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  • slowly losing track of time

    July 9th, 2013 she Posted in new leaf, Random Burbling   No Comments »  

    I could have sworn I’d written a post in 2013. Apparently not. I do intend to write and backdate a post in April and May 2013 in a few short moments. Mostly so I don’t lose track of the important moments in life; good and bad.

    One of the downsides of watching the not-for-profit we’re involved in blossom is that I have less and less time to remember I have a blog of my own.  Which likely explains how nearly eight months passed between my last post and today. I spend so much time working on their newsletter, blog posts, twitter and Facebook page that I find it’s become an extension of my life.

    The end is near. I’m busy working on my final paper in my final class in my degree. At the end of the month, I’ll be writing a final exam for the last time. Or at least, for the last time in a while. I’m definitely taking a few years off of school after I complete this degree. I’m tired. My brain is fried. But I am looking forward to walking across the stage at commencement in November.

    I fell off the health wagon months back and have slowly gained back about 1/2 of the weight I lost a few years ago. Stress, injuries and laziness seem to have played the biggest part. I’m hoping once school is finished that I can get back on track. I miss fitting into my clothes!

    That’s it. That’s all I’ve got at the moment. Today, we write a short post. Rather than making a silly resolution to return to blogging almost daily, I think I’ll try to add a new post to this blog once a week and see how it goes from there.

     

     

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    diet? what diet?

    January 7th, 2011 she Posted in new leaf   2 Comments »  

    Lately, lots of people (online and off) have been asking me to blog about my weight loss journey. The new year has brought resolutions to lose weight or get fit into the lives of nearly everyone I know. Rather than try to re-invent the wheel, I’ve decided to repost something I wrote for our community newspaper (the Rat Creek Press) in June 2010. I’ve since lost another 30 lbs since initially writing this and have reached a healthy weight. I’ve gone from barely being able to walk a few kms without being winded to being able to walk comfortably for hours. While I’d still like to lose another 10 vanity lbs, I don’t need to lose anymore in order to improve my health. My doctor says I’m extremely healthy for someone my age and with my previous sedentary/overweight lifestyle. I’ve been maintaining my current weight for a few months now and hope to continue doing so in the future.

    —–

    Staring at a series of “bad” photos of myself on Facebook, while desperately removing the name tags from them, brought me face-to-face with my currently reality. I wasn’t the svelte lass I was in my late teens and early 20s. I no longer fit the description of “pleasantly plump”. Somehow, when I wasn’t paying attention, I’d gone well past fat and off to the land of obese.

    Experts estimate that 10 to 25% of all teenagers and 20 to 50% of all adults in Canada have a weight problem. The increasing rise in obesity rates comes with a plethora of consequences to our health including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, musculoskeletal problems (joint pain and arthritis) and reproductive difficulties. You’ve likely seen the commercials on TV, where-in a teen describes the new reality, that we may be the first generation that doesn’t outlive our parents.

    Me? I’ve decided I don’t want to be overweight for the rest of my life and decided to begin a “lifestyle change” in January (2010).

    Want to lose weight and not sure where to start? Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

    • Don’t go on a diet. Start a lifestyle change: Diets often fail because people take extreme measures. They drastically cut their food intake or deny themselves all the foods they love. The key is moderation and sustainability. If you love chocolate, find a way to work a few small pieces into your daily or weekly meal plans. Don’t try to do everything at once. Instead, change one thing a week. Add more veggies in your meals. Eat an extra piece of fruit a day. Go for a short walk after meals. Soon these things will become habit and you’ll start to see results.
    • You didn’t gain the weight overnight… We live in a results oriented society. We want to see big drops in the number displayed on the scale or we feel like failures. It’s best to remember that weight loss is considered “safe” when it’s no more than 2lbs or 1% of your body weight (depending on which option is lower) per week. Nutritionists consider an individual to be successful if they can maintain a 10% loss for a minimum of 6 months.
    • Eat more to lose more: A big mistake many “dieters” make is in drastically reducing their caloric intake. Over a long period of time this can result in medical issues due to lack of proper nutrition. Over a shorter period, it can result in a demoralizing spiral of binge eating, decreased metabolism, and weight gain. Unless under a doctor’s supervision, women over 21 should eat a minimum of 1200 calories a day while men need a minimum of 1500 calories to get the bare minimum nutrition while dieting. However, that doesn’t mean everyone should drop to the minimum calorie intake amount when dieting. 1200 is the minimum for a short, inactive, elderly woman. If you don’t fit into this category, or aren’t under a doctor or nutritionists direct care, chances are you should be eating a lot more.
    • Your body’s minimum needs will depend on your age, height, current weight, and activity level. Using a BMR (Basic Metabolic Rate) calculation can help you determine your caloric needs.

    • Calories In < Calories Out: There’s no magic secret to sustainable weight loss. To lose 1lb a week, you need to take in 3500 calories less than your body uses each week. That’s just 500 calories less a day. Someone who’s stats indicates they burn 2000 calories would eat 1500 calories each day in order to lose a pound a week. To lose 2lbs a week, eat 7000 calories less each week. Remember not to go below 1200 (women) or 1500 (men) a day without the supervision of a doctor or nutritionist. Want to eat more? Add exercise. You can increase the amount you eat while maintaining a safe deficit by burning more calories through exercise.
    • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day: Our bodies are made of water. When dehydrated, our bodies store water. This can cause temporary weight gain and bloating. Drinking sufficient water each day can help “flush” stored water from our bodies and gets rid of “water weight”.
    • Put the salt shaker down: Health Canada recommends that Canadians consume between 1600-2300mg of sodium a day. Most of us take in far more than that. It’s not unusual for the average Canadian to consume 4000mg or more of sodium each day. The excess sodium can cause high blood pressure, bloating, and water retention. Look for foods low in sodium and don’t add salt while cooking or at the table. Instead, consider using salt substitutes like fresh herbs and spices.
    • Eat better to feel better: Feeling sluggish? Tired and cranky all the time? Your body might not be getting all the nutrients it needs. Cutting out the fast food meals and replacing them with fruits and vegetables can help you feel better. Frozen fruits and veggies are as nutritious as fresh and often cheaper if you’re on a budget.
    • Avoid “Diet” foods: When you read the labels on these foods you might be shocked to discover that the sodium or sugar contents are higher than the normal versions of the food. That’s because manufacturers often substitute salt or sugar to lower fat foods in order to make them taste better. Whenever possible, stick to fresh or whole foods.
    • Lose the scale: The one you weigh yourself on. The numbers can be frustrating if they’re not dropping as fast as you’d like. You may find yourself better motivated if you choose to pay attention to how you’re feeling and how your clothes fit. When they’re looser, you know you’re losing fat! If you are the type of person who needs to see the numbers in order to feel motivated, try weighing yourself once a week or once a month. Just remember to weigh yourself at the same time of day, wearing the same outfit (or nothing).
    • Your body weight can fluctuate by as much as five pounds depending on the time of day you’re weighing-in so it’s best to always weigh yourself around the same time of day every time.

    • Weigh and measure your food: Portion sizes at restaurants are out of control. Many people, including myself at the beginning, don’t know what a proper portion size is supposed to look like. Weighing and measuring your food can help you re-learn how much you should be eating. If you are eating at a restaurant, split your portion in half and box up the other half to take home, share your meal with another person at the table, or order an appetizer.
    • Be aware of what you’re eating: Keep a food journal. Write down everything you eat as you eat it. Seeing how much you’re eating (and when) can be an eye opener.
    • Pre-package snacks: If you’re the type of person who likes to snack while watching TV or working at a computer, you may find it handy to pre-package your snacks into one serving sizes (zip lock bags and small Tupperware style containers work great for this). Only take one snack package at a time to help you avoid overeating.
    • Bring a packed lunch: Packing your own lunch for work can save a lot of money and helps you maintain a nutritional balance. Packing your lunch and snacks for work helps you avoid the temptation of snack foods and fatty fast food meals.
    • Learn to love exercise: Not everyone is ready to run a marathon immediately. Start small. Pick an activity that interests you and get moving. Don’t expect to be able to do it all at once – especially if you’ve led a sedentary lifestyle until now. I used to think I hated exercise until I started walking a few minutes each day in January and playing on the Wii Fit. I managed to walk a little bit longer and a little bit farther each day. Then I joined a gym and spliced that into my routine. After that it was lifting (small) weights and now I’m learning to run. I can’t imagine not doing something each day of the week. I use exercise as a stress reliever these days – instead of eating. It’s fabulous.
    • So you’ve had a bad day: You over ate. You feel bad about yourself. You’re a failure so you might as well give up. Stop right there! Just because you ate too much one day doesn’t mean you’re attempt at a lifestyle change is over. Remember, you have to over eat by 3500 calories to gain a pound. Some people swear by cheat meals and plan an evening once a month where they can eat whatever they want. The important thing to remember is that tomorrow is another day. So, dust yourself off and start again.

    Sure, you’ve heard it all before. Why should you listen to me? In my experience, motivation for losing weight needs to come from within. Like quitting smoking, you have to be ready and willing to take the next steps and actively work towards improving your health. No one can do it for you.

    As for me, since January I’ve lost 50 lbs. I still have a long way to go to reach my overall weight loss goal, but I feel better about myself. The changes in my life are huge. After 10 years of horrific insomnia I now have little trouble sleeping at night. Before I could barely walk a half mile without feeling tired; I now routinely walk 2-5 miles a day. Best of all? I’m not embarrassed by how I look on photos my friends upload to Facebook!

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    23.88

    December 16th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   2 Comments »  

    Slowly making my way to my goal of 21.5-22 on the BMI scale. Expect to get there sometime around Feb 2011. Here’s hoping I keep the momentum going past the evil stresses that come with family visits and the holidays.

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    75 lbs

    December 2nd, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   No Comments »  

    well, 77 lbs actually…

    A woman who works on the same floor as me, but who I see only a few times a month, asked me yesterday how much weight I’ve lost this year. I told her 75 lbs.  We exchanged pleasanties, I explained calorie counting to her and off we went our separate ways.

    It didn’t hit me until I was walking home from work that losing 75 lbs in 42 weeks is quite an amazing accomplishment. I still have another 10-13 lbs I’d like to lose to reach the mid-range of my healthy height/weight chart. I’m on track to reach that goal around Feb 2011.

    When I go clothes shopping, I still have troubles trying to determine my actual size. I often pick things off the rack that are many sizes too big. Sometimes I still look in the mirror and see a fat chic but I’m starting to see a skinnier version of me more often now. Now to keep her here…

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    Changes

    October 12th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   3 Comments »  

    I’m not the woman I used to be. I’m certain that’s a good thing. After years of being unhappy with me – but not unhappy enough to do something about it – I started the year, not with a resolution to be ignored, but with the determination to make small changes in my life and try to be a better version to me.

    Small changes snowball. Each week a new change sparked a new interest and a new way of making my way through the world.

    10 months later I’m no longer obese. I’m no longer overweight. For the first time in over a decade I’m “normal”.

    The new me has a new wardrobe and a new do. That’s right. I’ve cut off my hair. Two feet of it was lying on various hair stylists floors (I had 12 in cut off at a time).

    The new me is less afraid. Except for heights. I’m still terrified of heights! But I do things I previously thought myself incapable of. And I’m inordinately proud of me.

    I’m still a hermit. As an introvert I’ll probably always be a hermit. I’m ok with that.

    I still have a long way to go to reach my health and fitness goals but I no longer think of them as impossible. I’m a whole new me. Hope you learn to like who I’ve become.

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    BMI of 24.9!

    September 26th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   No Comments »  

    When I started this journey in January, I had a BMI of 37.37 and was obese. After a lot of work learning how to eat proper portion sizes, enough calories, and getting off my butt to move more, I’ve finally reached a BMI of 24.9. My end goal is a BMI between 21-22 and I still have 20 lbs to go to reach that. Today I wanted to celebrate though. For the first time in 14 years, I’m “normal”.

    Thank the gawds for Calorie Counting. I don’t think I ever would have reached this milestone without it.

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    Must.Go.Shopping

    September 22nd, 2010 she Posted in new leaf, Random Burbling   5 Comments »  

    I’d like to take a moment to feed my delusions and say “I’m not a big clothes horse“. Oh, I know. When I was larger my closet was stuffed full of clothes and I could go weeks without wearing the same outfit twice. But I like to pretend that I was never that bad.

    Growing up, I remember my mum had closets (yes – multiple closets) filled with clothes for every occasion in every fabric or colour imaginable. Using her as my model for “clothes horse”, I can happily state I have never been that bad. Granted, that’s mostly because I never had the room in our houses to maintain closets like that. Of course, last time I was home, I think mum had culled her closets significantly. I know the extra large wardrobe/closet that used to be in the bedroom is no longer there and the walk in closet seems empty in comparison to childhood memory.

    Since losing weight & working on increasing my fitness levels, I’ve donated dozens of bags of clothes to charity shops. Many of the items donated were purchased at second hand stores over the course of the past few months. I’m Scottish. I’m cheap. Oh, and I refused to pay full price (or even sale price) for clothes I’d only fit into for a month. You see, I’ve dropped 7 sizes in the last 9 months and I certainly couldn’t keep any of the clothes in my tiny little mouse house. There’s just no room to store them. [Donation side note : Except for the bag of clothes I'm keeping for my sister to pick through when she visits in a few months.]

    A few weeks back I picked up some new (yes! new!) dress pants for fall. A whopping 5 pairs. That’s it. That’s my entire dress pant wardrobe for work. Except… I’ve shrunk out of 2 of the pairs already. So I’m down to three pairs of pants I can wear to work. Add to that 3 blouses. And a tonne of workout clothes. A half closet full to be precise.

    Which leads me to the conclusion It’s getting cold outside and I must go shopping. I loathe shopping for clothes but since I have no

    • fall jacket
    • winter coat
    • sweaters
    • turtlenecks
    • long johns/tights

    Or I could avoid the stores and just wear the hubby’s clothes. That’s not such a bad idea after all. The man has lined jeans and very warm winter coats. I’m sure he won’t notice I’ve stolen his warm clothing when he’s home in November and February for tour breaks…  

    So I guess I better go shopping soon. Not a good idea to be without warm clothes as a prairie winter approaches.

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    almost there: part the second

    September 10th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   No Comments »  

    I’m 3 lbs away from reaching the top end of the height/weight scale. That means I’m 3bs away from reaching the magical #25 on the BMI chart.

    I’m very proud of myself at the moment because I’ve managed to reach this goal a few months earlier than I had expected to in my original lifestyle change plans. It’s a pretty steady weight loss of about 1.8 lbs a week. Some weeks I lost more (i.e. in the beginning) and other weeks I’ve lost little (0.2 or 0.4 lbs). I haven’t plateaued *knock wood* yet.

    I still have another 20 lbs to lose before I reach my end goal BMI of 21.5-22. I’m quite happy with my new projected goal date of Feb 2011. It co-incides with my hubby’s second tour break. He’ll get a look at the new me in a few months when he’s home in November.

    Time to celebrate the little victories I think.

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    almost there

    August 18th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   No Comments »  

    I started my journey in January with a BMI of 37.37.

    I look at that number now and still can’t believe it was that high. Granted, I only needed to lose 14 lbs to go from Obese Class II to Obese Class I, but it’s still a staggering thing to think about. I remember doing a giant happy dance in my basement when I went from Obese Class I to Overweight on the BMI chart.

    Today my BMI is 26. In a few short pounds I’m going to have a healthy BMI (assuming I have a “normal” fat/muscle ratio) for the first time in 14 years. I’m very excited. Perhaps more so than when I dropped 4 shirt sizes and 5 pant sizes.

    My goal is to keep my BMI between 21 and 22. That’s approximately another 26 lbs to lose. I may even get there by Christmas at the rate I’m going.

    Wow. Just Wow!

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    closing in

    August 17th, 2010 she Posted in new leaf   No Comments »  

    School is about to start back up in a few weeks so I’m going to have to make a conscious effort to eat properly and make time for exercise. Some days that’s a challenge when I’m working full-time but once I add classes back into the mix I tend to have no idea where my time goes.

    I’m approaching my end goal far quicker than I expected. I’ve been averaging 1.6 lbs lost each week since I started back in January and never really plateaued. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad sign for when I move into maintenance. I do think it’ll start to slow down a bit now as I move into the last 20 (or 30) lbs.

    Based on what others write in the forums, I think the last 10 lbs might actually take me months to lose. It’ll be a strange experience considering I lost the first 60 lbs in 8 months.

    60 lbs. What a huge number. I hate to admit I had that much – and more – to lose. Hopefully I’ll manage to successfully keep it off in the years to come.

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