Sunday, March 25, 2012

I have two feet and a more excuses

Pin It We've been experiencing some unseasonably warm weather here in Halifax - summer-like weather...which is very, very odd.  Our previous recorded high for March 22 was 10.8 (I think) degrees Celsius back in the 80s.  This week on March 22 it was 25.6 (official recorded high, although it did get higher) and on the 23rd it was 30!  Talk about blowing our previous record straight out of the water!  On Thursday after work I decided to head to Point Pleasant Park for a walk.  I love the park - everyone is there with their kids, dogs, etc.  I love to see people so active and enjoying the beautiful weather - even saw some folks swimming!!!  They must be the crazy people - the water here is ATLANTIC OCEAN water which has NOT had a chance to warm up!  Towards the end of my walk I felt lazy and tired and was going to take a shortcut back to the car when I saw this lady running.  She was running on what I assume to be her knees.  She had no lower legs, nor did she have lower arms.  I was amazed.  Talk about not letting your limitations hold you back!  After seeing her determination and drive, I extended my walk a bit, even threw in a slight hill.  Really, I should have and could have done so much more.  I mean, she was RUNNING without legs!  Wow.  Now THAT blew my mind.  I have a desire to run, but always think that I just can't do it... I guess with a healthy body and two functioning legs AND feet, I have more than what is needed to do it. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You don't have a deadline, so you'll never be late

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This week's Weight Watchers meeting was about being more positive about your journey.  As always, Fiona (leader) wrote a poem related to the topic of the week and the title of this blog is a line from her poem that really stuck with me. 

It's a good thing that nobody has ever given me a deadline, because at the rate I'm going I'd be sooo late! ;-)  On April 3 of this year it will be two and a half years since I began this journey.  Sometimes I get tired of trudging through the trenches of this journey.  Sometimes I feel that all of you must be getting tired of hearing about my journey.  Then I have to remind myself that there is no finish line and I guess when it comes to whether or not you are tired of my wouldn't be here if you were ;-) 

So here I am.  Another .9 pounds gained and still 3.9 pounds from that ever elusive goal.  I'm only slightly bothered by this gain.  I sigh to myself wondering if I'll ever get there, but then I remember how far I've come.  I've gone from a complete couch potato (I nearly wrote "coach potato" for Donna's sake...) to someone who looks forward to exercise and I actually find myself running places rather than walking (I mean running to and from the car, not running to the mall) and not just when it's raining out, I love fruits and veggies that I've refused to even entertain before.  I received a bag of clothing from a dear friend of mine this week and in it was a pair of shorts in a SIZE 8 that fit to a "t".  That is something I am happy about.  I'm thrilled to walk into a store and know that I can start looking at size medium clothing instead of XXL or bigger.  Let me tell you, it feels good.  I find that more men open the door for me now (maybe that's just wishful thinking).  A super hot fireman held the door and dazzled me with his smile at Tim Horton's this morning when I went in for coffee...ahhhhhh I wonder if he works at the fire station across the street from me?  Sorry...I digress.  I guess I'm writing this post for me more than anyone else as I try to remind myself of all the good that I've done and how far I've come.  I'm focusing on the positive.  That will be my mantra for the week.  The days are getting longer, the bus strike is finally over, the weather promises to be amazing this week (is it REALLY mid-March in Halifax?????) and I'm determined to do more positive things this week. 

So no, there is no due date for these last few pounds - so I guess I'm not late.  I'm right on time for whenever they do come off. 

I'm off to drag my sorry/skinny(ier) butt to bed so I can wake up refreshed tomorrow and celebrate that it's Monday and I have something to get up for (my job).  I am going to drive my car to work one last day and be grateful that I have a car to drive and that I have a boss who was kind enough to leave me his parking pass while he was on vacation.  On Tuesday, I am going to be thankful that the buses are running again and I am going to enjoy standing at the bus stop in the warm March weather while listening to my iPod that I have missed so much these past 6 weeks (I seriously have enough Jillian Michaels podcasts saved up to last me all week and into next week I think! yay!)  I may even get off the bus early a few nights and walk part of the way home...because I am blessed with good health and am able to do so. 

OK, enough froo froo mushy feeling stuff.  I hope you all have an awesome week.

Ooh, nearly forgot - two new coffee finds at Winners - Blueberry Cobbler and Tiramisu flavours!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kale chips

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Made kale chips for the first time tonight.  Some of them were great and some were just OK.  I think my oven cooks unevenly :)  I suppose I could have turned the tray halfway through!  Most recipes call for oil of some sort, but I wasn't feeling the oil tonight, so I just sprayed the leaves with a bit of Pam, sprinkled on some salt (wish I'd had sea salt).  Half of them I put chipotle chili powder on (yes, I do put this on everything!) and the other half I put a bit of Parmesan cheese.  I will make them again, but next time I'll turn the tray halfway through.  The recipes and reviews I'd read online scared me a bit - everyone said there is a fine line between done and burnt... I baked mine at 325 for about 10 minutes...each oven is different though, so watch them closely.  Oh, I baked them on parchment paper, FYI :)

For this batch, I'd give them a 3/5.  Worth making again - maybe with different spices.

For the love of nuts!

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I'm always looking for new snacks that are satisfying.  I like to try and find snacks that are somewhat healthy, yet have that wow factor when it comes to flavour.  These certainly hit the mark!  Points-wise, one serving (50 almonds!!!) works out to 8 points, which sounds high, I know.  In all likeliness I would only ever eat half a serving.  They actually point out (gram for gram) the same as plain almonds.  Now I know what you're thinking...but Tanya, the sodium!  One full serving is 13% sodium (so my half serving would only be 6.5%, which is very reasonable).  The flavour of these babies...WOW.  I've already counted out my 25 nuts for this afternoon's snack and I can hardly wait!  Check out their website here.  For those of you in Canada, please note that the nutritional info noted on their site is different from the N.I. on the back of the products we receive in Canada (I think it's just the serving size that differs...ours says 50g/50 nuts and theirs is 28g/28 nuts).  These almonds are going to be my new favorite go-to snack!!  Overall rating - 5+/5!

Monday, March 12, 2012

One year ago today....

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beginning, middle, 100 pounds lost
On March 12, 2011 I officially reached 100 pounds lost.  One year ago today.  As much as I have struggled since then to lose the next 20 pounds, I am pleased to say that I have MAINTAINED 100 pounds lost for an entire year.  I have no idea what the statistics are on maintenance...but I like to think that I've beaten the odds :)  I know part of that is because I am still trying to lose, but anytime I start to get frustrated with losing these last few pounds, I try to remind myself that I have maintained a significant loss for an entire year.  I have to admit to you that actually getting to goal and HAVING to maintain scares me a bit (shh, don't tell anyone!)  Sometimes I think losing is the "easy" part (not that it's really easy, mind you).  The main reason to get to goal and lifetime status at WW is so it'll be free, not so that I can change my eating habits back to what they were before (that'd just be silly...that's how I got to where I was in the first place!). 

I've learned a lot this past year.  The past two and a half years actually.  I've met a ton of awesome people on this journey and have come to appreciate the awesome friends that I have had for many years.  I truly could not have come this far without your support.  People often ask me what my light-bulb or "aha" moment was that made things click this timed.  There are a couple of items that stick out in my mind - difficulty with airplane seats/seat-belts, broken chairs (see Upside Down Tanya for details on this one) and so much more.  But I really think that the clicking this time is due to several things.  Finding the right Weight Watchers meeting, finding not one, but two WW leaders who were "perfect fits" for me (I never, ever found this in the past!), going "public" with my struggle - both here and on Facebook - which resulted in so much support from existing friends and brought new friends into my life.  So I guess there really wasn't one thing that made it click this time.  Sure there were the airplane issues and the Upside Down Tanya story that actually brought me to Weight Watchers, but those are not the things that kept me going.  All of you are.

So on this, my one year anniversary of losing 100 pounds, I thank YOU!  I am now down 121.6 pounds and am 3 pounds from goal.  I refuse to contemplate over when goal might happen. Hopefully it won't take me another year, but if it does.... then it is what it is!

Happy Monday, Happy March Break and here's to year two!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Have your relationships changed?

Pin It I'm curious to know if any of you going through a weight loss journey (or anyone who has "completed" their journey) finds that their circle of friends has changed throughout the process?  I don't think that I have lost friends throughout this journey (at least I hope not!).  I do, however, think that some of my friendships have changed.  I think we all have those friends in our lives where our friendship revolves around food.  Any get-together or social time with them involves food - dinner out, coffee/snack dates, movies (and popcorn!), ordering dinner in... any time you make a plan, it revolves around food or involves food in some fashion.  How do we get away from this?  In my journey I've made some brand new, awesome and amazing friends - through Weight Watchers, through the gym and even people who were acquaintances before and who have become friends due to a new shared interest. That being said, I still struggle with social situations with my "old" friends.  I know I need to get a handle on social eating and learn that even if food is present, it doesn't mean I have to eat it.  In all honesty, potlucks and most restaurants scare me to death!  I am so grateful to my friend Karen who introduced me to the dish at Cora's last weekend that was basically a mountain of (free) fruit!  I know there are more restaurants out there with similar menu items...I just need to find them :)

How have your relationships changed?  Do you change what you do with your "old" friends now that you are on a healthy living kick?

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Pin It Sometimes I wish we had the technology for a smell-e-blog (like smellevision but for the blogosphere).  I took off early from work today and just put some chili in my crockpot and it SMELLS AMAZING.  I don't really have a recipe - never make the same chili twice, but my general ingredients are: ground beef, peppers (red/orange this time), red onion, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans, diced tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, tomato sauce (used a spicy one this time), chipotle chili powder, cumin, garlic powder (didn't have any real stuff in the house) and corn.  I think that's it...  I am afraid that today's chili might be SUPER spicy...maybe even too spicy for me!  We'll see.  If it is, I'll cut it down a bit with some chicken broth and turn it into soup maybe.

Here's a picture of it just fresh into the crockpot.  This will be either lunch or supper for tomorrow.  Thankfully everything in it is low sodium except the tomato sauce, so water-retention-wise I should be OK for Saturday's weigh in :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Crash hot potatoes

Pin It Tonight I made this recipe that I found on Pinterest - Crashed Hot Potatoes.  I Weight Watcher'd it up a bit by reducing the oil.  Instead of covering the pan with oil, I sprayed it with cooking spray.  I used 2 tsp of Safflower oil and topped it with rosemary, salt and fresh cracked pepper and a touch of chipotle chili powder.  I served it with steamed broccoli and carrots and an amazing salmon fillet that I found at Sobeys tonight...oh my....what an amazing meal!!!  I will make these potatoes again (soon).  I will probably boil the potatoes for a couple minutes longer. 

After (the dark one isn't burnt - it was a blue potato...
I used a mixture of red, yellow and blue

The great grapefruit experiment!

Pin It If you read my post last week about the grilled pineapple (cue angels singing...) you know that the idea originally came from a girl I met at the gym who saw the idea to broil grapefruit.  Thinking at the time that I hated grapefruit, I decided to do it with pineapple (LOVE!!).  Today I broke down and tried grapefruit.  I absolutely HATED grapefruit growing up.  Since adulthood I have learned to drink (occasionally) grapefruit juice (usually the grapefruit/pomegranate blend from Ocean Spray), but never did go so far as to eat an actual grapefruit.  Yesterday at Cora's I had a couple small, thin slices on my fruit mountain, so I tried it...not bad.  At Pete's Frootique they were on sale 2/$1 so I bought a couple to take home and try under the broiler.  I put half of a grapefruit under the broiler this morning with 1 tsp of brown sugar:

It came out of the oven all nice and bubbly, looking oh so edible.  Unfortunately Blogger is not cooperating today, so you will have to use your imagination.

Once I took it out of the oven (after about 10 mins), I realized I had a problem.  HOW IN THE WORLD do you eat a grapefruit???????  My mother always had this pseudo spork thingy when I was a kid...a spoon that was kinda like a fork (had a serrated end on it)... I don't have one of those.  Trying to dig the sections out with a spoon was just making a juice, sticky mess.  I decided to go with a fork.  While that did eventually work (ouch my fingers...a grapefruit is HOT when it comes out of the oven!), it was messy.  There has to be a better way.  The taste of the broiled grapefruit wasn't bad.  I'd give it 3/5 as a former hater.  Someone who is a grapefruit fan may give this a 5/5 (especially if they have the inside scoop on how to eat the stupid things!).  Hmm, maybe next time I'll peal and section it like an orange?  I don't think it will turn out the same though...something about the brown sugar caramelizing on the juices of the grapefruit... oh well, live and learn!  Now I have 1 1/2 grapefruits left...any suggestions?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I've been lying to myself

Pin It I discovered at WW today that I've been mis-counting points on some of my regular foods.  Oats and cottage cheese are two.  For the oats, I've been counting 1/3 cup as 2 points+.  Someone at WW pointed out to me that all of the brands she'd found in the store actually calculate (from the nutritional info) out to 3 points+ except for the Bulk Barn variety (which are 2 points+ for a scant 1/3 cup).  I guess I always relied on eTools for things like this - I assumed "oats are oats" can the nutritional info be different from brand to brand?  It's not like they have added ingredients to them - ingredients are just oats...  so I guess I will either "scant" my 1/3 cup of oats or I'll up the points when/if I buy them from the regular grocery store.  The other item that I've been relying on eTools for the point value for is my fat free cottage cheese.  eTools says that 1/2 cup is 1 point+, but my WW buddy told me she'd calculated our local brands and that they are 2 points+ for 1/2 cup!!  Grrrrr...  I can understand the cottage cheese more so than the oats, but it still frustrates me.  I've been letting myself get lazy.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming these things on my recent gains, but I think they might be contributing to my plateau (not just these two items, but relying on eTools points in general).

Today's results:
Total loss: -120
Pounds to goal: 4.6

Yes, I'm up again today...but I'm more details forthcoming.  Next week will be better.

After WW this morning I went out for breakfast with a friend of mine.  I have not been out for breakfast in ages!  Going out for breakfast scares me to be honest.  I absolutely LOVE breakfast foods...but all the bad ones - bacon, eggs Benedict, ham, sausage, pancakes, omlets with cheese, etc.  My friend suggested Cora's (which has la creme de la creme of breakfast items)...if you are from the US, picture breakfast at Denny's or IHop, but on steroids.  She told me about this massive fruit plate that they have on their menu.  Luckily they don't pre-mix the fruit, so I was able to ask them to hold the strawberries/kiwi (allergies) and cantaloupe/honey dew (yuck).  You should have seen the plate!!!  I had left my BlackBerry in the car, so sadly there are no photos.  I had grapefruit (yep, finally tried it!), pears (like the green ones after all), pineapple, grapes, watermelon and banana.  It was massive!  It came with toast, which I asked for dry.  I added a packet of peanut butter to it.  All in all, my breakfast was 7 points+ and I didn't finish it :)  Now I'm not afraid to go back to Cora's again. 

This afternoon I made Blueberry Mint Lemonade.  I sweetened mine with splenda (I have Stevia in the house, but find it has a funny aftertaste).  Overall it was good.  I don't see the point of the blueberries though - they don't add any flavour to the lemonade...maybe the idea is presentation.  I also found the flavour of the mint a bit odd.  Not bad, just odd.  I think I'll make homemade lemonade again, but will leave the funny stuff out of it....maybe I'll add raspberries or pureed mango next time.

Day 11 of no chocolate, cookies or cake... cravings are coming, but I have not given in!!