Progress Update – as of April 30, 2016

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 313.5 lbs
Loss: 6.4 lbs
Current BMI: 49.1
Loss: 1.0

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I actually think last week was a fluke. Normally, I weigh myself in my basement, on the cement floor, because that’s where my exercise equipment is. I recently moved my scale to my bathroom and, when I weighed myself this morning, it initially said 323.6 lbs, which meant another almost 4 lb gain.

I was baffled. I could not understand what was going on and why I was gaining weight like crazy, despite eating well and exercising. However, I noticed the teeniest little wobble on the scale. Following a hunch, I moved it to the kitchen and, lo and behold, the scale revealed 313.5 lbs when I weighed myself. I weighed myself four more times just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. So, I’m guessing that my bathroom floor is just the tiniest bit uneven. I can’t go back in time to weigh myself last week, but I’m assuming that the reported weight gain wasn’t accurate. However, no matter, it’s all fixed now!

I also made an amazing discovery this week. Last Saturday (April 23rd) I went axe throwing with some friends (which is awesome, by the way!) and afterwards, we went out to a restaurant called Boston Pizza to eat. Boston Pizza is a Canadian-only chain, I believe. Anyway, while I love BP’s (as it is affectionately called), there is not a lot on their menu that isn’t extremely high in calories and fat. At least that’s what I thought, until I checked out some of the foods on the Weight Watchers app. (FYI: I recently rejoined Weight Watchers. It’s not a perfect program, by any means, but they have changed it a lot in the past year and I think it’s the best it’s ever been, now it takes more information into account to really help WW members to make the healthiest choices, unlike on the last program, when a can of Coca-Cola and a cup of chocolate milk were the same points value.)

Anyway, there is a pizza from Boston Pizza that I absolutely love, called the Spicy Perogy pizza. It’s basically cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onions and spicy potatoes. I live in Alberta, which has a huge Ukrainian population, so I’ve grown up eating perogies and I’m obsessed. A normal individual-sized one of these pizzas would run you 26 points. To put that in context, I have 54 points per day. So, basically, half of my daily points on one little pizza. However, in the app, I learned that simply by making this pizza thin crust, it suddenly drops down to 15 points. It’s still a lot in the course of a day, sure, but it means that when I go out with my friends to BP’s, as happens often, I have a much healthier choice available to me than almost anything else on the menu, and I can enjoy one of my favourite foods without feeling guilty. That was an amazing feeling.

I’ve been walking a lot (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week usually), which feels great, I am really enjoying it. I’m hoping to start incorporating weights into my routine this week, then swimming, because I adore swimming. It’s been really gorgeous here, Alberta has had a very nice spring, so it’s nice to get outside. I’m feeling good.

Cheers, happy losing!

 

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Progress Update – as of December 19, 2015

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 310.1 lbs
Gain: 8.9 lbs
Current BMI: 48.6
Gain: 1.4

So, I’m up again. And I haven’t updated in ages! I’m not surprised, I’ve been so incredibly busy the last few weeks it seems like I haven’t had a moment to breathe.

I’ve also been absolutely exhausted. I try to go to bed early, but it always seems like there are things going on so that I don’t get into bed until after midnight, then I’m so exhausted the next day that I’ve been falling asleep after work. It’s not good. I don’t think that I’m diabetic, as had been suggested to me, but I do think that I need to go to bed earlier and that I need to exercise. I also kind of wonder if I have sleep apnea, I know it’s very common if you’re overweight – particularly if you have excess belly fat, as I do – but I do not want to have to invest in one of those huge machines, so I’m hoping that with regular exercise and weight loss, the fatigue will disappear.

For the past couple of months, I have been attempting to follow the Weight Watchers PointsPlus program. I like the program in general, my issues with it have been with the way they deal with fat and carbs. Recently, as some of you may know, they overhauled the entire program, it’s now called SmartPoints and they’ve changed the way they calculate food, focusing for the first time on saturated vs. unsaturated fat and carbs vs. sugar. Personally, I am thrilled, I think they’re really encouraging people to make healthy choices, not just things that are low in points, which sometimes weren’t the healthiest. A cup of chocolate milk, for example, used to be as many points as a can of Coca-Cola, because they both had so much sugar. Now, the Coke is more, as it should be, because it has zero nutritional value. I have signed up for this program, so we shall see how that goes.

Hope all of your Christmas plans are coming along nicely! I feel like December has just flown by, I am not even close to being ready for Christmas!

Progress Update – as of June 19, 2014

Height: 5’7″
Current Weight: 287 lbs
Gain: 3 lbs
Current BMI: 44.9
Gain: 0.4

Alright, so I’m up again. BUT I am actually down from earlier in the week when I previously weighed myself, so it’s okay. I’m not sweating it. I am all about the positive attitude these days, about remembering that this is a journey and NOT a race and that I need to look forward and keep pushing and stay positive. I firmly believe that hard work and a good attitude can get you anywhere you want in life and this is no different. 

Also, I am OBSESSED with avocado these days. It’s funny because I used to HATE it when I was a kid, the sight of it practically made me vomit. Now? I can’t get enough of that delicious creaminess?! Funny how things can change like that. 

What I Did Well This Week:

1) I did very well with tracking. As I mentioned previously, I am now on Weight Watchers and I am positively in love with their new app, it makes keeping track of what I’m eating SO easy. 
2) I ate a lot of fruits and veggies, way more than I normally do. I had a fruit smoothie very morning (made with frozen berries, frozen banana and milk – YUM) and had a salad with lunch every day and I loaded my plate with vegetables every night. I really want to keep it up because honestly, it makes me feel awesome, I have so much energy. 

What I Can Improve On:

1) While I did eat lots of fruits and veggies, I also went a little overboard on the ice cream this week. (Ice cream is the one vice that I will never, ever be able to give up.) The grocery store had a sale on ice cream this week (so bad!) so I bought a couple of tubs and promptly dug in to maple walnut (my favourite, along with strawberry). Oops.
2) I didn’t do so well with the exercise this week, or with my Little Black Dress challenge. Most days, I found that suddenly it was 10 pm and I had run out of time to work out and then other days, I was so exhausted by 9 pm that I just called it a night and didn’t exercise. I only did the challenge one day this week, so I am resolved to start it again (and stick with it!) this week, as well as get my walking in. 

How I Feel:

I’m feeling awesome, to be honest. And maybe it’s because I have more energy or maybe it’s because I’ve been eating better, but I feel so HAPPY. I am just feeling confident and happy and pretty much like I can kick any challenge’s butt right about now. I think it’s more about just being healthier, I think it’s also just a mental change from the self-reflection that I did on my time away. Regardless, no matter how it came about, I’m thrilled. 

Cheers friends, happy losing! 

 

Weight Watchers/A Change in Schedule

Hello friends!

Today is Monday but I am not going to do my weigh-in. Why, you might ask? 

Well, I signed up for Weight Watchers! Weight Watchers is most definitely not for everybody, but I personally really like it. I have signed up a few times before and never stuck with it, but for the few months before I went away on my trip, I was using Weight Watchers’ system to track my food and exercise, via a spreadsheet. I could have kept up that way, but a) I like the meetings because it’s a support system and you can speak with leaders about problems, plus other people sometimes have suggestions when you are having difficulty and b) they’ve redone their system, so now your monthly membership includes access to the Weight Watchers app, which it didn’t before (you had to pay extra). I really like the app, it makes it super quick and easy to calculate and keep track. Yay technology! (I am not being paid to promote Weight Watchers, I swear, I just really like the program.)

Anyway, the reason that I switched my weigh-in day is because I attend WW meetings on Thursdays now and I figured that since I’m being weighed in there and that I’m using WW to track my weight loss, I might as well just do my weigh-in posts on Thursdays. 

I will continue to update about other stuff throughout the week, of course (like the 30 day fitness challenge I have embarked on!) but progress updates will now be Thursday, for the forseeable future. I know that I’ve already changed that day about 3 times, so it’s quite possible that it will change again, but it’s Thursday for now! 

Happy Losing!

Announcement – Edit!

So. After having tried out My Fitness Pal, I have decided that I will not be using it to track calories. Why? Because I find it way too tedious, to be honest. I can’t be bothered sitting at a computer and inputting things in, I would much rather follow the Weight Watchers program. I know it’s basically the same thing, but it just seems much easier to me to track points in a little notebook. (Not to mention that I will choose writing by hand over typing any day of the week.) 

BUT I will be using it to track exercise, mostly for the sake of curiosity, I just like knowing how many calories this activity vs. this activity burns. 

So feel free to follow me on that, I hope that I can get into the habit of updating it regularly. And of course, if you are on there, please feel free to add me as a friend and share your progress! 

My Favourite Things: Cookbooks and Cooking Websites

I thought I would share my favourite cookbooks and cooking websites with you, in case you are looking for some healthy new recipes for the new year. I use all of these websites and cookbooks on a regular basis and I highly recommend them.

Please know that I am not being paid, sponsored or compensated in any way by any of the creators, owners and writers of the following websites and cookbooks, nor am I in any way affiliated or associated with said creators/owners/writers. These are my honest opinions. 

Websites: 

http://www.skinnytaste.com/ – My favourite food website of all time, there are recipes for everything: baked goods, pasta, salads, dips, sauces, salad dressings, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc. etc. There are lots of healthy original recipes, but there are also many classic recipes (macaroni and cheese, spinach dip etc.) that are made healthier. Great site!

http://ohsheglows.com/ – All the recipes on this website are vegan. I myself am not vegan, but I have used lots of the recipes on here anyway (especially the oatmeal and the smoothies), making substitutions when necessary. Great assortment of healthy, fresh recipes.

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ – A dessert blog! These recipes are also mostly vegan, but easily adaptable for non-vegan folks. I’m partial to the ice cream recipes!

http://pickyeaterblog.com/ – A vegetarian website with tons of delicious recipes. I try to eat at least one meatless dinner a week and this is a great resource for those. I’m partial to the Thai Yellow Curry and Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce recipes, myself.

Cookbooks:

*The Weight Watchers cookbooks marked with an asterisk are older ones, the points totals for the recipes are not valid with the Points Plus plan. However, you can of course recalculate, as all of the nutritional information is provided. 

Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes* – Lots of great, basic recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Weight Watchers: New Complete Cookbook* – Similar to the WW in 20 Minutes book, there are lots of great, healthy recipes for any time.

Weight Watchers: Take Out Tonight* – One of my favourite WW cookbooks, this book has recipes from all around the world: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Greek, Mexican, Italian and one called “Deli Specials” which has an assortment of items like soups and sandwiches. A really great book, I have cooked from it many, many times.

Weight Watchers: Best Comfort Food Ever – Just like it says, a book full of healthier versions of your favourite comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, onion rings, clam chowder, turkey pot pie and chocolate chip cookies.

Abs Diet Cookbook by David Zinczenko – I have no idea where I got this book, to be honest. However, it has proved to be invaluable. The recipes in this book incorporate power foods (also known as superfoods). I’m sure many of you have heard of power foods, they are the “best” of the best of foods: fruits, veggies, nuts, oatmeal, whole grains, beans and legumes, lean meats etc. etc. Anyway, this book focuses on real, healthy recipes comprised of power foods.

Quinoa Revolution by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming – I love quinoa. Do you love quinoa? I really love it. This book uses quinoa in all sorts of ways: breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked goods, desserts etc. etc. The lasagna is excellent!

Power Foods by Editors of Whole Living Magazine – This book has the same concept as the Abs Diet Cookbook mentioned above, where all of the recipes consist of the 38 foods that Whole Living Magazine has deemed the best of the best. I got this one recently, so I haven’t tried that many recipes, but so far so good!

Now Eat This! Diet by Rocco Dispirito – Great book with all kinds of recipes. I really love the Stuffed Crepes with Orange Butter Syrup, Roast Beef with Brussels Sprouts and Balsamic Jus, Roast Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash Mash and Tarragon Gravy and the Fudgy Fruit and Nut Bars (which are made with black beans, seriously).

Notes:

The one thing that I dislike about some of these cookbooks or websites (Rocco’s book and the WW cookbooks, in particular) is that they often use “fake” foods, which I dislike. For example: light mayonnaise, artificial sweeteners and processed or packaged foods. This is of course a personal choice, but I would rather eat real sugars (including maple syrup and honey) than Splenda or Stevia or agave syrup (which is marketed as being a “healthier” choice, but is actually almost as processed and bad for you as high-fructose corn syrup, yikes). Also, light mayonnaise is not actually mayonnaise. (It says “mayonnaise-type spread or dressing” in teensy print on the front of the bottle.) Additionally, some of the recipes call for packaged chocolate or low-calorie syrups. Once again, I would rather a) make my own chocolate syrup (I have a killer recipe, using all real ingredients, no chemicals) or b) have pure, unprocessed maple syrup instead of maple-flavoured syrup filled with chemicals.

I understand that the point of these substitutions are to reduce the caloric value, but I would rather take the calories and leave the chemicals out. Calories are not the be all, end all when it comes to healthy eating; the nutritional punch and where those fats and carbohydrates come from are what counts. I’d rather eat real, unprocessed food and be healthy than be a little thinner but be lacking in nutrients and overdosing on chemicals. Just my two cents.