Saturday, January 30, 2010


I lost 3.2! :) So my current weight is 187.8 pounds... I went down to 25 daily points from 26. Eek!

I was so surprised (and pleased!) about the loss. I felt brave enough to raise my hand at the meeting (I'm pretty shy), and I got 3 Bravo stickers! And Ashley, my leader, asked how much I have lost altogether. I said that I had lost 14 pounds since coming to weight watchers meetings... and 88 pounds in total! So I got applause for that too... I love getting applause!! haha

Today's meeting was really good. The past couple of weeks, I went to the meetings before/after my usual meeting, and they just weren't the same. I LOVE the people & the vibe at my 9:30 meeting. Today, we talked about emotional eating. Our "homework" for the week is to list 10 things we can do when we want to eat for reasons other than hunger. I will work on this and let you know what I come up with!

Some goals for this week:
- continue to track everything (even if I go over--last week I went over by at least 10 points or so, but I still lost. If I hadn't tracked, I probably would have gone over by WAY more)
- exercise at least 4 times (hopefully I will finally get to the pool--I've been in the mood for a swim for weeks!)
- try to get to bed at a reasonable hour every night!

What are your goals for the week?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Keeping Things in Perspective

I've been feeling nervous about my weigh-in tomorrow.

Part of the reason I like this blog is that it keeps me accountable. Knowing that I have people reading about my attempts at healthy living is just another reason to live healthfully. But I'm also nervous that I will "fail" and people will think I'm a flake--that it appears I don't follow the program, and then I complain when I gain weight.

I know that one weigh-in, one number on the scale, does not mean anything. One of my favourite blog posts is from Bitch Cakes: back in 2007 (I discovered the post when I read through all of her archives a few months ago) she wrote how it's not all about the scale. I especially love the way she explains that she would rather have a "false gain" (gaining after a week where you ate well and felt good) than a "false loss" (losing weight by fluke).

No matter what I weigh tomorrow morning, I am very proud of the week I had.

I exercised a lot: I went to both of my Booty Camp classes and my Pilates class, and I also did the Booty Camp at-home workout (I did the beginner level). I am about 10 points over my weekly points, but I did track everything (this is the first week that I properly tracked the milk I put in my coffee and tea, for example). So, to be honest, this is probably one of my better weeks, points-wise.

In other news, I am SUPER SORE today from boot camp last night! For the first time since the new year, I took the elevator at work (to the third floor). My legs just couldn't handle the stairs! Also, I don't think my abs have EVER been this sore. Ever. Last night was definitely the toughest class yet. We used the agility ladders (after we did about 7 million butt exercises) to do some cardio, and I could hardly hobble through them. But hobble I did, and I felt invincible afterwards. :)

(P.S. Tonight, the moon is the brightest it will be all year. Mars is also bright tonight, just to the left of the moon. Looking at the night sky can also put a weigh-in into perspective!)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

but for the sky, there are no fences facing

In the summer of 2007, I did some travelling. It was the summer after I finished my undergrad, and before I started graduate school. My mom and I took a bus from Toronto to Banff to visit my sister, who was working out there (yes, we were on a greyhound for two-and-a-half days. Both ways. I ate a lot of bus station food).

Soon after, I went to Halifax for 4 weeks, to attend a math summer school program that took place at Dalhousie University. I lived in residence, and ate (all you can eat) at the cafeteria 3 times a day.

There was a group shot of all of the summer school participants taken (a photo that I can’t find anymore). When I looked at it, I couldn’t find myself in the picture at first. I also saw, out of the corner of my eye, someone in the front row who was much larger than everyone else. That’s odd, I thought. I don’t remember there being anyone that big in the program. Then I realized that person was me.

After Halifax, I spent a couple of weeks at a cottage with my family (back in Ontario). While there, I found The Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith in a discount bookstore. I decided to buy it.

I read the book quickly, and it made sense to me. Instead of being a fad diet, and instead of vilifying food, it told me how food could be good for you. It explained the importance and nutritional benefits of many different types of food, and had tons of healthy recipes. It also had a few sets of weekly meal plans, including one for weight-loss. I determined that as soon as I got back home, I would follow the plan and get healthy.

While growing up, I rarely weighed myself. We didn’t have a scale at my house, so I never knew exactly what my weight was. In August 2007, determined to really lose weight this time, I bought a scale so I could accurately keep track. On August 26, 2007, I weighed 276 pounds.

I have never weighed that much since. On my last weigh-in at Weight Watchers (on January 23, 2010), I weighed 191 pounds.

Here I am in June 2007, on my graduation day (when I got my Bachelors):

And about 2 years later on my next graduation day, when I received a Masters of Science (wearing the same shoes!):

In Halifax in the summer of 2007 (with the delorean!):

And here I am this past Saturday:

I never thought losing this much weight was something I could do. But, over the past couple of years (and a bit more...), I've lost over 80 pounds. And I'm not finished yet. :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Party Strategies (well, new for me)

I went to my sister's birthday party last night. I'm happy to say, I was able to track everything and... well, okay, I'll admit it, I ended up using 36 of my 35 weekly points. BUT here are the reasons why it could have been much worse:
  • I decided not to have ANY chips. If I'd decided to have "just a couple," I wouldn't have been able to stop. By making the decision not to have any, I didn't even have to think about it, or have an argument in my head (do you know the kind I mean?) about having "just one more."
  • I also avoided all of the ice cream sundaes/toppings. I decided that ice cream really isn't my favourite and it wasn't worth it to me. (You may be wondering how I went overboard while avoiding all the chips AND ice cream. Yeah, it was basically because of the brie, not gonna lie. Oh, and the alcohol. And the appetizers...)
  • I somehow realized that I was perhaps underestimating what I was eating, and I went to another room for a few minutes to track it. I've never actually tracked DURING a party before. I honestly thought I was maybe at about 16 weekly points... but I added it up, and I was at 36! The mini quiches that I remembered as being 2 points for 2 were actually 4 points for 2!! So the extras that I ate (and hadn't planned for) really did some damage!
I was being much more honest about what I was actually eating than I usually am. Since I had some of this food after midnight, I took one point away from Sunday's daily points, and checked off all of my weekly points in my tracker.

I really did NOT want to use up all of my weekly points on Saturday--the rest of the week will be tough without them. But I do plan on exercising a lot, and focusing on filling foods.

I'm calling last night a success.


Today (I guess it was yesterday, actually--I'm up late!) I was down 0.8 lbs. I'll take it! I had a pretty spotty week, to be honest, and I was nervous that I would gain again (last week I gained 2.6). I'm actually higher right now than I was on Christmas Eve, which is disappointing... maybe two weeks ago, when I lost all the weight I gained over the holidays, I hadn't really lost it?? Maybe that weigh-in was a fluke, and it's just (slowly) coming off now??

Since I HAVE been very spotty lately following the plan, and since I now have this blog holding me EXTRA-accountable, I decided I needed some new motivation:
The 2010 basic member kit! I'm already totally in love with the Canadian Dining Out Companion. Some of its contents are quite horrifying. For example, some of the large blizzards at Dairy Queen (which I have definitely eaten before) are over 30 points each (to put that in context, I am allotted 26 points for the entire DAY). Yikes! We also got free samples of the Weight Watchers vanilla smoothie mix. I'm excited to try it!

I'm really spurred on & motivated to have an AWESOME week with lots of activity. Also, at our meeting today, we were very lucky to have a special guest: a leader-in-training who has lost 140 pounds! Before the meeting (and before I knew her story), she struck up a conversation with me and gave me some much-needed encouragement. Then she shared her success story with all of us--very inspiring stuff!

To kick off my SUPER ON-TRACK WEEK, I made a veggie-packed pizza. Under that mozzarella cheese is a thick layer of greens: some kale, green pepper, and broccoli (as well as onions and garlic). It was delish! I calculated that 1/4 of the pizza was 3 points (and that is a BIG dinner plate that it's sitting on).

My motivation continued tonight at my sister's birthday party (post to follow).

Also coming soon: a bit of my weight-loss history, including some before & after (during? I'm not done yet!) photos.

Hope you're all having the loveliest of weekends!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Special Delivery & Fancy Night Out!

Hey folks! I actually have some readers now!! The pressure is ON! :)

Yesterday, I spent most of my day sitting around, waiting for a certain delivery (can you guess what it is? If so, you must be psychic, because I haven't mentioned it on here yet...). I also got ready for the Opening Night Party of the Interior Design Show in the Metro Convention Centre!!

My mother is a ceramic artist, and was accepted to be an exhibitor in Studio North (a feature exhibit at the IDS). I'm so proud! If you're near the Convention Centre this weekend, the IDS is a great show (you can say hi to my Mom--and maybe you'll see me, too!)

My sister and I attended the swanky opening night party with her. It was amazing! One of the best/worst things was all the free, amazing food & drinks (they had drinks you could pay for, too, but there were also booths with free beer tastings and such). I'm not gonna lie, I definitely indulged. I was on my feet the whole time though, but probably not enough to counteract all the delicious food (including a cookie on a stick!)

But, back to that special delivery I mentioned...
It's a wanigan! Wanigan is a company that delivers fresh fruits & vegetables to your home. I've been interested in this for awhile, but I finally ordered the "Metro Wanigan" this week.

The website describes it as follows: "A well balanced assortment of colourful fruits and vegetables, this Wanigan is for households looking for nutrition, variety and value. Enjoy 8 to 12 different items of which at least 3 are certified organic, at least 3 are locally grown and 4 of the 5 colour groups are always represented." Mine included a tomato, carrots, celery, oranges, apples, broccoli, leaf lettuce, spinach, potatoes, a mango (!), and bananas! I also ordered a red onion a la carte.

Look how sad my fruit bowl was before my wanigan delivery:

Look at it now! (Notice how the avocado has been tossed aside to make room for the newer, more exciting fruit.) I forgot to include the potatoes in the picture above, so here they are, too.
I'm going to see how long it takes me to work my way through this (I'm hoping it will encourage me to eat more vegetables), and I may start having a wanigan delivered weekly or biweekly. Fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Booty Camp Update!

Tonight I had my fourth Booty Camp class... so far, so good! I'm actually kind of... impressed with how I'm doing?? Haha, is that allowed?

I'm proud of how strong I am!

There, I said it!!!

It's really tough, and I struggle to keep up sometimes, but I also know that I have come a long way from 2-and-a-half-years-ago-Katie. At one point, the leader told us to find our second wind... and I actually had one! I was able to keep going.

Now, I was a bit distracted during the class, because I was pretty sure I recognized a fellow blogger across the room...

When the teacher took attendance, I got confirmation: it was definitely Andrea! (At least, I was almost positively absolutely sure).

After class, I was on the verge of leaving and perhaps leaving her a lame comment later ("Um, I think I was at your Booty Camp class tonight, I was wearing a green shirt and I probably kept looking at you funny"), but I worked up the nerve to go say hello. And I'm so glad I did! Andrea was so nice, and it was so cool to meet her (I really love her blog!).

All in all, a very exciting night!

New Lunch Bag Debut!

A few months ago I decided it was time to buy a lunch bag. I was bringing my lunch to work everyday, and I wanted my food to have a nice home.

I opted for a cheap, functional lunch bag without too many frills. But my lunches are quite large (and this bag was quite cheap), so within a few days, it developed a hole (which, I can only assume, negatively affected the insulation).

I kept using it for a couple of months, but on Friday, I finally upgraded to a more fashionable model:

Today, my lovely new bag made its debut! Yesterday I did a lot of food preparation because I knew I would be eating lunch AND dinner in a hurry. I needed to bring a substantial lunch to work, and also have dinner ready to scarf down during the 15 minutes or so at home between work and Booty Camp. (This isn't my regular Booty Camp night, but I can't make it to my usual Thursday session this week).

I swear, my lunches aren't usually this colour-coordinated! I brought plain yogurt with frozen peaches in it, some leftover curry with brown rice, a granola bar, and my bottle of water to work with me. I also had leftover (healthy!) pizza from last night and an apple prepared to grab for dinner. (The pizza had a whole-wheat crust that I bought, and I put kale and onion and green pepper and soy pepperoni and cheese on it! DELICIOUS!)

Yay! My lunch finally has a new home! Honestly, I know it's dorky, but things like this make me excited (and more motivated to pack a good lunch).

What's in your lunch bag?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This week, I was up 2.6 pounds.

I was not happy.

To be honest, it was the first time I had that kind of gain where I hadn't had a horrible week. I had a GOOD week. I had a lot of green smoothies, I started Booty Camp class and worked out quite a bit, and I stuck to my points (more or less...)

I've always bragged (to myself) that I lose weight even when I count weight watchers points very creatively. I don't always count things like milk in my coffee, or I'll overestimate activity points, or I'll take bites off of friends' plates, or I'll underestimate certain foods I eat. I always eat ALL of my weekly points and ALL of my activity points. But as long as I'm (for the most part) tracking everything, I'll always lose weight.

Apparently not anymore!! I think that as I get closer to a healthy weight range, it will be more difficult for me to lose weight.

I may have been disappointed with my weigh-in yesterday, but I know that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter at all. What am I going to do, stop eating right and exercising and keep gaining? No, of course not, I'm going to continue eating healthy and try not to worry about the numbers.

That being said, I did splurge all weekend with my friends, and I did not track. But there are 5 more perfectly good days in the week, and I plan to get back on track WITH A VENGEANCE! (How exciting!) I'm going to focus on:
  • the Weight Watchers Good Health Guidelines (if you're not familiar with Weight Watchers, these include drinking enough water, eating enough fruits and vegetables, having enough servings of healthy fats, etc). I'm especially going to try and drink more water.
  • exercising: gym & Pilates on Monday, Booty Camp on Tuesday & Wednesday, and at least one more workout on Thursday or Friday
  • tracking my food and points honestly
Wish me luck!

Holy Antioxidants, Batman!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been having green smoothies everyday... on Thursday, I ventured out to the grocery store for some new, nutritious smoothie ingredients.

Yes, that's KALE you see. Also strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate juice (which I tried for the first time), ground flaxseed, and a banana. In the blender they go:
Every now and then I had to shake things around in there so it would all blend... but I persevered... and blend it did:
It was delicious!! The amounts I used were:
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (not pictured)
  • 2-3 kale leaves
I didn't taste the kale AT ALL. Also, I'm not a fan of eating fresh blueberries, but I really enjoyed them in the smoothie. I also didn't taste the flaxseed.

I always feel so smug when I'm drinking my green smoothies! I LOVE the fact that I can get so many healthy things into one delicious beverage.

Do you drink green smoothies? What do you put in them?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ouchie Wednesday

Last night was my first Booty Camp Fitness class... and MAN am I SORE tonight. I stretched when I got home after class, and soaked in a hot bath, so I really wonder what state I'd be in if I hadn't done those things.

I'm okay when I'm just sitting or standing in one place, but whenever I have to switch position, I have to brace myself and use my arms for help (seriously). Must have been the MILLION lunges we did. I don't know how I'm going to do it all again tomorrow.

This morning I also managed to burn my face on my iron, so as you can guess, I was a bit of a sight today.

Tofu Tomato Sauce

I had an amazing meal yesterday. In an effort to stop wasting food, I decided to round up all the veggies at the bottom of my fridge before they rotted. I had plans for a mediocre stir-fry (seriously, that was the best I could come up with. Not even a GOOD stir-fry).

I chopped up zucchini and red pepper and started frying them in a bit of olive oil.

Then I had a brilliant idea: tomato sauce! I added some garlic and onion. Thankfully, I remembered the tofu in my fridge! In it went:

I threw in the last of an old jar of tomato sauce, and some salsa for good measure.

The only problem was I didn't have any pasta I particularly wanted to eat. I have some old "rustic" rotini that tastes funny, and some tortellini that I wasn't in the mood for. I also had, however, two boxes of lasagna noodles (one of which is whole wheat)...

That is, sadly, the biggest pot I have.
I cut the lasagna up into smaller pieces after it was cooked. (I took no pictures of it mixed with the sauce, however...)
I just ate leftovers for dinner tonight. Delicious! I also finished the GIANT box of spinach I bought awhile ago, thanks to my daily green monster smoothies.


In other news, I may have a ghost! Last night, I was sitting at home when I heard my doorbell ring. I peeked out my window (safety first!) and there was nobody there. I opened the inside door to my apartment to see if it was my upstairs neighbour, and while I was doing so, my doorbell rang AGAIN.

I peeked out the window again... still nobody there!!!!

A few minutes later, I listened at the door and heard a child coughing, so I bravely opened my front door in case it had been a child that I couldn't see out the window ringing my bell (the last time I got scared from my doorbell ringing, it was a little old woman). My porch was deserted (the child was at the house next door).

Spooky!!! So now I'm worried that I'm insane and my doorbell didn't ring at all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Feelin' Fine

I had a pretty good day!

I boogied over to Pilates class a little after 8, trying really hard not to be crazy-early (which is a tendency I have). I think I succeeded--I was the fourth person to be waiting outside the room, as opposed to last week, when I was the first person.

I started the class feeling a bit off (perhaps because of the 2 slices of processed cheese I scarfed down moments before leaving my house)... and then at the end, we were doing these hip/leg stretches with this stretchy band... I find those really hard! I think I have really tight hip flexors (oh, baby).

As soon as I got home, I had to put out my Christmas tree to be picked up tomorrow morning. This is my first Christmas living on my own, so I got a real tree of my very own (my family has had an artificial tree for quite a few years). My tree was pretty dried out (are you supposed to water it frequently, or just the once, like I did?), so there were pine needles (and small branches) EVERYWHERE. It looked like a horribly brutal (yet festive) crime scene.

Tomorrow I start Booty Camp!! I'm pretty psyched. I haven't had a hardcore fitness class in waaaaaayyyy too long. Wish me luck! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Adventures with Acorn Squash

The road to squash is fraught with obstacles... like not having a proper knife to cut with:

I followed the Acorn Squash Tutorial from Kath Eats Real Food... but, as you can see, I did not get off to a good start (note how my cut is nowhere near the middle):
As I sawed around the squash, things got worse. My cuts definitely did not meet on the other side, and I had to get creative:

Then it wouldn't fit in my baking dish:

But somehow, it all turned out all right (Yes, that's butter you see melting so wonderfully! Yum!)

It was such a delicious treat! I see a lot of squash in my future (starting with the leftovers!)

I ate it while watching season 1 of Party of Five.

All in all, it was a very productive day: 2 loads of laundry, a few groceries (including that pineapple you can spy in the first picture), and a lot of cleaning/paper sorting (you can see the stacks in that last photo).

I will leave you with some lyrics from the Party of Five theme song...

Everybody wants to live, like they wanna live and
Everybody wants to love, like they wanna love and
Everybody wants to be closer to free

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Every Saturday morning around 8:00 am, I leap* out of bed in excitement.

Only one thing could get me out of bed that early on a weekend: my Weight Watchers meeting, led by the wonderful Ashley! And today we got free samples of the cookies and cream minibars! Yum!

This week, I lost 7.2 pounds.

I know, I know... that's SHOCKINGLY high. It's like Biggest Loser high (did you see that guy lose 30 pounds this week!?).

Let's put that number in context: last week I GAINED 6.6 pounds. So really, in the past 2 weeks, I've lost, overall, less than one pound. Now, that number is a bit more sane.

My body has an amazing ability to fluctuate. I swear, once I lost 8 pounds overnight. NO JOKE.

I was really happy I had the same lady weighing me in as last week so I could show her that I'd lost what I gained... last week I was so embarrassed to weigh in. It's the closest I ever came to missing a meeting (but I never seriously considered missing it). I know that a lot of people gain over the holidays but like... almost 7 pounds! In 9 days! It's practically IMPRESSIVE!

But do you know what's MORE impressive??? Losing 7.2 pounds in one week. Bam!

The only problem is that it reduced my daily points from 26 to 25... how will I survive??

Also: if we go by my (slightly overestimated) height of 5' 10'', I am 15.2 pounds away from being in a healthy weight range. I honestly never thought I would be a "normal" size. And I've reached a total of almost 90 pounds lost! 86.8 to be exact. Compared to that, 15.2 seems like NOTHING. And, at this rate, it should only take me a couple of weeks, right? Right?!

*slowly lurch

Back on the Wagon

The running wagon, that is! Although, I suppose it might be more accurate to say I'm off the wagon... running beside it...

I started running in the summer by following the Couch to 5k program. I took a couple of months off, then I went back to it in September and finally worked up to running 30 minutes straight... but I hadn't been in a couple of weeks due to frigid weather (and, you know, laziness). BUT I am happy to say that I ran both yesterday AND today!! I used the gym in my parents' condo.

I was afraid yesterday of burning myself out (because I'm in SUCH DANGER of over-exercising...) so I ran 9 minutes and walked 1 minute twice, then finished off with 10 minutes of running. Not too shabby!

Today, I warmed up by doing 15 minutes on the cross-trainer, then I moved to the treadmill. I was afraid of trying to do too much (again, because I'm so hard-core, hehe) so I was considering doing 9 minute intervals again... but I didn't!! Maybe it was the music pushing me to keep running (Vengaboys, anyone? I know that I really stepped it into high gear when Boom Boom Boom Boom!! came on), or maybe I was still on a high from my excellent weigh-in this morning (more on that to follow), but I ran 30 ENTIRE minutes without stopping. BOO-YAH!

I finished off with about 15 or 20 minutes of stretching (my biceps are KILLING me from attempting the 30 Day Shred with 8 lb weights a couple of days ago).

One thing that I attempted yesterday and today was breathing in a more regulated fashion. It was MUCH EASIER than in the past--I think because I was indoors, not outdoors battling the cold air and runny nose. I've read that it's helpful to breathe in for 3 strides, and out for 2. It seemed impossible for me to breathe that way. I didn't understand how I could breathe out for less time than I breathed in and manage to get all the air back out!

I spoke to my friend Elizabeth about this dilemma (she's a runner!), and she explained that you exhale more forcefully than you inhale. Which makes sense, and also coincides with something I read once about alternating your exhales from the left to the right side so you don't put more stress on one side than the other, or something like that*. Anyway, it was much easier to breathe in this pattern on the treadmill. It also gave me something to focus on to help the time go quicker!

Last week I started Pilates class, and this week I'm starting Booty Camp, so I think I've got 2010 off to a good, healthy start! I'm going to start keeping track of the week's workouts in the sidebar.

Peace out!

*things like this are important for elite runners (like myself, with my 12.5- or 13-minute mile, hehe)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cleaning out my Closet

Why is it that I never have enough room to put all my clothes away, yet I never have anything to wear?

Operation Organize has begun!

That is the second big batch of clothes I've donated to my neighbourhood Value Village. They are all much too big on me. Some of the items, like an old university hoodie, were hard to part with, but I know I'm better off having the extra space in my closet:

Hooray! Now, to tackle my desk...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year, New Blog

2010, baby! Who else is excited?? I love starting a new year!

Like many people, I usually make New Year's resolutions. And, also like many people, my resolutions are typically related to weight loss.

This year is no different. In the past two and a half years, I've lost around 85 pounds. In 2010, I plan to reach my (to be determined) goal weight with Weight Watchers and become a lifetime member.

I have another resolution: to eliminate artificial sweetener from my coffee and tea. I LOVE coffee with a fiery passion, but right now I drink it with an embarrassing amount of sweetener. So, despite the fact that the ladies at my Tim Hortons have memorized my coffee order (large with one milk and *gulp* three sweeteners), which makes me feel very special, I'm going to slowly cut back. Hopefully, by this time next year, I'll be taking it with just milk.

How will I reach my goals?

I plan to work out an average of 3 times per week (at least), continue to attend Weight Watcher meetings, and focus on tracking my food.

To eliminate artificial sweetener, I plan to cut back gradually: to two and a half packets, to two packets, to one and a half packets, and so on.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Why or why not?