Category Archives: Health and Fitness
So, I kinda disappeared for a while there, huh? I decided to get myself back on here and back on track. And just love that my last post started with “I’m baaaaack!”. I was at that time but apparently not again for the next 6 months!!! Oops, sawry!
The wagon…fell off, banged my arse, got a concussion and then just lay there on the road allowing myself to be run over by several other wagons instead of picking myself up and getting on those!
No excuse, but an explanation: I moved. Far. From Ontario to New Brunswick. And it was expensive, tedious and not something we are going to repeat any time soon. My husband cleverly chose this time for his 2 month visit with his family back in Japan. Ok, ok, it was decided upon mutually because that timing made the most sense for both of us! We packed our life up together, he left the country and I dealt with the movers and moving. And believe it or not, I wanted it to work out that way for selfish reasons. Really selfish. I had in my head how things were supposed to go and I didn’t want to give up the way I saw it all in my head! Ha ha ha! Was I little OCD about it? (Or CDO, as it should be!!!) Only a little and if you were not in my head, it didn’t look like I had control over the situation at all…but there is always method in my madness, ladies and gents. I was in complete control. Just as I wanted to be.
So I moved across a chunk of the country while my husband travelled to the other side of the planet. And I stayed with amazing friends who gave me a roof for my head, a bed for my sleep, and a basement for my crap. They had insisted so I could take my time looking for a place to live and job hunt. I found the new home just before my husband came back and found a job shortly thereafter. It was a ride and a half.
Sadly, neither a calorie burning nor a point counting ride. Major oops.
But I am back. I did slowly gain all the weight back, but no more than where I had started…actually I am thankful that I am at least 2 pounds under where I had been when I started this blog. Just the same, not letting myself off that easily. The old starting point no longer counts in my opinion; my current weight will be my official starting point for beginning again!
The point counting starts again tomorrow. And no giving up, no excuses. The major upheaval in our lives has past, we are settled and routine has taken hold. Time to get back to where I had been before and keep going! While I would love to join WW to go to meetings, my current budget is looking at me saying, “Uh, I don’t THINK so!”, therefore I will push myself to get back on track online and keep at it.
I missed everyone! Watch it…I am going to be stalking your blogs, looking for inspiration, motivation, conversation and mainly just to be back!!!
Here we gooooooo!!!
This has been a really good week so far! I have been an extremely good girl this week. Well, ok, one day I was so good, I was bad. Thursday was just one of those days where you get so preoccupied with doing stuff, that you forget to eat. And by you, I mean me. You know, that special kind of stupid when you actually forget about food…for most of the day! I was way under in my WW points and my calorie count. Oops. I tried to make it up at the end of the day but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat that much in one sitting.
As many people know, there are a couple of storm systems who are up to no good and have started making trouble in our neighbourhood…uh…what…where was I? Right, digressing into song lyrics just after I was talking about…uh…umm…
Oh yeah! Weather! Snow storms are wreaking havoc on the east side of N.A. Where I am living, we did ok. We got dumped on with a LOT of snow, but not really storm-like conditions. No real windy madness or precipitation stinging my face as it hits me.
I actually went outside in it. TWICE. Yeah, I am all kinds of tough, yo!
I couldn’t stay in and not at least attempt to get to my 10,000 steps today! I split my jaunt up into two sessions/sections/portions/outings/trips/parts (yeah, that’s right, I read thesauri from time to time. And know not only know that thesauri is a word, but how to spell it too. No applause, just throw money. Thanks.). Of course, it was actually, shall we say, unintentional. The going out twice part, not the reading of thesauri part…just so we are clear.
I went walking in the park. The snow was about upper-mid-shin. It was great! The park was peaceful and quiet with barely a whisper of a breeze (<–flowery literary tendency alert) and fresh snow everywhere. It was great walking through it even if my jeans got soaked. It was such a good workout to walk through that snow! The resistance was great! And I worked really hard to keep a brisk pace going; no easy feat when working against snow and slightly slippery footing! I actually got my heart rate up quite a bit, very quickly. What an amazing feeling! I made it a little over 5,000 steps before deciding to pack it in and head home. Besides, the muscles in my thighs and even hamstrings told me I could be darn sure that I burned just as many calories as if I had walked double that in non-winter conditions.
I came home, was bored and unsatisfied with the number of steps on my pedometer. I decided it was time to head back out and put some more steps on it! Oh, and to mail the thing I was supposed to mail on my first walk in the morning but just carried it around with me on the walk and then carried it home. Because I am the sharpest knife in the drawer…or not…
I recreated my route with the sole exception of actually running the errand I was supposed to do the first time. I just enjoyed every second of being out there! I avoided paths where people had worn the snow down a bit because I found that made for slightly more tricky footing than just plodding through untouched, and now knee-deep, snow. Walking through the deeper snow was not only easier on my feet, it gave more resistance, making my muscles work even harder. And it allowed me to appease my inner five year old self! But I was so focused on getting a good workout, I totally forgot to make a snow angel! I will have to get outside to do that tomorrow before too many people are in the park
to see me make a complete fool of myself walking through the snow.
While we got tons of snow, we really didn’t get a mad storm. Just the same, I was prepared. See? I remembered something from Girl Guides! (I know no one actually asked if I did, but thought I would throw it out there preemptively…) I had a survival kit ready, you know, just in case. I know storms only last for about a day and it wasn’t an apocalypse, but never hurts to have my two item survival kit on standby. I used it today.
If anyone else is affected by the storm, I hope it does not hit too badly and that you have your own kit ready, like I did.
Oh yeah….I did manage to get my daily 10,000! Yay me!!
A very well-written article with some incredibly intelligent insight and thoughts! seesondraslim hits the nails on the head! We all need to take the time to stop and think about what makes us happy with ourselves. It is not all about size and shape…there is so much beauty in human beings of both sexes, all sizes and every background. Let’s celebrate ourselves!!
I try to clarify as often as possible that my journey all along has been about being a better, HEALTHIER version of the person I have always considered myself to be.
I have come a long way, and although I’m still hovering just under 200 lbs, most would agree that I look like a completely different person…but I would like to think that they’ll tell you I’m basically the same Sondra. I still do, say, and wear what the heck I want!
It makes me really sad to think of the old me (the REALLY old me) back in middle school, who felt that her smile was her only redeeming quality.
I ALMOST GAVE UP ON MYSELF OVER THE YEARS.
But there is something to be said for people in the world. I was blessed with friends who claim they never really noticed the fact that I was big….they…
View original post 625 more words
Another week has come and gone and although this past week was something of a fail, it was not as epic a fail as I thought.
I stayed within my points and calorie counts on both WW and MyFitnessPal, yet at one point during the week when I gave in and decided to weigh myself, it appeared that I had put on 5 pounds!!! I almost fainted and got so angry at myself! I sort of feel like I don’t know what I did wrong, but looking at some of my food choices, I think I gave in to things that I didn’t need to give in to as often as I did. I didn’t run out to a fast food joint or anything like that, but even though I didn’t exceed the limits set for me, I went for fewer fruits and veggies than I have been. That is ok, it was a slap in the face to myself (insert hilarious mental picture here) and having experienced one setback means that I don’t ever want to experience it again!
I worked hard to get back on track and ended up taking off 3 of those pounds before my weigh day. So, I have to report that I had a net gain of 2 pounds (said with deep sigh and hanging of head in a resigned, sad kind of way). Not as bad as 5 pounds, but not as good as a loss of 2 or more! I am firmly back on the wagon this week, buckled in, holding on and don’t want to fall off again anytime soon!! The things I am going to tweak are: making sure that I consistently ensure I drink a full amount of water every day and gobbling up lots of plant life (if you suddenly got a mental image of a cartoon giant me wreaking havoc on a jungle that I am towering over, rest assured, you are not alone…I thought the exact same thing!) to ensure more efficient fuel burning. Oh, and walking a lot more. Like tons.
Speaking of walking, I think my recent (two days ago) trip to Toronto played a big role in helping to clear off some of that weight that caused such panic, fear and all around mental anguish (<–have we not seen this type of drama queen-like exaggeration somewhere before?). My husband had to go up for the day for work, so I decided it was a good excuse to tag along and spend the day doing my own thing, just wandering around, exploring with no one else to bore with my aimless wanderings, no time constraints other than catching the train at the end of the day, finding a cafe to have tea in or a restaurant to stop at and nibble on some lunch. I did both. While not a cafe, I did head to a McDonald’s that I know has outlets for people to plug in things such as mobile phones one used too much on the train so are now really low on battery power before it was even noon. Oh, and at that Rotten Ronnie’s, I managed to be there for zero WW points! I ordered a tea and nothing more. In the restaurant category, I found a little sushi restaurant to eat at as well and thoroughly enjoyed a really low cal lunch.
All in all, I sometimes tend to be a little daft like a dog who just doesn’t stop doing what it enjoys and so does it beyond the point of reason (Stupid dogs: play, swimming, etc. Stupid me: walking on concrete for hours). I walked all over downtown T-dot and well, behold the result of ignoring my angry feet when they pleaded with me to stop:
Yep, that is what happens when left to my own devices to explore and wander without a goal or a plan. Although walking around on concrete that much is not the greatest feeling for the tootsies, I was so happy to see those numbers!
Oh, and the train to Toronto leaves really early in the mornings. So early the sun doesn’t even think it is right to be up at that time! I love it when the sun does start to come up though. I am always trying to take pictures of the sunrise. That particular morning it was amazing! Before it appeared over the horizon, a beam of orange light was shining straight up, like a spotlight being shone into the sky at a movie premiere (or from a pachinko parlour). When I snapped, the way the camera caught the light made it look very different in the picture. But absolutely brilliant!
Well, off I go to get my solid night’s sleep! Gotta get more pounds off again!
I will just leave you with this question:
We are supposed to drink 8 glasses of water each day. Do other liquids count toward that? Let me know what you know or think.
Unbelievable! I went out on my daily quest for 10,000
dollars steps and it was -8C!! Practically a heatwave out there! And sunny too! What a perfect day for a walk, I tell ya! It has been soooo many years since I was actually thought that -8C was “somewhat mild”! I lived for so long in a land where 0C was practically armageddon. It was an awesome feeling, breathing in cool, refreshing air and feeling the sun on my face…inspired me to walk even further than I had planned.
After exploring lots of paths, I made myself come back to reality, face responsibility and head to the supermarket. Or the suupaa. Or the grocery store. Or the depanneur. Whatever floats your boat. And I stocked up on lots of fresh goodness to make my food! This is it! Organization is kicking in somewhat! Going to make meals for the week.
I came back home, ready and rarin’ to hit the floor, get my crunches, squats and pathetic push-ups out of the way. Then I remembered I was going to use the slow cooker and had to get my butt in gear with cooking or I would be stuck eating my creation at 3am (<–perhaps a slight exaggeration)
Here is what I have achieved so far:
I have made a super-duper impressive version of something Mom used to make when we were kids (my brothers and I; not my mom and I…we weren’t actually kids together). She used to bake chicken pieces in the oven after having marinated them in Catalina salad dressing and bbq sauce. Yeah, you read that right. And it was awesome! I decided to get all adventurous and recreate it as a slow cooker dish (remember…multi-tasking, kids! Slow cooker takes care of one thing while you do other stuff). It is all very experimental at the moment and I really don’t have measurements to give you. I just sort of throw in what I think will be enough. If there is not enough of something, I add more of it. If there is too much of something, I add more of something else to distract people from the first something. Pure genius!
The ingredients are:
- Catalina dressing
- Bbq sauce (more Catalina than bbq. Don’t ask me the ratio because I will just tell you that for this recipe, the ratio of Catalina to bbq is, “more”)
- 3 or so cloves of garlic, minced (I am a garlic fiend. I actually used 4 cloves…find your comfort level. Mine, apparently is to be immune to vampires.)
- Grated ginger. As much as you feel like putting in.
- Fresh cilantro, chopped. Again, whatever you want. I guesstimate I put in about 1/4 cup.
- Some onion. How much? I dunno. I cut up some and you know…taadaa.
- Saute the onion and garlic with a bit of extra virgin olive oil in a pan first. Just to soften them up and bring out the flavours. Throw all that stuff in the slow cooker. Then add the chicken and kind of cover it with the sauce so it gets fully marinated as it cooks. Oh yeah! Squeeze the juice from half a lime…or a whole one. (Hell, three if you want…sky’s the limit!) Add that to the sauce too. You can do that before adding the chicken, so that you get everything mixed properly or you can do it like I did: About an hour after into the cooking, think to yourself, “Hey! I have limes in the fridge! I bet some lime juice would be yummy in that…why didn’t I think of that at the beginning?”, then add it, awkwardly trying to stir it around the chicken breasts so the lime flavour is distributed evenly in the sauce. Maybe.
I have no idea yet if this is going to taste any good or if I completely buggered things up. I will let you know, if I survive it. And if it does turn out to be good, I will make it again and actually measure stuff so I can call it a recipe. I might even give it a name too…I can get fancy that way sometimes.
The other thing that I made so far was from an actual, real recipe. Yeah, I have been known to do those. Until I get used to them, then I don’t bother with all the pesky measuring nonsense anymore. Measuring cups and spoons? Pfft…those are for wimps. (Ok, really, I don’t have a dishwasher and will cut corners where I can.)
My friend sent me the link to a blog that perhaps some on here might have heard of…I was probably the last on Earth to know about it: Skinny Taste. It is sooo well done! It just might have more recipes than there are human beings on the planet. Every recipe has the nutritional value breakdown, as well as the WW points from both the former system and the new one! I love it. It was an amazing find. (Am I allowed to share my love of something that is not on WordPress?? I hope so, because I believe in sharing the love!) What was really exciting was that the recipe called for mango and I had one. That never happens, ever. Those suckers are expensive but it just happened that last week, there was a sale on mango, so I actually had one just sitting around in my home!
I am so proud of making it, that I am posting my own pic of how it turned out.
Well, I have more to make but now that I have gotten that far, it is time to tone my tush, flatten those abs (someday, someday!), and try to regain some semblance of strength in my arms (I miss teaching little kids, I had pretty good endurance and strength from running around chasing them and having to pick them up all the time, no gym required). Working hard to hopefully see a couple of more pounds gone when I jump on the scales in a few days!
Yesterday was a good food and nutrition day. I had some really awesome food! I made a delicious veggie, quinoa and egg scramble, inspired by another blogger, Mel, when she did a seven day cleanse. She posted the food she ate that week and it all looked really yummy! Thanks for the inspiration, Mel!!! It was actually my first time ever, to eat quinoa. I love and eat other healthy things, like couscous. But quinoa…I have never eaten it. It freaked me out. I couldn’t look at it…it reminded me of, well, fish eggs. And I don’t like fish eggs, hence my aversion to quinoa, even though I am fully aware that fish eggs, it is not. (<–apparently Yoda is guest blogging today…) But it was pretty good. Obviously, I got over the appearance aversion. Although I doubt I will ever eat it plain, on its own; I need to disguise it a little. Don’t judge me, guys!
I have also jacked up my snack supply. I stocked up on more fruit. Grapes were on sale, so I jumped on that bandwagon and got me some! Great to have sitting around to grab pop in when feeling peckish, or snackish, or something. Bought bananas too. Love those. I keep buying lots in hopes that they will get to the point that I will be forced to make banana bread. From a healthy recipe, of course! But they don’t stick around here long enough. Nom, nom, nom…
Having divulged a dirtly little secret earlier about my love of gorgonzola (oh gawwd, with wine….drrrooool), I will divulge yet another dirty little secret. Incidentally, if a dirty little secret is divulged, does that make it a dirty little public knowledge? Or a dirty little divulgence? (Omg, spellcheck didn’t underline that! “Divulgence” is a real word? Who knew?) Annyyyway, my other little secret is this: I didn’t just buy grapes and bananas for snacks. I also bought…prunes. There, I said it. I was even embarrassed to ask for them when I couldn’t find them…I said I was “sent to get” them, as though they weren’t really for me. I didn’t want people to think I had any problems for which I needed them or that I was elderly. (Because, apparently I think that mentioning prunes fast forwards my face several decades, until I stop mentioning them, returning my face to its rightful age…) But the fact is, I like them. I think they are yummy and they make me happy. Not because they are the drug-free way to regularity, but because they are a comfort food from childhood. My grandparents always had prunes in the house and would give them to my brothers and I as a treat when we were kids. So I have loved eating them since I was a little girl. And to this day, I feel good inside when I eat them (I mean psychologically and emotionally, guys!) I guess if I am going to turn to comfort food, I could do worse than prunes! Phew…there, did it. I am out of the prune closet. I feel so much better now. Thanks for accepting me as I am.
And best of all, our Japanese food arrived! Holy happy dance, guys! Woohoo!! So much goodness, so little space in the freezer and cupboard. We have tofu, konnyaku (yeah, you gotta look that up!), mochi, rice, snacks, tea, curry…and on and on. And of course, we ordered bentos for each of us…good, home-cooked bentos! The delivery didn’t get here until suppertime, so perfect timing!
And that 10,000? Nailed it! And I got in a few sets of crunches, some push-ups, worked on toning legs and even did some planking…the exercise kind, not the internet kind. That would just be weird. 🙂
Now to nail another 10,000 today as well!! (Did I mention that it was -16 again yesterday?) Gotta keep that momentum going!!!
Woohoo! I did it, guys! I put on 1.5lbs and went back down by 2.5lbs. That is a net loss of one pound. I knew not to stress too much!! (Phew!) Now, just to keep back on track and moving in the same direction. Now I am getting excited about next week’s weigh in. Life is definitely heading in the right direction when you get excited about getting on the scales!
Going through all kinds of slow cooker recipes to cook up some healthy goodness. I figure that would equal multi-tasking when it comes to cooking ahead. I could have something on the go in the slow cooker and then have the stove free to make something else. At the same time! (Yeah, I am an overachiever sometimes.) Then I would have lots to pack up in my new, fun containers, or mini food storage facilities, as I like to call them! And a whole week of lazy freedom of not cooking at all.
Except for the fact that we just ordered a whole bunch of food from a Japanese grocery store near Toronto. I am getting pretty excited about that delivery; I love Japanese food! Can’t wait to get my “ryori tsukurimashou” on! That’s Japanese for “let’s cook this [bleep] up!” I love that stuff and no, not one bit of what we ordered is sushi. There is way more to eat than sushi, guys! And I can’t wait to get my hands on it! This is going to be a good week, indeed!
While Tuesdays are supposed to be my weigh-in days, I couldn’t resist the temptation to jump on a day early…ok, who am I kidding…I have been jumping on my new scales constantly. Bad idea, I know because as fascinating as it is to see how much one’s weight can fluctuate day to day and even within one day, it can also be a little depressing. Depressing when I see the scales go up, thrilling when the numbers go back down. But mostly depressing because being able to obsessively check my weight that often reminds me that I really need a life!!!! Seriously, it sometimes is just something to do! I did the same sort of thing a few years ago when I was in hospital for a week when I lived in Japan. Next to the bedside, in a little holder on the wall, was a thermometer. I took my temperature about every 10 minutes just because I had nothing else to do! But I digress…
So, I was sad to see that as of today, I was up 1.5lbs. On one hand, I am disappointed, on the other hand, I am reminding myself not to stress, I am sure to lose that and maybe a little more by next week. I am actually feeling more determined than discouraged! Determined. Not stubborn. Not at all. And no need to ask my husband and family about their opinions on that.
I am happy to report that I am no longer pedometerless any more!! (<–I don’t always use odd words, but when I do, I use words that aren’t real.) I hit Walmart and plucked that $9 pedometer from the little pedometer section like I knew what I was doing.
I also got one step further in getting organized for the week. Yeah, I portioned and packed up crunchy snacks. Like a boss. I measured and ziplocked like nobody’s business! I had purchased some corn chips with flax seed (because flax seeds make them super healthy, of course.) and some sunflower seeds. Now, I know sunflower seeds are supposed to be evil because of their high fat content, despite the fact that it is mostly good fat. But I measured out 1/4c portions as opposed to the 1/3c as outlined in the nutritional information (and once I saw it in the wee snack sized baggy, that 1/4c is a little more than I usually eat anyway).
As for prepping actual meals for the week, well, I bought groceries. That is a start, right? I am still on the spontaneous side of the fence when it comes to meals. But I swear, one of these days, I will take some stuff out of the fridge and maybe cut some of it up. If I feel like it. And if I can find the knife. And the cutting board. And if I feel like it (did I already say that?). When it is cut up, then there is no turning back…something will have to be made.
And in case of the event of actually making something after said cleaving of food, I did buy containers that were the perfect portion size, so that is something! I have decided to make a few large batches of food on Sundays, then freezing/refrigerating them in single sized portions. Easy for days when we don’t feel like cooking up something good!
We also don’t have a car. Which means, to make a long story short, we spent almost three hours on our feet today, walking around. That earned me a fair few WW points! Part of that errand-running was to get my new pedometer, so I have no idea how many steps I took today but I am guessing the tally would be anywhere between 10,000 and a lot!
I am now also competing with a friend. She is getting back in shape and has set herself a goal for May 1st. I decided it would be great motivation to compete with each other and see who can successfully reach a decided-upon goal for that date. She is eating right and has started at the gym. She also has been using “My Fitness Pal”, which she encouraged me to use as well. I checked it out and love the food database…so much food info in there, and it tracks calories! I love my WW program but the database for food leaves a bit to be desired, I think (anyone else on WW feel the same way? Or not??). I think these two programs could work very well for me.
Well, it is another week, and another shot at getting even further along in my journey! Loving life this week!!
I feel that since many of us here are sharing our experience, wisdom and knowledge to help each other out on our journeys, let me impart a little of my new-found wisdom to you all. Cause I am wise and wonderful that way, dontcha know?
I was all stoked and excited about really making it work with my pedometer situation. I even bought one that was “fancy-schmancy“, remember? All those really cool functions that I don’t even look at or use, like the time, my age, my weight…and other fun, really confusing stuff. Stuff that made it super-cool, therefore something I just HAD to have. Just in case other people walking by me might have X-Ray vision to see that super awesome pedometer clipped to my pants, under my sweater, under my jacket and whisper to each other with hushed awe as I walk past.
Well, today I was determined to blow that goal of 10,000 steps right out of the water! It was -10 today and I walked a lot for being out in that cold. Without a hat, mitts or a scarf. Because I am invincible! Except for when I am not.
About 3/4 of the way through said walk, I went to check my pedometer. Not there. I froze on the spot (well not literally…I said it was -10, not -100). I unzipped my jacket, completely oblivious to other people around me, likely wondering what kind of nutter I was, standing there, open-jacketed, patting myself down. It was gone. Gone, gone, gone, she been gone how long? I had no idea.
So, I retraced my steps, which included going back into a little gourmet shop I had checked out along the way. The gal in the shop was all concerned and looked around as well. And I didn’t even tell her it was fancy-schmancy…she was just that nice!
Not there. I walked the entire route backwards to look for it….er…back the way I came…I wasn’t backwards. I already entertained enough people when feeling myself up in search of my pedometer.
I never did find it. I think I definitely, possibly surpassed the goal for the day. But I got really, really cold. And sad. I was mostly sad, guys.
The wisdom I want to impart to you all is this:
Buy the cheap-ass pedometer.