Saturday, October 30, 2010

What have you been eating...

So, some of the things I've eaten lately: Starbucks peppermint white mocha, Marble Slab chocolate mint ice cream with chocolate chips, crave cupcakes, cream filled cupcakes, Mcdonalds thai chicken mcmini crispy with fries, 4chip chocolate chip cookies (homemade of course with vanilla bean), aztec cheesecake, boston pizza bandera bread and hawaiian pizza, eggs benedict, steak, sloppy joes, Reese's peanut butter cups.

Yes, all these items have been included in my diet. My point? Just because you are trying to lose weight, doesn't mean you have to give up on the foods you love. I have been extremely disciplined in tracking my calories and the end result has been that I have lost about 22 pounds now. And yes, I do include treats. Now do I eat these items every day? Of course not!! But the point is, that I work around special events or eating out or wanting a treat and make it work within the parameters I have set. If I know I'm going to be eating out, then I make choices for the earlier meals of the day that are lower in calories, so that there are extra calories to spare later on for that special occasion. Most importantly though, I don't skip meals because of special events. I simply make different choices, or I add in an extra workout. I want to continue losing weight and in order to do so, will continue to monitor what I eat. For me, that's been key. I'm a little less rigid than I was in the beginning, but I am still careful to keep track. Weightloss doesn't happen overnight, and takes work to achieve.

So, know that if you are starting out on your weightloss journey, you can include treats, but it's important to have an adequate portion only. Maybe try a Halloween size candy if you are really wanting chocolate. Portion control is especially important when it comes to treats!! I am succeeding so far, because I don't deprive myself of treats and eat acceptable portions. It's a balancing act but in order to have a net loss in weight, the calories in, needs to be lower than the calories out. Figure out how much you want to lose (remember 1 to 2 pounds a week is reasonable), and work from there. It can be done!!

Vanilla cream filled cupcakes!!

Okay, so what does that have to do with my eating and exercise plans? It is my latest reward!! And I've decided today, to share that reward structure with you.

I sort of have two reward systems going. One is tied to weightloss. These rewards are things like, a new bathing suit, an entry into a race, a new shirt to run in. Basically, gear. The other system is tied to exercise. Basically, I decided in August, that if I exercised every day until the Melissa's race in Banff, we'd go and eat at the Bison. This is my favourite restaurant. It was so worth every workout that I did. So, for the next month, I decided if I exercised every day, I would have a treat from the Avenue Cakery and Bake Shoppe in Airdrie. And today, we went there and the treats were purchased (at half price too on Saturday afternoon, yay for good deals!!). I went home and did a run, so that every day in October was full. Okay, I know there is still one more day in October, but I know tomorrow I will do something!! And really, on my chart, the reward day was today!! Which, coincidently was day 77... that's eleven weeks in a row of doing some sort of exercise every single day. So, is it a habit yet? I sure hope so!!

I love that for the past eleven weeks, I have had no excuses for not exercising. I have to of course, thank my husband for that. He is awesome to make sure I fit it in and I hope I'm giving him the time he needs as well. I've also been using my work lunch hours to help with that. No more tv, no more eating out, just pure old fashioned exercise. And, it's been great. I have gone running with a variety of people from my workplace. It's great!! We get outside, get some fresh air, and run. Truly awesome!! And, I'm getting to know some people I might not otherwise have gotten the chance to know (including one girl who is super fast and ran Boston this year only cause she qualified at her first ever marathon and figured she might as well!!). I hope the trend continues, and I still find the time to exercise every day. Sometimes with my husband, sometimes with my boys, sometimes with work friends, and sometimes on my own!! And I hope it continues to be varied in nature. So far it's included running, biking, swimming, hiking, weights, walking and even a ball/band routine. I am very aware of my body these days and trying to avoid injuries so figure the variety can only help with that!!

So there you have it. Today was exercise reward day. Next up will be weight reward day when I finally get a new bathing suit, because the one I am using now is old and slowly getting to a point where it really needs replacing. But, it will be exciting to get a new one, since it will definitely be smaller than the last one was (since it is actually baggy now!!). Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How to stay motivated...

When it comes to weight loss, it can sometimes be very tricky to keep yourself motivated. This is especially true when temptations are around you or you have come to a standstill. This past week, my husband and I both hit a plateau at the same time. It was tough, and at moments I didn't really care anymore about the long term gain, but I still stayed the course. Here's a few things that helped me...

1. Have a visual reminder of your accomplishments. One of my goals back in August was to exercise every day. It didn't matter what I did, as long as I did something every day, be it running, hiking, swimming, biking, weights or whatever. I've been keeping track on a calendar and highlight in green, every time I exercise. Looking at the poster is pretty motivating since it has green highlights on every day of the month so far. I don't want to break this streak so that has been helping a lot!!

2. Talk to someone who understands what you are going through. In this case, Jeremy was awesome, since he's basically going through the same thing. We chatted about all the ways we wanted to cheat or give up, but then encouraged each other to stay on track, since there's been accomplishments already and there is sure to be more.

3. Read an inspiring book or blog. Find someone else out there who has succeeded in their goals and has words of inspiration to share. This has been instrumental to my success. By reading about others who have reached their goals, I am inspired to reach mine!!

4. Celebrate how far you've come. In my case, I've lost 20 pounds so far. That's pretty significant. No wonder my body slowed down for a bit. It's adjusting to a lot less of me!! And any moment you want to pack it in and give up, remember how far you've already come. Nobody said it would be easy, but true change requires a commitment and it's important to honour what you have set out to do.

5. Sign up for a race. When all else fails, sign up to run a race. The atmosphere at races is truly inspiring. And it's fun to get excited about a goal down the road, so pick something that's only a couple months away so you have time to prepare but it's still close enough that you have to start working towards it. Sometimes all the exercise can feel pointless without something to work towards. By having an event in your future, you put all those hours at the gym, on the treadmill, etc to good use and will feel the results of that effort on race day. And really, nothing is more motivating than the energy at a race. If you could bottle that energy, people could be motivated forever!!

So, when you are feeling lost and need some motivation, look around, there's things you can do to help you stay the course...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The art of the plateau...

So, this last week hasn't been the most exciting as far as weight loss goes. As a matter of fact, it's been more of a plateau. I don't like the plateau. It's not so inspiring. It's actually more frustrating than anything. Part of the reason for this, is even though you are still putting in the effort, it feels like the results aren't there. Then, inevitably, since you are having a plateau anyway, you start making some bad choices. Take for example my week. I was still applying myself fairly well, but a few things happened outside of my control. We went hiking on Thursday and someone else brought lunch. Not too big a deal, but we'd already had Starbucks, and smokie plus bun plus wine gums, plus cookies, plus juice, and well, you get the picture. Thursday was the first day I actually went over on my calories. It was the first time I had a bright red line highlighting the fact that I had eaten more than I was supposed to, and more than I was supposed to even when adding in the exercise. It was a little depressing.

And that led to Friday. On Friday we had people over. This time, I was in charge of the menu, and we were having cheesecake. Because we were having cheesecake, dinner was a soup and salad, so that the calories wouldn't be crazy. And, although I wasn't over after exercise was factored in, it was still a higher calorie day than usual.

And bring on Saturday, in the morning I gave blood, so ate cookies and juice more than I normally would have, however, the benefit, far outweighed the extra calories. Lunch was leftover pumpkin spice soup (super healthy, full of veggies and pretty low in calories too!!). And, once again, another meal outside my control. And darn it anyway, there were chips and dip. I did a good job with portions. Although I confess, chips and dips were included in that (I tried to resist but it didn't work). Dinner consisted of well portioned steak, potatoes and salad. But dessert, mmmmmm... it was a cranberry upside down cake, and it was so incredibly good!! I did great only having a small bit of ice cream with it, and I truly savoured every single bite, so that I didn't need to have seconds, since that would have blown me out of the water on calories!! Saturday night I fit in my exercise as a run. I did a treadmill route and it went well. I had to take it a little bit easy since I was down on fluids and blood. So, I didn't push too hard, but had a great run.

And, the end result, this morning I weighed less again. Back in the 175 area. So, really, it's still plateau like, but after 8 days at 176 or higher, it's nice to know there is hope again!! And, now that it's Sunday night, there is hope for the rest of the week!! And as for exercise, well, I'll be running again tonight... and today is day 71 of exercise...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

There is no quick fix...

So, I was reflecting on the Biggest Loser season and how this time around they have at least a couple of contestants that have previously had surgeries to help with their weight loss. I wondered why they would choose them, and it suddenly occured to me. The surgeries are a quick fix. Most people who have gastric bypass or similar surgeries achieve dramatic results in a very short period of time.

The problem is, although the results are quick, often, those people don't actually address the issues that caused the weight gain in the first place, so slowly, the weight begins to creep on again. And, in the case of these contestants, they are battling the same issues they had to deal with many years previously. In one instance, the contestant had the surgery as a teenager. It's sad that people (or parents), are so desparate for a quick fix, that they really don't take the time to learn about proper nutrition or exercise or anything.

People wanting to make changes, need to realize that results will not be instant. It takes time, dedication and hard work to get the results they are desparately seeking. However, time does pass, and regardless of if you make an effort or not, the same time will pass. For example, in January of this year, I signed up for a weight loss challenge. I lost nothing. Zilch. Zip. I also put in no effort. Nothing. So, after two or three months, when the challenge ended, I was no further ahead. However, in August, I started putting forth some serious effort at weight loss after my work pants got too tight. Again, two months has passed, however, this time, I am down twenty pounds. The same time passed, yet this time, I've been making an effort. And, although the results are slow, now, when I look back two months, it seems almost dramatic, and that's fun.

So, if you have a goal you are working towards, and willing to put forth the effort you need to reach it, the same time will pass regardless of what you do. Think about it. There's about two and a half months until the end of the year. Is there a goal you want to start working towards? The resolution run perhaps (you get a jacket for running it!!)? Lose ten pounds perhaps? Learn some Spanish? Whatever the goal, start working towards it. You have a little over two months to make some steps towards it. And, at the end of the year, you can look back and see the progress you made over this time period. Because, regardless of what you do, in two and half months, it will be December 31st. So, it's your choice to make the most of the time until then...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Five easy steps to help your weight loss journey...

So, I've chatted with a few people lately who have talked about how hard it can be to lose weight. I know it seems that way sometime, but if you truly apply yourself, it really can be done. Take me, for example. I've been tracking my eating for 2 months now. In the beginning it took a bit of work, but now it has become almost second nature. I know how many calories I should be eating, and need to work towards that number. Of course, the challenge starts when I make the choices I do for eating.

1. Figure out how many calories you need to be eating. It's hard to stick to your program when you don't know what your program is. You can use all kinds of programs out there to find this out. Personally, I used the MyPlate application on the Livestrong website. It's fantastic. You can input your current height and weight, and then plan your calorie goal based on whether you want to maintain your current weight, lose weight, or even gain weight. I set my goal to be losing 2 pounds a week. It also asks for your activity level. I have a moderately active lifestyle (walking our son to preschool, walking to get groceries, playing outside with the kids etc), outside of specific exercise like cardio and weights, so I labelled it accordingly and then I add exercise that I do over and above that. From there, if you do the math, and your calories in matches that, then you will lose the weight. It's been 2 months now, and I'm losing an average of two pounds a week, so it has to be working!! Of course as you lose the weight, you also have to recheck your calorie goal every now and then since it will change as your weight changes!!

2. Portion control is everything!! One of the biggest challenges we faced at the beginning of this journey was getting more in check with the portions we should be eating. More often than not, we'd take what we thought we should be eating rather than what a real portion should be. This can be very tough to take at the beginning, especially with things like pasta, where a portion is much smaller than anything you might expect after eating at a popular pasta restaurant etc. We were very careful at the start, and anytime we ate at home, we would measure and weigh things out. I still do this with many things, just so I don't give myself more than I should. I'm a sauce person, so I love ketchup, bbq sauce, sour cream, dips, gravy or anything along those lines. Since they are huge calorie consumers, measuring out an appropriate portion makes a huge difference in keeping me in line.

3. Watch what you drink. Drinks are a huge source of calories and some people consume upwards of 30% or more of their calories each day in drinks. So, be very aware of what you are drinking. I still include treats like Starbucks, but the vast majority of my drinks consist of green tea, and water flavoured with fruit infusions. I often find water just too plain and boring, but if I make up some tea with a fruit infusion, then ice it, I get essentially pure water but with a little more taste. My favourites are wild cherry, sangria and pina colada from Teaopia.

4. Plan for those special events. One of the easiest ways to derail your efforts is to take special dinners and not count them. Rather, what you should be doing is planning ahead at how you can make the best choices and still keep yourself on track. The very first weekend we started tracking calories, my parents came to visit and wanted to go for chinese food. Well, first off, I tend to always make bad choices when my parents visit, but I was determined it would be different this time. I decided ahead of time, I would only have one plate and be reasonable in my portions at that. We ordered a dish that matched with our needs better and were just careful to eat reasonably while we were there. We also added in an extra workout that day so there were calories to spare if we went over what we should have been eating. It worked out great and we stayed the program despite a challenging meal.

5. Don't beat yourself up. The best part of tracking your calories, is, even if you mess up, you have an account of what you ate. It's easy to go back later and figure out what happened that day and find strategies for the next time you are in a similar circumstance. So, rather than erase the incident and pretend like it didn't happen, record it. Note what you ate, so that if it happens again, you can figure out what triggered the eating etc. The beauty of these online programs, is you can create graphs and stats and have total knowledge of the days you were ontrack, and the ones that maybe messed up. And then, if the same thing is happening every month, maybe you'll realize what it is that causes changes, allowing you to address them, rather than just trying to forget them. If you go to all the trouble of tracking your eating, don't let a setback hold you back, track it and work with the information you have.

When it comes to weight loss, the formula is very simple. In order to lose weight calories in must be less than calories out. In other words, you need to eat less calories than your body requires, but at a rate that your body doesn't go into starvation mode. And even though the formula is simple, it doesn't take into account emotions, and parties, and cravings and all the other things that can derail your efforts. So, although the formula is simple, applying it, can sometimes be complicated. But it can be done. You just have to make a very strong effort at applying it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Twenty pounds down...

So, as you can see from the photo, I now weigh 175.4lbs. That is 20 pounds down from when I started using the application MyPlate in August. I have the iphone version and it's been fantastic!! Jeremy uses the desktop version. It's been two months of disciplined eating and exercise and the work is truly paying off. So exciting!! This scale is fun because it has the body fat, hydration,and muscle percentages, which of course will vary, but hey!!

Granted, this weight was after swimming and likely I was missing a bit of liquid in my body (since I was famished and thirsty). It's hard work chasing after preschoolers and then swimming laps, but hey, the scale is what it is!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Something to train for...

So Jeremy got us signed up for the Resolution Run yesterday. I'm excited, because it means we actually have something we are training for now. And I love the whole idea of the run. Finishing off the year with a run, or starting off the new year being active, whichever way you look at it. It makes a good statement and really encourages being healthy and active. I love it!! Last year we tried to sign up too late and it was sold out, but this year we got in, yay!! It's nice because it's early enough that you still have time to go out and bring in the new year in style, but knowing you already got a run in.

I'm happy. It's a 5km, but it's a start. Now, to figure out what the race goals are for 2011... well, I still have time to figure that out... but might as well start getting hopeful... question is, how far do I want to race...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A year ago...

So, last year on Thanksgiving weekend, I was in Kelowna for the Okanagan Marathon. Our family drove up with my friend Cindy's family. It was a fantastic weekend. We had spent the entire summer training for the race, and finally the big event was here. My son did his race (he had spent the summer accumulating kilometers so that for the kids race, he was doing the last kilometer of 42km, to complete the marathon distance, at 3 years old). Sebastian totally rocked, even if he needed a little encouragement at times!!

My race was amazing. I was hoping to finish around 2:15:00 or so. I figured I'd put in all the work needed for that. I'd run a 10km just under an hour, twice. So finishing in 2:15:00 seemed very possible. In the end it took me 2:04:44. I was shocked. This meant I'd run the whole race averaging just over 10km/hr for my pace. Since only the month before had I ever had a race at that speed, and that was for a 10km, I never imagined in a million years that I could maintain that pace for 21km. Yet, there I was, finishing at that pace. I was so proud and amazed at what I had accomplished. Of course it was right after this race that I was stopped in my tracks with an injury. It was very hard to go from training to nothing. On that weekend though, I experienced such a high. It was so awesome to know that I had become more competitive in my running. We celebrated that night with a turkey dinner, made at the hotel. It was so much fun!!

So, now, I'm looking back at last year, and also looking forward to next year. I officially weigh less now, than I did last year (only by a pound or two, but still!!). So, I look back knowing I had potential to improve, and I look forward, wondering just what that improvement will be. Is it possible to break an hour again in a 10km? Could I ever break 2 hours in a half marathon? And what might a future marathon look like? And then there is triathlon... and all the potential goals associated with it... all the way up to an ironman...

The cross training has been a huge part of my fitness regime. I am mixing all kinds of exercise in, because I don't want to deal with an injury like that again. That pattern of exercise has been huge. I have yet to get sick of it and I'm now onto 58 days in a row. Most recently it was the stair stepper and some weights. My dog ran into my leg yesterday and my calf muscle is sore, so I didn't want to aggravate that. I've been doing some icing and compression in a hope to get it repaired rather quickly. We'll see what tomorrow feels like. I'm thinking maybe tomorrow is a swimming sort of day...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sticking to the plan...

So, we spent the day in Medicine Hat today. It went well. I've managed to stay on track. My calories are okay, and I even managed to fit in exercise. We went to the leisure centre and I got the time to swim 775 meters. It was the first time we had ever gone, and it was fantastic. There is a wave pool which was a little smaller than I would have imagined, but there was also a lazy river, and a toddler pool.

And then there was the lane pool. This is actually divided into three sections. There is a diving board section with swing rope and nearby water slide, the traditional lanes of 25m in the middle part and then an open pool area in the shallow part. So really, the pool could be a 50 meter pool when required. It was great. It was almost intimidating at first. Jeremy went so far as to say that had we gone six months ago, he wouldn't even have swam in it, as the lanes were probably at least 2 meters deep throughout. At one point I even lost the hair elastic I had in my hair and noticed it floating on the bottom of the lane I was in. I braved it, and dived down to get it. I was glad to be back on the surface again after that!! And it was a little different having the ends be in the middle of the pool . Jeremy said he almost ran straight into it, because when you are looking down, you don't realize where it is since it's only in the top meter.

Needless to say, it was a nice place and I'd definitely go back again. The boys had a blast and didn't want to leave. The toddler pool was full of toys and they just went to town. Plus, that pool was slightly warmer than the wave pool so poor little Sebastian with no fat was more than happy to not be freezing anymore!!

Only one more day and I will have officially survived and stayed on the program while being away...

Friday, October 8, 2010

How to stick to your plan in the face of temptation...

So, this weekend we are going to visit my parents. I am excited but also a little worried about falling off my plan and going over in calories every day. I know that whenever I'm around my parents, it's harder to stick to my plan. There are thousands of opportunities to eat more calories than I need, and all sorts of temptations everywhere. So I need to work hard to make sure I don't overindulge and sabotage all the work I've done. I also need to make sure I still find the time to exercise each day. So what will my strategy be? Something like this:

1) Remind yourself each morning about your goal and what you are trying to achieve. Take note of what you have already done and try and use your past success to give you the discipline you need to stick to your plan
2) Make space for a treat or two. If you know that temptations will be there, allow yourself the occasional treat, but try and still keep it close to the program. If having a special treat keeps you in check, that's better than realizing you've given in to temptation and then being gluttonous and sabotaging the work you've done.
3) Make exercise a priority. It's important and it helps keep you on the right track. Even in a new setting, try and find a way to exercise. Bring along your runners, or your bathing suit, and find at least a little time to get active. Being active will usually help keep the eating in check as well.
4) Have some meal ideas and plans. Even though you are away, you can still follow your typical eating. If you usually eat toast, make sure there's bread to eat toast. If you usually have cereal, bring it along, and get some milk. Have snacks ready to go, so you stay the course of your program.
5) And if you do slip up, don't beat yourself up. Just accept it and move on. One or two indulgencies is no reason to give up. You have a goal, and sometimes the path to reach it is not always easy, that's okay, there's more than one way to get there, some ways just might be a little bit longer!!

An easy day...

So yesterday I had an easy exercise day. My intention was to take the boys to the park and do a bunch of exercises sort of like a circuit style. I even took my sheet that I got from the trainer last year. And, I managed to get in the pushups, tricep dips, lunges, squats, long extended squats, and some running with Sebastian playing tag. It wasn't as much as I'd planned, but it was still a bunch, so I decided it was still good enough to be considered exercise for the day, especially since my legs and arms were quite tired after those exercises, and really it probably took me about 20 minutes. So even though it wasn't much, it was still something!!

Then, on my lunch hour at work today, I ran on the treadmill. It went well, I went for forty minutes all together, finishing 5km in about 27:04 and 6km in about 32:49, and went a total of 6.7km. It was a sort of selfmade interval program, I sped up every thirty seconds and once I got to six minutes, I slowed down and started building again. My heart rate came down nicely at the end so I was happy about that.

A unit brought up coffees for us tonight, and given that I felt quite tired, I gave in and got a small tims iced cappuccino. Might not have been the best choice, but it sure tasted good!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Part fish (or perhaps mermaid?)

So, for whatever reason, swimming comes fairly natural to me. Ever since I can remember, I have always done quite well in the water. As a kid I got to skip orange. And as a kid, I loved to swim. As an adult, I'm not quite as excited about being in the water. Mostly though, it's because I don't like the chlorine, and getting into cold water. Yet, once I start swimming, I just go. I can knock off 80 laps like it's nothing. But I think it's time to train smarter. It's time to do some actual swim workouts. Something where it's more than just getting in the water and covering a distance. Maybe it's time to work on speed, or power, or time. Maybe I should do more than just the front crawl. I'm going to start looking for other options and maybe one of these days I'll go to the pool with a workout plan... could be exciting!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Biggest Loser... And a tainted look at blogging...

I am inspired by the Biggest Loser. I really love watching the transformations that people go through. It's the one reality show where really, everyone is a winner because almost every always makes a positive change in their lives. Now, it is a little extreme in that some of the people on the show are much larger than most, yet, anyone who has struggled with weight loss can relate. We didn't get there eating carrots. So, as I go along on my journey, I sometimes think that maybe I have it easy. Maybe I don't deserve to be blogging about the changes I'm seeing or the plan that I'm following. But for me, my journey matters, and I might not have a hundred pounds to lose, but I do have fifty. And for me, it's been a battle for a few years now. When I met my husband, eleven years ago, I was in awesome shape. I was running every day, and watching the portions I ate and I looked great. Funny thing was, at the time, I thought I still had work to do. If only the me of today could have told the me of last decade a few things.

Which brings me to another blog that I've been enjoying lately. The Healthy Tipping Point has been interesting. Lots of neat recipe ideas, and training ideas rolled into a blog. The whole point of that blog is to get some ideas and things that have worked for someone else. And then there was an article published that totally ripped apart a bunch of bloggers who blog about health and fitness. None of them claim to be experts, but each has written about things they have done over the years to get in shape and eat better. The article fails to mention that these blogs are only a part of who these people are. Many people have more than one blog and try to be specific to a key area of interest. So, rather than blogging about all the details of their lives, they blog about eating well and exercise. And maybe they don't have it perfect, but they are trying. I found the article really took away from what the blogs are there for. Inspiration. Ideas. Motivation. And it really made it feel like people who try and be healthy and watch what they eat are obsessive etc, rather than pointing out that they are aware. It took what should have been a celebration of their achievements and tried to turn it into something nasty and mean. Granted, I only have been following one of the blogs, but I was a little mortified by the article, since these are the types of blogs I look to for inspiration and ideas (like pumpkin yogurt, yum!!).

And then I wonder about this blog. Am I obsessed over exercise? Am I obsessed over eating? I like to think that I'm aware of what I am putting in my body, and staying within healthy limits to help shed the weight I put on. And on the exercise front, I like to think that I'm living an active lifestyle, by trying to do something every day. I don't go hardcore every day, but I do something. But now I wonder, will someone eventually criticize my methods? I'm just trying to get to a healthy weight for me, to set a good example for my boys. I don't think that's too much to ask. And in the process I'm trying to share some of the things that worked for me. Oh well, I will keep plugging away!!

Checking in...

So, the exercise has been consistent, but what about the eating you might be asking. Well, I have been consistently tracking that since the middle of August as well, and have been very good about staying within my goals as far as eating the right amount of calories for me etc. And, the results have been fairly impressive to date.

Most recently, I weighed in at 178.2 pounds. I'm not quite sure how this is possible, yet I'm so excited by it. This means I'm now down more than 17 pounds since I reached my breaking point. But even more significant, I now weigh less than I have in I couldn't even tell you how long. Definitely since before I had children. Last year, when I was in my best running shape ever, I reached 179 pounds, and that was the lowest I got, and then I was sidelined with my stupid foot injury. I was excited last year, as that had been the lowest I'd been in forever. But now, I've bested that!! It's quite an exciting feeling to know that changes are being made, and that all this effort at eating proper portions and exercising is actually paying off.

It's becoming noticable as well. My favourite part is my arms and shoulders. There is actually some definition there, lines that show where the muscle is. I like it. My husband also says my waist is changing (maybe he could tell my stomach about that, hahahaha). And really, the clothes are fitting better, so there has to be a difference!! It's exciting and I like it, and it just makes me want to continue.

Will I lose more weight? Will I fall off the wagon? Nobody knows for sure, but based on how things are going, I welcome the changes and look forward to more in the future!! I'm trying, and it's paying off!! Calories in, calories out. Such a simple concept but it's true, and paying attention to it, has made all the difference in the world!!

50 days...well 51 days...

So, back in August, I actually reached my breaking point as far as eating and exercise goes. And I started exercising. And every day I did something. And that continues. Up until yesterday, it's been 51 days. It's included weights, running, spinning, biking, swimming, hiking, rowing, and even the Jacobs ladder. Is it a habit now? I like to think so. Do I still worry I'll stop and not start again? Definitely. Well, I know I will start again, but I just worry if I pause, I may for longer than I'd like. So, I keep going. I try and keep it varied so that my body gets a chance to recover from certain exercise specific fatigue. And, it's been going well. I try and space out the running days so that I don't do too many in a row as I don't want to sustain another injury and be sidelined because of it.

Is it easy? Surprisingly, yes. I have to wonder about all the excuses I had before, and what I did with the time. Making exercise a priority has been awesome. I know that every day, I have some time devoted to it, and I look forward to it. If it's at home, I will watch a show while I'm on the trainer or the treadmill. So, then, I not only get exercise in, I also see a show I've been looking forward to... it's a win win. And sometimes, exercise involves the whole family, like for a hike, or the Ambulance Chasers run on Friday. It's awesome!!

So, 51 days done, how long will this streak continue? Only time will tell, but I have my sights set on 100 days now!!