Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some Updates on my Weight Loss Journey

I am not even sure where to start.  Do I start by apologizing yet again for not posting regularly?  Do I moan about the new format on Blogger which has me baffled and confused (and frustrated)?  Do I just make up every excuse I can imagine as to why I haven't committed to putting entries into my blog?  Nah, why bother?  I really don't think anyone is reading this anymore so this blog is just for me now, I suppose!

Here is an update from the past few weeks (some good, some terrible).

Week 33 (May 3 - 9, 2012)
Loss or Gain: 0lbs
Total weight loss since beginning: -27lbs

Week 34 (May 10 - 16, 2012)
Loss or Gain: +2lbs
Total weight loss since beginning: -25lbs
Eeek - this probably had something to do with the heavy duty dinner I ate on Mother's Day and the fact that I was bloated beyond belief the day I weighed in.  Either way, the scale was going in the wrong direction!

Week 35 (May 17 - 23, 2012)
Loss or Gain: -3.5lbs
Total weight loss since beginning: -28.5lbs
Now this is more like it.  These are the numbers I would like to see more often.  I would really like to get to the -30lbs mark very soon.  I am tired of being stuck around 27lbs where I have been for about 2 months. 

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Uh-oh - LONG overdue post

Uh-oh!  I've been bad.  I didn't realize that it has been so long since my last post.  I have just started Week #33 and I haven't posted since Week # 27.  Oopsies.

So here are some results:

Week 28 (Mar. 29 - Apr. 4)
Weight Loss or Gain: -0.5lbs
Total weight loss (since beginning): -26.5lbs

Week 29 (Apr. 5 - 11)
Weight Loss or Gain: 0lbs
Total weight loss (since beginning): -26.5lbs

Week 30 (Apr. 12 - 18)
Weight Loss or Gain: -0.5lbs
Total weight loss (since beginning): -27lbs

Week 31 (Apr. 19 - 25)
Weight loss or gain: +0.5lbs
Total weight loss (since beginning): -26.5lbs

Week 32 (Apr. 26 - May 2)
Weight loss or gain: -0.5lbs
Total weight loss (since beginning): -27lbs

I think I was so consumed with my trip to Las Vegas and trying to sell one of our houses that the past few weeks have just flown by.  I have managed to stay on target and not gain any crazy amounts so I am happy with that.

I am also back from my trip to Las Vegas so I will have to post a separate post for that.

I hope to post more regularly!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Shopping for Vegas!

To those who doubted me, I told you I would try to post more.  

Unfortunately, this is will probably come off sounding like a negative post.  I don't want it to be but this has been on my mind. A.LOT.  

I am heading to Vegas in 3 weeks with 3 of my close girlfriends.  Why, you ask?!  Well, we are all celebrating our 40th this year and we thought this would be a great way to celebrate.

Here is where I am a bit nervous.  I am going with 3 very beautiful women with pretty great bodies.  I am not necessarily comparing myself to them but I do worry what I will look like standing beside them.  I am happy with my 25lb loss and am much happier going to Las Vegas at this weight then I would 25lbs heavier BUT I am still not going to feel completely comfortable.  

I am going to have to buy some items of clothing because some things are too big on me and make me look frumpy while some things I can't squeeze into yet.

So, you know what I decided, as a treat to myself for my 25lb loss so far, I am going shopping tomorrow night.  Hubby is going to pick up the kids from childcare and I am going straight to the mall right after work.  I don't want to go too fancy and spend oodles on dresses that I'll never wear again.  I am looking for some funky/dressy tops to go with jeans and dress pants.  Fingers crossed that I can find some fun Vegas-type clothing!!

Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Week 27 Results

Week 27 Results (Mar 22 - 28, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -26lbs

Yipppeeeeeeeeee!!!  I hit (and passed) the 25lb mark.  I didn't think my loss would be such a good one this week.  It isn't that I overindulged or anything this week but a 1.5lb loss during a week where I just ate like normal and worked out twice didn't really warrant such a loss.  I was thinking that maybe I would stay the same or lose 0.5lb.  Oh, I should also mention that I am bloated like anything today so when I stepped on the scale, I was thinking that I may actually be up a bit.

In any case, I am super excited.  Yipppppeeeeeee!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 25 & 26 Results

Boy, oh boy, am I ever bad at promises.  I promised a few times now to start posting more regularly and I have gone back on my word.  I am sorry to anyone who may even be reading my blog.  Somedays I feel like I have a lot to say but I am nowhere near a computer but other days I am at a computer and I have nothing to say.  I'll try to be better.

In any case, I have two weeks of results to give you:

Week 25 Results (Mar 8 - 14, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: -1lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -23.5lbs

Week 26 Results (Mar 15 - 21, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: -1lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -24.5lbs

Wow, I am very close to the 25lb mark and I am quite excited.  I am a bit hesitant though getting too excited for last week's loss because when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, I was actually up 0.5lbs.  I don't understand how someone's weight can fluctuate so quickly (1.5lbs in one day).  Oh well, I'll take it!  

Maybe next week I'll change things up a bit (eating or exercising) to see if I can get down at least another 0.5lbs to reach the 25lb mark.  That sounds like such a nice number.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Week 24 Results

Week 24 Results (Mar. 1 - 7, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -22.5lbs

Well....ya-frickin'-hoo!!!  Woohoo!!  Doing a happy dance over here.  I am very excited with that loss.  Actually, I peeked at the scale 2 days ago and I was actually down 2lbs but I went out for a work lunch yesterday and had an incredibly delicous lunch (pitas, tzatziki & greek salad).  It sounds healthy enough but I had tonnes of pitas (too many carbs for what I am used to) and the greek salad was quite oily and very salty (much more than usual).  It doesn't matter though because 1.5lbs is awesome. 

I am making another small goal for myself.  I want to lose another 7.5lbs between now and the end of April.  That is 7 weeks so it is doable but I am not sure if I can do it. 

Why the new little goal?  Well, some girlfriends and I are making a trip down to Vegas for 4 nights at the end of April and it would be really nice if I could have lost 30lbs in total by the time I go. 

I am not going to put too much pressure on myself though because I hate disappointment but I am going to try.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Week 23 Results

Week 23 Results (Feb. 23-29, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: -0.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -21lbs

I am happy with the small loss because I thought last week's visit with my sister-in-law would have caught up with me but I am not ecstatic because I have been at the -21lbs before (just 2 weeks ago).  When I hit another loss, I'll be much happier. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 22 Results

Week 22 Results (Feb. 16-22, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain:  No Loss and No Gain
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -20.5lbs

I will admit, I am really surprised about this.  I had completely expected to gain about a pound (and hopefully not more).  My sister-in-law was visiting from England so we were out and about acting like tourists in our own city.  It included a lot of eating out and drinking wine.  Check this out:

Thursday: popcorn at the Disney on Ice show with our kids and wine with dinner later on in the evening
Friday: dinner out at an amazing Italian restaurant (lots of wine and a delicious pasta dish with rose sauce)
Saturday: a Beavertail at Winterlude (if you don't know what a Beavertail is, imagine a very flat and very large doughnut which is full of sugar and fat); wine later on in the evening
Sunday: breakfast at a restaurant (omelette with salsa and cheese), ice cream cake for dessert at dinner (sister-in-law's birthday celebration), about 4 glasses of wine
Monday: pancakes at a sugar bush and a few licks of maple taffy

OMG.  Looking at that is rather embarrassing.  Please believe me when I say that this is not a regular week's menu AT ALL.  We really were all over the city at various toursit attractions so there were just some things that I couldn't turn down. 

Now can you see why I am pleasantly surprised that I didn't gain a pound (or two).

Fingers crossed that it doesn't all catch up to me next Thursday morning. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Week 21 Results

Okay, okay, I know, I have been pretty slack with the blog entries.  I am really sorry.  Don't think for a minute though that I am giving up on my weight loss goals though.  That is definitely not the case.  I am just in a writer's slump and can't think of anything clever to write about.

In any case, here are my Week 21 Results (Feb. 9-15, 2012):

Weight Loss or Gain: +0.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -20.5lbs

I am not completely surprised by the gain because I had a few little hurdles to get over in Week 21.  The main hurdle was going out for a really nice dinner on Saturday night.  Besides drinking a 1/2 litre of wine by myself (which was SO delicious), I also ate a CRAZY number of calories.  I had a gorgeous salad with roasted vegetables, goat cheese and balsamic dressing.  Then my main course was a mediocre pasta but full of calories and fat.   The other hurdle one night was the tempting pizza that I ordered as a treat for my kids.  I loaded up on salad but definitely sampled some of their pizza.   

I wasn't shocked by the gain but a little worried because I know Week 22 is going to be a hard one.  My sister-in-law is visiting from England for that entire week and there will definitely be some extra calories and wine consumed as well as no time at the gym.  Fingers crossed that it isn't too bad.  

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Week 20 Results

Week 20 Results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -21lbs

Ya-freakin'-hooooooo!!!!  I'm so excited, I just can't hide it.  I'm about to lose control and I think I like it (haha - you are going to have this song in your head now)!!  Can you tell I am happy?  I was hoping to reach my half way point this week.  I have been sort of stuck between the -17 to -18.5 for the past 2 months so it is about time my body starts doing what I want it to do.  I think (maybe) my body was getting used to the loss of -18lbs and just decided to stay put for a bit.  Hopefully with a 1.5lb loss this week, I'll start losing regularly again.

I have a few events coming up in the next few weeks including:
- a couple dinners out (both at yummy Italian restaurants);
- Winterlude (which, if you have ever been, you really can't enjoy completely without having a Beavertail); and
- a 5-day visit from a family member in the UK which will mean some glasses of wine to celebrate (also her birthday dinner).

I am sure it will be okay though.  I have proven in the past 4 months that I can still stay on track while enjoying life and the various events that come along with it!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Week 19 Results

Week 19 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -1 lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): - 19.5 lbs

I am super duper excited!  I only have a half pound to go before reaching the half way mark of my goal of 40lbs lost by the time I turn 40.  As you all know, if you have been reading my blog, my ideal goal is actually 50-60lbs but my realistic goal is 40.  Once I get to 40 (and dammit, I WILL get there), I will see how things are progressing and make a new goal. 

I don't have too many challenges in Week 20.  I do have a lunch date but that should be easy to take care of.  I have been to the restaurant before so I know they have a nice vegetarian sandwich with veggies and falafal and then I add a side salad.  It is a higher point/calorie meal then I am used to for a weekday lunch but I'll just have a lighter dinner.  No worries.

Fingers crossed that I make it to -20lbs!!   

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Soup Lady

Recently I have been wondering if I should call myself the "Soup Lady".  When I started this journey almost 4 months ago, I realized that I needed to pay close attention to my lunches at work.  If I didn't plan ahead then I would be forced to grab something quickly from home or buy something at work.  Both options would mean more calories then I needed to have and buying something would mean spending too much money.

My solution - make my lunches ahead of time and freeze extra portions for future lunches.  I have been doing such a good job of it that one day I counted 30+ lunch size containers in my freezer for upcoming lunches at work.  All were low fat, low calorie and extremely nutritious.

Apart from some batches of vegetarian chili, I have been trying out some soup recipes.  Before this, I had never even made homemade soup.  I had been collecting recipes for years but just never got around to making any.  To be honest, they all looked very time consuming (chopping up the veggies, blending batches of the soup in the blender etc).  Anyway, I finally tried my first soup a few months ago and it was so much easier then I thought.

So, here is my list (so far) of soups that I have made:
- broccoli soup (which I posted about here before);
- potato soup;
- butternut squash soup;
- lentil soup (this was a flop but I have a new recipe that comes highly recommended); and
- cauliflower and roasted red pepper soup.

I really have to say that having these ready for lunches is really contributing to my weight loss.  It is so easy to grab a frozen soup (yes, I freeze them so they don't leak in my bag on my way to work) and go to work.  I always pack some fruit and, depending on the soup, some additional veggies to munch on with my soup. 

I will post some of the soup recipes in case any of you want to try.  I'll also post my vegetarian chili recipe because it is absolutely amazing.  I could eat it for lunch and dinner for weeks on end. Yummy, filling and very flavourful.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Week 18 Results

Week 18 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: - 0.5lb

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): - 18.5 lbs

To be honest, I wasn't expecting a loss at all this week so I am quite excited about the 0.5lb loss.  I had two dinners out last week which put me way over my calories (points) for those days.  I stayed within my daily target range for the rest of the time and I went to the gym 2 times so I guess it paid off.

I know I have been quiet on here lately and I have been meaning to fix that.  I hope to start posting more exciting stories and recipes soon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 16 & 17 Results

I know, I know, I've been slacking.  The good thing is, I have only been slacking with my blog.  I haven't been slacking with my food and exercise.  I am still watching what I am eating, writing everything down AND going to gym 2-3 days per week.

So, here are the results from the past 2 weeks.  They aren't brilliant but they show that I am still on track.

Week 16 results:
Weight Loss or Gain: -0 lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -17lbs

Week 17 results:
Weight Loss or Gain: -1lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -18lbs

So, there you have it.  It isn't mind blowing but it is still okay.  

I have a couple of events to go to during Week 18 so let's hope I'll be okay by the end of it.  

Toodles!  I hope to be writing more regularly.  Sorry if you have missed me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 15 Results

I should have posted this 5 days ago.

Week 15 is now over, thank god!!

Week 15 results:
Weight Loss or Gain: -1 lb
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -17

I know that looks good but trust me, the scale is not going to be pretty next week.  Why you ask?  Well, to start with, I over indulged on alcohol on New Year's Eve and I guess it just hasn't caught up with me yet.  I won't even tell you how much I actually drank but I can tell you that it is more than I am used to drinking (guess I needed to party).  Hee hee oops!!  The next thing, I nibbled on some junk food the next day to help cure my small hangover.  I am in so much trouble next week.  Well, at least I had a tonne of fun on New Year's Eve this year!!  :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Week 13 and Week 14 Results

Whoops!!  I haven't posted in 2 weeks and now Week 13 & Week 14 are both over. 

Week 13 results:
Weight Loss or Gain: -0 lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -17.5lbs

Week 14 results:
Weight Loss or Gain: +1.5lbs
Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -16lbs

I knew that I would have a gain at the end of Week 14.  This week was the hardest by far and included Christmas Eve (lots of munching and drinking), Christmas Day (lots of munching and drinking), and then another family party two days later that included lots of food.

No one ever wants to see a gain on the scale when they are trying to lose a substantial amount of weight BUT I am fine with it.  I expected it and I deserved it.  I over indulged (more on the wine then anything else), I ate well, I sampled some chocolates (yummy smooth chocolate balls with milky peanut butter), I had some baked goods and I didn't exercise at all.  See?  I deserved the 1.5lb gain.

I should be back on track now.  The only issue will be with New Year's Eve (in 2 days) which will probably include a bunch of wine.  I will still stay on track the rest of the time so let's just hope that the scale next week is much nicer to me!!

I probably won't post anything in this blog for the remainder of 2011 so I'll speak to you in 2012.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Week 12 Results

Week 12 is officially over!

Week 12 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5 lb

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -17.5 lbs

Yahoo!!  Woohoo!!  Yipppeeeee!!!  To say I am excited by that number is an understatement.

This week has had MANY challenges:

Challenge # 1: Two of my December functions happened in Week 12.  Actually 3 functions were supposed to take place this week but one had to get cancelled.  In any case, of the other two, one was not so hard to stay within my daily point range, the other seemed to be super hard.  The easier of the two was at my chidren's childcare Christmas party.  It was a buffet dinner filled with tonnes of food but I was very careful when I went up to fill my plate.  I stuck to the veggies, fruit and a few small sandwich things that I had brought.  The second function was the more difficult one.  It was a work Christmas lunch at one of my favourite Italian restaurants in Ottawa.  I have been to this restaurant numerous times and one of my favourite dishes is a Pasta Primavera with homemade fettucine noodles, broccoli, sundried tomatoes and a pesto cream sauce.  The pesto cream sauce is what had me a little worried.  I can't even imagine how much fat and calories are in that sauce.  Anyway, my friend convinced me that I should have it anyway.  She reminded me that it is one of my favourite dishes and if there was one Christmas function that I didn't have to be super careful was this one because they actually had a dish that I already know that I really enjoyed.  And she was right (thanks KW)!!  :)  So, in order to offset the calorie intake I was about to consume with the pasta, I chose not to have any wine at that meal and I didn't touch any of their fresh bread.  I started off with a minestrone soup (another dish of theirs that I absolutely love) and then had my delicious pasta.  You know what?  It was SO worth it.  If I am ever to go over on my calorie intake for a day, this is the type of meal that I want to do it with.  It was well worth it.  After the meal was over, a friend and I decided to walk back to work to burn off some of the calories.  It was about a 15-minute walk which I would like to think burned a few calories!!!

Challenge # 2: Pizza.  I wanted to get my kids pizza one night as a treat and because I just didn't feel like making dinner.  Sometimes we make our own but this time I decided on ordering a delivery pizza.  I knew that I had been pretty good during the day so I could treat myself to a couple of slices.  I ended up having quite a bit of salad on the side and two really yummy pieces of cheese pizza!  Mmmmmmm.

Challenge # 3: Christmas cookies!  It is a tradition at Christmas time to bake sugar cookies with my girls.  They love to cut them with the Christmas cookie cutters and decorate them with sprinkles.  Even though I am not a huge cookie eater, I did have to sample one (or two, or three) over the past few days.

Challenge # 4: M & M's.  I am planning on making a different type of cookie over the the weekend to bring to my girls' school for a cookie sale.  These ones are a little like sugar cookies but they also include red and green M&Ms.  I went to Bulk Barn over the weekend to buy enough for the recipe but I obviously bought too much because the bag was $15.  Eeeek.  This super expensive bag of M&Ms has been sitting in my cupboard for about 5 days now and the amount that I brought home is no longer the amount I have in my cupboard now!!  Yes, I have snuck in there on a few occasions and grabbed a small handful.

Even with all these challenges, I have tracked all of my eating (even the little handfuls of red and green M&Ms) every single day.  Even if I wasn't very happy with the number of points I had eaten for a particular meal (i.e. the yummy pasta with pesto cream sauce), I had to be honest with myself and put it in my spreadsheet.  I think that is one of the main reasons why I still lost weight.  I tracked every.single.thing that I ate.  By watching what I ate at other meals in the day, I was able to stay within my calories/points range most days (even the pizza day).  The only day I actually went over was the day I had the pasta with pesto cream sauce.  I'll tell you though, it was well worth it. 

So, now onto Week #13 which will have a few more challenges.  I'll just take each meal and each day at a time and plan accordingly.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Broken Hip Means Fewer Calories

As you know, I have a lot of parties/functions/get togethers to go to in the month of December (as most of you probably do). There are so many that I am really worried about how it will impact the numbers on the scale. Too much food and too much wine makes for a tough time trying to lose weight. Too much gain makes for a very unhappy me.

One of the functions that I had scheduled was last Friday, December 9th. I was invited to a girlfriend's house along with 5 other fabulous ladies. It was a potluck so we were each asked to bring a dish (either an appetizer or a dessert). If it was anything like it was last year, there was going to be a lot of yummy food and a decent amount of alcohol. One good thing was that I was going to have to drive home afterwards so I would have to limit the amount of alcohol I consumed (an excellent way to save some calories).

Unfortunately, I didn't end up going to the get together at all. My father fell and broke his hip (again) and was waiting to get operated on. My Mom & Dad were supposed to be my babysitters that night.  Instead, my Mom had to spend some of the time at the hospital with my Dad and then when she finally got to my house, she was too exhausted, frustrated, stressed and mentally drained to be on her own. She didn't ask me to stay but I knew she needed the company. My Mom has been through a lot in the past 2 years and that is just what good daughters do.

So, I ended up missing the lovely evening with friends. I still brought my friend, the hostess, the spinach & artichoke dip that I made, the French loaf that I bought and the wine that I had for her. I apologized for having to miss her party but explained that I had to be with my Mom when she returned from the hospital.

As much as I was disappointed that I couldn't attend the girls' night, there was one silver lining...I didn’t consume too many calories/points on Friday night.

Well, there's one event down, a gazillion more to go.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Week 11 Results

Week 11 is officially over!

Week 11 results:

Weight loss or gain: -1 lb

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -16 lbs

Yay!!  I am extremely happy with another pound down.  I am feeling super bloated today and assumed I would step on the scale and see a gain.  Actually I weighed myself about 30 minutes ago and I am feeling even more bloated at this very minute so I bet you that if I went on that scale right now, I'd be up the pound.  Damn you time of the month!!!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the numerous eating and/or drinking functions that I am going to over the next few weeks.  I just hope the scale is good to me throughout these celebrations.  I am going to try to be good and I usually have quite a bit of will power but 2-3 functions per week is a bit much, don't you think?!  Oh well, time will tell, right?!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Parties and Potlucks and Wine, Oh My!!

I got woken up shortly before 4am by one of my darling daughters and then I couldn't get back to sleep.  I laid there for about 30 minutes and finally decided that I should just get out of bed.  It isn't even 5:30 and I have showered, put in a load of laundry, checked emails, finished packing lunches and did a few other odd little jobs around the house.

Now I am sitting here enjoying a cup of tea thinking about everything that I have coming up in December.  I have to admit, I am really nervous.  I have lost 15 pounds so far and I want to continue to lose weight but the next 3 weeks are really going to be difficult.  I'll be lucky if I just stay the same and not gain anything in the next 3 weeks.  I know that sounds very negative but look at this crazy schedule:

Thursday, December 8th - party at my children's childcare which includes a huge buffet of food (appetizers, main dishes and tonnes of desserts)

Friday, December 9th - potluck at my friends' place which will include tonnes of food and wine.  The good thing is that I will have to limit the amount of alcohol I consume because I have to drive home.

Tuesday, December 13th - office Christmas party at lunch.  I may choose not to have wine at this function but the party is being held at an Italian restaurant and the vegetarian items on our group menu are pretty high in calories.  Eeek!

Thursday, December 15th - Christmas lunch with friends from work at Milestone's.  I think there is a nice vegetarian sandwich that I can have that isn't too bad.  

Friday, December 16th - Christmas "shindig" (as my sister calls it) at her place.  Lots of food and wine.  The good thing is that I will have to limit the amount of alcohol I consume because I have to drive home.

Saturday, December 17th - dinner out at a pub with my immediate family (kids, parents,  sister).  Not sure what's on the menu but I am sure I'll be having a glass of wine to celebrate the season. 

Tuesday, December 20th - Christmas party/potluck at my office. 

Friday, December 23rd - get together at my friend's place.  If it is anything like last year, we'll end up consuming LOTS of wine and quite a bit of food.

Saturday, December 24th - Christmas Eve (as you all know) - our immediate family always has a few glasses of wine to celebrate but I think this year we are going to be careful with the food that we eat.  In previous years it was usually crappy munchy food (i.e. M&M) which is full of fat, calories and sodium.

Then there is Christmas day and then another family party a few days after Christmas....Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.....

So, those are the dates that are already set in stone.  God only knows what else may pop up between now and Christmas.

Here are a few ways that I think may help me in not gaining weight this month:
1. Continue at the gym every week.  Increase the 2 days a week to 3 days a week (if possible).
2. On the days where I have an evening function, I will be very careful in what I eat during the day - probably just a lot of fruit and veggies.
3. On the nights where I am consuming alcohol at someone's house, I will bring some diet sprite or 7Up.  My sister introduced to me what she calls the "Cheap Man's Sangria".  It is half red wine and half Sprite or 7Up.  So, if I bring the diet stuff then I can lower the calories that I am consuming in my alcohol.  
4. Of course, the obvious is to stick to the healthier dishes like veggies and fruit at all these potlucks but I have to be serious with myself.  I am going to want to sample some of those other yummy looking appetizers.  
5. I don't think desserts are going to be too big of a problem.  At this time of year, I actually prefer the appetizers over the desserts.  Don't get me wrong, some desserts are quite tempting and I may have a sample (or two) but I don't think I will overindulge.
6. LOTS of water.  I will continue to drink LOTS of water this month to help flush out a lot of the stuff I'll be putting in my body.

If anyone else has any other suggestions to help me out this month, please feel free to comment.  

Wishing us all luck over the next few weeks!!  :) 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Week 10 Results

I have changed my weigh-in day.  I will now be weighing in on Thursday mornings (that extra day to work off any weekend festivities makes me feel better)!!  It is all about me, right?!  :)

So, Week 10 is officially over!

Week 10 results:

Weight loss or gain: -1 lb

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -15 lbs

Woohoo!  I am very excited for that loss.  I haven't been too bad this week but I have been doing a lot of "late evening nibbling" which is not a good habit.  I haven't been going over my points/calories but it still isn't wise to nibble late in the evening.  And when I say "late", I mean about 45min-1hour before going to bed. 

I am also very happy with that number 15.  I don't know why but every 5lbs feels like a milestone.  Now getting to the next milestone of 20lbs is going to be a challenge.  I would like to do it by the end of December BUT I have way too many functions coming up that involve eating and drinking.  I am not even talking about Christmas itself - I am referring to the other 6-7 social events that I have booked.  Eeek.  That is another post for another day. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Week 9 Results

Ooops.  I forgot to post this 2 days ago.

Week 9 is officially over!

Week 9 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -0.5 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -14 lbs

I am quite content with the 0.5lb loss.  I had a nice night on Friday night which included 3 glasses of wine (a lovely Malbec - yummy) and a higher-than-normal calorie dinner.  I didn't overindulge but I did end up having a lot of points that day.  Actually, if I recall correctly, I think I had almost double my daily points that day.  Oh well, it was worth it.

This is the thing.  I want this weight loss to be as pain free as possible.  So far I don't feel like I have had to make too many changes to my diet or make too many sacrifices.  I still want to be able to go out and enjoy myself.  I just can't do it every night! 

So, I'll take that 0.5lb loss.  Thank you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week 8 Results

Week 8 is officially over!

Week 8 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -2.5 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -13.5 lbs

YAY!!  I am super excited.  I was hoping that I would lose last week's gain and then some and I did. I know why I gained last week and I know I got back on track this week.  I went to the gym twice for some low impact cardio and I was careful with what I ate.  I did have the odd treat but that is okay too.  This weight loss regime is not about starving myself or depriving myself, it is about learning to eat in moderation and watching my portions and increasing my protein while reducing my carbs.  

I'm a happy girl!  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mommy, is this your size?

One of the things that I am NOT going to teach my children is to be obsessed with their weight and be unhappy with their body image.  I spent most of my teenage and adult years worrying about what I looked like and what weight I was (sadly, I look back at those photos now and wonder why I was so concerned because I was a pretty healthy weight in my teen years).  I don't want my children to grow up concerned about this.

Besides making sure they have a healthy body image, I don't want them to hear me discuss my weight and/or trying to lose weight.  They see me choose healthy options when it comes to eating and they hear me discuss going to the gym at work but they won't hear me discuss trying to lose weight. 

So, the other day, I brought my girls to the mall with me to do a bit of shopping.  I was at one of my favourite clothing stores and I was looking through a rack of tops.  I was in the XL section checking out their selection (which was pretty dismal).  One of my girls (5-years old) was looking through the XS section and quite loudly said "Mommy, is this your size"?  I would have loved to respond with "oh god, how Mommy wishes to be that size" but instead I just said "no, honey, Mommy is actually this size over here".  She then proceeded to come over to my section and help me choose a shirt.

I was sort of laughing on the inside about that comment and the woman beside me in the XL section had a smirk on her face too.  

Oh, the things kids say!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Week 7 Results

Week 7 is officially over!

Week 7 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: +1.5 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -11 lbs

Oh frig!!  That is my first gain in 7 weeks.  While I am not proud of it, I can understand why:
1. I have had wine 4 evenings this week (heehee - oops).
2. I am bloated like you wouldn't believe.  I even woke up at around 2am and felt like I had put on 5 pounds.  That lovely time of the month is coming soon.  Blech.
3. I had Halloween candy on Halloween night and a few times this week.  Even though I tracked it, I still don't think it did me any favours.
4. I have been back at the gym for the past 1.5 weeks.  I am not working out like mad but perhaps I have gained a teeny bit of muscle all ready.

Anyway, it sucks to see a gain but I hope I can pull a decent numbered loss next week.

Back to it!!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

French Fries & Potato Chips for Dinner

If someone told you that they ate french fries and potato chips for dinner AND they were overweight, you would probably think to yourself "well, no wonder you are overweight if you eat stuff like that for dinner".  

The truth of the matter is, I actually don't eat french fries or potato chips very often.  I never buy french fries to make at home so the only time I eat them is at a restaurant and even then, I don't choose them as a side dish all the time.  The majority of the time I choose a side salad.  I would guess that I probably eat french fries about 3-4 times per year.  As for potato chips, it is probably even less.  I don't buy them.  I actually don't even like them that much.  If I was given a choice between chips, pretzels or popcorn, the latter two would win every time.  This isn't to say that I don't ever eat them.  I may nibble on some at a party or get together if there is a bowl sitting out.  They are definitely a treat.  I would guess that I probably eat chips about 2 times per year.

So, why this post?  Well, I did eat french fries and potato chips last night for dinner.  Actually, the french fries was part of the main meal but the potato chips were just a last minute decision because I wanted try out a recipe that I saw a long time ago.

Let's start with the first recipe:

Homemade French Fries

3 regular size white potatoes, peeled & washed
1 tsp olive oil (or whatever oil you have on hand but I only have olive oil)
Salt and pepper to season
Any other seasoning that you want (cayenne, garlic etc).

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the potatoes into french fry size.  Put them in a bowl of water for 15 minutes (this helps get rid of some of the starch and will help them cook better).  Then drain the bowl and lay the potatoes out on a paper towel.  Pat them to dry.  Put them back into the bowl (that you have dried of all the remaining water).  Add the oil and as much salt and/or pepper as you want.  Toss it all together.  Lay them out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake in oven for 40-45 minutes, flipping them often.  Some of the smaller pieces may burn if in for the whole time so each time I flipped them, I took those ones out and let my kiddies and I sample them.

There you have it.  Low fat, homemade french fries.  My girls and I really enjoyed them.  Besides tasting like a little treat, I was happy knowing that my girls and I were eating homemade french fries that didn't need to be deep fried in order to taste good.

Now onto the next recipe, the potato chips.  The only reason I even made these is because I was eyeing this recipe on a website that I frequent for years.  I had never tried them so I figured that seeing as I was already washing the potatoes and cutting them, I would try this recipe too.  Let's just think of it as an appetizer.

Healthy Potato Chips  

Instead of posting the recipe, easiest thing would be for you to read this blog entry on one of my favourite recipe sites:  Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
If you scroll down a bit, you will see the recipe for the potato chips.  I used just one potato so my girls and I could try it out.  They were quite tasty.  Next time I will use more salt but they were pretty good.  I would definitely make them again.

Now, I should mention that the french fries and potato chips weren't the only items on the menu.  We also had some veggies and meat as well (well, I had a vegetarian protein)!!!

So, if you are having a craving for a salty carb but a healthy one too, try one of the recipes above.  They hit the spot!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Week 6 Results

Week 6 is officially over!

Week 6 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -12.5 lbs

I was really scared to get on the scale this morning.  If you read last night's blog post, you would know that I didn't have a great week last week.  I treated myself more than I would usually treat myself.  Blame it on birthday celebrations (not mine; my kiddies) and Halloween. 

Even though I tried to track all of those extra treats, I was still pretty certain that I would gain this week (or, at least stay the same).

I did go to the gym yesterday (I'll blog about that another day) but seeing as it was my first day back in over a year and a half, I took it easy.  I only walked on the treadmill for 12 minutes and then went on the stationary bike for 15 minutes.  Maybe the few calories I burned helped me out a little. 

In any case, I am chuffed!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Challenge # 4 - Halloween & Kids' Birthday Celebrations

I have been having a difficult time staying within my points this week which makes me very nervous to step on the scale tomorrow morning.

My children celebrated their birthday last Thursday so between numerous celebrations for them and Halloween (yesterday), there have been many temptations in our house and in our lives lately!!  Where to start?

1. Thursday night we took the kiddies out to celebrate their birthday.  We let them choose the location and they chose a restaurant that doesn't offer many low calorie or low point items.  I have already posted about this restaurant in the past (see my "OMG, the veggie burger is how much" post) and while their menu looks like they have some healthier options, the nutritional info on their website says otherwise.  I was a bit worried about going again so I studied their website and tried to find a few other options besides the high fat veggie burger.  I came up with two options which would have kept me within my points for the day.  Unfortunately, what I didn't realize was that the specific restaurant they chose is one a "tester" restaurant.  It is one of their restaurants where they test out new menu items.  The options I chose weren't even on their menu.  Quite a few new items were though.  They even had a section with menu items that were fewer then 600 calories.  Sounds good BUT there was not other nutritional info (i.e. fat, fibre, protein etc).  In the end I ordered from the "less than 600 calories" section.  It was a 1/2 portion of pasta with a tonne of veggies and a salad on the side.  The meal wasn't anything special but it filled me up and I *think* I stayed within my points.

2. There were numerous other birthday celebrations which included some tasty little cupcakes.  Everyone around me (adults and kids) said they were delicious.  I ended up giving in and having half of one.  Was it worth the points?  I don't think so.  

3. Halloween.  Need I say more?  Even if you don't like chocolate or have a sweet tooth, those little tiny bite size chocolates are very tempting.  I think I ended up having about 5 or 6.  Oops!!

So, wish me luck tomorrow morning.  I would love to lose a pound (or two) but I would be very happy if I just stayed the same and didn't gain anything!  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week 5 Results

Week 5 is officially over!

Week 5 results:

Weight Loss or Gain: -1.5 lbs

Total Weight Loss (since beginning): -11 lbs

Woohoo!!  I am quite excited about this week's loss for a few reasons:

1. One of my sister's colleagues and I had a friendly challenge (no money involved) to see if we could lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks.  That challenge is done!
2. I was tempted on numerous occasions to go over my calorie intake for the day.  Besides the wine that I already mentioned in a previous post, I was also sent home yesterday with a batch of homemade double chocolate chip cookies.  A colleague at work and I had a small mishap in our work kitchen and she felt the need to apologize by baking me cookies. If you are wondering, the mishap was that her freshly poured coffee was accidentally poured all over me, coffee grinds and all.  It wasn't boiling hot so it didn't burn me (thank god because it was on my entire forearm) but it was all over my sweater (white & grey) so there was the chance of it being stained.  In any case, the stains came out with a friend's "Tide to Go" stick and all was fine.  However, she still felt the need to apologize by giving me a batch of cookies.  I had 1 last night, my children each had one and the rest are in the freezer!

So, all in all, I am very pleased with Week 5's results!!  Yippee.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oh wine, how I love thee!

I love wine, yes I do.  While starting this new venture, I decided to cut back my consumption.  It's not that I was having a bottle every night and getting drunk or anything.  I was in the habit though of having one glass every few nights.  It was very relaxing once the kids were in bed and the dishes were done and lunches for the next day were made to sit down and have a nice, glass of wine (just one though).

I decided to cut that habit out because of the unnecessary calories that came with consuming wine on a regular basis.  

Don't get me wrong - I haven't cut it out completely.  Hell no.  What would life be like without a nice glass of wine on occasion?  I have just cut down the frequency.

I have been able to incorporate a glass here and there during the past 4 weeks.  There have been a few celebrations (my birthday and Thanksgiving) and they all required a glass or two of wine.  

Last night was a bit tricky for me though.  My friend came over for a visit and she enjoys wine just as much as I do.

So, I needed to plan for this.  I first had to figure out (for absolute certain because before I just guessed) how many points were in each glass of wine I consume.  I took out a measuring cup and poured 1 cup (8oz) of water into a wine glass.  Did you know that 8oz of wine = 8 points.  8oz doesn't even completely fill one of my wine glasses.  Eeeek!!  

So, I had to be completely honest with myself and to my food tracker.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to stop at just one glass.  My friend and I were going to watch a movie (at my house) and we also liked to sit around and chat beforehand.  I knew I would have at least two.

Two glasses of wine = 16 points.  Holy heck - I only get 29 points per day (and an extra 5 if I want or need it).

Luckily I didn't eat a lot yesterday.  I only had a late breakfast then I got so busy with the girls all day that I didn't sit down to eat again until 5:30pm.  I made myself a lighter dinner (light on calories and light on points) so I could save for my wine (high on calories and high on points).

You know what, it worked.  I didn't feel hungry (meaning, I didn't starve myself) AND I got to enjoy two decent size glasses of wine over the course of the evening.

So, as long as I don't go overboard and drink TOO much in one evening, I can still enjoy a glass (or two) of wine on occasion.  

There is a Wine and Food Festival coming here in a couple of weeks and, as much as I love going there, I am kind of relieved that my schedule with my children doesn't allow me to this year.  I would probably drink a few days worth of points in one evening!!  I can figure that all out next year when the Wine and Food Festival returns!!  Maybe by then I'll have reached my goal and I can be a bit more flexible with my "party nights"!!  And, if you haven't been, it is quite the party night!!      

Thursday, October 20, 2011

When life gives you lemons.....

.........make better tasting water. 

For the past few years, I have been part of a water club at work.  It was a pretty sweet deal - $10 for 2 months of unlimited bottled water.  For various reasons, they had to discontinue the water club and those of us in the water club were all left wondering how we were going to quench our thirst and get our daily intake of water without breaking the bank.  Buying small bottles of water on a daily basis would get very expensive AND it would not be good for the environment.

The answer may be obvious to some.  You may be thinking, "just do what most people do and drink out of the tap, right"?!

Well, the problem with that is, I am a bit of a water snob.  I don't like tap water.  Actually, I don't like city tap water.  Not at all.  I think I was spoiled because, as a child, my parents lived in the country where the water that ran from the tap tasted like fresh, cold spring water.  Really, it did.  I think that is where my love for water began.

Then in 1996 I began working on cruise ships and the quality of the water in the taps was very poor so we were told to buy bottled water to drink.  I continued to drink bottled water for the next 7 years that I worked on ships and then that habit just continued once I returned to land for good.  

I have tried city tap water since returning to land but I just can't get past the taste.  I can't explain it but I don't like it.  

So, what was I to do with this situation I found myself in at work? 

For those of you who don't drink a lot of water, this may not seem like an issue.  For me, it was a huge issue.  The thing is - I LOVE water.  I do.  It is my drink of choice.  If you offer me the choice between a glass of milk, juice, pop or water, I will choose water probably 99.9% of the time.  Of course, if you offer me a glass of wine, I may choose that but I was talking about non-alcoholic beverages.  Not only do I prefer water but I drink it a lot.  It is not a chore for me to get the recommended amount into me.  I drink so much that I have even wondered if I was drinking too much (is that even possible)?  

So, back to my work situation.  After going a few days with only having one glass (at the most) of that unbearable tasting water from the fountain, I had to come up with a solution fast.  I was craving my water and I wasn't getting anywhere near the recommended daily amount.  

That night, while I was getting some fruit out of the fridge, I came across two little lemons that had been buried at the bottom of the crisper.  I thought to myself that this may be the solution.  This would hopefully make my fountain water at work bearable.

The next day I brought in one of the lemons, cut up a few slices and added it to my glass of water.  Well, not only was it WAY more bearable, it was absolutely delicious.  I have always liked lemon with water but I never thought to bring some to work.

Who would have thought that such a simple, little citrus fruit could make me so happy?  I am back to drinking my regular amount of water and I feel so much better.

Oh, and one last little added bonus, did you know that lemons have some great health benefits too?  It is a win-win situation!

So, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or at least some better tasting water)!