her weight (what little weight she had!) from one foot to another.  She showered me with more un-asked-for tips, and you'd have thought I had told her I'd won a million bucks and was giving her half, for the smile that was on her face.

She told me she weight 115 pouds.  "I was up to 130," she said, as though I would think that a tub of lard.  I wasn't going to tell her I would need to lose as much as she weighs now if I were to reach my "ideal" (textbook) weight.

I smiled too. I didn't expect ANY encouragement from The Grease Pit (I call it.) and here I was as drenched in it as my garden salad was in that balsamic vinegar. Do you think I'll go back there to eat lunch?

You bet I will!  Just for the halibut!  (or the chicken)


By Belinda

This morning I weighed 154.6, which although it is happily on the downward trend, is still not breaking the 153 pound barrier. I guess that is my first small goal: Getting to 152 and maintaining that for a week would define success in this Fresh Start. That, and getting out into the fresh air with Molson at least twice more this week for our 3.5 km circuit of the village.

Yesterday I was over my points allowance by 12, so I have used 23 of my weekly 35 flex points in the first 3 days! But counting is victory, and I won't be rigid about it. It is a tool and it is helping.

I'm reading an old book: The Secret of Self Control, by Dr. Richard L. Ganz. In the bit I read this morning, he gave a helpful, Japanese sounding acronym to use: GISI DICI, which means:
  • Gradual Improvement
  • Steady Improvement
  • Daily Improvement
  • Constant Improvement
He also talked about his daughter having taken a defensive driving course in which she learned not to focus on the skid when she lost control of her car, but to focus on where she wanted to take the car. Good thoughts!

This morning I was praying for myself and some other friends with food issues. To my surprise I found the list growing as I prayed. The contributers to this blog were on it, along with some friends, as well as three young women who battle anorexia --11 of us all together. This is such an area of struggle and defeat for many women. This blog is a support network for me, and I will give back in any way I can, in writing and prayer.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

By Belinda

This morning I weighed 155.4. I was glad to be down three pounds but I have had a 5 pound yo yo thing going for so long that until I get below 153 pounds I won't count it as real progress!

Today I went over my 22 points allowance by 12 points because of an unplanned lunch at Tim Hortons with my boss. At least I was able to count the points when I got home.

No exercise today. This doesn't sound good but at least I counted points. That does slow my eating down and help me to make better choices!

Monday, 12 April 2010

By Belinda

A quick update on how it's going. I decided yesterday to pull out my Weight Watchers books and point counter and use these as a tool to help bring me retrain my eyes and appetite to the much smaller amount that is actually needed to eat healthily. The daily points allowance in my weight range is 22, with 35 additional points to "splurge" with once a week or a few each day. I can tell I'm going to be "a few each day" woman--and I bet I have a big splurge somewhere in the week, too!

Yesterday I managed on 23.5, but today I've eaten 30. That's partly because half way into the afternoon I had eaten all the food I'd taken to work, so I ate 4 rice cakes that were in my emergency rations stashed away in a dusty corner. I don't much care what I eat as long as I have something to munch on, and I suppose that 4 rice cakes didn't break the bank.

Yesterday I went for a 3.5 km walk with Molson, my faithful friend and walking buddy. This is his "I'm happy and you can do it," face.
On the home stretch and proudly carrying his leash in his mouth all the way home.

Ready for a nice drink of water and a happy snooze. Me too.

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I weighed in at one pound less than yesterday morning, but I came home from work too late to go for a walk tonight. It was wonderful to find some friends have joined my cheering section and perhaps the journey too. It was a good start!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Fresh Start 158.2

By Belinda

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I've been avoiding Stopping the Slide for a long time.

Mainly I've avoided writing here because I have been stuck fighting the same 15 or so pounds of overweight without success. This, I feared would bore you, and definitely embarrass me.

However being quiet hasn't helped, and processing by writing helps me so I am back doing battle in public.

This morning I was 158.2 1b. My ideal weight is 142 1b. My body is also in need of toning up.

I am a sporadic dog walker and so I am not a hopeless couch potato, but I need to have a routine that incorporates exercise faithfully

This June I turn 60 and I guess I`m thinking about what kind of body I want to take into the next decade. I want it to be toned and trim.

So, join me in the journey if you will! Perhaps we can encourage one another.